Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#51
Whether the Marziano deck should be considered a "trionfi" is a matter of retrospective definition. It contained 16 triumphal cards, of "deified heroes"--i.e. triumphators--that beat any of the rest of the suit cards in tricks. Marcello had no problem in calling it a "trionfi" deck, even in 1450, even if it was of a "new kind". The Visconti Castle was destroyed in 1447. We have no idea what records there were, or frescoes painted. Much of what was at Pavia was also destroyed, later. From the Marziano to the Cary-Yale is a kind of black hole. That does not mean that we cannot legitimately advance hypotheses-not fantasies, but evidence-based hypotheses--about that period in Milan, as is done about the interiors of black holes. In Florence there was also much destruction, this time directed principally against the objects in question, by the preachers. The records, at least many, escaped much destruction. But they do not mention prohibited games, and the rich and powerful would likely have been able to keep themselves out of the record books, especially if they were discreet. Only when cards are mass produced do the less well off get them; and even then, they have to be careless enough to play in the wrong place. Even in Florence, is it so absurd that Torre might not have been exposed to feminized court cards and a trump suit by 1435, as inspiration for his own thoroughly feminized cards (with male titles), one of which was a trump?

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#52
As variously said before, the method of searching for notes of "Trionfi" cards or similar can only lead to the point in time, when decks were called "Trionfi" cards or similar. For the moment this point is 1440-09-17, and it might be well, that we're close to the real start with this.
Nonetheless the possibility is given, that decks similar to these decks, which indeed were called Trionfi later than 1440-09-17, existed already before 1440-09-17 and possibly much earlier.
If we recognize the Michelino deck as a "Trionfi deck" (as Marcello did in 1449), the date would be much earlier (1425 or before).
If we assume, that a game rule similar to the game rule of the Michelino deck existed earlier than the Michelino (why not, it isn't a very detailed rule), we can stretch this suspicion to the 60-card deck of John of Rheinfelden, which in structure (4x15) is identical to the Michelino deck. Then we would be in the year 1377. If this deck knew the rule, that the court cards Queen-Ober-Maid-Unter were defined as trumps and that these 16 trumps were connected to an hierarchical order, then it would be like the Michelino deck, just with other suits and pictures.

In analogy game rules are "software", the real decks present the connected "hardware". As modern players we're used to the condition, that you can play with playing cards according different game rules, thousands of these are recorded. With likely 99.99% security we can assume, that also the time of JoR already knew different game rules. It would be rather absurd, if not.
The time, when only one card game existed in Europe might have been rather short. Perhaps an evening or so. Likely the new playing tool immediately generated discussions, what one could all do with it.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#53
mikeh wrote: [I'm breaking this down into specific points in order to address each below - Phaeded]
1. Whether the Marziano deck should be considered a "trionfi" is a matter of retrospective definition. It contained 16 triumphal cards, of "deified heroes"--i.e. triumphators--that beat any of the rest of the suit cards in tricks.
Pratesi himself defined the Marziano deck as a species of triumphal art, but that it was specifically not tarot: “What now about Marziano’s pack? As for tarot examples, it is a specimen positioned ‘below zero’! In my opinion, it is not even ascertained that it could represent the first example of Trionfi” (item 1/26 here: http://www.naibi.net/ . Tarot is defined by its subjects, whether augmented in stages or not - Marziano does not have those subjects. Hell, chess doesn't have those subjects without the most abject twisting of iconography possible - e.g., somehow Death and Chastity/"Chariot" (female in the CY) become Knights because there are horses in those trumps.
mikeh wrote: 2. In Florence ....the records, at least many, escaped much destruction. But they do not mention prohibited games,
Pratesi has almost exhaustively documented the northern Tuscan area encompassing Florence and its regulations in regard to card-playing. NO TRIONFI. "Essential information derives from legislative acts. Specific sections of the Florentine statutes are devoted to games and on several occasions the Councils of Florence dealt with problems related to them. In particular, the strict provision of 1377, prohibiting card games, is tightened even further on a number of later occasions. The laws of 1432 and 1437 lay down that not only do the officials of the various town administrations have the power to detain players, but third parties, too, are entitled to bring charges against them, generally under the guarantee of anonymity and sharing the proceeds of the fine. A further restriction dating back to 1442 concern peasants, who went to town on market days and were threatened with serious legal measures." http://www.naibi.net/A/30-PRISECO-Z.pdf
mikeh wrote: 3. ....and the rich and powerful would likely have been able to keep themselves out of the record books, especially if they were discreet.
You couldn't be more wrong on this point as you are apparently unaware of the Florentine catasto first implemented in 1427: “The thousand-odd volumes of the Florentine catasto constitute the richest source for the social and economic history of any European community prior to the French revolution” (Brucker, Gene. “Florentine Voices from the 'catasto', 1427-1480”. I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 5 (1993): 11–32; 11). It was a means to more equitably tax everyone to pay for her mercenaries versus Lucca and Milan, and it included inventories of household goods such as furniture, books and art. We thus have very detailed records of what the rich possessed, including who was the richest (Palla Strozzi in 1427). And every modern scholar of Florence has mined the riches of the catasto....you can too, here: http://cds.library.brown.edu/projects/catasto/main.php. But I'll spare you the trouble: NO TRIONFI.
mikeh wrote: 4. Only when cards are mass produced do the less well off get them; and even then, they have to be careless enough to play in the wrong place.
See rebuttal #2 - it wasn't the rich in "card court".

