Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#141
It might be useful to bump this thread with a question for interested participants.

What is your definition of the Ludus triumphorum, and when do you think it was invented?

For the first question, address what you think the name refers to; whether carte da trionfi and Tarot/Tarocchi are the same thing, whether the name is a later label on something that already existed for a specific or indefinte period, and if so what forms it or the varieties of it existed in.

For the second, be as precise or general as you wish.

It should be as brief a statement as possible, and just a statement, not an argument or attempt to prove it.

In the end we can graph our views on a chart with "high" and "low" chronologies - high being older, low being closer in time, younger), and "narrow" and "broad" definitions of the object(s) in question. Narrow will mean 22 standard subjects from the beginning, broad will mean that triumphs had various different subjects, different orders, different numbers of trumps, cards that were allegorical but not called trumps, and games that had no allegorical cards but trumping rule, all of which can nevertheless be called kinds of ludus triumphorum. People will fall at various points on the chart, depending on how narrow or broad they are in their definitions, and how high or low they date the appearance of whatever they consider to fall under the definition of the name.

Anybody, from historians to Egyptian mystery and Gnostic occultists to "born beyond time" Tarot mystics (not naming any names), can be plotted on this list. It is about definitions, not quality of thought.

I am "narrow" and "low" in this scheme. People like Court de Gébelin, Etteilla, Lévi, etc. i.e. all true old-school occultists, would be "narrow" and "high", because they believed the 22 subjects were invented thousands of years ago (but nevertheless they were 22 and have just been corrupted a bit over time, hence "narrow"). I think Huck is "broad" and "high", i.e. many kinds of cards, not just what was later called "triumphs" and "tarot", can be included in the definition of ludus triumphorum (hence "broad") and they existed as long as cards have existed, hence "high" (not as high as the occultists though, or maybe not?).

I think Dummett is less low than I am, having offered, over time, dates ranging from 1410 to "the late 1430s". For his conception of ludus triumphorum, I think he has never settled on whether it was 22 from the beginning or whether changes in the subjects and number of trumps happened before the standard series was invented. I suspect it remains the latter, so I put him fairly "low" and moderately "broad".

The value of plotting such opinions is that it may give some insight into why it is so hard to come to a consensus on this and most lists, and even off of lists - we are not all talking about the same thing. In other words, we often don't agree on basic definitions of terms.

Here is my statement.

The ludus triumphorum is a particular card game. As invented, it had 22 standard subjects, in a fixed order, added to a 56 card Latin-suited deck. It was invented between 1437 and 1441 inclusive.
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Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#142
What is your definition of the Ludus triumphorum, and when do you think it was invented?
a game where something is triumphant in the play of the game -an example given in the Steele treatise as what we recognise as Tarot, so not particularly Tarot by name so from 1410- onwards.
I am in the Dummett school (hehe... Ludus) so low and broad, which is not the term for a Lady 8-|
and was not 21 +1 from the start.

(why no explanation of one's reasoning? Or is this just to add to stats?)

~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#143
Lorredan wrote: (why no explanation of one's reasoning? Or is this just to add to stats?)
Thanks.

Yes, this game is just to see where everyone stands at the moment, so their positions can be plotted on an X-Y graph of ranges; chronological range and definitional range. There's always plenty of time to argue; I just want a snapshot of opinions at the moment.

Believe it or not there was a guy in the 18th century who believed the Romans invented Tarot, so there is even a "middle" in the "high" range.

I'm not concerned about whether theories are plausible or not; every opinion can fit on this chart.
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Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#145
mmfilesi wrote:I do not know if I understand correctly, but I think I am "broad" and "high".

Many types of cards (fourteen, sixteen, twenty triumps).

The oldest deck I think is the Cary Yale, designed by Filippo Maria Visconti arround 1441.
That date would make you "low" (low=more recent). So you are broad and low.

The way I conceive of dating proposals is that the bottom half of the chart goes from 1440-1441, which would be "ultra-low", then the 1430s, to 1410 (the earliest date a serious historian has proposed). The top half of the chart then goes from the 14th century, and rises by sets by hundreds and thousands of years (I don't know anyone on this list who proposes such dates, but they all have proponents).

