Dear Huck, Ross Caldwell, mikeh, and others who are interested,
After having read your latest posts on Karnöffel starting with
Huck wrote: ↑
27 Jul 2014, 20:48
Maybe the theme Karnöffel needs a collection.[...]
Huck wrote: ↑
23 Mar 2021, 09:34
Karnöffel was first noted 1427 in Nördlingen. As this is a relative short time before the first note about Trionfi decks (or similar names like ludus triumphorum) the idea of an influence between both games is plausible.
In a later time Karnöffel was also addressed as Kaisern or Kaiserspiel. Franceschini likely found the Imperatori card notes of Ferrara1423.
"1423, on the day 9 October Giovanni Bianchini to have for one pack of cards of VIII Emperors gilded, which was brought from Florence for Milady Marchesana (Parisina d'Este), which Zoesi * (name of the servant) servant of said Lady had; priced 7 florins, new, and for expenses (of the transport) from Florence to Ferrara 6 Bolognese soldi; in all valued
….. L. XIIII.VI. Bolognese
I Giovanni Bianchini wrote it on the above-written day."
Franco Pratesi once expressed the opinion, that Kaiserspiel and Imperatori game had a relation and were both possibly a similar or the same game.
A first orientation, what the rules might have been, gives the Mysner poem in the 1450s.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: ↑
23 Mar 2021, 09:43
Recent research by Jonas Richter suggests that the Nördlingen reference to Karnöffel in 1426 is mythical, a conflation of references from secondary sources, which Schreiber brought together.
The next earliest is in 1446. […]
mikeh wrote: ↑
24 Mar 2021, 02:18
It would certainly seem that the Schreiber interpretation of the passage in Müller is the most reasonable. However it is not certain. Richter observes, "The surrounding context shows that Müller often combines details from various sources spanning a century: On a single page he mentions, in order of his text, details from 1442, 1519, 1443, 1419, and 1426. (Müller 1824: 47)." I am not sure that this is a fair comparison, since these latter references are clearly separated from one another. […]
Richter concludes, "It's possible that there actually is a document of that date listing Karnöffeln and other games, but right now, we simply don't have enough to be sure." […]
in the last days (rather: weeks, it took me quite a long time to prepare the material given below, it will be a long read with hopefully very interesting material, including some hypothesis on Imperatori and trionfi at the end. And please forgive if I do not take all of your arguments posted meanwhile the first post quoted above into my reasoning, it would be simply too much..), I want to take up the discussion with my own question
vh0610 wrote: ↑
22 Mar 2021, 21:15
If I may ask: Is that relation between Karnöffel to trionfi/tarocchi already clarified amongst scholars? (If the answer is in your new Karnöffel post, I will find it there).
and with reference to the wonderful website on Karnöffel http://trionfi.com/0/p/17/
, there rubrum “Germany” and “The Name Karnöffel” (when in the following http://trionfi.com/0/p/17/
is cited, it includes rubrum “Germany” and “The Name Karnöffel”):
There it is stated
Variously it is suggested, that Karnoeffel might have a relation to the word "Karneval" or "Carneval". The German "Karneval" is given as being in use since 17th century for earlier "Fastnacht", relating back to earlier used forms of French "carnavale" and Italian "carnevale". The origin of that forms is unclear, as probable is given the Latin "carnelevale" ("taking away the meat").(Duden, Etymologie)
[…] I dont know, why these German minors disguised as figures of chess or Karnoeffel and I don't know, where this word carneval comes from ... and I've no intention to follow this line of exploration. Perhaps somebody else is interested. Or?
And yes, I have humbly to admit that I am interested, since I believe that the Carneval-Hypothesis is a strong one when considering Ockham’s Razor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor
The hypotheses I want to make in the following (denoted with an “H:”) are based on the following assumptions (denoted with an “A:”):
A1: at the invention period, people don’t start playing a new game they don’t understand the name of at the beginning after a short explanation –nowadays and in the last 5000 years (hence, the name should be understandable in their respective time and context more or less straight away)
A2: the name of the game should mark a signifier w.r.t. the gameplay, preferably it should mark a novelty in the gameplay if the game is an evolution of a former game
A3: the name of the game should be formed from the semantic field of the gameplay or from the field of games nearby or known.
