Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#31
Huck wrote,
hm ... then the question is, what's first, the hen or the egg.

Is there evidence for the use of "taré" or "tarous" before 1495?
Good question. I can look up ""taré" in Robert's Grand Dictionnaire. I think I did once, and didn't see a meaning of "fou". But I will check. I don't know if there is a Provencale equivalent to Robert. Meanwhile, here is another hen and egg to think about.

Depaulis says that even the singular "tarau" is spelled in the French manner, as opposed to any other. On pp. 245-6 of part 2 of his 2004 article (The Playing Card vol. 32 no. 6) he quotes several entries, from 1527 to 1530, about "tarau" in the journal of Philibert de Chalon, a prince in Franche-Comte, now conserved at Doubs. Then Depaulis comments, p. 246 (added later: in the translation, I have added the word in bold, "as", in response to Huck's criticism in his second post later)
De tous les jeux mentionnés dans le journal - échecs, tric-trac, paume, tir à l'arc - seul le tarot revient autant de fois. Notons que l'orthographe constant du mot rejoint celle de l'acte avignonnaise ou encore du Gargantua du Rabelais. Là où l'on attendait un italianisme patent, sous la forme *taroque par example, nous rencontrons une graphie pleinement français.

(Of all the games mentioned in the journal - chess; backgammon, palm, archery - only the tarot returns as many times. Note that the constant spelling of the word agrees with that of the act of Avignon or the Gargantua of Rabelais. Where we expected an obvious Italianism, the form *taroque for example, we encounter a plainly French spelling.)
"Tarau" is clearly French as opposed to Italian, but not French as opposed to Provencale, which is what Depaulis maintained in the case of Avignon, which "agrees" (rejoint) with this new one. In fact the "-au" form occurs in many Provencale words where, in the singular, it has changed to something else, namely "-al", in French. At the moment I can't think of any common "-au" singular nouns (as opposed to "-eau") in French. In any case, if it is the "-au" spelling that Depaulis thinks is peculiarly French, as opposed to Provencale, in being common to both the Avignon notary statement and the Franche-Comté journal, I am still mystified. It seems to me that the spelling "tarau", as opposed to "taraux", could easily be Provencale. "Taraux" is then merely a French way of spelling the plural of "tarau", which could be either Provencale or French. If "taraux" is first, then the word, by the spelling, is French. If "tarau" is first, then the word could be either--or so it seems at this point.

I know that the word "taraux" appears first in the written documents, but at that time they are so few that one instance doesn't count for much: since the two words are pronounced the same, the notary may have given the French spelling because he heard the word and assumed the deck was of French origin. Or else in Lyon they adopted the French plural for a pre-existing word in the singular, which might have been Provencale.

Depaulis says how if the normal way in which an Italian word was turned into French was followed, "taroccho" would have been turned into "taroque". It seems to me that people have presented good arguments against that idea in some other threads here. I am not concerned with that issue in this post.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#32
Once (October 2010) we had the thread "A plausible etymologie of the word "TAROT"" ...

I collected this from this older thread, which I still find interesting (written by myself)

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=610&hilit=tarocus&start=30#p9034
I found the following description of the first theater evening of the wedding of Lucrezia Borgia an Alfonso d'Este [February 1502]

http://www.third-millennium-library.com ... /2-25.html
The first evening the duke conducted his guests into the theater, and when they had taken their seats, Plautus appeared before the bridal couple and addressed some complimentary verses to them. After this the Epidicus was presented. Each act was followed by a ballet, and five beautiful moresche were given during the interludes of the play. First entered ten armed gladiators, who danced to the sound of tambourines; then followed a mimic battle between twelve people in different costumes; the third moresca was led by a young woman upon a car which was drawn by a unicorn, and upon it were several persons bound to the trunk of a tree, while seated under the bushes were four lute players. The young woman loosed the bonds of the captives, who immediately descended and danced while the lute players sang beautiful canzone—at least so says Gagnolo; the cultured Duchess of Mantua, however, wrote that the music was so doleful that it was scarcely worth listening to. Isabella, however, judging by her remarkable letters, was a severe critic, not only of the plays but of all the festivities. The fourth moresca was danced by ten Moors holding burning tapers in their mouths. In the fifth there were ten fantastically dressed men with feathers on their heads, and bearing lances with small lighted torches at their tips. On the conclusion of the Epidicus there was a performance by several jugglers.
Somebody (?) earlier mentioned the idea, that the word might might refer to a trunk of a tree .... as far I remember. Here we've a trunk, which is the logical center of some bound captives, connected to an Este heraldic symbol (unicorn) and the common triumphal chariot.

If I interpret the chariot as a "(d'Este) Trionfi deck" (d'Este cause the unicorn), which naturally contains "captured" playing cards as long they're in their box or connected by another system (I think of the tackhole), which, if released, could cause a funny dance at the playing card table ... then this might be an allegory on Tarot cards.

If I assume, that a French use of the word "Taraux" (caused by the defeat at the river Taro) was known in Ferrara in February 1502, the foreign word naturally would have caused associations in the Italian language ... if the word for "Trunk of a tree" was similar (I don't remember, what it had been) ...

ah, I searched, here it was discussed
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=502&p=6857&hilit=trunk#p6857
"Tarato"

... then it might have inspired this dance and its show. Unluckily it's not said, how much prisoners made this dance. In the dance before the observer counted 12 dancers, perhaps one might conclude, that it must have been some more (too much to count for the observer). Perhaps there are better descriptions ...

The 4 lute players might present the 4 suits.
Stephen added then:
SteveM wrote: It was me. The word 'tarocch' is attested in the Milanese dialect as meaning 'tree trunk', a geneological 'tree of life' and figuratively as 'blockhead', 'loggerhead' (i.e., a dunce, fool).


**********

The Epidicus play is described here ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidicus
The theme of the play is "avoiding incest"
... the bride of the festivity was Lucrezia marrying Alfonso, who later in 1505 comes up with the word "Tarochi" as a new name for Trionfi cards.
Lucrezia, daughter of pope Alexander VI (Borgia), was accused of having incestuous relations with brother Cesare and also with her father.

The unicorn was an older Este symbol.

Image

.... from the Borso bible (1455-1461)

Somehow also the Borgia had something with the unicorn. Cesare Borgia had disguised himself with a unicorn mask long before the wedding of Lucrezia and Alfonso ...
http://star-of-evening.tumblr.com/post/ ... essed-as-a
... also described by the Cesare Borgia biography of Sarah Bradford.

Giulia Farnese, lover of pope Alexander, is also occasionally presented with unicorn ...

Image


So this was a wedding between unicorn lovers. The unicorn chariot dance ...
the third moresca was led by a young woman upon a car which was drawn by a unicorn, and upon it were several persons bound to the trunk of a tree, while seated under the bushes were four lute players. The young woman loosed the bonds of the captives, who immediately descended and danced while the lute players sang beautiful canzone
... leaves the riddle, what the "trunk of a tree" shall mean in this show. Stephen's "tarocch" gives "Milanese dialect as meaning 'tree trunk', a geneological 'tree of life' and figuratively as 'blockhead', 'loggerhead' ".

The "genealogical 'tree of life'" would fit in the context of a wedding, a "blockhead" likely wouldn't do it. Naturally it's not sure, if a word of Milanese dialect was understood in Ferrara. And naturally it isn't sure, that this Milanese "tarocch" was older than 1495.

