### Re: Pratesi 2014 on Bologna 1477, cards & triumphs

Posted:

**11 Jun 2018, 02:37**mathematically speaking, you can also 52 cards in a regular deck, and a ratio of 4/5, for 65 in a triumph deck, 52 regular cards plus 12 triumphs plus the fool? You can't assume that a triumph deck always has 56 regular cards? It didn't in Bologna later on. By 1477 it is hard to imagine only 12 triumphs, however, even in Bologna.

But according to Pratesi, playing with truncated regular decks was common,. That is how he argues against the 1457 Ferrara decks of 70 cards being 14 + 56: they could be 22 + 48. We know from the example of tarocchini that Bologna played tarocchi with a truncated deck, using 40 regular cards. So with 40 cards in a regular deck and a ratio of 2/3, and , there would be a total of 60 cards in a triumph deck, or, assuming the same truncation in the triumph deck, 19 triumphs plus the fool, not unreasonable if Bologna had chosen not to add a few triumphs added elsewhere, from an original smaller number. With 36 per regular deck, there would be a total of 54, or 17 plus the fool. With 32, there would be a total of 48 in a triumph deck, or 15 plus the fool. With 44 cards per regular deck, there wold be 66 cards in a triumph deck, or 21 triumphs plus the fool. Why not any of those?

Your argument does show that 78 cards in a trumph deck, and a regular deck of 52 cards, is the most flexible distribution, for a specified total number of cards as a multiple of the number in a regular deck, consistent with verified later practice, everywhere except Bologna. Given that in 1477 Bologna was not, as it became after 1507, a kind of island connected only to the Vatican, and that strongly, perhaps such an argument is strong enough.

But according to Pratesi, playing with truncated regular decks was common,. That is how he argues against the 1457 Ferrara decks of 70 cards being 14 + 56: they could be 22 + 48. We know from the example of tarocchini that Bologna played tarocchi with a truncated deck, using 40 regular cards. So with 40 cards in a regular deck and a ratio of 2/3, and , there would be a total of 60 cards in a triumph deck, or, assuming the same truncation in the triumph deck, 19 triumphs plus the fool, not unreasonable if Bologna had chosen not to add a few triumphs added elsewhere, from an original smaller number. With 36 per regular deck, there would be a total of 54, or 17 plus the fool. With 32, there would be a total of 48 in a triumph deck, or 15 plus the fool. With 44 cards per regular deck, there wold be 66 cards in a triumph deck, or 21 triumphs plus the fool. Why not any of those?

Your argument does show that 78 cards in a trumph deck, and a regular deck of 52 cards, is the most flexible distribution, for a specified total number of cards as a multiple of the number in a regular deck, consistent with verified later practice, everywhere except Bologna. Given that in 1477 Bologna was not, as it became after 1507, a kind of island connected only to the Vatican, and that strongly, perhaps such an argument is strong enough.