Codex Conquest: Jewish Edition

Based on the acclaimed Codex Conquest: The Game of Book History by Amy Chen at the University of Iowa, Codex Conquest: Jewish Edition is a version geared to Jewish Book History, created by the Norman E. Alexander Librarian for Jewish Studies, Michelle Chesner

N.B. The game is in constant process, hence cards can be changed at any time.  Versions are listed with their dates of production.

Playing the Game

You are a collector from a particular region of the world of Jewish printing.  Your goal is to acquire the most valuable collection of books, while navigating historical events and chance occurances that can impact your library.

Every century brings new books to market.  Historical strengths allow zones to start the century with more or less credits with which they can purchase books.  A full set of the game's rules, from the original edition, is available for download.

Customizing the Game

As described on the original Codex Conquest game site, "Codex Conquest teaches students to recognize the most important printed books of Western civilization by their nation, century, genre, and current monetary value. Along the way, students learn world history and the scenarios that influence the shape of collections at institutions."

The original version of the game focuses on printing in Western Europe, but the game is customizable to any area of book history, broad or deep.

In order to adapt the game to Jewish book history, the original game's "countries" became "zones," based on where there was more or less printing from the 15th to the 19th century.  Thus three of the original game's countries, Spain, France, and England, combined to join the Atlantic Coast Zone, and Germany was expanded to include the important Hebrew printing centers of Amsterdam and Prague.

This game follows the original's concept of "Power centuries," in which each zone has a century in which they had the most impact on printing, followed by a sequencial sequencing for the other countries.


First and foremost, Amy Hildreth Chen, for creating this wonderful game.

Play Testers: Amy Chen, Laura Eckstein, Dalton Gray, Kenny Hirschmann, Eli Kannai, Arthur Kiron, Jennifer Rhodes, Deborah Schranz, Yitzchak Schwartz, David Selis, Noam Sienna, David Wachtel

Peer Review/Editing: Yoel Finkelman, Jasmin Shinohara

Game Components

Each back and front of the card prints separately.  The cards should be printed in color. Cards will need to be cut out and pasted together.

Codex Conquest: Jewish Edition 5.31.18

What's next?

To address some of the issues in the first draft of the Jewish Edition, an edition working from the '50s-'50s (i.e. 1450-1550, 1551-1650, etc.) is currently in process.


  • Atlantic Coast (Spain, France, England, Americas)
  • Eastern Europe
  • Germanic Lands
  • Islamic World (Middle East and North Africa)
  • Italy

This game is licensed under a CC-BY 4.0 license.  Please cite when using.

Bibliography for History of the Jewish Book

  • Schrijver, Emile, "The Hebraic Book," in A Companion to the History of the Book, eds. Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose (Blackwell, 2007), Part 11.
  • Sabin Hill, Brad, “Printing”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 23 June 2017 <>

Brad Sabin Hill's article has an excellent and current bibliography of its own that is certainly worth reviewing as well.

  • Hacker, Yossi, and Adam Shear, eds., The Hebrew Book in in Early Modern Italy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011)
  • Amram, David, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (Philadelphia, 1909)