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

Posted: 06 Jul 2020, 16:17
by Ross G. R. Caldwell
I can't say much about "Eight Emperors," except that it clearly means one of two things: a rule in which eight cards were called "emperors," whether or not they really depicted emperors, or eight special cards that we might naturally take to have been trumps. I tend to the former, since it could therefore be taken as another name for The Emperor's Game (because German), Karnöffel. Of course Karnöffel as we know it choses only seven special cards, not eight, but it could be a small variation from this early date.

A third possibility is a mingling of the two, i.e. four permanent trumps and four kings, all called, in the poetic-ludic fashion, "emperors," because all of them shared the highest point value. My analogy here is stretched because late, but in his German dictionary of 1807, Joachim Heinrich Campe attests the word "Siebenkönigsspiel" - Seven Kings Game - as a name for Tarock. That is, presumably, because the four kings and three counting trumps have the same point value, and all of them are ludically called "kings."
https://books.google.fr/books?id=bpVEAA ... 22&f=false

Whatever the truth about VIII Imperadori, or just Imperadori as it was later referred to (only one time it occurs with the number), I have long argued for the existence of at least a few trump cards, or wild cards at least, prior to the invention of the standard trionfi sequence. Marziano's game is long prior to Trionfi, and it is completely different, but the idea of a hierarchical sequence of distinct, permanent trumps could have been tried. I adduce Fernando de la Torre's single Emperor trump as indirect evidence of it in Florence in the early 1430s - possibly. But a single trump is not much of an improvement on the game, so such limited experiments never caught on widely and have left no trace.

On the significance of the equal-papi rule, it is obviously social commentary of a sort, an observation on the state of the world. I think that cannot be avoided. I just take it as "proverbial," rather than a direct portrait of any immediate reality. The Great (or Western) Schism had only been resolved 20 years earlier, and a new contention had arisen - the Conciliar Controversy, which held Councils to be higher than popes in authority. This is what happened in Basel, and resulted in the election of Felix V. And it is naïve to think that all of Italy loved Eugene; he was literally chased out of Rome. Ask a Roman at the time who was pope, many would probably say "the seat is vacant." The Bolognese chronicle that mentions "dui papi," also says of Eugene " Et in quello tempo era papa Eugenio quarto che steva in Fiorenza, ma havea pocho credito" - And at that time it was Pope Eugene who stayed in Florence, but he had little credit. (another chronicle of the time repeats this, but omits the final slight about him having little credit).

For the references, see this post, near the end - viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&p=4282&hilit=pedini#p4282
Chronicles A and B, here both columns, page 97 - https://archive.org/details/p1rerumital ... rd/page/96

In fact he did have "little credit," until the Council was touted as an increasingly glorious success, and he had managed to get himself back to Rome in security. The Popes were literally the pawns of princes in exactly those days; Eugene was completely dependent on Medici generosity. We should not confuse religious practices and proclamations with generalized piety; the powerful secular rulers had a completely cynical, or realistic, view of papal power. And the confusion of the schism, then the conciliar controversy, would have led many others to have this feeling. This is what I call "proverbial," symbolized as pope (religious authority) versus emperor (secular authority), once the old very real Guelph and Ghibelline factional wars, now evolved into factional traditions and fracture lines among the nobility of the cities, much like party politics of today (or in the history of all democracies from the late 18th centuries - Whigs, Tories, Democrats, Liberals, Republicans, Labour in the UK and US; in France the parties change names more often, but the idea of "left versus right" comes from the French hemicycle, the parliament, depending on which side the partisans of the nobility or the bourgeois (and after socialism was invented, the working class) sat).

So for me the equal-papi rule doesn't have to reflect an urgent current situation, but can be taken as a proverbial condition, and a somewhat rueful commentary on the power struggles of the highest and mightiest.

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

Posted: 06 Jul 2020, 17:32
by Ross G. R. Caldwell
Nathaniel wrote:
05 Jul 2020, 23:23

I am glad you are willing to at least concede the theoretical possibility that the rule was a Bolognese invention and that it was the Bolognese form of the game that spread westward. But it is certainly not the "simplest solution" to suggest that it was in the original Florentine game, for the several reasons I have stated previously, most egregiously the total lack of any trace of the rule anywhere outside the regions of Piedmont/Savoy and Bologna. If traces of it managed to remain in Piedmont even after centuries of them playing with numbered papi cards, then you would expect to see at least some small hint of it appearing in the historical record somewhere, anywhere, other than just those two areas. But there is absolutely nothing, and that makes your solution anything but simple.
But you have to remember - there literally IS nothing about how the game was played in Ferrara, or Milan, from this time. In this case, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. We don't even have numbered cards from Milan to know when and how they numbered their cards. They only begin to be listed in the middle of the next century, by Susio in a poem, and Alciato in a bare list, and of course Piscina, who implies the equal-papi rule (and whom Dummett took as an example of Lombard play, not exclusively Piedmont). We don't have Milanese cards until the end of the 16th century (roughly), from the Sforza castle well, and they are just like the Tarot de Marseille.

