Collection John of Rheinfelden

#1
An early contribution (2003) to the JvR theme was ...
http://trionfi.com/0/p/10/
... based on the article of Arne Jönssen in Schweizer Spielkarten (1998), Die Anfänge im 14. und 15. Jahrhundert
https://books.google.de/books?id=65UkAQ ... UQ6AEIQjAE

Michael J. Hurst (2012) added ...
http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.de/2012/03/ ... ribus.html

In 2015 one of the JvR-copies was detected online. This led to some discussions:

From viewtopic.php?f=11&t=345&hilit=rheinfel ... 250#p16440
Huck wrote:John of Rheinfelden's text is online in the Basel edition of 1429. "Online since 06/25/2015".

http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/ubb/F-IV-0043
F IV 43
Manuscript Title:
Johannes von Rheinfelden, Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis: id est ludus cartularum moralisatus

Caption: Paper · 190 ff. · 21 x 15 cm · Basel · 1429
[190 Folio pages]

Language: Latin

Manuscript Summary: In his extensive Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis, the oldest description of playing cards known in Europe, Johannes von Rheinfelden explains not only the rules of play, but in addition he explicates the characters of the figures as well as the entire social order, based on the relation of the cards to one another. Konrad Schlatter, since 1428 confessor and later prior of the cloister of the Dominican nuns St. Maria Magdalena “in den Steinen”, left this treatise to the sisters for their moral edification. (gam/flr)
According ...
http://www.altbasel.ch/dossier/prostitution.html
... the cloister of the Dominican nuns St. Maria Magdalena “in den Steinen” had been an installation for earlier prostitutes (at least in the beginning of the order).
Die Frauen klagten ihm [Rudolf of Worms] ihre Not und versicherte, dass sie nicht aus Bosheit sondern aus Not diesem Broterwerb nachgingen. Gäbe er ihnen Obdach und Nahrung, dann wären sie gerne bereit sich nicht länger als Prostituierte zu verdingen. [1] Er war nicht der erste Geistliche der sich dieser Thematik annahm. Bereits der Gründer des Ordens der Prediger, der heilige Dominikus (eigentlich Domingo de Guzmán, ca 1170-1221), hatte 1215 ein Reuerinnenkloster gegründet.

In diesem bald wieder aufgelösten Frauenkonvent sollten bekehrte Dirnen unter der Aufsicht der Dominikaner ein gottgefälliges Leben führen. Diesem Gedanken folgend, gründete Rudolf den Orden der Magdalenerinnen, der im [b]Juni 1227[/b] den Segen von Papst Gregor IX. (ca 1167-1241) erhielt. [2] Die Patronin des Ordens war die heilige Maria Magdalena, die bekehrte Sünderin aus dem neuen Testament. Kurze Zeit später wurde in Basel ein Kloster dieses Ordens gegründet.
Rudolf of Worms got the allowance to build the Order of the Magdalenarinnen in the year 1227. Short after this the cloister in Basel was founded.
German Wiki states, that Rudolf founded the order in Worms first. The article says, that this happened in the year 1224. Strassburg followed 1225, Basel is noted for 1230.

An interesting detail in the article:
Die Frauenwirte könnten wegen ihrer Vermögen vornehm auftreten. Niemand könne äusserlich erkennen was für Leute sie wirklich seien. Der Rat beschloss daher, das innerhalb von zwei Wochen jeder diese Herren einen gelben Kugelhut mit drei aufgenähten Spielwürfeln zu tragen hätten. Wer sich dem widersetzte, sollte der Stadt verwiesen werden. [53] Die Kennzeichnung von Randgruppen über verordnete Kleidung war im Mittelalter üblich, wie auch das Beispiel der Juden belegt.
The pimps ["Frauenwirte"] in Basel got the duty to carry a yellow "Kugelhut" (ball-hat or globe-hat). The hat was decorated with 3 dice (? pictures of dice or real dice). This was ruled (likely) in 1417.

The person of Konrad Schlatter is described here:
http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/d/D12949.php?topdf=1
Schlatter, Konrad
Died 1458 Basel, Kloster St. Maria Magdalena an den Steinen in Basel, vermutlich von Basel. S. ist
wahrscheinlich identisch mit dem 1393 erw. Dominikaner Conrad Slader aus dem observanten Colmarer
Predigerkonvent und nicht mit dem gleichnamigen, 1424 bezeugten Kaplan am Basler Münster. Eine
Schwester von S. war Nonne im reformierten Kloster an den Steinen, wo S. ab 1428 als Beichtvater, ab 1433
als Vikar wirkte. S. beteiligte sich 1429 an der Reform des Predigerkonvents in Basel und 1439 an jener des
Berner Dominikanerinnenklosters St. Michael in der Insel. Er war 1435-36, 1439, 1443, 1445, 1447-48 und
1454 Prior des Basler Konvents. Mehrere Predigten von S. sind überliefert.
***************

The text of the online edition is difficult to read, I would say.
From viewtopic.php?f=11&t=345&hilit=rheinfel ... 250#p16442
Huck wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Thank you very much for this notice, Huck.

It is a pity that the book cannot be downloaded entirely - only one page at a time.

Yes, it is difficult to read. I am impatient for Arne Jönsson's edition. Perhaps in the meantime we can use his notes in Schweizer Spielkarten I to find images of the pages he refers to.
Jönssen has only quotes, no page numbers. So the search might be difficult.

I've looked up the pages, which look unusual, either for red starting letters, paintings or free place ...