Alfonso, who later made Tarochi cards, surely had some memories on this day of his second wedding.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#33
mikeh wrote:
Depaulis says that even the singular "tarau" is spelled in the French manner, as opposed to any other. On pp. 245-6 of part 2 of his 2004 article (The Playing Card vol. 32 no. 6) he quotes several entries, from 1527 to 1530, about "tarau" in the journal of Philibert de Chalon, a prince in Franche-Comte, now conserved at Doubs. Then Depaulis comments, p. 246:
De tous les jeux mentionnés dans le journal - échecs, tric-trac, paume, tir à l'arc - seul le tarot revient autant de fois. Notons que l'orthographe constant du mot rejoint celle de l'acte avignonnaise ou encore du Gargantua du Rabelais. Là où l'on attendait un italianisme patent, sous la forme *taroque par example, nous rencontrons une graphie pleinement français.

(Of all the games mentioned in the journal - chess; backgammon, palm, archery - only the tarot returns many times. Note that the constant spelling of the word agrees with that of the act of Avignon or the Gargantua of Rabelais. Where we expected an obvious Italianism, the form *taroque for example, we encounter a plainly French spelling.)
The English introduction says not "many", but "several". Actually it are only 4 short documents (at least Depaulis gives only 4).

I gave once some comments to the article, in which Depaulis gives some arguments, that Philibert had learned to play Tarau from cards in Lyon.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=747&p=10702&hilit=philibert#p10702

Well, he played Tarau in all 4 documents in Italy, not in France

3 belong to the time of the Sacco di Roma (1427), when Philibert had the function of the second commander (actually the first commander after the death of Constable de Bourbon, but he couldn't bring the army under control again), the 4th belonged to another military campaign in Italy near Florence (1530).

Bourbon had more reason to know Tarocchi: He had an Italian mother (Clara of Gonzaga with a Bavarian mother and Barbara of Brandenburg as grand-mother), and he had various military operations in Italy since 1507, most time for France, since 1423 against France. Enough opportunity to learn the game.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#34
Huck wrote,
The English introduction says not "many", but "several". Actually it are only 4 short documents (at least Depaulis gives only 4).
Thanks for the correction. I left out something, an "as". The translation should have read (highlighting the missing word):
Of all the games mentioned in the journal - chess; backgammon, palm, archery - only the tarot returns as many times.
That is, it returns four times.

Now I want to address Huck's previous post.

Huck quoted a description of a performance at Alfonso d'Este's wedding (I'm not sure the source; his link doesn't work for me):
the third moresca was led by a young woman upon a car which was drawn by a unicorn, and upon it were several persons bound to the trunk of a tree, while seated under the bushes were four lute players. The young woman loosed the bonds of the captives, who immediately descended and danced while the lute players sang beautiful canzone—at least so says Gagnolo;
It seems to me that the cart is simply a version of the "triumph of chastity". Usually the captive tied to something, on or off the cart--was Cupid; in this case it is lovers. Their being freed is somewhat ambiguous; one way of seeing it is that once imbued with chastity they can express themselves in nobler ways. The "triumph of chastity" was drawn by unicorns. The unicorn is a medieval symbol of purity and of Christ, used in many places, including France, e.g. the "unicorn tapestries" in the Cluny Museum. That a unicorn slays a dragon in Borso's Bible does not associate the unicorn particularly with the d'Este; it is simply Christ slaying Satan. It has a similar meaning with the Borgias, purity and Christ. The unicorn in the lap of a pure lady is also in the tapestries. The tree trunk is simply something to tie the lovers to. It is not a symbol of foolishness, and there is no reason for Alfonso to remember this detail and give it a new association, via a word he now associates with the image.

There are stronger associations of "taroch" to craziness or foolishness than this. Andrea has collected some in his essays, to which I added a page from Aldus's Greek-Latin Lexicon. As for the word's appearance in Ferrara, Alfonso had been in Piedmont collecting musicians, and Lucrezia loved frottole, for example. Or the word was already associated with the game there or in France, as an epithet (the game of fools) rather than a name, and somebody, perhaps Alfonso himself, used it as a name so as to distinguish it from the other game that appeared then (perhaps as a result of Beatrice's return from Naples) that used ordinary decks and made one of its suits into trumps.

There is also what Depaulis says in his 2013 book, deriving the word precisely from the verb "tarer" but giving a different explanation for why the word was chosen. First, for the derivation from "tarer", he says (I leave out the dots under the t and h in the Arabic words; I know that a dot under an h gives it a hard sound, like "ch" in German; I don't know what it does to a t):
Oublions les rapprochements avec l'arabe taraha "jeter, lancer", ou taraq (racine trq) "frapper" (et, paraît-il aussi, "prophètiser"), pour suivre plutôt le fil de tarh "dèduction" (même verb taraha mais au sense de "rejeter, déduire"), qui est à l'origine des mots tare (poids du contenant déduit du total, puis défaut) - et autant en italien tara, tarare, taratura, etc.

(Let us forget comparisons with the Arabic taraha "throw, toss," or tariq (trq root) "hit" (and also, it seems,"prophesy"), to follow rather the thread of tarh "deduction" (same verb taraha but in the sense of "reject, deduct"), which is the origin of words tare (weight of the container subtracted from the total, thus defect) - and, as much, in Italian tara, tarare, taratura, etc.)
He then cites two authorities in German for this derivation. One is Karl Lokotsch, 1967, who makes it first for the Italian, from which he says the French derives. The other is Walther von Wartburg, 1968, who simply gives it as a source for the French word "tarot", but also gives an explanation. As Depaulis paraphrases:
Celui-ci explique en effet que le jeu de tarot suppose une sorte de déduction, "parce que dans ce jeu le joueur doit, dans certaines circonstances, mettre de côté une carte".

(The latter explains that the tarot deck assumes a kind of deduction, "because in this game the player must, under certain circumstances, set aside a card.")
Depaulis corrects this by saying that it is not just in certain circumstances that "one must set aside a card", but in all circumstances. He explains:
Un des premiers gestes du jeu consiste en effet a faire un écart que le donneur prend pour lui dans les formes anciennes; ou qui rest sur la table et sera remporté par le meilleur enchérisseur dans les règles modernes.

(One of the first moves of the game is indeed a remainder [écart] that the dealer takes for himself in the old forms; or stays on the table and will be won by the highest bidder in the modern rules.)
Depaulis adds that the rule about this changed at precisely the time when the name of the game changed, and could be the reason why the name changed. He explains:
Nous savons trop peu de la façon de jouer au XVe siècle; mais un des rares points assurés est qu'on jouait à quatre, ce qui laissait deux cartes en trop après la donne. Or, après 1500, on joue aussi à trois, mais avec un "écart" de trois cartes, que rien n'obligeait à faire (puisque 78 est divisible par trois). Cette innovation auraît entraîné un changement de nom pour le jeu, ainsi devenu tarocco. Une sorte de "déduction".

Reconnaissons qu'aucun élément ancien ne vient appuyer cette théorie qui reste, pour le moment, la meilleure hypothèse ou la moins aventureuse.

(We know too little about the manner of play in the fifteenth century; but one of the rare assured points is that it was played in four, leaving two cards left over after the deal. However, after 1500, it was also played in three, but with a "remainder" of three cards, which there was no requirement to make (because 78 is evenly divisible by three). This innovation would have resulted in a name change for the game, thus become tarocco. A kind of "deduction".

We recognize that no ancient element goes to support this theory which remains, for the moment, the best or least adventurous hypothesis.
Well, it seems rather a leap to me, to go from an Arabic word (for the hard c) that drops the hard c (needed in Italian) and then to imagine the "remainder" (écart) as a "deduction". (It only seems to work in French because of the ambiguity of "écart", which can mean "difference"; that is close to both "deduction" and "remainder", even if "deduction" is not what the 2 cards at the end of the deal are).

