(EN) – Early references to Playing Cards | Adam Wintle


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Playing Cards are believed to have originated in China and then spread to India and Persia. From Persia they are believed to have spread to Egypt during the era of Mamluk control, and from there into Europe through both the Italian and Iberian peninsulas in the second half of the 14th century.

The history of playing cards in Europe commences around 1370-1380. Out of an apparent void, a constellation of references in early literature emerge pointing to the sudden arrival of playing cards, principally in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy and very soon afterwards we hear of them being banned by the authorities. As well as the documentary evidence, we can also look at contemporary illustrations of card playing. Of course dice and certain board games were already long-established, and so playing cards were a new addition to the repertoire of gambling pastimes. But they brought with them anti-social behaviour on account of the …

via The World of Playing Cards


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