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Pente Grammai (Five Lines)DLP Game   

Period Ancient, Medieval

Region Northern Africa, Western Asia, Southern Europe

Category Board, Race, Reach


Pente Grammai, or "Five Lines," is a game known from Ancient Greek sources. Objects and graffiti have been found at Greek archaeological sites which come in the form of five parallel rows of lines, which have been identified as this game. Other versions appear that seem to have been doubled forms of the game. Other game boards in a 2x5 pattern that form square grids or rows of holes seem to be later versions of this game.


2x5 board. Five pieces per player. Pieces played on the end of the lines. Two dice. Central line marked. Pieces move from the "sacred line" to win. Moving from the sacred line can be bad.

These rules were taken from the Historical Information ruleset.

All Rulesets

Scholarly rulesets
Locos Ludi Race Pente Grammai as a race game from the Locus Ludi project.
Locus Ludi Knock-Off Mode Rules for Pente Grammai made by the Locus Ludi Project.

Incomplete rulesets
Historical Information Rules from DLP evidence.

Ludeme Description

Pente Grammai.lud


Browse all concepts for Pente Grammai here.


Schädler 2009.

Evidence Map

58 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Pente Grammai here.

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Bergk, T. 1882. Poetae Lyrici Graeci. Leipzig: B. G. Teubneri.

Blinkenberg, C. 1898. 'Epidaurische Weihgeschenke.' Mitteilungen des deutschen Archaologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 23: 1–23.

de Voogt, Alex. 2010. 'Mancala Players at Palmyra.' Antiquity 84(326): 1055–1066

Deonna, W. 1938. Le mobilier délien. Paris: de Boccard.

Ersoy, A. and Ö. Erdin. 2015. "Antik Dönem Smyrna Agorasında Bulunan Roma Dönemi Ludus Latrunculorum ve Mankala Oyun Tablaları Üzerine İncelemne." In E. Okan and C. Atila (eds.), Prof. Dr. Ömer Özyiğit'e Armağan. Istanbul: Yayınlarış, 141-156.

Kallipolitis, V. 1963. ‘Ανασκαφη ταφων Αναγθροντος’, Archaeologikon Deltion, 18: 123–73.

Massar, N. 2019. 'Jeux de pente grammai à Athènes.' In V. Dasen (ed), Ludique: Jouer dans l'antiquité.' Lyon: Lugdunum Musée et Théatres Romains. 82–83.

Megaw, A. ed. 2007. Kourion: Excavations at the Episcopal Precinct. Washington: Dumbarton Oaks.

Mulvin, L. and S. Sidebotham. 2004. 'Roman Game Boards from Abu Sha'ar (Red Sea Coast, Egypt).' Antiquity 78(301): 206–617.

Nikolau, I. 1965. 'Table à jeu de Dhekelia (Chypre).' Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 89: 122–127.

Nikolau, I. 1970. 'Une nouvelle table à jeu de Chypre.' Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 94: 549–550.

Pollux. Onomasticon.

Pritchett, W. 1968. '"Five Lines" and IG I2, 324.' California Studies in Classical Antiquity 1: 187–215.

Schädler, U. 2009. 'Pente grammai: The Ancient Greek board game Five lines.' In J. Nuno Silva (ed.), Proceedings of Board Game Studies Colloquium XI. Lisbon: Associacão Ludus, p. 173–196.

Schädler, U. 2019. 'Une table de jeu en terre cuite au Musée Suisse du Jeu.' In V. Dasen (ed), Ludique: Jouer dans l'antiquité. Lyon: Lugdunum Musée et Théatre Romain. 98–99.

Schneider, A. 1941. Die Grabung im Westhof der Sophienkirche zu Istanbul. Berlin: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.

Theocritus. Idylls.



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