In my opinion, card-playing was a past time of the hoi polloi that was seized upon by the Medici party (famously charged with pandering to “the people”) to which they added a triumphal series of trumps following their victory at Anghiari over the exiled Albizzi and Visconti (and instead of Malatesta’s belli the ur-deck would have likely shown the Medici palle [such as we find in Minchiate] and Papal crossed-keys of St. Peter, since it was a joint victory). To quote from an earlier post of mine (Explaining Pratesi’s Florentine card trade spikes: 1430-1440), in regard to the regulation of the card game of Diritta in Borgo S. Lorenzo in 1437, where both the place and time are significant: Borgo S. Lorenzo was the center of the Mugello – the Medici “homeland” where they had their villas - and 1437 places an interest of the Medici in card-playing just a few years before Anghiari:
1437, Borgo San Lorenzo [largest town of the Mugello], card playing law: “EARLY LAWS ON CARD-PLAYING IN TOWNS UNDER FLORENTINE INFLUENCE”, Franco Pratesi, 1990 (The Playing-Card, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, pp. 128-135). “In 1437 naibi are explicitly prohibited with the exception of the standard game of alla diritta e alla torta.” Noteworthy is the year as this was after the Medici exile of 1433-4 and this law thus points to the new regime in wanting to regulate card playing in their power base of the Mugello. In fact it was the armed peasantry of the Mugello that played a key role in the Medici’s final ascent: “Throughout the crises of 1433 and 1434 one is aware of the shadowy presence of armed force in the background behind the political maneuvering and the personal pressures. On both occasions the Medici had privately assembled their own troops at Careggi [one of the Medici villas] in readiness to defend their interests….In 1434 the Signoria, having assembled 500 men in defense of the conservative arms, sent for further reinforcements; by Cosimo’s account, ‘they called into the city a huge number of foot soldiers, and from the Mugello, the Alps, and the Romagna alone there came to our house more than 3,000 troops in addition to the company commanded by Niccolo da Tolentino. [fn 196]’ [fn 196, See Gelli, ‘L’esilio di Cosimo’, 78; cf. the letter of 27 Sept. from Piero di Cosimo to Francesco di Giuliano (M.A.P. IV, 332) describing the anti-Medican attempt to set fire to the Martelli houses, how it was foiled by the intervention of the Ginori, Masi and Della Stufa, and urging Francesco to recruit as many men as possible from the Mugello and send them to Careggi.”] Dale V. Kent, The Rise of the Medici: Faction in Florence, 1426-1434. Oxford University Press, 1978: 337)….[after the Anghiari victor in 1440y] Neri di Gino Capponi had shared top honors with Bernardetto de’Medici, a cousin of Cosimo’s, who both acted as provviditore at Anghiari and were both rewarded as such. But Bernardetto was mentioned first in the condemnation proceedings against the Albizzi rebels and it was his protégé from the Mugello, Andrea Castagno, who painted the Albizzi as hanged men on the Bargello. …Neri’s influence waned as Bernardetto would go on to be Gonfaloniere di Giustizia in 1447, Vicar of the Mugello in 1450 (based out of Scarperia, where he had Castagno paint the virtue of Charity) and Gonfaloniere di Giustizia again in 1455 when the commission to paint the fresco of Niccolo da Tolentino next to the existing ones of Hawkwood and Dante in the Duomo was awarded to Castagno (see John Spencer, Andrea del Castagno and his patrons. Durham: Duke University Press, 1991: 15f).
We thus cannot only connect the Medici to what Machiavelli called the “triumphal pomp” following Anghiari (the hanged men paintings; Bernardetto also received civic gifts as the hero of the hour) but a reason for them to have sponsored a card-playing deck as that was widespread enough in the Mugello to warrant their attention just before Anghiari.
Mikeh wrote:
Clearly there is a relationship between the CY-type (Milan) and the GG-type (Florence). If nothing else, they have the same cards, at least on the hypotheses that Franco and I were considering, mine and his. But what is the relationship?
There are four possibilities, excluding for the sake of argument the influence of other cities:
(1) the card-selection was generated in Milan on the basis of the MZ and then passed to Florence, which gave them a different order that they found more "logical".
(2) The cards were generated in Florence in an order that made sense to them, passed on to Milan and rearranged there on the basis of the MZ.
(3) The cards were generated in Milan but then rearranged due to influence from Florence.
(4) The cards were generated in Florence and rearranged due to influence from Milan.
Or, to utilize Hurst’s notion of parsimony, it does not get any more straight forward than this:
The trumps were created in Florence sometime after 6/1440 (Anghiari) -> replicated in Milan (with different belli of course) no more than a year and a half later, by 10/1441 (Sforza wedding). There is a possible intervening Ferraese example 6 months after Anghiari on 1/1441 (certainly the likely recipient of both Ferrarese and Milanese gifts was the same person, Bianca Visconti), but I don’t need to insist on it as the GG and CY already fall so close together as to make intervening innovation unlikely.

