Re: The "equal papi" rule in the context of medieval Italy

#41
mikeh wrote:
30 Jun 2020, 10:32
Then the emperor-elect was Wenceslaus, who didn't go to Rome, was deposed 1400 [corrected from "1390"], a deposition not accepted by Wenceslaus. His successor was Rupert, the pope's choice as well as the electors', but who wanted to conquer Lombardy on the way to Rome, did not succeed and died 1410 [corrected from "1210"]. He was followed in 1411 [corrected from "1211"] by Sigismund, to whom Wenceslaus yielded and the pope supported.

I would like to add here that Rupert - a member of the Bavarian House of Wittelsbach, Elector Palatine from 1398 (as Rupert III) and King of Germany (rex Romanorum) from 1400 until his death - wanting to conquer Lombardy meant Giangaleazzo Visconti, and that happened in 1401, but Rupert was defeated at Brescia. And in light of the possible influence of a German luxury hunting deck - specifically a "Stuttgart type" from the House of Wurtemberg in my hypothesis - making its way to Milan, note that when back in imperial lands Rupert was opposed by the Archbishop of Mainz who forged an alliance with Count Eberhard III of Württemberg (his first wife being a Visconti), the Zähringen margrave Bernard I of Baden and several Swabian cities in 1405. Eberhard III of Wurttemberg and G. Visconti thus opposed the same King of Germany in the same time period, marking out those two families in yet another way besides mere marriage. The relations between Giangaleazzo Visconti and Count Eberhard III of Württemberg are hard facts, from which I have hypothesized gifts of luxury cards between the two houses.

As for this:

So we have the general period 1160-1410, although strictly speaking 1160-1356. The only time a true emperor fought an excommunicated one was Louis IV vs. the future Charles IV. The latter was defeated by the excommunicated one but eventually became emperor. So we have:

excommunicated emperor = Louis IV
true emperor = Charles IV
antipope = Nicholas V
pope = John XXII

Have you yet to find any pre-16th century reference associating these four as a group in the manner that you have, or just these tortured interpretations of history? Failing that, did any contemporary source posit any two emperors with two popes as a group? If no, I'll stick with Charles V being crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement VII in Bologna in 1530 as the reason the "papi" were created and indeed, why they are associated with the Bologna variation of tarot. The Papi are late and there simply is no earlier evidence.

Phaeded

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#42
Phaeded: I have no quarrel with your connecting Giangaleazzo with Mainz and the Stuttgart cards, far from it. I support it, as will become clear later in this post.

But then you say:
Have you yet to find any pre-16th century reference associating these four as a group in the manner that you have, or just these tortured interpretations of history? Failing that, did any contemporary source posit any two emperors with two popes as a group? If no, I'll stick with Charles V being crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement VII in Bologna in 1530 as the reason the "papi" were created and indeed, why they are associated with the Bologna variation of tarot. The Papi are late and there simply is no earlier evidence.
I do not know what "tortured interpretations of history" you are referring to. That Louis IV was an excommunicated emperor, Nicholas V an antipope, John XXII a pope, and Charles IV a "true" emperor who was defeated by Louis before becoming emperor are all hard facts, as you call them. No need of anyone to make them a group: they all lived at around the same time and interacted with one another. I don't know what else is needed, other than some reason to connect this fact with the early tarot, which I did.

As for Charles V and Clement VII, the context of my post was that I was trying to make sense of the four labels "pope" "antipope" "excommunicated emperor" and "true emperor" as personages interacting with one another in a way that could result in one defeating another, as the "equal papi" rule supposes, during the time of Guelfs and Guibellines. While the "true" emperor and "true" pope did not in fact turn on each other, historically "true" popes did turn on "true" emperors and vice versa, in the period in question. I was trying to make a credible case for those particular four in relation to the "equal papi" rule. The title of my post was "The 'equal papi' rule in the context of medieval Italy". Charles V and Clement VI have nothing to do with Guelfs and Guibellines, the theory proposed by Mamellini and Buini, so they are excluded from consideration for the purposes of the post.

As far as early writings about the tarot are concerned, it is in relation to Piscina that Charles V and Clement VII are credible candidates. In fact they are one of two examples that Piscina gives, where an emperor defeated a pope, or at least his forces. He did group them together, but the fact that he did is just his theory about what the "equal papi" rule is about. That he did so doesn't make it true. (The other example was Boniface VIII, but in that case it wasn't an emperor who imprisoned the pope, but the king of France.)

I have several problems with Piscina's theory about the "equal papi" rule. One is that it doesn't justify having two of each, including an Empress and a Popess, as the deck he was using surely had. Another is that it doesn't explain why the rule would be instituted post-1530 in only two places, Piedmont and Bologna. A third is that it doesn't explain how, or why, in either place people could suddenly be induced to change the order of trumps such that four cards previously in strict hierarchy would now all be treated as equal.

