Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#51
huck wrote:
Huck wrote:
I personally think, that it was made for the wedding of Alfonso d'Este with Anna Sforza. A figure "Panfilio" (title of the figure 1 in the deck) appeared in a theater play, that was shown at this occasion. In the two months after the wedding Alfonso made a journey to Venice, which possibly explains the distribution of the deck in Venice.
In a letter of 1537 Ercole d'Este II wrote about his daughter Anne's (Alfonso's grand-daughter) marvellous acting abilities in the role of Panfilo (From the Terence's play, The Stepmother) --

So the play seems to have been played on more than one occassion across generations, so some particular popularity with the family? But also interesting is that the role of Panfilo, a man, was played by a female: a cross-dressing role?
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#52
SteveM wrote:
05 Oct 2017, 08:41
huck wrote:
Huck wrote:
I personally think, that it was made for the wedding of Alfonso d'Este with Anna Sforza. A figure "Panfilio" (title of the figure 1 in the deck) appeared in a theater play, that was shown at this occasion. In the two months after the wedding Alfonso made a journey to Venice, which possibly explains the distribution of the deck in Venice.
In a letter of 1537 Ercole d'Este II wrote about his daughter Anne's (Alfonso's grand-daughter) marvellous acting abilities in the role of Panfilo (From the Terence's play, The Stepmother) --

So the play seems to have been played on more than one occassion across generations, so some particular popularity with the family? But also interesting is that the role of Panfilo, a man, was played by a female: a cross-dressing role?
SteveM

An aside: the word Panfilo in Spanish means a fool!? A spanish etymological dictionary gives usual etymology (greek pan all phylos lover of) as lover of everyone, and by extension - a fool (as only a fool loves everyone)
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#53
This detail is not worthy of its own thread so I thought I'd just post it here - but looking at Baldini's engravings I noticed a detail in the "Children of Mercury" that is highly suggestive of the Sola Busca Ace of Swords - the odd detail being the arm of the fellow with feather in cap locked around the sword:
Image
The Baldini detail - cooking being one of the arts/skills that fall under the sponsorship of Mercury - but the arms are simply interlocked, perhaps connoting social closeness, that is enjoying the fruits of that skill lead to people being "convivial"; most famously turned into a literary topos (also falling under Mercury) in Dante's 'Convivio' ("the Banquet" - a kind of vernacular encyclopedia of the knowledge of Dante's time).
Baldini Mercury detail.jpg
Baldini Mercury detail.jpg (23.17 KiB) Viewed 708 times

What makes me think the designer of the Sola Busca had Baldini before him is not that just two figures are seemingly interlocked but that both figures on the right side have a central feather on the cap (and odd detail to replicate). But does the sword, and the embracing of it, suggest the opposite of conviviality - enmity - in the Sola Busca (perhaps even in an alchemical sense of separation process)?

Phaeded

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#54
Phaeded wrote:
06 Oct 2017, 23:04

What makes me think the designer of the Sola Busca had Baldini before him is not that just two figures are seemingly interlocked but that both figures on the right side have a central feather on the cap (and odd detail to replicate). But does the sword, and the embracing of it, suggest the opposite of conviviality - enmity - in the Sola Busca (perhaps even in an alchemical sense of separation process)?

Phaeded
Erm -- I just recently saw a list of Baldini engravings among which several Sola Busca cards (though not identified as such) were listed - albeit they were described as probably not by Baldini - I will try and find it again ::
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#55
Sola Busca - Deotauro [Divine Bull] and Dionysus
Image
s well as referring to the historical personage, The Divine Bull may possibly be a reference to Dionysus (Dionysus was born in winter as a serpent, became a lion in spring, and was killed as a bull in mid-summer) - the ivy leaf is a symbol of Dionysus (said to have been tatooed on his followers the Maenads) - here is a bull with ivy leaf from a Thurium coin:
Image
The other side of the coin shows Athena:
Image
The Titans attacked Dionysus when in the form of a bull, ripped him to shreds and ate him, but Athena rescued his heart and gave it to Zeus, who swallowed it, and Dionysus sprung from the Chief of the Gods, renewed --

Thurium had four main streets that ran parallel to each other, one of which was called Dionysus/Bacchus street, according to the historian and similar sounding namesake diodorus:
Image
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#56
C. Lutatius Catulus (Catulo) & A. Postumius Albinus (Postumio) were both elected as consuls in 242 --
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Catulo fought against the Cathagians in Sicily - he besieged Drepanum, and would have been able to take it had it not been for a 'wound to his thigh' ; nonetheless, he 'made good use of time' in the training of his men for a sea battle against the expected arrival of the Carthagians, a battle they won, and the Carthagians were forced to sue for peace, and leave Sicily - and there was a triumph held for Catulao and his naval victory in 241 --

