Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings


Botermans: The World of Games
Botermans: The World of Games

Here is a selection of books which discuss hnefatafl, or one of its well-known variants, along with the relevant pages.

Astrop, J. The Pocket Book of Board Games, p. 10. Viking Children's Books, 1980.

Bell, R. C. Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations, vol. 1. pp. 77-81; vol. 2 pp. 43-45. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1979.

Bell, R. C. The Boardgame Book, pp. 34-35. London: Marshall Cavendish Ltd, 1979.

Bell, R. C. Discovering Old Board Games (second edition), pp. 41-42. Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd., 1980.

Bell, R. C. Games to Play, p. 24. London: Michael Joseph Limited, 1988.

Botermans, J. et al. The World of Games, pp. 119-121. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1989.

Forbes, D. The History of Chess, appendix pp. xlvii-liii. London: Wm. H. Allen & Co., 1860.

Loader, J. & Loader, J. Making Board, Peg & Dice Games, pp. 147-149. Lewes: Guild of Master Craftsman Publications, 1993.

Murray, H. J. R. A History of Chess, pp. 445-446. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1913.

Murray, H. J. R. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess, pp. 35, 55-64. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952.

Parlett, D. The Oxford History of Board Games, pp. 186, 196-204. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Pritchard, D. Brain Games: the World's Best Games for Two, pp. 176-180. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd., 1982.

Pritchard, D. The Family Book of Board Games, pp. 16-17. New Lanark: Geddes & Grosset, 2007.

Riddler, I. "The Pursuit of Hnefatafl", Ancient Board Games in Perspective, pp. 256-262. London: British Museum Press, 2007.

Walker, D. G. Reconstructing Hnefatafl. Hull: Cyningstan, 2013.

Walker, D. G. A Book of Historic Board Games. Hull: Cyningstan, 2014.


Hello, in Janina Ramirez programme on BBC 4 today I seemed to see the pieces of  board game I happen to know. But she did not say anything about it. So I did a search and was astonished.

I wrote about the connection Murray-Linnaeus half a century ago, at that time ony ONE archaeologic find was known, from Birka, Sweden. Have more such finds been done since then?

Sincerely, Lars Berglund, Weil im Schonbuch, Germany

Lars Berglund - 21:02, 20/03/2018

Hello Lars!

Was the programme Secret Knowledge - The Art of the Vikings?  I took a look on the BBC Web site and that's the only likely programme I can see, but it says it was broadcast on 5th March.

There is a finds page on this web site: you can find it be looking for the link "Archaeological Finds" on the sidebar of the History page. It's not exchaustive, though, and only a few of the descriptions mentioned when the items were found.

[Edit] I've just noticed that the paper "In the Quest for Lost Gamers" by Oskar Spjuth (2012) cites your own, and it might be a good place to start. Let me know if Google doesn't bring up a useful link - I found it (again) by searching for your own name plus Linnaeus and Murray.

Damian Walker - 12:37, 21/03/2018

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