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The game consisted of 14 flat ivory pieces of various polygonal shapes originally forming a square. The object of the game was to rearrange the pieces to form interesting things (people, animals, objects, etc.) such as the elephant(?) on the right. This elephant is from a manuscript of Ausonius (a Roman poet and statesman of the fourth century A.D.) who compares the Stomachion to a form of poetry in which various meters are jumbled together.
The Greek manuscript attributed to Archimedes is rather incomplete and is concerned with determining the relationships of various angles of the pieces. The Arabic manuscript provides more information, describing a construction of the Stomachion and determining the areas of its pieces.