Marziano has nothing to do with the diffusion of tarot because, to quote Pratesi again, its connection to tarot is “below zero”; you are pounding square pegs (Marziano’s “celestial heroes”) into round holes (the tarot trump subjects evidenced by the surviving CY trumps – and there is no evidence of celestial/planetary trumps until the PMB). Moreover there is no reference to 16 tarot trumps anywhere in the record, not "16 painted figures” nor a 72 card deck (like the 1457 70 card deck) anywhere in the 15th century records. We have an unknown total number of CY trumps over which you have mapped the totally unrelated subjects of Marziano and then assumed the same number of subjects. Without a single historical record of 16 tarot trumps, this theory is pointless and unfounded. You can’t even prove anyone knew of Marziano’s invention outside of Filippo’s court until after that duke’s death; that is in marked contrast to the quick diffusion of other humanist discoveries (e.g., Poggio’s discovery of Manilius in 1417) or inventions (e.g., Alberti’s ‘Philodoxos’ passed off as a Roman play whose fame swept over Italy in 1424, especially when Alberti admitted his precocious authorship). The evidence points to a private/courtly use of Marziano…until said court was ripped open by revolution in 1447.

Phaeded

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#54
I don't deny that Marziano's deck was unknown outside the Visconti court until 1447. That's part of my argument!

The possible relationship between Marziano and what came later is what Pratesi and I are exploring. Pratesi is not as beholden to his previous words as you are. To define trionfi by form rather than function is not a law written in heaven. And anyway, the question can be asked in another form: is the Marziano a proto-triumph deck, in the sense of an earlier form, restricted to the Visconti court, of something that with a change of subjects and structure became popular outside that court, under the names of "triumphs" and "minchiate"?

You say,"Without a single historical record of 16 tarot trumps, this theory is pointless and unfounded". The issue is about the early period of the tarot, where there is so far no historical record of any number of triumphs associated with the tarot, The earliest ones are all of c. 1480 or later (Dummett, Il Mondo e l'angelo, p. 98), 40 years after the first known appearance of the word "trionfi" applied to cards, and no one knows how many years before that to the pack's invention.

The catasto was not an annual thing. It happened in 1427, and then when was the next one? I am not proposing that Florence had trionfi by 1427. Anyway, the catasto was not conducted by house-to-house search by authorities who looked under every floorboard. It was like filing a tax return. People do not typically report illegal proceeds of little value on a tax return. Such items also would not be reported to customs officials by merchants entering the town (although export did not seem to be a problem). You have to remember, it is illegal to play trionfi in Florence-controled areas until 1450. Having a deck is prima facie evidence of breaking the law. (That is difficult to reconcile with your idea of a Medici-sponsored mass distribution of cheap decks.) But as long as the omission is not flaunted so as to offend the preachers, nobody cares. Seizures of goods for non-payment of debts are a more reliable indicator of trionfi possession. They, too, do not report trionfi. I will let Pratesi handle that one. He has not raised that objection to me. I do not know whether such records have already decisively has been examined on that count there or not, or people who could be expected to have trionfi. Also, it may well be that Torre did not learn about female courts when he was in Florence. Maybe it was his own idea, or maybe someone told him in correspondence, after 1435. Sforza didn't get there until 1436. But one thing Pratesi is quite certain about, is that trionfi existed in Florence in 1440 as a common item. There remain two questions: how long before 1440 was it in Florence, and did they invent it out of whole cloth or did they get it from somewhere else, such as the Milan court? That's what we are exploring. It is not settled. There is as little evidence for your idea of a Medici-sponsored proliferation of a game somehow invented in a small but strategic town as there is for anything else.

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#55
mikeh wrote: The catasto was not an annual thing. ...Anyway, the catasto was not conducted by house-to-house search by authorities who looked under every floorboard. It was like filing a tax return.
Wrong again. "Faced with protracted warfare against the duchy of Milan, the leaders of the Florentine Republic declared a new tax survey for all citizens of Florence in May 1427. This rigorous survey included information on all real property, business interests, debts, and family background. In the summer of 1427, 10 officials and their staffs visited and interviewed every head of household (paterfamilias) in the city, a total of 9,780 individuals. From address, occupation, age, marital status, number of mouths to feed (bocce), debts, property holdings, domestic animals owned, and tax assessment, nearly 20 different variables were recorded for each head of household." BTW: the next two catasto fell in 1431 and 1433. http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/d/89/whm.html
You have to remember, it is illegal to play trionfi in Florence-controled areas until 1450.
It wasn't illegal to play trionfi before 1440 because there were no laws against it...because it didn't exist. Ask Pratesi why none of the ample legal records he has examined did not name trionfi before 1440.
There is as little evidence for your idea of a Medici-sponsored proliferation of a game somehow invented in a small but strategic town as there is for anything else.
I never said trionfi was invented in Borgo San Lorenzo. I said regulation of Diritta, a type of game with generic cards, in the largest town of the region that was the Medici's power base (the Mugello) points to an awareness and interest in regulating card playing on the part of the Medici regime (back in power since 1434 and the Borgo S. Lorenzo regulation in question was in 1437). Those are indisputable facts. My theory is that trionfi was invented in Florence proper, following Anghiari, and tacked onto the existing deck as a means to further connect with their power base.

Phaeded

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#56
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: Here is a chart ...It shows a roughly North-South line, with Florence in the middle - coincidentally, also the source of the diffusion, and the likely place the game was invented, very shortly before 1440. I still bet on the three-year window, which was originally made with 1442 in mind, but must now, with 1440, be shortened to only allow 1439. I am confident that no mention of trionfi, carta or naibi a or da, can be found before that year.