176r
171r
167r
160v
157v
153v
145r
134r
120r
117v
117r
104v
81v
65r
38r
28v
28r
27v
25v
16r
12v
10r
7v
4r
3r
1r

Perhaps it's possible to realize a sort of "content". John was translated by Bond ...
And in this treatise I propose to do three things: first, to describe the game of cards in itself, as to the matter and mode of playing it; second, to moralize the game, or teach noblemen the rule of life; and third, to instruct the people themselves, or inform them of the way of labouring virtuously. Wherefore it seemed to me that the present treatise ought to be entitled 'De Moribus et Disciplina Humane Conversationis.' For the first part will have six chapters. In the first will be stated the subject of the game and the diversity of instruments. In the second will be set forth that in this game there is a moral action of virtues and vices. In the third it will be suggested that it is of service for mental relief and rest to the tired. In the fourth it will be shown that it is useful for idle persons, and may be a comfort to them. In the fifth will be treated the state of the world, as it is, in respect to morals. In the sixth will be demonstrated the aliquot parts of the number sixty, and the properties of numbers.
Maybe there are 3 parts, and the first has six chapters. The last of these 6 chapters treats the number 60 ... at 28v, 28r and 27v are curious paintings, which look, as if he talks there about the number 60.

Bond notes in this context ...
The first chapter treats "de materia ludi et de diversitate instrutnentorum," and contains all that directly bears upon the game. It is as follows:
This sentence " de materia .." appears at 3r in red.

Michael's presentations to the text ...

Michael J. Hurst
Brother John's Tractatus de Moribus
http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.de/2012/03/ ... ribus.html
also at bottom of page (February 6, 2010 Addendum: History of Playing-Cards; original article of E.A. Bond)
http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.de/2009/01/ ... death.html
From viewtopic.php?f=11&t=345&hilit=rheinfelden&start=260
Huck wrote:I've collected the quotes, which are used by Joenssen. In the text they are given as footnotes.

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for the title etc.

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The passage gives additionally the very interesting note, that the 5 court cards in the 60-cards-deck are connected to the numbers 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.
The third quote contains the word triumphum.

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a poem mentioned in the text

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Three other passages are of special interest.

1.

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Joenssen speaks of card decks with 52, 60 and 72 cards.
However in the opening of the text (as translated by Bond) there is spoken of various decks with 52 cards, of a deck with cards and of the possibility to play with 5 kings or 6 kings. 5 kings would lead 5x13 cards, so totally 65, 6 kings to 6x13 cards, so totally 78.
It's not clear, where Joenssen got his 72 cards from.

2.

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Joenssen (likely in the context of the 60 card decks, but possibly of all the cards, that Johannes knew) notes 4 kingdoms, Babylonia, Persia, Macedonia-Greece and the Roman Empire.
Babylonia has the head of a man as symbol (possibly the well known suit-sign Coins), the Greek has bells (a known suit sign in German-Swiss decks), the Roman king has an eagle (possibly the suit sign Shields, also known in Switzerland). The fourth sign Johannes cannot recognize, he points to a picture, which is only documented by a "free place".
So possibly one finds the passage close to a "free place" in the Basel edition.

It isn't clear to me, if these specified kings (inclusive therei suit signs) appeared in all decks, or only in the 60-cards-deck.

The Liechtenstein'sche Spiel had probably 5 suits: Swords, Polo-Sticks, Cups, Coins, Shields. Polo-Sticks might have been difficult to identify, cause the game Polo possibly wasn't known very well in the region of Johannes. Possibly this was the 4th suit sign.

3.

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That's the passage with the professions, which seems to be discussed intensively by Johannes. Joenssen doesn't clearly say, that the cards presented the professions on the cards, but a plausible solution would be, that Johannes knew professions from the 60-cards-deck and transported the idea to the normal card decks with only multiplied suit signs.
Johannes - according Joenssen - presented the professions in groups, so the baker was connected to the miller and the farmer. The logical idea would be, that there were groups of 4, but Joenssen doesn't say so. He speaks of "nearly 40 professions" and that's confusing, cause it should be precisely 40 professions (or some professions appeared "doubled", as it is the case in the Hofämterspiel.
Anyway, John of Rheinfelden might have "created the profession deck" by his consideration instead describing a deck with professions ... I don't know. Joenssen is not clear in this point.
From viewtopic.php?f=11&t=345&hilit=rheinfel ... 260#p16458
mikeh wrote:Huck wrote:
Joenssen speaks of card decks with 52, 60 and 72 cards.
However in the opening of the text (as translated by Bond) there is spoken of various decks with 52 cards, of a deck with cards and of the possibility to play with 5 kings or 6 kings. 5 kings would lead 5x13 cards, so totally 65, 6 kings to 6x13 cards, so totally 78.
It's not clear, where Joenssen got his 72 cards from.
Here is John, as translated by Bond (http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.de/2012/03/ ... ribus.html)
There are also others who so dispose the cards or the game that there are two kings, with their ' marschalli' and other cards, and two queens with theirs in the same manner. Again, some take five, others six kings, each with his 'marschalli' and his other cards, according as it pleases them, and thus the game is varied in form by many. Also, there are some who make the game with four kings and eight ' marschalli' and the other common cards, and add besides four queens with four attendants, so that each of those four kings, with all the family of the whole kingdom, speaking of the chief persons, is there, and the number of the cards will then be sixty.
I think that with five kings, each with his marshall (and no other court cards) we have 5x12 = 60 cards total.

With six kings, we have 6x12=72 cards total.

The last deck described is 4 suits, each with 1 king, 2 'marschalli", 1 queen, and 1 queen's attendant = 15 cards per suit, and 15x4=60.
Huck wrote:
mikeh wrote: I think that with five kings, each with his marshall (and no other court cards) we have 5x12 = 60 cards total.

With six kings, we have 6x12=72 cards total.