For Ferrara it is different, we have plenty of evidence of the names and order, but, like Milan, no detailed grasp of the rules. The numbering implies that the hierarchy was observed, but we know this wasn't the case in Piedmont. In Ferrara the native game completely died out by the late 16th century, so there never were printed rules for their games.

We don't know anything at all about how the game was played in Lombardy - if you exclude Piscina - before the late 18th century. Dummett and McLeod (History of Games Played with the Tarot Pack (HGT) I, pp. 114-115) say that the first rulebook was printed in 1811, but they cleverly show how a book in Vienna in 1763, in German, obviously describes a Milanese game.

The absence of evidence for the equal-papi rule in Lombardy proper cannot be used to argue for its absence. There is no negative evidence, just no evidence at all. The iconography of the Visconti and Sforza papi is surely a weak basis on which to assert that they must have observed a strict hierarchy in value and play.
The only difficulty I can see with the alternative, namely that it spread west from Bologna, is that there is no trace of the rule in Lombardy. But this is not a real difficulty at all. Bologna was a major trading center. The main overland route for trade between Italy and France went through Piedmont and Savoy. The trade route from Bologna to Lyon, which was a major route with an enormous amount of traffic, went through Asti and Chambéry, bypassing Milan and the heart of Lombardy. Not that I am suggesting that the passage of the tarot game from Bologna to Piedmont had to involve it being adopted in every place along the way, of course. With so many Bolognese merchants constantly passing through the heart of Piedmont and Savoy, they could naturally have brought their game directly to the latter, without first having to get it adopted in every other town along the way too. So I am not suggesting that Modena, for example, would necessarily ever have played tarot with a trump order other than Type B. And if people in the southern Lombard towns like Piacenza were already playing tarot with a Type C order, they are very unlikely to have ditched it for the Bolognese game. But it is very possible that the first experiences of tarot that anyone in Piedmont had included watching many Bolognese merchants play it in taverns in towns like Asti, sometime around 1440. And I don't doubt for a second that those Bolognese merchants would have been more than willing to foster their interest by offering to supply them with decks. Does that not seem like an entirely plausible scenario to you?
I don't know anything about direct trade between Bologna and France in the 15th century. Can you suggest some convenient references to start with? Can we assume that this well-established direct trade route, bypassing the city of Milan, is the missing link between Bologna and Savoy that Dummett and other researchers have missed when trying to explain the Piedmontese game's Bolognese features?

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

Posted: 06 Jul 2020, 19:46
by Phaeded
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
06 Jul 2020, 09:14
Phaeded wrote:
05 Jul 2020, 21:45
And yet Piscina, the oldest reference to Papi, distinguishes his two popes by noting one wears no crown.
I don't see Piscina mentioning this. Are you confusing him with Anonymous? If so, the text says "due papi, uno col Regno, e l'altro senza", "two popes, one with the Reign, and the other without," We decided to interpret the "Regno" as if it meant "triregno," the papal crown, and put that gloss in brackets, but I would not base a strong iconographic argument on it. It could be that one was seated, to indicate being "seated," i.e. in power, and the other standing, or otherwise clearly not in power.

Anonymous is not in Piedmont anyway, and his order and descriptions put the two popes lower than an emperor and king. Make of it what you will, but Anonymous doesn't seem particularly relevant here.
D'oh! Yep, meant 'Anonymous.' But I would point out he betrays a certain anxiety about the notion of the "Papi", quickly clarifying "in the spiritual, Cardinal and Pope, in the temporal, King and Emperor" ( Caldwell, DePaulis, Ponzi, 2010: 55). He can't bring himself to posit two popes, rather one is a cardinal.

