Added after cross-posting: Thanks, Huck. I'd forgotten about Vitali's comments.
Before too many posts separate us from Moakley's analysis of the four Imperial and Papal cards (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1168&start=40#p19094
), I want to give some comments.
Moakley apparently thought she needed no argument that the German lady and her husband are "captives of love", and perhaps she is right, in the "softened" sense not of an uncontrollable passion but of that between lawfully married man and wife in the business of begetting heirs. The Empress and the Emperor are united by marriage, with its obligatory communion cup (marriage is a sacrament and part of a mass), and a temperament amount of drink might help them express their love, his Fortitude (wink-wink) meeting her Temperance.
However she does feel the need for an argument when it comes to the Popess and Pope, and for good reason, since they are not, in any of the examples, legendary or not, a married pair. Her argument is that (1) Juno and Jupiter were "captives of love"--he by affairs, her (I assume) by jealousy; (2) Jupiter in the Middle Ages, right up to the time of the tarot, was seen as a priest and pictured in clerical garb. She refers to Seznec. Seznec has pictures; he explains that the Arabs depicted him that way, and the Europeans copied the Arabs. (3) The "game of the gods" of Filippo Visconti had Jupiter and Juno in low positions (numbers 1 and 5); (4) At some point Northern European tarot decks substituted Juno and Jupiter for the Popess and Pope. Therefore (5) Juno and Jupiter, captives of love, are interchangeable with the Popess and Pope.
The problem is that the substitution happened three centuries after the invention of the tarot, in a different part of the continent. And nobody even knew about the precedent of Filippo's game then, and few that Jupiter had been depicted like a priest. The change to Jupiter was done only in areas of mixed Protestant and Catholic populations but under Catholic control; I would imagine the reason was to prevent fights breaking out over the Pope card. I cannot imagine it was done to caricature the Pope. As for the original "substitution", the Pope was never thought of as assuming the role of Jupiter, he with the weakness for nymphs. It was simply that Europeans, seeing Arab manuscripts, imagined Jupiter as a high priest (as opposed to imagining the Pope as Jupiter).
Moakley also has an argument about "Captain Fracasse" substituting for the Popess, that he is the natural enemy of Bagatino and his ilk in the Commedia dell'Arte. That again was centuries after the fact. Yes, he is introduced in a ribald manner. That does not make the Popess ribald, or the natural enemy of the Bagatino.
All the same, I think it is possible to fix this problem. Here is one scenario. Moakley says that there were different variations of the deck before settling on 22 special cards, including at least one with 16 of them (plus or minus). So let us suppose that the Pope and Popess were not there originally, nor the Bagatella. None of the three, nor the Fool, are part of the surviving Cary-Yale. In a new game, illegal at first, card makers don't want trouble. With that supposition, there is just the Empress and the Emperor, united by Love, immediately following.
Then someone decides that there should be a card for the Pope, one that is higher than the Emperor to show the Pope's superiority to the Emperor, and that the Emperor rules by approval of the Pope. Then someone else has the idea to have a Popess, just like there is an Empress. Since there is no such person, this is a great way to add mystery to the game. To some, it will be a joke about Joan (as with Aretino in Le Carte Parlante
) or popes' tendencies to have had mistresses. To others it will be the marriage between the Pope and the Church, bound by spiritual love. To the Visconti descendants, as their private joke, it will be Manfreda. Or not a joke, but a question: why shouldn't a woman be allowed to be Pope? If one thinks of cards being added by degrees for specific purposes, the later ones ignoring the designer's original conception, there is no problem.
Another scenario: the inventor of the game might have had a personal grudge against the Pope. So he puts the Pope and Popess cards there together, next to the Emperor and Empress, to express his contempt for the papacy, which in his view is riddled with hypocrisy and mistresses. The inventor dies, and his friends, whom he has taught the game, want to win acceptability for it. They say that the Popess is the Church (or the Faith), bound to the Pope in love, as signified by the Love card, which is "softened" from Petrarch and not a matter of captivity but simply of mutual respect and devotion. The word "Papessa", and the depiction as a lady in a papal tiara, allow for flexibility in interpretation. When Bianca Maria has a chance to design her own deck, she seizes on the chance to suggest someone else, but ambiguously, so as not to offend.
Another fixable problem I find is in Moakley's argument for Manfreda as the PMB Popess: why should anyone even remember those events 150 years later, especially seeing as the details were kept secret? Did the Inquisition even tell people that Manfreda considered herself chosen to be Pope (or Popess)? My answer is that it wasn't just Matteo, but a series of papal bulls charging a series of Visconti rulers with heresy as a follower of Manfreda and Guglielma. It was just harassment, part of an effort to bring various rulers outside the pope's jurisdiction to heel. Such bulls were public record and fresh ones could be issued at any time. Potential victims needed to know about the threat, as much as possible. Admittedly the bulls did not mention Manfreda as a would-be Pope. But there was an abridged record of the trial (our main source of information) found in the 17th century in a grocery store in Pavia. Pavia is where the Visconti Library was kept, so somebody probably removed it before the French carted the library to Paris. If this text was owned by the Visconti, each generation could inform the next, with the document as proof. So it is reasonably likely that Bianca Maria Visconti in particular, as the daughter of the Duke, would be informed. Also, her uncle was the general of the Umiliati order. The habit on the card corresponds to what Manfreda would have worn (although it also fits the Poor Clares). Even the three knots in the belt are not exclusively Franciscan; the trial record recounts a "miracle" involving the appearance of three knots in a cord.
There is no proof that Bianca Maria did know all this, but it is a reasonable possibility, given the card. For details and references, see M. M. Filesi at http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 72&lng=ENG
, or me at http://popessofthetarot.blogspot.com/