The last deck described is 4 suits, each with 1 king, 2 'marschalli", 1 queen, and 1 queen's attendant = 15 cards per suit, and 15x4=60.
The Bond translation speaks of decks with 13 cards for each suit, not of decks with 12 cards for each suit. The only exception is the 60-cards-deck, which has 5 court cards for each suit, so a 4x15 deck, not a 5x12 deck as you suggested. "four kings and eight ' marschalli'" tells, that there were two marshalls in each suit, not one.

Joenssen couldn't have his 72-card deck from the opening, which was translated by Bond. Perhaps it appears in the later text.
mikeh wrote:Huck wrote
The Bond translation speaks of decks with 13 cards for each suit, not of decks with 12 cards for each suit. The only exception is the 60-cards-deck, which has 5 court cards for each suit, so a 4x15 deck, not a 5x12 deck as you suggested. "four kings and eight ' marschalli'" tells, that there were two marshalls in each suit, not one.
Here is the Bond quote again, broken down into parts:
There are also others who so dispose the cards or the game that there are two kings, with their ' marschalli' and other cards, and two queens with theirs in the same manner.
This would be a deck with four suits, each with 2 court cards, i.e. 12 cards in a suit, for 48 cards total. Two of the suits have 1 king and one marschall, the other two have 1 queen and one marschall. If the kings had had two marschalls, John would have said so, as he does later.
Again, some take five, others six kings, each with his 'marschalli' and his other cards, according as it pleases them, and thus the game is varied in form by many.
These would be 5 or 6 suits, each with 2 court cards, so 12 cards in a suit, for 60 or 72 cards total.
Also, there are some who make the game with four kings and eight ' marschalli' and the other common cards, and add besides four queens with four attendants, so that each of those four kings, with all the family of the whole kingdom, speaking of the chief persons, is there, and the number of the cards will then be sixty.
Here is where he talks about 2 marshalls per king. He makes it explicit because it is different from his previous cases. This deck, as we agree, would be 4 suits with 15 cards per suit, and 60 cards total.

The "four kings and eight 'marschalli'" phrase only goes with the one deck, the last one, the one with 15 cards per suit. At least that's how I expect that Joenssen read it, and it is the natural way to read it, if you read carefully. Unless of course it is Bond who wasn't careful, and he mistranslated.

Admittedly, Dummett in Game of Tarot did not read John that way. Assuming Bond is accurate, it seems that he imposed his own idea of what a German deck should look like (and before that, a Mamluk deck) onto the text, if I may be so bold as to say so. I think that Joenssen is pretty careful, if he's preparing a critical edtion, and I suspect that this is where he gets his 72 card deck from; it's just that Brother John didn't anticipate our 20th and 21s5 century misinterpretations. But if you find 72 card decks later in Joenssen's edition, please tell us.

According to Hurst (http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.de/2012/03/ ... ribus.html), who says his source is trionfi.com, Joennsen notices details in the text that show fairly conclusively that the date is authentically 1377, If so, Dummett's argument about the multiplicity of variations tends to support your claim that playing cards were introduced into Europe, or at least the German lands and elsewhere in central Europe, considerably before 1377, because, according to Hurst, Dummett concludes that it is not believable “that such a range of variations on the original form should have developed within a year or two of the introduction or invention of the playing-card pack.” Also, if Mamluk decks really did have two marshalls per suit in the 14th century (as opposed to what is in the 16th century deck in Istanbul), it suggests that Brother John's decks ,au mpt have derived from the Mamluks'.
Huck wrote:
In the game which men call the game of cards, they paint the cards in different manners, and they play with them in one way and another. The common form, as it first came to us, is thus: Four kings are depicted on four cards, each of whom sits on a royal throne. And each one holds a certain sign in his hand, of which signs some are reputed good and others signify evil. Under the kings are two marschalli, the first of whom holds the sign upwards in his hand, in the same manner as the king; but the other holds the same sign downward in his hand.
There is a passage before, which doesn't relate to the 60-cards-deck (the 60 card wasn't mentioned there). "Two marschalli" for each king, described with the later relative common design, that one has the suit symbol at the top and the other below.

13 cards, not 12, for each suit. 52 cards with 4 suits, 65 with 5 and 78 with 6.
mikeh wrote:I see your point. Although the part you quote was for a different deck, in the flow of the narrative, since he doesn't say otherwise, it would seem that there are indeed two marschalli for each king. When he says "two kings, with their ' marschalli'", unless he explains otherwise, he means the same number of marschalli for each king as he said before. It is a little odd that he doesn't use the same type of phrase later ("four kings, with their marschalli", instead of "four kings, and eight marschalli"); but perhaps by then, since there are other court cards in that deck, he feels the need to be more specific.

It still may be that Joenssen reads the "two kings, with their 'marschalli" in the way I was interpreting it, since the numbers then come out in Joenssen's way. That's all I know, that the numbers work. Perhaps Joenssen has more of an explanation somewhere, in relation to that text. After all, we are dealing with a copy, not the original. A "critical edition" might have revealed something about redactions in this specific part, (about the "two kings and their marschalli", not anything else). Also, I haven't seen the Latin (not that I know that language!). Or indeed, as you say, he is referring to another passage, later, that we don't know about. It would be good to know what Joenssen's reference is to, and what his "critical edition" says about the passage in question. Quite bit hinges on interpolations, in these 15th century copies of earlier accounts.

Bond's whole article is worth reading in its entirety (as you no doubt have). It is in the Jan. 19, 1878, issue of the Athenaeum, pp. 87-88, at

https://books.google.com/books?id=DWJIA ... us&f=false

I give that link because Hurst's doesn't get you to the page. You have to think of a good search word, such as "moribus", that doesn't bring up mostly irrelevancies, or else have Game of Tarot at hand to look in. In the article, Bond has a good defense of why even though what we have is a 15th century copy, the 1377 date is accurate. Dummett doesn't mention this defense, essentially the same as Joenssen's.

