Yes - the "Phrygian Cap" IS a fascinating Item - but some essential info about it's origin I couldn't find in this topic so far (maybe I over-read it?)
The king Midas with his donkey ears that were "hexed" upon his head by the not always so benevolent Apollon who loses sometimes his temper when someone "steals his thunder" had supposedly invented the 1st cap of this style and making to conceal his new ears what only got out when his hair stylist bragged about it.
The interesting part is the material that was chosen: The tanned scrotum of a BULL with the fur still showing!
Midas is of mythological origin and was worshiped to some extend in animal form himself as a god.
Now you mentioned Mithras in whose case that connection is quite obvious because he did slay "The Bull Of Heaven". Those divine bovines were around everywhere in the oldest cultures and so: religions. They come in both forms - male and female and do stand for all things fertile in life (back then) and were associated with sun or moon or forces of nature - depending on the special conditions the regional cosmology/cosmogony had to offer.
When you've ever had a mature bull come charging at you with all his furious rage you came to understand why a bull could be understood as an incarnation of thunder (his hoofs that make the earth tremble) and lightning (his horns piercing through every living thing).
Concerning fertility a bull can easily mate with 3 - 5 cows a day and does breed with 25 - 50 cows per season.
This concept is neatly depicted in this early stele of Ba'al
(15th - 13th century BC -Temple of Ba'al - Ugarit - Syria)
Musée du Louvre - Paris: AO 15775:
You see the God Ba'al Hadad (God of storm and thunder and fertility with autumn as his time) with a bull horned hat (that could very well have been made from the stuffed penis of a bull - Homer later mentions such "helmets") with a raised club and a spearheaded lightning bolt - so alluding to the concept of sheer power and the capability to claim every orifice in the world (and everyone he wants) anyway he takes pleasure in with or without consent.
"Ba'al" is a title like "Lord" "Husband" "Adonai" and the real name "Hadad" for example here was later like in the Jewish religion YHVH considered to be too "holy" to be spoken by laymen. So there were different "Baalim " with different names but with time "Ba'al (Hadad)" became the most prominent - but by foreign people that could not be conceived because all were called "Ba'al" and understood as heavenly bulls themselves.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo-YL-l ... dMUujXfyWi
The Phoenicians who lived at Carthage (the Carthaginians who fought the 3 Punic wars with Rome) regarded Baʿal Hammon (who was as an exception imagined with a ram's horns and called “the 2 horned”) among other professions as the patron-god for sailors and sea-going merchants. The identifying name Hammon is supposed to mean “brazier” and the Carthaginians were in the habit to burn their own children (babies preferably) as an offering for the god in his lap.
Hannibal ( = "Ba'al is merciful to me") – who possibly brought the elephants to the chessboard while he marched with his army and elephants by land from Spain to Italy and terrified Rome for nearly fifteen years there - worshiped Ba'al Melqart.
>> ... Melqart was the tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre. Melqart was often titled Ba'l Ṣūr, "Lord of Tyre", and considered to be the ancestor of the Tyrian royal family. In Greek, by interpretatio graeca he was identified with Heracles and referred to as the Tyrian Herakles. … <<
>> ... To be sure, in Nonnus' Dionysiaca (40.366–580) the Tyrian Heracles is very much a Sun-god. However there is a tendency in the later Hellenistic and Roman periods for almost all gods to develop solar attributes and for almost all eastern gods to be identified with the Sun. Nonnus gives the title Astrochiton 'Starclad' to Tyrian Heracles and has his Dionysus recite a hymn to this Heracles, saluting him as "the son of Time, he who causes the threefold image of the Moon, the all-shining Eye of the heavens". Rain is ascribed to the shaking from his head of the waters of the his bath in the eastern Ocean. His Sun-disk is praised as the cause of growth in plants. Then, in a climactic burst of syncretism, Dionysus identifies the Tyrian Heracles with Belus on the Euphrates, Ammon in Libya, Apis by the Nile, Arabian Cronus, Assyrian Zeus, Serapis, Zeus of Egypt, Cronus, Phaethon, Mithras, Delphic Apollo, Gamos 'Marriage', and Paeon 'Healer'.
