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Polis (Poleis)DLP Game   

Period Ancient, Medieval

Region Northern Africa, Western Asia, Southern Europe

Category Reconstruction, Pending, Board, War


Polis is a board game mentioned in ancient Greek literary sources. Little is known about it, but the sources indicate that the spaces were called poleis, "cities," and a piece was called κύων (kyon), "dog". Captures were involved, and it has been speculated that the game is similar to Ludus Latrunculorum.


9x9, 11x11, or 8x10 board. Two players. Pieces are captured by surrounding them on either side.



Ludeme Description



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Schädler 1994; Schädler 2001.

Evidence Map

31 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Polis here.

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Cratinus. Fragment 61 KA.

Fachard, S. 2021. Games in the Garrison Forts of Attica. Paper presented at the Workshop ERC Locus Ludi: The Archaeology of Play and Games. 21 January, 2021.

Ignatiadou, D, 2019. 'Luxury board games for the northern greek elite'. Archimède, Games and play in antiquity 6: 144-159.

Kurke, L. 1999. "Ancient Greek Board Games and How to Play Them." Classical Philology 94: 247-267.

Pollux. Onomasticon.

Schädler, U. 2013. Les jeux de pions. Archéothéma 31: 64-65

Stern, I. 2019. Excavations at Maresha Subterranean Complex 169: Final Report Season 2000-2016: 127-128




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lkjh Maastricht University Department of Advanced Computing Sciences (DACS), Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands Funded by a €2m ERC Consolidator Grant (#771292) from the European Research Council