Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Huck wrote:
14 Apr 2020, 19:48
What about the 16 gods used by Evrart de Conty (1398, in close neighborhood to the Michelino deck)?
They weren't noted in this thread till now.
The author and his work was discussed at the court of Valentina Visconti. Christine de Pizan gave a negative statement, cause Conty used elements of the "Roman de la Rose".
I'm more intrigued than Ross for a comparable, but do you have a Ms in mind that dates from when it was written? This one's famous illustrations are quite late (late 1490s):
Bnf Français 143
Evrart de Conty, Livre des échecs amoureux moralisés ... checontact

It illustrates a list of gods comparable to Petrarch - with allegorical figures before the gods (Fortune, fates, prudence astronomy with diagrams, etc.) and love story characters afterwards - but the gods proper look to go from Saturn to Pan (which is a planetary descent for the first 7)...but I see more than the 16 you are noting (do you have a textual listing of 16 gods, versus just going off the illustrations?):

Saturn, 28r
Jupiter, 33r
Mars 36r
Apollo 36v
[Muses, 65v, denoted by a single figure seated on two swans with musical instruments]
Venus with Cupid, 104v
Mercury with Argus 112v but earlier with his wife Philology, 56r (he's holding a woman's hand: ... c/f56.item)
Diana 116r
Minerva 117v
Juno 124v
Neptune 130v
Pluto and Persephone 136v (the gate of hell is behind them - Petrarch has these below the 16 in a different band)
Cybele 147r
Vulcan 148r
Bacchus 151v
Aesculpius 154v

Pan 157r.

Not counting the Muses but counting those images X2 every time two gods appear, I count 19 (those not listed in Petrarch's Africa as part of his 16 in red). Nonetheless very close to Petrarch and the appearance of Philology probably points in that direction (so I counted the Mercury version with his wife, vs. with slain Argus, but that would mean Mercury leads off the sequence...or is that not Philology and a woman related to the love dream?). Aesculapius is an outlier and Perseus should be there instead. And arguably Bacchus replaces Pan in Marziano but I'll address that in a separate reply.

Apollo, which I find central to the DSH in regard to Daphne and Filippo's main impresa, looks like it is derived from the Third Vatican Mythographer in Conty, with the Serapis three-headed monster detail - not in Marziano:

For an overall summary of Conty, all I could find was this, which is not that suggestive of the problem before us:
Magister Amoris: The Roman de la Rose and Vernacular Hermeneutics
Alastair J. Minnis
Print publication date: 2001

(chapter) Pruning the Rose: Evrart de Conty and European Vernacular Commentary
This chapter suggests that there was a strong impulse in the early reception of the Roman de la Rose to normalise the poem, to remove the thorns of its most radically experimental erotic language. In any case, many aspects of the relationship between Amant and Bel Acueil can be considered in terms of homosociability rather than homoeroticism. The gendering of personifications in this allegory of love is certainly confusing but is not necessarily subversive of sexual norms. The Rose exerted a profound influence on Eschez amoureux, a work that moves methodically from love to wisdom, ending with advice on the proper conduct of a marriage, how to bring up children and manage servants, the best location and plan for a house, and, finally, ways of making money. This chapter locates Evrart de Conty's commentary on the Eschez amoureux within the history of vernacular hermeneutics.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

I once found the info, that there are (or were) 3 illuminated editions from 15th century. I found only pictures of 2, one from the end and the other from, c 1460 or later ?).
By the headlines it's clear, that there are only 16 main figures from the gods.
My studies to it are old, I guess from c. 2007/2008.

There was a poem of an anonym c. 1370. This was made to a sort of encyclopedia with a lot of text and science of different topics by Evrart de Conty (I have there a 1398 in memory). VERY much text.
It is one of 3 major chess works, which mixed chess with some mythology.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

This link gives a full list of manuscripts, editions, commentaries, and translations where they exist. The Echecs amoureux moralisés is the third one, at the end of the page. All of them have links.
Source: Guichard-Tesson et Roy 1993: XIII-XXIII

