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Toys were born to cheat hunger

07 January 2010 / 12:01:02  GRReporter
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From the Minoan game Zatriki (dominoes or backgammon according to two different versions), the ancient plangoni and the dolls, Greek toys have their own history.

“A man starts to grow old when he stops playing games” writes Plato. And may be no one is able to answer who and when discovered toys, but according to historical sources the first toys were discovered in ancient Lydia from the time of king Atis.

Herodotus – the father of history mentions, that “Lydians used their inventions to cheat their hunger. One day they played constantly and had no time to think about their hunger and in the next day they were eating without playing. They lived like this until their 18th anniversary.”

The parenthood of the toys is attributed to many gods and immortals. According to myths Aphrodite has invented the game – a game for love prophecy. The Thracians first played amistinda – the competitors had to drink a glass of wine at a draught.  Archit the Tarandinian invented the rattle, which clams down babies and expels the evil ghosts, according to the archeologist Christos Bultois, who takes part in a great research of the Greek toys in history published by the Educational foundation part of the National Bank of Greece andby the Greek literature and historical archive.

Palamedes, the hero of the Trojan war has created the game pesos, so that Greeks can enjoy their time in Avlida while they waited fair wind and at the time of the ten years occupation of Troy. Under the protection of Hermes his followers played dice with passion even in the sanctuaries which was often condemned by the rhetorics and the comic Aristophanes.

Much later the first toy stores appeared in 19th century, and the first toy factories were in the period of pre-war Greece. The dolls were dressed in expensive dresses, the cars were created copying famous European car brands, and the writers Kostis Palamas, Penelopi Delta, George Drosinis, Grigoris Ksenopulos perpetuated about the games in their texts, wrote the “Tea Nea” newspaper, which introduced its new edition.

Tags: History toys
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