Also, it is far from clear that the game was only played in foursomes during the 15th century. There is the famous fresco in Milan of the 1440s or 1450s, for example, of five players around the table. And when Galeazzo Maria Sforza wrote his letter home from Ferrara in 1457, he speaks of playing with his host, one of the Picos, without mentioning anyone else. We don't even know if the game was always played with 22 special cards, as opposed to a lesser number. Assuredly there were 22 by 1500, but if fewer than four players played the game earlier, that would have continued as a less played alternative when fewer than four were available to play. I wish Depaulis had at least given a footnote to an essay that defends his point.

Oddly to me, Depaulis ignores the meaning of "taré" as "defect", hence "mentally deficient". He also seems unaware of "tarous" as the Provencale form of "taré" in that sense. It is that sense that most readily comes into to mind with "tarocchi". Perhaps it is because he doesn't know if any of those words had that meaning in the 15th century.

For the meanings we want, however, it seems to me that we need not go exclusively to the Arabic (which as interpreted by Depaulis then requires the clumsy tie-in with the supposed rule-change, or else a recourse to modern dictionaries). Besides the Arabic "taraq", for deduction and maybe defect, there was also the Greek "tarachos", meaning "agitated" (from which the Arabic might derive), which entered Latin as "taraxia" sometime before 1600 (when "ataraxia" is recorded in English). In the 1497 Aldus Greek-Latin Lexicon, "tarachos" was defined as "perturbatio" and "turbatio" (photocopied in my essay at http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page.aspx?id=317#). That, regardless of whether the Arabic-derived words meant "mental defect", would give a good enough pedigree for "tarochus" applied to the game. Then we have "taroccho" not in the sense of "mental defect" but of "crazy", as in "out of control". which it seems to me also applies to the "therocho" wind (also called "sirocco") that makes people crazy, as Andrea puts it (http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 99&lng=ENG), and also to the proposed (by eminent philologists of Portuguese recently) "cavaleyro taroco"--crazy knight (not just "vain and foolish" as in Andrea's supheading--in a 13th century poem (http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 09&lng=ENG), and the "Tarare loca" of the Lorca poem given by Andrea at the end of that essay. I notice elsewhere, as part of a long quote from an 1840 Italian dictionary by Andrea (http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 20&lng=ITA):
In turco Taraka, tumulto, strepito, rumore. In persiano Tyrak vale per il medesimo

(Taraka in Turkish, tumult, clamour, din. Tyrak in Persian, with the same signification.)

Again, of course, we don't know how early these meanings apply. But given that the Greek in 1497 had that same meaning, perhaps not only the Turkish and Persian but the Arabic, too, had the meaning of "tumult" by then.

Huck wrote,
The 4 lute players might present the 4 suits.
4 "angel musicians" were typical in scenes of special holiness.

Huck quoted SteveM, about "tarocch" as "trunk of a tree":
It was me. The word 'tarocch' is attested in the Milanese dialect as meaning 'tree trunk', a geneological 'tree of life' and figuratively as 'blockhead', 'loggerhead' (i.e., a dunce, fool).
It is not only in Milanese, but elsewhere. Andrea Vitali quotes Prof. Antón Santamarina, a member of the Executive Council USC (Instituto da Lingua Galega) of the University of Santiago de Compostela; but the part I put in bold should not be downplayed (this is my translation from Andrea's Italian, at http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page.aspx?id=509#, footnote 19; for the original, go to http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 09&lng=ITA):
The Galician dictionary records the word 'taroco', but with the meaning of ‘piece of wood, piece of hard bread’ (trozo de madera, trozo de pan 'duro’), nothing with the meaning of 'crazy'. Based on the data, medieval lexicographers find nothing. This 'taroco' ('piece of wood', with the variant 'Tarouco') is very similar to the Castilian word 'tarugo', according to the DRAE: '1. m: Piece of wood or of bread, usually thick and short; with the secondary meaning of 4 m. coloq: Person of approximate understanding (= holding the hard head, which is clumsy, like a piece of wood)' (Persona de rudo entendimiento = que tiene la cabeza dura, que es torpe, como un trozo de leña). In the Leonese language there exists the variant 'taruco'. Portuguese dictionaries also recorded 'tarugo' (1721), which surely comes from the Castilian (1386). However, the similarity can be random and the relationship between the two words is hard to justify, because, 'taròco' has an open ò. In addition, the meaning 'lack of understanding' is modern".
So we have to ask how recent in Italy, too (and in France and Provence), the meaning "lack of understanding" is. I do not understand the point about an "open ò", nor how the Professor knows that "lack of understanding" is only modern.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#35
It seems to me that the cart is simply a version of the "triumph of chastity".
Unicorn - Ferrara - Heraldry
(requested at google, various sources)

" ... the well known families in Europe who have borne the Unicorn on their shields must be mentioned the D'Estes of Ferrara,"

"The unicorn was adopted because of a belief in its purity and the magic horn's ability to make swampy water clear, a perennial problem for Ferrara. "

" ... illuminated Bible (Modena, Biblioteca Estense) which shows his personal heraldic animal, the unicorn, neutralising a dragon's ..."

"(A silver two-soldi piece minted in Ferrara in 1492 also bore the unicorn, taken in this case from the arms of the house of Este)."

" The unicorn with St. Justine and Alphonse I of Ferrara."

" ... The duke of Ferrara, Borso d'Este, used a wattle-fence, a unicorn, and a diamond ring as personal devices while the Gonzaga ..."

" They bear the Estense Ducal weapon with the "devices" of Borso d'Este (a unicorn and a hedge with a pumpkin) and with the Comune's weapons; ..."

"Borso's personal impresa — the unicorn, the font, and the paraduro — also appear in the decoration. ... "

etc.

***********

A lot of stuff. It seems clear, that at least Borso had a closer connection to the symbol. At least it is not just my personal opinion, that the unicorn was an Este symbol.

If the "trunk of a tree" = "tarocch in Milanese dialect" had symbolic meaning in one of the 5 theater shows of the wedding 1502.

The link to the scene is dead now ... but this wasn't earlier so. That's a pity ... it was rather informative about the complete wedding with a lot of details. Ah, here is another version ...

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20804/20 ... 0804-h.htm

FERDINAND GREGOROVIUS
ACCORDING TO ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE OF HER DAY
TRANSLATED FROM THE THIRD GERMAN EDITION
BY JOHN LESLIE GARNER
(1904)
According to the program, from February 3d to February 8th—with the exception of one evening—five of the plays of Plautus were to be given. The intermissions were to be devoted to music and moresche. The moresca resembled the modern ballet; that is, a pantomime dance. It is of very ancient origin, and traces of it appear in the Middle Ages. At first it was a war dance in costume, which character it preserved for a long time. The name is, I believe, derived from the fact that in all the Latin countries which suffered from the invasions of the Saracens, dances in which the participants were armed and which simulated the battles of the Moor and Christian were executed. The Moors, for the sake of contrast, were represented as black. Subsequently the meaning of the term moresca was extended to include the ballet in general, and all sorts of scenes in which dances accompanied by flutes and violins were introduced. The subjects were de[Pg 256]rived from mythology, the age of chivalry, and everyday life.

There were also comic dances performed by fantastic monsters, peasants, clowns, wild animals, and satyrs, during which blows were freely dealt right and left. The classico-romantic ballet appears to have reached a high development in Ferrara, which was the home of the romantic epics—the Mambriano and the Orlando. It is needless to say that the ballet possessed great attraction for the public in those days, just as it now does. The presentation of the comedies of Plautus would have no more effect upon people of this age than would a puppet show. They lasted from four to five hours—from six in the evening until midnight.

The first evening the duke conducted his guests into the theater, and when they had taken their seats, Plautus appeared before the bridal couple and addressed some complimentary verses to them. After this the Epidicus was presented.

