Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot
Posted: 11 Jul 2019, 20:19
mikeh wrote: ↑10 Jul 2019, 14:11Like Phaeded, I have had problems understanding why four cards all with the same name and equal in rank would be put in a trump suit, much less at the beginning. It seemed far more likely that some papal legate, after the Bentivoglio were defeated in 1507, insisted that the Pope and Popess had to go, to be replaced by the vague name meaning "grand men" .
On the other hand, there is the game described by John of Rheinfelden where the four suits represent the four "monarchies" of Babylonia, Persia, Macedon/Greece, and Rome. So four imperatori, each conquering the one before. And judging from the name "VIII Imperadori," there might have been two such "papi" per empire. If this game originated in Germany or Switzerland, they would have all been male, like the German and Swiss court figures.
That merely followed the medieval chronicle convention of tracing history from the Creation through the end times, usually in an attempt to place their own times on that biblical time-line; Goro Date’s La Sfera even gives this impetus a geographical emphasis, whose maps and illustrations feature the tower of Babylon and Jerusalem (its all about locating then-contemporary man in biblical time and space) . The four papi has absolutely nothing to do with the 4 monarchies subjects or theme.
mikeh wrote: ↑10 Jul 2019, 14:11In the then-modern times, there were two likenesses of the Greek and Roman empires of yore, namely the Byzantine and Holy Roman Empires, one with an Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople, the other with an Emperor and a Pope. All male. But it won't do to put them in a hierarchy, because to each other the Eastern and Western must appear equal, if unity is to be achieved some day. Hence the rule about them all being equal. It also won't do to name them, because they will be named in some order, and whatever order it is, someone will be offended.
And yet the fourth personage is missing in Florence for the East-West Union - or anywhere for that matter – when the ur-tarot was created: Emperor Sigismund died in 1437 leaving an interregnum vacuum until 1452 when Frederick III was sworn in (with a notable visit to Florence then). The idea of two emperors and two popes isn’t based on anything meaningful in c. 1439 and isn’t reflected in a single piece of comparable art from the period in either Florence of Bologna.
mikeh wrote: ↑10 Jul 2019, 14:11On the other hand, what can be done is to draw one of them as bearded and the other beardless, or in some other way convey that one is younger than the other. This is because in the German game with 8 emperors for 4 empires, 4 of them would have been Under-emperors, or heirs-apparent, at any rate someone officially designated to take the Emperor's place in case of death or incapacity…. So we get rank distinctions that can be turned into gender distinctions by people who don't know any better. Then, too, it will be possible to find four such personages within Western Europe itself, who can be arranged in a hierarchy, males first then females. So that is what happens outside of Bologna, Piedmont excepted. That is how Bologna's four papi make sense to me as part of an ur-tarot.
I’ve already pointed out the German idea of 4 monarchies has nothing to do with the 4 papi, so we’re left with this extreme hypothetical of papi coming first and followed by the supposedly modifying PMB-type deck, in which two of the papi get transformed into the Empress and “Popess”. Dante’s main exemplar in the sphere of the moon is Empress Constance the mother of the pivotal Frederick II (and there were other well-known empresses), so no need to cast about for why an empress was shown (especially when imperial weddings were international events). Notably Constance interacts with Piccarda, a Clare, both having been forced from convents (Par. 3.34-123), and our PMB Papess is shown as a Clare. But most problematic for this 4 papi as ur-tarot: the empress is there from the beginning, per the surviving CY, and fairly faithfully reproduced in the PMB (neither of which have a hint of 4 papi):
As for “Papess,” clearly this figure is derived from the similarly crozier-bearing theological virtue of Faith, modified ever so slightly with the papal tiara to represent the Faith, or rather Ecclesia, of which there are comparables. Hurst appropriately quotes and comments on O’Neil here in this context:
[Hurst:]From countless examples of personification allegory, we KNOW how this process worked. There is nothing obscure or peculiar about this possibility; no special pleading is involved.O'Neill wrote:
An objective survey of the contemporary imagery yields a number of possibilities for the image on the early Papess card. Logically, the image is the female dual of the Pope, just as the Empress is the female dual of the Emperor. The logical dual of the celibate Pope is Mother Church.
