Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscripts

Two sixteenth century manuscripts on Tarot in Vatican Library.
1. Poem on Tarocchi Appropriati to the ladies of Cesena circa Faenza
2. A love poem.

Comment of Andrea :
"In the order of the triumphs does not appear the High Priestess, while Justice is placed between the Hanged Man and Death. I would say it unique." ... Biographie

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

The list used in the article, is not made by "Lothar Teikemeier", but by Ross Caldwell, as it is indicated by the used webpage

... and it is an old list, likely not up-to-date.

A list with missing Papessa appears also in a Strambotti poem and it was occasionally discussed here. ... here:

Myself analyzed the list later ... ... ostcount=9
Strambotti de triumphi

Miracomãdo aquel angelo pio,
al mõdo al sole alla luna & lostello
alla saetta & aquel diauol rio
la morte el traditore el vechiarello
la rota el caro & guistitia di dio
forteza & temperanza & amor bello
al Papa Imperatore & Imperatrice
al bagatello al matto più felice.(9)
Some analyses lead to this list

21-20 angelo ----- Minchiate: 40 Angel
20-19 mõdo ------ Minchiate: 39 Mondo-World
19-18 sole ------- Minchiate: 38 Sun
18-17 luna ------- Minchiate: 37 Moon
17-16 lostello --- Minchiate: 36 Star
16-15 saetta ---- Minchiate: 15 Tower
15-14 diauol ----- Minchiate: 14 Devil
14-13 morte ----- Minchiate: 13 Death
13-12 traditore -- Minchiate: 12 Hanging Man
12-11 vechiarello Minchiate: 11 Hermit, old man
11-10 rota ------- Minchiate: 10 Wheel
10-9 caro -------- Minchiate: 9 Chariot
9-8 guistitia ------ Minchiate: 8 Justice
8-7 forteza ------- Minchiate: 7 Strength
7-6 temperanza -- Minchiate: 6 Temperance
6-5 amor ---------- Minchiate: 5 Love
5-4 Papa ---------- Minchiate: 4 Eastern Emperor (special figure, NOT POPE)
4-3 Imperatore -- Minchiate: 3 Western Emperor (special figure, NOT EMPEROR)
3-2 Imperiatrice - Minchiate: 2 Grand duke (special figure, NOT EMPRESS)

1-1 bagatello ---- Minchiate: 1 Magician
0-0 matto -------- Minchiate: 0 Fool

Here we make the observation, that the Strambotti poem likely referred to a trump list known in Florence or Tuscany, cause the similarities to Minchiate are relative strong.
Maybe Andrea is interested to know about this.

The research led to the assumption (if I remember correctly), that the Strambotti poem should have been done between 1480-1505 or something similar. Anyway, it is likely the first, where we get (with 21) near to 22 special cards, which are similar to Tarot cards. But one has to read through the different discussions. Strambotti or strambotto are the key words.


As far I see it, the list of Andrea has moved Justice and this caused a longer difference to the strambotto, and the names differ occasionally ...

Andrea - strambotto
Angelo - id
Mondo - id
Sole - id
Luna - id
Stella - stello
Sagita - saetta
Diavolo - diavol
Morte - id
Justitia - changed: traditore
Traditore - changed: vecchierello
Tempo - changed: rota
Rota di Fortuna - changed: caro
Carro Triomphal - changed: giusticia
Fortezza - forteza
Temperanza - id
Amor - id
Papa - id
Imperator - imperatore
Imperatrice - id
Bagatino - bagatello
Matto - id

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

Correction made
See :

Attribuire i Trionfi dei Tarocchi a personaggi delle più svariate classi sociali, fu pratica alquanto comune dal Cinquecento a tutto l’Ottocento. A tale proposito abbiamo riportato in un nostro saggio (1) alcuni di questi componimenti.