Den Haag, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 129. A. 15, 4/4 XV (F)
København, Kongelige biblioteket, Thott 1090 4°, f. 71r-98r, 1468 (M)
Fragment équivalent aux lignes 176v44-183r26. Ms. exécuté à Lille, de 1460 à 1470.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, français, 143, f. 1r-357v (A) [⇛ Description]
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, français, 1508 (B) [⇛ Description]
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, français, 9197, f. 1r-352v (C) [⇛ Description]
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, français, 19114 (D) [⇛ Description]
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, français, 24295 (E) [⇛ Description]
localisation actuelle inconnue: ms. figurant dans un des inventaires des livres du duc de Bourgogne 1420, que Geoffroi Maupoivre, médecin de Jean sans Peur, avait reçu avant 1414 de Philippe Jossequin, gardien des joyaux du roi de France.
I haven't checked Copenhagen and the Hague copies.
Bnf fr. 143 we know.
Fr. 1508 has no gods.
Fr. 9197 is not online. Copied between 1444 and 1497. 24 miniatures, presumably like 143.
Fr. 19114 has no art.
Fr. 24295 has no gods.

It does not seem that there are illustrated editions before the end of the century. But the intention, if indeed there are sixteen, will be in the text. I think it's a red herring for our purposes.

The Echecs amoureux itself was translated into English as The Assembly of Gods. Full information on manuscripts and printed editions here -

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Phaeded wrote:
14 Apr 2020, 19:35
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
14 Apr 2020, 14:49
If his deificatio is more than a mere euhemerist assumption, standard medieval thought, then maybe it fits into some as yet insufficiently explored Visconti family ideology of semi-divine origin, revealed in both Castelletto's genealogy and Sacco's very title Semideus, as well as his insistence on the divine genealogy from Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus, but also in this light revealed by Marziano's Deificatio. By implication, Filippo Maria could raise himself to such a status.
Phaeded wrote:
Aeneas comes to Italy from elsewhere - mythical Troy - and his grandmother none other than Venus. The immortal portion of the Visconti is then not native to Italy, descending instead like "ancient aliens" (pardon the reference to that lame History channel show). The native Italian stock is what gets immortalized, like once mortal Philology, through mating with the s/demigods - the Visconti. Note the oracular foreshadowing of Aeneas's future mating with Lavinia told to her father: "Men from abroad will come / And be your sons by marriage. Blood so mingled / Lifts our name starward (Aeneid 7.96–101).

I'd like to juxtapose the above speculations against Petrarch's own "coronation" oration in Rome on April 8, 1341 (the 8th of April also supposedly the date upon which he first saw Laura and the date of her death), upon receiving the poet laureate designation from King Robert "of Sicily" (how Petrarch recognizes him) , or more familiarly known as Robert of Anjou or Robert the Wise. The oration is relevant as he received the laurels specifically for his unfinished Africa. Petrarch helped orchestrate this public ritual, choosing Rome over Paris for the ceremonies although courted by both cities (duly noted with false modesty in the oration itself), because of his desire to see a renovatio of the Roman Empire and set himself as an example to other poets to return to the Roman canon, inspiring the leaders around them such as Robert to bring back Roman virtus in tangible governmental forms. For all of his contemplative leanings, Petrarch was bitterly disappointed when Robert died a couple yeas later in 1343. Petrarch subsequently put all of his hopes in the "tribune", Cola di Rienzo, but Cola's own program of Roman renewal ended with his own violent death at the hands of the Roman barons, namely the Colonna (of whom Petrarch ironically counted among his patrons).

The general point here is that the Africa was in many ways what Petrarch was most famous for, given this public "crowning" with laurel by the renowned Robert the Wise, even though, ironically enough, no one really read it until after his death (hence the intrigue with it once it became available in 1394). You might also recall Robert was made papal vicar in the Romagna and Tuscany, celebrated as such in the illuminated Carmina regia : Address of the City of Prato to Robert of Anjou, by Convenevole da Prato (most famous manuscript copy being BL Royal MS 6 E IX: ... _MS_6_E_IX ). Petrarch was thus crowned by the Guelph champion in Italy, a king with an out-sized reputation in the Trecento. Moreover, Petrach himself links his coronation to the specific program of bringing back Roman culture. The appeal, then, of the Africa with its exemplar of Scipio Africanus (already famous due to Macrobius), is its connection to Petrarch's own involvement in the real world of politics, albeit a failed endeavor, in which Roman culture was to play a role.

