Backgammon is the most ancient game to have been recorded. The earliest versions of the game go back to the Persian Empire, over 2000 years ago. The first game that resembled backgammon had 18 on each side of the , unlike modern backgammon, which only has 12. The earliest findings show boards made of wood, checkers made of stone, and dice made of either wood or clay.
The original game was called "Narde" (Nard meaning "wood" in Persian, since the game was played on a wooden board). Some records show much symbolism in the game, which remains up till now: Each side of the board has 12 points, which stand for the twelve months of the year. Altogether 30 checkers are used, symbolizing 30 days of a month. The sum of every 2 opposite numbers on the dice is 7, standing for the number of days in a week. There are 24 on the , as the number of hours in a day. And finally, the use of contradictory colours stands for the difference between day and night.
The game reached Europe through Rome, and the first version that arrived in Britain was called "Tabula". Starting from the 11th century this became the most common game in Britain, until the 15th century, when Chess became more popular. The name Backgammon was first presented in 1645, and was composed of the words "back" and "gammon": A game played backwards, with the aim of removing all the checkers from the board?
In the 1920?s the " " was added to the game in the USA, but during the Depression backgammon wasn't a popular game. In the 1960's it became popular again, mainly due to competitions and championships which attracted large crowds. During the 1970?s its popularity grew, but in the 1980's the went down again, especially among teenagers, partly because of new sophisticated games that appeared (such as video games). However, in the last decade the grew again, thanks to the appearance of .
Its most probable origin seems to be in Mesopotamia or China and India where most modern games had their origin. The citizens of Chinese dynasties played backgammon, the Egyptians played it, the Greeks and Romans nearly worshiped it. The Aztecs even enjoyed it even though they called it patolli. he actual is incomplete and still being written.
Modern are played today throughout the world. The French call it tric-trac, a name that imitates the sound of the dice hitting the board. The Germans have their own version and so do the Irish, the Russians, and the Turks. The list of names and variations of play are endless, and it ould take a whole book to describe them. We shall not bore the reader with such a lengthy discussion here. The historically minded ones are referred to the Bibliography, part of which is devoted substantially to .
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