A4: the name of the game is first used orally when playing, since it emerges from the gameplay based on A1 to A3, before it is spread and later written down. Hence the written down version can be misspelled or even the first semantic meaning is forgotten when it is written down, if time elapsed enough.
A5: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Simpler said: if you don’t find a proof for something in a certain time –as a written document on the subject--, this does not imply, that it doesn’t exist.
[Sideremark: A5 is only good scientific practice, I somehow want to repeat it to stand on solid ground]
[Sideremark: On A1 – A5, I based recently a new version of the etymology of tarocchi = tarh’occhi in this very forum, see viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2091
. I wish to pursue this kind of methodology in order to see if it yields new –hopefully: meaningful-- hypotheses also for Karnöffel.]
[Sideremark: Ross Caldwell had a similar remark with respect to a derivation of Karnöffel from an Arab word on http://trionfi.com/0/p/17/
Ross Caldwell added the following consideration: "The first cards are known as Naibs (nayb etc.) It refers to a low court card, perhaps like the Unter. The Karnoeffel is the Unter - right? So there is a potential relation. But why would the German game have the "real" Arabic name for cards in general, while the Italians and Spanish made up a name never apparently used by Arabs?"
First, I want to proceed on the etymology of carneval: On https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival
it is stated that
The word is said to come from the Late Latin expression carne levare, which means "remove meat"; a folk etymology derives it from carne vale, "farewell to meat". In either case, this signifies the approaching fast.
The same entry on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival
defines carneval as
Carnival is a Western Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent […] Carnival typically involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity.Participants often indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. […] Other common features of Carnival include mock battles such as food fights; expressions of social satire; mockery of authorities; costumes of the grotesque body that display exaggerated features such as large noses, bellies, mouths, phalli, or elements of animal bodies; abusive language and degrading acts; depictions of disease and gleeful death; and a general reversal of everyday rules and norms
And its history as
The word Carnival is of Christian origin, and in the Middle Ages, it referred to a period following Epiphany season that reached its climax before midnight on Shrove Tuesday.[British historian John Bossy, in writing on the origin of the practices during Carnival, states that "These were, despite some appearances, Christian in character, and they were medieval in origin: although it has been widely supposed that they continued some kind of pre-Christian cult, there is in fact no evidence that they existed much before 1200."[…] Meat was plentiful during this part of the Christian calendar and it was consumed during Carnival as people abstained from meat consumption during the following liturgical season, Lent.[..] From an anthropological point of view, carnival is a reversal ritual, in which social roles are reversed and norms about desired behavior are suspended.
My hypothesis on the connection between Karnöffel and carneval is as follows:
H1: Karnöffel is the direct written-down spelling of the south-west-German dialectal oral pronunciation of the Late-latin “carneval”. Occasionally long before the mentioned 17th century, Karnöffel was used for carneval in south-west Germany –including other Alemannic regions of Switzerland and Alsace; in short: Johannes von Rheinfelden country—even earlier when the name of the game was invented. Reason is geographical proximity and exchange with Italian/French culture, be it trade, be it the regular communication channels of the catholic church, or be it, for instance, some major event as the Council of Constance (1414-1418); for the latter, see the respective argument on http://trionfi.com/0/p/17/
. The Council of Constance is one of the very probable events for this, since it imports northern Italian culture including names of holidays as carneval into the south-west of Germany. There the name carneval is foreign and strange, someone writes in down, someone reads it aloud in German etc.. See also the remark on http://trionfi.com/0/c/
Karnöffel and the Council of Constance
In 1426 in Nördlingen in southern Germany the game Karnöffel is mentioned as an allowed game. From later informations we do know, that this game was also called "Kaiserspiel" or Ludus Caesarum, that is Emperors game and just a very similar name as "Imperatori". However, from later informations we also know, that Karnöffel didn' use special cards but just defined normal cards with a special meaning: Pope, Emperor, Devil etc.., that are figures, which also appear in the Trionfi or Tarot game. We assume, that Imperatori cards and Karnöffel were not identical, but had the same origin, that is a game probably played in the free time at the council of Constance. The name Karnöffel is a riddle.