The first evening the duke conducted his guests into the theater, and when they had taken their seats, Plautus appeared before the bridal couple and addressed some complimentary verses to them. After this the Epidicus was presented. Each act was followed by a ballet, and five beautiful moresche were given during the interludes of the play. First entered ten armed gladiators, who danced to the sound of tambourines; then followed a mimic battle between twelve people in different costumes; the third moresca was led by a young woman upon a car which was drawn by a unicorn, and upon it were several persons bound to the trunk of a tree, while seated under the bushes were four lute players. The young woman loosed the bonds of the captives, who immediately descended and danced while the lute players sang beautiful canzone—at least so says Gagnolo; the cultured Duchess of Mantua, however, wrote that the music was so doleful that it was scarcely worth listening to. Isabella, however, judging by her remarkable letters, was a severe critic, not only of the plays but[Pg 257] of all the festivities. The fourth moresca was danced by ten Moors holding burning tapers in their mouths. In the fifth there were ten fantastically dressed men with feathers on their heads, and bearing lances with small lighted torches at their tips. On the conclusion of the Epidicus there was a performance by several jugglers.

"Epidicus" was the first play of 5 ... (Thurdsday)

Second play (Friday)
Then followed a presentation of the Bacchides which required five hours. Isabella found these performances excessively long and tiresome. Ballets similar to those which accompanied the Epidicus were given; men dressed in flesh-colored tights with torches in their hands, which diffused agreeable odors, danced fantastic figures, and engaged in a battle with a dragon.
Third play (Sunday)
In the evening the Miles Gloriosus was presented; it was followed by a moresca in which ten shepherds with horns on their heads fought with each other.
Fourth play (Monday)
In the evening the Asinaria was presented, together with a wonderful moresca in which appeared fourteen satyrs, one of which carried a silvered ass's head in his hands, in which there was a music-box, to the strains of which the clowns danced. This play of the satyrs was followed by an interlude performed by sixteen vocalists,—men and women,—and a virtuoso from Mantua who played on three lutes. In conclusion there was a moresca in which was simulated the agricultural work of the peasants. The fields were prepared, the seed sown, the grain cut and threshed, and the harvest feast followed. Finally a native dance to the accompaniment of the bagpipe was executed.
Fifth play (Tuesday)
The last day of the festivities, February 8th, also marked the end of the carnival. ...

In the evening they danced for the last time, and attended the final theatrical performance, the Casina. Before the comedy began, music composed by Rombonzino was rendered, and songs in honor of the young couple were sung. Everywhere throughout the Casina, musical interludes were introduced. During the intermission six violinists, among them Don Alfonso, the hereditary prince, who was a magnificent amateur performer, played. The violin seems to have been held in great esteem in Ferrara, for when Cæsar Borgia was about to set out for France he asked Duke Ercole for a violin player to accompany him, as they were much sought after in that country.[173]

The ballet which followed was a dance of savages contending for the possession of a beautiful woman. Suddenly the god of love appeared, accompanied by musicians, and set her free. Hereupon the spectators discovered a great globe which suddenly split in halves and began to give forth beautiful strains. In conclusion twelve Swiss armed with halberds and wearing their national colors entered, and executed an artistic dance, fencing the while.
Critique
If this scene, as Cagnolo says, ended the dramatic performances we are forced to conclude that they were exceedingly dull and spiritless. The moresca partook of the character of both the opera and ballet. It was the only new form of spectacle offered during all the festivities. Compared with those which were given in Rome on the occasion of Lucretia's betrothal, they were much inferior. Among the former we noticed several pastoral comedies with allegorical allusions to Lucretia, Ferrara, Cæsar, and Alexander.

In spite of the outlay the duke had made, his entertainments lacked novelty and variety, although they probably pleased most of those present. Isabella, however, did not hesitate to mention the fact that she was bored. "In truth," so she wrote her husband, "the wedding was a very cold affair. It seems a thousand years before I shall be in Mantua again, I am so anxious to see your Majesty and my son, and also to get away from this place where I find absolutely no pleasure. Your Excellency, therefore, need not envy me my presence at this wedding; it is so stiff I have much more cause to envy those who remained in Mantua." Apparently the noble lady's opinion was influenced by the displeasure she still felt on account of her brother's marriage with Lucretia, but it may also have been due partly to the character of the festivities themselves, for the marchesa in all her letters complains of their being tiresome.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#36
Thanks for the clarification about Borso's unicorn, Huck, and also the link to the description of the pageant. Even if the unicorn is a d'Este emblem, its presence drawing a card suggests a triumph of chastity. As for the tree trunk signifying "blockhead", because of the double meaning of a word that later becomes "tarocchi", that is more speculative, in that we don't know if the word existed in Ferrarese, whether it had that double meaning then, and how the card game would have suggested, three years later, the tree trunk in the ballet. It is a pity that all the literary examples are in literary Italian rather than dialect. There are places in literature where the word would have really fit. For example, in Orlando Furioso one of the characters is turned into a tree by an evil witch; it is Ariosto's version of Circe's turning Odysseus's men into pigs in the Odyssey. Here the tree is much like that of the tree trunk in the pageant, a place for fools.

I have been pursuing the Provencal word "tarou", meaning "crazy", from the same root as the French "taré" (notice the accent), meaning the same thing. My question: how was the word "tarou" pronounced?

On Wikipedia's "Old Occitan" page, it can be seen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Occit ... riphthongs) that "ou" was pronounced in two ways, like "oo" in "moon" and "o" in "got". I am guessing that at the end of a word, without a consonant following, it would be the latter., because their examples are "dous" (sweet) for the "oo" sound and "mou" (moves) for the "o" sound. The latter isn't far from the pronunciation of "tarau", "taraux" and "tarot" in French. The same seems to be true in modern Occitan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occitan_phonology), although the "ou" spelling now apparently has no precise English equivalent.

But the pronunciation of the "o" sound (when I was in school it was called "short o" as opposed to the "long o" in "go"; linguists call it "closed o" as opposed to "open o") may have been closer to that in the English pronunciation of "tarot"--i.e. "open o"--than that indicated by the linguists for Old Occitan. The English pronunciation of "troubadour" is an example of the two pronunciations of "ou", except that we use the "open o" sound instead of the "closed o". The first "ou" in "troubadour" is pronounced as in the "oo" of "Moon"; the second is like the "oo" of "door". That is different from the "o" of "got". Perhaps the English pronunciation of "troubadour" is like the old Provencal (and unlike modern French, which pronounces both "ou" occurrences the same, like the "oo" in Moon).

On Google Translate, if you type in a spelling, it can pronounce it in the language you choose. Provencal isn't there; Catalan is the nearest. When I type in "tarou" on the left side, select "Catalan" and click on "translate", the spelling "tarou" appears on the right. (I tried "tarot" first, but the Catalan word for "tarot" is just "tarot", with the "t" pronounced and a long "o", as in "go".) When I click on the little loudspeaker icon, a voice gives the pronunciation (of "tarou"), and the vowels sound very much like those of "tarot" in French or English. Anybody French hearing it for the first time might spell it "tarau", or in the plural, "taraux". And while it is true that the converse might be true - a Provencal hearing the French "tarau" might have spelled it "tarou" - the coincidence of "tarou" meaning "fool" (unlike in French, where it is "taré") is just too great to make it credible that it went that way, from French into Provencale, if indeed tarot was "the game of the fool".

In Catalan, the word for "troubadour" is spelled "trobador". But the pronunciation of the vowels, according to Google Translate, is the same as the English "troubadour". Apparently the Catalans dropped the "u" in their spelling of the sounds. If so, this is further confirmation of the original pronunciation.

