Chess, Jews and History traces the history of writings about chess, supplying many texts translated from Hebrew for the first time.
The book starts by considering Talmudic references to precursors of Chess. This has a bearing upon the currently accepted date of the beginning of Chess. It goes on to examine literature with particular reference to the work of Thomas Hyde in the late 17th century and Steinschneider in the 19th. Bookplates and reproductions from manuscripts illustrate the many forms of literature associated with Chess.
The book details the vast and yet unpublished Jewish contribution to chess history, and its writings ranging from the 9th century Suhl of Tabaristan (Ali Ibn Suhl Rabban al Tabari 847 AD). He lived in the providence of Juridan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea (Khazar Sea)… the same district as lived Suli and Firdausi (the grea historian of that era).
The book details the Jews, on the opposite shores, of the Khazar Kingdom and their link with 10th century Spain. The book details Khazar's recent archaeological chess discoveries.
5th century translation of Hebrew writings and chess allusions are explained as well as the role played by Jews in Persia, Arab countries and Spain. The correlation of the map showing centres of strong Jewish culture (of Talmudic times) with those of the dissemination of chess is detailed in the book.
The book then explains how the Golden Age of Arab culture and the Golden Age of Jewish culture coincide and its relation to chess.
Throughout the publication social history and chess history are combined in order to better illustrate the background in which the Hebrew and Jewish writings occurred.
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