Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#101
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
17 Aug 2020, 07:43
Do you have a theory about what the overall metaphor of the Punic wars meant in the context the Sola Busca was created in? Was it some current war?
As per my earlier post re: the bearded star [comet] of Catone, linking the image with the contemporary Angelus Catone who interpreted the comet of 1472 as forthcoming successes of the Turks, from which then there is possibly a parallel being drawn between the threat against Rome from the Carthagians in classical times to that posed by the Ottoman Empire against the Holy Roman Empire in current times. Cato's call for the destruction of Carthage is echoed in current times among those factions calling for a crusade against the Turks.

Many of the possible contemporary figures I have explored seem to have some connection to Naples, more especially within the relationships between Naples, Ferrara and Hungary. Naples was with Ferrara in the War of Ferrara of course, and Mathias Corvino was keen to defend Ferrara against Venice, though more keen in seeking reparation with Venice and all parties uniting against the Turks, an alliance against the Turks which he had long desired but had been frustrated in and virtually given up on. Just prior to the War of Ferrara, 1482-84 the Turks had taken Otranto in Southern Italy 1480-81 - and the Pope Sixtus IV repeated his 1471 call for another crusade, to which Corvino among others responded positively, and supplied Hungarian troops to fight against the Turks in Otranta. Once the threat to Otranta was dealt with however, instead of pushing through with uniting allies for a crusade, the Pope with Venetian allies turns of Ferrara. The continuing dissent within Christendom was one that many felt only gave strength to the Turks. Such dissension, as Folengo in his tarot sonnet for Falcone would later put it in the 16th century, allowed 'the Moon to grow.'

Since the Turks had taken Constantinople the threat of the Otoman Empire was one that persisted as part of the general background and grew in strength throughout the 15th and 16th centuries [and longer] - so perhaps the growing threat and anxiety can be seen as a general background one than to any particular incident.
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

#102
An anonymous poem of the 15th century on the War of Ferrara makes mention of the King of Hungary, the Turks and, which may be of interest because of Catones interpretation of the 1472 comet, the astrology of the times:

E da l'altro canto il Re d'ungaria
perché L'imperio non gli dona il passo
di venire contro alla Signoria
de le sue terre fa il gran fracasso
e per la magna grande scorreria
spianando terre e forteze a basso
e prese alcune terre a gran furore
quale eranno tutte di valore.

Onde fa tutto il paese tremare
et ha messo L'imperio a grave serre
et intende nel Friul passare
e voler di San Marco le sue terre
et il principe di Ferrara difensare
qual giustamente fa tutte le gerre
in campo ha seco valorosa gente
e in ogni impresa fu sempre vincente.

La qual nobil corona de Ungheria
volendo presto nel Friul passare
li mosse guerra anchor quel di turchia
per voler a San Marco riparare
e fare che Lungharo non passassi via
né potesse le sue terre acquistare
ma Lungharo cum la sua gente francha
rotto ha li turchi all'acqua biancha.

Lasciam L'imperio et il Re de l'ungheria
torniamo al grande Re Ferante ornato
c'ha facto hor legha cum quel de turchia
e l'un a l'altro un stagio ha mandato
el qual renduto gli ha l'artegliaria
et ciò che 'l ottronte ha acquistato
e per vinticinque anni colleghati
per buona pace sono afratellati.

El tuo misier Baptista cremonese
et l'ornato doctore di piasenza
e misier Pietro buono ferrarese
e gli altri da Bologna e da Fiorenza
se hanno sopra ciò tolto l'imprese
et concluso tutti una sentenza
secondo monstra lor l'astrologia
di quel che in questo octantaquatro fia.

Quest'anno per la grande Astrologia
le influentie che harà alcuna terra
maximamente nela Lombardia
serà il gran caro anchora aspra guerra
et il bel paese de la Signoria
si debbe trovare in grave serra
et li rustici destructi da ogni mano
de Vicenza e di Treviso e paduano.

The complete poem is here:
http://dante.di.unipi.it/ricerca/html/G ... rrara.html
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

#103
SteveM wrote:
17 Aug 2020, 09:16
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
17 Aug 2020, 07:43
Do you have a theory about what the overall metaphor of the Punic wars meant in the context the Sola Busca was created in? Was it some current war?
As per my earlier post re: the bearded star [comet] of Catone, linking the image with the contemporary Angelus Catone who interpreted the comet of 1472 as forthcoming successes of the Turks, from which then there is possibly a parallel being drawn between the threat against Rome from the Carthagians in classical times to that posed by the Ottoman Empire against the Holy Roman Empire in current times.

Many of the possible contemporary figures I have explored seem to have some connection to Naples, more especially within the relationships between Naples, Ferrara and Hungary. Naples was with Ferrara in the War of Ferrara of course, and Mathias Corvino was keen to defend Ferrara against Venice, though more keen in seeking reparation with Venice and all parties uniting against the Turks, an alliance against the Turks which he had long desired but had been frustrated in and virtually given up on. Just prior to the War of Ferrara, 1482-84 the Turks had taken Otranto in Southern Italy 1480-81 - and the Pope Sixtus IV repeated his 1471 call for another crusade, to which Corvino among others responded positively, and supplied Hungarian troops to fight against the Turks in Otranta.