So it seems to me there is a case for thinking that the word "tarot", in its form pronounced without the hard c of Italian and German) is of Provencal or Piedmontese origin, from "tarou" (Provencal) or "taroch/tarochus" (Piedmontese), both meaning "crazy", both from the Arabic "tarakh" and/or the Greek "tarachos". Which, between "tarou" and "taroch", would have been applied to the card game first is not easy to say.

Whchever, it would have been applied to the card game for the same reason as I hypothesize for Ferrara: to distinguish it from the game called "triumphs" played with ordinary cards (although Depaulis's hypothesis could also have played a role). The game with ordinary cards seems to have been of Spanish origin. By "Spanish" we have to think mainly Aragon, which had close ties with Naples. Much of Aragon spoke Catalan, linguistically connected to Provence. So if a Spanish game reached Ferrara by 1505, it would probably have reached Provence even earlier. I would expect a later arrival in France, via Provence. Then Alfonso would have learned the Piedmontese version in his travels, and the Provencale version would have traveled to Avignon and Lyon with a different spelling, since we know that tarot was being played in Pinarolo, the Savoy outpost in Piedmont, with connections to Avignon.

Another question: how did the "t" get added on? I know that a lot of French words ending in the sound "o" (open "o", as in Mona or go), unless they are spelled with -eau or -au, end in "t": sot, bigot, escargot, mot. And Beckett's "godillot", which he said was the basis for his "Godot" (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde ... 819AAJw63L). But there is also pernod and gros. So I'm puzzled. In any case, adding a consonant is something that would only happen in French, not Provencal, because in Provencal final consonants were pronounced.

One way of accounting for the "t" would be if it was there from the beginning, even if some writers missed it. But there was no verb "taroter". or adjective "taroté" (with the accent). These words mean "to play tarot" or "with a pattern like the back of a tarot card". They would seem to be words formed after the game was established. I remain puzzled.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#37
mikeh wrote: As for the tree trunk signifying "blockhead", because of the double meaning of a word that later becomes "tarocchi", that is more speculative, in that we don't know if the word existed in Ferrarese, whether it had that double meaning then, and how the card game would have suggested, three years later, the tree trunk in the ballet. It is a pity that all the literary examples are in literary Italian rather than dialect. There are places in literature where the word would have really fit. For example, in Orlando Furioso one of the characters is turned into a tree by an evil witch; it is Ariosto's version of Circe's turning Odysseus's men into pigs in the Odyssey. Here the tree is much like that of the tree trunk in the pageant, a place for fools.
Earlier I wrote in this thread ...
Stephen's "tarocch" gives "Milanese dialect as meaning 'tree trunk', a geneological 'tree of life' and figuratively as 'blockhead', 'loggerhead' ".

The "genealogical 'tree of life'" would fit in the context of a wedding, a "blockhead" likely wouldn't do it. Naturally it's not sure, if a word of Milanese dialect was understood in Ferrara. And naturally it isn't sure, that this Milanese "tarocch" was older than 1495.

Alfonso, who later made Tarochi cards, surely had some memories on this day of his second wedding.
It should be clear, that I didn't give the argument, that "tarocch" meant "blockhead" in the theater play, but "genealogical tree of life".

Most of the these different wordbooks in various languages and dialects have likely the disadvantage, that they collected their meanings in later times than 1495 or 1505.

When a card deck name and a card game name were invented in this period and they became indeed "very popular", the natural result would have been, that it influenced language and in consequence also wordbooks.
As a result the word "Tarochi (card deck)" might have caused the "blockhead-meaning" for "Tarocch", especially if some people believed, that the word referred to the Fool card.

The meaning "genealogical tree" instead has in contrast a natural connection to the meaning "trunk of a tree". It should be an old association to the word.
As we search for the origin of the word, this part of the wordbook might be interesting.

**********

Accidently the river Taro played in July 1495 a deciding role in the rather deciding battle at the river Taro near Fornovo ... large events like this also can influence language and new-word-productions.

Some music in "Woodstock" for instance caused once "Woodstock generation". For some parts of the contemporary U.S.-Americans "Woodstock" became a bad word, for others a good word.

Bassano wrote in this "Taro river time" his word "Tarocus", rather innocently about a funny accident at a bridge near the location Vercelli.
Vercelli once in the 1490s had a central position to the Renaissance world, when it was chosen to stage the peace negotiations between Milan and France. This activity happened 2 months after the battle at the Taro river. Background to these negotiations were French soldiers captured by the siege of Novara under the guidance of Louis of Orleans, later French king Louis XII.

Once I wrote to this ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=610&p=9155&hilit=novara+1495#p9155
The battle at the river Taro takes place, 6th of July 1495 and it's said, that it more or less was only an hour or so, possibly 25.000 for the Liga, and maybe 14000 for France. About 1000 French and maybe 3000 Italian soldiers were dead. But the French lost all their treasures, that they had earned during their escapades and one day after the battle Naples was retaken. All other French holdings in Italy break to pieces with the time (actually this takes really some time) ad merge to a "big loss for France" for the whole operation.

Now we have a poet Bassano Mantovano making a poem, in which the word "Tarochus" appears ... before 1499.

The poem has nothing to do with any Tarot cards ... at least one can't detect any relationship. He describes a scene, which (really or in his imagination) happens at a bridge across the Sesia river in Vercelli (a natural location, not invented). Vercelli is Savoyan territory, and it is located at the frontier to the Milanese region. The poet writes this poem to his friend Gaspare Visconti, an important man in Milan. The poet writes other poems about Savoy, it seems, that he had some time there. The poem is made in the genre "macaroni literature", which is a mixed Latin-Italian art form likely used with the intention of some irony, mockery or simple fun. So "Tarochus" might be an invented construction without any preceding use of the word ... but likely chosen in the manner, that others would recognize the meaning.
This recognition of the meaning might be a very contemporary condition, such as a practical joke is often only understandable in a given moment, where a precise action took place and a specific remark describes the current situation ... the same remark wouldn't be understood in any other situation. Later macaroni understanding was, that tarochus means "imbécile".
Ad magnifiais dominus Gasparus Vescontus ( mort en 1499 ), de una vellania que fuit mihi Bassanus de Mantua ab uno Botigliano Savoyno apud uncellis, et de una piacevoleza que ego Bassanus fecivi sibi Botigliano.

Unam volo tibi, Gaspar, cuntare novellam
Que te forte magno faciet pisare de risu.
Quidam Vercellis stat a la porta Botigliano
Omnes qui Sessiam facit pagare passantes ;
Et si quis ter forte passaret in uno,
Ter pagare facit : quare spesse voltas eunti
Esset opus Medicis intratam habere Lorenzi,
Hic semper datii passegiat ante botegam,
In zach atque in lach culum menando superbe
Quod sibi de Mutina cum vadit Pota videtur,
Qui de cavalo dicitur seminasse fassolos ;
Sed si cercares levantem atque ponentem
Non invenies quisque poltronior illo ;
Non habet hic viduis respectum nec maritatis
Sed neque pedonihus, nec cavalcantibus, omnes
Menat ad ingualum sicut lasagnia natalis ;
Nec pregat (ut ceteri faciunt) pagare, sed ipso
Sforzat, et illius vox est hec unica : Paga.
Iste manegoldus me vidit a longe venire,
Nec mora, corivit ceu mastinacius unus
Et non avertentis prendit per brilia cavallum.
De montilio quidem parlabam ac ipse zenevra ,
Cujus putinam mihi marchesana locavit,
Et brevitas sensus fecit conjungere binos,
Territus at quadrupes sese drizavit in altum ,
In pedibus solum se sustentando duobus.

