Backgammon in Ancient Civilizations

Known as a good example of games that are strategic and challenging, backgammon has a luring and fascinating history. Having an idea about backgammon's roots may be helpful to players since it may increase their interest in excelling in this game. Like other board games, backgammon has been present since ancient times. Artifacts discovered by experts showed that the game has once attracted the attention of knights and noble people in early civilizations.

The prominence of backgammon today and in early times is different. The development of other games that can be played as a recreational activity by people affected the popularity of backgammon today. If we will only have a glimpse on the history of backgammon, we will be amazed about the game's popularity in ancient civilizations like Egypt and Persia.

According to archaeologists who devoted themselves in finding answers to questions about the origin of gambling games, there is another board game that is similar with backgammon. This game is known to early people in Egypt as senet. Senet is similar with backgammon in the sense that like backgammon, this game also uses dice to direct the moves of players.

Even if many archaeologists thought that backgammon is formatted after senet, most gamblers agree that it is the Royal Game of Ur, which is the mother of all board games. Based on artifacts that would support the claims of gamblers, the Royal Game of Ur is one of the most popular games in Mesopotamia. However, there are claims that another board game has been developed earlier than the Royal Game of Ur, which is also similar with backgammon because it uses dice and checkers.

Meanwhile, in ancient Rome, people are hooked with playing board games that have similar mechanics with backgammon. Game of twelve lines, also known to Romans as ludus duodecim scriptorum, has the same format with backgammon. It uses a board that has three rows. Each row has twelve points where the checkers move based on the numbers that are rolled in the dice.

Meanwhile, another game that is popular in ancient Rome is called tabula which means board or table when translated in English language. Experts who have studied this game believed that tabula has a similar objective with backgammon, which is to move all checkers in their opponent's side of the board.

We can see that there are several games in ancient times which are believed by archaeologist to be the origins of backgammon. Hence, based on these data, we can clearly see that the interest of ancient people in playing challenging and strategic games affected the development and popularity of backgammon several years later.