The Tyrian Heracles answers by appearing to Dionysus. There is red light in the fiery eyes of this shining god who clothed in a robe embroidered like the sky (presumably with various constellations). He has yellow, sparkling cheeks and a starry beard. The god reveals how he taught the primeval, earthborn inhabitants of Phoenicia how to build the first boat and instructed them to sail out to a pair of floating, rocky islands. On one of the islands there grew an olive tree with a serpent at its foot, an eagle at its summit, and which glowed in the middle with fire that burned but did not consume. Following the god's instructions, these primeval humans sacrificed the eagle to Poseidon, Zeus, and the other gods. Thereupon the islands rooted themselves to the bottom of the sea. On these islands the city of Tyre was founded. ... <<
(This quote is here to propose that the 16 Gods you ponder about in those old Italian letters may not really be 16 different deities – BUT 16 personas of possibly 3 ((4)) > The FATHER – The MOTHER – The SON ((2 Sons = The Divine TWINS in several cultures and concerning Tarot: Marduk and NEBO >
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/42950/4 ... 2950-h.htm
Here is the prayer of Italian "witches" to NEBO contained lamented before they began to work with the Tarot cards:
>> The Oracle of Ishtar and Nebo - Uttered by a Woman Baya (or Witch) - a Native of Arabela
“I proclaim it aloud—What Has Been Will Be—
I am Nebo—The Lord of the Writing Tablet—
Glorify Me.” <<
Probably you remember now my comments about the Sola Busca Cards - especially the XXI Nabuchodenasor - during the >> Tarotée - The Back-Door To The Secret << and their connection to Phoenician lore because NEBO is another form of NABUchodenasor etc.)) in several contexts to serve the purpose to illustrate The BOOK and get The (deeper) STORY of MAN going.)
When you now have the strength and chutzpa to KILL a bull (even as a sacrifice to a divine being) that means something!
You could be a priest or a hero.
Either way you are your OWN MAN and do not OBEY mere men - you bow (or lift your hat) to no one – except YOUR God!
The Medes of Persia (Iran) lived later in a region overlapping with that of the Phrygians and their priests (the Magi) wore those caps (in later times made of wool) as a sign of their status and the Persian/Medean realm was HUGE. Seen from Bethlehem it was very much EAST.
So the wise men from "the land of the morning" were pictured as Medean priests (Magi) at 1st in Christian iconography and only later became kings - and so: crowned (like you mentioned).
Here is a good summary from Prof. Dr.theol. Manfred Becker-Huberti, Köln
http://www.heilige-dreikoenige.de/symbo ... uetze.html
Ein Mythos benennt die Herkunft und Urbedeutung der phrygischen Mütze, einer spitz zulaufenden, nach vorn geneigten Kopfbedeckung: Der sagenhafte König von Phrygien, Midas I., sei von Apollo mit Eselsohren bestraft worden, weil er dem Gott in einem musischen Wettstreit widersprochen habe. (Seine kleinasiatische Dynastie hielt es zu ihrer Zeit deshalb für hohen Ruhm, von einem Esel abzustammen: Midas wurde als Gott in Tiergestalt angebetet.) Immerhin ist der historisch kaum fassbare Midas selbst dem SPIEGEL (5/2004) einen Bericht wert, weil 2004 in Kleinasien ein Grab gefunden wurde, das das des Midas sein könnte. Damit die angewachsenen Eselsohren verborgen bleiben konnten, ließ sich, so die Legende, König Midas eine besondere Mütze anfertigen, eben die phrygische Mütze. Sie bestand ursprünglich aus einem gegerbten Hodensack eines Stieres und zeigte noch das Fell. Kennzeichen hier und bei allen Folgemodellen: Der Zipfel stand nach vorn. Trotz strengster Strafandrohungen plauderte aber der Friseur des Königs das Geheimnis aus, das sich wie ein Lauffeuer verbreitete. Vor diesem Hintergrund wurde die phrygische Mütze zum Symbol des offenen Widerspruchs gegen die Bevormundung „von oben“. Die phrygische Mütze kennzeichnet nicht nur ihre Träger als Phrygier, sondern ist auch eine „ideologische Mütze“, die ihren Träger beschreibt.