Italy15C_2015a.jpg
Since this chart represents nearly two and half centuries' results since playing-card research began in earnest with, let's say, Breitkopf in 1784, and since data from later than 1440 continues to accumulate, I think it is safe to say that the absence of evidence from every region of Italy before 1440 represents evidence of absence of the game of Triumphs. No trionfi documents, no trionfi cards, no iconography of courtly people playing with large cards, anywhere in Italy before 1440.
Best regards,
Ross
Ross,
First of all, I do remember your dating hypothesis (you mentioned it again when the Giusti news broke in 2012: “I don't think this new discovery contains enough evidence to change anyone's theories, neither to confirm nor deny it. The only actual confirmation is my prediction that any new evidence discovered of trionfi before 1442, will be within five years of it. So far so good!”); that, coupled with your observation that the term ‘naibi a trionfi’ “is so far completely unique, a hapax,” is what made me an early adopter (perhaps too brashly) of the Anghiari/GG deck as the ur-tarot.

Given the utmost importance that the Medici attached to Anghiari I’m surprised you are still hedging your bets, however slightly, “to only allow 1439.”

Obviously the Council meant as much to the Medici, perhaps more so in some regards (the tomb Cosimo built for his father suggests that – it is littered with references to the Council – as well as the frescos in his palazzo chapel; in regard to the latter I’m especially fond of this article: Roger J. Crum, “Roberto Martelli, the Council of Florence, and the Medici Palace Chapel”, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 59. Bd., H. 3, 1996: 403-417). But the fly in the Council ointment is this: it was documented many times over than was Anghiari due to the number of non-Florentines in the city who commented on the splendors of Florence as well as all of the events celebrating it.

So let’s turn your own words on 1439: “I think it is safe to say that the absence of evidence from every region of Italy before 1440 represents evidence of absence of the game of Triumphs. No trionfi documents, no trionfi cards….” There are simply more records about Florence in the year 1439 due to the Council, so your logic is no more true than for 1439.

Aside from the continuing absence of ‘trionfi” from the vast cornucopia of memoirs and descriptions of the Council, exactly how would the known trump subjects – at least those surviving exempli of the CY deck - have been received by either Eastern or Western church officials in the city? No one has proposed a strictly ecclesiastical basis for the trump themes (I suppose I have come the closest by proposing Dante’s Paradiso), but its hard to understand the relevance of trionfi’s emergence in that particular year in which there was a Union of divergent strains of Christianity, particularly in regard to non-biblical trumps. Death cutting down clergy certainly seems an odd subject for anything church-related. The Emperor trump, found in both the CY and Brambilla, equally odd since it shows the absent Holy Roman Emperor instead of the present Byzantine emperor (whose unique headgear is known from the Pisanello medal and aforementioned Medici chapel; instead we get the Holy Roman eagle symbol on the hat). What the Love card could have meant in an ecclesiastical sense as well as Fortune - without any sign of God or his divine ministers – is beyond baffling. There are the Theologicals and Judgment cards, but the overall balance is over-powered by cards that bear no illumination on the Council (Holy Roman Emperor, Death killing the Western Church’s leaders, an areligious Fortune and Love, and a highest card of the “World” depicting political control over a vignette of a domain that is completely pointless in the face of the Council’s concerns). At all events, I’m under the impression you dismiss the Theologicals as an aberration, even though they are in the surviving deck closest in time to 1440 (perhaps merely a year later; washing the CY’s significance out statistically, by throwing them in the universe of known tarot decks, does not change its temporal primacy, especially with your admission that 1439/40 is likely the date of the ur-tarot…I’m just arguing here that there is no argument to be made for 1439).

Besides the standard work on the Union, J. Gill, The Council of Florence (1959), see especially those works that touch on the Orthodox reception of Italian art in the eyes of Isidore of Kiev, Cardinal Bessarion the metropolitan of Nicea, Mark Eugenicus the Metropolitan of Ephesus, Bishop Abaham of Suzdal (Russian), Sylvester Syropoulos:

* Allie Terry, “Meraviglia on Stage: Dionysian Visual Rhetoric and Cross-Cultural Communication at the Council of Florence,” Journal of Religion and Theater, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Fall 2007): 38-53 (p. 42: “According to the first-hand testimony of a Russian representative at the Council, Bishop Abraham of Souzdal, the Latin imagery of the sacred dramas did not alienate the eastern delegation as did the imagery inside of the churches; rather, he saw affinities between the dramatic representation and Byzantine ‘holy pictures.’”)

* Alessandra Buccheri, The Spectacle of Clouds, 1439–1650: Italian Art and Theatre, 2014 (detailed accounts of the perception of the passion plays put on in Florence’s piazzi during the Council – see especially p. 30f).

*Annemarie Weyl Carr, “Labeling Images, Venerating Icons in Sylvester Syropoulos’s World,” (79-106) in Sylvester Syropoulos on Politics and Culture in the Fifteenth-Century Mediterranean, ed. Dr Fotini Kondyli, Ms Vera Andriopoulou, Dr Mary B Cunningham, Dr Eiri (rom the intro, p. 1: “Syropoulos’s work is better known as a source for the council and the religious history of the early fifteenth century, while the richness of information on the political conditions and diplomatic missions of the period, the cultural and artistic exchange networks, the traveling and living conditions in the main ports and cities of the Mediterranean in that period, remains unrecognized.”)

