Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

My comments on Moakley on the Wheel and Coins (Denari).

Moakley says no more about why Coins is associated with the Wheel. But it is because the Wheel is round and probably also because prudence is needed to manage money.. But prudence is needed everywhere in life, even love. And there are also round objects in the Moon and Sun cards, which she associates with the Triumph of Time. Time is explicitly associated with Prudence in medieval and Renaissance times. The virtue is often shown looking forward, back, and to the side, signifying future, past, and present, both before and after the time of the PMB.

Putting Coins later, for example before the Devil (money as the root of all evil?), would make for a more even spacing of the suits. A better solution, in my view, would be to make the correlation of Coins with Prudence something that would have been done in the CY and then gradually gotten lost. Assuming the absence of the Devil and Tower (at least from the CY, if not from the PMB), and with only one Celestial (the Sun for Time, as the round object, or perhaps no round object at all, if the Celestials were absent from the CY or a predecessor, not necessarily in Milan, and Time was represented by the Old Man, an even spacing works more easily.

I discussed the Chi=Gold equation in relation to Staves, where the crossed legs also appear. It has more relevance to Coins than to Staves, but whether the X sign was ever actually used to represent gold I do not know. It seems important.

A "faience" is, per Google, "glazed ceramic ware, in particular decorated tin-glazed earthenware of the type that includes delftware and maiolica." It is named after Andrea's hometown of Faenza, famous for such products and still producing them.

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

Now for what Moakley says about the next 5 cards, from the XI IL GOBBO to XV LA CASA DEL DIAVOLO, all of which she says are governed by the Petrarchan Triumph of Death.

[start p. 94]
XI IL GOBBO ( The Hunchback, Time)
Time, in Petrarch's poem, had a whole triumph of his own. In the Visconti-Sforza tarocchi, Time becomes merely an attendant of Death. "Il Gobbo" suggests the form of death which comes naturally to the aged man, contrasting with the next card which suggests violent death. His red hat and dark blue robe are trimmed with gold-colored fur. He has white stockings, red shoes, and a great hourglass set in a golden frame.

In modern tarot packs this card is called the Hermit, and the hourglass has become a lantern. In minchiate packs he has kept his old character, and the card also shows a stag, reminiscent of the stags which draw the triumphal car of Time in the illustrations for Petrarch's Trionfi. In the minchiate, too, Time is accompanied by the signs of the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water) and the twelve signs of the zodiac.

The ribaldry which accompanied the Carnival makes one wonder whether it was this version of Time who became the doctor of medicine in one of the comedies for Arlecchino. In this commedia dell'arte, the doctor is holding up a urine glass to diagnose Arlecchino's illness. It is interesting to speculate whether Time's hourglass could have become that glass before it became the lantern of the modern tarot.

For Father Time see Panofsky (Studies) p 69ff. Time is shown with his hourglass in another early set of tarocchi or (more likely) minchiate, the so-called "Tarot of Charles VI," long supposed to be identical with a set for which the painter's bill was still extant, dated 1392, but now known to be fifteenth-century work, probably Italian. cf British Museum (Descriptive) pt I p 19.1 The remaining cards of this set are reproduced Jeux des cartes cartes tarots et de cartes numerales du 14. au 18. siecle (Paris; Societe des bibliophiles francais 1844), and this particular card of that set is also shown in Allemagne (Cartes) pl facing p 14. In an uncut sheet of fifteenth- or sixteenth-century tarocchi belonging to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Time seems already to be turning into the Hermit of the later tarocchi. The object in his hand could be either an hourglass or a lantern,

[start p. 95]
Hermits are associated with the triumph of Death in medieval and Renaissance art. They appear in the famous painting of that triumph in the Campo Santo at Pisa, and in many of the Dances of Death along with Pope, Emperor, Empress, and Fool, besides other figures not found in the tarocchi. Hermits were also favorite characters in May-plays and other comedies, which loved to ridicule them as hypocrites (see Smith, Commedia) p 46. For the doctor examining Arlecchino's urine see Enci spett, art "Commedia dell'arte" p 943.

XII IL TRADITORE (The Traitor, The Hanged Man)
The special punishment of the recreant or perjured knight was to be hung up by the heels and beaten. If the culprit was dead, his body was hung in this manner, and if he had escaped he was painted thus. Francesco Sforza's father, Muzio Attendolo, was once the subject of this public ignominy. As mentioned earlier, the Pope had given him the title of Count of Catignola in gratitude for his services as a condottiere. When Muzio later offered the services of his army to one of the Pope's enemies, the Pope ordered him depicted on all the bridges and gates of Rome, hung by the right foot to a gallows, with his heraldic mattock in his right hand. In the other hand was a scroll with this inscription: "I am the peasant Sforza of Cotignola, traitor, who have committed XII treasons against my honor; promises, agreements, pacts I have broken."

This type of punishment was inflicted not only in Italy, but in Germany and Scotland, where it was called "baffling." By extension, the custom of the "shame-painting" was also directed against those who did not pay their debts. In one German shame-painting the debtor is hanging by his heels and the Devil is beating him with a club. Beside him is hung his armor, also reversed.

In some tarot cards a dancing man called Prudence takes the place of the Hanged Man. Sometimes the card is. called The Acrobat. This seems to hint at some actual processions in which an acrobat did stunts while tied to a gallows by one foot. In the minchiate cards, "Il Traditore" carries a bag of money in each hand, undoubtedly a suggestion of Judas with his thirty pieces of silver.

[start p. 96]
For this kind of hanging see the definitions of "baffle" in Webster's unabridged dictionary (which does not describe it) in Murray's New English Dictionary and in W. W. Skeat's Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. The Italian word for it may have been "impiccare"; although this word normally implies hanging by the neck, "L'Impiccato" is one of the Italian names for this card. The etymology of the word seems to be unknown, but I have made no real search on this question.

To hang corpses by their feet, or to paint traitors so, seems to have been more common than baffling the living man. In 1415 Muzio Sforza and Pandolfello Alopo were both imprisoned and tortured in the course of an intrigue. Alopo was beheaded and afterwards hung by the feet. In 1672, after the brutal murder of Cornelius and John de Witt, the friends of Spinoza, the mob danced on their bodies and finally hung them by their feet to a lamp-post. It was then that Spinoza had to be forcibly restrained from risking his life by confronting the mob with a sign which called them "Ultimi barbaroruni." Cf Petrus Johannes Blok, History of the People of the Netherlands (New York 1907) IV 38o (cited and quoted in Spinoza and the Rise of Liberalism, by L. S. Feuer (Boston 1958) p 138).