Attracted to Petrarch's oration “the first manifesto of the Renaissance” (Wilkins, 1953: 1241), one might seize upon his list of Roman gods, recontextualize and modify it in terms of a real world royal, say the Visconti, and credit them with the conceit of a renovatio of Italy in imitation of ancient Rome appropriate Christianized terms, per Petrach's own writings (Laura-Laurel-Daphne as ultimately the triumph of eternity within the Church).

Robert of Anjou's own steps towards claims for the divinization of his branch of the French royal family was to have his brother Louis turned into a saint - even having his sainted brother painted crowning him. ... ni_013.jpg The degrees of a Romanitas program that Petrarch might have encouraged him down were, again, foiled by the king's death.

The Visconti's own deification tact was to follow the main Valois house of France in claiming the ethnogenic descent from heroum, specifically, Venus->Anchises-Aeneas-> Anglus (while the Valois traced theirs from Mars (per Pizan)->Hector->Francus, who founded and named the city of Paris in honor of his uncle Paris) . Again, the Pisanello medal made for Filippo in 1441 includes Anglus as part of his name, before his ducal title: PHILIPPVSMARIA.ANGLVS.DVX.MEDIOLANI. And the theory here is the likes of Marziano encouraged this, in turn inspired by Petrarch....

Petrarch practically makes it an imperative in his oration that fellow humanist follow after him in their poetic endeavors. The full text of the oration is available on Jstor: Ernest H. Wilkins, "Petrarch's Coronation Oration," PMLA, Vol. 68, No. 5 (Dec., 1953), pp. 1241-1250. Petrarch begins with the goal of approaching Apollo/Parnassus - god of prophecy and of poets - and a higher love, an “amor having the power to urge one upward” (1241). After stating part of his goal is "the stimulation of the activity of the others" he then offers an example from Macrobius, which he calls from his "Republic" which is of course the Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis on Cicero's lost work of the same name, Res Publica, but only the last chapter on the Dream of Scipio surviving via Macrobius. That dream forms the first two books of Petrarch's Africa, setting up the Palace of Syphax ekphrasis in Book III. But instead of referencing Carthage or Scipio's Rome, the chosen Macrobius quotes is about the more obscure Ethiopians, which allows a bit more poetic license which supposedly explains the poet's art:

Whence Macrobius in the second boom of his commentary on the sixth book of the Republic: ‘And they maintain that Homer, the fount and sources of all divine inventions, was setting truth before the wise under the cloud of poetic fiction when he spoke of Jove as going to the ocean with the other gods, that is, with the stars, to attend a feast to which the Ethiops had invited him. They maintain that by this fabulous image Homer meany to signify the stars draw their nourishment from the ocean. And he represents the Ethiop kings as participants in the feast of the gods because none dwell on the ocean shores save Ethiops, whose nearness to the sun has burned them into the semblance of blackness' (1246).

What is Petrarch up to here? The oration is not long so why include this long quote from the likes of Macrobius, who is not a classical poet? Petrarch explains “that poets under a veil of fictions have set forth truths physical, moral, and historical” and that the poet is different from others as the difference between a clouded versus a clear sky, where perception is “in different degrees according to the capacity of the observers” (ibid). But to what end is the somewhat clouded poet’s art put to? Here Petrarch is unmistakably clear, as his poet’s art deals with a kind of immortality: “This immortality is itself twofold, for it includes both the immortality of the poet’s own name and the immortality of of the names of those whom he celebrates” (1247). Petrarch is in a sense advocating poetry as a form of euhemerism in the present. Of this immortalization of the subject – political leaders and warriors – he quotes from one of the models for his Africa:
Of the second kind of immortality Virgil speaks thus in his ninth book: Fortunate are ye both! If my verses have any power, no day shall ever cancel you from the memory of the ages, as long as the progeny of Aeneas dwells on the unshakable rock of the Capitol, and the Roman father holds imperial sway (Aeneid IX.446-449)