Piscina himself, using an explicit Catholic gloss in his interpretation, is quick to point to the Imperial/Papal conflict by referring to Boniface VIII (who Dante places in hell) and the 1527 Sack of Rome while Clement VII was pope, an infamy created by Emperor Charles V (ibid, 17)....and ignores the coronation invent in Bologna involving those two in which Clement forgave all. Both Piscina and Mamelini's references to by-gone Guelph-Ghibelline history is masking something unsavory in the present, which to my mind was indeed Papal relations with Charles V (with the background of humiliating reversals for that "Holy Alliance" versus the Ottomans and the Reformation). But what is key here is that more often than not Charles V and the subsequent pope, Paul III, were allied versus all these foes, including Francis I....and this last controlled Savoy.

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
05 Jul 2020, 09:30
Added: some dictionaries of Provençal-Français give "papo" and "papou" as the singular form of "pape.". So far I haven't found the plural.
Phaeded wrote
Which begs the question: why would the term Papi not be considered a pejorative? Apparently that was the case in Provençal-Français which avoided the term altogether.


I don't know if "pejorative," but maybe "diminutive," or familiar and cute, at least in the French and Provençal Savoy-Piedmontese term.

What insight might you derive from this?
You already fleshed that out with a subsequent post of yours:

On the significance of the equal-papi rule, it is obviously social commentary of a sort, an observation on the state of the world. I think that cannot be avoided. I just take it as "proverbial," rather than a direct portrait of any immediate reality. The Great (or Western) Schism had only been resolved 20 years earlier, and a new contention had arisen - the Conciliar Controversy, which held Councils to be higher than popes in authority. This is what happened in Basel, and resulted in the election of Felix V. And it is naïve to think that all of Italy loved Eugene; he was literally chased out of Rome. Ask a Roman at the time who was pope, many would probably say "the seat is vacant."
.


Whole heartily agree. And my insistence on Dante's Church Militant associated with the virtues/planets in his Paradiso as source for the ur-tarot would seem to fold into the proverbial Guelph-Ghibelline situation....but that was no longer proverbial in Florence, well before the ur-tarot was created. The major crisis following the Black Death with the Ciompi rebellion, which in a sense set narrative all the way through the Albizzi-Medici conflict, definitely resolved in 1440 at Anghiari (although legally resolved with the exile of the Albizzi faction in 1434). A Medici ancestor, Salvestro de Medici, was associated with the cause of the Ciompi workers revolt, even in Bruni's account in his celebrated History of Florence, whom, however, explains that Salvestro was merely trying to do the right thing but inadvertently set off the Ciompi powder keg. The Medici-Ciompi stigma - power grab via befriending the lower class popolo - was used repeatedly by the Albizzi oligarch faction in their dispute with the Medici faction, especially in their mouthpiece of Filelfo. But the use of Dante here - who was himself a Guelph - had nothing to do with the old papal/imperial factional divide: everyone involved was Guelph! Because Dante was so associated with the political rhetoric of the Albizzi faction, there was subsequently a concerted effort among Medici partisans, including the more independent Bruni, to bring Dante back as a exemplar of Florence and true patriot, thus Bruni's 1436 biography of Dante (which still chides Dante for his lack of prudence and political antics while in exile) and Bruni acolyte Matteo Palmieri's Vita civile written at the same time, places Dante in the Dream of Scipio's shoes with a vision of the astral afterlife on the battlefield of Campaldino. Dante was made patriot within the Medici regime's narrative and returned to his place as one of the Three Crowns. None of this had anything to do with the by-gone proverbial world of the imperial/papal divide, replaced by shifting state-alliances regardless of historical allegiances.

So the correct besmirched picture you painted of Eugene in Bologna had no meaning in Florence. Cosimo de Medici himself proudly stood next to Eugene and his military vicar Malatesta for the consecration of S. Maria del Fiore in 1436 and none of that had anything to do with anti-imperial gestures (hell, 'gismondo shared the name with the Emperor and proudly painted him in his own primary church back in Rimini). What 1430s Florentine source was waxing poetic about ye olde Guelph/Ghibelline days? It simply didn't matter there.

I'm not even sure it mattered in the papal city of Bologna other than a string of unbearable popes had controlled the city (with aforementioned Visconti hiatus) and closely aligned with the Emperor in the generation right before before we start hearing of "Papi." Plural popes was unthinkable in Florence in 1439/40 and the Emperor simply didn't exist (save for an empty chair, no doubt insisted on by the German prelates at the Church Union who were also imperial Electors). Bologna, on the other hand, had every reason to think of the world in terms of Popes and Emperors but in the pejorative terms of the present situation - hence "Papi." The author of the Anonymous Discourse, Piscina and Mamelini saw their countrymen playing a game that on the surface looked heretical (especially with the Roman Inquisition brought to life in 1542) and so provided the Guelph-Ghibelline back story as cover for their countrymen's past time and their retelling of their chosen subject (and indeed the author of the 'Steele Sermon' didn't even need the "Papi" to declare this anxiety - the mere presence of the Pope and Emperor was an outrage).