Since the Turks had taken Constantinople the threat of the Otoman Empire was one that persisted as part of the general background and grew in strength throughout the 15th and 16th centuries [and longer] - so perhaps the growing threat and anxiety can be seen as a general background one than to any particular incident.
Very good, it's coming together. How do you reconcile the traditional date of 1493, from the founding of Venice, though? It would seem to be pro-Venetian. Is it a kind of visual poem, calling Christendom, under the allegory of Carthaginian-era Rome, to war against the Turks? Perhaps the antagonism of Venice and Ferrara is hinted at in the inter-Roman rivlaries of the time? But the overall message is "The Turks/Saracens/Carthaginians are the real enemy"?
Image

Re: Sola-Busca riddles

#104
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
17 Aug 2020, 10:06
Very good, it's coming together. How do you reconcile the traditional date of 1493, from the founding of Venice, though? It would seem to be pro-Venetian. Is it a kind of visual poem, calling Christendom, under the allegory of Carthaginian-era Rome, to war against the Turks? Perhaps the antagonism of Venice and Ferrara is hinted at in the inter-Roman rivlaries of the time? But the overall message is "The Turks/Saracens/Carthaginians are the real enemy"?
Venice was reluctant to engage in war against the Turks since it had made treaties and developed good trading deals with them. Perhaps the painted version was a gift from a pro-crusade donor, a little propaganda to persuade or in support of those Venetians to their side :D

Of course, the internal dissensions within Christendom continued and the Turks grew stronger, as is explicit in Folengo's Tarot Sonnet for Falcone, c1527 (another poet with strong connections to Ferrara and Venice]. Perhaps his poem also reflects similar conditions and concerns of our earlier times; though in his time perhaps even more of a concern given that the Ottoman's had defeated the Mamluks, so were free to concentrate more resources against the West.
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

#105
As well as Angleus Catone, who wrote a pamphlet on the comet of 1472, which he interpreted as a sign of forthcoming victories of the Turks, we have Carbone, who translated Bessarian's letter against the Turks.Carbone was also on very friendly terms with King Matthias Corvino, who was very keen to form an alliance against the Turks.

We also have the strange circumstance that a couple of sketches that have been identified as probably being by the Master of the Sola Busca are in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. How they got there we can only speculate: one possibility is that they were part of the loot taken by the Turks from the court of King Matthias Corvino, implying that the Master of the Sola Busca had some acquaintance with the Hungarian court. Of course, there are other possibilities, the Sultan in Constantinople is known, for example, to have had at least one Italian artist in his service. They cannot be part of a gift, such likelihood can be dismissed I think on the grounds that one makes a gift of a finished product, not preparatory sketches. However, as we can only speculate, and that at a bit of a stretch at best, I don't think such speculation can give us sufficient grounds to make any firm judgement or to proceed as if such speculation was a fact.

Of the subjects, we have some passing reference to the Babylonians, with Nembroto and Nebuchadnazzer; our author does not seem too interested in Babylon, but for some reason it seems fit that they should be included in his universal history of pre-Christian Empires. Otherwise, excepting perhaps Mato and Panfilio, the focus of the Trumps is on the pagan Roman Empire, and indirectly Carthage, through the inter-relationship of many of the Roman figures with the Punic Wars. In contrast to the Babylonians, our author seems to have a great interest in the Macedonians, which he deals with among the court cards, an interest in scope comparable to the interest in the Roman, possibly greater. Is our author Greek perhaps? Is this a reflection of his patriotism to his heritage? It is too far I think to make a determination of such, but I do think our author has some special interest in the Greeks, and in the Greek cause against the Turks. Why, if he had a special interest in the Greeks, would he relegate the subject to the lesser cards? A reflection of the position of the Greeks, in exile and dependant upon the hospitality of Italy? Or simply because it is such a rich source he needed the greater room to deal with it?

Why these subjects? Why the focus on the Empires of Babylon, Greece, Carthage and Rome? This division of a pre-Christian Universal History is I think unique to one source, that is 'Against the Pagans' by Orosius. Marco [DoctorArcanus] long ago [c2006] had identified Orosius as a likely source for many of the figures. Most of them can be found there, in Catulus with the additional detail of his wounded leg. Additionally, I think his treatment of history via these four Empires is based on this division by Orosius.

I therefore recommend anyone interested in the SB should also read Orosius - it is available in English and Latin online. There was also an Italian translation of it made in the 15th century - I would like to see it, for example to see how the Italian spelt the latin names, but it is not available I don't think except in manuscript.
Orosius may be important not only as a source for many of the figures, but also as a possible inspiration for some of the themes and motifs. Back in the day, when I first came across Orosius, I merely made a search for some names and terms. It is only recently that I actually read it, and realized as a source its influence possibly went beyond that of its historical figures.
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

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