Postumio was not allowed to join the forces against the Carthagians in Sicily as he was High Priest of Mars, and Flamens were restricted in their movements, although he wanted to go (and give up his position as Flamen) this was denied by Metelo, Pontifex Maximus (the high priest in charge of all priests, a role later taken up by the Pope) --
Image

Livy: Periochae,Book 19
quote:

Caecilius Metellus, pontifex maximus, A. Postumium consulem, quoniam idem et flamen Martialis erat, cum is ad bellum gerendum proficisci vellet, in urbe tenuit nec passus est a sacris recedere.

[Pontifex maximus Caecilius Metellus kept consul Aulus Postumius, who was priest of Mars too, in the city when he wanted to set out to wage war. He was not allowed to ignore his religious duties]

Rebus adversus Poenos a pluribus ducibus prospere gestis, summam victoriae C. Lutatius cos. victa ad Aegates insulas classe Poenorum imposuit. Petentibus Carthaginiensibus pax data est.

[ The war against the Carthaginians was conducted successfully by several commanders. The ultimate victory was won by consul Gaius Lutatius (Catulo) near the Aegatian isles, where he defeated the Carthaginian navy. When the Carthaginians sued for peace, it was granted.]

Cum templum Vestae arderet, Caecilius Metellus, pontifex maximus, ex incendio sacra rapuit.

[When the temple of Vesta was burning, Caecilius Metellus, the pontifex maximus, saved the holy objects from the fire]

SteveM

The detail about the wound to Catulo's thigh is in the Histories of Orosius: :
http://monumenta.ch/latein/text.php?tab ... &inframe=1

Re: The foliot in reference to his 'good use of time" :
quote:
"---he constructed works round the city of Drepana and made all preparations for its siege, but while continuing to prosecute this by every means in his power, 11 he foresaw that the Carthaginian fleet would arrive, and was not forgetful of the original motive of the expedition, the belief that it was only by a sea battle that the war could be decisively finished. He did not, then, allow the time to pass uselessly and idly, 12 but every day was spent in exercising and practising the crews properly for this purpose. He also paid unremitting attention to the matter of good food and drink, so that in a very short time he got his sailors into perfect condition for the anticipated battle."

End quote from:
The Histories of Polybius, Loeb Classical

One might also consider the matter of 'good food and drink' for the health and 'perfect condition' of his men, was an exemplar in the practice of temperance ---

The skull on the tomb and the inverted torch in the hand of Postumio are emblems of Thanatos, the Genius of Death -- the flame (of life) on the inverted torch has been extinguished, but in place of the flames the wood of the torch has sprouted shoots and leaves, symbolizing life after death, regeneration, resurrection --

On the shield of Postumio is his name, from which is derived our word 'posthumous', that is, After Death -- there is a palm tree, symbol of rebirth and resurrection (through its greek name 'phoenix' it shared much of the emblematic symbolism of the the mythical bird) - it was also the emblem of Judea, and the Star over Judea in this context maybe an encoded emblematic reference to Christ, and the promise of eternal life through resurrection in Christ --

In reference to the skull we may also note that the son of A. Postumius Albinus, Lucius Postumius Albinus, was killed by the Boli tribe while campaigning in Gallia Cisalpin in 215BC, he was decapitated and, as was the the custom of the celtic Bolti tribe, his skull was gilded with beaten gold and used as a drinking cup by the priests of their temple -- in which context we may also read the inverted torch as a symbol of mourning (the inverted torch was a common funerary emblem to be found on Roman sarcophagi - and has been used as an emblem of mourning right up to modern times)

The emphasis on death might make this trump cognate with the Death card of a standard trump sequence - another possibility is the Angel/Judgment card - a possibility strengthened by the motto of the Phoenix (of which the palm tree is an emblem) 'Post fata resurgo", after death I rise -
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#57
Mario & Carbone were consuls during the civil war against Sulla - a pairing that bring Stars & Moon together:
Image

C. autem Mario Cn. Carbone consulibus civili bello cum L. Sulla dissidentibus, quo tempore non rei publicae victoria quaerebatur, sed praemium victoriae res erat publica, senatus consulto aurea atque argentea templorum ornamenta, ne militibus stipendia deessent, conflata sunt: digna enim causa erat, hine an illi crudelitatem suam proscriptione civium satiarent, ut di immortales spoliarentur! non ergo patrum conscriptorum voluntas, sed taeterrimae necessitatis truculenta manus illi consulto stilum suum inpressit.