* Mazzotta, Giuseppe. “Metropolite Isidore’s Journey to the Council of Florence”. Images of Quattrocento Florence: Selected Writings in Literature, History, and Art. Ed. Stefano Ugo Baldassarri and Arielle Saiber. Yale University Press, 2000.

But as far as I’m concerned, 1439 may as well as be 1418, as there isn’t a jot of evidence of trionfi[/u] in 1439 and the historical context militates against the very notion of its creation in Florence in that year.

Phaeded

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#57
Phaeded
This rigorous survey included information on all real property, business interests, debts, and family background. In the summer of 1427, 10 officials and their staffs visited and interviewed every head of household (paterfamilias) in the city, a total of 9,780 individuals. From address, occupation, age, marital status, number of mouths to feed (bocce), debts, property holdings, domestic animals owned, and tax assessment, nearly 20 different variables were recorded for each head of household."
So it's not exactly a tax return, but more a census to supplement a tax return. I expect that tax assessments were fairly primitive then. So how many cheap playing card decks did the castato enumerate? Were they included among the nearly 20 variables? We know they were produced then, because a cardmaker's inventory in 1428 lists the woodblocks to make them, cited in Hind, Introduction to the History of the Woodblock. vol. 1 (even if playing cards was illegal). Anyway, even 1433 doesn't get to the relevant years. The evidence in Florence, weak as it is, doesn't start until 1435 and perhaps later.

Phaeded wrote
It wasn't illegal to play trionfi before 1440 because there were no laws against it...because it didn't exist. Ask Pratesi why none of the ample legal records he has examined did not name trionfi before 1440.
Only permitted games were mentioned. All other games were prohibited. Playing card prohibitions go back considerably before 1440. Pratesi says explicitly that just because pre-1440 documents haven't been found doesn't mean ones won't be discovered in the future. I already quoted him to that effect. He doesn't have your crystal ball.

Yes, I missed seeing that your reference to the Burgello was about Diritta, the first card game permitted. Thanks for explaining. It makes your theory only marginally more plausible, and it is still without evidence. Also, the Medici would still be breaking the law, which in prohibiting all games not expressly excluded from the prohibition also thereby prohibited any new games as well. The Medici would no doubt have acted very discreetly, given that the Pope was still in town.

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#58
I want to add a few things to my previous remarks, to give them a wider context. I base myself on the work of Dummett's that I consider fundamental, namely his 1993 Il Mondo e l'Angelo. He talks about a developmental period in the history of the tarot, before the deck was standardized (p. 98).
l mazzo Visconti di Modrone fornisce una prova che il mazzo dei tarocchi subì una certa evoluzione, come era da attendersi. Quest’evoluzione deve aver toccato senza dubbio i soggetti dei trionfi, e forse anche il loro numero. Poiché la serie dei trionfi è estremamente incompleta in tutti i gruppi di carte da tarocchi dipinte a mano, a parte il mazzo Visconti-Sforza e i tarocchi ‘Carlo VI’, si possono avanzare ipotesi di vario tipo. E nondimeno probabile che, a partire dal 1450, fosse ormai fissa la composizione standard di un mazzo di tarocchi, per quanto riguarda sia il numero delle carte che i soggetti dipinti sui trionfi.

(The Visconti di Madrone pack provides evidence that the tarot pack underwent a certain evolution, as was to be expected. This development undoubtedly must have affected the trump subjects, and perhaps even their number. Since the set of trumps is extremely incomplete in all groups of hand-painted tarot cards, apart from the Visconti-Sforza pack and 'Charles VI' tarot, one can advance hypotheses of various types. It is nevertheless likely that, beginning in 1450, it the standard composition of a tarot pack was now set, as regards both the number of cards and the subjects painted on the triumphs.)
This is in the context of what will be his hypothetical date of invention of 1428-1430 in Milan (p. 106). It seems reasonable to me that the standard subjects were in fact prevailing by 1450 in at least some places. It may have taken a little longer to actual standardize the standard in all regions, and even then there are holdouts and exceptions. Prudence pops up in the list of Lollio/Imperiali, and in the Anonymous Discourse, not as an addition but as a kind of substitute, in the first case for the Traitor and in the second for Temperance. And there is Alciati's curious list, with Fama in place of Temperanza. Dummett argues that the earliest list, in the Sermones de Ludus should rightly be considered 1480-1500. It appears in a volume which has been dated as possibly as early as 1450. Dummett observes:
Ricerche più recenti di Ronald Decker suggeriscono una data più tarda per lo stesso volume, perché alcuni fogli hanno filigrane del 1500 circa. Ovviamente la scrittura del libro può essere stata di molti anni posteriore alla predica del sermone, che è perciò da datare fra il 1480 e il 1500.

