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  • From arithmomachia---called The Philosopher's Game---from the Greek arithmos (number) and machia (battle/war), was once a quite popular strategy game bearing some similarities to chess, though with the moves and attacks permitted in the game depending on numerical and arithmetical relationships between the pieces and their respective values, thus a battle of numbers. William Fulke also created two games in the 16th C. of similar thought and title, metromachia and ouranomachia, the former a battle of shapes and geometrical patterns, the latter some form of abstracted battle of the heavens.

    All three titles participate in the use of the Greek combining element -machia, which serves as the end of a number of other interesting words. E.g., hieromachia, tauromachia, logomachia, etc. Cf. J.G. Robertson's Words for a Modern Age: A Cross Reference of Latin and Greek Combining Elements (Senior Scribe: 1991), p. 89.

    February 9, 2008