Valerius Maximus, Mirabilia 7, VI

Yet further, when Mario and Carbone were in the consulship fighting against Lucius Sulla in the civil war, a war at which time that was not fought for the victory of the Empire, but for the Empire as the reward of victory; gold and silver temple ornaments were melted down by the decree of the senate to provide pay for the soldiers: it was a worthy cause to despoil the immortal gods, for one side or the other to satisfy their cruelty against their fellow citizens - therefore, it was not the hand of the senate that penned the decree but the savage hand of appalling necessity.

{stars - moon = fate/destiny = the savage hand of appalling necessity?}

SteveM

A coincidental aside - Stars = IV Mario; Moon = XII Carbone; Sun - XVI Olivo:

Stars - Moon : XII - IV = 8 = the eight supra'elementary spheres 1, Moon; 2, Mercury; 3, Venus; 4, Sun; 5, Mars; 6, Jupiter; 7, Saturn; 8, Stars &
Moon - Sun : XVI - XII = 4 and the Sun is the 4th or middle planet 1, Moon; 2, Mercury; 3, Venus; 4, Sun;
[But - there are 9 between iv-xii (inc of iv), 5 between xii-xvi (inc of xii) - ]
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#58
SteveM wrote:
12 Oct 2017, 15:23

Postumio was not allowed to join the forces against the Carthagians in Sicily as he was High Priest of Mars, and Flamens were restricted in their movements, although he wanted to go (and give up his position as Flamen) this was denied by Metelo, Pontifex Maximus (the high priest in charge of all priests, a role later taken up by the Pope) --
Another 'Metelo' was Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos Iunior, elected consul in 57BC :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintus_C ... pos_Iunior:

His fellow consul that year was "Publius Cornelius Lentulus, nicknamed Spinther because of his likeness to a popular actor of that name" :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publius_C ... s_Spinther

In Pliny the Elder's "The Natural History", in Chapter 10 entitled "STRIKING INSTANCES OF RESEMBLANCE", Pliny writes of our two consuls of 57BC:

In the same way, too, Spinther and Pamphilus, who were respectively actors of only second and third rate parts, gave their names to Lentulus and Metellus, who were at that time colleagues in the consulship; so that, by a very curious but disagreeable coincidence, the likenesses of the two consuls were to be seen at the same moment on the stage.

A similar remark upon their resemblance is made by Valerius Maximus in "Facta et Dicta Memorabilia" Book IX, 14:4:

Generosissimum consulatus collegium Lentuli et Metelli fuit. qui ambo in scaena propter similitudinem histrionum propemodum spectati sunt. sed alter ex quodam secundarum cognomen Spintheris traxit, alter, nisi Nepotis a moribus accepisset, Pamphili tertiarum, cui simillimus esse ferebatur, habuisset.

Pamphilus = Panfilio??

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... g=original
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#59
Pedibus timor addidit alas
Image
Fear put wings on his feet

To put wings on one's feet is a classical idiom meaning to take flight and flee; it can found in both Homer and Virgil --


There was an Italian superstition, that the rule of a sixth always led to the ruin of Rome:

Sextus Tarquinius, Sextus Nero, Sextus et iste;
Semper sub Sextis perdita Roma fuit.


The sixth Tarquin, the sixth Nero, this sixth;
Rome has always been lost under a sixth.


The Regifugium, the flight of the king, was a feast day on February 24, described in Ovid's Fasti, which includes the story of Tarquin (Sesto) and Lucrecia -- a feast celebrating the final days of the rule of Kings --

The burning torch in the hands of Sesto is possibly a symbol of the burning passion that led him to rape Lucretia, which led to the downfall of the last of the Roman kings and paved the way for the establishment of the Roman republic - he gazes into the flames that consumed him -- the flames of his own desire -

SteveM

The story of Sextus Tarquinius (Sesto) and Lucretia is also used for the final trump card of Matteo Boiardo's tarot deck (c1465, also of Ferrara) -
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#60
These are all very convincing to me, Steve. Some excellent scholarship on your part. Keep it up. Then maybe we can discuss who the designer might have been. Poliziano was the most knowledgeable about Rome, I think. But perhaps these facts were more well known than that.

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