I was principally addressing the "equal papi" rule. It is true that on my interpretation of Mammelini's theory, they would have all been male. That does need to be addressed. I was planning to give an argument on the other side in my next post. Well, I will do so now.

The "equal papi" rule, Part Two

There remains the problem of how to explain the "equal papi" rule in Piedmont, given that the "papi" there would have had 2 males and 2 females. Again I think we have to assume an "equal papi" rule from the beginning, someplace near or with friendly ties to Piedmont, from which Piedmont would have learned the game. A different argument would justify the "equal papi" rule in such places. There seems to have been a sense in early card games of balancing male and female: the Stuttgart hunting deck, for example, with all-male courts in two suits and all-female courts in the other. In tarocchini and minchiate there are sometimes female pages in two suits and male pages in two suits, corresponding to the two suits going from 1 to 10, as far as the power of the numeral cards, vs. the two other suits going from 10 to 1. In the Cary-Yale there are male and female pages and knights in all four suits; perhaps the females had priority in two suits and the males in the other two.

By this argument, however, only one of each would be necessary, an Emperor and Empress of equal rank, the one played last with priority. So why not just two?

Also, Kings always ranked above Queens in the same suit. It would seem that the same would be true in a trump suit.

We might say, well, there are four because there were four in the place of origin, Bologna. This begs the question. It could well have gone the other way. And anyway, we have no evidence of an "equal papi" rule anywhere before the 16th century (that Mamellini could even propose the pope-antipope-true emperor-excommunicated-one theory implies that it existed, and that there were four).

But it seems to me that there are ludic considerations that indicate four or eight rather than two or three, existing at the dawn of the game. It goes against the grain to have a suit where the cards aren't ranked. Even in Karnöffel the trumps were ranked. For such a circumstance. of two or more cards being equal, to occur, it is more likely that there were first trumps without a trump suit for them to be ranked in. That is possible only if the trumps are extensions of the suits, and the suits have no ranking among themselves. So, for example, we have an Emperor and an Empress for each suit, above the kings, with trumping power in the sense that in the right circumstances, the Emperors can prevail over any card from Empress down, and the Empresses can prevail over, say, any card Queen and below, with priority going to the Emperor or Empress played last. The Queens in this situation would be "partial trumps", as Dummett called such cards in Karnöffel.

In such a circumstance the same game could be played with only four such dignitaries, two papal and two imperial. In that case they could all be equal, or else two of each gender or type (spiritual or secular) taking priority over the other two, and among each of the two equal ones, the one last taking the trick. But still, this only works if there are at least four. To have a suit with no attached dignitaries would disturb the balance so carefully nurtured in early card games. And in fact having two with less power than the other two, i.e. with Empresses of less power than Emperors, would also disturb the balance among suits. So they have to all be equal, which is a perfectly acceptable solution, given the balance between "feminine" and "masculine" suits in various early decks.

Then when there is a trump suit, i.e. one where cards are ranked, the imperial and papal cards can be an exception, made familiar because of a previous game in which they were extensions of the suits. In that case, in the context of other cards ranked among themselves, there might even be only two or three equal papi, of both genders. Four would merely correspond best to the previous game in which they were attached to the suits. It is some small confirmation of my idea that the resulting order sometimes has males above females and sometimes spirituals above seculars, as if at one point nobody had to keep track of which it was supposed to be.

If such a rule under such conditions (equality among sexes of two types) can be granted in places we see dignitaries of both sexes, i.e. Lombardy, Ferrara, and Florence, might it not also have applied to Bologna, and the one gender version come later? That is also possible. It is only a Bolognese tradition that says otherwise. That tradition is verified only as far as the first half of the 16th century at most, as I think Mamellini's language implies. (Ross tells me that Mamellini says he found the account he reports in some "old papers". It seems to me that if he was born in 1546, "old" could go back that far, or earlier or later. As I downsize my possessions, I find old papers, and they are just papers I wrote in college. My cousin in her downsizing is finding carbon copies of letters written by her father from before she was born. They, too, are "old".)

So the theory could easily have been manufactured then, perhaps at the time the deck was reduced, and before then, the "equal papi" have been males and females. The real reason for having an all-male cast might have been to get rid of the Popess, disliked by the papal authorities, and then some proud Ghibelline family decided the game was about them. In its favor is the coincidence of the four contending dignitaries in the 12th-early 15th centuries, and especially 1324-1347, coinciding with the requirements of a game with the "equal papi" rule. But there is no evidence one way or the other, even if the coincidence with the actual facts does give us reason for taking it seriously.

Another story might have been that of Piscina, of the glorious Papacy versus the barbarian and heretic-infested Empire to the north, although in that case I still don't understand why there would need to be four males rather than two. I also cannot understand why a procession with four papal hats would indicate, or prompt, changing the four cards of the tarocchi or tarocchini in that city to four males. If the cards all had papal hats on them (or even crowns), you might have a point, but they don't. Also, it was an occasion for unity between pope and empire, not the conquest of either by the other, as the "equal papi" rule dictates.

