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Backgammon History – From Ancient Egypt to Online Backgammon
Backgammon especially its online version, is one of the most popular board games in the world. However, before it became a part of the life of almost every online gamer from around the world, the board game was allowed to be played only by Egyptian kings and was chased by the Church.
Here we will review the history of backgammon starting from 3000 B.C. until our computerized days.
Backgammon has been recognized as the most ancient board game in history. It is believed that an early version of the game, called Wee Battle, used to be played in Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C. A similar version of the game, called Senat, was commonly played in Ancient Egypt.
Senat rules are very similar to contemporary backgammon rules. However, the massive popularity the ancient board game enjoys in our days is far from resembling to the popularity of Senat; back then, only royalty and the upper classes were allowed to take part in Senat.
For a while, an early version of the backgammon game was even banned. When the game had spreader to Europe, the Christian priests declared a war on the game, which was sought as a representative of devil worship. Nevertheless, the game was still played far from the public eye, with or without a board.
Since the beginning of the 17th century, the game is known around the English speaking world as "backgammon". The origin of the game name is arguable: according to one version, it had derived from the Saxon phrase "bacgamen", which means back-game; according to a different version, it is the Welsh term for little battle which provides the game its name.
Kromager 19th century Backgammon. Photo: back-gammoninfo.com
Since the famous English game rules authority Edmund Hoyle had dedicated a book to backgammon rules, the game had enjoyed world recognition. However, the internet version of backgammon is responsible for the massive boost in the popularity of the ancient game.
Ever since the early days of internet gaming, backgammon has been attracting huge attention from enthusiastic players from different parts of the world. There are dozens of downloadable backgammon softwares, such as motif backgammon for example, which feature multiplayer backgammon games and tournaments.
Online backgammon is currently the last level in the development of the game that has been known to men for about 5000 years. It will not be hasty to assume that a game that had survived so much in such a long time and only grew bigger - is here to stay.
Sheila Baker is a professional writer who focuses on the industry of online gaming, including online backgammon, chess and other games. Other articles by Sheila include reviews of backgammon sites (http://www.play65.com, for example), marketing tips for online games sites and much more.