German (Probably made in Cologne) / Game Piece / 12th centuryGerman (Probably made in Cologne)
Game Piece
12th century

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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: European; Northern European; German
Creator Dates/Places: German (Probably made in Cologne)
Creator Active Place: Probably made in Cologne
Creator Name-CRT: German (Probably made in Cologne)
Title: Game Piece
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1199
Creation Date: 12th century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: walrus ivory
Dimensions: 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (1.9 x 7 cm)
Description: This carved ivory disk is a tableman, a game piece used in tables, the medieval precursor of backgammon. Each player had fifteen pieces; traditionally one set depicted the labors of the classical hero Hercules and the other showed the feats of Samson, the Old Testament strongman. In this example, Hercules appears on the left, holding upside down Diomedes, king of Bistonia. According to the myth, Diomedes kept man-eating horses until Hercules fed them the king himself. Here the horses, who have doglike faces and lions' manes, tear into their former master.
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 16.106
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1916
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
AMICA ID: MMA_.16.106
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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