Jul 08

Herodotus the Geek, Part 1: Gaming


TalesOfAGM CrossI am currently using the Histories of Herodotus as research for my Crestfallen stretch goal article.


Along with being a gaming geek, I am also a history geek. This is focused on the Ancient and Early Medieval periods, which melds perfectly with my worldbuilding for the Tales of the Hero Wars setting.


As part of this reading, I have found some passages from Herodotus which could present him as some kind of ur-Geek. Yes, a Greek Geek.


The first of these passages is from Book 1, section 94. Rather than paraphrase, I shall quote the relevant text:


And then were discovered, they say, the ways of playing with the dice and the knucklebones and the ball, and all the other games excepting draughts (for the discovery of this last is not claimed by the Lydians). These games they invented as a resource against the famine, and thus they used to do: on one of the days they would play games all the time in order that they might not feel the want of food, and on the next they ceased from their games and had food: and thus they went on for eighteen years.


So, if you thought your game sessions ran long, then you have not met the Lydians. Eighteen years gaming! Those were some keen gamers.


Also, perhaps we should highlight this unexpected gaming benefit. The Lydian diet could be the next fad. Spend one day fasting and gaming, then eat normally the second day.


I think I can recall some friends at university who followed the Lydian diet.


Happy Gaming



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