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 Definition Small, polished glass balls, sometimes multi-colored; and a children's game using them. Also, a slang synonym for "good sense". [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Anthropology, Games and Hobbies [Categories OK]
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Marble the stone

This page needs some sort of branching or differentiation between glass marbles and marble the stone (as in Cararra marble, marble counter tops, etc.. Maybe singular Marble (the building material) and plural Marbles (the glass game pieces) would be enough. Roger Lohmann 08:57, 7 November 2007 (CST)

Actually, I think it's okay as Marbles. The construction material would be Marble with no s. --Robert W King 09:00, 7 November 2007 (CST)
Ditto Robert. You can't have a game of 'marble'. The 's' is significant here. Derek Harkness 10:46, 7 November 2007 (CST)
The Elgin Marbles are construction material: I don't think Elgin ever played with them:-) --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 11:31, 7 November 2007 (CST)

Origin of the word

I have a feeling that the Romans played marbles with marbles made out of marble... So, the description "made of glass" is only for modern ones. Can someone find out? --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 11:34, 7 November 2007 (CST)

I wondered about this. It seems to me I have heard/read about marbles made of wood and other things, too. But I don't know fer definite sure. Aleta Curry 14:49, 7 November 2007 (CST)
When I was a boy in Scotland, marbles came in a variety of sizes, colours and materials. Some were plain glass with a colour tint - know to us as 'glassies'. The traditional style with a coloured band through the center were 'cat's eyes'. There were 'stonies' made of stone or perhaps ceramic. There were also 'steelies' which were really just ball bearings. The different styles had different values. Before playing, each person would check the competitors marble to ensure it was sufficient value to risk loosing your own. Derek Harkness 03:42, 8 November 2007 (CST)
Historically, marbles have basically been a sort of private currency. Stephen Ewen 04:41, 8 November 2007 (CST)

Our modern games of marbles also came from the ancient Romans. The Roman game of ‘nuts’, the equivalent to marbles, finds its beginning with Christmas. At the festival of Saturnalia the Romans gave each other gifts, which included bags of ‘nuts’ and marbles. Saturnalia (winter solstice) is the precursor to Christmas. The game of marbles was very popular with Roman children, especially during Saturnalia.

There are many references to the Roman game of ‘nuts’. Publius Ovidius Naso (43BC-18AD), or the Roman poet called Ovid wrote of the game. The last Emperor Romulus Augustus played the game as a child. There are also a number of bas-reliefs depicting children playing the game of ‘nuts’ (personal communication with Ginny Lindzey)

However, the word ‘marbles’ was not used in England until 1694. It was not until toy marbles were fashioned from marble stone and imported from Germany does the term ‘marbles’ appear (Gartley and Carskadden). Before that time the English word for marbles was either ‘bowls’ or ‘knickers’ (Oxford’s English Dictionary).''

Taken from the Marble Museum [see links] --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 12:26, 8 November 2007 (CST)

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See bibliography

I was amazed to find the range of works available on marbles, some very scholarly from archeology, even linguistics. One work says it well: "Marbles: Ancient Art & Modern Play". Check 'em out! Stephen Ewen 02:26, 8 November 2007 (CST)

Bottom line: this could be a surprisingly scholarly article that could model the strengths of CZ, if we approach it right. Stephen Ewen 02:50, 8 November 2007 (CST)