I still think that one thing in particular that Dummett says is worth thinking about. that if the date 1377 is correct--as it certainly seems to be--hen these multitudinous variations suggest that playing cards weren't introduced just a little before that. but a decade or so before. In the next paragraph, admittedly, he argues against that suggestion, noting that John says,
For the common form and as it first came to us is thus, viz. four kings are depicted on four cards, each of whom sits on a royal throne. And each one holds a certain sign in his hand, of which signs some are reputed good, but others signify evil. Under which kings are two ' marschalli,'..."
The "as it first came to us" implies that the variations didn't come to John's region until after the "common form" came, and earlier he says that cards came to his region only within the same year. So this seems to imply, for Dummett, that the variations were in fact all developed in the space of one year, as dubious as this might seem. However it seems to me that this implication is not necessarily there. John might be meaning that the "common form" came first, and then, after the game proved popular, the variations, all from some other region. Dummett also objects that it is strange that we wouldn't hear anything of these missing two decades, when the documents are plentiful enough afterwards. If the documents are from a different region, however, it is not so strange. Other regions suffered more greatly from the ravages of war over the next few centuries than those from which we have reports. and perhaps were less concerned about recording the presence of playing cards.. Anyway, now we have Hubsch, and the other references you found. It is understandable that these can't be confirmed by accounts at the time. We don't even have the original of John.

It seems to me worth copying the entire passage on John from Dummett, since its arguments are all probably affected by Joenssen's recent work and your own. You probably have it already, but this is so our readers, if there are any, will be privy to the same information. Here it is (Game of Tarot pp. 11-12). It is rather long. If you would prefer it in the "Bohemia" thread, let me know and I will move it.
Most of these early references tell us no more than that card playing occurred in the given area at the time in question; some record the purchase of a pack or the playing of a game, and many are city ordinances banning the playing of various games, particularly dice and cards. One of the earliest, however, the celebrated treatise Tractatus de moribus el disciplina humanae conversationis, written in Basle in 1377 by a Dominican friar by the name of John (usually known, probably wrongly, as John of Rheinfelden), gives an actual description of the pack as known to its author, though not of any of the games played with it. From this we learn that the structure of the pack was essentially what it is now. There were four suits, each with its own suit-sign; each suit consisted of 13 cards, divided into ten numeral cards and three court cards. The numeral cards were distinguished, just as now, by the number of repetitions of the suit-sign. The court cards consisted of a seated King and a higher and lower ‘Marshal’, each holding his suit-sign in his hand. (This last detail tallies with the practice in many of the earliest surviving packs, and in some of the later ones). The two Marshals were distinguished by the fact that the "higher one held his suit-sign aloft, w'hile the lower one held it hanging down from his hand: these were, evidently, then, the Swiss or German Ober and Unter. Brother John unfortunately does not indicate what suit-signs were used. These cards would, of course, have been single-headed: double-headed ones did not come in until the eighteenth century, and were adopted, for various standard patterns, only very slowly (for the Anglo-American one, only after 1850); indeed, some standard patterns use single-headed cards to this day. They would also have lacked indices: these appeared haphazardly as early as the fifteenth century, but were never placed in the corners, and were seldom used systematically, until the modern practice was [start of right column] introduced by American card manufacturers in the 1870s; it, too, has yet to spread to all standard patterns. But, in essentials, save for the use of Ober and Unter instead of Queen and Jack, and, wc can be sure, save also for the suitsigns, the pack described by John of Rheinfelden in the earliest year from which wc have any mention of playing cards in Europe was exactly the same as our modern English pack. (2)

The evidence thus strongly suggests that there was no long period of evolution at the end of which the playing-card pack as wc know it emerged, but, on the contrary, that, a matter of at most a very few years before 1377, the pack was either invented or introduced from elsewhere, in a fully developed form, and immediately spread over a wide area of Europe. This impression is reinforced by the fact that two of the very early sources - John of Rheinfelden writing in 1377 and the Chronicles of Viterbo referring to the year 1379 - explicitly state that playing cards had been introduced into their areas in the very year in question, while the Valencia edict of 1384 refers to them as ‘a new game’, and the earliest reference of all, the Florentine edict of 1377, speaks of them as ‘newly introduced in these parts’.(3) There are also well-known arguments from silence. Petrarch’s De remediis utriusque fortunae (1366) discusses a number of games but says nothing about playing cards; a Paris ordinance of 1369 forbids numerous games, but does not mention card games, although one of 1377 was to forbid cards to be played on work days; similarly, a St Gallen ordinance of 1364 forbade dice games, and allowed board games, but left cards unmentioned, although an ordinance of 1379 prohibited them as well.

This is not to say that no problems arise. Dr Peter Kopp had claimed the discovery of a yet earlier reference to card playing, from an ordinance of the city of Berne in 1367. (4) (Mr Lex Rijnen has reported an earlier one still, from the neighbourhood of Amsterdam in about 1365, but
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2. See E.A. Bond, ‘The history of playing-cards’, Athenaeum, no. 262l, l9 Jan. 1878, p. 7, col.3-p. 88, coL2.
3. Mr George Beal, in Discovering Playing-Cards and Tarots, Aylesbury, 1972. p. 4, states that a manuscript of 1384 from Nuremberg speaks of the ‘widespread adoption of the new game throughout Europe’, but I have been unable to find any confirmation of this.
4. ‘Die fruhesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz’, Zeitschrift fur Schweizerische Archaeologie und Kunstgeschichte, vol. 30, 1973, pp. 130-45.

