Below is an example of Stamma's notation. It is taken from the 1745 English edition of his influential book The Noble Game of Chess (originally published in French as Essai sur le jeu des echecs).
His system is similar to our own algebraic notation and, in general, should look familiar to modern chess players. "White" and "Black" are each subdivided into three columns. The last two columns indicate a move's destination square and correspond directly to our own e4, c6, f8, etc.
Piece designations, however, are different from modern usage and are based on starting squares. Thus, "a" indicates the queen's rook, since it begins on the a-file; "b" indicates the queen's knight, and so forth. ("P" designates a pawn.)
Stamma's system is language independent (although obviously not alphabet independent), and therefore is a precursor of today's figurine-algebraic notation. His notation does have a drawback, however. During the course of a game, a player may lose track of pieces and may not know if the piece being moved is, for example, the b-knight or the g-knight.
Can you figure out what the cross and the asterisk stand for?