You have provided a compelling argument....for Bologna, not Florence. And Piscina points out what was partially to blame for creation of "papi" - cooption of the papacy into imperial alliance under Emperor Charles V (despite his sacking of Rome), thereby creating the new proverbial "state of the world", in Northern Italy at least, and especially in Bologna; hence the derogatory term of "Papi" in a university town sick of this state of affairs. I'll expand on this and address the diffusion from Bologna to Piedmont-Savoy in this time period in another post.

Phaeded

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot / BOLOGNA - SICILY

Posted: 06 Jul 2020, 23:06
by Huck
In the description of Ottocento ...
https://www.pagat.com/tarot/ottocen.html
.... a Tarocchino deck (a Tarot deck with 62 cards, the cards 2-3-4-5 are skipped) is used for the game. So there is not only, that the trumps 2-3-4-5 are handled in a special way, but also the number cards 2-3-4-5.
Ottocento is a Tarot game for 4 players which comes from Bologna. Tarot games have been played in that city for over 500 years, and the game of Ottocento as currently played preserves distinct characteristics (both of the games and of the pack of cards) which go back at least to the 16th century. The special 62-card pack that is used and the game itself are often known as Tarocchino (pronounced tarokino), the diminutive form of Tarocco referring to the reduction of the pack from 78 to 62 cards. .....

The pack is known as the Tarocco Bolognese - the version of the Tarot pack which has been used at Bologna since the 16th century. This pack is produced and sold by the main Italian playing-card manufacturers. It is somewhat similar to other Italian-suited Tarot packs, but omits the 2 to the 5 of each plain suit, and has other peculiarities found only at Bologna. ....
**********

When I had come so far, I noticed that I had an error these days when I 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.
The Bolognese papi are at position of trump 1, trump 2, trump 3 and trump 4 ... not at trump 2, trump 3, trump 4 and trump 5 in the Bolognese deck. They are at the trump 2, trump 3, trump 4 and trump 5 position, if one compares them with the Milanese row, where they are filled with Popess, Empress, Emperor and Pope.

Well, the page ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarocco_Bolognese
... offers the row of the Bolognese trumps with an error:
Trump / Name of the card
(20) Angel (Angelo)
(19) World (Mondo)
(18) Sun (Sole)
(17) Moon (Luna)
16 Star (Stella)
15 Lightning (Saetta)
14 Devil (Diavolo)
13 Death (Morte)
12 Traitor (Traditore)
11 Vecchio (Old Man)
10 Wheel (Roda)
9 Strength (Forza)
8 Justice (Giusta)
7 Temperance (Tempra)
6 Chariot (Carro)
5 Love (Amore)
(1=4) four Moors (Moretti)
(0) Magician (Begato)
So it shows 21 trumps or special cards, but since the deck has 62 cards totally, there must be 22 special cards. The writer has forgotten the Fool and this should have a 0=zero as the Magician (Begato).
The Bolognese cards have two cards, which are connected to the zero-value ... as the Tarocco Siciliano. Although this seems to be clear from the general situation, I don't remember a writer who made this point clear.

Tarocco Bolognese
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Tarocco Siciliano
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Mitelli (Bologna) / Tarocco Siciliano
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Mitelli is said to have worked his Tarocco version between 1660-65.
https://rinascimentoitalianart.wordpres ... elli-1660/
About the same time the Tarocco Siciliano started to exist. "The game was brought to Sicily by Francesco Caetani (1594 – 1683) duke of Sermoneta (near Roma) in 1663 from other italian towns."
http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks07/d05236/d05236text.htm
Pratesi found a document, that noted Tarocco productions in Palermo already in 1630.
http://trionfi.com/kalos-tarocco-siciliano

