A language 'game' from the Roman Egypt, some 18 centuries ago.

This page shows an epigraphical "abacus", as attested in the Romanized Greek world by SEG 7,464 (carmina votiva, s. II/III*), from Xoi (Sakha), in the Greek-speaking Egypt.

This is a votive inscription dedicated by Moschion to Osirides after his foot was healed by the goddess. The text is composed in such a way that letters are laid out in a sort of grid; starting from the grid's center and reading in any straight direction up to the borders and eventually continuing along them, either upwards, downwards, leftwards or rightwards you always read the same sentence. Here is the description quoted from SEG:

Stela arcuata lap. alabastr. cum titulis et abacis biling. (graeco-demot.). Litterae ita sunt dispositae, ut, si ab O in medio abaco posito ad quamvis e quattuor regionibus versus legere coeperis, de unoquoque quadro in quodvis latus declinare possis; si marginem attigeris atque inde sinistrorsus dextrorsusve usque ad angulum perrexeris, invenies: Ὀσίριδι Μοσχίων ὑγιασθεὶς τὸν πόδα ἰατρείαις.

This game has obvious connections to the magic and religious sphere, but I found it funny to reproduce it with a very short JavaScript code. This is an example for my students of the usage of JavaScript on the client side only, directly embedded in the page.