Magister Ludi

Magister Ludi

Ancient Cultures, Roma ludica, Democracy, Progress and the Social Character

The Glass Bead Game (GermanDas Glasperlenspiel) is the last work and magnum opus of the German author Hermann Hesse. Begun in 1931 and published in Switzerland in 1943, after being rejected for publication in Germany,[1] the book was mentioned in Hesse’s citation for the 1946 Nobel Prize for Literature.

“Glass Bead Game” is a literal translation of the German title, but the book has also been published under the title Magister LudiLatin for “master of the game,” which is an honorific title awarded to the book’s central character. “Magister Ludi” can also be seen as a punlud- is a Latin stem meaning both “game” and “school.”

The Glass Bead Game is “a kind of synthesis of human learning”[6] in which themes, such as a musical phrase or a philosophical thought, are stated. As the Game progresses, associations between the themes become deeper and more varied.[6] Although the Glass Bead Game is described lucidly, the rules and mechanics are not explained in detail.[7]

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