Mussolini and his mistress were subjected to this ignominy after their deaths, as is well known. This took place in the Piarzale Loreto in Milan. A curious instance of baffling the living man was recounted in the New York World-Telegram and Sun, Nov 1 1954 p 7. A young officer in the U. S. Army was accused of ordering recruits to hang a fellow trainee by the feet from a tree limb.

For the shame-painting used against a debtor in Germany see "The Jewish Execution in Medieval Germany and the Reception of Roman Law," by Guido Kisch (in Studi in memoria di Paolo Koschaker L'Europa a ii diritto romano, Milano 1955, n 65-93), or an earlier version of the same article in Historia Judaica v (1943) • 103-132. It mentions hanging by the feet as a method of killing a man as a punishment for theft. One poor fellow hung this way for eight days, and was finally able to free himself, but his feet were too injured to let him get away. I wonder if this was not originally called the "Judas execution" rather than the "Jewish execution," as in German the terms sound more alike than they do in English. However, I have found no instances of Judas shown hanging this way in medieval or Renaissance art.

The corpse of Niccolo Fortebraccio ("Braccio") was so exposed (cf Assum's life of Francesco Sforza in Italian, p 68). Besides the shame-paintings of Muzio Sforza, for which see Assum p 17, there were Raynald and Jordan Orsini, who were depicted on the Capitol head downward at the order of Cola di Rienzi. Vasari mentions several instances of the practice, the best known being the shame-paintings of the men who murdered Lorenzo de' Medici's brother.

Although it was not usual to picture Judas in this way, the presence of the Devil in the same triumphal group inevitably recalls the scenes in the old sacre rappresentazioni where the Devil takes Judas off to Hell. The devils taking souls to Hell usually occur again in the illustrations of Petrarch's Triumph of Death. There is just one suggestion of a "baffled" Judas in "The Gallows of Judas Iscariot" by Archer Taylor (Washington University Studies, Humanistic Series ix (1922) 135-156), which mentions that in northern France and Germany folk see Judas in the moon, hanging from an elder tree by his hair or his feet.

For the dancing Prudence see the Tarot designs at the end of vol VIII of Monde primitif by Antoine Court de Gebelin (Paris 1781). It was this Tarot which set off modem occult Tarotism. There should be a Prudence in the tarocchi, to make up the four cardinal virtues. Possibly the Sforza agreed with Benjamin Rush, who said while signing the Declaration of Independence, "Prudence is a rascally virtue."

For "Acrobat" as one name for this card see Geschichte and Literatur des Schachspiels, by Antonius van der Linde (Berlin, J. Springer 1874) II 390. That this particular trick was possible appears in Paul Lacroix, Manners, Customs, and Dress during the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance Period (London, Chapman and Hall 1876) p 230. He quotes Mathieu de Coucy to the effect that the Duke of Milan once had a rope 150 feet long stretched across his palace, 50 feet from the ground. A Portuguese acrobat did tightrope stunts on it, including hanging from the rope head downward. On the same page in Lacroix is described a similar performance in 1503, at the obsequies of the Duke Pierre de Bourbon. 30,000 people witnessed this.

Voltaire mentions the hanging of a suicide's body by its feet, in his Prix de la justice et de l'humanite, xxx, 543 (cited and quoted in English translation in Voltaire's Politics, by Peter Gay (Princeton Univ Press 1959) p 270).


In all tarot packs Death has the unlucky number thirteen. In modern packs each trump bears both a number and a name, except Death, which bears the number XIII, but no name.

[start p. 97]
If we are to believe Vasari, the triumph of Death as an actual Carnival feature was an unheard-of novelty in 1511, when Piero di Cosimo planned one for the Carnival in Florence. The car of Death was prepared in the Hall of the Pope by Piero himself in the greatest secrecy. Until the actual procession nobody but the performers had the slightest idea what was to happen. The car was of vast size, and drawn by black buffaloes. Skeletons and white crosses were the decoration, and on the car was a colossal figure of Death surrounded by tombs. Wherever the car stopped, the tombs opened, and people dressed as skeletons emerged amid the singing of dirges. The attendants of the car wore death's-head masks and carried torches. They rode on the scrawniest horses that could be found, and sang the Miserere in trembling voices. At first the people of Florence thought this an unsuitable subject for a Carnival procession, but they eventually appreciated the novelty of it, and gave it a political interpretation. This was during the time when the Medici were exiled from Florence, and the song of the dead in the procession was interpreted as an address to those who had driven the Medici out, and a promise that they would soon be back:
Morti siam, come vedete,
Cosi morti vedrem voi:
Fummo gia come voi siete
Voi sarete come noi.

(We are dead, as you see; just as dead we shall see you; we were once as you are; you shall be as we.)

The description of Piero di Cosimo's "Triumph of Death" is all taken from Vasari (Lives) II 416-417.

No doubt the feeling that this triumph was unsuited to Carnival time came from the many Dances of Death painted in churches and cemeteries. They were in Lady Lent's province rather than in Carnival's. Clark (Dance p 113) lists more than twenty of these Dances of Death painted between 1424 and 1635 in cemeteries, churchyards, cathedrals, and churches, all over Europe and as far as Scotland and England, where there was one in the Pardon Churchyard of St Paul's, London, in Coventry and Salisbury Cathedrals, and in Hexham Priory. There was one in the Cemetery of the Innocents, Paris.

The sixteenth and seventeeth centuries really wallowed in the idea of death. Widows wore little skulls, funeral palls were covered with skulls holding bones in their mouths, etc.

[start p. 98]
The Devil is an indispensable character in the triumph of Death. He is there to take the soul of the wicked Hanged Man off to Hell, as we see him in so many of the sacre rappresentazioni of the Middle Ages. In these and in the illustrations for Petrarch's Triumph of Death, devils are shown taking the souls of the damned to hell, and angel carry the souls of the saved in the other direction. In modern tarot packs Temperance has been given a pair of wings and the number fourteen, to represent these angels. To keep Death in the unlucky thirteenth place, Justice has been transferred to the place of Temperance in the Love group.

