NardNard (or nardshir) is a game of the Tables family that has been historically popular in Persia, Muslim countries and among Babylonian Jews.
The name nardshir comes from the Persian nard (Wooden block) and shir (lion) referring to the two type of pieces used in play. A common legend assoicates the game with the founder of the Sassanian dynasty, Ardshir.
The oldest known reference to the game is thought to be a passage in the Talmud, although some claim it refers to the Greek game Kubeia.
Another early reference is to be found in the Middle Persian romance of Chatrang-namak (written between the 7th and 9th centuries) which attributes the invention of the game to Buzurjmihr.
Many of the early arabic texts which refer to the game comment of the debate on the legallity and morality of playing the game. This debate was settled by the eight century when all four Muslim schools of juripudence declared the game to be Haram, however this did nothing to stop the growth in popularity of the game in the Muslim world and the game is still played today in many Arab countries.
By the 17th century the game was played in Georgia under the name of nardi, and by the 19th century it was being played by the Kalmucks (who called it narr) and the Herklots (who called it tukhta-e-nard).