In regard to topical relevance, another story, or theory, might be that of the two empires, eastern and western, each with their dignitaries, which met as equals in 1438-1439. But this, too, is not the right kind of situation, not contention among equals but cooperation and unity-seeking, a situation that does not occur in the game. However since that situation also did not occur in reality, the western side taking advantage of the eastern side's weakness (by insisting on on the supremacy of the western pope), resulting in the eventual collapse of that unity effort and the impending destruction of the east (by a third empire not accounted for in the game, unless by the Devil), there remains some analogy, more after 1440 than before (since Italians by and large didn't realize that the terms of unity were unacceptable to the east until later). That analogy may well have increased the popularity of the game, but it is so weak I cannot see it causing the rule.

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#43
In light of Mike's bringing in the newly discovered (to us) text of Mamellini, here is a part from a paper I wrote for Andrea, where I support the origin of the equal-papi rule with appeal to the Council of Ferrara-Florence as topical context. This does not appear in the final version of the paper (which will be in Italian anyway).

The symbolism of the rule.

In Bologna, politics and tarocchi were closely connected. Not only do we have the factional Guelph-Ghibelline interpretation of the papi, but also the Fibbia appeal to the XVI Riformatori to allow the family's arms on the Queen of Bastoni, and of course the controversy over “mixed government” which led to the papi being changed into mori. It is possible that the equal-papi rule reflects a Bolognese sense for the shifting balance of power between pope and emperor, part of what Mamellini called the “erudition” of the Bolognese game. There was always some deeper meaning.

Ercole Mamellini and Giuseppe Buini explain the “erudite” symbolism of the equal-papi rule by referring to the Guelph and Ghibelline factions of the 13th century in Bologna, lead by the Geremei and Lambertazzi families respectively. Mamellini sees these polarized factions in tarocchi as the papi, “pope and antipope, the true and excommunicated emperor.” This gloss is very vague, since there was no rival papacy in the XIII century, nor any “true” emperor who replaced the excommunicated Frederick II. It seems that Mamellini is merely acknowledging, in the broadest way possible, the proverbial rivalry and occasional conflict of these two supreme leaders of Christendom, in order to explain the equal-papi rule.

But the period when tarocchi was invented was shortly after the Great Western Schism, when popes and antipopes proliferated. If we understand the game to have been invented the very late 1430s, there is another unprecedented circumstance that might have inspired the metaphor of the equal-papi rule – the Council of Ferrara-Florence, for the Union of the Eastern and Western Churches. For the first and perhaps only time in history, this brought together the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Bishop of Rome, and the emperors of East and West. For the western emperor, of course, there was a twist (see further below).

While the Western Schism was two decades past in the late 1430s, the Conciliar Controversy raged on, with a group of churchmen in Basel opposing the authority of Eugene IV in Italy (Bologna-Ferrara-Florence). This opposition broke into open schism in June 1439, when the Council deposed Eugene IV, and in November, when it elected Amadeus VIII, the former duke of Savoy (and father-in-law of Filippo Maria Visconti), as pope, with Amadeus taking the name Felix V. Felix had little tangible support, but Filippo Maria in Milan and King Alfonso of Aragon (then at war with René d'Anjou in Naples) offerred political support in return for favours. Despite a promise a year before not to do so (Gill p. 140) Filippo Maria made it Milanese policy to recognize Felix as pope, and had decrees posted announcing this recognition, including in Bologna on 21 July 1439 (RIS XVIII, 1/4 (Corpus Chronicorum Bononiensium, vol. 4) Cronaca A p. 95, Cronaca B p. 96). The Bolognese chronicles are explicit about “two popes,” dui papi, at this time. Chronicle A ("Cronaca Rampona") of RIS XVIII, 1/4 p. 97, says of Eugene after this - "Del mese de novembre el concilio de Basilea si creò uno papa, lo quale papa si era ducha et signore de Savoglia in prima che fusse facto papa. Et in quello tempo era papa Eugenio quarto che steva in Fiorenza, ma havea pocho credito". The Chronicle B omits the final slight - "El concilio de Basilea creò uno papa del mese de novembre, el quale fuo chiamato papa Felice quarto. El qual papa era segnore e ducha de Savoglia in prima che fosse fato papa. Sì che in questo tempo erano dui papi, zoé papa Euzenio, che demorava in quel tempo in Fiorenza."

It is also true that 1438-39 was the first and only time ever that the Patriarch of Constantiople and the Emperor travelled together to the West. It may have been the first time in centuries that any Patriarch had travelled outside of Byzantium. Similarly, I cannot find the last time that the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantiople were under the same roof, let alone with the emperor, of east or west.