As "progeny of Aeneas" the Visconti certainly fill that bill and as such Marziano essentially encourages their Trojan "ethnogenic" project .Moreover Petrarch's quoting at length from Macrobius's Ethiopian example of a relevant poetic fiction, would points one towards Petrarch's own version of a plenary assembly of the gods in Syphax's palace (also in Africa, like Ethiopia), presumably bordering on the starry domicile of the gods that are the 16 regions in Capella. The Numidian Syphax's problem is, despite his proximity to the gods, is that the gods themselves have chosen the Trojans(-cum-Romans) through whom to have progeny. The laurel has not been planted in his realm, only Philology - knowledge of the Gods, muses, arts, but not their favor. The laurel is elsewhere:
Beside the laurel they were wont to erect altars, as is indicated in the second book of the Aeneid: ‘In the midst of the palace, under the open sky, there was a great altar, and beside it an ancient laurel tree overhanging the altar (II.512-514),.…It is an adornment,moreover, not for temples only but for the Capitol itself, as Lucan says in his first book: The Capitol calls for the sacred laurel (I.287). In many other instances, indeed the laurel is equally appropriate for Caesars and for poets, since I could show that both were wont to be called sacred – were I not mindful of Cicero’s remark that evidence is superfluous in a case in which there is no ground for doubt (1249).

Petrarch underscores the sky and the laurel in the veneration of the gods. The Ethiopian example in Macrobius, Petrarch's explication of poetry in general aside, was because of their very proximity to the sky (even near Apollo), and these Roman examples, Vergil and Lucan, also stress religious examples under the sky, and Capitol of course being a complex on a hill under the sky. The Capitol must necessarily be conceived, in this context, in terms of a positive version of the Palace of Syphax, beneath the skies of the Roman pantheon and appropriately crowned with laurel. If Bernardo's thesis is correct, and that Petrarch came to the figure of Philology early as a symbol of knowledge, yet transformed her into Laura/Laurel/Daphne, then Daphne in Marziano refers to a complex symbol more profound than mere virginity or even victory of the laurel crown, but the essence of the Roman empire's immortality (imperium sine fine) tagged to dynastic line within the presence of the assembled gods.
The laurel in Petrarch's oration is penultimately nothing less than immortality. The Visconti are thus progeny partaking of that divinity and propagating the line via Cupido. Petrarch finishes his oration with long excursus about the properties of the laurel, but he swings this digression back to matters of poetic fiction/”immortalization” indirectly by discussing the laurel’s “eternal verdure” but referenced in the context of the father of Aeneas's Italian bride's father and his proto-Capitol:

Whence Virgil, says in the Bucolics: Which Father Latinus, it is said, found while he was building the first citadel, and consecrated to Apollo (Aeneid VII.61-62). And this gave rise to the story that Apollo loved Daphne, for according to Uguiccione the Greek word daphne has the same meaning as the Latin laurus: this story may be read in full in the first book of the Metamorphoses of Ovid….And the immortality of this verdue, which symbolizes the immortality of fame sought through warfare or through genius, was perhaps a reason why both Caesars and poets were crowned most usually with a laurel wealth.(ibid)

The laurel found on the Capitol - the symbol of Romanitas - means that place has immortality conferred upon it...the progeny maintaining the culture there also touched by immortality. For Petrarch this is all perfectly euhemeristic, even so in Marziano, but for the Visconti it approaches the same level of sainthood conferred on Louis of Toulouse at the instigation of his brother Robert of Anjou. These Roman gods of the Capitol have been virtually transferred by Marziano to circle over the Visconti and bless them in his game, Daphne representing the immortality of the genealogy.

Unlike the unfinished Africa, the oration was available for dissemination immediately. What was finished at the time of Petrarch's oration was the section on Syphax's palace, which he had shared with the likes of Bersuire, and thus it had to be on his mind when he wrote this oration. For Marziano, both the Africa and the oration would have been available, with the oration having relevance for the Syphax episode for the reasons noted above. Thus its hard not to imagine both influencing Marziano's choices in constructing his game, all for a prince , to say it again, obsessed with a Petrarch associated with the creation of his dynasty's own motto.


Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Phaeded wrote:
16 Apr 2020, 05:11
Thus its hard not to imagine both influencing Marziano's choices in constructing his game, all for a prince , to say it again, obsessed with a Petrarch associated with the creation of his dynasty's own motto.
More on the motto, since it has remained generally unclear, and I have learned a lot looking into it. I think there is no reasonable doubt that Petrarch designed it, before he left the Visconti court in 1361. Gian Galeazzo was no more than 11 years old at the time, although Decembrio (see below) calls him "adolescens." Perhaps it was made later, sent to Gian Galeazzo in a letter with the design in Petrarch's own hand.

