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Civis Bononiae - 1300

Civis Bononiae (Citizen of Bologna) is the pseudonym of the compiler of a large collection of chess and tables problems as shown in the prologue ('Civis sum Bononiae ista qui collegi').

The oldest copycat, MS 372 (~1300), preserved in the Fitzwilliam Museum, contains 80 problems of tables (ff. 154-193).

MS 372 (154r)

    Numerous copies appeared in the 15th century:

  • Codex 273 (Roma - Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma) containing 76 problems of tables (ff. 149-186)

  • Codex Barberiniano Latino 254 (Vatican - Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) formerly Barberini X. 72

  • Codex XIX. 7. 37 (Florence - Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze) containing 72 problems of de tables (ff. 157-192)

  • Codex alpha.R.9.3, lat. 143 (Modena - Biblioteca Estense universitaria di Modena), Tractatus partitorum Schachorum Tabularum et Merelorum Scriptus anno 1454, containing 85 problems of de tables (ff. 271r-313r)

  • Additional MS 9351 (British Museum), Tractatus varii de ludis containing 44 problems of tables (ff.8-10 et 17-35 [ff. 11-16 are missing])

  • Ms. Extrav. 118 (Wolfenbüttel - Herzog August Bibliothek) containing, in French, 34 problems of de tables (ff. 117-133)

    Civis Bononiae contains the following games:

  • barail, desbaraill

  • bethelas

  • buff, buffa

  • buff de Baldriac (problem #73), ‘ludus subtilis et non multum usitatus’

  • imperial, this game is different from 13 A XVIII.

  • minoret

  • testa

    In his article "The Mediæval Game of Tables" (Medium Ævum vol. X n°2 [1941]), H.J.R. Murray translated some terms :

  • aditus sb. (problem #54), entry.

  • caput sb. (problem #8), the sice-point.

  • claudere v. claudere introitum (problem #7), to close the points of entry.

  • communis, ludus est (problem #59), the game is drawn.

  • denudare v. (problem #26), to bare, leave a point empty or only held by a blot.

  • domus, the inner table from which a player bears his men

  • elevare v. (problem #1), to bear.

  • extrinseca (problem #1), outside the bearing table.

  • ferire v. (problem #26), to strike or take

  • glosa sb. (problem #45), solution.

  • intrare (problem #7), to enter.

  • introitus sb. (problem #18), entry.

  • ire clausae (problem #54), to play without unpiling points.

  • ligare v., to double or pile men ; facere tabulam ligatam (problem #22) ; tenere tabulam ligatam (problem #29).

  • majoret (problem #77), the higher of the throws of two dice is duplicated.

  • manus ; tenere in manu (problem #10), to hold a man awaiting re-entry; tabula in manu (problem #47), a captured man awaiting re-entry.

  • minoret (problem #77), the lower of the throws of two dice is duplicated (not to be confused with the game of the same name).

  • nudare v. (problem #6), to leave a man or point bare.

  • nudus sb. (problem #58), a blot.

  • optativus ludus (problem #1), a game in which the players choose their throws.

  • partita, partitum (problem #1), a position or problem; partitum pejus (problem #46), the worse position.

  • passim, to lose by being unable to use a throw

  • perdere punctum (problem #9), to lose a throw by not being able to play it.

  • posta, ad postam, invitare, ad invitum, problem of which no explanation is given, presumably because they were understood

  • solus sb. (problem #6), a single man or blot.

  • stare ad elevandum (problem #13, #31), to be ready for bearing.

  • transire v. (problem #16), to cross to the other half of the board

  • unicus sb., a blot.

  • volta (problem #45), move or turn of play.