(More recent research by Ronald Decker suggest a later date for the same volume, because some papers have watermarks circa 1500. Of course, the writing of the book may have been many years back to the preaching of the sermon, which is therefore to be dated between 1480 and 1500.)
Later he discusses the famous three groups, achieved by comparing the 18 or so different lists when the virtues are taken out. It is a purely formal operation that has nothing to do with any conceptualizing of what links the members of the groups together. Then there is the question of how to account for these differences. It is an explanation that in fact is not limited to just the order, but also the subjects themselves, in the developmental period (p. 177f). In what follows, the part I want to emphasize is in bold print:
Continuamente osserviamo che i giocatori di una data città o paese giocano solo fra loro e non conoscono quelli di una città vicina; le regole specifiche e talvolta il genere stesso di gioco praticato, variano da città a città; i giocatori di una data cerchia ignorano completamente il modo di giocare di [178] quelli di un’altra e spesso la loro stessa esistenza. I diversi ordini di trionfi che troviamo in Italia devono rappresentare pratiche diverse adottate in città diverse, presumibilmente in uno stadio anteriore a quello in cui cominciò l’iscrizione sistematica dei numerali sui trionfi. E evidente che, quasi immediatamente dopo l’invenzione dei tarocchi, i giocatori di città e regioni diverse svilupparono particolarità locali nel modo di giocare e che esse, in Italia, coinvolsero anche l’ordine convenzionale dei trionfi; questo fenomeno deve essersi verificato prima che, da qualche parte, divenisse consuetudine l’inscrizione di numerali sui trionfi — e quindi prima della fine del XV secolo. I diversi ordini dei trionfi attestano non la dipendenza dai soli numerali per l’identificazione, ma 1’esistenza, fin dai primi tempi, di una vasta gamma di variazioni locali nel modo di giocare.

E questo elemento, più ancora delle differenze fra i modelli standard usati nelle diverse aree, a fornire la discriminante principale per distinguere tre diverse tradizioni di Tarocchi, la cui origine risale ai primi stadi dello sviluppo del gioco. Non siamo in grado di stabilire se i diversi ordini di trionfi furono adottati come deviazioni intenzionali dalla pratica dei giocatori di altre città, o semplicemente come conseguenza di un imperfetto ricordo di tale pratica; ma è evidente che almeno le caratteristiche principali di ciascuno dei vari ordini possono essere state fissate solo nel primo momento in cui il gioco fu introdotto nell’area che osserva quel dato ordine. Vedremo che l’ordine di tipo A rappresenta la pratica dei giocatori di Bologna, quello di tipo B la pratica dei giocatori di Ferrara e quello di tipo C la pratica dei giocatori di Milano.

(We continuously observe the players in a given city or region only play with each other and do not know those of a neighboring town; specific rules and sometimes the kind of game played itself, vary from city to city; players of a given circle completely ignore in manner of play [178] those of another, and often their very existence. The different orders of triumphs that we find in Italy must represent divergent practices in different cities, presumably at an earlier stage than when the systematic entry of numerals for triumphs began. It is clear that, almost immediately after the invention of the tarot, players of different towns and regions developed local particularities in the manner of play and that, in Italy, the formal order of the triumphs was also involved. This phenomenon must have occurred before, somewhere, the inscription of numerals on the triumphs became the custom - and thus before the end of the fifteenth century. The different orders of triumphs does not attest only to the lack of dependence on numerals for identification, but to the existence, from the earliest times, of a wide range of local variations in the manner of play

It is this element, even more than the differences between the standard models used in different areas, that provides the main discriminant to distinguish the three different traditions of the Tarot, whose origin dates back to the early developmental stages of the game. We are not able to determine whether the different orders of triumphs were adopted as intentional deviations from the practice of players to other cities, or simply as a result of an imperfect recollection of this practice; but it is evident that at least the main features of each of the various orders can only have been laid down the first time the game was introduced in the area that observes the given order. We will see that the order of type A is the practice of the players of Bologna, one of type B the practice of Ferrara players and type C the practice of the players of Milan.)
However there is also the phenomenon in Florence where two different but in many ways similar decks do not differ in their order but do in the precise subjects and number of cards, namely trionfi and minchiate. And there is the phenomenon that Prudence continues to pop up in various places, not only between Hope and Faith in minchiate, but in place of the Traitor in Lollio/Imperali (see http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 24&lng=ENG) and of Temperance in the Anonymous Discourse. There will be a different rationale in each case.

This principle of the localization of play, it seems to me, can affect the subjects of the cards as well as their order and in that case is even not limited to the developmental period. It is a phenomenon we will see again in the Protestant/Catholic border areas when the Popess and Pope are replaced by other cards, Juno and Jupiter or Captain Fracasse and Bacchus. There does not even have to be facilities for the local mass production of such cards. It is only necessary that the authorities have a sample of what they want, created by one of their artists, and require the producer in the other place to produce cards of that type.

There is no reason why Milan should somehow be unique in this regard, and be the only place to produce a somewhat different deck for its own reasons in response to a new phenomenon elsewhere. It is possible, but it is just as likely to go the reverse. That a Milanese deck actually exists that does not conform to the standard verified later does not preclude others having followed the principle earlier but with cheaper decks that did not survive.

I think we can go one step further than Dummett regarding this principle. The variability of a card in the different orders is a measure of how early in the developmental process the card was introduced. When a deck arrives from one place from another, the card makers and players may not only find the order illogical but come to prefer a somewhat different selection of subjects. That seems to have in fact happened. Prudence seems to have been a particularly hard subject to fit in; it occurs in several places in the sequence and most commonly not at all. The virtues are the most variable, so they are among the oldest. Some of the "Petrarchan" cards are also variable, but some more than others. On the other hand, there are other factors: ambiguities and alterations in meaning might have affected the variability. There is a Petrarchan Chastity, represented by a female Charioteer, which becomes the Chariot, often with a male charioteer. The meaning is different. Time is represented by an old man, who logically then might be put before Death. Fame was represented in Boccaccio and some of the illuminations of Petrarch as a a lady and a circle with a landscape and castles. Is it the World? Or is it the New Jerusalem, as in the 2nd artist PMB card? Its position in the order fluctuates accordingly, which then affects the place of the Angel of Judgment. Love, the Wheel, and Death are fairly clear; their order fluctuates the least. The Emperor and Empress, whom we know are early, are also clear.