12
this as yet remains unconfirmed.(5). A shift of ten years in the chronology is in itself of minor importance; but if a decade elapsed between the first known reference and the second, then perhaps playing cards had been in use in some localities for ten or even twenty years before the first reference occurred, and the many references from 1377 onwards are evidence only of their wider diffusion rather than of their invention or
introduction.

Dr Hellmut Rosenfeld has controverted Dr Kopp’s claim:(6) we have only a copy of the 1367 ordinance from a compilation made in 1398, and Dr Rosenfeld gives detailed grounds for thinking the mention of card playing to be an insertion at a later date. On this he seems to have the better of the argument; but there is a point about the Tractatus de moribus itself which is more uncertain. After giving the description cited above of the playing-card pack in what it calls its ‘common form, and that in which it first reached us’, the text goes on to list a number of variants; one in which all the Kings are replaced by Queens; one in which two of the suits have Kings and the other two Queens; one with five suits; another with six; and, finally, one with four suits, but with five court cards in each suit (King, Queen, the two Marshals and a Maid), making 60 cards in all. Now we have no cards surviving from the fourteenth century', but we do have a considerable number from the fifteenth century, and among them are German packs showing variations of this kind, including ones with five suits, one in which the court figures are all male in two of the suits and all female in the other two, ones with female Unters and ones with four court cards per suit, so, although we do not have representatives of all the variants mentioned in the Tractatus, it is very plausible that there should have been such variants. What is not credible, however, is that such a range of variations on the original form should have developed within a year or two of the introduction or invention of the playing-card pack.

For this, two rival explanations have been [beginning of right column]
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5. ‘Makers of playing-cards in the Netherlands’, Journal of the Playing-Card Society, vol. IV, no. 2, 1975, pp.34-7.
6. In ‘Zu den fruhesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz: eine Entgegnung', Zeitschrift fur Schweizerische Archaeologie und Kunstgeschichte, vol. 32, 1975, pp. 179-80, and, in a more general context, in ‘Zur Datierbarkeit fruher Spielkarten in Europe und im nahen Orient’. Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, 1975, pp. 353-71.

offered. Dr Kopp believes that, by the time John of Rheinfelden became acquainted with them, playing cards had already been known for long enough (presumably about two decades or more) for variants to have been invented. Against this it must be said that it would be strange for Brother John to have written, ‘the form in which they first reached us’, if, in the course of that same year, he had encountered five other forms. It would also be puzzling that, from a period of twenty years or so, only one or two references to playing cards should have come down to us, given that they cluster so thickly thereafter. Dr Rosenfeld’s explanation is that the account of the variant forms is an addition by a later copyist. This is, perhaps, more plausible, but has its own difficulties. We do not have the original manuscript of the Tractatus (which, as Dr Kopp has observed, may have been destroyed in the Franco-Prussian War); we have one MS. of 1429 and three, made by different copyists, all from 1472, all four of which agree very closely, as Dr Kopp has shown. Dr Rosenfeld’s suggestion is therefore that the interpolation was due to the 1429 copyist, whom the later ones followed. The hypothesis cannot, however, be that we can get back to Brother John’s original text simply by excising the passage dealing with the variant forms, together with the phrase ‘the common form, and that in which it first reached us’ previously quoted. The Tractatus, as we now have it, goes on to express, and give grounds for, a preference for the 60-card form, and, later, to include a whole short section on the excellence of the number 60, as well as another on the Queen (the treatise as a whole being an essay in moralising based on the playing-card pack). Hence, if interpolations occurred, they were carried out on an extensive scale. The problem has thus not yet been completely resolved. My personal inclination is to think that Dr Rosenfeld has more of the truth of the matter. But, even if Dr Kopp is right, the consequences are comparatively minor; the picture is altered, significantly perhaps, but not very substantially.
All this was before 2016.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

#3
Good idea, putting the material in one place. There is a lot!

Here is some more, which I assembled while translating Franco's note:

First, from the Decker-Parlett exchange, starting with Ronald Decker, “Brother Johannes and the Year 1377” The Playing-Card, Vol. 18 No. 2 (1989).
Pp. 46-47:
...Johannes is not likely to have collected all his evidence at once. Years would pass, I suppose, before a monk — of all people — could closely examine such a diversity of cards. If so, Johannes cannot have completed his survey in the very year that cards first came to him...

And on p. 47:
...In all likelihood, the original text was: Hinc est quod quidam ludus qui ludus cartarum appellatur ad nos pervenit in Anno domini m.ccc.lxxvij. [Hence it is that a certain game, called the game of cards, came to us in the year of our Lord 1377.]

Copyists have apparently inserted some short words in Johannes' testimony. The particular error is of a kind so common in manuscript copies that it has its own name: dittography. Turning to the Latin in the manuscript of 1429, we can see that the words "to us" are written with the space elided: adnos. This, I think, has given rise to the similar "year", contracted thus: dno. And Johannes had already used the words "in the year" (in Anno). Confused scribes consciously or unconsciously doctored the mistake, adding hoc and converting in to viz (something like/z in our manuscript).

In short, all problems can be resolved by assuming plausible errors and attempted corrections in the crucial line.

