Caïssa

An early illustration of Jones's Caïssa (Fratta)

Caïssa is a fictional Thracian dryad portrayed as the goddess of chess, as invented during the Renaissance by Italian poet Hieronymus Vida.

Vida's poem

Caïssa originated in a 658-line poem called Scacchia Ludus published in 1527 by Hieronymus Vida (Marco Girolamo Vida), which describes in Latin Virgilian hexameters a chess game between Apollo and Mercury in the presence of the other gods. In it, to avoid unclassical words such as rochus (chess rook) or alfinus (chess bishop), the rooks are described as towers (armored howdahs) on elephants' backs, and the bishops as archers:

 
Tum geminae velut extremis in cornibus arces
hinc atque hinc altis stant propugnacula muris,
quae dorso immanes gestant in bella Elephanti.

"Then twin, as if at the ends, citadels in the corners,
here and here stand ramparts with high walls,
which, immense, are carried into war on the back by elephants."

A leaked unauthorized 742-line draft version was published in 1525. Its text is very different, and in it Caïssa is called Scacchia, the chess rook is a cyclops, and the chess bishop is a centaur archer.

This led to the modern name "castle" for the chess rook, and thus the term "castling", and the modern shape of the European rook chesspiece. Also for a time, some chess players in Europe called the rook "elephant" and the bishop "archer". In German, Schütze ("archer") became a general word for a chess bishop until displaced by Läufer ("runner") in the 18th century.[1]

Other Languages
العربية: كايسا
català: Caissa
čeština: Caissa
dansk: Caissa
Deutsch: Caissa
español: Caissa
français: Caïssa
Հայերեն: Կաիսա
italiano: Caissa
עברית: קאיסה
lietuvių: Kaisė
norsk: Caïssa
polski: Caissa
русский: Каисса
slovenščina: Caissa
ślůnski: Caissa
suomi: Kaissa
svenska: Caissa