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Posts Tagged "Iran"

The Game of Kings Exhibition Blog

A Ruler's Riddle

Larry List, Independent Curator and Researcher

Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Three representations of "Buzurjmihr Masters the Game of Chess" are housed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum. That the story was illustrated in the Shahnama (Book of Kings), recounting the tales of ancient heroes and rulers of pre-Islamic Iran, indicates that the tenth-century poet Abu'l Qasim Firdausi regarded this story as significant as a scene of battle or diplomacy. Indeed, it was both. It was also a turning point in the history of chess.

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The Game of Kings Exhibition Blog

Shah Mat! (Checkmate!)

Maryam Ekhtiar, Associate Curator, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chess is undeniably the most popular board game ever invented, yet its origins are not entirely clear. It appears to have entered Iran through India. This development is documented in a Sasanian text in Middle Persian from the reign of Khusrau I (A.D. 531–579) that recounts the story of its introduction as a contest in refinement and intelligence between the Indians and the Persians.

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About this Blog

This blog accompanied the special exhibition The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis, on view at The Cloisters November 15, 2011–April 22, 2012.