Brill’s New Pauly

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Games of dexterity
(530 words)

[German version]

were primarily performed by children. With some of these games  astragaloi (knucklebones), nuts, pebbles, coins, small balls or potsherds were used as toys ( Children's games), with others, sticks, discs, wheels, etc.

A favourite was the so-called πεντάλιθα (pentálitha) (Poll. 9,126), in which five stones (nuts, balls, etc.) were thrown up in the air and caught in the palm of the hand or on the back of the hand. In another, the orca-game, nuts, stones etc. were thrown into a narrow-necked container (Ps.-Ov. Nux 85f.; Pers. 3,50). Similar to this game was the ἐς βόθυνον (es…

Cite this page
Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg), “Games of dexterity”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 26 September 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e423260>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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