Das aufrührerische, obrigkeitskritische und oft illegale Tun des Mützenträgers wird vielfach dargestellt. Mit der phrygischen Mütze erscheinen die Amazonen, die geborenen Feinde der patriarchalischen Ordnung. Auch Paris, der Prinz von Troja, wird so dargestellt, weil er Helena mit illegalen, magischen Mitteln entführt hat. Die Altarbilder in den römischen Mithräen zeigen den Stiertöter Mithras mit phrygischer Mütze.
Zur Zeit der Etrusker gelangte die Symbolmütze als Zeichen freiheitsbewusster Lebenshaltung nach Italien. In der Renaissance weitete sich die symbolische Bedeutung auf zwei weitere Kopfbedeckungen aus: die Baskenmütze und das Barett. Sie wurden zum Standeszeichen der von Natur aus liberalen Künstler.
Typisch für alle diese Mützen: Beim Grüßen werden sie nicht – wie ein Hut – gelüftet. Im Gegenteil: Man zieht diese Mütze vor niemandem ab – es sei denn vor dem Herrgott in seiner Kirche. Der asymmetrische Sitz von Baskenmütze oder Barett betont den provozierenden Charakter dieser Kopfbedeckung. Sowohl der Hut (vgl. z. B. Thomas Mann als typischen Herrenhutträger) als auch die Baskenmütze (vgl. z. B. Heinrich Böll als typischen Mützenträger) verdeutlichen den geistigen Standort ihres Trägers.
Im Altertum kennzeichnete die phrygische Mütze vor allem die Herkunft des Bemützten aus Kleinasien oder seinen Stand: die Zugehörigkeit zur Priesterkaste der Meder. Im Zusammenhang christlicher Ikonographie taucht die phrygische Mütze deshalb zuerst in Verbindung mit den Heiligen Drei Königen auf. Weil die bei der Geburtserzählung Jesu erwähnten Magier aus dem Osten kamen, erhielten sie – ehe sie in den Legenden zu „Königen“ wurden und damit zu goldenen Kopfbedeckungen kamen – phrygische Mützen; so zu finden auf Sargreliefs im 3. und 4. Jahrhundert und auf dem berühmten Mosaik in Ravenna aus dem 6. Jahrhundert. Als der heilige Nikolaus während der Aufklärung zum bösen Nikolaus säkularisiert wurde – zum Beispiel durch Heinrich Hoffmann im Struwwelpeter (1847) – verlor er seinen kompletten bischöflichen Ornat, der durch einen roten Mantel und eine rote phrygische Mütze ersetzt wurde. Während alle anderen Kennzeichen des Nikolaus verloren gingen, als er in Nordamerika zum Santa Claus und dann zum Father Christmas oder Weihnachtsmann mutierte, blieb ihm die rote phrygische Mütze als Hinweis auf seine kleinasiatische Herkunft erhalten. Auch die in Zwergform geklonten Mini-Weihnachtsmänner, die „Little Helpers“, tragen rote phrygische Mützen. Ebendieses Kennzeichen ist auch den „echten“ Gartenzwergen eigen, den jüngsten Abarten des Heiligen aus der heutigen Türkei.
Kasperle mit Plümmelmütze
Auch als Kaspar zum Kasperle wurde, verlor er die Krone und erhielt die – im rheinischen Slang gerne so genannte – Plümmelmütze, eine spitz zulaufende Mütze, meist mit einer Quaste am Ende. Auch diese Mütze hat Züge der phrygischen Mütze, wenn der Plümmel nicht hinten, sondern den Naturgesetzen widerlaufend, nach vorn, auf der Brust, hängt. Der deutsche Michel, seit dem 18./19. Jahrhundert gern verschlafen mit einer Nachtmütze abgebildet, kann mit einer phrygisch anmutenden Mütze nach dem Muster des Kasperle durchaus forsch aussehen.