Some cards are virtually fixed in their order. The sequence Devil-Fire-Star-Moon-Sun is always the same. They are non-Petrarchan, not virtues, not Imperials, and do not fit in the chess analogy. There are not in the Cary-Yale, and the theologicals are in their place in the minchiate. All these factors together suggests a late addition, at least in some places, at a time when there was much more interaction among regions than previously. The same can be said for the Bagatella, which is always first, and the Traitor always 12 (except the Sicilian, but that is not very early).

All of this is additional argument for the 16 cards of Pratesi's and my reconstructions, and my proposed shifts in the order and eventually the subjects as well, toward replacements and expansions.

There is one thing I could use some help on, in these reconstructions. I can see the rationale for substituting Prudence for Temperance, as in the Anonymous Discourse. Prudence, in the ordinary sense of the word, is knowing the correct means toward a desired end and acting on that knowledge. "Cleaving to the mean" is a good guide to follow in one's means toward achieving the objective. So it includes Temperance. In the case of the Traitor, Prudence is what needs to be followed to avoid what is pictured on the card. To the extent that the Traitor is Judas (the 12th disciple), Prudence involves following God's will so as to be with God in eternity. That puts Prudence higher in the hierarchy.

But what is the rationale for putting Prudence between Hope and Charity, as we see in minchiate and in Franco's reconstruction of a proto-minchiate? I have a tentative solution, but it needs filling out in relation to Florence of the 1430s or later. First, Prudence involves knowing one's true good, not only the means toward attaining a good. The true good is God and being with God, loved by and loving God. So it belongs with the theological virtues, if one is going to put with one set rather than another. Then for why it is between hope and faith, all I can think of is that while Jesus's coming to earth and dying for our sins gives us hope of attaining our true good, faith involves knowing rationally that that end is attainable and how to attain it. It is like crossing a bridge. When I get to it, I may hope that I with my heavy load can cross it. But examining the bridge with the eyes of an building engineer, who knows how to build a bridge, and seeing the example of others, can give me faith that in acting in a certain way will help me to attain the goal. So hope plus prudence leads to faith. Reason is Faith's handmaiden. And God's Charity is what I will need to get there, since my own merits are inevitably deficient. If God is to be charitable to me, I must be charitable to those in a weaker position than me.

This is a somewhat ad hoc rationale. I am curious to know what was actually said about Prudence in relation to the theological virtues in that time--a textual justification, if possible, not for the whole sequence but just that small part.

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#59
Phaeded,

For my dating window, I'm just applying my principle mechanically, not implying a theory as to who and why. If I kept to the "3 to 5 years", it would be 1437-1441 inclusive, now shortened to 1437-1440 (first half).

So I'm not hedging my bet, I'm just applying the same principle. 1440 fit exactly into the pattern I detected, so 3 to 5 years earlier than 1442 still maintains.

Note also that I am arguing that the absence of evidence over the length and breadth of Italy after 1440 in any given place does not imply evidence of absence like it does before 1440. I'm just interpreting the pattern, diffusing from Florence. A good example is a place like Bologna, in the center of the diffusion, which does not contain any record of trionfi in the 1440s, while the two cities with the earliest records, Florence and Ferrara, at either end of the road which passes directly through Bologna, do. The absence of evidence in Bologna must therefore be due to historical accident, which cannot be said for the absolute silence before 1440 over the whole of the rest of the country.

But, if you want my speculations about who and why, my first presupposition is that the inventor was a cardmaker, and that he was not acting in any official or quasi-official capacity for making propaganda for the City, the Council of Union, or the victory at Anghiari. The invention of the game of Trionfi was just that, not speaking for anyone or anything. The game was just a very clever invention by someone who liked card games and had a great idea.

But, if I needed to find the source of inspiration for the inventor's selection of imagery for the trumps in 1439, the John the Baptist festival, with the parade on June 23, provides enough. Whether it was more lavish and spectacular than usual because of the presence of the Council and the imminence of the signing, I don't know, it could well be. But I have no reason to think that the imagery is about the Council (the Papi are a debatable point, but the rest is generic).

Perhaps it was someone who helped design sequences of the procession, someone connected with the Merchant's Guild, who were also responsible for the first part of Alfonso's Triumph in Naples four years later.