Questi alcunii documenti, fra cui diversi da noi evidenziati, sopravvissuti in forma manoscritta o a stampa, elencati da Ross Cadwell (2):

Note 2 : 2 - Si veda l’articolo Tarocchi Appropriati. An Italian game and literary genre widespread in the 16th century, attested until the 19th century in Bologna (and in 1886 in Milan, as a political satire) presso il sito al link A Ross Cadwell, socio dell'Associazione Le Tarot, si devono diversi articoli pubblicati nel sito curato da Lothar Teikemeier, collaboratore della nostra Associazione, fautore della teoria 5 x 14 riferita al numero dei Trionfi in origine. Si veda al link ... Biographie

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

Andrea has added a couple more footnotes to his essay
6 - Michael S. Howard ipotizza che l'inserimento della Giustizia fra l'Appeso e la Morte, posizione che non si ritrova in alcun altro ordine di tarocchi, sia da valutarsi come una speculazione moralizzante da parte dell'autore.
7 - Brunoro Zampeschi, 1540-1577
With regard to note 6, it seems to me similar to the case of Napolitano Notturno, where just because the Fool is mentioned third and the, we cannot infer that they were third and fourth in the order of the actual cards. About Notturno, Andrea said (,
L’interesse del dialogo, più che a motivi letterari, si deve ad una numerazione particolare delle carte dei Trionfi:
1 Imperatore
2 Papa
3 Matto
4 Bagatella
5 Fortezza
6 Temperanza
7 Giustizia
8 Carro
9 Rota
10 Vecchio
Evidentemente si tratta di un ordine che fa comprendere come all’autore non interessasse la precisa aderenza al gioco, ma solo ed esclusivamente l’aspetto letterario, che volle libero da qualsivoglia costrizione.

(The dialogue's interest , more than for literary reasons, is due to a particular numeration of the Triumph cards (my English translation):
1 The Emperor [Imperator]
2 The Pope [Papa]
3 The Fool [Matto]
4 The Small Magician [Bagatella]
5 Fortitude [Fortezza]
6 Temperance [Temperanza]
7 Justice [Giusticia]
8 The Chariot [Carro]
9 The Wheel [Rota]
10 The Old man [Vecchio]
It is clearly an order that permits us to understand that the author was not interested in a precise adherence to the game, but only and exclusively in the literary aspect, which he wanted free of every constraint.
What applies to Notturno's odd arrangement also, it seems to me, applies to the current one, in the case of the placement of Justice.

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

Well, the new finding (21 without Papessa) is interesting for the theories to the Rosenwald Tarocchi ... and for the Strambotto poem, which is the oldest Tarocchi appropriati (also 21 cards without Papessa) and somehow possibly the oldest known row of the Tarot cards.
The high position of Justice (position 12) confuses the Strambotto row ... that gives to think.

The high position of Justice confuses also the row of the Ferrarese Tarocchi (though at another position as in the new source; position 20).

The Rosenwald Tarocchi (if we take the sequence of the cards as the true row) has a confusing card Fortune (position 13) instead.

In the PMB with 14 cards we have a confusing jump of the card Judgment in comparison to the later row.
0 (from 11) - 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-(11)-12-13-(14) .... 20 (from 14)

Well, the beginning of all this "moving processes" might be, that the Unter-Fante (position 11 for JvR) became painted "in foolish" manner, and finally jumped to 1 (Hofamterspiel, Rosenwald) and then to "0-zero" ... possibly accompanying the increasing use of Arabic numbers against Roman numbers.

The opposite of "Fool" is logically "Prudentia". And Prudentia disappears in this "Foolish game" ... we discussed this often.

The Rosenwald has at the trump suit sheet 3 additional ladies (Queens): Cups, Coins, Swords. Missing is the Batons-Queen.

If one would attribute the 4 virtues to the 4 suits, how would one do it?

Justice has a swords - Swords.
Temperance has cups - Cups.
Prudence has a mirror - this looks like Coins.
Fortitudo feets with batons ... fighting.

But: Fortitudo one could buy with Coins in the Condottieri culture. Or coins had a
Prudence has a viper as a symbol. A viper was around the tree in paradise. Batons might mean a tree ...

If the Rosenwald Tarocchi was played with 3 sheets only, the Queen of Batons would have disappeared. Also not present is Prudentia from the 4 virtues.

If the Rosenwald Sheet was played with 96 cards, the Fool was merged with the Magician (so it were not 97 cards).

If one splitted the Fool and the Magician to two cards, than one would have 97 cards, but if one threw out the Papessa in the same change (just by replacing Papessa and old Fool-Magician to Fool and Magician on the woodcut blocks), then one would have had still 96 cards.

