Thomas Actius - 1583

Jon's main chess page

ACTIUS, Thomas. Thomae Actii Forosemproniensis De Lvdo Scacchorum In Legali Methodo Tractatvs. Nunc primum in lucem editus com Summariis & Indice. Ad Serenissimvm. Franciscvm Mariam II. Dvcem Vrbini VI. [illustration]. Cvm Licentia Svperiorvm. Pisavri Apud Hieronymum Concordiam. M.D. LXXXIII. Small 4to. 1 leaf (blank), 4 leaves (portrait of author on recto of 3rd leaf), 108 leaves, 18 leaves, final blank leaf.

First edition of this early classic of chess literature by an attorney from Fossombrone who wrote it for recreation in the course of four months. Aside from presenting a complete description of the game, the author tries to prove, from the point of view of both canon and civil law, that chess is exempt from general bans on games of chance because it is a game of skill.