What of the two emperors? The long-lived emperor, Sigismondo, strongly supported the planned council of union, but had died in December 1437, unable to attend (note). The imperial presence was represented by an empty throne, placed on the papal side of the church at the same height and facing the emperor of the east on the other side (Syropoulos IV, 39-40; Acta Latina pp. 28-29). Sigismondo's successor as King of the Romans, Albert, was also unable to attend, and died in October, 1439. Although never crowned as such, the chroniclers of the time called him emperor, as heir-apparent (Ghirardacci p. 60; source for western imperial respresentatives). The union of the churches was signed on 6 July 1439, so Albert was the de facto emperor at the time.

Although the Milanese rule of Bologna was short-lived, Filippo Maria made sure to cement the relationship between the duchy and Bologna by arranging for his cousin, his great-uncle Bernabò's grand-daughter, Donnina Visconti, to marry the first citizen of Bologna, Annibale Bentivoglio. The wedding was celebrated in Bologna on 7 May, 1441, with grand festivities. Although Filippo Maria reliquished control of Bologna in December, 1441, Donnina remained in his favour, and he granted her and her legitimate male descendants the feud of Granozzo, west of Milan toward Vercelli, on 9 August 1442 (Cengarle, ASMi 49 c. 100-106v). Annibale Bentivoglio was assassinated at a baptism on St. John the Baptist day, 1445, but Donnina had by then become the mother of two children, Antonia, and Giovanni. Giovanni (1443-1508) would go on to become the first citizen or de facto signore of Bologna as Giovanni II Bentivoglio.

Summary

The equal-papi rule is of XV century origin, surviving in Bologna and Piemonte-Savoy. The rule is a game within the game, symbolizing the changing balance of power between papal and secular rule. This interpretation is shared by a XVI century interpreter and an XVIII century interpreter. In light of the similar vocabulary and the order of the items, it seems likely that both authors had seen a collection of documents written in praise of Bologna's preeminence in the X to XIV centuries, among which was a praise of Bolognese tarocchi. The date of these documents may be as early as the beginning of the XVI century, if not earlier. Two other writers of the XVIII century also saw a collection of extremely old documents which included the rules of the game of tarocchini. It seems possible that these were the same documents that the XVI century author saw, although he did not indicate that they contained rules for the game.

Gill, Joseph, The Council of Florence (Cambridge UP, 1959).
Vitalien Laurent, ed., Les mémoires du grand ecclésiarque de l'Eglise de Constantiople Sylvestre Syropoulos (1971) IV, 39-40 (pp. 241-245) -
"Arrangement des trônes et des sièges dans la cathédrale de Ferrare en vue du concile."
Cfr. Gill, 107, 143
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Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#44
MikeH (post #39 in this thread) wrote ...
Recently Ross and Andrea together (private communication) tracked down another source, Giulio Cesare Mamellini (1546-1620), writing in a family chronicle that ends in 1580, recently edited an by Cinzi Fenetti, Memoriali dei Mamellini, notai bolognesi: legami familiari, vita quotidiana, realtà politica, secc. XV-XVI, CLUEB, Bologna, 2008, p. 171. Mamellini puts these remarks in the chronicle between 1542 and 1543, for reasons unknown, and writes (I give the transcription first, then Andrea's translation into modern Italian, then Ross's translation into English):
http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/and ... rafico%29/
According this an Andrea Mamellini (1509-1581) got a son Giulio Cesare Mamellini, who was born in 1546. This shall be the author of a work, which was ended in 1580 (see above), so short before the death of the father (see treccani.it). Should one conclude from this condition, that not Giulio Cesare, but Andrea was the true or major author of the work, especially if there was something reported in 1542/43 (see above), when Giulio Cesare wasn't born yet?

The text of Cinzi Fenetti, "Memoriali dei Mamellini, notai bolognesi"....
https://books.google.de/books?hl=de&id= ... q=tarocchi
.... offers the following snippets to the terminus "Tarocchi":
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2 other sentences I got from the search engine (they are near the 2 snippets):

4- Che el zogo dei tarocchi, virtuossisimo et colmo de saggia eruditione, è opera et inventione molto antica de i nostri dottori bolognesi, como apunto consta da la endustriosa engeniosità che da lui se scopre, meditandolo et in pratica usando.

storiche (usi ereditari, doti, reciprocità delle parentele) tuttavia subivano un'evoluzione nella storia. Un lungo panegirico era ... Chiude il Liber un lungo indice ordinato alfabeticamente secondo la lettera iniziale della notizia. Parte seconda La

MikeH had added another "Tarocchi" reference from the book, which was translated. This seems to have come from the same page 171 as above ...
Book text:
I tarocchi dunque, sotto di una politica intrecciata otusità di cose, tengono ascoso tutto il gran negotio de i guelfi et ghibellini, che erano a Bologna le fationi de Geremei et Lambertazzi, essendovi papa et antipapa, vero et scomunicato imperadore, con le città del l'una e l'altra lega, ne chi è de la storia assai perito po' mai arivare al fondo, cioè a scopire sto accoppiamento misterioso, sichè non ha ancho nei zoghi poco Bologna di gloriarsi, tenendosi vera erudittione persino ne' ritrovati divertimenti.