We need not require that Johannes was writing in 1377. This date is his own historical note, doubtless drawing on some earlier chronicle. When he says that the new game of cards came to us, "us" can mean his monastic brotherhood or the local community or Europeans in general. He describes the primitive cards, those having three male courts and ten numerals in each of four suits (two good and two bad), a form presumably still available to Johannes' generation (for his account here shifts from the past tense to the present tense). Then he tells us of the additional packs available in his day. This period I would take to be subsequent to 1400, late enough to provide for the impressive diversity of cards, but before the first scribe intervened in the account, necessarily prior to our manuscript of 1429.
Then David Parlett, The Playing-Card, Vol. 18 No. 3 (1990) p. 73. The journal mistyped Bond's "igitur" as "iqitur":
...Ron Decker's idea that Brother Johannes need not have been writing in 1377, but may merely have referred back to 1377 from a vantage point of some time in the early 15th century, plausibly accounts for the latter's description of a wide variety of pack designs and constitutions, which we can only with difficulty believe to have been in existence at the date in question. Unfortunately, I find this difficult to reconcile with the following further observations on the text made by E.A. Bond in The Athenceum of 19th January, 1878, pp.87-88:
The evidence that the work was composed in the year 1377 [...] is repeated in the fifth chapter in the following passage: Cum iqitur [igitur in Bond] ab hoc ultimo dicto computetur quod dictum fuit tempore domini Jesu Christi et dum predicauit in terra, transiuerunt interim 1344, quia si ab annis domini 1377 sicut modo est demantur 33 anni quibus uixit remanebunt ad hue 1344. Subsequently, in the same chapter, the author refers to the English wars in France, and to the French people having succeeded in eventually supporting, their own sovereign — an allusion which very well agrees with the termination of Edward the Third's attempt on the French crown at about this period. Again, in the earlier part of his prologue, the author says — "In Germany we have had two earthquakes in my time, and have frequently been afflicted with pestilence, nor is there a corner of the world where this scourge has not been felt." And here he is evidently referring.to the great plagues of 1349, 1361 and 1369. It will be found, moreover, that of the numerous authors quoted in the treatise, none are of later date than the thirteenth century.
Ronald Decker, The Playing-Card, Vol. 19 No. 1 (1990) 20-21.
...These disasters certainly occurred in that era — but in many another era as well. I doubt that they can serve to date the artifact. Bond also quotes a second passage with explicit mention of 1377. My Latin, admittedly,
is in a sad decline, but the quote surely has been lifted out of its context. Johannes is apparently calculating the date of fulfilment for some prophecy. (I know not what.) At this point, I find no force in Bond's assumption that
1377, the year prophesied, was the very year in which Johannes was writing. I would guess — not having seen the manuscript — that Johannes regarded 1377 as the commencement of great tribulation, probably the actual Apocalypse, which he presumed was already well advanced. Perhaps Johannes' copyist misunderstood this passage as did Mr Bond. Thus arose the scribal error in the passage about playing-cards, and thus arose Bond's defence of the error as fact. But other possibilities could allow for widely separated events recounted in the manuscript. Johannes could have accumulated notes over many years, or he could have synthesized records from earlier authors. Or some other treatise may have been appended to Johannes'. Obviously, someone should now re-examine the manuscript.

I am glad that David Parlett has impelled me to think a little further, for I believe that Bond's article finally redounds to my benefit in dating the Tractatus after 1400. Bond writes that the fifth chapter "refers to the English wars in France, and to the French people having succeeded in eventually supporting their own sovereign..." This, according to Bond, "very well agrees with the termination of Edward the Third's attempt on the French crown at about this period." I beg to differ. Moreover, I see perfect agreement with the biography of the long-suffering Charles VII. He was the legitimate dauphin but was supplanted, with the actual connivance of his mother, by Henry V of England and received little support even from his own deputies — until 1429 when Joan of Arc mobilised the French populace, defeated the occupying armies, and led Charles to this coronation at Reims. We now have the interesting possibility that the same year saw Johannes completing his treatise. Then, as we know from the manuscript now in the British Library, some scribe promptly copied the Tractatus and dated the end of his work, still in 1429. If I am right, he must have been unacquainted with Brother Johannes, whom he assumed to have been writing in 1377.

I adhere to my published conclusions, but am now inclined to pinpoint the date of Johannes' Tractatus to the second half of 1429. In that case, part of the copyist's confusion must have been due to ambiguities in Johannes' original text and not in intervening copies. There was scarcely time for intervention between the original and the copy of 1429.
I have tried to translate the Latin reference to 1377. I am not at all confident of my result:
Since therefore from this last statement, which statement being calculated from the time Jesus Christ preached on earth, 1344, which if from 1377 is subtracted the time he lived, 33 years, remains thus 1344.
I cannot guess what the "last statement" could be, whether a prophecy or something else. This is an issue that has somehow got lost over the years. Yes, we need a good edition of the manuscript!

Finally, here is Dummett in Il Mondo e l'Angelo, pp. 23-25, and one clause from p. 26. My English translation follows. I see nothing new here, except that he seems to endorse Parlett, consistently with his own views, over Decker, but without commenting on Decker's reply to Parlett.
Le carte da gioco comparvero per la prima volta in Europa nel 1370 circa 6. Non ci è pervenuta alcuna carta del XIV secolo (con al massimo un’eccezione 7); dei molti riferimenti ad esse in documenti dell’epoca, uno solo ci dà qualche informazione sul loro aspetto. Si tratta del celebre Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis, scritto a Basilea, probabilmente nel 1377, da un frate di nome Giovanni (di solito indicato come Giovanni da Rheinfelden).

