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Hnefatafl

Period

Medieval

Region

Northwest Europe

Description

Hnefatafl is a Nordic game mentioned frequently in medieval texts from Scandinavia, Iceland, and the British Isles. Hnefatafl appears to be related to a range of other tafl games, in which on side has a king and a smaller number of pawns, situated in the center of the board, playing against an opponent with more pieces. The king's goal is largely thought to be to escape to one of the corners, and the opponent's goal is to capture the king.

Rules

to be reconstructed.

Origin

Scandinavia

Ludeme Description

Hnefatafl.lud

Reference

Murray 1951: 55–64.

Evidence Map

22 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Hnefatafl here.

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Sources

Arbman, H. 1940. Birka I. Die Gräber. Tafeln. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-Aktiebolag.

Arbman, H. 1943. Birka I. Die Gräber. Text. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri Aktiebolag.

Berger, F. 1998. 'Das Spielbrett auf dem Stein von Ockelbo.' Archäologische Informationen 21(2): 279–281.

Lund, G. 2010. Spill I middelalderens bysamfunn. En arkeologisk analyse av spillmateriale fra Bergen. Våren: Universitetet I Bergen.

Murray, H.J.R. 1951 A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Nicolaysen, N. 1882. Langskibet fra Gokstad. Christiania: Alb. Cammermeyer.

Rundkvist, M. and H. Williams. 2008. 'A Viking Boat Grave with Amber Gaming Pieces Excavated at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden.' Medieval Archeology 52: 69–102.

Schulte, M. 2017. Board games of the Vikings— from hnefatafl to chess. Maal og Minne. 1–42.

Sterckx, C. 1973. 'Les trois damiers de Buckquoy (Orcades).' Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest 80:675–689

Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Vigfusson, G. and F. Powell. 1883a. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume II. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Reference ID

DLP.Game.14

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