De ludo scachorum by Luca Pacioli. The game of games in an extraordinary manuscript long considered to have been lost.

Availability: 5 In Stock
ISBN/EAN: 9788895642574

“Jocondo et allegro tractato”. A fascinating description of logic and mathematics, a volume for all lovers of chess and the historic evolution of the game.

Aboca Edizioni presents the facsimile from the limited run of De ludo scachorum, a manuscript written by Luca Pacioli. Taken from the Coronini Cronberg archive by Duilio Contin, director of the Bibliotheca Antiqua at Aboca Museum, the volume describes 117 games of chess, some of which played according to the revolutionary technique, a la rabiosa.

From the comment by Alessandro Sanvito: "Luca Pacioli was not only a chess player, but a true expert and passionate follower of this mental discipline which, with its multitude of possibilities, was bound to garner the interest of a scientist of his eminence. It is possible that Pacioli was fascinated by the complex characteristics of chess, but it was not a passing infatuation; more likely a passion of long standing. […] One of the primary reasons for his interest in chess could be found in a modern chess concept. A game of chess, according to current theories, is divided into three parts. The first is the opening, then the central part of the game and finally the end game. For this final part it has been suggested that given a final position, and the hypothesis that neither players will make a wrong move, the outcome is mathematically null. And because the games, while only hypothetically and without ever forgetting the purpose of the challenge, almost always simulate positions that had check mate as the goal, you can imagine how this peculiarity could stimulate the attention of a mathematician of his stature".

The commentary accompanying the text is the work of linguists, paleographers and grandmasters and covers all the phases of revealing and transcribing the manuscript, and attributes it to Luca Pacioli and the chess techniques illustrated by the major Renaissance mathematician.

The facsimiles from the Aboca Edizioni collection are worthy publications, created with precious materials and avant-garde printing techniques. For the De ludo scachorum hand cut and folded paper was used, while the two-thread, full stitch sewing is on hemp with cotton thread. The volume is boxed in a wooden case that experts have cut from a single block of centuries-old oak and immersed in a mixture of incense, myrrh, Chios mastic and natural alcohol, in order to preserve it unchanged for the years to come.


Introduction by Valentino Mercati.

Contributions by Diego D'Elia, Serenella Ferrari Benedetti, Duilio Contin, Attilio Bartoli Langeli, Enzo Mattesini, Alessandro Sanvito, Adolivio Capece.

Other information

Dedicated to the Marchioness of Mantova, Isabella d’Este, the manuscript, entitled De Ludo Scachorum Schifanoia, was mentioned by Pacioli in his De Viribus Quantitatis and in a privileged application for advanced printing, but never realised, in 1508 at the Venetian Senate.  Since those years the work fell into oblivion and was rediscovered by Duilio Contin in December 2006 between the 22,000 volumes of the Coronini Cronberg archive, as ms. 7955 XV century. Count Guglielmo Coronini had personally acquired the precious manuscript which was in his possession at least from 1950, the year of a letter in which he instructed, for potential sale, The Rosenbach Company in New York.

Limited run of 999 numbered and certified specimens.

Release date: 2007

Dimensions: 27,5 x 33 x 8,5 cm

Pages: 96

Illustrations: 96

Languages: vernacular

Varie: Il prezioso cofanetto contiene, insieme al facsimile, il relativo commentario. Rivestito in tela imitlin nera. Il cofanetto è rifinito con decori in oro a caldo

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