Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#81
"There lies the Fate of Carthage!"
Image



Hannibal, upon seeing his brother's severed head, cried: "There lies the fate of Carthage" -- his prophetic words were fulfilled many years later, when Carthage was utterly destroyed, largely at the instigation of Cato the Elder, who according to Plutarch was said to end his speeches, regardless of their subject matter, with the words: "Carthage must be destroyed!"*

[The number XIII and decapitated head maybe forms a cognate with the death card of standard trumps (in Tarot de Marseille for example, we also have decapitations and other body parts) - of relevance may be Cicero's "Cato Maior De Senectute " {Cato the Elder on Old Age} in which Cicero has Cato proclaim a belief in the immortality of the soul after death]

SteveM

*Plutarch: 'The annihilation of Carthage . . . was primarily due to the advice and counsel of Cato'
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

#82
SteveM wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 02:01
As I said, it was a motif on many coins, over several regions and over several time periods - I gave an example of one coin without it any being of special relevance that it was Flavian, but perhaps more relevant than some other of many examples in that it also included the caduceus -- you are making a point of an issue I never even raised, totally ignoring my statement in regards to its wide ranging use --
Identifying the object ("Flavian") you are pressing into your argument is not irrelevant, and your point was was rather specific, not the "wide ranging use" caveat you added above; what you originally wrote and what I responded to: "Here with caduceus - a clear link between antique coins and emblemata." My point was there is absolutely no link between "emblemata" and the issuer of that antique coin (a Flavian emperor); it was simply a well-worn state symbol recirculated under the aegis of their dynasty.

Utilizing Aciato's Emblemata as a means to understanding the earlier Sola Busca is of limited value, if any.

What were the concerns of the Venetians who created the Sola Busca is of primary significance: what were they reading, what were their geopolitical aspirations, cultural interests, etc, at the time the Sola Busca was invented?

Alciato's interpretation of emblems is as fanciful as Horapollo's interpretation of hieroglyphs, but at least the latter has the distinction of being a possible influence on the Sola Busca as the Hieroglyphica was known since 1419....the Emblemata not for a couple of generations until after the arrival of the Sola Busca.

Even the Alciato example you gave misses the mark by not mentioning the relevant trump in the Sola Busca; your comment:
SteveM wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 02:01
and one of particular interest -- his first emblem, on the coat of arms of the Duchy of Milan, which he interprets in light of "coins we have seen" (him and Maximilian?), connecting the Visconti biscione with the serpent/dragon of Zeus Ammon and four of our subjects, Alexander, Ammon, Pallas and Olimpia:

An infant springing out of the jaws of a curling snake
Is your family noble device.
Such coins of the Pellaean king (Alexander the Great), we have seen,
And by these he celebrated his own descent.
Proclaiming he was begotten of Ammon, who fooled his mother in the form of a snake,
Is it because, as some claim, that some snakes are born out of the mouth,
Or because Pallas sprang from the head of Jupiter this way?

Olimpia was impregnated by means of the Egyptian magus (or Babylonian, depending on which medieval version of the legend you are using), Nectanebus. For example, here, from a 1420 illuminated manuscript, Historia de proelis in a French translation (Le Livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre), Royal 20 B XX f8.v, detail of a miniature of Nectanebus practicing enchantments of Olympias, who lies in bed (Ammon as a dragon hovering above).
Image
Aciato's "insights" completely passes over this pivotal figure in the Alexander Romance, which is in the Sola Busca: Natanabo (Nectanebus):
Image

In fact the Sola Busca virtually asks one to identify Amone (Ammon) with Natanabo as they hold the same rank, KNIGHT (of Cups and Swords, respectively). Alciato is a dead end in regard to enlightening that relationship.

Phaeded

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#83
Phaeded wrote:
29 Oct 2017, 22:34

What were the concerns of the Venetians who created the Sola Busca is of primary significance: what were they reading, what were their geopolitical aspirations, cultural interests, etc, at the time the Sola Busca was invented?

[\quote]

We don´t know they were created by Venetıans, only that an engraved set was coloured for some Venetıan - as for the date, that could be for some Venetıan patrons bırthday, for all we know.
Olimpia was impregnated by means of the Egyptian magus (or Babylonian, depending on which medieval version of the legend you are using), Nectanebus. For example, here, from a 1420 illuminated manuscript, Historia de proelis in a French translation (Le Livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre),

[\quote]

I am fully aware of that, and already mentıoned it along wıth several ıllustratıons ın previous post Alexander and the Dragon -- As for Netanabo being the father not Ammon Alciato was trying to honour his friend and mentor not insult him, our SB authors ıntend has yet to be dıvıned.