Saint Bernardino, in a sermon against card-playing, represented the Devil as saying: "I don't want to be without my breviary, playing-cards, in which various figures are painted, just as they are in the breviaries of Christ, which figures show forth the mysteries of evil. Consider the avarice of money, the stupidity or doggish ferocity of dubs, the goblets or cups drunkenness and gluttony, the swords hatred and war." As with Death, the fearsome fascination of the Devil and his pursuit of the traitor Judas make him a favorite Carnival character in Latin countries.

For devils taking souls to Hell see the various illustrations of the Triumph of Death in Massena (Petrarque). They are also in the "Triumph of Death" by Orcagna in the Campo Santo at Pisa. See also Castelli (Demoniaco), especially the paintings and drawings of Italian artists, who seem not to dwell on morbid horrors as much as the Northerners like Bosch. Italians thought of Hell as a place for other people, not you and me. For medieval notions of damnation see Watts (Myth), ch 7.

Saint Bernardino's sermon is cited (Opera omnia .. . opere et labore R. P. Joannis de la Haye Parisini, ed Venetii 1741. t I, sermo XLII de alearum ludo) and quoted in Il Diavolo nella tradizione popolare italiana, by Giuseppe Coechiara (Palermo 1945). In the original Latin it goes: "Nec deficere volo officiis meis Breviaria et Diurna, quae esse jubeo charticellas, in quibus variae figurae pingantur, sicut fieri solet in Breviariis Christi, quae figurae in eis mysticam malitiam praefigurent, ut puta denarii avaritiam, baculi stultitiam seu caninam saevitiam, calices seu cuppae

[start p. 99]
ebrietatem et gulam, eases odium et belle." The free translation is mine.

In Mexico to this day papier-mache devils are sold for "Judas popping." This is noted in an issue of Mexico this Month for 1958.

XV LA CASA DEL DIAVOLO (The Devil's House, The Tower)
The Tower is the Hellmouth to which the Devil is carrying Judas. The Hellmouth was a regular part of the medieval religious stage, and was often in the shape of a gigantic dragon's mouth with devils issuing from it. Typical stage settings included "mansions" which ranged from Jerusalem at one side to a pool symbolic of the water needed for any sea-going voyage described in a play. This pool was usually at the opposite end of the stage just next to Hell (a practical location in case the flames got out of hand). In a picture of one such stage, we see the scene of the wicked King Herod's death, and a devil taking a soul away in the shape of achild.

In modern tarot packs the Tower usually has human figures falling from it to the ground. These may have been suggested by some painting such as the "Descent to Hell" by Andrea Mantegna. In this work, the gate of Hell is an arch set in a rough cliff-side. Three bat-winged devils with reptile tails hover in the air before it.

In the eighteenth century, titles on tarot cards were so badly spelled that they often make no sense. In one of these packs the Tower is titled "Lamaisondifie." That may be why this card is now called "La Maison Dieu" (House of God).

For the medieval stage see Enci spett, art "Francia," tav LXI. "Hierusalem" is at the spectator's left, and "La mer" is a square pool with a ship on it, taking up about a quarter of the stage. Next to it is Hellmouth in the shape of a gigantic dragon's mouth with devils issuing from it. Behind is a smoking building with prisoners inside. Above Hellmouth is a platform with figures bound to a wheel on their backs. In the same plate is the scene of Herod's death. Mantegna's "Descent to Hell" is reproduced in Hind (Early) vi of plates, pl 500 and 501.

The badly spelled tarot titles are listed in Nuremberg (Katalog) p 15. The Empress is "L'emparabief," the Judgement "Leugement."

[Illustration captions, p. 98 and 99:]
The Devil is lost from the Visconti-Sforza set; this card is from an uncut sheet of fifteenth- or sixteenth-century tarocchi in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of James C. McGuire, 1932, number 31.54.159.

The Tower is lost from the Visconti-Sforza set; this card is from an uncut sheet of fifteenth- or sixteenth-century tarocchi in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of James C. McGuire, 1931, number 31.54•59.

[The sheet is in Kaplan vol. 1, p. 125. Another version, in Budapest, identical except for being a little more complete at the bottom, is in vol. 2, p. 276, the same but a little more complete at the bottom, at ... lan276.JPG.]

[Scan of Moakley pp. 94-95 (Gobbo and notes, Traditore): ... ge-014.jpg

Scan of Moakley pp. 96-97 (Traditore notes, Morte and notes): ... ge-015.jpg

Scan of Moakley pp. 98-99 (Diavolo and Casa del Diavolo with notes): ... ge-016.jpg]

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

Nell'affrontare il tema del Chant de Réveillez nel territorio di lingua e cultura occitana dell'Alta Valle di Susa1, procediamo attraverso un'immagine che ci giunge da un'altra cultura, quella fiorentina dove il carnevale del 1511 presenta una novità “orribile e spaventosa a vedersi” tanto che, all'epoca, “mise terrore e meraviglia”. Questa novità primo cinquecentesca ci è descritta dal Vasari nella vita di Piero di Cosimo. Si tratta del Trionfo della Morte, un carro allegorico sulla realtà politica della città elaborato dal pittore fiorentino.

Era il trionfo un carro grandissimo tirato da bufoli tutto nero e dipinto d'ossa di morti e di croci bianche; sopra il carro era una morte grandissima con una falce in mano ed aveva in giro al carro molti sepolcri col coperchio; ed in tutti quei luoghi che il trionfo si fermava a cantare s'aprivano e uscivano alcuni vestiti in tela nera sopra alla quale erano dipinte tutte le ossature del morto nelle braccia, petto, rene e gambe che il bianco sopra quel nero spiccava ed apparendo di lontano alcune di quelle torcie con maschere che pigliavano col teschio di morto il dinanzi e 'l didietro e parimenti la gola, oltre al parere cosa naturalissima era orribile e spaventosa a vedersi; e questi morti, al suono di certe trombe orride e con suono roco e morto, uscivano mezzi di quei sepolcri e sedendosi sopra, cantavano in musica piena di melanconia quella oggi nobilissima canzone: ...

Something must have gone rather wrong with Moakley, when she wrote about Vasari and his note to 1511.
If we are to believe Vasari, the triumph of Death as an actual Carnival feature was an unheard-of novelty in 1511, when Piero di Cosimo planned one for the Carnival in Florence.
Piero di Cosimo was dead in 1511 ... since 1469.