Da questo trattato veniamo a sapere che la struttura del mazzo era sostanzialmente quella di oggi. C’erano quattro semi, ciascuno con i suoi segni; ciascun seme era formato da tredici carte divise in dièci numerali e tre figure. Le carte numerali erano distinte, come oggi, dal numero di ripetizioni del segno di seme. Le figure consistevano in un Re seduto e in due ‘Marescialli’ — alto e basso — ciascuno dei quali teneva in mano il segno di seme. (Quest’ultimo dettaglio concorda con l’aspetto
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6. II primo documento contenente la parola «naips», che significa ‘carte da gioco’, è il Diccionari de rims (Vocabolario di rime) del 1371 del poeta catalano Jaume March (pubblicato a cura di Antoni Griera, Barcellona, 1921; si veda p. 63). Cfr. Jean-Pierre Etienvre, Figures du jeu: études lexico-sémantiques sur le jeu de cortes en Espagne (XVIe-XVIIe siècle), Madrid, 1987, pp. 19, 68. Étienvre cita un altro riferimento alle carte da gioco nel Llibre de les dones di Francesc Eiximenis, «probabilmente dello stesso anno».
7. Si tratta di due fogli antichissimi stampati da matrici di legno e non tagliati nell’Instituto Municipal de Historia a Barcellona: si veda Simon Winkle, ‘A «Moorish» Sheet of Playing Cards’, The Playing Card, Vol. XV, 1987, pp. 112-22. È probabile che questi fogli risalgano al primo decennio dei XV secolo.
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delle figure di tutti gli antichi mazzi tranne quelli con semi francesi.) I due Marescialli erano distinti dal fatto che quello più alto teneva alto il segno di seme, mentre quello più basso lo lasciava pendere dalla mano abbassata. È probabile che i due Marescialli fossero entrambi a cavallo e che, in ogni caso, si distinguessero fra loro nello stesso modo che l’Ober e l’Unter della Svizzera e della Germania.

In Svizzera e in Germania si è quindi conservato il criterio originale di distinzione fra le due figure più basse; runico cambiamento è che sono state fatte smontare da cavallo e trasformate in figure a piedi; anzi, esse sono ancora a cavallo in alcuni mazzi di lusso tedeschi del XV secolo. Ad un certo momento all’inizio del XV secolo, troppo presto perché ne sìa rimasta traccia, nel mazzo con semi latini non compare più la distinzione delle due figure inferiori in base alla posizione dei segni di seme. Solo quella inferiore di rango fra le due figure è rappresentata a piedi, mentre quella superiore rimane a cavallo, e questo venne a costituire il nuovo principio di differenziazione.

Il Tractatus de moribus ci è pervenuto solo in un manoscritto del 1429 e in altri tre, tutti del 14728. Ci sono pochissime varianti fra questi quattro testi, ma, se l’originale è veramente del 1377, essi devono contenere interpolazioni, forse del copista del 1429. Da questi testi e da un certo numero di antichi mazzi tedeschi pervenutici, veniamo a conoscenza di un alto grado di sperimentazione nella composizione del mazzo
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9. Cfr. Sir Edward Augustus Bond, ‘The history of playing-cards’. Athenaeum, n. 2621, 19 gennaio 1878, da p. 87, col. 3, a p. 88, col. 2; Peter Kopp, ‘Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz’, Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archaologie und Kunstgeschichte, Voi. 30, 1973, pp. 130-45; e Hellmut Rosenfeld, ‘Zu den frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz: eine Entgegnung’, ibid.. Vol. 32, 1975, pp. 179-80. Più recentemente, Ronald Decker in ‘Brother Johannes and the Year 1877, The Playing Card, Vol. XVIII, 1989, pp. 46-7, ha proposto un’emendazione del testo, secondo la quale la data 1377 sarebbe quella in cui le carte da gioco arrivarono per la prima volta nella sua regione; il trattato quindi potrebbe essere stato composto un po’ dopo, forse intorno al 1400, oppure nell’anno 1429 della prima copia. Comunque, come rilevato da David Parlett nella sua lettera alla Playing Card, Vol. XVIII, 1990, p, 73, altri brani del trattato convalidano l’anno 1377 come data della sua composizione; si veda anche la risposta di R. Decker, The Playing Card, Vol. XIX, 1990, pp. 20-1.
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normale nella Germania del Quattrocento, e fu in seguito a questi esperimenti che la Regina fece il suo primo ingresso nel mazzo di carte. Ai sostentori della liberazione della donna farà piacere sapere che essa fu originariamente introdotta non come inferiore al Re ma come di pari grado. Il Tractatus de moribus descrive mazzi in cui nei quattro semi, o in due su quattro, tutte le figure erano femminili. Un famoso mazzo quattrocentesco dipinto a mano, prodotto fra il 1427 e il 1431, è uno degli esempi a noi pervenuti di questo secondo tipo. In altri mazzi ancora troviamo [ii]Unter[/i] femminili. Attraverso quella che fu probabilmente una fase di sviluppo successiva, si giunse a mazzi in cui tutti e quattro i semi hanno Re, Regina, Ober e Unter. Esempio di questo è un mazzo dipinto a mano, datato 1440- 5, noto come mazzo di caccia Ambraser 9; e ci sono molti altri mazzi tedeschi quattrocenteschi con quattro figure per seme. Il Tractatus non ne fa cenno; esso fa riferimento, tuttavia, con grande entusiasmò, a un tipo che non ci è pervenuto, con quindici carte in ciascuno dei quattro semi, compresi Re, Regina, i due Marescialli e una Servetta (ancilla) come carta più bassa fra le cinque figure. Quando, nel 1470 circa, i fabbricanti di carte francesi introdussero la loro grande innovazione, il sistema di semi francese, essi presero a prestito la Regina dai mazzi tedeschi con quattro figure, in sostituzione del Cavaliere del mazzo con semi latini; fu questa la sua comparsa insieme col Re in un mazzo con solo tre figure per seme.
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9. II mazzo del 1427 circa è conservato nel Württembergisches Landesmuseum für Volkskunde di Stoccarda; il ‘mazzo Ambraser’ è nel Kunsthistorisches Museum di Vienna.
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... Frate Giovanni da Rheinfelden dichiara apertamente che esse furono introdotte nella regione di Basilea l’anno stesso in cui egli scriveva, il 1377...
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(Playing cards appeared for the first time in Europe in about 1370 (6). No card of the fourteenth century still exists (with a maximum exception of one (7)); of the many references to them in documents of the time, only one gives us some informationon their appearance. This is the famous Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis, written in Basel, probably in 1377, by a monk named Johannes (usually indicated as John of Rheinfelden).