In fact the Sola Busca virtually asks one to identify Amone (Ammon) with Natanabo as they hold the same rank, KNIGHT (of Cups and Swords, respectively).
Yep - nıce observation.
Alciato's interpretation of emblems is as fanciful as Horapollo's interpretation of hieroglyphs, but at least the latter has the distinction of being a possible influence on the Sola Busca as the Hieroglyphica was known since 1419....the Emblemata not for a couple of generations until after the arrival of the Sola Busca.
İn then mıd-fıfteenth century coıns and medals were to the Horappolo as the emblemata were to the 16th - Alcıato provıdes an example at least close the tıme, ıf a lıttle belatedly (of whıch there ıs no surety) of how humanısts constructed and ınterpreted such hıeroglyphs` of theır own, ıncludıng how fancifully ; for fıfteenth century examples we can also look to the medal and coins struck for many of the Italıan famılıes and ınividuals - there is in fact a great similarity between the designs and interpretations of the emblems on coins and medals and Alcıatos emblemata - ìt ıs the process that ıs relevant and common to the perıod, not Alıato per se, and yes ıt could be hıghly fancıful.

It ıs relevant to ask, are those wınged feet a reference to Mercury or Perseus, or ıs ıt sımply emblematıc of an ıdıomatıc expressıon, such as puttıng wıngs on ones fleet meanıng flıght ınto exıle? What does a wınged helmet used as footstool sıgnıfy - I say ıt ıs an emblem of Roma, as ıt ıs commonly found on coıns, and thus emblematıc of a Trıumph over Rome (but there are other possıbılıtıes of course) - ın whıch context one mıght ask well-who dıd trıumph over Rome ? Or to ask, what was Cato famous for - one was hıs endıng all hıs speeches wıth Carthage must be destroyed - what then does a severed head have to do wıth Carthage? Well on seeıng hıs brothers severed head Hannıbal ıs saıd to have declared ´There lıes the fate of Carthage´ - hence one possıble readıngş, the head ıs an emblem of Carthage`s destructıon, to whıch end Fate made Cato ıts ınstrument -- it strıkes me that the problem wıth that is not that it is too fanciful, but rather that it is too simple, and many would prefer rather a more fanciful (alchemıcal, hermetic, occult, neoplatonıc) explanation.
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

#84
SteveM wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 13:56
"There lies the Fate of Carthage!"
Image



Hannibal, upon seeing his brother's severed head, cried: "There lies the fate of Carthage" -- his prophetic words were fulfilled many years later, when Carthage was utterly destroyed, largely at the instigation of Cato the Elder, who according to Plutarch was said to end his speeches, regardless of their subject matter, with the words: "Carthage must be destroyed!"*
I'm not sure how that image suggests Carthage. We simply have a "Cato", the astral fatalism symbol and legend again, and a spear through a large head.

Given the theme of free will and astral fatalism in the context of classical and Renaissance morality, it seems much more likely that the Cato in question is the Younger, the paragon of a righteous person. The defeated could just as easily refer to the Catiline Conspiracy, especially since Cicero also figures into the Sola Busca:
In 63 BC, [Cato the Younger] was elected tribune of the plebs for the following year, and assisted the consul, Marcus Tullius Cicero, in dealing with the Catiline conspiracy. Lucius Sergius Catilina, a noble patrician, led a rebellion against the state, raising an army in Etruria. Upon discovery of an associated plot against the persons of the consuls and other magistrates within Rome, Cicero arrested the conspirators, proposing to execute them without trial, an unconstitutional act. In the Senate's discussion on the subject, Gaius Julius Caesar agreed that the conspirators were guilty, but argued for distributing them among Italian cities "for safekeeping." In contrast, Cato argued that capital punishment was necessary to deter treason and that it was folly to await the ultimate test of the conspirators' guilt—the overthrow of the state—because the very proof of their guilt would make it impossible to enforce the laws. Convinced by Cato's argument, the Senate approved Cicero's proposal, and after the conspirators had been executed, the greater portion of Catiline's army quit the field, much as Cato had predicted.


