Published December 1, 2020 | Version v1
Book chapter Open

"La sagesse de Palamède : les dés, les pions et l'établissement d'un ordre (à propos de Philostrate, Sur les héros, 10 Follet)", in D. Bouvier and V. Dasen (eds), Héraclite : Le temps est un enfant qui joue, Collection Jeu/ Play/Spiel 1, Liège, Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2020, p. 75-94.

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Description

“Trictrac”, “checkers”, “chess”, so many misleading translations given over
time for the Greek word πεσσεία which was actually a form of playful activity practiced with pawns on a board and whose origins extend back to the Trojan War according to traditional stories of ancient Greece.
Far from being limited to a question of lexicon and choice of translation, this
article aims to understand the specificities of such a form of game from the analysis of the circumstances of its invention and the identity of its author, namely the hero Palamedes. By a detailed analysis of the passages concerning Palamedes and his invention of games, from Gorgias to Philostratus, this contribution is intended to allow a better understanding of how far the πεσσεία was linked to a very particular modality of the divine action of Palamedes, namely his prophetic and mantic power that made him a hero of the semiotic structuring of space.

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Funding

Locus Ludi – Locus Ludi: The Cultural Fabric of Play and Games in Classical Antiquity 741520
European Commission