I remember, that Cosimo's funeral in 1464 had much of a triumphal activity, possibly with the involvement of the Petrarca motive of Death. But 1511 and 1464 are now clearly 2 different events ... and the funeral was in summer, not in carnival time. I guess, that Moakley misunderstood Vasari.
I don't get the text of Volume II.

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

Moakley is referring to an artist named Piero di Cosimo, 1462-1522

Here is the edition, a translation, of Vasari she cites (1907). Here Piero's dates are given as 1441-1521

Apparently more recent scholarship has clarified the year of his birth. The description of the Trionfo della Morte is given on pp. 416-419.

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Moakley is referring to an artist named Piero di Cosimo, 1462-1522

Here is the edition, a translation, of Vasari she cites (1907). Here Piero's dates are given as 1441-1521

Apparently more recent scholarship has clarified the year of his birth. The description of the Trionfo della Morte is given on pp. 416-419.
Thanks. This corrects my suspicion.

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

Thanks for the very relevant query, Huck, and also for the clarificatin, Ross. Now I am ready to add some comments of my own to Moakley's analysis of Gobbio through Casa del Diavolo. 3 posts back. I intend these points as updates.

1. The Gobbio (Hunchback) was also known as the Vecchio (Old Man) but only seldom Time, despite his hourglass. Even in the Metropolitan Sheet that Moakley looked at, he carries a lantern.

2. In minchiate, the elements and signs of the zodiac are at some remove from the Hunchback. They go between Charity, number 19, and the unnumbered Star card, while the Hunchback is at 11. But since the zodiac signs roughly correspond to the months, they could legitimately be associated with Time. Both they and the Sun and Moon as well. Moakley thinks the latter two are better associated in the minchiate with the Triumph of Eternity, as the "captives" of Eternity. But that would also apply to the zodiac signs, it seems to me. For the minchiate, it will be recalled, she associates the four virtue cards of Hope, Prudence, Faith, and Charity with Fame, apparently in its meaning as "Glory". That would also seem to be the meaning in minchiate, where the Judgment card is called "Fama". That of course is not Petrarch's meaning, but in Italian "Fama" applies to both. It is the interpretation that applies to people without earthly fame.

3. It seems significant to me that Muzio was guilty of "XII treasons". It corresponds to Judas as the 12th disciple, and of course the 12th triumph, in every 15th-16th century case. Also, since it is the father of Francesco Sforza, supposed co-commissioner of the deck, it is not necessarily a negative card. His green leggings suggest germination (like the green sleeves), and there is a hole in the ground under his head, as though he is being planted. Muzio's action upset the balance of power that was preventing a resolution of the schism. He deserted (not exactly a betrayal, as his loyalty was limited) an anti-pope. And he germinated the greatest condottiere in Italy.

4. If debtors were hung upside down, that raises the question of whether the man on the card, in Florence and Bologna, is not perhaps merely a debtor and not Judas. after all, one deterrent to debt is the shame incurred. However debtors in 15th century Italy do not appear to have been depicted hanged by their feet. That was only for people guilty of infamy, which were mostly traitors. The only exception might have been if he were a Jew, thought, for example, to have fled the city taking his creditors' money with him. The Catelin Geoffroy Hanged Man likely is a Jew, because of the type of depiction. But that is not Florence or Northern Italy. I don't think the Charles VI Hanged Man is supposed to represent a Jew in Florence. I discussed this at viewtopic.php?f=12&t=971&hilit=debtors&start=50#p14472.

5. Her account of flying devils is relevant: they and the angels fight for souls after death in the air. That may indeed be why Temperance in the French decks, where it is 14, has wings. The Devils on the card always have wings. Piscina in c. 1565 saw the "demoni" as representing the sphere of air (

6. In Tarot, Jeu, Magie (p. 36) Depaulis advanced the theory that "Maison-Dieu" comes from "Maison de Feu", where "Feu" means the Devil. But he give no source. Moakley does so, albeit for the misspelling "maisondefie": a Katalog of Nuremberg, which her bibliography says is dated 1886. The title is from an eighteenth century deck, she says. But Noblet, in whose deck we first know the term, was active in the 1660s, as Depaulis documents (p. 64). But maybe "maisondefie" goes back earlier, with the more correct spelling, in France, of "Maison de Feu", which transforms, misreading imprecise woodcuts, to "Maison-Dieu".

Even if this is right, there is the question of why it would do so and be accepted. I see in Robert's Dictionnaire Francaise that one meaning of "maison-dieu" is given as "Temple of Jerusalem", which famously was destroyed twice, not by God, but no doubt was interpreted as such, by Christians and also Jews who saw their people straying from God.

In the Oxford English Dictionary, the term has a long history as meaning a poorhouse for the indigent, or a place where people went to die (or recover). Either way, they would have time to be penitent and to ready their souls for God. The meaning a place for the deadly ill fits with an image in the so-called "Schoen Horoscope", in which the astrological houses are given illustrations fitting the house but reminiscent of tarot cards ( ... vSchon.JPG, image on right). In that sense the penitence might continue after death; in the painting done to commemorate Dante in Florence's Duomo, 1465, Purgatory looks much like the Tower, with a ring of fire on top

7. I didn't know the "Mantegna" painting ( ... _limbo.jpg). Actually, according to the internet, it is by Giovanni Bellini, 1475, and called "descent into limbo", but it is very faithful to the Mantegna engraving "Descent into Hell", 1469, it is based on. (However the "Anonymous Tarot de Paris" bears some similarity.) It is true that in the early decks we don't see people falling off the tower, but that painting does not seem to be the inspiration when we do. There is no cliff or hellmouth in those cards, unless you count the door to the tower itself, which does not seem quite appropriate. The Metropolitan version she uses (since there is none in the PMB) does have a devil in the doorway, although it isn't easy to spot. The devil is more obvious in another c. 1500 image, "Nimrod's Tower" in Lydgate's Fall of Princes, done some time after the text was done, which was around 1450, perhaps as late as the earl 16th century (as I read in the introduction to this or another of Lydgate's works). I found a good color image, but somehow it is reversed ( ... cesDet.jpg). It is strikingly like the Tarot de Marseille version with the falling figure (plus one lying on the ground) first seen in the 1660s. Here are the relevant details of the card and the illumination (I take it from another post of mine)

As far as the source of the Tarot de Marseille image (and perhaps of the Lydgate), the image of human looking figures falling from a crumbling tower was common enough in church settings, at least in France. They described the "fall of the idols" as the Holy Family flees into Egypt. Jean-Michel David explains this with excellent images: ... -numinous/. All that is missing is the devil in the doorway to these pagan temples.

