Thanks for the link to the 2013 discussion, Ross. As usual, I had forgotten to see if anything had been posted on the subject on THF. Looking at it, I do remember it now. Your comments, and the quite well documented thread, will take me a little time to digest.
Andrea also reminds me that Giovanni I Bentivoglio governed Bologna in 1401 and in 1402, when the Prince was in Bologna
OK, here is the whole quote from the book Museo Cospiano, Bologna,
1677, by Lorenzo Legati, "from Cremona, "philosopher, physician and teacher of Greek letters in Bologna" (that last bit is from the title page, as Marco translated it,
; the actual page is at http://a-tarot.eu/p/2013/mus/02.jpg
12 - Tutti questi Guochi di Carte furono dedotti da quello de’ Tarocchi, inventato, com’è fama, in Bologna, e, più che altrove, praticatovi, quando i Bentivogli, v’esercitavano autorità di Principe. Testimonio di che sono le qui serbate.
13 - CARTE di TAROCCHI, usate in Bologna CLXX. e più anni fà, come dimostra il riverso di ciascheduna, in cui è stampata l’Arma de’ Bentivogli, come l’usavano all’ hora, che v’ esercitavano autorità di Principe, cioè con la Sega rossa e non altro nella Scudo, e una Pantera sopra il Cimiero, col motto FIDES, ET AMOR. Sono quelle molto più grandi delle ordinarie, e similmente dipinte di varii colori. Il Giuoco loro è più d’ ingegno, che di fortuna, ma non vi fanno buona consonanza le Figure Sacre, come quella del Papa, la quale non parmi da porre tra le cose da giuoco, scandalizzandosi di tale abuso fino gli Eterodossi (p. 307)
(12 - All these Games of Cards were derived from that of the Tarot, invented, as is known, in Bologna, and, more than anywhere else, practiced there, when the Bentivoglio exerted the Princely authority. The cards presented here give testimony.
13 – TAROT [TAROCCHI] CARDS, used in Bologna CLXX and more years ago, as evidenced by the backs of the cards, on which the Arms of the Bentivoglio are printed, as used at that time when they exercised princely authority, i.e. with the red Saw and nothing else in the shield, and a Panther above the Crest, with the motto FIDES, ET AMOR. They are much larger than ordinary ones, and likewise painted in a variety of colors. The Game with them is more ingenious than of luck, but the Holy Figures do not make for good harmony, such as that of the Pope, such as that of the Pope, which does not seem to me proper to put among things of play, so much so that even the Heterodox are scandalized by such abuse (p.307).)
In 13 he says these tarocchi cards are at least 170 years old, i.e. 1507 or earlier. 1507 is when the Bentivogli (plural) lost the "princely authority" they had been exercising. "Princely" means as rulers until death or abdication, passing down the rule through the family, father to son. This is in fact how the Bentivogli ruled in 1442-1507, a privilege granted by the Signoria of the city. I don't think that "Princely authority", "autorità di Principe, " includes one or two years here and there as governor.; at least we can't assume that it does. Moreover, in item 12 (adding the part about the age of the cards) all he is saying, besides that the game had been invented in Bologna, as "è fama," is famous (I translated it "as is known" and Marco as "as they say"), that it had been played more in Bologna than elsewhere, and in at least some of the years the Bentivogli exercised that authority, before 1507. All that is really attested is the popularity of the game for a substantial period before 1507, and the general knowledge that the game had been invented in Bologna.
There is on the side of the page a note referring us to items 7057 (actually 7051) in the appended material by Ulisse Aldrovandi, Ross (viewtopic.php?p=14263#p14263
) tracked down that reference, in a work originally dated 1613, otherwise noteworthy for its mention of genellini (found by Huck earlier). It can be ignored on the present issue, because Legati is merely referring the reader to Aldrovandi's similar complaint about the Pope being in a deck of playing cards.