Additionally It seems that the older and stronger tradition calls the bird a turtledove (turtur) rather than a dove (columba). I have not made a comprehensive survey of the imagery; Reina's thesis on emblems and devices on this one, pages 92-94, does not settle it, merely offering that both names are known.

I haven' t studied it closely, but turtledoves are not white: they have distinctly spotted wings, and a striped patch on the neck. We have nesting pairs every year in our trees here. Artists seem to mostly portray a very white dove. So whether it were Petrarch's intention for it to be a turtledove or not, it would strike most observers as a dove.

But distinguishing this intention may be important to us, since both birds are suits in Marziano.

The other information is Decembrio's letter to Filippo Maria in 1430, in which he recounts Petrarch's invention of the emblem. I didn't know that, although it has been known since 1904 at least. By this account, Petrarch also invented the solar rayed symbol, since the plural is used “insignia siderea,” starry emblems. In the middle of this he put the turtledove with the motto.

My discovery went this way -

Laurent Hablot, “Les princesses et la devise. L’utilisation politique de l’emblématique par les femmes de pouvoir à la fin du Moyen Age”, Femmes de pouvoir et pouvoirs de femmes dans l’Europe occidentale médiévale et moderne, dir. E. Santinelli et A. Nayt-Dubois, Valenciennes, 2009, p. 163-183.

In the download (link below) page 1, note 2:
Pétrarque, à l’occasion de son dernier séjour à Pavie, aurait apporté son concours à la création de cette devise pour Jean Galéas Visconti : un soleil d’or chargé d’une tourterelle posée seule sur une branche et tenant dans son bec un listel chargé du mot A BON DROIT. Ce fait est rapporté par l’humaniste Pier Candido Decembrio, secrétaire ducal, qui rédigea la vie du duc Philippe-Marie vers 1430, d’après les souvenirs de son père Uberto alors au service du duc et qui avait rencontré Pétrarque à Pavie. Une note de Fransesco da Vannozzo, ami de Pétrarque, soutient cette théorie. Ce dernier rapporte dans Canzone Morale fatta per la divisa del conte di Virtù, ces vers que Pétrarque lui aurait dit : Il sole e l’azur fino / Che tengon in sua brancha / Quella ucellata bianca / Qual a bon droit en dolce becco teno / Che la sentenza mi tutta contene (C. Maspoli, « Arme e imprese visconte e sforzesche Ms. Trivulziano n°1390 », Archives héraldiques suisses, 1996, I, p. 151, note 9). M. Boulton précise que cette création a pu intervenir avant 1395 puisque cette devise apparaît associée à Jean Galéas, encore qualifié de comte, sur une miniature du livre d’Heures conservé à la bibliothèque de Florence (D’AJ.D. Boulton, « Insigna of Power, the use of heraldic and Paraheraldic devices by italians princes, c. 1350-1500 », dans C. Rosenberg dir., Art and Politics in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy, 1250-1500, Londres, 1990, p. 118). Si l’on admet la véracité de l’intervention de Pétrarque dans cette devise, sa création doit avoir eu lieu entre 1368 et 1374, soit entre le mariage de Violante Visconti en 1368, supposé avoir été à l’origine de l’adoption de devises par les Visconti, et la mort du poète en 1374. La lecture symbolique de cette devise semble pourtant contredire cette attribution au poète et cette datation. Il est en effet probable que cet emblème, en référence au bestiaire, qui normalement représente toujours la tourterelle en couple, soit une allusion au principat unique de Jean Galéas sur Milan dont il a partagé la co-seigneurie avec son oncle Barnabé entre 1378 et 1385 avant d’évincer ce dernier… à bon droit.
Petrarch, on the occasion of his last stay in Pavia, is said to have contributed to the creation of this motto for Gian Galeazzo Visconti: a golden sun charged with a turtledove resting alone on a branch and holding in its beak a scroll charged with the motto A BON DROIT. This fact is reported by the humanist Pier Candido Decembrio, ducal secretary, who wrote the life of Duke Philippe-Marie around 1430, based on the memories of his father Uberto, then in the service of the Duke, who had met Petrarch in Pavia. A note by Fransesco da Vannozzo, a friend of Petrarch, supports this theory. In Canzone Morale fatta per la divisa del conte di Virtù, the latter relates these verses that Petrarch is said to have said to him:

Il sole e l'azur fino
Che tengon in sua brancha
Quella ucellata bianca
Qual a bon droit en dolce becco teno
Che la sentenza mi tutta contene

.. the pure sun and sky,
which clasps in his beams
that little white bird
in tender beak holding “a bon droit”
the sentence that contains all of me.
(“me” perhaps the entire long poem preceeding this final clause).

(C. Maspoli, "Arme e imprese visconte e sforzesche Ms. Trivulziano n°1390", Swiss Heraldic Archives, 1996, I, p. 151, note 9). M. Boulton specifies that this creation may have taken place before 1395 since this motto appears associated with Jean Galéas, still described as a count, on a miniature of the Book of Hours kept in the library of Florence (D'AJ.D. Boulton, "Insigna of Power, the use of heraldic and Paraheraldic devices by italians princes, c. 1350-1500", in C. Rosenberg, ed., Art and Politics in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy, 1250-1500, London, 1990, p. 118). If we accept the truthfulness of Petrarch's intervention in this motto, its creation must have taken place between 1368 and 1374, i.e. between the marriage of Violante Visconti in 1368, supposedly at the origin of the adoption of mottos by the Visconti family, and the poet's death in 1374. The symbolic reading of this motto, however, seems to contradict this attribution to the poet and this dating. It is indeed probable that this emblem, in reference to the bestiary, which normally always represents the turtledove in couple, is an allusion to the unique principality of Jean Galéas over Milan, whose joint lordship he shared with his uncle Barnabé between 1378 and 1385 before ousting the latter... with good reason (à bon droit). ... p._163-183

See also Gabriele Reina p. 93 note 436. She reports the note about Decembrio correctly, that it was a letter of 1430 (not the Vita), in which he gave the account of the turtledove and motto.

And ... o-visconti
The impresa of the turtledove, or colombina, placed in the centre of a radiant sun (the so-called raza, or radia magna) while holding a ribbon with the motto "A Bon Droit" in its beak, is one of the most famous Visconti and Sforza imprese.

According to the story that Pier Candido Decembrio provides in a letter to Filippo Maria Visconti in December 1430, this heraldic emblem was coined by Francesco Petrarca during his stay in Pavia, for the young Gian Galeazzo Visconti, future duke of Milan ("Franciscus Petrarcha vir scientia et eloquentia et, quod his longe precipuum est, moribus ac virtute prefulgens, nonne in aula tue celsitudinis inductus magnanimi principis avi tui Galeaz preconiis et consilio notior factus est omnibus? ... Franciscus... cum senior effectus esset, preclarissimo iam tum adolescenti genitori tuo insignia illa siderea, quibus et ipse ac tu iampridem felicissime in preliis usi estis, diligenti studio et solertia commentus est... turturem cum brevi notula "A bon droit" radiantis solis in medio composuit" (Ad eundem principem [Philippum Mariam] super requisita vexilli imagine, Bologna, Universitaria, 2387, f. 103), to whom his mother Bianca di Savoia had bequeathed the estate of San Colombano al Lambro.

In a moral song specially made "for the device of the Count of Virtue" the court poet Francesco di Vannozzo also refers to a vision in which Petrarch himself would appear to him precisely to confide that he was the author of the impresa: "Il sole e l'azur fino / che tengon in sua brancha / quella uccelletta bianca / qual "A bon droyt" in dolce becco tene / che la sentenza mia tutta contiene".

