Re: Tarocchi goes west

#11
Sandy, in the second article you link above, by Franco Pratesi in 1988, he lists the cards in the order they trump one another in the play of the game recounted in the text, and the Bagatella is certainly among them -
"Several hypotheses have been proposed above, concerning the cards described in the text; finally, it may be useful to come back again to the mere evidence. In the initial part of the comedy ten cards are described and a discussion is provided as their exact order for winning tricks, which is acknowledged to be the following: 1. Imperatore, 2. Papa, 3. Matto, 4. Bagatella, 5. Fortezza, 6. Temperanza, 7. Giustizia, 8. Carro, 9. Rota, 10. Vecchio."

Pratesi was able to speculate freely back in 1988; I am sure he would be more careful now. In a poetic text that does not explicitly list all the cards in order, i.e. like the tarocchi appropriati genre - we cannot take it to represent some standard kind of game or order of trumps, and build a theory of the game around it. The game and the cards are much more a literary prop than a diagnostic description. The value of the information has to be weighed by comparison of what we know to be generally true.

But first we would need a workable translation of the whole thing.
Image

Re: Tarocchi goes west

#12
sandyh wrote:
21 Nov 2018, 15:27
About the Fool and the Bagato in the Notturno Napoletano poem, if the Fool was played according the rules as I understand them, the dialog would have to go something like this:

They are not playing according to the normal rules - they are discussing which cards trump which as they go along - either because the characters do not know the normal rules (perhaps as the authors comedic device, not necessarily because the author himself did not know them), or because they are playing a sort of debating version of the game, in which the players reasoning behind why which card defeats another is either accepted or rejected.
...If you tell me the line does not mean Il Matto defeats Popes, Emperors, and Cardinals, I submit to your superior knowledge of the language. Perhaps it means he is defeated by them, not he defeats them (which would be true of the Bagato, but not of the Fool). The Fool should have nothing to do with trump cards such as Pope, Emperor, and [sic] Cardinal; they should not normally even appear in the same trick.
No, I am not saying that : I agree the text says that the Matto trumps the Emperor and Pope, I disagree that the text is conflating the Matto with the Bagatto (which is played by the next player), which if I read you right you appear to be suggesting. I am no expert in Italian either, but as I understand the text the player who plays the Matto trumps the Emperor and Pope for the reason all men are subject to Folly, when the next player trumps him with the bagatelle (Bagato), the first player complains that the Matto is the mirror of everyone, all others (ie., so how can it be trumped by the bagatelle?). Whatever the meaning, there is clearly no conflation of the Matto with the Bagato, as both are mentioned in the text (and in a normal game the Bagatto/Bagatelle would not trump the Emperor or Pope anyway, anymore than the Matto would - unless the first five trumps were considered co-equal and the last one of them played trumped the others, but that is not the case in the text, the Pope beats the Emperor in the text not because he is played after him, but because the divine as represented by the Pope is greater than the mortal, as represented by the Emperor).
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: Tarocchi goes west

#13
sandyh wrote:
21 Nov 2018, 14:58
However, I'm beginning to think it was cutting down a straw man, to refute the notion of Ganymede, for as far as I can tell the association of Ganymede with Aquarius is an invention of modern astrologers.

Well, not that modern, and certainly well known enough in the epoch of the Tarot: the myth of Ganymede as the constellation of Aquarius is in Boccaccio for example:
Image

"The Geneology of the Gods" by Giovanni Boccaccio.


There is also, for example, a relief of Ganymede as Aquarius in the 'Tempio malatestiano' in Rimini (1465).


Also, it appears to me that the star figure is pouring water onto the river and the earth, rather than bathing. If in connection with Aquarius, then this would relate perhaps to the relationship between Aquarius and floods, as in Christopher Marlowes 'First book of Lucan':


.................................If cold noisome Saturn
Were now exalted, and with blue beams shin'd,
Then Ganymede would renew Deucalion's flood,
And in the fleeting sea the earth be drench'd.

(I chose this particular example for the fact that Marlowe figures Aquarius as Ganymede.)