Die Symbolik der phrygischen Mütze war auch für die Jakobiner im aufrührerischen Frankreich des 18. Jahrhunderts noch aussagekräftig. Sie übernahmen die Mützenform für ihre Jakobinermütze, die zur Kopfbedeckung der an der Französischen Revolution Beteiligten wurde. Als bei der Neubelebung der Fastnacht nach 1827 eine einheitliche Kopfbedeckung für die Narren gesucht wurde, war diese Jakobinermütze Vorbild für die moderne Narrenkappe: zunächst ein Papierhütchen in Form der phrygischen Mütze, aus der sich dann die Narrenmütze in Schiffchenform entwickelte, die noch immer eine nach vorn geneigte Spitze aufweist. Die jüngste Gegenwart zeigt die Lebendigkeit der symbolhaften Bedeutung der phrygischen Mütze: Auch der extrem hochgestellte, nach vorn gerichtete und oft rotgefärbte Haarkamm der Punks nimmt die uralte Symbolik auf. Das neu kreierte Comic-Geschlecht der Schlümpfe trägt natürlich die phrygische Mütze; das gilt sogar für das Schlumpfinchen! Aber auch die Goldbärchen in der gleichnamigen Zeichentrickserie verfügen über einen stets aufmüpfigen Krieger, der – was denn sonst? – natürlich eine phrygische Mütze trägt.
Die durch die Heiligen Drei Könige in die christliche Ikonographie eingebrachte phrygische Mütze, die sie vor ihrer Königswürde getragen haben, hat eine beispiellose und kaum wahrgenommene Karriere gemacht, die für die Zukunft noch einiges erwarten lässt.
Another circumstance that is interesting and not mentioned by you or the professor above is that there is another cap that got over time mixed up (in the European conception) of the Phrygian cap.
The pileus or pilos. A soft round conical brimless felt cap with a rounded crown that Castor and Pollux (Kastor and Polydeuces) are often depicted with.
It's origin was considered to be the remnants of Leda's egg shells both hatched from after Zeus had duped her in the guise of a swan.
http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~acg/Documen ... %20Cap.pdf
Because of that the pilos was made from white wool in contrast to the later woolen version of the Phrygian cap that was red as a reference to the blood that is shed during the castration of the bull (of heaven).
Zeus's father Kronos (Saturn) castrated his own father Uranus and some scholars say that Zeus carried through with this habit.
This cap was in Roman times given to a slave as a symbol for his manumission (the hatching from the safety of the egg of slavery – because his owner took care of him and sheltered him so far from the world
) So it became a symbol of very practical freedom and self-responsibility.
Ba'al (Hadad ) is the son of (Ba'al) El. Just like the later Marduk is the bull calf of the sun god Utu.
Throughout the middle east those bull gods were worshiped in trinities.
The Father – The Mother (Baʿalah = The Mistress with many names - sometimes a divine virgin or the sister of the god himself) – The Son.
It should have become clear by now that all these concepts were mingled and mirrored in several ways in the Christian mind of the early dawn of European spirituality. Most of the facts or better the knowledge of them today is not more than 1 or 2 centuries old – some are only known for decades or years even.
Ba'al with his dark ancient and sometimes cruel fiery rituals and horns and (sexual) prowess became the blueprint for The Devil and was made Ba'al Zebul > Baal Zebub > Beelzebub - the incarnated evil – and lots of idiotic grimoires and other stuff were made in his favor or against him.
The Hittite empire was established around 1700 BCE in Turkey. They used cuneiform script and shared most possibly a sort of Mesopotamian cosmology/cosmogony with the Akkadians and Sumerians with those above mentioned bull/storm/fertility concepts.
Around 1200 BCE the Phrygians conquer the Hittite empire and take over (a King Mita who could be the legendary Midas ((who was deemed to be the son of the goddess Cybele)) rules around 700 BCE). The Phrygians worship a Mother goddess (Cybele) that wears sometimes a mural crown (as guardian of the city) and was later first (around 550 BCE) recognized by the Greeks and (around 200 BCE – when Hannibal marched against Rome) adopted by the Romans (to stop him!). Cybele is the only known great deity of the Phrygians and her amoureux is the shepherd (in some sources) - Attis - who gets castrated and killed by some mishaps that differ from source to source – so she demanded that her priests had to be castrated for his remembrance (so there also is more to the Phrygian cap on Attis's head that you may have thought).