Moreover, Cato had a special currency in the late Medieval period and Renaissance due to Dante, who portrayed Cato the Younger as the guardian of the mount of purgatory in his Comedia (where he basically reprises his role in keeping the seditious and damned from escaping the Inferno). A manuscript pictorial tradition of this is eerily similar to the "astral influences" shown with Cato and the legend Trahor Fatis - in this case, MS. Holkham (late 14th c., North Italy, Genoa?); misc. 48, p. 57: Purgatorio, Canto I. Virgil presents Dante, who is kneeling, to Cato; stars above.
Image

EDIT: A final question in regard to the CATONE card's relationship to the BOCHO card, paired as the Sola Busca trumps are - in that regard I'm no longer preferring Catiline as referring to the severed head, but the relationship of Cato (the Younger) to Bocchus II. The relationship of the two cards should relate the meaning of both.

Cato's spearing of a head suggests the common theme of a conqueror over a prone person allegorically representing the defeated land. The sad face of Bocho/Bocchus looking up at Cato almost suggests that is also his head, in the same attitude of the severed head on the bottom of Cato card, but Cato the Younger did not defeat Bocchus II of Mauritania, who was in fact allied with Caesar against him during the Roman civil wars. But what did Cato the Younger conquer? The Roman historian, Appian, who wrote in Greek provides a possibility:
The Senate assembled in consternation and looked to Pompey, intending to make him dictator at once, for they considered this necessary as a remedy for the present evils; but at the suggestion of Cato they appointed him consul without a colleague, so that by ruling alone he might have the power of a dictator with the responsibility of a consul. He was the first of consuls who had two of the greatest provinces, and an army, and the public money, and autocratic power in the city, by virtue of being sole consul. In order that Cato might not cause obstruction by his presence, he framed a decree that he should go to Cyprus and take the island away from King Ptolemy — a law to that effect having been enacted by Clodius because once, when he was captured by pirates, the avaricious Ptolemy had contributed only two talents for his ransom. When Ptolemy heard of the decree he threw his money into the sea and killed himself, and Cato settled the government of Cyprus. Appian, The Civil Wars, Book II.23 http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/r ... rs/2*.html
Appian was available in a new Latin translation since late 1454, via Decembrio (for details on this see E. B Fryde, Humanism and Renaissance Historiography, 1983: 104f).

More importantly, if the Sola Busca is in fact Venetian and conceived of from c. 1490, then Cato's taking of Cyprus (the speared man in the card would be King Ptolemy) would be of the utmost significance as a historical parallel since Venice took Cyprus in 1489 from its last Queen, Catherine Cornaro.

What then of Bocho's sorrowful face, upturned towards Cato? If taking Cyprus was a high point for Cato the Younger, his suicide in Utica, Africa was the low point, albeit lionized as a virtuous exemplar against the corrupted, power-mad Caesar. So Bocho/Bocchus II would represent the place of Cato's death in Africa, the Trahor Fatis legend on his card proper foreshadowing a primary preoccupation of astrology: time/place of one's death. So while Cato spears another, he also studies the scrolled legend in his hands pertaining to his own death.

Lucan made Cato the hero of the later books of his epic, the Pharsalia, giving him the famous epigram, [/i]"Victrix causa deis placuit sed victa Catoni" ("The conquering cause pleased the gods, but the conquered cause pleased Cato," Lucan 1.128). But it should also be noted that in this work Cato could consult the Oracle of Ammon...but refuses to do so. That certainly puts the presence of Nectanabo and Amone in the deck in a problematic light as negative exempli, but note the high-minded words with which Cato dismisses this oracle:
Is there any seat of god besides / The Earth and sea and air an aether and virtue? / Why do we seek heavenly powers betond these / when everything you see and do is Jupiter? (Lucan, Phar. 9.592-95)
Surely a pagan's sentiments (i.e., all is Jupiter) that could be adapted to Christianity's monotheism (which Dante in fact did).
Image
Image

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#85
M S appears on all the aces, although very faint on the cups and shields:
Image
I think the coat of arms on the aces of cups and shields is too damaged to be recognized, but could be Sanudo if M S is indeed Marin Sanudo -- though I am confused by the gold on the ace of shields (the gold on the coat of arms on the cups seems to be of the cup that has been overpainted by the coat of arms - so not a problem)

The coat of arms on the aces of swords and batons and several of the trumps are good enought to make out the Venier family coat of arms - with a mark of difference (the dexter bend) usually indicating either legitimate or illegitimate cadence (ie, a bastard or a younger son not in line of inheritence) -

