Prudece/World, not Justice, is the highest trump in Milan decks or in the CVI. And we are going over old ground
I said that in Ferrara Justice was second highest trump. I said nothing about the World. It is an example of how important Justice was considered, higher than the other two virtues. In the PMB, as you yourself pointed out, there is a visual connection between the Judgment card and Justice, in that the fellow with the beard holds an upright sword in one hand and a globe, symbol of authority, in the other. Aside from that, the Last Judgment was sometimes represented by St. Michael with sword and scales (e.g. Memling, http://hoocher.com/Hans_Memling/Last_Ju ... 467_71.jpg
). It may well be St. Michael who is the knight on the PMB Justice card. The Last Judgment is the Judgment of Divine Justice. In Florence and Bologna, and perhaps even Milan early on, this execution of Divine Justice was even higher than in Ferrara, the highest trump. My point was the special importance of Justice among the three virtues.
Phaeded wrote, about my questioning his identification of the Pope card with the virtue of Charity:
Historical context is everything. Sforza was essentially at war with Pope Eugenius VI – but that pope died in 1447. The new pope was a friend of Filelfo’s –something Sforza banked on to repair relations; that same pope helped broker the Peace of Lodi. But we’ve gone over all of this before. Sforza would have been respectful of the new Pope,
seeking his neutrality at the least, and was ultimately the head of a Catholic polity that would have looked to the pope for spiritual guidance.
I see nothing in the PMB Pope card--as opposed to the CY, for example--to suggest his charitableness. If someone wanted to flatter a pope for his charitableness, I could think of better ways than by means of the PMB Pope card, especially for a Pope who on his tomb lists the canonization of the card-burning Bernardino as one of his major accomplishments. What innovation is there on the PMB Pope card, as opposed to the CY, to suggest the virtue of charity?
Phaeded wrote, against my suggestion that the PMB Star card might replace the Hope card of the CY
But now consider the utter impossibility of anyone deviating from the well-worn Annunciation iconography where at least one or all three of these items are depicted: dove, the angel Gabriel, and/or a beam of light from God (usually combined with the dove). And immaculate Mary would never be shown without a halo. The PMB “star” has nothing to do with either Mary or the Magi.
I was not suggesting that the PMB Star card was a depiction of the Virgin. I just said that the Star-lady's gesture of looking upward to the Star, and reaching with her hand, was similar to that of the Hope-lady's similar gesture, and that a single star, or one brighter than the others, would bring to mind the Star of Bethlehem, as is represented explicitly in decks in other centers of the tarot. I can add to that, from you, the Star-lady's gesture over her belly with her other hand. Any unborn child is a symbol of hope, and one under a star doubly so. It is a resemblance, not an identification, to the Virgin. It is like calling someone a Judas: it is not to say that the person actually is some person who lived during the early days of the Roman Empire.
Phaeded wrote, in reply to my objection that the PMB might never have had a Devil or Tower:
So the PMB was a 19 trump tarot? Please.
I admit that 20 is allegorically preferable, as 2x10, and 10 was the cosmic number par excellence. 7 was also special, and so also 21. Well, we don't know if the Fool was a trump or not. If it was, then we have 20. If it wasn't, well, we have 20 special cards, card not in regular decks. Or perhaps it was only the Devil card that was never there. Also, we don't know what numerical factors were most relevant; perhaps allegory was not the principal thing. For a four-handed game, a 76 card deck has the advantage of coming out even, each player getting the same number of cards, just as for a 5x16 in the case of the CY. There doesn't have to be a discard of someone's weakest cards (the defective ones, on Depaulis's theory, the taroch/taraux).
Phaeded wrote, in reply to my objection that 13 trumps would go well with 13 cards per suit in regular decks:
At least the idea 14 trumps are corroborated by the contemporary Ferrara documents; there are absolutely no documents for 13 (or 23 for the Modrone).
Trumps were an addition to the regular decks; tarot decks were not an autonomous development. 13 cards per suit was absolutely standard for regular decks. I am suggesting that the principle governing the fifth suit might have been that it have the same number of cards as the other suits. That does not seem to me unreasonable; it is at least as reasonable as, and I think more straightforward than, Dummett's idea of maintaining the mathematical proportion 3:2 (for which the documentation is all in the wrong time period). There is one document for 13, that of Ferrara in 1422 (http://trionfi.com/playing-cards-ferrara-1422
). Of course 13 special cards are just one possibility for that document, (added later: not a very likely one, admittedly, because if so,it is odd that there is then nothing else for 20 years, in a place where records seem to have survived from that period; but at least it is in the right time period, the 20 years or so before and 5 years or so after 1440). It is the same with 14: nothing but inferences. There are "14 figures", not "14 triumphs"; and a 70 card deck could just as well be 22 + 4x12. According to Franco 48 card decks were pretty common. It is all inference. I agree that the inferences are good for Ferrara being 5x14. But what that says about Milan is debatable. For me, it is an example of my principle. I also think that 5x16 is a good bet for the CY. So by inference, 5x13 is reasonable for the time we know nothing about, given that tarot decks are not autonomous (a generalization I don't think anyone challenges). When it comes to the number of trumps, and regular suits, in the "original" tarot we are pretty much in the dark. This is of course more "old ground".
I have my own ideas as to why the "celestials" were tacked on near the end. I do think they were tacked on. The CY makes total sense without those cards, or the Devil and the Tower, as 7 Petrarchan/Boccaccian Triumphs plus 7 virtues and an Emperor and Empress. For me the "celestials", and the Devil and Tower, are parts of a conventional cosmograph, with one modification (the placement of the Star) to allow for easy memorization by game players uninterested in allegory (which also probably explain, at least in part, why we see only the Moon and the Sun among the "planets"). However other scenarios, including yours, are consistent with the known facts.