Translation:
The tarots, therefore, under an intertwined politics of unclear situations, keep hidden [within them] all the great affairs of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, who were in Bologna the factions of the Geremei and the Lambertazzi, being there [in the tarot] the pope and the antipope, the true and excommunicated Emperor, with the cities of both leagues, and not even who is a great expert of history will ever be able to get to the bottom, that is to discover [the meaning, the meaning] of this mysterious coupling, so that even in the games Bologna has to glorify itself not a little [i.e. it must glorify itself a lot], since even in these retrieved amusements there is a real erudition.
Well, where is this long laudatio of this panegyric on the Tarocchi game, mentioned above (snippet)?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#45
Andrea Mamellini kept the book until his death in 1581. Giulio Cesare/Ercole (his name when he became a monk) inherited it, and began writing in it. There is a space between the years 1542 and 1543, which Ercole filled with his own notes; He filled other empty pages as well. It looks like he has 6 or 7 places where he has added passages (I don't have the book, just the parts that interest us the most).

You could buy all of it here -
https://www.torrossa.com/it/resources/an/2250606

But it is too expensive that way. The book is hard to find for sale, and it will be almost 100 euros. Buying it in parts from Torrossa will be several hundred euros.

Cinzia Ferretti, the editor of the book, died in 2005. https://www.torrossa.com/it/catalog/preview/2306293
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Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#46
For the 4 Bolognese papi at trump 2, trump 3, trump 4 and trump 5 I feel, that one should think of the 4 Kaiser or 4 emperors in the Karnöffel game at trump 2, trump 3, trump 4 and trump 5 in the Kaiser- or Karnöffelspiel descriptions of 16th cenrury. For the Mysner version of c. 1450 I think there were 4 heilije Lerer (holy teachers) and only one Kaiser or emperor. I imagine, that these 4 teachers might be 4 cards of the same rank, for instance the 4 cards with the number 2.

I would think, it would be natural to expect variants in the rules , which were connected to the 4-papi-ideas.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#47
More of the essay, with the Mamellini text for research purposes.

The terms “lambertazzi,” “guelfi,” and “tarocchi,” led to the discovery of a text of perhaps 150 years earlier, edited and published for the first time in 2008, which gives a strikingly similar interpretation of the game (image of Mamellini text).
Che el zogo dei tarocchi, virtuossisimo et colmo de saggia eruditione, è opera et inventione molto antica de i nostri dottori bolognesi, como apunto consta da la endustriosa engeniosità che da lui se scopre, meditandolo et in pratica usando. Questo essi saviamente trovarono per dare un onesto, ricreativo divertimento et passatempo alle persone studiose, ma ita però che soltanto ralentasse la troppa serità de i loro studi, senza affatto alontanarle da una scientifica applicatione, onde escluso ogni sozzo desiderio de guadagno et maleficio caso de fortuna, la industria, lo inpegno et il delettevole erudito otio innonesto luogo, che è uno temperare e non uno dissipare I metodici pagamenti de la mente et de lo intelletto, aborendo però nello stesso tempo da quella doppia applicatione, che invece di tranquillare e dar sollievo alla affaticata mente, più tosto la condanna ad un più crucioso martirio de atentione, come esige el zogo de i scacchi, delle <...>, i quali sicuramente che non fanno per le persone de grave applicatione. I tarocchi dunque, sotto di una politica intrecciata otusità di cose, tengono ascoso tutto il gran negotio de i guelfi et ghibellini, che erano a Bologna le fationi de Geremei et Lambertazzi, essendovi papa et antipapa, vero et scomunicato imperadore, con le città del l'una e l'altra lega, ne chi è de la storia assai perito po' mai arivare al fondo, cioè a scopire sto accoppiamento misterioso, sichè non ha ancho nei zoghi poco Bologna di gloriarsi, tenendosi vera erudittione persino ne' ritrovati divertimenti.
Andrea Vitali has adapted this for modern Italian