Crede mihi non est illo Gasparre, cavallo ,
A solis ortu spaurosior usque ad occasum.
Tene manus ad te, dixi , villane cochine.
Ad corpus Christi, faciam cagare budellas,
Si tibi crepabit, respondit, barba pagabis.
Quis tibi pagare negat, poltrone? dicebam :
Quis poltronus ego? Tu. Mi? Si. Deh rufiane.
Erat mecum mea socrus unde putana
Quod foret una sibi pensebat ille tarochus,
Et cito ni solvam mihi menazare comenzat.

Tune ego fotentis animosus imagine mulli,
Gaspar, eum certe volui amazare : sed ego
Squarcinam nunquam potui cavare de foras.
Ille manum cazare videns ad arma : comenzat
Fugere tam forum quod apena diceres amen,
Parebatque anima de purgatorio cridans :
Altorium , altorium , misericordia Jesus !
Et sic cridando sese in botheca ficavit,
Tam plane quod nasum sboravit contra pilastrum.
Ille sibi videns sanguem uscire de naso,
Me ratus est illam stultus fecisse feritam ,
Et qui debueram strictus stare sicut agnellus;
Non ego negabam unus fecisse ribaldo :
Talia sed tantum dedi sibi vulnera quantum
Que sibi prima fuit dosso vestita camissa.
Inde valenthomus volens cum spata parere
Andavi Sesiam versus bravosando cavallum ,
Atque ego dicebam mecum passando riveram,
Pro quaranta tribus vadat rumor iste quatrinis,
Vos mihi vicino fecit pro ponte pagare,
Et nunquam pontem, neque ponticella passavi.

Ad eundem disticon cordat :
Sobrius hec oro ne legeris, optime Gaspar,
Carmina ; cenato scripsimus ista tibi.
In Vercelli the peace negotiations took place in September 1495 between Milan and France (a special peace - this was not the peace between France and other Italian states). Concrete this meant, that a lot of VIP's (very important persons) suddenly appeared in Vercelli. And with them a lot of soldiers. Especially these in Novara, which was still taken by the French (Novara = Milanese territory):
"The siege of Novara, where the Duke of Orleans had been beleagured since the middle of June [1495], was now the centre of interest in Lombardy. Immediately after Fornovo, the Count of Caiazzo's cavalry had joined his brother Galeazzo's force before Novara, and on the 19th of July the Marquis of Mantua encamped under the walls with the Venetian army. The garrison of the besieged city was six or seven thousand strong, and well provided with arms and ammunition, but already supplies of food were scarce, and men and horses were dying of sickness and hunger. "

.... some time was spend by negotiations, the soldiers still in Novara

"The evacuation of Novara, however, was unanimously agreed upon, and on the 26th of September, Orleans and his garrison marched out with the honours of war, and were escorted by Messer Galeaz and the Marquis of Mantua to the French outposts. More than two thousand men had already died of sickness and starvation. Almost all their horses had been eaten, and the survivors were in a miserable plight. Many perished by the roadside, and Commines found fifty troopers in a fainting condition in a garden at Cameriano, and saved their lives by feeding them with soup. Even then one man died on the spot, and four others never reached the camp. Three hundred more died at Vercelli, some of sickness, others from over-eating themselves after the prolonged starvation which they had endured, and the dung-hills of the town were strewn with dead corpses.
Yet still Orleans, who, as Commines remarks, had caused all this mischief, was eager for war, and entreated the king to make no terms with Signor Lodovico. "
Novara - Vercelli ... this are 25 km, for an exhausted and very hungry man without horse (and possibly it was a rather hot day, September in Italy) it might have been too much. And help of the population for the suffering soldiers likely wasn't allowed or wouldn't have been easily given ... the French had stimulated a lot of hate by some rather brutal actions during their enterprise.

This scene somehow accompanies the "funny" poem. We can't fix the poem in time precisely. Bassano might have been in Vercelli cause of the negotiations.
Somebody (the "tarochus") seems to have demanded money for crossing the bridge from Bassano and his "mother-in-law". But before Bassano can draw his sword against this attempt, the tarochus in expectation of some heavy resistance flees in wild escape and runs against a Pilastrum, getting a bloody nose.

The poem might be "a real event" from the life of the poet or "a political allegory" on the result of the negotiations. In the second case the word "Tarochus" would stand for the whole Italian enterprise of the French, which simply connects two other words: "Taro" for the location of the deciding battle, and "Roch" as the already known poor experience of a French pilgrim in Italy, who comes back with a "Plague" also [I spoke then in the older context also about Rochus, the saint, who had invaded Italy from France as a cult a relative short time before] ... in the case of the French soldiers the plague has a new variant: Syphilis.

Well, this association would have been only understood in 1495 and possibly a few years later. Berni don't understand it and Alciato don't understand it. They're too late, many other battles and more cruel ones had hidden the earlier situation and the meaning of the word.

And anyway, it was forgotten, when the word was used for a card game and a card deck. But this ... as far we know it ... happened in 1505 by Alfonso d'Este in Ferrara.

Well, part of he negotiations of Vercelli it is, that Genova gets a "neutral" Ferrarese observation.
Accordingly, on the 9th of October a separate convention was concluded between the King of France and the Duke of Milan, leaving the other Powers to settle their differences among themselves. Novara was restored to Lodovico, and his title to Genoa and Savona recognized, while Charles renounced the support of his cousin Louis of Orleans' claims upon Milan. In return the duke promised not to assist Ferrante with troops or ships, to give free passage to French armies, and assist the king with Milanese troops if he returned to Naples in person. He further renounced his claim on Asti, and agreed to pay the Duke of Orleans 50,000 ducats as a war indemnity, and lend the king two ships as transports for his soldiers from Genoa to Naples. A debt of 80,000 ducats, that was still owing to Lodovico, was cancelled, and the Castelletto of the port of Genoa was placed in the Duke of Ferrara's hands, as a security that these engagements would be kept on both sides.


http://www.third-millennium-library.com ... TE/24.html

So Ferrara had its role ... already then. Alfonso and his brother Ferrante were involved in the French invasion. The meaning "Tarochus" might have been forgotten by others, but likely not by Alfonso.
The deciding man, who caused the big name change, is Alfonso ... his Tarochi 1505 action is followed by a long, well documented tradition in Italy, especially documented in Ferrara. At least, as far we can see it.
The French follow-up stays thin (at least to our eyes, none of the documents in the following 50 years gives reason to assume a large and strong and enduring Taraux card production in France).

There's a mountain of hypotheses from modern French Tarot researchers around very few facts.

**************

Alfonso

Alfonso had been at the French side in 1494/95, in contrast to his brother Ferrante Italian side). Likely this was Ercole's strategy to have somebody of his family on the victorious side. (I don't know, where Alfonso precisely was).

In the negotiations of Vercelli his presence possibly caused, that Ferrara as a neutral power observed the situations in Genova. (I don't have satisfying information about this).

Ercole was in 1499/1500 at the Milanese side against France. Ferrara had to suffer for it, after France conquered the city.

With the wedding between Alfonso and Lucrezia Borgia (1502) the d'Este family approached the French again, cause Borgia and France were partners then.

The general situation in Italy was then dominated by the activities of Cesare Borgia (1502/03) and his war activities in the Romangna. France and Spain had war activities in Naples. Alfonso was married to Lucrezia, which was loved by her brother. So Ferrara hadn't the same fears as many others cause of Cesare Borgia.

The death of Alexander VI (August 1503) changed the situation. Cesare still had enough money and a large army and cities in the Romagna and could influence the choice of the next pope (who died a few weeks later). In the next vote Cesare promoted cardinal Giuliano Rovere, who gave a lot of promises. Once chosen the new pope Julius II found ways to trick Cesare soon in a hopeless situation. Finally Cesare became a prisoner in Spain (May 1504). But still Julius feared, that Cesare might come back.