Francesco Novati, F. Petrarca e la Lombardia (1904), pp. 54-58; gives more text of Decembrio's letter of 1430, with the following Italian translation:.
Francesco Petrarca; egli scrive inviando al signor suo la descrizione d'una nuova insegna ch'egli aveva elucubrata per lui; essendo già avanzato negli anni, con diligente studio e solerzia, per il tuo preclarissimo genitore, allor giovinetto, quelle sideree insegne, delle quali ed egli e tu stesso foste soliti felicemente servirvi in campo, escogitò e produsse: ei vi collocò la tortora col breve motto: à bon droit in mezzo al raggiante.
Francesco Petrarca; he wrote sending to his lord the description of a new emblem that he had designed for him, being already advanced in years; with diligent study and care, he devised and produced for your most famous father, then a young man, those starry emblems, which both he and you used to serve you happily in the field: and he placed the turtledove there, with the short motto à bon droit, in the middle of the radiance. ... 9/mode/2up

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
18 Apr 2020, 18:27
I haven' t studied it closely, but turtledoves are not white: they have distinctly spotted wings, and a striped patch on the neck. We have nesting pairs every year in our trees here. Artists seem to mostly portray a very white dove. So whether it were Petrarch's intention for it to be a turtledove or not, it would strike most observers as a dove.

I think the distinction is in the association of either bird with related symbols, seldom if ever made explicit, so perhaps we should call this a hypothesis at this point, which is: The (turtle)dove is associated with the Holy Ghost while the regular dove is associated with Venus, hence the two suits of turtledove/virginites versus doves/pleasures. Consider the Ovide moralise in verse illumination of Cupid and Venus, c. 1380, from Vatican Reg.Lat.1480 (the total number of gods here had been reduced to 15 - 16 if you count Cupid in this illumination, but not completely matching Petrarch or Marziano's 16):

218v Venus.JPG
218v Venus.JPG (61.93 KiB) Viewed 2291 times

As for the unspotted white turtledove and the Holy Ghost - I've previously pointed out its use both in Angevin Naples and in Rome, in both cases less than 10 years before Petrarch's invention for the Visconti, here viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1569

Inspired by the poverty-zealot Franciscan Spirituals, the “tribune” [Nic]Cola di Rienzo tried to lead a class-based revival of ancient Roman political customs but under the banner of the Holy Spirit, against the baronial families ruling the Rome, notably the Orsini and Colonna. Cola’s intellectual champion back in Avignon where the pope then held court was none other than Petrarch. The dove was the insignia that Cola’s followers marched under, 1344-1354, until he was overthrown by the baronial families and killed (see Ronald F. Musto, Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age, 2003, especially 127-150 and 180-192, and figure 22, for his Holy Spirit coat of arms; Petrarch figures throughout the work). Excerpt of Rienzo’s speech after his own knighting:

"We, Candidate of the Holy Spirit, Knight, Nicholas, Severe and Clement, Liberator of the city, Zealot of Italy, Lover of the World and Tribune Augustus, wishing and desiring of the Holy Spirit be received and increased in the City as well as throughout Italy…." (ibid, 180).

Just before Cola was done away with, an "Order of the Knot" (Ordre du Nœud, also known as Ordre du Saint-Esprit au Droit Désir "Order of the Holy Spirit of the Right Will") was founded in 1352/3 by Louis I of Naples, along with his grand seneschal Niccolò Acciaioli, a member of a Florentine banking family, but this member unusually turned towards arms for a living. Louis was of course an Angevin, related to the royal Valois house of France that the Visconti intermarried with. Also noteworthy is a later Neapolitan Angevin, Rene of Anjou, who created his own chivalric order in which he enrolled Sforza. But the Order of the Know/Holy Spirit of Right Will” presaged both the Visconti knot impresa and the dove, which figures throughout the order’s illuminated statute, preserved as BNF Fr 4274; an example of the pronounced use of the holy spirit dove motif, which is not a far leap to the Visconti radiant dove:


And to come full circle, less than a decade after the short-lived Neapolitan/Angevin “Order of the Holy Spirit of Right Will” was created, Petrarch devised the (tellingly) French motto for the Visconti: a bon droit (not unlike the “droit desir” in the full title of the Angevin order – both featuring the dove of the Holy Spirit).

And to clarify, Petrarch was apprised of the happenings in Naples via Boccaccio (his father was a Florentine bank branch manager there and he had several courtly connections and a serious love interest there), and, again, Petrarch was a frequent correspondent of Cola's, if not his champion in Avignon.

I'm not sure the representations of turtledoves versus doves is clear in the illuminated manuscripts, but texttually it appears the Visconti used turtledove as a means of distinguishing from those of Venus.