Che il gioco dei tarocchi, molto virtuoso e ricolmo di saggia erudizione, è opera e invenzione molto antica dei nostri dottori bolognesi, come appunto si manifesta dalla industriosa ingegnosità che si scopre di esso [gioco], meditandolo e praticandolo. Questo [gioco] essi saggiamente inventarono per dare un onesto, ricreativo divertimento e passatempo agli studiosi, ma affinché rallentasse la troppa serietà dei loro studi, senza allontanarli per nessun motivo da una applicazione scientifica, escludendo ogni sporco desiderio di guadagno e nefanda situazione di sfortuna, l’industria, l’impegno e il dilettevole colto ozio in luogo onesto, che comporta la necessità di moderare e non di dissipare i metodici pagamenti della mente  e dell’intelletto, rifuggendo tuttavia con orrore nello stesso momento da quella doppia applicazione, la quale invece di tranquillizzare e dare sollievo alla mente, la condanna più velocemente a un maggior sofferenza per restare attenti, come esige il gioco degli scacchi, delle …., i quali sicuramente non sono adatti alle persone che si devono applicare pesantemente [nel giocare a questi giochi]. I tarocchi, dunque, sotto un’intrecciata politica di situazioni non chiare, tengono nascosto [al loro interno] tutto il grande affare  dei guelfi e dei ghibellini, che erano a Bologna le fazioni dei Geremei e dei Lambertazzi, essendovi [nei tarocchi] il papa e l’antipapa, il vero e lo scomunicato Imperatore, con le città dell’una e dell’altra lega, e neppure chi è un grande esperto della storia potrà mai arrivare al fondo, cioè a scoprire [il senso, il significato] di questo accoppiamento misterioso, cosicché Bologna anche nei giochi ha da gloriarsi non poco [cioè deve gloriarsi molto], dato che perfino in questi ritrovati divertimenti esiste una vera erudizione.

Giulio Cesare Mamellini (1546-1620) took the name Ercole upon taking religious vows in 1561. When his father Andrea died in 1581, he received the book of notable things (memoriali) that his father had been keeping for his entire life. In some of the empty spaces of the pages, Ercole added his own remarks. As far as we can tell, there is no relationship between Andrea's dated entries of 1542-1543 and Ercole's additions. He could have added them any time between 1581 and 1620, so that in the absence of dated entries, we should assume that his own entries are in the order in which they appear. This seems to be the second entry, so it may be closer to 1581 than 1620 (check text).

There are several echoes of Buini's 1736 note in Mamellini's account. On the Bolognese invention and studiousness of the game:

Mamellini – tarocchi è … invenzione ... dei nostri dottori bolognesi … giuoco saggiamente inventarono per dare un … passatempo agli studiosi
Buini – Tarrochini, gioco inventato dalla studiosa mente dei Bolognesi

On the interpretation of the equal-papi rule as Pope/Emperor = Guelph/Ghibelline

Mamellini – I tarocchi dunque, sotto di una politica intrecciata otusità di cose, tengono ascoso tutto il gran negotio de i guelfi et ghibellini, che erano a Bologna le fationi de Geremei et Lambertazzi
Buini – che i Tarrocchini non sono altro, se non se la la tragica faccenda de' Geremei Guelfi, e Lambertazzi Ghibellini

But equally suggestive are some similarities with how Mamellin, Pedini, and Pisarri characterize the age of the papers.

Mamellini – varie carte vechie
Pedini – diverse scritture antiche
Pisarri – manoscritto molto antico

Given the coincidences of sense and phraseology among Mamellini, Buini, and Pedini, as well as the fact that Pisarri used the same manuscript as Pedini, it seems plausible that Mamellini, Pedini, and Buini, had seen a collection of papers that included both the rules of the game that Pedini transcribed, as well as the Guelph-Ghibelline interpretation that Buini noted. These papers may still exist, and could be found if the archive they all used could be determined. It is also possible that Buini had read the Mamellini memoriali, but we are left to wonder why he did not name the author, since he delighted in showing his erudition.

If it is the same collection of manuscript papers, the fact that Mamellini describes it as merely vecchio instead of antico may indicate that it was relatively nearer in time to him than to the 18th century authors. Since Ercole was born in 1546, it seems unlikely that he would describe as “old” some writing from well within his own lifetime, the second half of the XVI century. We may therefore conclude that the old papers he saw were from the first half of the XVI century at the latest.
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Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#48
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 18:34
But the period when tarocchi was invented was shortly after the Great Western Schism, when popes and antipopes proliferated. If we understand the game to have been invented the very late 1430s... For the first and perhaps only time in history, this brought together the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Bishop of Rome, and the emperors of East and West. For the western emperor, of course, there was a twist (see further below).

While the Western Schism was two decades past in the late 1430s, the Conciliar Controversy raged on, with a group of churchmen in Basel opposing the authority of Eugene IV in Italy (Bologna-Ferrara-Florence). This opposition broke into open schism in June 1439, when the Council deposed Eugene IV, and in November, when it elected Amadeus VIII, the former duke of Savoy (and father-in-law of Filippo Maria Visconti), as pope, with Amadeus taking the name Felix V. ...The Bolognese chronicles are explicit about “two popes,” dui papi, at this time. ...

It is also true that 1438-39 was the first and only time ever that the Patriarch of Constantiople and the Emperor traveled together to the West....

What of the two emperors? The long-lived emperor, Sigismondo, strongly supported the planned council of union, but had died in December 1437, unable to attend (note). The imperial presence was represented by an empty throne, placed on the papal side of the church at the same height and facing the emperor....