Earlier I noted:
Alfonso traveled April 1504 - August 1504 (so didn't come late to the death of his father), and had been "visiting reigning princes: Louis XII in France, Henry VII in England, and Archduke Charles in Brussels, and was recalled prematurely to Ferrara because of his father "
I didn't note, where I found this passage.
Perhaps the journey had some relationship to the insecure situation of brother-in-law Cesare Rovere. Generally one hears of this year 1504, that card playing was in vogue in France and also in England.

*************

A letter from duke Ercole to a diplomat (Giangiorgio Seregni, then his ambassador in Milan) after the death of Alexander VI:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20804/20 ... 0804-h.htm
(page 288)
Giangiorgio: Knowing that many will ask you how we are affected by the Pope's death, this is to inform you that he was in no way displeasing to us. At one time we wished, for the honor of God, our Master, and for the general good of Christendom, that God in his goodness and foresight would provide a worthy shepherd, and that his Church would be relieved of this great scandal. Personally we had nothing to wish for; we were concerned chiefly with the honor of God and the general welfare. We may add, however, that there was never a Pope from whom we received fewer favors than from this one, and this, even after concluding an alliance with him. It was only with the greatest difficulty that we secured from him what he had promised, but beyond this he never did anything for us. For this we hold the Duke of Romagna responsible; for, although he could not do with us as he wished, he treated us as if we were perfect strangers. He was never frank with us; he never confided his plans to us, although we always informed him of ours. Finally as he inclined to Spain, and we remained good Frenchmen, we had little to look for either[Pg 288] from the Pope or his Majesty. Therefore his death caused us little grief, as we had nothing but evil to expect from the advancement of the above-named duke. We want you to give this our confidential statement to Chaumont, word for word, as we do not wish to conceal our true feelings from him—but speak cautiously to others about the subject and then return this letter to our worthy councilor Gianluca.

Belriguardo, August 24, 1503.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#38
Huck wrote,
It should be clear, that I didn't give the argument, that "tarocch" meant "blockhead" in the theater play, but "genealogical tree of life".
It not clear to me why anyone trying to think of a new name for a deck and game of cards would think of "tree" as a good name to choose, in the sense of "genealogical tree" or any other tree. "Blockhead" I understand--it describes the player, especially the loser. But "tree"? Or are you supposing that the triumphs somehow alleogically were meant to represent family members? Also, the tree trunk in the wedding was not allegorically such a tree; so there is no reason why the scene would associate that particular concept and word with the wedding in Alfonso's mind.

So we go to your second idea, that Alfonso knew the poem written in Vercelli and sent to Milan. I do not understand why it is probable that he knew it, given that it was sent to Milan. Nor does it seem to me probable that a second poet using the word (here spelled "taroch"), Giovan Giorgio Alione of Asti in a frottola noticed by Andrea (http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=264&lng=eng#), had read the first poem, the one sent to Milan, before composing his frottola of around the same time or a bit later ("composte sul fine del sec. XV" [composed at the end of the 15th century], as the 1521 editor says in the title of the collection of Alione's verses and farces). It seems to me more probable that it was a word otherwise in use at that time, also given the similar "theroco" wind (16th century, hhttp://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=399&lng=ENG), a "taroco" knight (13th century, http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=509&lng=ENG), the numerous Italian occurrences of "taroco" and variants in non-gaming contexts (http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=220&lng=ENG), and now the Provencale "tarou", meaning "crazy".

It may have been the Alione poem itself that came to the attention of Alfonso, since it was "presented" in Asti at that time, in an area Alfonso and his court musicians knew well, and Lucrezia loved frottole (I cited the source for these facts earlier in the thread). Why the word surfaced just then in poems, we don't know. It may indeed have had something to do with the Taro River victory. But that would not explain the word "tarau", because the French would not then have adopted a word reminding them of their humiliation. But after 1500 the French, flush with new victories, would have forgotten the old wounds, and not associated their new word "tarau" and "taraux", whether derived from the Italian "taroch" or the Provencal "tarou", with such old wounds.

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#39
mikeh wrote: It not clear to me why anyone trying to think of a new name for a deck and game of cards would think of "tree" as a good name to choose, in the sense of "genealogical tree" or any other tree. "Blockhead" I understand--it describes the player, especially the loser. But "tree"? Or are you supposing that the triumphs somehow alleogically were meant to represent family members? Also, the tree trunk in the wedding was not allegorically such a tree; so there is no reason why the scene would associate that particular concept and word with the wedding in Alfonso's mind.
The earlier name of the game had been "Trionfo", "Trionfi", " Ludus triumphorum" and all this had good language connotations to "triumphal festivity" and "Trionfi" as poem of Petrarca.
In the first game, that we know (Michelino deck), we have the curious appearance, that Michelino first painted a Visconti genealogy (before 1503) and then, when coming back, a "system of gods" for a card play, from which curiously 2 figures before also had appeared as ancestors: Iupiter Rex and Venus.
http://trionfi.com/visconti-genealogy

There we have the "tarocch" = "genealogical tree" close to the "Trionfi" cards.

These developing "triumphal arrangements" during 15th century had other Italian flowers, when virgin Mary and other saints figures were painted similar to local rulers. All these features of high renaissance with its farspread expensive and glamorous triumphal celebrations earned naturally admiration, envy and also mockery from others outside the Italian regions.
This got a natural climax, when the French army in 1494 entered Italy and found no practical resistance. This was a rather destructive French counter-Trionfi ... in the first part of the war.
The battle at the river Taro followed, and in the first reactions both sides claimed to have had a victory. France lost Naples immediately, but still had other locations in Southern Italy and it took some longer time, till the kingdom of Naples had recovered. In the North Novara still was under French control.
Longer negotiations cleared the situation around Novara (September 1495), peace was arranged between Milan and France (which didn't include other Italian states; this first part of the Italian war is counted by history till 1498 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_W ... E2%80%9398 ).

Bassano's poem seems to be clearly part of the war-accompanying mockery battles, poets and their poems were part of the different political propaganda tools.

Alione (the other macaroni-poet at the French side, who used the word "Taroch") ...

http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/gia ... ografico)/
Alle tendenze filofrancesi dell'Allione si ricollega anche il suo unico componimento maccheronico (brani maccheronici si trovano però nelle farse), una Macharonea contra macharoneam Bassani ad spectabilem D. Baltasarem Lupum Asten. studentem Papie, nella quale, come dice il titolo, l'Alione replica ad un similare componimento, violentemente antifrancese, dello studente Bassano da Mantova (Bassani Mantuani Macharonea contra Savoynos quos vilipendiose appellat Magninos, Cochinos, Broacerios, Botiliones). L'operetta è interessante, perché rappresenta uno dei pochissimi esemplari di letteratura maccheronica in territorio piemontese.
La parte più significativa della produzione dell'Alione è quella in dialetto astigiano.


... found it necessary to write against Bassano da Mantova.

In the context of "Bassani Mantuani Macharonea contra Savoynos quos vilipendiose appellat Magninos, Cochinos, Broacerios, Botiliones" I found the name "Amadeo de Tannis" ... at
http://manus.iccu.sbn.it/opac_SchedaScheda.php?ID=67243
Following this "Amadeo de Tannis" in the search engine I found a German text "Geschichte der grotesken Satire" ...
https://www.yumpu.com/de/document/view/ ... satire/151
The author notes in a footnote, that "Zannoni" found a text fragment of this text in a Folio, from which Z. assumes, that it might have been once printed in 1496.
He describes the text as full of nonsense attacks against the French soldiers. He also mentions the answer of Alione against Bassano, that in its attacks on Lombardy is even more intensive and rather dirty with a lot of sexual associations. The comment is rather short:

Image


Image


"Zannoni" seems to be Giovanni Battista Zannoni, who wrote in 1805 about Bassano.