From this treatise we learn that the structure of the pack was essentially that of today. There were four suits, each with its sign; each suit was composed of thirteen cards divided into ten numerals and three figures. The pip cards were distinguished, as now, by the number of repetitions of the suit sign. The figures consisted of a seated King and two 'Marshals'- High and low - each of which held the suit sign. (This last detail agrees with the appearance
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6. The first document containing the word ‘naips', which means 'playing card', is the Diccionari de rims (Dictionary of rhymes) by the 1371 Catalan poet Jaume March (published under the editorship of Antoni Griera, Barcelona, 1921; see p. 63). Cf. Jean-Pierre Étienvre, Figures du jeu: études lexico-sémantiques sur le jeu de cartes en Espagne (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), Madrid, 1987, pp. 19, 68. Étienvre cites another reference to playing cards in Llibre Francesc de les dones by Francesc Eiximenis, “probably of the same year”.
7. There are two sheets printed from ancient wood matrices, uncut, in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona: see Simon Wintle, 'A Moorish Sheet of Playing Cards', The Playing Card, Vol XV, 1987, pp. 112-22. It is likely that these sheets go back to the first decade of the fifteenth century.
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of the figures in all the old packs except those with French suits.) The two Marshals were distinguished by the fact that the higher held the suit sign high, while the lower let it hang down from his hand. It is likely that the two Marshals were both on horseback and that, in any case, were distinguished between them in the same way asthe Ober and Unter of Switzerland and Germany.

In Switzerland and Germany therefore the original criterion for distinguishing between the two lowest figures was conserved; the only change is that they were made to dismount and transformed to figures on foot; but they are still riding in some German luxury packs of the fifteenth century. At a certain moment at the beginning of the fifteenth century, too brief quickly because there remains no trace, in the pack with Latin suits, there no longer appears the distinction between the two figures based on the location of the suit sign. Only the inferior in rank of the two figures is represented on foot, while the superior remains on horseback, and this was to be the new principle of differentiation.

The Tractatus de moribus has survived in only one 1429 manuscript and three others all of 1472 (8). There are very few variations among these four texts, but if the original is really in 1377, they must contain interpolations, perhaps by the 1429 copyist. From these texts and a number of old extant German packs, we learn of a high degree of experimentation in the composition of the normal
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8. Cf. Sir Edward Augustus Bond, ‘The history of playing-cards’, Athenaeum, no. 2621, 19 January 1878, from p. 87, col. 3, to p. 88, col. 2; Peter Kopp,‘Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz’, Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, Vol. 30, 1973, pp. 130-46; and Hellmut Rosenfeld, ‘Zu den frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz: eine Entgegnung’, ibid.. Vol. 32,1975, pp. 179-80. More recently, Ronald Decker in 'Brother Johannes and the Year 1377’, The Playing Card, Vol XVIII, 1989, p. 46-7, proposed an emendation of the text, according to which the date 1377 would be the one in which playing cards arrived for the first time in his region; so the treatise may have been composed a little later, perhaps around 1400, or in 1429, the year of the first copy. However, as noted by David Parlett in his letter to The Playing Card, Vol XVIII, 1990, p, 73, other parts of the treatise validate the year 1377 as the date of its composition; see also the response of R. Decker, The Playing Card Vol XIX, 1990, pp. 20-1.
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pack in Germany in the fifteenth century, and it was following these experiments that the Queen made her first entry into the card pack. Supporters of women's liberation will be pleased to know that she was not originally introduced as inferior to the King but as of equal rank. The Tractatus de maribus describes packs in which the four suits, or two out of four, in which all the figures were female. A famous hand-painted fifteenth-century pack, produced between 1427 and 1431, is one example presented to us of this second type. In other packs are found feminine Unters. Through what
was probably a later stage of development, she entered packs in which all four suits have King, Queen, Ober and Unter. An example of this is a hand-painted pack dated 1440-5, known as the Ambraser hunting pack (9); and there are many other fifteenth century German packs with four figures per suit of which the Tractatus makes no mention; it refers, however, with much enthusiasm, to a type that has not survived, with fifteen cards in each of the four suits, including King, Queen,the two marshals and a Servetta (ancilla) as the lowest card among the five figures. When in 1470 manufacturers of French cards introduced their great innovation, the French suit-system, they borrowed the Queen from German packs with four figures, in place of the Knight in the pack with Latin suits; this was an appearance together with the king in a pack with only three figures per suit.
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9. The pack of c. 1427 is preserved in the Württembergisches Landesmuseum für Volkskunde di Stoccarda; The 'Ambraser’ pack is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna.
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... Brother John of Rheinfelden declares plainly that they were introduced in the region of Basel the same year in which he was writing, 1377.
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Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

#4
Peter F. Kopp wrote twice about John of Rheinfelden and his text.

Peter F. Kopp (1977)
Basler Spielkartenfunde: Nachlese der Sommerausstellung 1976 im Kirschgarten-Ausstellung
Basler Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Volume 77 (1977)
http://www.e-periodica.ch/digbib/view?p ... :77::48#48
... summary in the John of Rheinfelden questions, pictures of old playing cards in Basel

Peter F. Kopp (1973)
Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz
contains also notes to John of Rheinfelden: especially worthful are the writing differences between the 4 different Latin versions.

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