So the opening premise is popes and antipopes - the schism universally condemned in Europe as a bad thing - but the Patriarch is thrown into boot, making a grand sum of three "popes." But if the Church Union is the premise, then the symmetry of East/West calls for the Byzantine Emperor to be paired with his "Eastern Pope"/Patriarch of Constantinople against the other pair of the Holy Roman Emperor with formerly deposed Eugene. Complicating matters is that the Patriarch of Constantinople, Joseph II (1360 – 10 June 1439) who cast a pall of death over the Union, so there were two empty thrones, not just the one for the non-existent Holy Roman Emperor.

The biggest problem for all of this - whether you favor Amadeus or Joseph as the "second pope" - is that no one at the Church Union conceived of there ever being two legitimate popes - you either promoted one pope and hated the other, or you saw the Patriarch as subsuming himself under the umbrella of Rome. And Rome was quite clear on what Union meant - the Council clarified the Latin dogma of papal supremacy:

"We likewise define that the holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Pontiff, hold the primacy throughout the entire world; and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of blessed Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and the true vicar of Christ, and that he is the head of the entire Church, and the father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter by our Lord Jesus Christ, to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church." (tr. in Shaw, Russell, Papal Primacy in the Third Millennium. 2000: 51),

Florence, hosting Eugene at Santa Maria Novella (where Joseph gets buried), sure as hell aren't going to offend that combative Pope with the notion of two popes. And Florence needed the Pope on board as Visconti was waging war via Piccinino in Brescia and Verona before invading Tuscany in early 1440. And was Visconti supposed to be embracing these "four Papi", hypothetically created in Florence, where the Union happened under hated Eugene....after Visconti had lobbied hard for the Union to happen in Pavia (Gill, Joseph, The Council of Florence (1959: 68)? So ruling out two popes for either Florence (Eugene insisted on himself as the sole ruler of the universal Church) or Milan (Filippo backed Amadeus and did not host the Union), who was a hypothetical deck with two popes supposed to appeal to - the Greeks, for whom we have no card playing evidence?

The biggest objection to all of this are the earliest surviving cards in which there is nary an indication of "papi" (4 males) other than the imagined (otherwise unattested) term applied in the 15th century to the Emperor, Empress, Pope and Ecclesia (this last is originally Faith, as clearly seen in the CY). The Empress was important in her own right, as the wife of any of the German princes who would be emperor would mean political alliance with her own family/country (e.g., Sigismund's wife was Mary of the Hungarian Anjou, whose political value was such that the French monarchy even tried to arrange a marriage with her via King Charles VI's brother, Louis Duke of Orleans, their engagement announced in 1385; came to naught and of course Louis married Valentina Visconti). To dismiss the Empress as a non-entity in favor of a second emperor (Byzantine no less- that no one in western Europe would have had allegiance to), is to ignore the contemporary geopolitical reality.

Yes, this is all based around hypothetical situation centered on the Church Union, but the burning theological issues at the heart of the union did not carry over to the recognition of two popes nor two emperors. The Patriarch of Constantinople, again, per the words of the Union itself, was to be subservient to the Pope, just as the Patriarch of Aquileia , for instance, likewise was. Show just one example from c. 1439 of anyone conceiving of the political world order in that "Papi" way. That the Bolognese chronicle was explicit about “two popes,” dui papi, because Filippo made it Milanese policy to recognize Amadeus/Felix as pope in that city in 1439 (only half of the equation at all events) is absolutely irrelevant in regard to the Church Union, i.e,. if the Papi are derived from the Patriarch/Byzantine Emperor in Florence.

Phaeded

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#49
I agree with Phaeded on this: All the evidence we have from the cards and from the earliest literary sources suggests that the earliest statndard tarot deck had an imperial couple (Emperor and Empress) and a papal couple (Pope and Popess). Even the earliest cards from Bologna suggest this, because while the two pope cards look identical, the two emperor cards do not: One of them looks distinctly more feminine than the other (younger, beardless, with slightly longer hair) suggesting that he was once the Empress—in exactly the same way that trump II in the Minchiate deck originally showed a figure of a female ruler, before eventually morphing into a male ruler over time, while still retaining some features of that original female figure.

Why did the Bolognese popes look identical, although the emperors did not? Because the transformation of the Popess into a second pope would have been a deliberate decision to suppress an objectionable figure. This was done in Bologna by creating a duplicate of the original Pope. That decision may well have been inspired by the various schisms and anti-popes. The transformation of the Empress, on the other hand, like trump II of Minchiate, was probably not a deliberate decision—it was probably just a gradual shift in the card's interpretation and design over time. Certainly no one seems to have ever felt the need to erase any suggestion that the figure was once female, as they do seem to have felt in regard to the Popess.

All of this is supported by the evidence that the Popess card was suppressed in many other places in the first century or so of tarot's existence, and by the fact that there was at least two locales (Florence and the source of the anonymous Discorso) where the place of the Empress was taken by a male ruler who did not look identical to the Emperor (the "king" figure in Minchiate, a.k.a. "grand duke", and the King in the Discorso). Bologna simply seems to have been following much the same pattern.

