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A Chronology of Games: Part 3 (100 B.C. - 700 A.D.)

Updated on April 1, 2013

What can I expect to find in a Chronology?

From the dawn of civilization, men and women have found increasingly interesting ways to entertain themselves. This hub set will encompass all of the major portions of history which have led us to where we are today in the following six categories:

  • Board Games
  • Sports
  • Card Games
  • Dice Games
  • Video Games
  • Mixed-Media games

Games in the above categories have been the jumping board for all entertainment as we know it today. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce
A chronology of Games: Part 3 (100 B.C. - 700 A.D.)

100 B.C. - 1600 A.D.

Board Games
Card Games
100 B.C.
See parts 1 and 2 for Previous Information in this category.
Cùjú is invented in China (Predecessor to Football)
0 A.D.
Emperor Claudius plays Tabula (Predecessor to Backgammon)
100 A.D.
Horse Racing begins in England
300 A.D.
Nard is Invented (Predecessor of Backgammon)
393 A.D.
The Olympic Games were Outlawed
400 A.D.
Emperor Zeno lost a game of Nard. Scandinavia invents Hnefltafl
Boxing is banned in Italy
600 A.D.
Go comes to Japan from China
Kemari (Football Predecessor) is now played in Kyoto
700 A.D.
Chess comes to Persia from China
900 A.D.
Fidchell is invented. Tawlbwrdd is invented.
Bandy Predecessors invented. (Bandy is a combination of Soccer and Hockey... Soccer on ice?)
1100 A.D.
3-in-a-row games appear in Europe
Cricket predecessor is invented by children in Southeast England. Golf is invented in Scotland (Probably).
1174 A.D.
First recorded Race Meeting in England.
1200 A.D.
Snakes and Ladders ins invented in India. Backgammon invented.
Football is Invented.
1314 A.D.
Football is banned in London.
1349 A.D.
Football is banned in England.
1371 A.D.
Playing Cards are Invented
1400 A.D.
12-Man Morris is invented.
Football is banned in Scotland
Tarot games are played in Italy. Poch (Rummy predecessor) is invented. Card Suits Standardized
1500 A.D.
Game of Goose (First race game) invented. Checkers is invented
Calcio Florentino is invented in Florence. (Football Predecessor)
Noddy (Cribbage Predecessor) invented.
1526 A.D.
Henry VIII reinsates football as a legal sport.
1598 A.D.
Creckett (Cricket) is played widely in Guilford, England

0 A.D.

Board Games

Claudius of Rome is noted to have played Tabula (which is a game which is played on the same board that we use for backgammon today, but with completely different rules. He is known to have been fond of games of all sorts. Claudius fought a killer whale for sport, and enjoyed the Theatre, when he wasn't playing Tabula.

100 A.D.


Horse racing begins in England and is organized by soldiers of the Roman Empire in Yorkshire. Not much other information is known on the early horse races.

300 A.D. - 393 A.D.

Board Games

Nard, a backgammon predecessor, is invented. Not much is known about the rules.


In 393 A.D. Theodosius I of Rome banned the Olympic Games. Not a whole lot was written about him, but what was written about him shows that he was quite an angry man.

the anger of the Emperor rose to the highest pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance by unsheathing the sword most unjustly and tyrannically against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is said seven thousand perished without any forms of law, and without even having judicial sentence passed upon them; but that, like ears of wheat in the time of harvest, they were alike cut down.

-Witness to the events.

From Wikipedia.

400 A.D.

Board Games

Byzantine Emperor, Flavius Zeno, lost a game of Nard to one of his servants. On the whole, he wasn't fascinated with games, but it must be taken into consideration that he had to manage the military for the whole of his adult life - no time for games.


Theodric the Great bans Boxing in the major cities of the Eastern Empire, because it disfigures the face. The face was held to be "The image of God" and, therefore an insult to God to purposely disfigure one's face. However, boxing didn't cease just because it was banned.

600 A.D.

Board Games

Go (Previously Wei-qi) comes to Japan from China. On the whole, the Japanese citizens generally enjoyed the game overall and it became a major part of the culture. (Such a major part of the culture, in fact, that many people still erroneously declare the Japanese to have been the inventors of the game.)


Kemari, a football Predecessor, begins to be played in Kyoto. The game is played to this date. The goal of the game is to keep a single ball up in the air. The players may use their head, feet, back, knees and elbows to keep the ball up. The game closely resembles what is known in England, so I'm told, as FootBag, and in America as Hackey-sack. However, in Kemari, the ball is much bigger.

700 A.D.

Board Games

Chess comes to Persia from China. Chess is an incredibly complicated game. Though not more complicated than Go, enough books have been written about Chess that could easily fill several libraries. To date, there are more than 1,000 variants! Variants can include changes in any number of these categories:

  • Starting Orientation
  • Number of Pieces
  • Movements of Pieces
  • New Pieces
  • Number of Players (3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-Player variants are known to exist)
  • Different Board Shapes and sizes:
  1. Three-dimensional
  2. Hexagonal
  3. Circular
  4. 4x4 board, instead of 8x8.
  5. 16x16 board, instead of 8x8
  6. Other strange Boards (see above)

End of Part 3

This section of the Chronology of Games is complete. Please leave a comment in the comments section if there is anything above that you particularly enjoyed reading about. I will link to other parts of the chronology in the Links section below, as I write them. Thanks for reading!


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