The Latruncoli

Ludus latrunculorum “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”. (Plato)

You can learn more about a man in one hour of game than in a lifetime of conversations" (Plato) The game of lantruculi, of the bandits, was a table game similar to the modern chess for which the Roman society was deeply passionate. In fact there are many findings that confirm it, for exaple the Tabula Iusoria (gaming table) in the Iulia cathedral in the Roman Forum as well as many written testimonies. Important people such as Varrone, Marziale, Ovid and Seneca wrote about it, giving us curious anectodes. Seneca, for example, tells us that the historian Giulio Cano, a great player, was imprisoned and sentenced to death by Caligula and in his cell he used to spend his time playing lantruculi. When the centurio came to take him for the execution his last thought was for the match and he made his opponent swear not to lie about the result, and after the count of the pieces he asked the centurio to testify that he was just about to win for a check.

Did you know that one of our detailed study is about the Roman games? More information here.