Well, that's a battle of words with a real war as background. Alione came a little late, but found that Bassano was a worthy opponent. Bassano seems to have had the higher intelligence and preferred the more subtil messages. If "Tarocus" had been a well-known attacking word like for instance "asshole" or normal "Fool", it would have been just a low language word and he would have been similar to Alione later. Using "Tarocus" - an unknown word, but reflecting an actual context (the recently lost battle at the Taro river) and so formulated, that a reader or listener could recognize the context - is a more intelligent attack. Describing, that he had hit the opponent on the nose with brute force, wouldn't have been really funny, but describing, that he just made a threatening gesture, which caused the opponent to run for fear and so running against his own pilastrum and getting the same bloody nose, is funny.

So Bassano had his triumph by designing a French soldier as a "rather special French fool", a "French loser".

However, as life is, occasionally a former loser comes back and has a great victory. So it happened in 1499/1500. Milan was taken. If the word "Tarocus" had any influence at its time (1495 and later) and some people indeed had remembered it, the "Tarocus" was then "a triumphant Tarocus", not a "Loser Tarocus".
So we go to your second idea, that Alfonso knew the poem written in Vercelli and sent to Milan. I do not understand why it is probable that he knew it, given that it was sent to Milan. Nor does it seem to me probable that a second poet using the word (here spelled "taroch"), Giovan Giorgio Alione of Asti in a frottola noticed by Andrea (http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=264&lng=eng#), had read the first poem, the one sent to Milan, before composing his frottola of around the same time or a bit later ("composte sul fine del sec. XV" [composed at the end of the 15th century], as the 1521 editor says in the title of the collection of Alione's verses and farces).
Zannoni seems to have had the impression, that something was printed in 1496 ... this would have had some more public attention.
What we have as a (possible) "great effect" is, that finally Trionfi cards were called Tarochi cards, otherwise we know only Alione's reaction, who answered Bassano ... and the passage, in which the word "Taroch" appeared is rather difficult for a translation.
Marì ne san dè au recioch
Secundum el Melchisedech
Lour fan hic. Preve hic et hec
Ma i frà, hic et hec et hoc
Ancôr gli è – d'i taroch
Chi dan zù da Ferragù


In the context of "taroch" appears the word "Ferragu", which definitely is a name of somebody.

One point ... Ferragu is close to "Ferrara". And in Ferrara the word Tarochi appears for the first time (as far we know it).That is a little bit curious, isn't it?

Ferragus ... if you remember, we discussed that.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=763&p=10905&hilit=ferragu#p10905
Ferragus was known to Luigi Pulci (Morgante) and also to Rabelais.
Ferrara and Boiardo bought the Morgante, and transformed the plot to a Ferrarese Orlando. This text led to the idea, that Boiardo was the greatest poet of the second half of 15th century in Italy. So likely well known.
Ariost proceeded with an expanded Orlando.
Ferragus was a giant, and Morgante hit him on the head. Gargantua was also a giant. Rabelais thought, that a Ferragus would make a good ancestor for Gargantua. So he made long list of giant ancestors, let's say with Milanese dialect, a "Tarocch".
Ariost arranged inside his Orlando version a genealogical relationship to one of the heroes in the Ferrarese Orlando story, another "Tarocch".

search.php?keywords=ferragu&terms=all&a ... mit=Search

Andrea's idea was it, that it just a local name, Ferragu appears as a family name in the region.
It seems to me more probable that it was a word otherwise in use at that time, also given the similar "theroco" wind (16th century, hhttp://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=399&lng=ENG), a "taroco" knight (13th century, http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=509&lng=ENG), the numerous Italian occurrences of "taroco" and variants in non-gaming contexts (http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=220&lng=ENG), and now the Provencale "tarou", meaning "crazy".

It may have been the Alione poem itself that came to the attention of Alfonso, since it was "presented" in Asti at that time, in an area Alfonso and his court musicians knew well, and Lucrezia loved frottole (I cited the source for these facts earlier in the thread). Why the word surfaced just then in poems, we don't know. It may indeed have had something to do with the Taro River victory. But that would not explain the word "tarau", because the French would not then have adopted a word reminding them of their humiliation. But after 1500 the French, flush with new victories, would have forgotten the old wounds, and not associated their new word "tarau" and "taraux", whether derived from the Italian "taroch" or the Provencal "tarou", with such old wounds.
Earlier humilations, which are turned to later victories, are remembered. If - in the soccer game - a game is in the pause 0:3 and you finally win 4:3, you naturally remember the 0:3 state as this a natural part of the great story, how you turned the game. Anyway, Charles VIII lost, Louis XII had a victory.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Germini - Florentine-French Trionfi 1506

#40
The earlier name of the game had been "Trionfo", "Trionfi", " Ludus triumphorum" and all this had good language connotations to "triumphal festivity" and "Trionfi" as poem of Petrarca.
In the first game, that we know (Michelino deck), we have the curious appearance, that Michelino first painted a Visconti genealogy (before 1503) and then, when coming back, a "system of gods" for a card play, from which curiously 2 figures before also had appeared as ancestors: Iupiter Rex and Venus.
http://trionfi.com/visconti-genealogy

There we have the "tarocch" = "genealogical tree" close to the "Trionfi" cards.
You are combining two cities and families as if they are one.Jupiter and Venus are not part of the d'Este family tree, or even of any d'Este deck that we know of. It is true that the Visconti loved their "tree" and "ancestors"; but no indication that they used the "Milanese dialect" word for any deck of cards. Their successors might have, but by then the Michelino was long forgotten; and even it is hard to see as an "ancestor" deck, just because Jupiter and venus are in it, because there are also 14 other gods and demigods.

Huck wrote,
Bassano seems to have had the higher intelligence and preferred the more subtil messages. If "Tarocus" had been a well-known attacking word like for instance "asshole" or normal "Fool", it would have been just a low language word and he would have been similar to Alione later. Using "Tarocus" - an unknown word, but reflecting an actual context (the recently lost battle at the Taro river) and so formulated, that a reader or listener could recognize the context - is a more intelligent attack. Describing, that he had hit the opponent on the nose with brute force, wouldn't have been really funny, but describing, that he just made a threatening gesture, which caused the opponent to run for fear and so running against his own pilastrum and getting the same bloody nose, is funny.
In Bassano's poem, the word "tarochus" is perhaps chosen because it refers to the Taro River. Fine. But that does not suggest that he made up the word. What is funny is when you combine two things that aren't actually associated, but do already exist, for a mocking point. It's called a pun. Wikipedia:
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect
These are pre-existing meanings, not meanings one of which you are giving the word as you say it. It's not clever if you don't use at least two pre-existing meanings. See any of the examples on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pun).

I don't know which poet is cleverer, because I don't know the rest of Alione's poem. But I think it is more likely that Alfonso knew Alione's verse than that he did Bassono's, because (a) Lucrezia likes frattole, and (b) Alfonso likes French music. There is nothing comparable for Alfonso and Bassano. But it didn't have to be Alione, it could have been somebody else from the same general region; and the word could even have been used to refer to the game in that region, before Alfonso, and Alfonso simply copied that. Also, there is no indication that Alione's use of "taroch" is in response to Bassono's. There would be more in common between the two verses than that if it was.

I see your point about the French not minding a word suggesting the Taro River after 1500, because they've gotten their revenge. But I don't think it counts either way on the issue of whether "taroch" was inspired by a pre-existing "tarakh" word or by the Tarot River, or by both.

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