I suppose that Death and the Devil would have been appropriate in ribald contexts such as Carnival, even if the examples are later.. However the images were common enough otherwise. An old man on crutches might have been a subject for mockery by some, but even then it would have been in poor taste in a public festival. The men on crutches in "Battle between Carnival and Lent" mostly evoke our pity. In Milan it would have been in especially bad taste, because Filippo Maria was on crutches and the Sforza were emphasizing continuity with the Visconti. The PMB Hanged man does not look like an object of mirth, especially for the Sforza, where Francesco's father had been subject to that depiction. The Charles VI image is indeed a bit comic, as the moneybags he clings to simply tighten the ropes and add to his pain. Chasing Judas into Hell would no doubt be amusing, but I'm not sure seeing him hang would be A burning tower or a Hellmouth would also be entertaining, but for it to be ribald there would have to be a really bad person going in, of which there isn't.

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

Here are the last few pages of Moakley's book.

[start p. 100]
LE SPADE (Swords)
It is apparent that the suit of Swords heralds the Triumph of Eternity in which Justice shines, but as do all the suits it also points to the preceding Triumph of Death, of which the sword is the instrument.

In this suit even the Queen wears armor, and the King is the only one of the four suit Kings to have his shield beside him. It is no mere jousting shield either, but a shield to be used in war, for which he is ready at any moment.

The Knight and the Page wear great hats of peacock feathers. Though Justice is sometimes represented as blindfolded, she is also Argus-eyed like the peacock in her efforts to hunt out injustices.

The device of the shield, party per pale, on the caparison of the Knight's horse, shows that the suits of Swords and Coins echo each other, for we find this same shield on the Ace of Coins.

The King's shield has the device of a lion, haloed and bearing a book, which is doubtless the Judgment Day book,
exactly worded,
Wherein all hath been recorded.
Thence shall judgment be awarded,
as the hymn Dies Irae says.

Swords is a masculine suit; the Ten is highest of the common cards.
Note that the Three of Swords is lost.

[start p. 106]
The wicked having been safely isolated in Hell, the remaining good and godly people can enjoy the triumph of Eternity. It is appropriate that the Star comes immediately after Hell. Those who know their Dante will remember that at the end of the Inferno he and Virgil emerged from the depths of Hell to see the stars in the upper air, and that the last line of each of the three books of the Divina Commedia ends with the word "stelle."

In a manuscript called De Sphaera, illuminated for Francesco Sforza at about the same time as these cards, the influences of the planets are described in these verses:
Saturn produces sluggish and wicked men,
Robbers, liars, and assassins,
Peasant boors with no light,
Shepherds, limpers, and wretches of that sort.

Benign is Jupiter, and a planet of power,
He produces mathematicians and doctors,
Theologians and great scholars, and he does not prevent
Any gentle affair nor great honors.

Warlike Mars always inflames the mind,
He turns men to war and violence,
Now to this, now to that, and his raging is never sated,
When he gets something, he only wants More.

Gracious Venus by her ardor
Kindles gentle hearts, wherefore in singing
And dancing and beautiful festivals for love,
She leads them on with her delightful glances.

[start p. 107]
Mercury, star of clear reason
Produces a great fountain of eloquence,
Subtle craftsmanship and every fine art,
And he is enemy of every vain affair.
Venus, according to legend, was an ancestress of the Visconti family through her marriage to Anchises, the father of Aeneas, who was believed to be the original ancestor of the Visconti.)

The other two planets, the Moon and the Sun, are also described in De Sphaera, and their verses will be found in connection with the description of the two trumps of the same names.

The De Sphaera (listed in my bibliography under "Reale Biblioteca Estense, Modena," the institution which owns the original manuscript) reflects the astronomy of Sforza's day, as it had prevailed since the time of Aristotle. These theories were just about to yield to the work done by Regiomontanus, who lived at this time. He and other astronomers revived the practice of actually observing the heavens instead of merely theorizing about them.

The astrological ideas of the De Sphaera were still taken quite seriously by most people, though the astronomers themselves were beginning to be skeptical. Astrology was taught at universities. When Lorenzo de' Medici reestablished the University of Pisa in 1472-73, astrology was at first omitted from the curriculum, but had to be added because of student demand (Thorndike, History IV 435)

Venus is shown being married to Anchises by Jupiter in a manuscript listing the fabulous Visconti genealogy. A footnote to Filelfo's "La Vita del Sanctissimo Johanni Battista" addressed "al gloriosissimo Prencepe Filippo Maria Anglo" (Filelfo, Prose, p 46), explains that this title was given to Filippo Maria Visconti because Anglo, the supposed son of Aeneas and founder of Angera [sic] (Latin: Angleria) was believed to be the original ancestor of the Courts of Angleria, and then of the Visconti. The first Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, assumed the title of Duke of Agleria in 1392, and bequeathed it to his sons, and thenceforth the title was always born by the eldest son of the reigning house.

The supposed planetary influences in the De Sphaera are based on the idea that each planet was associated with one or two signs of the Zodiac, known as its “houses." For Saturn these were Aquarius in the daytime and Capricorn at night. For Jupiter they were Sagittarius in the daytime and Pisces at night. Mars's houses were Arises and Scorpio; Venus Libra and Taurus (that is why she is sometimes shown with a balance; cf Seznec, Survival, p 204-205, fig 85 and 87); Mercury's Gemini and Virgo. The Sun had only one house, Leo, for the twenty-four hours, and the Moon also had only one, Cancer. The original text of the planetary verses is as follows:
Satumo huomini tar& et rei produce
Rubbaduri et buxiardi et assasini
Villani et vili at senza alcuna lute
Pastori et zoppi simili meschini.

Benegno a love et de virtu planeta
Produce mathematici et doctori
Theologi et gran savij, ne divieta
Alcuna gentil cosa o gran& honori.

II bellicose Marte sempre inflame
Li animi alteri al guerreggiare et sforza
Hor questo hor quello, ne satia.sua brama
In l'acquistar, ma piix sempre rinforza.