We don't have a picture of the missing 4th sheet of the Rosenwald. Actually there are 2 possibilities, how this might have looked like;

1. Four 10s + 1 Queen + 19 Minchiate trumps
2. Four 10s + 20 Minchiate trumps

The 19 additional trumps might have been 4 elements + 12 zodiac-signs + 3 cardinal virtues. Prudentia is the one card in the group of the additional cards, which is not part of a defined group.

Well, the final version has it, that there were 97 cards, the Papessa had disappeared, Prudentia got Nr. 17 (instead the logical 16) and the Queen of batons was also there.

How should one call it? Florentine wisdom added 20 cards to the trumps.

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

The 2 documents mentioned by Andrea Vitali are here ....

The two passages are given as ..
1. 307v-308v: I tarocchi, dove uno si lamenta della sua inimica sec. XVI
2. 331r-336r: Triompho delli nobili donne di Cesena fat (sic) a significatione dei Tarochij ... sec.%20XVI

The web presentation seems to be not very comfortable ... you have to go to the picture counting No. 325, which means 325 clicks. One can enlarge the pictures for better reading, but the quality of the scan is not very good.

I first looked for Nr. 1, Nr 2 was already analyzed by Andrea Vitali, I assume.

It's difficult to me to read this. At 307r is something, which I take as a Sonett, and I discover a word meaning Scaccia (chess). So somehow there's something about games. But this doesn't belong to the text of the Tarochi cards.
ADDED LATER - Andrea Vitali corrected me with this: "the verb-word “scaccia” means “remove” and it has no reference to chess." I deleted the relevant picture.[end of addition]

At 307v I find the word Tarochi in 2 titles line and in the following text (20 tercets, as it seems to me, with an additional last line) occasionally card titles, which I can decipher to a greater part.

Finally I came to the opinion, that we have here a modified Ferrarese order, with the difference, that first the 3 trumps are noted, which have the big points: Mato, Bagatella, Mondo. Then it goes down from "Justa ?" (which should be Justice) to Imperatore (emperor), according the order, which was given by the Sermones de Ludo with the difference, that Imperatrice and Papessa are not given in this list (either forgotten or intentionally not used or "not known").
In the case of the Hanging Man I didn't find a Tarot-keyword in the text

The word Mato appears in the 1st tercet
The word bagatella appears in the 2nd tercet.
The word Mondo is at the 3rd tercet. But also the word Sol.
... 4 twice the word "Justa?" for Justice
langiol at tercet 5
Sol at tercet 6
Possibly Luna at tercet 7
The word stela I assume for tercet 8
The word Saeta I see at tercet 9.
Diavol at tercet 10
Morte at tercet 11
... 12 no keyword detected, possibly something hostile
Vecchio at 13
rota at 14 (also a gioco and prudenti)
... 15 something similar to Forteza
Amor at 16
carro at tercet 17
Temprar and Amor at tercet 18
The word Papa is at tercet 19.
The word Imperatore is at the final tercet 20.

The 2 title lines seem to contain the word copia ... so I assume, that the text is copied from somewhere. I read something like "Brunei Campo?.... Campeforta ? or similar, but I feel rather insecure about it.





Well, somehow something with 20 special cards only. I feel remembered to my earlier speculations about "20 figure".

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

#8 ... Brunoro%2C

... gives as author of the manuscript Brunoro Zampeschi ...

Brunoro Zampeschi II was a condottiero. ... i-di-forl/

The same man is given as an author of a work "L'Innamorato".

Brunoro Zampeschi. L’innamorato. Il Portico: Biblioteca di Lettere e Arti 155. Eds. Armando Maggi, Chiara Montanari, Sarah Christopher-Faggioli, and Michael Subialka. Ravenna: Longo Editore, 2010. 254 pp. index. illus. bibl. €25. ISBN: 978–88–8063–666–3. ... nalCode=rq
... gives the content of ...
at list page 18
171) 306r: Madrigale di autore incerto. sec. XVI
172) 306v: sec. XVI
173) 307v-308v: I tarocchi, dove uno si lamenta della sua inimica sec. XVI
174) 310v-311r: Ariosto, Ludovico, 1474-1533 Sonetti (2) sec. XVI
175) 312r: Spreti, Pomponio, 1537-1589 Sonetto all' Brunone sec. XVI
176) 312v-316r: Canzone di autore incerto: Mascherata di magnani sec. XVI
177) 319v: Bembo, Pietro, card., 1470-1547 Carmen sec. XVI
178) 320r: Ad iactantius Fuscum. sec. XVI
179) 321v: Sonetto di autore incerto, in laude di Carlo V. sec. XVI
180) 322r: Castiglione, Baldassarre, conte, 1478-1529 Sonetto sec. XVI
At list page 19
181) 322v: Enigma qual si è il cadeletto da morti sec. XVI
182) 324v: sec. XVI
183) 325r: sec. XVI
184) 326v: sec. XVI
185) 329r: Sopra il pasio di santo Giovanni tutto e sarà supra la passione del Signore Iesu Christo sec. XVI
186) 329v: Bembo, Pietro, card., 1470-1547 Sonetto sec. XVI
187) 330v: Sonetto di autore incerto al divino Ariosto sec. XVI
188) 331r-336r: Triompho delle nobili donne di Cesena fati [sic] a significatione dei tarochij sec. XVI
189) 336v: Ariosto, Ludovico, 1474-1533 Sonetto sec. XVI
190) 337r: Rainerio, Antonio Francesco, sec. XVI sec. XVI[/quote]