The article ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarocco_Siciliano
... delivers some information about the deck. However, it makes the same error as the article about Tarocco Bolognese and reports only 21 special cards. Generally it's clear, that the Tarocco Siciliano has a lot of differences to the Tarocchino of Bologna, but there are some curious patallels.
Trump - Name of the card - Notes
20 Jupiter (Giove) Jupiter instead of an angel casting judgement
19 Atlas (Atlante) or the Globe (Palla) Atlas supporting the globe
18 Sun (Sole) Two men fighting under the sun
17 Moon (Luna) A couple under the moon
16 Star (Stella) Horseman under a star like in the Minchiate
15 Tower (Torre) Tower is intact, no disaster
14 Ship (Vascello) From Minchiate trump XXI
13 Death
12 Time
11 Hanged Man Hanged from the neck
10 Wheel
9 Chariot
8 Love
7 Justice
6 Fortitude
5 Temperance
4 Constancy (Constanza) Unique to this deck, formerly had a caption
3 Emperor
2 Empress
1 Mountebank (Bagotti) or the Young Men (Picciotti)
(0) Destitution (Miseria) or Poverty (Poverta) Unique to this deck, only one with a caption

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

Posted: 07 Jul 2020, 00:15
by Nathaniel
mikeh wrote:
06 Jul 2020, 12:56
And thanks also to Nathaniel, although I still have a hard time understanding. He wrote:
So it really is very hard to believe that someone would invent a game at that time with such a weirdly interrupted hierarchy as a central feature. But it is considerably easier to imagine it being a modification of an existing hierarchy, introduced to solve a tricky problem.
But if the four cards are already part of a hierarchy in Bologna, there is no "tricky problem." It's already been solved. There is no reason to invent an elliptical, or otherwise noncircular wheel if you've already got a circular one that is doing the job.
Mike, the "tricky problem" was not that there was no hierarchy when the cards arrived in Bologna, it is that some people would have disagreed with that hierarchy and argued that it should be a different hierarchy, and other people would have argued in favor of the original hierarchy, and there were probably still others who argued for a yet another one... My point was that the hierarchy of the papi was something that got changed a lot as tarot spread from city to city, so clearly people had different views about what it should be. And no doubt they were all very firmly convinced of the rightness of their own personal view and were extremely intransigent and resistant to persuasion. We on this forum can perhaps imagine what that might have been like... That is what I meant by "tricky problem." I talked about it in more detail in my earlier post: viewtopic.php?p=22341#p22341

I realize some of my ideas might be a little hard to get your head around because they are different from anything that has been presented on this forum before. I hope I don't sound arrogant when I say that! But I have a lot more unusual ideas, which I am still developing... Wait till you hear what I think about the Imperatori game. Absolutely no one is going to want to agree with me about that (except maybe Huck)

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
06 Jul 2020, 17:32

I don't know anything about direct trade between Bologna and France in the 15th century. Can you suggest some convenient references to start with? Can we assume that this well-established direct trade route, bypassing the city of Milan, is the missing link between Bologna and Savoy that Dummett and other researchers have missed when trying to explain the Piedmontese game's Bolognese features?
I don't know much myself, it's something I'd like to look into more, but I don't really have time right at the moment. That's why I asked in my last post if anyone has explored this topic already. It certainly seems like it could be a fruitful avenue of research. All I know at this point is that there was a major trading route from Bologna to Asti (and there is still a major autostrada that follows that same route today) and of course it's clear that the overland trade between Italy and France would have gone through Piedmont, the main route being the one from Asti to Lyon via Chambéry.

Note that this could explain not only the Bolognese features of the Piedmontese game, it could also explain the Bolognese features of the early French decks. It's often been observed that several of those early French decks, including the early Tarot de Marseille pattern, have features which look similar to features of Bolognese cards or Minchiate cards. There are other features which look reminiscent of the Budapest-Metropolitan deck. If we are willing to hypothesize that the Budapest-Metropolitan was descended from an original Ferrarese pattern which itself was the result of a merger of a 78-card deck from Florence via Bologna and an earlier 70-card deck that came from Milan (this is a very speculative step, I know, but bear with with me), then we could trace all of these features back to a very early version of the Bolognese deck which was adopted in Piedmont in the mid 15th century. This would explain why the features in the French decks look a little like the Bolognese and Minchiate and/or Budapest, but not identical—they look like they have undergone substantial modification, and this temporal separation would allow for that. Whereas if the equal papi rule had spread to Piedmont from Florence via Lombardy—moving gradually, from one town to the next—it would be much less likely for the early Piedmontese decks to have shared so many features with the early Bolognese ones, as they would have been related only very indirectly; you would expect the Piedmontese decks to have looked essentially the same as the Lombard ones.