II Sole ad honor l'uhomo et gloria sprona
Et d'ogni leggiadria si dilecta,
Di .sapienza Porta la corona
Et di religion produce secta.

La graziosa Vener del suo ardore
Accende i cuor gentili onde in eantare
Et danze et vaghe feste per amore
L'induce col suave vagheggiare.

Mercurio di ragion lucida stella
Produce deloquenza gran fontana
Subtili ingiegno et ciaschunarte bella
Et e nimico dogni cosa vana.

La Luna al navigar molto conforta
Et in peschare at ucellare et caccia,
A tuti i suoi figIiuoli apre la porta
Et anche al solazzare the ad altri piaccia.
The translation is mine.

[start p. 108]
The Moon triumphs over the Star because she is bigger and brighter. Sforza's De Sphaera manuscript says of her:
The Moon greatly cheers the sailor,
And in fishing, fowling, and the chase
To all her children she opens the door,
Also to entertainment and other pleasures.

Here it is the goddess Diana who holds up the crescent moon in one hand, while in the other she carries a broken bow in her characterization as huntress. The broken bow is a sign of her defeat, for she, like the Star and the Sun, is a captive in the triumph of Eternity. In the timelessness of eternity, the heavenly bodies are no longer needed as the measurers of time. That is why, in the illustrations of Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity, the sun and moon often appear in the sky as sad faces.

The Triumph of Time, in Petrarch's poem, immediately precedes the Triumph of Eternity, so the triumph of Eternity over Time is represented by the sadness of these servants of Time. The Moon was called Luna when she shines in heaven, and Proserpina when she is below. The poets say she was the daughter of Hyperion and sister of the Sun. According to Ovid her car had two wheels and was drawn by two horses, one black and one white.

The disconsolate faces of the sun and moon appear in illustrations of Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity. See Massena (Petrarque), passim, also Bulletin of The New York Public Library, Lx (Feb 1956), whose frontispiece reproduces two miniatures from the Library's fifteenth-century ms copy of Petrarch's Rime, showing the Triumph of Cupid and the Triumph of. Eternity.

The names, ancestry, etc of the Moon are taken from Ambrogio Calepino's dictionary, art. "Luna." Calepino was born at Bergamo in 1435. The New York Public Library has a Latin-Japanese dictionary based on one compiled originally by him. In the light of the recent interest in Zen the following definition in that dictionary is of interest: "Meditatio, -onis. Consideratio Xian, cufti ." "Xian" probably approximates the sixteenth-century pronunciation of "Zen."


The Sun, in the form of a ruddy human head, is held aloft by a winged putto. He triumphs over the Moon, yet he too is one of the captives who repre-sent the triumph of Eternity over Time. The De Sphaera says of him:
The Sun spurs man on to honor and glory,
And delights in all comeliness,
Wears the crown of wisdom,
And produces sects in religion.
The sun was one of the favorite heraldic devices of the Visconti and the Sforza families. In illuminated manuscripts its rays often shine out from the borders of miniatures, and the sun itself is repeated again and again as a device. In allusion to this, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza later adopted the eclipse of the sun as one of his devices, This occurred when Pope Alexander VI proved ungrateful for Ascanio's help and became his greatest enemy. As an accompanying motto Ascanio chose: Totum adimit quo ingrata refulget (It takes all away from him by whom, ungrateful, it shines).

The sun, like the other planets, was important in astrology. In 1434 Martin of Lausanne predicted that there would be a great catastrophe in the near future, because he had just seen three suns at once. When Constantinople fell in 1458 he considered his prediction fulfilled.

For the original text of the verses from De Sphaera, see the note for trump XVI, La Stella. For Ascanio Sforza's device of the eclipse see Palliser (Historic), p 195.1 have translated the motto a little differently. For Marlin's prediction see Thorndike (History) xv 98-99.

[start p. 110]
XIX L'AGNOLO (The Angel, The Judgment)
Here is the central figure in the triumph of Eternity. It is the Judgment Day; God appears in the clouds of Heaven, heralded by trumpeting angels. Francesco Sforza—and his wife Bianca Maria rise joyfully from their graves, as Heaven is their destination.

There is an insouciance about the Judgment that is commonly expressed in Italian painting of the time. In one instance, the members of the whole Colonna family,.:Including three or four past generations, are shown rising from their graves with the same cheerful alacrity. The newly dead appear in their burial clothes. The others are shown stark naked. In another painting most of the characters rise up in their bones, except. That the newly dead, in the foreground, are rising fully fleshed.

A contemporary of Sforza, Tommaso Portinari, is shown in Hans Memling's painting, "The Last Judgment." Portinari was according to some a descendant of the brother of Dante's Beatrice, and manager of a branch of the far-flung Medici Bank. In this painting he is kneeling in one pan of St Michael's scales, while his wife is beginning to sit up on the ground below, with one hand lifted to fix her hair. The happily great number of the saved is indicated by what seems to be the rather bored, but polite greetings of the angels who are ushering them into Heaven. The angels are handing out new clothes to each naked entrant, and appear to be saying "Step lively, please!" On the other side of the painting fireproof devils are goading the damned into Hell. Of course, we may be sure those people are nobody with whom we would care to associate.

The first of the paintings described in the second paragraph is reproduced in Litta (Famiglie) m pt 2, fasc (37?] (Colonna family). The painter was Pietro cla Cortona. The tombs from which the family are rising each bears its occupant's name, and the tomb of Christ is shown among them. Christ Himself floats joyfully in the air, while an angel points to a scroll on His tomb which says: "He is risen; He is not here."

The second painting {the dead rising in their bones) is reproduced in Enci ital near the article "Ciudizio universale."

Portinari is identified as the occupant of St Michael's

[start p. 111]
scales in De Roover (Medici), pl facing p 3o; and as a descendent of Beatrice's brother, [/i]ibid[/i] p 13 note 33.

Justice is the third of the four cardinal virtues to appear as one of the trumps. Since Prudence, the fourth virtue, does not appear at all, we are presumably meant to assume that Justice is the highest and most important of the four. Certainly she is the appropriate virtue to appear at the Last Judgment.

The Sforza family, when they looked at this card, might well have remembered what Filelfo had said about Justice: "Euripides ... writes in one of his tragedies, about Justice among the other virtues, being no less marvelous than the morning star or than Diana." On another occasion this same Filelfo, whose patrons had been the Visconti, the Medici, and the Sforza, had also apostrophized Justice in these words:
Arise, Justice, may Astraea now arise,
Who with her rays fostereth every virtue
And maketh every wrong to fail.
Let her thwart the plottings .of the guilty throng.