We also KNOW, from many examples before and after the invention of Tarot, that this process was used to symbolize various abstract subjects related to the Roman Catholic Church. Contemporaneous and later examples include, but are not limited to, Ecclesia (the Church itself), the Faith, True Religion, the Papacy, the Eucharist, Lex Canonica (Canon Law), Sponsa Christi (the faithful as the Bride of Christ), Divine Providence, Ecclesiastical Authority, Roma Sancta (the Holy City), and the beautifully illuminated Dame Doctryne. Protestant usage was also noteworthy, as the Whore of Babylon (again meaning the Roman Catholic Church). In terms of pre-Tarot personifications of this sort, we have repeated examples of Mater Ecclesia (Mother Church), Ecclesia et Synagoga (the twin figures of Church and Synagogue), Ecclesia Sponsa Christi, and occasional examples of things like Sapientia Dei (the Wisdom of God) and Domini Misericordia (God's Mercy).
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13681&hilit= ... ess#p13681
Ecclesia has nothing to do with two emperors and is simply paired with the Pope as symbolic of his flock, to be saved in the end times through the sacramental agency of the papacy (and why the Judgement trump is also included in the earliest CY deck).
On a side note: Ross has relatively recently unearthed something in regard to the Papessa Giovanna theory but I don’t see how papal signs on a 9th century coin could inform the design of the PMB’s “Popess”/Eccelsia. viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1324
I have previously offered a historically-based rationale as to why Bologna would specifically feature two popes: There was the Roman Catholic Pope and then the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, once resident in Bologna, but well after the ur-tarot (but not as late as when the Bentivoglio were defeated in 1507):
However, please consider this historical rationale for pushing the Bolognese "Papi" tradition back to the time when Cardinal Bessarion was the papal legate there:
(James Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance, 1, 1990: 247)
Hence one civic ruler or “Emperor” (with an Empress of course - Giovanni II Bentivoglio, tyrant of Bologna from 1463 until 1506, married his cousin and previous ruler Sante's widow, Ginerva Sforza in 1464, thus she was a "two time empress", reigning from 1454 through 1507); but what of two popes, which you link to the Roman and Orthodox Churches? The somewhat spurious Union (repudiated by its Greek signatories) was of course an immediate failure back in Constantinople, so unless the ur-Tarot was based on the Union, the Council is unlikely to have been the reason for tarot's creation. But was there a later reason in Bologna to entertain the idea of two popes due to its own local history, with no recourse to the Council of Florence?
The above quote from Hankins by itself is not satisfactory, but the full career of Bessarion must be taken into account. For the converted Cardinal Bessarion was not only Nicholas V’s papal legate sent to govern Bologna from 1450-1455, but was subsequently elevated to being the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople in 1463, a title he kept until his death in 1472 (and in a sense he was the Byzantine “pope” since Constantinople had fallen to the Turks). Surely Bologna would have looked on Bessarion’s subsequent success with civic pride given his fairly long five year office in their city. Given the 1464 wedding date of Giovanni II Bentivoglio/Ginerva Sforza, preceded by Bessarion's elevation the year before to the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, we have a year that leaps out at us - 1464 - for cause of special celebration and the creation of something like Tarocchino Bolognese (and note the papal action in the year of the wedding in 1464, when Giovanni II Bentivoglio obtained from Pope Paul II - with special pleading through Bessarion?- the privilege to be considered perpetual head of the city's Senate; again, figurative "Emperor".).
It should also be noted that there was an Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in "Constantinople"/Istanbul, but that position couldn’t help but be regarded with suspicion as the position was appointed by Mehmed II in 1454 as a means of controlling the city and environs after he conquered it in 1453 (the calls for crusades to retake the city were unending in the West and a puppet Orthodox leader, Gennadios II Scholarios in this case, was simply an annoyance, thus the more important role in the West of an “Orthodox Pope” in the office of Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, that was pro-crusade). Thus there is no need to explain the Bolognese "Papi" by way of the Council of Florence (and a supposed ur-tarot connection to it).
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1154&hilit=Bessari ... &start=190
Finally, if everyone knew what the East/Greek/Byzantine Emperor and Pope/Patriarch looked like (hell the Patriarch died in Florence), why not simply show two of the Papi in Byzantine garb, instead of focusing on facial hair as the means of discriminating among them?
Given the existence of the c. 1441 Empress and c. 1450 Popess/Ecclesia (replacing the 1441 Faith), isn't it much likelier that 2 of the papi were in turn replacements, one of which was of this misinterpreted 'Ecclesia' as popess (even specifically as pope Joan)?