Because Apollon (who is a late offspring of the semitic and Mesopotamian bull/sun cults of Sumeria with some parts of his identity rooted in Nergal - the Lord of the sunset and the netherworld - is present in the donkey's ears tale - it is seen through the later Greek eyes.
Since 800 BCE the Medeans were taking an ever rising stand in todays north-western Iran – former Persia. They came possibly from the north in ancient times and established the horse what gave them great power! The fist (old and western) Persian realm is the empire of the Medeans from the fall of Nineveh in 612 BCE until 549 BCE when Cyrus the Great conquered Media. The Medeans conquered Phrygia and assimilated their culture. They got their name from the priestess Medea ( > Jason > the golden fleece... ) goes the mythical saying in Greek lore transforming her into a priestess of Hecate who is in Greek lore also a goddess of The CROSSROADS (like Hermes > see the PDF for >> Tarotée - The Back-Door To The Secret << )
The religion of the Medeans is today still uncertain to scholars but it can be traced back in the Medean region to c. 800 BCE and is deemed to be >> a form of pre-Zoroastrian Mazdaism or Mithraism << - but with a twist to the darker side...
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... ligion.htm
>> ...the religious system described by Herodotus was that of the Medes, among whom the Magi were a sort of hereditary priests, like the Levites in Israel; and that the religious system of Darius represented the religion of the Persian aristocracy, but that the origin and fundamental principles of the two were the same. The conquest of Media by Persia would have introduced the Median forms of theology among the Persian people, though their influence would have been momentarily checked by the overthrow of Gomates and his party, who perhaps would have stood in much the same relation to the Achaemenian aristocracy as the Pharisees did to the Sadducees. Meanwhile the reformer Zarathushtra appeared and built upon preexisting religious beliefs and practices and attracted the Magi to his side. The result in the course of centuries was the Mazdeism of the Avesta.
Mazdeism was not originally a markedly priestly religion; it is thought that it became so when planted in Media. No doubt there were germs in the early Iranian religion of a priestly system. Zarathustra himself was a priest and was favorable to due religious observances. But it is quite contrary to his spirit that life should be governed entirely by ritual law. It was in Media that this came to be the case. The name of Magi, originally perhaps that of a tribe, became in Media the name of the priesthood, and so furnished an additional title for Mazdeism. It is to this stage of the religion that the priestly legislation of the Vendidad, with all its puritanical regulation of life, is to be ascribed; it was the Magi who imposed this yoke on the believers in Ahura.
The Magi [= Lat., plur. of Magus] were the sacerdotal caste of ancient Media, and priests of Persia in antiquity. Originally the name was a tribal one, designating a single division of the race of the Medes. (Cf. Herodotus 1, 101 ; Ammianus Marcellinus 23, 6, 32.) The term Magian, Maqu, occurs several times in the Old Persian inscriptions, in connection with the usurpation of Bardiya, the false Smerdis. The form of the appellative is found once or twice in the Avesta as Maju. The Greeks called this priestly sect Mafyoi; the English version of the Bible (Matt. ii. 1) renders it by " wise men." The origin and meaning of Moju, Maqu, Mayos, however, are uncertain. The familiar though unfavorable association of the name from earliest times with "magic," black arts, and astrology seems to have arisen from the peculiar tenets and rites of the Magians, and from their dreaded power as priests.
The Magi presumably became priests of Persia proper through the Median supremacy over the country. This religious supremacy continued even though the Median yoke was thrown off at the time of Cyrus the Great. One of the reasons probably for the hatred felt by the Persians at the Magian usurpation of the government by the false Smerdis in the time of Darius Hystaspes was the fear that this move might lead to a restoration of the Median sway. This opposition to the Magians and the resulting "massacre of the Magi," (Herodotus 3, 79) was presumably political and anti-clerical rather than religious.
The general religious tenets of the Magi priests mav he gathered from Herodotus 1,140, Plutarch, Is. et. Os. 47, from other classical writers, and by inference from the Avesta and from passages in the Old Persian Inscriptions. The Magian faith was characterized by a belief in the principles of dualism, Ormazd and Ahriman; by a belief in the resurrection and a future life; by certain "peculiar rites and practices, such as exposing the dead to be torn by dogs and birds; and by religious scruples against taking animal life, with the exception of destroying noxious animals, which was regarded as a meritorious and sacred duty.
