For some time chess was viewed by the Roman Catholic Church as a "path to perdition". Eventually the church began to change their tune on chess and viewed it as a propaganda gold mine as opposed to a evil pass time. Specifically, "Jacobus de Cessolis used chess as the basis for a series of sermons" (Yalom 68). By this time chess was no longer considered a game of war due to the inclusion of non-warlike pieces such as the king and queen. This allowed Cessolis took advantage of this new paradigm to convey chess as an allegory for society. Using the chess board to demonstrate an ideal state Cessolis preached of a "social pyramid" with the king on top and the peasants at the bottom.
Still, propaganda without an audience isn't much use. To that end Cessolis payed special attention to the pawns, analogous to the peasants, on the board. Each pawn represented a different lower class profession. The first pawn was described as a "peasant and a wine grower" while the second pawn was said to be a "smith carpenter and mason". The attention Cessolis payed to the lower class i most likely the secret behind his success, and may even help bring chess to the masses. Cessolis's Book of Chess was a medieval best seller. In fact, after the advent of the printing press, the printer Caxton published the book second, after the bible. 4.