She is that royal and great goddess
By whom cities and empires are preserved in pride;
Without her no kingdom can long endure.
This is she who makes them all secure.
Filelfo's citation of Euripides is in his Prose, p 40-44: "Euripide ... scrive in una sua tragedia, di giustizia, intra le altre vista, non essere meno meravighosa che sia la stella mattutina ovvero diana." The verses are in p 7-12:
Surgi, Giustizia, surga quella Astrea,
c'avanza ogni virtu colli suo' caggi,
e faccia c'ogni ingiuxia presto caggi,
rompa la trama d'esta turba rea.
Questa a quella reale e magna dea
per cui cita e iraperi si conservano alteri;
e senza questa niuno regno dura:
questa a colei che ciascun asicura.
This is from his "Canzone morale" dated at Florence, Nov 13 1431. The translations are mine.

[start p. 112]
XXI IL MONDO (The World)
Two putti hold up an image of the World. It is the "new heaven and new earth" in the midst of which is the Heavenly Jerusalem, where Francesco and Bianca Sforza are literally to live happily for ever after, with all the redeemed.

In the excitement of viewing the participants we have almost lost sight of the main purpose of this procession, which was to take King Carnival to his execution. We find now that somehow or other his death has quietly been accomplished — perhaps he is hinted at in the down-and-outer of the Fortune card or in the old man who is rising from the grave along with Francesco and Bianca at the Last Judgment.

In any event, the World remained a favorite subject for triumphal processions, even quite late in the Renaissance. In 1672, in a great open court near the Este Castle in Ferrara, a Triumph of the World was performed in carrousel style. Rows of men on foot alternated with rows of horsemen preceding the triumphal car at the end of the procession, on which there was a great globe with an allegorical figure mounted on top.

In the tarocchi the World is the climax of the whole procession. In an actual procession it would be accompanied by a gorgeous display of fireworks, begun with the appearance of the Star and becoming increasingly more splendid. In later times a balloon might be sent up, as a grand finale to represent the ascent of Carnival's soul into Heaven. One can imagine a cry of mixed rejoicing and regret as the spectators started home, perhaps to dream of next year's Carnival.


The Triumph of the World performed at Ferrara in 1672 may be seen in Enci spett art "Ferrara," tav XXIV. It was managed by Borso Bonacossi, the verses were by Francesco Berni, and the scenery and "machines" were by Carlo Pasetti.

The balloon representing Carnival's soul was used in a Carnival at Rome in 1891. See the description of the last day of Carnival in Carnival of Rome (Rome? 1891?). (Balloons are an 18th-century invention.)

[After this comes the Fool, and the Bibliography, both already posted earlier in this thread.]

[Scan of Moakley pp. 106-107 (Stella and notes): ... ge-004.jpg

Scan of Moakley pp. 108-109 (Luna, Sole with notes): ... ge-005.jpg

Scan of Moakley pp. 110-111 (Agnola and Justicia, with notes): ... ge-006.jpg

Scan of Moakley pp. 112-113 (Mondo and notes, Matto): ... ge-007.jpg]

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

My comments on Swords and Moakley's last 6 triumphs.

1.All that ties Swords to this part of the sequence is the presence of Justice in what follows. If Justice is somewhere else, then presumably Swords would go there. However in that case it would be part of the procession with the other suits, and all the “companies” suits would end up marching together.

A solution, where Justice is low, would be to look to a reduced sequence (16 cards) as represented by the surviving cards of the Cary-Yale plus a few more. Justice could be put with the Empress, Emperor, and Love, as pertaining to them. Putting Justice with Love makes it pertain to the marriage contract and the duties of husband and wife. A consequence is then the card no longer has any ribaldry, unless it gets it by virtue of the next suit card, Fortitude. Then the suit that would go with Time (cosmic time as opposed to that of the human lifetime) and Eternity would be Coins. Celestial bodies and the spheres in which they revolved, and even the spheres above them, were thought to be circular, God's favorite shape.

2. It is difficult to say much with any confidence about the Star, Moon, and Sun cards during Francesco Sforza’s lifetime because they are all “second artist” cards. Identifying the Star with Venus indeed fits with the fabled ancestry of the Visconti, descended from Venus by way of her son Anchises, his son Ascanius, and his son Anglus (Filelfo’s “Anglo”). We have discussed this geneology on THF (especially in the thread starting at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13402&hilit=Anchises#p13402). Another possibility, if the card originated in some other city, is the Star of Bethlehem. On the Milan card, it would seem to me that the lady is looking more to Christianity, perhaps as a redoing of the Cary-Yale’s Hope card, than to the ancestress Venus. Later tarots, however, certainly did use Venus. In the Cary Sheet, a naked lady with a star on her shoulder pours from a vessel. Since there are four other stars on the card, and Venus typically was portrayed nude, one may conclude that she is Venus. There is also the Leber Star card, with a goddess in the sea and a ship; Venus was associated with the launching of ships.

3. Whether the Moon lady is holding a broken bow was questioned by Marco (I can’t find the post); he interprets it as a bridle, traditionally associated with Temperance. Diana was a chaste goddess, so this fits. A broken bow at least fits the times, as there was a popular story by Boccaccio in which the nymphs following Venus broke their bows and got married.

4. Explaining the sad face on the Moon lady by saying that these celestials are captives of Eternity seems to me to jump the gun. They are only captured when we get to the end, the New Jerusalem, and in any case only the Moon lady is sad. It might be said that she is sad because she knows she will be captured. The problem is that we really don’t know the references. Diana would be sad if her nymphs left her, or had been intemperate, discarding their bridles (as a variation on breaking their bows). Also, it is possible that the Star, Moon, and Temperance lady is someone belonging to the Sforza family who had a sad end; my candidate would be Elisabeta Maria Sforza, Francesco and Bianca Maria’s younger daughter, who died in childbirth in 1472 and for whom these card might have been intended as a memorial.

5. The explanation for why the order goes from Star to Moon to Sun as the order of brightness, each triumphing over the one before, is generally accepted. It was given by Piscina c. 1565 as well.

