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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20709

Syed, R (2008). "War, Peace and Chess. Bana’s References to “Terracotta Chessmen” and “Discourses on War” in the Harsacarita". Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 62(2):563-573.



Bana’s Harsacarita not only contains the oldest Indian reference to the game of chess, caturanga, played on the 64-square-board called astapada, but also gives a hint to terracotta chessmen in the phrase parthivavigrahah, which is not only to be rendered as “fights among kings”, but as “earthen figures” as well.
Chess, it seems, was played at Harsa’s court in Kanyakubja/Kanauj in the first half of the 7th century A.D. with earthen figurative chessmen. Before the game caturanga was invented – so my thesis – the theoreticians of warfare used similar terracottas as means to teach strategy and tactics of battles in sand-tables. Further, Bana’s adhikaranavicarah can be read as adhika-rana-vicara and translated as “thoughts on further battle(s)”, pointing at continuous discussions on warfare.

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 62 (2008) > 2
DDC:950 History of Asia
Deposited On:15 Sep 2009 12:30
Last Modified:29 Nov 2012 02:40
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
Related URLs:http://www.sagw.ch/de/asiengesellschaft/publikationen/Asiatische-Studien.html (Publisher)
http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?vID=86850&vLang=D&vHR=1&vUR=4&vUUR=11 (Publisher)
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