Matthew 3:16, Luke 3:22 and John 1:32 all reference the Holy Ghost as a dove - the association of doves with Aphrodite/Venus is ancient, as attested by the 5th century BCE statue of her below:


Perhaps more relevant for our period - Baldini's engraving of Venus, pulled by doves:


Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

It's only in English that a conflation is possible. Latin and all Romance the two birds are very different. But iconographically, in uncolored prints like the Baldini above, it is hard to tell, If the artist wanted to clarify it, it would be by the markings on the neck and wings. Decembrio's insistence on turtur is interesting; but Cengarle's paper, and most extant iconography, show a real columba. There was a conflation with the divine mission, which had nothing to do with the turtledove.

I'll have to sort out what was going on here. But in 1430, Filippo Maria was looking for another symbol. This is beyond Marziano, but relevant to Tarot.

Holy Spirit is columba, not turtur.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
18 Apr 2020, 22:17
Latin and all Romance the two birds are very different.

Fair objection, but that merely points out that the naming distinction was unnecessary, yet the birds are still problematic in looking identical. If you took one of the doves flying upwards in the c. 1380 Venus illumination and placed it descending over the head of Jesus in the river Jordan, is anyone going to question its "dove-ness" or that it is representational of the Holy Spirit? Its like the good thief and bad thief flanking crucified Christ - what's to tell them apart besides the narrative? Is it not precisely their seemingly shared identity that heightens the moral quandary in choosing between the two birds whom otherwise head up diametrically opposed suits? Marziano must have had that in mind in placing those two 3rd and 4th in his suits, as a pair (just as Riches and Virtues are).

The key: what distinguishes the turtledove is continentiae as Marziano's lone "narrative" word. Continence leads us straight back to the hero of Petrarch's Africa, as it was during the Second Punic War that the famed Continence (clemency) of Scipio took place. That Latin word that came to mark this episode and to what Marziano arguably implies. The episode is covered in Livy's Ab urbe condita Book 26.50, Plutarch's Life of Scipio, Polyboius X.19.3-7, and Valerius Max. Lib.4. de abstinentia et continentia. Scipio was given a beautiful virgin prisoner after his conquest of New Carthage, Spain (a Carthaginian colony), and when her family and fiance' showed up with a generous ransom, he refused it (or rather gave it back as their dowry), returning her to her fiance who in return became a supporter of Rome. You might also note how well the rejection of the bribe fits with the other oppositional suits, Virtue versus Riches.

This was a fairly common theme for Florentine cassoni - there's even one here in the Art Institute of Chicago: ... -of-scipio (at least three such cassoni have survived depicting this specific episode in Scipio's life; see Ellen Callmann, Apollonio di Giovanni, 1974: 42). Long story short, the Scipio episode is about preserving a woman's virginity, which is the other name of the suit of turtledoves. The other "small white bird" suit is headed up by Venus; the "Hercules at the Crossroads" choice here is: Venus or Minerva/wisdom. Regarding which, Pizan's Othea: "And because [Venus'] influences lust, Othea [aka Minerva] tells the good knight not to make her his goddess, that is, he must abandon neither his body nor his mind to whatever causes vice. And Hermes says, 'The vice of lust extinguishes all the virtues'" ( Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Renate, and Earl Jeffrey Richards, trans, Christine de Pizan: Othea's Letter to Hector, 2017: 46; the latest and academically distinguished translation - mine just arrived yesterday).

BTW: Bernabo Visconti, grandfather to Isabeau (queen of France between 1385 and 1422 whom Pizan wrote for), was a member of Ordre du Saint-Esprit au Droit Désir (D'Arcy Jonathan Dacre Boulton, The Knights of the Crown: The Monarchical Orders of Knighthood in Later Medieval Europe 1325-1520, 1987: 228), so at least one Visconti ruler was already associated with the holy ghost and the word "Droit" before Petrarch.


PS I'm not sure where you are going with this comment - in 1430, Filippo Maria was looking for another symbol - but the only impresa on his person in 1441 is the dove, and the radiant sun dove appears in an explicitly eschatological context (presumably referencing Holy Spirit) on the banner pointing down to the resurrected in the CY Judgement trump:

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