However, whether intended as Ganymede or not, there is most certainly the resemblance to the sign of Aquarius. Also, in the Tarot de Marseille at least, reading it as Aquarius would be in keeping with the other two celestial trumps, which also seem to depict or at least suggest zodiacal signs:

Star with Aquarius
Moon with Cancer
Sun with Gemini
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: Tarocchi goes west

#14
Here is an authoritative statement showing the antiquity of attributing Ganymede to Aquarius:

Carole Newlands, Playing with Time: Ovid and the Fasti (1995), p. 46. Newlands says it the earliest mention of this mythological attribution is (Pseudo-)Eratosthenes, in a work called “Catasterismoi” (with my search terms highlighted).
Image

The only English translation of the work Newlands mentions in the footnote, Eratosthenes' Catasterismoi, is by Theony Condos.

Theony Condos, Star myths of the Greeks and Romans (1997), pp. 29-31 (Eratosthenes with Hyginus' Poetic Astronomy and commentary) –
Image
Image
Image


Here is a comparison of an 1821 edition of the Greek, with a French translation by the Abbé Nicolas Halma (1755-1828), to which I have added Condos’ English. Note that Condos, working from a modern critical text, says in the last line that there are 31 stars in the stream of water part of the constellation, while the text Halma used says 32 stars.

Nicolas Halma, “Constellations d’Eratosthène de Cyrène”, in Les Phénomènes d’Aratus de Soles, et de Germanicus César, avec les Scholies de Théon, les Catastérismes d’Eratosthène, et la Sphère de Leontius, traduits pour la première fois en Français… (Paris, 1821), p. 54
Image
For a larger image click:
http://www.rosscaldwell.com/astronomy/e ... condos.jpg

The historical Eratosthenes lived in the 3rd century B.C. He is famous for having calculated the circumference of the Earth to within 15 percent accuracy. The text of the Catasterismi is now considered to be about three centuries later than the real Eratosthenes, hence the author is now referred to as Pseudo-Eratosthenes.

Carole Newlands on Google Books –
https://books.google.fr/books?id=ksQjSZ ... 22&f=false

Theony Condos on Google Books –
https://books.google.fr/books?id=9wPINX ... 22&f=false

Nicolas Halma on Google Books –
https://books.google.fr/books?id=xjq8Eb ... au&f=false
Image

Re: Tarocchi goes west

#15
Sandy wrote, in his first post
Perhaps everyone already knows of the two articles by Pratesi,
http://trionfi.com/notturno-gioco-triophi
http://trionfi.com/notturno-tarocchi
The first of them has the text, or at least the relevant parts of it. Not however, translated into English.
I don't have time to enter into the discussion just now, and I certainly wish I did. But other commitments not only beckon, they shout. In the meantime, I did once try translating Notturno's poem. It would be great if others made their comments and corrections. You can find it, such as it is, with commentary, after my translation of Franco's most recent note commenting on Notturno (among others: Just search for the word "Notturno" if that's all you want) at
http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com ... rugia.html.

It should be on THF, too, but the search engine doesn't bring it up, strangely. Maybe I didn't use the right search word.

Added later: I come to the same conclusion as Ross, and also Andrea Vitali, that the order is a literary prop. The first sentence of the passage gives a clue, "Hor gioca", i.e. "Now play." The cards are mentioned in the context of playing a game (itself a literary prop, as no actual game would go like this one), in which cards are obviously not played in numerical order.

Re: Tarocchi goes west

#16
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
22 Nov 2018, 11:07
Here is an authoritative statement showing the antiquity of attributing Ganymede to Aquarius:
Thanks Ross - I was pretty sure it went back to antiquity, but was struggling to find a classical reference and not having much time was satisfied to show that t least it was known from the medieval period (re: Boccaccio reference).

[There are tens of thousands of sites that give the myth, but many (most) just a repetition of each other without giving references.]
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: Tarocchi goes west

#18
SteveM writes
However, whether intended as Ganymede or not, there is most certainly the resemblance to the sign of Aquarius. Also, in the Tarot de Marseille at least, reading it as Aquarius would be in keeping with the other two celestial trumps, which also seem to depict or at least suggest zodiacal signs:

Star with Aquarius
Moon with Cancer
Sun with Gemini
While the similarity of Noblet's SUN with Gemini is pretty clear, is there an association of his MOON with Cancer, other than the resemblance of the lobster to a crab? Although the lobster does not look exactly like either, it looks more like a scorpion than it does like a crab.