Me being of south-west Germany, I can first affirm (and other Germans can do that also) that an “V” even in actual German can either be pronounced as “F” or as “W” (the latter being pronounced as “V” in English). Hence, the word carneval, when read aloud in German, could easily be read as “carnefal”. Second, a “C” even in today’s German is read as a “K”, leading to “Karnefal”. Pronounce it in a South-Western-German Dialect –for instance Swabian, which is my emotional tongue (that is: the language with which I was raised), or some Alemannic dialect as from South-Baden, where I have friends-- with a strong stress on the first syllable. This induces a closed “e”-vowel sounding like a half-muted “ö”, and it induces a half-muted last vowel “a”, which in turn induces a strong stress on the “f” plus a shift from the half-muted “a” to a quasi-muted “e”, then we are at: “Karnöffel”. This pronounciation was later written down in local spelling.
For supporting hypothesis H1 further, I consider the following observations, step by step: it is quite important that there are many early and later spellings of Karnöffel as “carnöffel” with an initial “c”: see
Huck wrote: ↑
27 Jul 2014, 20:48
Molitors Würfellosbuch mentions, dass mit "lützel Augen", small cards, im "wildem Carnöffelspyle" a win could be made
Titel: Carnüffel-Spiel des Teuffels, dadurch er als ein Tausentkünstler, vielen Millionen Menschen, bisshero Himmel, Seel und Seeligkeit abgewonnensichern/hat, der rohen Welt auss christlicher Intention, zur treuhertzigen Warnung beschrieben ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=GD1qfZ ... el&f=false
or simply google “Carnöffel” as I did: https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... 28&bih=420
It does not at all make sense to derive Karnöffel from a German word as “knüffeln” (as it is put forward in Grimm’s Wörterbuch, see again http://trionfi.com
/0/p/17/), since these words start with a “k”. The initial “c” indicates in German an origin from Latin, as most words in German starting with a “c” have a Latin root - sometimes via Italian, French, or English (or a Greek root when starting with “ch”).
[Sideremark: the other way holds also true: in Latin, there are rare words starting with an K instead of a C, an exception is, e.g., kalendae, where the k rechanged in English in a c: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calends
-- in German it is still a K: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalenden
Furthermore, there is evidence that carneval is even spelled as “carnefale” in historic Italian texts:
In the three editions (1551, 1560, 1563) of “Le piacevoli Notti, nelle quali si contengono le favole” by Giovan-Francesco da Caravaggio Straparola:
https://books.google.de/books?id=ashcAA ... le&f=false
https://books.google.de/books?id=RSY8AA ... le&f=false
https://books.google.de/books?id=W6znXI ... le&f=false
or in “Porretane di m. Sabadino bolognese doue si narra nouelle” by Giovanni Sabadino degli Arienti (1540)
https://books.google.de/books?id=q0wULv ... le&f=false
or in “Facetie”by Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (1531)
https://books.google.de/books?id=DRM8AA ... le&f=false
or in “Trattato de la Charita” by Giovanni Domenico da Firenze (1554)
https://books.google.de/books?id=UTA7AA ... le&f=false
The spelling “carnefal” can even be found right away In “Catharini Dvlcis Schola Italica: Innovata In Qva Praecepta Bene Loqvendi” by Catharina Dulcis (1616)
https://books.google.de/books?id=NzJoAA ... 22&f=false
[to be continued in the next post...]