The attempts by various writers to read meaning into the tarot cards in the 16th century and later centuries, while always fascinating in their own right for various reasons, cannot be regarded as any kind of reliable guide to how the cards were viewed in the mid-15th century. Those were always attempts to make sense of the cards long after the fact, usually at least one entire lifetime after. And the enormous variation in the interpretations they offered is a fairly clear sign that they did not represent any kind of solid, long-standing tradition of commonly understood interpretation, but rather were merely personal theories springing from the minds of the individual writers concerned. In that sense, they are very reminiscent of a lot of contemporary approaches to the tarot deck.

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#50
My only quarrel with Nethaniel and Phaeded is about whether the evidence is decisive one way or the other. Ross argues that it is the artists who made the cards look the way they do, not the players, influenced by how they looked elsewhere. For all we know, the way they look was established by Florentine imports, whose artists found it hard not to portray them in the manner usual in Florence. [Added later: at the bottom of this post I give another possibility, that they are based on the kings and queens in Bologna. Again it may be just the artists' choice; in the game it makes no difference what they look like, as long as they have the right crowns.]

That illustration of the four papal hats in Bologna might well have been prompted by the four "papi" of the tarocchi or tarocchini of that city. Whether it suggests that the four were a recent development, as opposed to Bologna's unique style of play, seems to me harder to say.

Fortunately, the presence of the "equal papi" rule in Piedmont and Bologna, if phrased as "equal dignitaries" prior to a possible sex change, is independent of the answer to such questions. To me how to explain such a rule is more interesting.

Huck wrote,
For the 4 Bolognese papi at trump 2, trump 3, trump 4 and trump 5 I feel, that one should think of the 4 Kaiser or 4 emperors in the Karnöffel game at trump 2, trump 3, trump 4 and trump 5 in the Kaiser- or Karnöffelspiel descriptions of 16th cenrury. For the Mysner version of c. 1450 I think there were 4 heilije Lerer (holy teachers) and only one Kaiser or emperor. I imagine, that these 4 teachers might be 4 cards of the same rank, for instance the 4 cards with the number 2.

I would think, it would be natural to expect variants in the rules , which were connected to the 4-papi-ideas.
I agree about the relevance of Karnöffel to there being four dignitaries. The females simply replace the Devil and Karnöffel, unseemly in such a high position, and perhaps lower than their male counterparts. But I can find no evidence of equal rank. What is natural, when constructing cards with special powers in the game, is to rank them, because the suit cards are ranked, and in general ranking is necessary in a trick-taking game, otherwise the last player in a trick will always win. So other things being equal, I would think Karnöffel did not have unranked full trumps.

It is only if, perhaps as a modification of Karnöffel, the trump cards are permanent trumps and extensions of the suits, as Pratesi has suggested for "VIII Imperadori" (his type "T2" at http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com ... about.html), that not ranking them is natural, because normally the suits themselves are not ranked. Keeping the suits unranked is why there would be four "papi" and not two or three: for one or two suits not to have trumps attached to them, or fewer than others, would be to make them less powerful. With only 8 trumps, two groups of 4, the groups ranked in relation to each other (using Karnöffel's distinction between full vs. partial trumps, the Empresses not being able to take the kings), but the members of each group unranked among themselves, a lack of ranks among each group of four is the most natural. In fact the "equal papi" rule is itself evidence that "VIII Imperadori" was precisely that type, a particular variant of Karnöffel with permanent trumps as extensions of the four suits. The "equal papi" rule would be the use of "VIII Imperadori"'s practice but with only 4 dignitaries, plus other ranked trumps.

I have tried to integrate, as much as possible, all these arguments, including Nathaniel's, Ross's, and Phaeded's concerns, at https://marzianotoludus.blogspot.com/20 ... rteen.html, section 3. I have spent a lot of time over the past month doing so, not only in this section but also section 5, on the Petrarchans, to integrate Nathaniel's points about them and remove my weak ones. I have also rewritten most of the other sections to make them clearer.

Added later: as far as the second emperor looking like a morphed empress, Nathaniel, if you look at the kings, you will see that there are two types: young, beardless, with the head cocked to one side, and older and bearded. The two emperors might simply reflect the two types.

The queens, however, look similar, in their faces; the only difference is that one is in profile and the other not. In the tarocchini, the difference is in what the two popes hold. But that is the artist's choice. There is no special reason to differentiate them, because of the "equal papi" rule. Young men were in those times portrayed much like women, e.g. the apostle John in Leonardo's Last Supper, which no one then would have supposed was Mary Magdalene. For a young Pope, see the Rosenwald; it is quite similar to its Popess except for shorter hair. And yes, the Bolognese designs may have been modeled on the Rosenwald's - or vice versa.

I assume you meant the BnF's Alla Torre as opposed to the Mitelli (to find, search "tarot bolonaise"). The Mitelli is probably earlier, but non-standard. The Queen of Coins seems to be missing.
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