The French decks could then be descended from two separate Italian patterns: one from Piedmont, which was probably the first one to reach France, and then one from Lombardy, which arrived in France somewhat later (maybe as a result of the French occupation in the early 16th century). A possible additional avenue of influence on the French decks might be an early Swiss deck, itself derived directly from the Lombard pattern, but of course we have no direct evidence of such a deck. And I'm getting a little too far from the equal papi topic now, so I'll stop there.

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot / BOLOGNA - MINCHIATE

Posted: 07 Jul 2020, 11:27
by Huck
The numbered trumps of the Tarocchino Bolognese have this row ... in direct connection to the Minchiate order
Trump Bologna / Name of the card .... relation to Minchiate
(20) Angel (Angelo) .... (Minchiate not numbered trump 40)
(19) World (Mondo) .... (... trump 39)
(18) Sun (Sole) .... (... trump 38)
(17) Moon (Luna) .... (... trump 37)
16 Star (Stella) .... trump 36
15 Lightning (Saetta) .... trump 15
14 Devil (Diavolo) ... trump 14
13 Death (Morte) .... trump 13
12 Traitor (Traditore) .... trump 12
11 Vecchio (Old Man) .... trump 11
10 Wheel (Roda) ... trump 9
9 Strength (Forza) .... trump 7
8 Justice (Giusta) .... trump 8
7 Temperance (Tempra) .... trump 6
6 Chariot (Carro) .... trump 10
5 Love (Amore) .... trump 5
The Chariot (6 in Tarocchino) is high in Minchiate (10). Possibly this decision causes, that 3 other cards are moved.
Interestingly Minchiate was also produced in Bologna. At least the version of "Al Leone", produced in Bologna with a Bolognese city view at trump 40, uses the number row as it is common in Florence and different to the numbers of the Tarocchino deck.
http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks07/d05114/d05114.htm

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

Posted: 07 Jul 2020, 12:28
by mikeh
Nathaniel wrote,
Mike, the "tricky problem" was not that there was no hierarchy when the cards arrived in Bologna, it is that some people would have disagreed with that hierarchy and argued that it should be a different hierarchy, and other people would have argued in favor of the original hierarchy, and there were probably still others who argued for a yet another one... My point was that the hierarchy of the papi was something that got changed a lot as tarot spread from city to city, so clearly people had different views about what it should be. And no doubt they were all very firmly convinced of the rightness of their own personal view and were extremely intransigent and resistant to persuasion. We on this forum can perhaps imagine what that might have been like... That is what I meant by "tricky problem." I talked about it in more detail in my earlier post: viewtopic.php?p=22341#p22341
I see two problems. One is that you haven't explained what there is about that story that makes it more believable than the reverse, that the "equal papi" rule was first, and when different localities decided to rank them, they made different choices.

Second, unlike on this Forum, when people who disagree but nonetheless have to do something, if they are to play the same game together, they end up with some sort of compromise: everybody gets something they wanted, but nobody gets everything. In this case the proponents of the Florentine and Lombard orders want the Pope to be highest and the Emperor next. The Ferrara proponents want the Pope highest and the Popess to be second highest. A compromise would be to grant one of them the second highest and the other the third highest, perhaps by the flip of a coin, or a vote of those concerned. What they would agree on, however, is that the Pope should never be lower than the Emperor. Yet that is precisely what the "equal papi" rule provides. It is something only someone who didn't support any of the other regions' choices would support, given other established ways of playing the game that they knew about. The papal supremacists would likely compromise with one another before accepting such a solution. It is more likely that the "equal papi" rule would be accepted, as we know it was, if the question of ranking didn't come up in the first place, because of a prior game in which the imperadori were all equal, and alternatives weren't on the table.

I was impressed with Phaeded's arguments against 1435-1440 Florence having an "equal papi" rule. They were a solidly Guelf city. Bologna or Milan is a better choice. For other reasons I don't think that Milan had all four in its earliest decks, and I do think that the A order of virtues generated the others; so at the moment I lean toward Bologna by default, or else Florence at another time, but I can't think of when. And I do not exclude some other city near Florence, as they would have considered themselves opposite to Florence in hopes of getting support elsewhere.

If Bologna, the question is, when? In particular, 1430s or 1530s? The coronation of an Emperor whose troops earlier kept a pope prisoner in his castle is a time of reconciliation and of acknowledging Papal supremacy, something to which Charles V had shown deference to most of his career anyway, against the Protestants. If the coronation were in Madrid or north of the Alps, the "equal papi" rule (once the Pope was gone) might say of the pope that to watch his step. But in Bologna, then a papacy-controlled city where the Emperor was symbolically paying homage to the pope, that seems to me as unlikely as 1435-1440 Florence.