A cold day for aquatic exercise:
Aquarius Huth Hours trim590.png
Aquarius Huth Hours trim590.png (488.87 KiB) Viewed 1186 times
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.asp ... 8126_f002r

Here is a Book of Hours Gemini image rather like Noblet's Sun card
Gemini Douce MS RW595.png
Gemini Douce MS RW595.png (498.27 KiB) Viewed 1186 times
https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/inqui ... a1f24bad92

However, the majority of images for Gemini in Medieval books of hours show a pair of twins of opposite sex, doing something which twins should not do:
Bodl MS Douce 72 Gem RH595.png
Bodl MS Douce 72 Gem RH595.png (545.98 KiB) Viewed 1186 times
https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/inqui ... 5d7f59b17d

This is not quite the image of medieval prayer that I had yesterday.

All the Gemini manuscript images I've found so far are here:
https://www.pinterest.com/asiadorama/st ... es-gemini/
and Aquarius here:
https://www.pinterest.com/asiadorama/st ... -aquarius/
They certainly do look like Noblet's jug-pourer. I am not seeing anything Ganymede-like, although clearly that identification was known to some, at the time these books of hours were made.

BnF has more Books of Hours than anyone, but I haven't figured out how to access that source yet. The calendar is usually in the front, so the zodiac images should be easy to find, but it is proving difficult for some reason. I have not found the descriptions of each image in the manuscript, indexed, which make the Bodlean and the British Library so very easy to use.

Re: Tarocchi goes west

#19
sandyh wrote:
23 Nov 2018, 22:17
While the similarity of Noblet's SUN with Gemini is pretty clear, is there an association of his MOON with Cancer, other than the resemblance of the lobster to a crab?
Old depictions of cancer often look more akin to a lobster than a crab. Yes, the depiction is very much akin to cancer, and the association of Moon to Cancer, as the ruler of Cancer, is astrologically much more obvious than the Star to Aquarius or the Sun to Gemini (though classically the God Phoebus / Apollo was associated with Gemini - and Apollo was himself a Twin). In Christian terms we may note that Christ (the Star) was baptized by Saint John, and his baptism by Saint John is associated with the symbolism=of Aquarius - and Christ was crucified and resurrected according to several traditions in the 19th year of Tiberius, during the consulate of the Gemini.
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: Tarocchi goes west

#20
I have just seen about 30 cancers, and a smaller number of scorpios, in books of hours. The scorpios look just like the lobster on the card, if you take off the hooked tail. Scorpios are usually shown with the body vertical and the head on top, and thus the resemblance to the card is immediate and striking. Cancers look like crabs, and are shown with the head to the right or left. I wasn't clipping those images and I don't have any to post at the moment.

The Gemini images have a male and a female more often than not, and so this might suggest Apollo and Diana rather than Castor and Pollux, except that the female is not the chaste Diana. That the twins of Gemini could be shown as one male and one female, is suggestive of the low level of knowledge of classical mythology which shows up again and again. The illustrators knew much less than Boccaccio did. Psalter illustrators of the 1200s know more than Hours illustrators of the 1400s or 1500s.

For some reason, the Gemini, of whatever sex, are almost always naked, even more often than the Aquarius jug-pourers are. Nudity is not all that common in general in the illustrations of books of hours (except the little tiny figures among the borders).

On an unrelated manner, this card:
BL Harley MS 4431 Corinus RH595.png
BL Harley MS 4431 Corinus RH595.png (457.16 KiB) Viewed 1144 times
reminded me of this one:
clouds RH595.jpg
clouds RH595.jpg (165.37 KiB) Viewed 1144 times
The first card is Apollo killing his girlfriend Corinus because of something a little bird told him. Besides the clouds which look like this tarot card, the background of the Corinus card reminds me of some other tarot cards, and the border of yet others. Apollo's sun halo reminds me of Cicognara's Sun, and the cliffs of his cliffs. Probably means nothing. The Corinus card is by "The master of the Book of the City of Ladies, and the date is c. 1415.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests

cron