6. Her reference to the various other planets in terms of astrology has no apparent relationship to the PMB. Perhaps it relates to later versions of the cards, or some schema of interpretation that she could not follow through on. John Shephard did an interpretation of the whole sequence in terms of Renaissance astrology in his book The Tarot Trumps. On THF an interpretation in terms of the planetary spheres in Dante’s Divine Comedy has been worked out by Phaeded.

7. She did not try to explain the little boy on the Sun card, on a cloud reaching for the Sun. Some have appealed to the ancient and medieval view, I think going back to Plato in the Phaedrus, that each planet and star has its own "genius". It seems to me it might also be the purified soul reaching for God or Christ, frequently symbolized by the sun. "Become as little children", Jesus said (Matt. 18:3). That leads into the next card, the Angel.

7. Besides the “New Jerusalem”, it has been proposed that the walled city in the “World” card might also refer to Milan itself in the plans of the Sforza, as worked out by the architect.

General assessment of Moakley. It is surprising how much of Moakley’s ideas, the first attempt at a rigorous historical analysis, still hold up: much of the analysis for individual cards, the general approach of applying Petrarch’s poem (as well as imagery from other literary works, especially the Divine Comedy), and the idea of a ribald motive for at least some of the cards, perhaps based on Carnival processions and certainly applying to later versions of some of the cards. Also the general idea of processions and other spectacles as a way of seeing the sequence then, perhaps related to its creation, is still valid. However in the beginning it would have been religious pageants more than ones at Carnival, which remain relevant throughout the period. The idea of seeing those cards that were not one of Petrarch’s six as “companions” is also still a useful idea, especially, I think, in relation to a reduced sequence such as the Cary-Yale or Pratesi’s hypothesized proto-Florentine tarot might have been. As for the idea of suits relating to particular sections of the sequence, that again applies more to the Cary-Yale, and not in a ribald way. Yet the Cary-Yale was not that long before, and old ideas hang on.

The idea of the PMB as the “original” order and imagery is of course a much weaker hypotheses than she supposed. Moakley had only seen a few of the Cary-Yale cards (in Hargrave’s book), and from their general correspondence to those of the PMB she must have assumed there was no important difference. Her other emphasis, on the minchiate, for decades was seen as irrelevant to the early years (except by Shephard), but it has received recent vindication through the discoveries of new minchiate and germini references by Pratesi and Huck.

For me there was the question of whether the cataloguing scheme of the Cary-Yale at the Beinecke Library may have been shaped by Moakley’s thesis about the relationship of suits to groups of triumphs. It seems to me that the schema at Yale is too different from Moakley’s to be attributed to her influence: the suits relate to different groups of cards and the order is different, both for triumphs and the suits connected with them. However it may be that Moakley’s book helped the cataloguer to see that it was important to preserve the schema and order that had been handed down with the collection. If so, we are in Moakley’s debt for pointing out such schemas’ importance. At the time it was not known that the Marziano deck included such a schema, except by those with access to the Bibliotheque Nationale who may have bothered to look, probably meaning no one. Nor was it supposed that the game of “VIII Emperors” might have done so as well (as suggested by Pratesi).

Yes, it is good to honor and study Moakley’s work, of lasting value to tarot history research.

Later I will post Shephard’s ideas, 1985 building on Moakley in the light of Dummett: that the "Charles VI" order also be considered in relation to Petrarch, as well as a reduced version of minchiate, which he says might have been the germ of the tarocchi.

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

mikeh wrote:Phaeded wrote
Can anyone produce a 15th century depiction of an Umiliati nun that resembles the PMB trump?
Didn't you once post the following, which you said was from the cover of F. Andrews, The Early Humiliati, Cambridge University Press, NY, 1999 and estimated 14th century? It looks late gothic to me, i.e. 15th century or before.
And subsequently posted a mea culpa, here (and you posted in this thread); but what I get for judging a cover by it's book:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=385&p=14159&hilit= ... eca#p14159

Not only is the painting not 15th century but it is in fact of converts to the monastic rule of the Cisternians under St. Bernard of Clairvaux - my crappy 2013 photo of the museum placard (its in the Bologna Pinacoteca):
There is no evidence for Milanese interest in Umiliati in c. 1450 - yet an overwhelming interest in the Franciscan tertiaries; exactly what the PMB "Papess" is dressed as.

Re: Moakley's book: text and discussion

Thanks for the link. I see now where you retracted your interpretation of the painting --on a different thread. I can't remember everything everybody says from four years ago, Phaeded. That's why I allowed that I might have misread you. I vaguely remembered something, I just couldn't place what.

If I use the search word "Andrews" (author of the book), and then "Umiliati" (because of too many "Andrew"s all I come up with is the thread where you said disavowed elsewhere, with no retraction in the post or even the same thread, that I could find. To prevent future confusion, if there isn't a correction within a couple of posts, you should add a retraction in the same place as your original error. Otherwise it is difficult to find where you said otherwise, unless we use the right keywords in the right order. Not only that, people looking for pictures of Umiliati might be directed by Google Images to that post, and so errors multiply. It is not just me you have to think about.

You also wrote (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&hilit=umiliati&start=120):
If there is a privledged image of the Clares, and one that certainly predates the PMB, it is most certainly the Assisi chapel fresco (the Order's home base) showing Clare and her nuns. Look again at that image - the Clares wear a white underveil, but not the white wimple that is worn around the neck and chin and which usually covers the head, precisely as shown on the Umiliate and on the Papess. The Clares' necks are bare, no wimple, in this most canonical of all images of them.

Finally, I have provided the most historically relevant data point connecting any religious order to that of both the Visconti and Sforza: Andrea Visconti, Master General of the Umiliate Order, was Bianca's godfather who was her stand-in at the marriage contract (which was essentially a political tool) drawn up between Filippo and Sforza. Where are the Franciscans in a similarly important role in regard to Visconti and Sforza, 1440 through 1451? The only seemingly relevant connection is that the Fransciscans in Milan were aligned with the Umiliate against the Domincans, with both the Franciscans/Umilitate connected to the Age of the Holy Ghost movement, which can in turn be plausibly seen as reflected in the radiant/dove/a bon droyt stemma created for the Visconti and adopted by the Sforza.
Did you retract that, too? If so, give me another link. I do want to get my story straight. From what I see in the Italian Wikipedia article on Bianca Maria ( ... a_Visconti), what you said about Bianca Maria's godfather (padrino) is correct, at least.

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