The fame of the Magi for learning and for the power of divination was widespread in antiquity. It was in this sense that the Magi who came to worship at the manger in Bethlehem (Matt. ii. 1-12) are regarded as the wise men from the East. Later tradition represents these Magians as three kings, Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. coming from different places in Persia. The supposed remains of their hallowed bodies, it is claimed, were removed from Constantinople to Milan, and thence in AD 1162 to a shrine in the cathedral at Cologne, where they are still preserved as sacred relics.
Regarding the connection of Zoroaster's name in antiquity with the Magi, it maybe added that although the scene of his activity was Bactria there are nevertheless strong grounds for believing that he was originally a Magian from Media. As he was a reformer, however, his religion must have differed somewhat from the older faith. ... <<
>> ... the revolt of Cyrus against Astyages was a revolt of Persian Zoroastrianism against Median Magism. Yet the Median religion had a certain loftiness and picturesqueness which suited it to become the religion of a great and splendid monarchy. Persia, the conqueror of Media, was conquered in turn by the Median religion; and the religion of the Persian kings as read in their inscriptions does not correspond to any of the religious positions held in the Avesta. The Magi, from whom also the religion as a whole derives one of its names, belonged to Media and passed from there to greater power in Iran as a whole. Forms of religion arose as different from the faith of Zoroaster as later forms of Christianity from the simplicity of Christ, yet looking to him as their founder and the giver of their law. <<
I already did hint at the connection between the Net-Tarotée-Pattern on the backs of Tarot de Marseille cards which are a mirror of the Net-Kilim-Pattern on the Visconti-Sforza-Tarot-»Cards» in the background of the « personas » there (and on the Goldschmidt- »cards» as well) and the outside wall pattern of a special «Tomb-Tower».
The Aliabad Kishmar Tomb Tower:
which is by scholarly opinion related to and rooted in the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence with their inner structure related to the WORLD (XXI) in the Tarot de Marseille cards as presented on Aeclectic (#24) with links and pics and all:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.ph ... 020&page=3
Now you mentioned Macedonia as a possible Homeland for the Phrygians and it is interesting that Philip II of Macedon used for his army – cavalry and foot soldiers armed with spear(s) – sword and shield – a «Phrygian» (or Thracian) helmet that had the same stylish roots as the Phrygian cap: «The Bull's Scrotum» also they wore a red short tunic in battle.
In contrast to the cap the helmet could be adorned with cheek- and neck-pieces.
Alexander the Great – his son – instead used a more practical helmet for the cavalry: A type of pilos helmet. Made after the afore mentioned pilos hat. It was called boeotian helmet.
The felt pilos was often worn under the helmet of both forms for comfort and cushion.
I wondered when I read your texts Huck why you wouldn't dig deeper and stop where you did – and use pretty obscure sources for some of your conclusions (concerning Attis and ZEUS Zagreus??) - just to embark on the crown thing what is a very late western invention and what would it get you or anyone else concerning the Phrygian caps on the heads of the wise men? But I do not want to come across as rude – just wondering.
But what could this add to the knowledge of Tarot?
When you look at the Cary-Sheet you will see the later >>BATELEUR<< wear a pileus hat what signifies him as a FREE man – hatched from the egg of the world (in myth and later TdMs)
Have you ever wondered what Le MAT is wearing on his head?
Could it be that this is a sort of Phrygian helmet with cheek-pieces and his (red) jerkin a reference to the red tunic of old? Such would mark him as a veteran of long wars – and when you think about today's veterans in the US perhaps with PTSD and other traumata that should fit right into the picture of a deranged man – who needs to be commanded to be useful – and when he gets orders he functions like trained ages ago because he feels safe and home again with his mother the army.
(It is also interesting that there was a Semitic god MOT (mawt/môt "Death") who was the sworn enemy of Ba'al and has some traits which fit the bill of Le MAT quite nicely:
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ent ... tic_god%29
If this is the case that knowledge could perhaps not stem from the 17th century or even earlier...
Now I may have forgotten and summarized a lot – take it just as a quick write-up for inspiration and imagination please.