Possibly accidentally, the M S is also suggested as part of the pattern around the outside of the cushion on trump III Lentulo, a pattern of 'M's made of an S and mirrored S joined together:
Image
Image
More than probably accidentally S and mirrored S also look like numbers 5 and 2, but the number 1 may also be read in context of place and the manner in which the vertical stroke is boldened, but the penultimate one on the right looks more like a 9:

1525 1591
Image
Covering Ms to make numbers - perhaps that's what Lentulo is doing covering his right eye:
Image
Image
A problem with the idea of Sanudo or a Venier commissioning the painted deck, is the context of the coat of arms on the Aces of Swords and Batons - on the Ace of Swords the youth with the shield and its coat of arms is so contorted in the "hug" of the red armoured giant that he is in danger of cutting his arm off, and on the Ace of Clubs the coat of arms is on a shield that is part of a war trophy - why would Sanudao or a Venier commission something in which the Venier family are portrayed as defeated?
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

#86
Phaeded wrote:
23 Oct 2017, 03:07
Steve,
Nice catches on the Alexander medieval myths, especially the tree and griffin-throne/aerial vehicle correlates in the Sola Busca.
Well the prominence of the Alexandrian theme has long been noted among the commentators on the SB - In my own researches I was fascinated to discover how widespread and well known the motif of Alexander in his Griffin throne come chariot was: especially curious was its use on Romanesque churches and cathedrals across Europe of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries where it was usually paired with biblical motifs such as the fall of Adam and Eve, or more commonly the Tower of Babel -

The talking tree was another fascinating discovery, in reference to which I think we may also note an old thread by Marco* in which I believe he was the first to suggest the bird-woman of the 5 of shields/cymbals was connected with the Oracle of Dodona, which came under the territorial domain of Alexander's mother Olimpia, and with which is associated another 'talking tree': that of the Sacred Oak of Jupiter - The classical sources mention divining from the sounds of the rustling of the oak leaves, of the cooing (and flight) of doves, of the tripods that surrounded the oak tree and later by a wind activated cauldron and its whipping boy that was gifted to the oracle - some more modern commentators suggest the use of brass wind chimes hung from the tree (too modern though for the SB - the earliest I have so far found, in Italian, is from the 17th century - but I am still looking) but perhaps the priestess-pigeon word play (being possible homonyms according to early commentators) and cymbals as emblems of sounding brass is sufficient for such an identification? The link with the Alexandrian romance certainly gives me pause to reject it --

It was to Dodona's sister Oracle of Zeus-Ammon in Libya that Alexander the Great went following his Egyptian campaign, which is said to have confirmed that Zeus-Ammon was his father (but which was rather a deceit of Netanabo, in the romances to which our SB refers) --

In his ' Historia Alexandri Magni' pseudo-Callistheni says of the oracle of Dodona that "God spoke through the three-legged cauldron" (ο θεός τραγουδούσε διά μέσου του τριποδικού λέβητα) -- Callimachus, in Hymns 4, calls 'the Pelagasians of Dodona' the 'Servants of the Cauldron', suggesting perhaps something like the singing bowls of tibet - there is also an ancient expression, Dodona Brass, meaning constant prattle, signifying nothing (meaningless chatter) -- But the use of a form of sounding brass seems to have been a fairly common practice of several Greek oracles and its use at other Greek oracle sites is mentioned by others -- Lucian & Ovid for example speak of the divine voice of the tripod - a practice the Christian converts of Corinth, heavily influenced by Greek mystery religions, were too wont of to let go, as we learn from the Epistles of St Paul:

1 Corinthians 13 (King James Version)

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

It is said that at Dodoma they 'ate acorns like pigs, and thereto credited their prophetic powers' - the Druids too are said to have derived some of their prophetic powers via the hallucinogenic properties of Acorns** --

An exhibition on youTube from last year on the oracle sounds of Dodoma:



SteveM

*Marco tells the tale of the origins of the two sister Oracles in relation to the 5 of shields/cymbals in an old thread here:

viewtopic.php?p=10558

**Acorns once leeched of their tannins and roasted can be ground and used as meal/flour as part of staple diet: according to Virgil Ceres first turned the soil when the supply of acorns from the sacred tree of the forests and of Dodona fell short:

Prima Ceres serro mortales vertere terram
Instituit, cum iam glandes, atque arbuta
Sacrae Deficerent siluae, & vitium Dodona negaret
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