But most basically, my premise is that the designer, whoever it was, did the math for his new game, then chose the imagery to fill the trump sequence, putting them into groups easy enough to memorize quickly at the table, and to learn by heart in detail after a few hands. He could have invented this game before 1439, at least 1437-1438 by the principle I described above. I'm not committing to an exact date, nor occasion for its invention.
Image

Re: New Pratesi note (now two) on the Cary-Yale

#60
Hi, Ross,
Ross wrote:For my dating window, I'm just applying my principle mechanically, not implying a theory as to who and why. If I kept to the "3 to 5 years", it would be 1437-1441 inclusive, now shortened to 1437-1440 (first half). So I'm not hedging my bet, I'm just applying the same principle. 1440 fit exactly into the pattern I detected, so 3 to 5 years earlier than 1442 still maintains.
The Ferrarese "window" is our best indication of when Tarot was invented. They had the most systematic records, by far, with multiple accounts related to playing cards both before and after their adoption of Tarot. Imagine your chart with two differently colored dots, one for Tarot references (the black ones) and another set for non-Tarot references to playing cards. The second set suggest that if Tarot had existed earlier, then some evidence of it should have survived.
Ross wrote:The absence of evidence in Bologna must therefore be due to historical accident, which cannot be said for the absolute silence before 1440 over the whole of the rest of the country.
The extremely fragmentary nature of our documentation is often ignored on this list. Some people can't even grasp the idea that surviving decks have lost cards.
Ross wrote:But, if you want my speculations about who and why, my first presupposition is that the inventor was a cardmaker... [and] invention of the game of Trionfi was just that, not speaking for anyone or anything. The game was just a very clever invention by someone who liked card games and had a great idea.
Several great ideas, both for the game and for the allegorical cycle that was created to serve as trumps.

One of the potential problems with Tarot being invented more or less as we know it is that it has several unique features. The problem is that the rapid early spread of Tarot offers little time for the development of these features. This means that we must either assume that they were present at the beginning, or that every novelty which was subsequently added to the game was faithfully transmitted to various locales across Italy and into France. Dummett, for example, thought that the Fool as Excuse was such a novelty that it was implausible for it and the other unique elements of Tarot to have all been created ex nihilo. The Fool must have been a later development.
Ross wrote:But, if I needed to find the source of inspiration for the inventor's selection of imagery for the trumps in 1439, the John the Baptist festival, with the parade on June 23, provides enough. Whether it was more lavish and spectacular than usual because of the presence of the Council and the imminence of the signing, I don't know, it could well be. But I have no reason to think that the imagery is about the Council (the Papi are a debatable point, but the rest is generic). Perhaps it was someone who helped design sequences of the procession, someone connected with the Merchant's Guild, who were also responsible for the first part of Alfonso's Triumph in Naples four years later.
I like that approach.

Contrary to the approaches being discussed in this thread, I would be disinclined to explain Cary-Yale by imagining connections to Chess or the 16 Heroes deck. As everyone should be aware,( as Cynthia Giles pointed out succinctly decades ago), it is extremely easy to invent such associations. However, looking to people who created entertainments, such as guilds, confraternities, and learned courtiers, and looking to themes parallel to the Trump cycle, and looking specifically at places where there was a documented interest in card games -- e.g., Milan and Ferrara -- seems more likely to be fruitful. Where we differ is that I continue to see Milan as the most likely point of origin.

The fact that the 16 Heroes deck was created by a learned courtier, Marziano da Tortona, for Filippo Maria Visconti is strongly suggestive. That is, we know that unique card games were being invented there, not too long before Tarot was invented. Milan is also where the earliest surviving decks were commissioned. Tarot was probably created by a later courtier, but also for Filippo. You have pointed out that Gasparino Barzizza and his son Guiniforte, humanists known for their interest in both Stoic philosophy and Petrarch, were courtiers for Filippo. In 1434 Guiniforte acquired the position his father had held at the University of Milan.

You also noted that Guiniforte mentioned Petrarch's Triumphs in 1439, but there is no question that this work, and Remediis, were quite generally known by the elite at the time. (The copy of Remediis with the striking Ranks of Man miniature is attributed to Milan, c.1400.) Gasparino gave a funeral oration for Marziano, indicating their connection. Guiniforte served Alfonso V of Aragon (who enjoyed the great and allegorical entry of 1443), as well as the courts of Visconti, Monferrato, and d'Este. The great Latin moral works of Boccaccio and Petrarch, (De Casibus and De Remediis), as well as their allegorical cycles (Amorosa Visione and I Trionfi) would have been dear to the hearts of both father and son. And so on.

Therefore, Guiniforte is my candidate for the title, Inventor of Tarot. He was the right guy at the right place at the right time.
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This point of origin would help explain several things. First, in terms of Cary-Yale, it would explain why the Visconti court would have the best and earliest examples of Tarot decks. The Bembo style decks from Cremona were copied repeatedly. It was a game invented for their court, so its design and meaning would have been well understood there. That is why, only a few years after its invention, something as grand as the Cary-Yale expansion could be commissioned.

In terms of the complexity of the game, it offers an explanation for the various novelties being present from the start: we know that the Milanese court with Filippo liked card games and that at least one completely unique game, the 16 Heroes game, was invented before Tarot. There is no reason to assume that it was the only game they invented before hitting on the brilliance of Tarot. The years between the invention of the 16 Heroes game and Tarot may have seen one or more other cards games designed, and some even created and played. Something like the Excuse, albeit not necessarily with a fool depicted, might have been part of an earlier game, so that it was not invented for Tarot but borrowed from that earlier game.

At some point (let's say 1438), someone (let's say Guiniforte) would design a lofty, inspirational trump cycle, an allegory worthy of the nobles he served and based on the Stoic-Christian and Petrarchian values/themes he held dear. If Tarot was born in Milan fully formed, a great game that borrowed from years of lesser games like 16 Heroes, that would explain why it had such great success and spread so quickly, why it became so popular in 15th-century Italy.

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

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