A History of the Game – Part Three

By Jana Bohrer

The Byzantines were enthusiastic gamblers and spiced up the game by using three dice. 

The Emperor Zeno was a particularly high roller, if not a lucky one.  The Emperor once found himself in the following remarkable position. 

Red (Zeno) to play a 2-5-6.  Money game.
Snowie says the result is negative equity of -996.02%
EX BG has it at -1025.23%

Zeno64 cube

Staring down the barrel of a loaded triple, Zeno patiently asked for a position parchment and penned the play for posterity, then pointed to the palace guard who “paid” his opponent. 


The incident did result a positive technological development.  Zeno decreed that henceforth, match recording scribes could use the previously outlawed and heretical Arabic numeral system to notate games as Roman numerals were proving a bit cumbersome.

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