#87
SteveM wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 13:56
"There lies the Fate of Carthage!"
Image



Hannibal, upon seeing his brother's severed head, cried: "There lies the fate of Carthage" -- his prophetic words were fulfilled many years later, when Carthage was utterly destroyed, largely at the instigation of Cato the Elder, who according to Plutarch was said to end his speeches, regardless of their subject matter, with the words: "Carthage must be destroyed!"*
Cato holds a dart (dardo), called in Rome a 'Pilo" of which there is the word play on ball (pilo - pilum/pilam dart/ball) - as part of their military exercises the men would play ball on the field of mars, though according to Horace (the Art of Poetry), older men would avoid it, as it was bad for the eyes:
Image

(Ouch --- that is a bit extreme, i think Horace's old men were worrying rather of black eyes (and broken noses)! And playing ball with heads! Well, that is just too --- too Celtic)

A couple of 15th century Italian examples of figures with a dart [Dardo/Pilo] :
Image

Licaste and Romulus, from a manuscript for the wedding celebrations of Camilla and Constantio Sforza --
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

#88
Alexander and Troy

It is said that Alexander carried a copy of the Iliad wherever he traveled, a gift from the philosopher Aristotle. Through his mother's side Alexander was a descendant of Achilles*, and it is as a new Achilles that Alexander saw himself as he set sail from Greece for Troy: Prior to leaving Greece Alexander made a sacrifice on the tomb of Protesilaus, who was the first of the Greeks accompanying Agememnon on his siege of Troy to set foot on Asian soil -

On arrival in Illium Alexander made a sacrifice to Pallas Illiaca, and took some consecrated armour from the temple of Pallas that had been there since the Trojan war, leaving in its place his own

While in Troy Alexander anointed himself with oil over the tomb of Achilles, laid crowns to celebrate the ancient Greek heros and raced naked with his companions: The same tomb upon which Polisena was slain {During the Trojan war Achilles was led into a trap as a result of his love/lust for Polixena - she was later 'married' to the ghost of Achilles, being killed over his grave} --
Image



The slaying of Polixena:
Image


From Boccaccio's De mulieribus claris



During the Trojan war a giant statue of Pallas, the Palladium, was stolen away by the Greeks, and ended up in the Temple of the Vestal Virgins in Rome : it was while saving the Palladium during a great fire at the temple that Metelo was said to have been blinded:


Image


SteveM

*Olimpia's family claimed descent from Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles who slew Polixena over the tomb of Achilles; Olimpia herself was originally named after Polixena (the identity between Polixema and Olimpia is further emphasized by the Bacchic symbols of the serpent and dolphins of Polisema's card - Olimpia herself being an adherent of the Bacchic cult), whom the ghost of Achilles demanded in sacrifice that by such perverse 'marriage' his lust may be finally consummated in the afterlife --- several coins of Abydos, Troia, depict Alexander as Achilles (for example those of Commodus 180-192 A.D, of Septimius Severus 193-217 A.D, and of Maximinus I 235-238 A.D.), or with Achilles shield (depicting his victory over the Amazon)
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

#89
Alexander, the astrologer and the oracles of the gods:

As a youth in Macedonia Alexander was tutored by the astrologer and magician (and his secret father) Netanabo, who foretold that his son (Alexander) would kill him; as Alexander passed through Didyma on his conquest of Miletus, part of his initial campaign in Asia, the spring at the Temple of Apollo, which had ceased since the Temple's destruction by the Persians over a hundred and fifty years before, began to flow - the Temple was re-consecrated by Alexander, and the re-instituted oracle foretold of Alexander's coming conquests; after his conquest of Egypt, Alexander made the dangerous journey to the Oracle of Zeus-Ammon in Libya, which confirmed his divine origins; in Babylon - as he lay dying in a fever:

"Peithon, Attalus, Demophon, Peucestas, Cleomenes, Menidas and Seleucus spent the night in the temple of Serapis and asked the god whether it would be better and more profitable for Alexander to be carried into the temple to pray the god for his recovery. A reply came from the god that he should not be brought into the temple, but that it would be better for him to remain where he was. The Companions brought this news, and, shortly after, Alexander died; for this was what was better."

Knight of Cups Natanabo = Macedonia/Greece, birth and childhood
Knight of Batons Apolino = Troy, Miletus, the start of his asian conquest,
Knight of Sword Amone = Egypt, Libya and his deification
Knight of Disks Serafino = Babylon, and his death
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

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron