Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#51
Huck ...
This was discussed in many details:
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t= ... ani&page=4
If you think, that the Rosenthal is "later forgery", then we (likely) have to conclude, that Bartsch, Victoria-Albert etc. are also "later forgeries". Then a rather big part of the Visconti-Sforza cards would fall in this category.

Andrea Vitali wrote an article about card "forgeries" in relation to the neogotico movement ...
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architettura_neogotica
... which also led to imitations of earlier playing cards (if I understood him right). Here is one of his examples:

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... from XIX century. But Andrea offers also cases from 15th till 18th century.

Well, we have also remakes, reconstructions, re-editions etc. of other old decks in 20th and 21th centuries, we don't consider them "forgeries".
The question is, if the trump motifs shown in the group ...

Rosenthal (Kaplan I page 99)
Bartsch (Kaplan I, 100-102)
Museo Fournier (Kaplan I, 103)
Victoria and Albert Museum (Kaplan I, 103-104)
Lombardy II (Kaplan II, p. 20-22, card of Death only)

.. are "new inventions" of an unknown late date (as the so-called replacement cards in Cary-Yale and PMB in 20th century) or more or less correct representations of "real old cards". We know, that a lot of these cards are "real old motifs", in one case we know (for sure ?), that cards are from a later time.

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From "Tarot, Tarock, Tarocchi", catalog of an exhibition 1988.

The German text states, that the late date (19th century, I've read elsewhere) was given by the judgment of the Doerner institute, the same, which also was responsible for the "mid 15th century" for the Goldschmidt cards in the year 1955. The information is connected to the name of Pindar, about whom we recently experienced, that results to the Leinfelden sheet (in the Rosenwald discussion) had been rather misleading. The Rosenwald case and the Doerner institute researches are not related, however.
In the text above it's remarked, that the deck for the card is not known, but might appear once, which wasn't excluded by Dummett 1980 (GoT, p. 73-75) ... according this text (of 1988, but might be originally from 1984).
Kaplan I is from 1978 ... they could have recognized the card, but they didn't.

Dummett himself knew the deck and also realized the similarity between the Leinfelden falconer and the Rosenthal falconer, but writes outside of his major description of the Tarocchi cards in a sort of appendix at p. 89 (for the reason, that he got the Kaplan work late). The authors of 1988 seem to have overlooked this.

p. 73 + Footnote 26
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**************

p. 87-89

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My comments:

(1) Dummett got Kaplan's book late and reacted with having the 23 Rosenthal cards in the Appendix, which confused the German interpreters.

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

(2) Dummett recognizes the similarity between the Leinfelden and the Rosenthal Falconer.

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

(3)Dummett has his own reasons, why he assumes, that the Rosenthal cards are not from 15th century. Isabella d'Este isn't mentioned by him, but my suggestion "after 1505" meets the ideas of Dummett.
If the cards are indeed from 16th century and indeed done by Sforza related persons, then there are only two good opportunities, either in 1512 (first Sforza restauration in Milan, 1512-15) or in/after 1522 (the second Sforza restauration 1522-35).

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

(4) The falconer in the Goldschmidt cards and in the Rosenthal cards leads Dummett to believe in a relation between both decks (actually the use of heraldic Dolphin and a heraldic Sforza viper is the
clearer sign).

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

(5) On the note of Dummett I searched for the "von Hardt" family. My results:
Neogotic castle (Poland);
the Leinfelden falconer and other later Sforza cards are considered to have been produced as a neogotic fashion
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schloss_W%C4%85sowo



Family story
http://www.wasowo.pl/de/o-palacu/historia

Founder of the Hardt Foundation (1949)
http://www.fondationhardt.ch/la-fondati ... 1889-1958/

Hardt Foundation (near Geneve, Switzerland, library with 40.000 books for antique studies)
http://www.fondationhardt.ch/contact/
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#52
Huck wrote
If you think, that the Rosenthal is "later forgery", then we (likely) have to conclude, that Bartsch, Victoria-Albert etc. are also "later forgeries". Then a rather big part of the Visconti-Sforza cards would fall in this category.

Andrea Vitali wrote an article about card "forgeries" in relation to the neogotico movement ...
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architettura_neogotica
... which also led to imitations of earlier playing cards (if I understood him right).
Yes, "forgery" is too strong a word. "Variation", in some cases "extravagant variation" would be better. Some of the cards are part of the Neogothic movement, some are earlier. The Neogothic movement was not a precise reconstruction of the earlier movement, but an extravagant version of it. For example, the facades of Milan and Cologne Cathedral (both 19th century)are a kind of over the top version of Notre Dame and Chartres.

There is only one card that in the article by Vitali is given to the 15th century, namely a version of the PMB World Card. It is called "fine XV secolo" in the caption. But I doubt if Vitali wrote that caption, because in the text he says something different:
Huck wrote
Here is one of his examples: [image omitted] ... from XIX century. But Andrea offers also cases from 15th till 18th century.
Let us be precise.

131. La Justizia. XIX secolo.
132. 9 di Denaro, 5 di Denaro. XVII secolo.
133. 4 di Spade, 8 di Spade. XVII secolo.
134. 3 di Bastoni, 6 di Bastoni. XVII secolo.
136. Fante di Bastone e Stelle. Fine XVI secolo.
137. Re di Spade. Primo quarto del XVII secolo.
138. Il Mondo. Fine del XV secolo.

In all of these cases, except the first, the copies are relatively faithful, if more or less competent, not variations on the original.

For the 19th century one, the variations are mostly changes in color: the horse from white to brown, the horse's cover from yellow to red (unless the red specks are remains of previous paint all over; but the red horse has white splotches underneath!), the woman's neckline from yellow to red, the border garments from purple to blue, the greater prominence of the sunbursts, or whatever they are on the dress if anything in the original, stars in the sky, etc. The overall impression is a more dramatic (I would say garish) card, in keeping with 19th century Neogothic taste. It is reasonable that Vitali should assign this to the 19th century.

As far as the datings, these are just the captions. In the text Vitali has additional things to say. For 137:

137: "...la carta denuncia una tarda realizzatione, non tuttavia posteriore agli inizi del sec. XVII"

I.e. ".. The card proclaims a late realization, not, however, later than the beginning of the XVII century." In other words, sometime in the late 16th or very early 17th century. I am not sure why he says this, as opposed to later or oearlier. It seems to have something to do with the more faithful correspondence to the original.

For the "end of the 15th century" World card, he says in the text:

138: "L'esecuzione pittorica di questa copia deve essere fatta risalire al piu tardi alla fine del secolo XV..."

In other words, "The pictorial execution of this copy must be traced back later to the end of the XVth century". No discrepancy there.

The dating is by its similarity to the Guildhall version of this card, which he apparently dates to that time or earlier. It is notoriously difficult to place the Guildhall cards. Anyway, if it is a copy of the Guildhall, it could be any time after it.

So yes, we know that there were more or less faithful copies of the PMB cards done at the end of the XVth, the XVIth, and XVIIth centuries. These are in a different category than the Neogothic cards later, of which the Rosenthal falconer most likely qualifies. And even they cannot be called "forgeries", as opposed to "variations", more or less extravagant.

Here is the page from Vitali about the World Card: https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Uoy3uzcoQ8U/ ... ds%2B8.jpg

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#54
Yes, we did stray a bit. So, for something more relevant.

I have been researching how playing cards could have gotten to Florence before 1377, or to Catalonia by the same time, from somewhere else, not necessarily the physical cards, which could have been made locally, but the game of cards, i.e. a trick-taking game using pieces of paper that can be shuffled beforehand and distributed to players, divided into four suits with number card and court cards.

The "somewhere else" would seem to be have to have been either the Mamluks of Egypt, or somewhere in contact with the Mamluks, such that the Mamluks also had similar playing instruments.

I can envision three avenues: (a) merchants; (b) soldiers; (c) slaves; (d) prostitutes. I think (d) can be dropped as a separate category, because they were either local women, former (or still) slaves, or would have come with soldiers. In each of these cases, there is an additional question to be answered, namely, why then, a little before 1377, and not earlier, given the likelihood that the Mamluks used playing cards from at least 1250 and probably earlier.

The problem with merchants is finding one that mentions cards. A very long study of one merchant of the proper time-period, Iris Origo's The Merchant of Prato, in Google Books, does not yield any result when I put in "cards" or "card", but does if I put in "chess" or "dice". Dice, game-boards, and chess pieces are verifiably imported, but cards are not mentioned. One would expect that if the former, then the latter. With merchants there is also the question of how they would have created a demand for cards. Some advertising, with explanations of how to use the products, would have been needed. One would expect a trace of such advertising, in somebody's account somewhere. And the question about the period just before 1377; did something change after around 1350 to make cards spread then and not earlier? The obvious event that affected trade was the Black Death, but that would have decreased trade rather than increasing it.

One problem with soldiers is finding any with likely contact with people who had cards. Another is the question of whether such soldiers would have played cards, as opposed to chess, given Islam's strictures against games of chance. Even the cards that have survived, the two early ones, show signs of intentional mutilation. In this case there is a new book just published (March 2016) which documents that Muslim mercenaries did fight, in the time in question, for the Kingdom of Aragon in the Spanish peninsula--not against other Muslims, to be sure, but in the King's fights against his Christian neighbors. There is a lengthy description of one example from the book, of 1285, at http://deremilitari.org/2016/05/hussein ... b-ditcham/. An illustration advertising the book at http://www.medievalhistories.com/the-me ... of-aragon/ shows Muslim soldiers fighting together with Christians in the Battle of Puig, 1237. However this was a battle of Christians against Muslims, and the Muslims face a different direction than most of the Christians.

More information is needed, not only documentation about cards but other facts about their life-styles that would indicate whether they or their camp-followers would have played cards, and also about any change that may have occurred after around 1350 to increase the likelihood of cards' spread then. In this case, the Black Death might have increased the need for soldiers, and hence also for Muslim mercenaries. But it seems to me that the Black Death also would have decreased the supply of soldiers on the part of a ruler's enemies as well, thus decreasing the demand to normal levels. I have requested a copy of the book from Interlibrary Loan.

As for slaves, I have multiple confirmations of extensive importation of non-Christian slaves into Florence, starting with a statute of 1364 legitimizing and protecting such purchases. The reason for such legislation seems to have been precisely the Black Death, which affected the poorer population, which supplied the laborers, more than those who needed that labor, those with the means to buy slaves to make up for the labor shortage.

Here is an excerpt from the 1364 Florentine statute, ASF [Archivio di Stato], Provvisioni, 51, fols. 115v-116r (my source: The society of Renaissance Florence: A Documentary Study, ed. by Gene Brucker, 1971, p. 222 of 1998 reprint).
...The Lord priors ... have decreed ... that henceforth anyone from whatever place and of whatever condition may freely bring into the city, contado, and district of Florence those slaves who are not of the Christian faith .... and they may possess, hold, and sell them to whoever they wish. And whoever purchases them
may receive, possess, use, and exploit them as his slaves, and do his will with them ...

The lord priors ... with their colleges ... may make whatever provisions and orders they wish concerning the ways that masters treat their slaves, and concerning the protection of the masters against the escape, the wrong-doing, or the disobedience of the slaves, and also concerning those who receive fugitives, and all other things pertaining to these matters. ...
There is also information about who was purchased as slaves, and from where. Brucker gives excerpts from a letter of Messer Rosso Orlandi in Florence to Piero Davanzani in Venice, Feb. 13, 1391, ASF, Conventi Soppressi, 78 (Badia), vol. 315, no. 348; p. 223 of Brucker):
... If you haven't written to Spalato [in Dalmatia] to Bartolomeo or to others to send you the two slave girls abut whom I wrote yo in other letters, I beg you to write him ... so that he will send you the slaves and the documents of purchase. You can transport them from Venice and send them to me ... These slave girls should be between twelve and fifteen years old, and if there aren't any available of that age, but a little older or younger, don't neglect to send them. I would prefer to have them younger than twelve instead of older than fifteen, as long as they are not under ten. I don't care if they are pretty or ugly, as long as they are healthy and able to do hard work.
To put this letter in a larger context, there is an excellent article by Origo in JSTOR, "The Domestic Enemy: Eastern Slaves in Tuscany in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries," Speculum, XXX (1955), 321-66. It confirms that girls 10-15 were the most popular purchase. I would guess that it is because they are primarily for women's work and are perceived as more docile than boys. Of course they might also be more treacherous, as anecdotal accounts suggest. There is also the obvious sexual use, not at all prohibited by statute and of which she gives sufficient examples. Children of slaves, if begotten by their owner, were often raised as part of the family, even given dowries. Otherwise they were given to foundling homes. What happened to their mothers is not said.

Surely some of the slaves pregnant with unwanted children, and slave mothers after they gave birth, ended up in brothels, which were not only legal but even, in some cases, run and owned by the Commune, paying rent to what appear to be leading families of the town. Brucker (p. 190) cites a statute of 1415 authorizing public brothels. The Catasto of 1427 lists one Rosso di Giovanni di Niccolo de' Medici as owning a house at the entrance to the Chiasso Malacucina. The upstairs is rented to a pork-butcher, and six little shops beneath that house are rented to prostitutes. The Catasto of 1433 mentions one Piero di Simone Brunelleschi and his mother Antonia, who rent two houses and the shops below to prostitutes. They also rent there to a certain Giovanni di Marco of Venice, who with his boys collects the rents (p. 191).

While the slaves in the letter cited were being sought in Dalmatia, that was not the usual case. Dalmatia was predominantly Christian, and a purchaser did not want to find that he had to let his purchase go if she satisfied a priest of her Christian bona fides. Brucker cites a case of this sort. More often slaves were Tartars, etc. who were i.e. Muslim or pagan, Origo shows, recruited from one of the ports on the north shore of the Black Sea. This is the same stock as the Mamluks.

It is not unthinkable to me that Florentines might have learned about the game of cards from their slaves. Young people 10-15 are typically interested in just such games, and so would have learned them in their native lands. They could, it seems to me, have even devised decks of cards from materials close at hand in their new homes, taking waste paper and putting the suit signs and denomination on them. Some might even have worked for the very artisans that made similar items, although depicting saints or biblical scenes rather than the figures on cards. If so, there cannot be expected to be any surviving record. An artisan would not want to advertise that this was a game of slaves from barbaric lands.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#55
There are Castilian manuscripts dating from the late 13th and early 14th century of the tale of the maiden / slave girl Theodora La Doncella Teodor, and printed texts from the fifteenth century.

La Doncella Teodor, though presented as an independent work of fiction, turns out is a Spanish translation of the Arabic tale of the slave girl Tawaddud, from a 1001 Nights (or rather, which at some point was included in the 1001 nights).*

The earliest Arabic manuscript of the tale of Tawaddud (حكاية تودد الجارية) we have, c.late 13th early 14th century, is in the collection of Spanish Arabist Gayangos, in this version she does describe herself as a master of chess and backgammon, but it does not* include the famous gaming competition which is found in some Alf Leila versions:

quote:
“O Tawaddud, there is one thing left of that for which thou didst engage, namely, chess.” And he sent for experts of chess and cards* and trictrac. The chess-player sat down before her, and they set the pieces, and he moved and she moved; but, every move he made she speedily countered,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say."

*The Arabic term used in original is “Kanjifah”.

From internal evidence the tale has been dated by some to the Ayyubic period (pre-1250), by others to the Mamluk period (latter half of 13th century). Yet others say more generally between the 9th and 13th century. Manuscripts of the Spanish translation were usually coupled with Bocados de oro, a translation of the Arabic Muktar al-hikam* for the court of Alfonso X, and linguistic elements determine the original translation to be from the period of Alfonso X.

There were numerous translations of both Arabic fiction (for another example, Kalila wa-Dinma - the Book of Sindbad) and non-fiction in the 12th and 13th centuries. If Arabic texts from Egypt and Syria are making their way to and being translated in Spain, surely cards may have followed the same route. On the Italian side, the Venetian's had negotiated privilidged trading rights with the Mamluks as early as 1302, and had diplomatic stations in various Mamluk controlled areas, such as Tripoli, Cairo, Alexandria, Damascus and Aleppo (which were renewed and strengthened in 1414 by the Mamluk Sultan Shaykh Mahmud, who paid for a slave c.1400 from his winning at a game of Kanjifa). There was a huge trade in particular for Mamluk glassware and metalwork from Syria in the 13th century - while we have no records of cards being traded, perhaps rather they were just among the games played by the sailors on the merchant routes (both en route, and in the brothels, gambling dens and taverns at port)?

e) Sailors?

SteveM

*It is unlikely to have been a part of the original 1001 nights, and most likely only added to the late Egyptian recensions.

Via the Spanish the tale even made its way into Yucatan Mayan literature.

*The Muktar al-hikam was, along with the Tale of Tawaddud, part of the Wisdom Literature. Muktar al-hikam was a Baghdad compilation of the 9th century, re-worked in Egypt in the 11th century and with Mamluk style illustrations added to it in the 13th. Manuscripts could go both ways, there is a manuscript of the Book of Sindbad in Andalusian/Maghrebi arabic in Cairo from the Mamluk period for example.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#56
Thanks, Steve. It's hard to argue with a "may have", but I question the probability, at least, of an Arabic manuscipt, from an Arab source, coming with cards, prohibited by Islam, from a Mamluk source. As for sailors, they prsumably aren't Mamluk, and would they really trust Christians enough to teach them a forbidden game? We also have to account for why the delay from 1302 until 1360 or 1377, or whenever you want to say that there is a clear record of cards. Mamluk soldiers if captured can I suppose teach Christians their games. But it is more likely if they are allies. More research is needed.

While I have Brucker's book (The society of Renaissance Florence: A Documentary Study, 1971) checked out from the library (I thought it might be of interest to post information on who was sentenced in connection with playing cards in Florence, and who did the arresting. First I want to post a couple of pages that explain the justice system in Florence and the areas around Florence under Florentine control. For Florence itself, there were three magistrates, called the podesta, the captain, and the executor, all of whom were "foreign", which I assume means from outside of the areas under Florentine control--although it might mean just outside of Florence. For Tuscany outside of Florence, the magistrates were from Florence itself. It seems to have taken effect sometime in the 4th quarter of the 13th century. Here is the relevant paragraph, by Brucker, p. 96:

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However this system was not very effective. It was augmented by another system, that of the "magnates". Here is Brucker's next paragraph:

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We can see how the second system works in the first case Brucker gives of card-playing, 1387. This is actually a case of murder rather than card-playing; in fact there is no mention of the illegality of card-playing . I give the whole page, so as to include the footnote to Brucker's sources:

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The disposition of the case goes on for several pages. It is of no interest to the history of playing cards, but it does show the workings of Florentine justice. First, the signoria classifies the Strozzi family, all its masculine members, as "magnates", to suffer such indignities as that classification entails until such time as they have either killed both offending brothers--not just the murderer, for reasons that are not made clear--or turned them over to the authorities, at which time the "magnate" status will be lifted for all but the two brothers. Those two are also considered rebels against "the popolo and Commune of Florence", their property to be confiscated and their houses burned. Moreover, the signoria permits a vendetta by the Lenzi against the Strozzi, allowing them to kill any member of the Strozzi "however remote the relationship", without reprisal and forbidding the Strozzi to retaliate, but to "make peace" with the Lenzi within 15 days. The Lenzi then, in 1488, mortally wound what they think is a family member, but who turns out to be a servant of the other brother (not the murderer), who has since been excused from the vendetta. There is a new court case, with the Strozzi rallying around this affront to their honor. Finally in 1492 the Lenzi manage to kill a son of the murderer, apparently in Pisa, and the vendetta is satisfied, with the signoria asking Pisa not to take any action against the perpetrator. At least that is what I seem to make out.

So in 1387 at least, the people playing cards include adult male members of leading families and standard-bearers for the militia.

The only other cases involving cards that Brucker includes are the usual type in which people are sentenced to fines. One is in 1433 and the other 1435. I apologize for the crookedness, I did this at the library and didn't want to go back to fix it.

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The first group would seem not to be poor people. I don't know if they come from leading families, but probably not. The second group seem to be of a lower status, not self-employed, but workers. Do we know any of these folks?

Brucker refers to these years as "crisis years", hence with more strictness on behavior. "It is no accident that decrees concerning the extravagance of women (no. 84, [1433]), the vice of sodomy (no. 95 [1434]), and the sanctity of convents (no. 97 [1435]) were promulgated in the crisis years of the 1430s" (p. 179). I assume the crisis in question is the one having to do with Cosimo de' Medici.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#57
Re: Horse dealer - again international trade. I recall from a post I made some time ago re:Palio racing, which were held on annual festival occasions in Sienna, Florence, Milan and other places, in a discussion mainly based upon the textiles used for Palio banners, that the most highly prized horses were imported from Turkey and Africa (the barberi horse?)
I question the probability, at least, of an Arabic manuscipt, from an Arab source, coming with cards, prohibited by Islam, from a Mamluk source. As for sailors, they prsumably aren't Mamluk, and there's no evidence yet that they had cards.
Wine is prohibited, cards and gambling prohibited, certain types of figurative imagery is prohibited. Nonetheless we have a Mamluk Amir, a soldier and commander of soldiers, a famous drunk and gambler (and possibly with gay tendencies too, if a description of one of his companians being 'more than a friend, who shared his pillow' wasn't just some derogatory remark), paying for a slave from the proceeds of Kanjifa c.1400, and examples of Mamluk and moorish cards and references to saracen cards, and we have plenty of examples of figurative Islamic art from certain regions at certain times too, and at least one example that suggest some early moorish or saracen cards may have included courtly figures.

I presume sailors would be Venetian, or Portuguese, or Egyptian, Syrian or African...

I wasn't suggesting that the cards came with or were imported with the books, but merely followed the same routes. During Muslim Andalusian period in Spain there were also numerous occasions in which large contingents of Muslim soldiers from Africa and other regions also and quite regularly over the centuries supported the Andalusian muslims in their fights against Christians or in support of one Andalusian faction over another.

With manuscript translation and production also came illustrators and miniaturists - people with the skills to adapt some foreign sailor or soldiers game.
We also have to account for why the delay from 1302 until 1460 or 1477, or whenever you want to say that there is a clear record of cards.
The same with slaves, who were imported through Venice and Genoa.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#58
Steve wrote
I wasn't suggesting that the cards came with or were imported with the books, but merely followed the same routes.
I understood that. But there are different considerations governing cards than books, mainly the prohibitions and the rules of play, which probably weren't written down.

I changed my argument in the preceding post, then saw that you had already written something. My argument now is: would Muslims playing a prohibited game have trusted Christians enough to pass it on to them? Unless they had some sort of protected status, I would think not. The early Mamluk cards are visibly intentionally mutilated. Soldiers in the pay of Christians would thereby have had a protected status, in working for a Christian master. They might even have been able to cash in on their knowledge. I'm not sure about Muslim sailors, if on a Christian ship. I would think not. It seems to me that they would fear that the Christian captain would not like it, because it was known to start fights, so that the captain would complain to the Muslim authorities. In a Muslim port, I'd also think it would be pretty risky. On the other hand, it only takes one.

I am not arguing that the card games in the Christian Mediterranean didn't have a Mamluk source. Just examining the alternative ways in which the knowledge could reasonably have crossed the cultural divide.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

#60
mikeh wrote: I understood that. But there are different considerations governing cards than books, mainly the prohibitions and the rules of play, which probably weren't written down.

I changed my argument in the preceding post, then saw that you had already written something. My argument now is: would Muslims playing a prohibited game have trusted Christians enough to pass it on to them?
Alfonso's Book of Games is a translation from Arabic -- it is illustrated by pictures showing Christians and Muslims playing together (some slaves, some not). It shows games of dice, tables (such as backgammon) & chess - all of which were 'forbidden' (some Islamic interpretators of the laws argued for an exception for chess, but the majority considered it forbidden). I live in a Muslim country,shop keepers play backgammon with each other outside of their shop on every street, there are tea-houses full of men playing 'forbidden' games. Being Christian or Muslim did not and does not make one automatically some pious puritan; the Christian church and preachers condemned gambling games and civil authorities at different times and regions prohibited it; nonetheless it went on. The situation in Spain in particular was complicated, it was not always Christians and Muslims, on numerous occasions one Muslim faction would ally themselves with Christian against another Muslim faction.

What Christian and Muslim religious and civil authorities forbid or didn't forbid does not neccesarily correspond to what citizens actually did, more often such rulings were in reaction to what the citizens were doing, and carried on doing regardless of what the religious or civil authorities prohibitions, albeit with varying degrees of discretion according to the severity or laxity with which such probhibitions were enforced.

Trading ports were full of people from all over the place, an international and religious mix where all kinds people could have played games together.

As for the Venetians, they were selling Christian slaves to the Muslims (Greek Orthodox, but Christian nonetheless), you imagine their Christian morality balked at playing games with their major trading partners?
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

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