So the manuscript is a mix of texts of many authors. In this list Bruno Zampeschi is not mentioned as author of the 2 Tarocchi parts, but at other places it's clearly given (without information why) ...

Well, I' had seen ...


... and the framed region might possibly read as Brunero Zampeschi.

As I see, Andrea had also added a note to Brunero Zampeschi.


The second Tarocchi poem for the women of Cesena hasn't a remark about the author .... as far I see it. It has an additional poem for the start (8 lines) ... and then 21 poems with 8 lines for the trumps and these always have a 9th line as title with the name of the trump and the name of the honored woman.



Zambeschi had some time in Crema, as the biographies tell, somehow around the time 1462-65 (when he wrote the work L'Innamorato). Perhaps there he learned the Ferrarese row of the Tarocchi. Later he was in Forlimpopuli and occasionally in contracts with France.
Forlimpopoli isn't far to Cesena. Perhaps one should conclude, that the 2nd poem was written later than the other.

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

Excellent job, Huck, especially for someone not trained in deciphering old Italian handwriting.

Referring to the Hanged Man as "Prudentia" is not unprecedented at that time. Imperiali did so as well, as Andrea shows in his essay on the Hanged Man, ... 24&lng=ENG, also with the B order. For the complete poem, see ... ra_1550_ca

The relevant part goes:
Vien poi la Morte, et mena un’altra danza,
Et la prudenza, e la malizia atterra,
Et pareggia ciascuno alla bilanza.
Ma,’l vecchio saggio la Fortun’afferra,
Et fa di lei, et di sua ruota un fasso,
Quantunque essa la forza vinca in guerra.

(Then Death comes, leading a different dance [XIII]
defeating both prudence and malice
and making the scales even for everyone.
But the old wise man catches Fortune [XI,X]
making a single bundle of her and her wheel,
even if she wins her fight against Strength. [IX]
The reference to the "bilanza" (scales) here is interesting, in that it is close to where the other poem put Justice. However Imperiali does not seem to be making it the name of a card.

I wonder why the author put the Bagatella so high. Is it because of its point value, or a symbolic meaning? It would be of interest to see the surrounding verse.

Also, are we sure that the poem ends here, or is it just the bottom of the page?

Re: Andrea VITALI Vatican Library : 2 XVIth century manuscri

The verses are all given by me ... but you can visit them also at the link, that I gave: Image 325. There you can enlarge the scripture.

It starts with Mato, Bagatello and Mondo ... cause these had the 4 or 5 points in the game, that seems rather clear. That's unusual, but logical. Once I understood the logic, it was easier to find the related words.

This are the 3 tercets.


It's sure, that the poem ends with Imperatore. Naturally the manuscript writer might have made an error and lost the 2 tercets. I think, it was "Melchiori, Francesco, 1528-1590", but I'm not sure.
Andrea notes: "L’autore della poesia risulta incerto. La dicitura "Copia del Brunone Zampescho, mio patrono" (7) presente sotto il titolo non ci illumina più di tanto." He seems to interpret, that Zampeschi copied the text elsewhere. Which gives the chance, that the text might be much older than c. 1565.

The catalog titles the poem: "307v-308v: I tarocchi, dove uno si lamenta della sua inimica sec. XVI"

"inimica" is a hostile word. I imagine, that the Hanging Man is handled special, because it's meant hostile against this foe.

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