Bologna also had a tradition of believing, without any of our abstract arguments, that the tarot was invented by a Ghibelline in that city, namely Prince Fibbia, to represent the continually and tragically shifting fortunes of the papal and anti-papal sides in that part of the world. I have cited Mamellini and Buini. For completeness, another, rather late but nonetheless testifying to the tradition, is Giambatista Giusti (Lucca 1758-Bologna 1829) in a satirical poem published in 1828 (http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page.aspx?id=206):
Altrove quattro giocatori assidonsi
Al Tarocco: o divin trovato! o illustre [*]
Concittadino mio! fuggisti il nostro
Miserando paese dalle parti
Diviso: e qui t’accolse ospite albergo,
E d’ospitalità nobil compenso
Il tarocco inventasti, e premj e onori
Furono dal Senato a te largiti.

In another space four players sit
Playing tarot: O divine find! O illustrious [*]
Son of my city! You fled our
Miserable land, by (political) parties
Divided: and, received here hospitably,
As a reward for this noble hospitality,
Invented the tarot, and awards and honors
Were bestowed upon you by the Senate.
Giusti speaks in his note [*] of a painting hanging in the "Sala de’ Signori Fibbia Fabbri di Bologna in via Galliera" (Hall of the Lords Fibbia Fabbri of Bologna in Galliera Street) and identified on the canvas as "Francesco Antelminelli Castracane Fibbia, Principi di Pisa, Monte Giori e Pietra Santa, e Signore di Fucecchio". Of course whether any of that legend is true is another matter. But there certainly was a tradition. And again there is a reference to the political divisions that plagued Italy in his time, in this case as what brought Fibbia to Bologna. The "our miserable land" would be Lucca.

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot / BOLOGNA - SICILY

Posted: 08 Jul 2020, 00:26
by Phaeded
Huck wrote:
06 Jul 2020, 23:06

Tarocco Siciliano

Mitelli (Bologna) / Tarocco Siciliano
Image
Image



Mitelli is said to have worked his Tarocco version between 1660-65.
https://rinascimentoitalianart.wordpres ... elli-1660/
About the same time the Tarocco Siciliano started to exist. "The game was brought to Sicily by Francesco Caetani (1594 – 1683) duke of Sermoneta (near Roma) in 1663 from other italian towns."
http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks07/d05236/d05236text.htm
Pratesi found a document, that noted Tarocco productions in Palermo already in 1630.
http://trionfi.com/kalos-tarocco-siciliano

The article ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarocco_Siciliano
... delivers some information about the deck. However, it makes the same error as the article about Tarocco Bolognese and reports only 21 special cards. Generally it's clear, that the Tarocco Siciliano has a lot of differences to the Tarocchino of Bologna, but there are some curious patallels.
Trump - Name of the card - Notes
20 Jupiter (Giove) Jupiter instead of an angel casting judgement
19 Atlas (Atlante) or the Globe (Palla) Atlas supporting the globe

...
14 Ship (Vascello) From Minchiate trump XXI
...


The first half of the 16th century was defined by the rivalry between France's Francis I and Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire. Naples/Sicily was of course under Charles, whose biggest feather in his hat was the taking of Tunis in 1535 and celebrated later with 12 monumental tapestries, so no wonder about the appearance of a ship here. And whether that deck variant was first created under Charles (my guess) or his successor, honoring the man who created the largest extent of the Holy Roman Empire would be only natural (especially if one desired to reunite it).

As for Jupiter and Atlas/Globe as the two highest trumps - both subjects could arguably be derived from this Italian painting (or engraving of the same) of Charles V (Parmigianino, d. 1540), where Jupiter is the scepter bearer of the gods, planted here atop the globe by Jupiter-Charles, the globe born by a young Hercules in the role of Atlas (a bit of lionskin is just recognizable). The Atlas/globe cards posted by Huck above are of course based on the Farnese Atlas, acquired in the early 16th century by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul III, who in turn was an ally of Charles V. Lippincott's notes on the oldest known records of its existence beginning c. 1500: "See P. SABINUS in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Berlin, G. Reimer, 1863-1936, VI, ii (1882), no. 12234. Wrede, suggests that the subject matter of Polidoro da Caravaggio’s ornamentation of the del Bufalo garden (c. 1525-27), with references to the Golden Apples of the Hesperides, may have been inspired by the presence of the Farnese Atlas, which was then, of course, believed to represent the figure of Hercules" (Kristen Lippincott, “The Early Reception Of The Farnese Atlas: An Addendum To Bober & Rubinstein’s Renaissance Artists And Antique Sculpture” in Schifanoia a Cura dell’ I Stituto di Studi Rinascimentali di Ferrara 52-53 · 2017: 227-238, p. 229, note 10).

Image

"Glory and Hercules Honoring Charles V", AKA "The Emperor Charles V Receiving The World", by Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Parmigianino.

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

Posted: 08 Jul 2020, 01:35
by Huck
Ross wrote (post #81)
I can't say much about "Eight Emperors," except that it clearly means one of two things: a rule in which eight cards were called "emperors," whether or not they really depicted emperors, or eight special cards that we might naturally take to have been trumps. I tend to the former, since it could therefore be taken as another name for The Emperor's Game (because German), Karnöffel. Of course Karnöffel as we know it choses only seven special cards, not eight, but it could be a small variation from this early date.
As I recently noted, there is an 8th trump of special value in the early Karnöffel documents, "der Faule Fritz" ...
https://www.google.com/search?client=op ... CAs&uact=5
who in the Mysner poem possibly is presented by the "Heintz eff mich wohl", who also appears as "Haintz Nar" in the Narrenschiff.
Image

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

Posted: 08 Jul 2020, 22:50
by Nathaniel
mikeh wrote:
07 Jul 2020, 12:28
I see two problems. One is that you haven't explained what there is about that story that makes it more believable than the reverse, that the "equal papi" rule was first, and when different localities decided to rank them, they made different choices.
Well, I think I have explained it, it's just that you haven't found my explanation convincing... My arguments against that rule being original are (1) that it creates a very strange hierarchy and it is much easier to imagine it being a modification of an existing straightforward sequence rather than vice versa, (2) we have absolutely no other evidence to suggest that the papi cards in the 15th century showed anything other than four different figures, namely two pairs of consorts, and that strongly argues in favor of them all having their own rank in the hierarchy rather than two or more having identical rank, and (3) the equal papi rule left no trace anywhere outside Bologna and Piedmont/Savoy, and whatever Ross may say, that definitely isn't something that can simply be brushed aside. The rule seems to have survived extremely well in both of those two regions until numbered cards were introduced (and even then, it required the actual papi cards themselves to be numbered for it to be seriously weakened, as occurred in Piedmont/Savoy, and it even managed to survive that for hundreds of years), so you would expect to see some hint of it somewhere. You would expect to see an early deck where two or more of the papi show the same figure, or early literary sources where the rule is mentioned or at least hinted at. So the only reasonable conclusion is that the rule was not original, and was instead invented in Bologna (after tarot itself was invented elsewhere) and transferred from there to Piedmont, most likely via the trade route.
mikeh wrote:
07 Jul 2020, 12:28
Second, unlike on this Forum, when people who disagree but nonetheless have to do something, if they are to play the same game together, they end up with some sort of compromise: everybody gets something they wanted, but nobody gets everything. In this case the proponents of the Florentine and Lombard orders want the Pope to be highest and the Emperor next. The Ferrara proponents want the Pope highest and the Popess to be second highest. A compromise would be to grant one of them the second highest and the other the third highest, perhaps by the flip of a coin, or a vote of those concerned. What they would agree on, however, is that the Pope should never be lower than the Emperor. Yet that is precisely what the "equal papi" rule provides. It is something only someone who didn't support any of the other regions' choices would support, given other established ways of playing the game that they knew about. The papal supremacists would likely compromise with one another before accepting such a solution. It is more likely that the "equal papi" rule would be accepted, as we know it was, if the question of ranking didn't come up in the first place, because of a prior game in which the imperadori were all equal, and alternatives weren't on the table.
This is a stronger line of argument, and you have a point when you say that "The papal supremacists would likely compromise with one another before accepting such a solution." But of course I disagree with your conclusion. To me, the more obvious answer is that they weren't papal supremacists at all—they didn't care so much about the Pope, but just had very different views about the Popess. It is, after all, clearly the Popess who was the real bone of contention here: The differences of opinion about how to rank the papi were essentially differences of opinion about how to rank the Popess (incidentally, this makes me wonder if the early removal of the Popess in places like Florence may have been motivated as much by this as by offended religious sensibilities: taking her out completely solves the problem very nicely too). They probably found the idea of a Guelphs vs. Ghibellines sequence, with popes and emperors locked in a constant struggle, perfectly satisfying.