Pre-historic and extra-historic
Antiquity (ancient Egyptian theories)
Late antiquity (invented in Rome or Alexandria)
900-1250 (Chinese origin and Gypsy theories; Albigensian theories? (I don't know the dates proposed))
Late 13th to mid 14th century (Islamic origin, and Albigensian theories)
1360-1400 (i.e. anytime after playing cards are in Europe, but Tarot is still medieval and European)
1410s
1420s
1430s (low)
1440-1441 (ultra-low)

Ross
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Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#146
I honestly don't know.

I think by the time of the Visconti-Sforza, tarot was already formed with 22. I believe the Visconti-Sforza was 22 from the start.

I don't know how the 22 came to be chosen, or if there were other larger or smaller groups before the 22.

I think the Cary-Yale was earlier than the Visconti-Sforza, and that it might have been an expansion of a 22, or that it might have been an experiment with an alternate number altogether.

I think the Bologna order is the oldest order of the 22.

I still don't accept any explanation as to why 22 were chosen, or why the 22 subjects were chosen.

I'm not sure if the game developed out of the courts, out of the universities, or amongst the people.

~

My best guess now is that the 22 was standardised before 1440, with the bolognese sequence.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#147
robert wrote: My best guess now is that the 22 was standardised before 1440, with the bolognese sequence.
From your description of your thinking on the questions, I'd say your chronology makes you low, but your uncertainty about number, order and subjects makes you broad.

So low and broad, but how broad will depend on what you think is the most plausible scenario of evolution before the 22 standard emerged.

It might also depend (and your reasoning will be influenced by it) on whether you think the name ludus triumphorum is coincident with the invention of the game, or whether an identical game or the precursor(s) existed for an indefinite period of time before that, under another or many other names.
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Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#148
Statement: ludus Triumphorum was a particular card game played with the 78 Tarot cards as we know them. It's trump cards were combined from earlier sets that had evolved over the period from c.1420 to c.1450. The game was invented between c.1450 and c.1475.

I think that makes me Low and Broad.

I'd say that the Tarot trump cards were introduced to enable players to use them in the trumping games that they were already playing. Those games would have been the ones mentioned the earliest: Karnöffel, Kaiserspiel and Trionfo, and that the Tarot had trump sets for each of them. So the games came before the cards. That would make the ludus Triumphorum of the Steele Sermon a subsequent development, using all of the trump cards for a new game at some point between 1450 and 1500. The game came after the cards. Trionfo was a separate game which stopped using the new cards and went on to become Triomphe and Trump elsewhere, while the new game developed into the later Tarocco games. Or at least that's my guess at it.
Al Craig

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#149
Al Craig wrote:Statement: ludus Triumphorum was a particular card game played with the 78 Tarot cards as we know them. It's trump cards were combined from earlier sets that had evolved over the period from c.1420 to c.1450. The game was invented between c.1450 and c.1475.

I think that makes me Low and Broad.
Thanks Al. So for you, the 22 standard subjects combined with the 56 card deck make Ludus triumphorum, and this happened around 1450.

Do you think that carte da trionfi in 1442 are then not identical with the ludus triumphorum? I should have been clearer with my intitial question. It should be: Do you think that carte da trionfi, ludus triumphorum, and the later taraux, tarot, and tarocchi are the same object (i.e. same subjects and number of subjects, albeit with different orderings), or do you think they could be referring to diffenent kinds of subjects and number of subjects?

If you think they are all the same, with those qualifications, it is the narrow position.

If you think they are plausibly referring to different subjects and numberings, then it is broad.

Don't forget also, that Jacopo Antonio Marcello called the game a ludus triumphorum, and the Marziano deck was a "new kind of triumphs" (to him), in 1449. So the Steele Sermon is not the earliest time the phrase occurs. Also, Ugo Trotti knows the card game of Triumphs, played by two pairs of people, in 1456. This might tighten your later date of 1475 down to 1449 at least.
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Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#150
Hi, Ross. I misunderstood you so I'll have another go.

Statement: Ludus Triumphorum was a game that by 1500 was the 78-card game later called Tarocco but earlier, from the early 1440s, may have meant the 52-card game Trionfo. From the early 1440s there was a special pack with 22 trumps and 56 suit cards intended to provide cards for 52-card games but by 1500 was used for a new 78-card game. The look and subject matter of the 78-card pack was standardised and did not change significantly but the traditional card order was only introduced with the 78-card game. The transition from 52- to 78-card game may have taken place as early as 1450.

I'd have to start my own thread to explain why I believe any of that.
Al Craig

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