Si vult venire in domum meam in istis festis paravi plura. Si voluerit ludere ad triumphos sunt in domo; ad tesseras, habeo plura tabularia. Ad Occam, habeo taxillos grossos, & minutos: grossos ut si fortè male videret,
Interea verò Comes Hieronymus, Virginius Ursinus et reliqui Domini, Ecclesiam Lateranensem incolentes, non cessabant quotidie ludere ad triumphos, ad cartas, & ad aleas, et hoc quidem in Sacrestia dictae venerabilis Ecclesiae, etiam super capsa plena Reliquiis, & rebus aptis ad divinum cultum ibi existentibus; adeo quod dicto tempore à nemine vel paucissimis dicta Ecclesia extitit visitata
‘Bridoye et le jeu de l’oie’
‘On joue beaucoup aux dés chez Rabelais. Gargantua s’y exerce dès l’enfance, Panurge ne saurait vivre sans. Mais à quoi? Au jeu de l’oie? L’épisode de Bridoye y invite mais les historiens sérieux de ce jeu, ceux qui ne le croient ni renouvelé des Grecs, ni égyptien semblent formels. Aucun jeu de l’oie antérieur aux dernières années du seizième siècle n’est conservé. Pourtant, le dominicain italien Barletta (= 1480), dans un sermon pour le quatrième dimanche de l’Avent, parle du jeu de l’oie à cette période de Noël, plus même, il y faut des gros et des petits dés afi n de remédier aux imperfections de la vue dues à la sénescence. Ce texte est, on le sait, paraphrasé par Rabelais: “Sed dicunt quidam. Si vult venire in domum meam in istis festis, paravi plura. Si voluerit ludere at triomphos (tarot) sunt in domo, ad thesseras habeo plura tabulatia, ad aucam habeo taxillos grossos et minutos. Grossos ut si forte male videret, qui a deus senuit”.
Le texte est édité à Brescia en 1497-1498, à Lyon dès 1502, 1507, 1524…
(ll. 116-138) Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all (4) the deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros (Love), fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men within them. From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but of Night were born Aether (5) and Day, whom she conceived and bare from union in love with Erebus. And Earth first bare starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought forth long Hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs who dwell amongst the glens of the hills. She bare also the fruitless deep with his raging swell, Pontus, without sweet union of love. But afterwards she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire.
(later ... ll. 211-225) And Night bare hateful Doom and black Fate and Death, and she bare Sleep and the tribe of Dreams. And again the goddess murky Night, though she lay with none, bare Blame [= Momus] and painful Woe, and the Hesperides who guard the rich, golden apples and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Ocean. Also she bare the Destinies and ruthless avenging Fates, Clotho and Lachesis and Atropos (10), who give men at their birth both evil and good to have, and they pursue the transgressions of men and of gods: and these goddesses never cease from their dread anger until they punish the sinner with a sore penalty. Also deadly Night bare Nemesis (Indignation) to afflict mortal men, and after her, Deceit and Friendship and hateful Age and hard-hearted Strife.
[Last sonnet by Limerno just finished]
Limerno: But what miracle is this that I now see, my [dear] Triperuno?
Limerno: That solemn fool of a Fulica I see coming toward us.
Some time ago (2003) Ross Caldwell and myself started to collect early Trionfi documents.
A major research progress had been done then by the publications of Franceschini/Ortalli in 1993/96 ...
.. and Franco Pratesi a short time before, ..
.. articles, which more or less stayed unknown in other publications. In the following years very seldom entries were added for the early time of Trionfi card development till 1463/64 .... till October 2011. Ross Caldwell noted then a new work of Arnold Esch (2007), who had researched custom registers in Rome and detected there lots of playing card notes of 15th century, between them also some Trionfi cards and at least two of them relating to the years 1463 and 1464. Esch wasn't really interested in playing cards, and the real source (the archive in Rom should contain much more material. In the internal discussions ..
.. it became quickly clear, that a more precise research of this material would mean a revolution for Italian playing card research. So we asked Franco Pratesi for some help.
The old list (October 2011) contained 34 entries, from which 2 were insecure. As some of them related to more than one context, the following rough overview has some more entries than 34:
1 Malatesta (1452)
1 Siena (1452)
1 Ancona (?1460)
1-2 Bologna (?1442 + 1459)
1-3 Padova (1455 + ?1449 + ?1461)
2 Florence (1450 + 1463)
2-4 Milan/Cremona (?1441 + 1450 + 1452 + 1457)
3 Iacopo Antonio Marcello (1449 + 1461)
23 Ferrara (1442-1463)
Now it's 8 March 2012
Counting through all these new reports for the list, I find, that there are (at least) 22 new entries between 1440-1464, roughly 60 % more as there had been in October 2011. That's indeed a remarkable progress for a few months, considering that the earlier 34 had 200 years and more to find to our attention.
First there was Ross, who with the base of Arnold Esch's book found a few notes, from which at least two reach the range of 1463 and 1464. One of these notes speaks of "316 Triunfi" decks, a number, which isn't reached by other earlier documents, and this surely indicates, that at least in this time we have a mass production factor. Both "counted notes" likely refer to an import to Rome from Florence, but this isn't sure.
Franco went then through the complete Esch book and found another note from 1453.
8 Triunfi decks were imported to Rome by Giovanni da Pistoia, who possibly worked in Florence. This was in begin of November 2011, Franco added a further research later.
However, Franco, himself living in Florence, considered the work with the Roman archive as problematic, and found more interest to research Florentine material. His first report about this study didn't give reason to much optimism. It seemed to be a case of finding the "needle in a hay-stack".
Anyway, nonetheless Franco detected a series of Trionfi production notes around a not well known card producer Filippo di Marco (Florence naturally) between 1453-58, ...
... in context of the business of an art dealer Bartolomeo Serragli. The success was based on a study done in the 1950s and 1960s by Gino Corti and Frederick Hartt, who failed then to realize, that the mentioned objects were playing cards. 11 Trionfi notes, this was a big fish and the hidden Filippo di Marco proved as man of great Trionfi card dimensions similar to Sagramoro in Ferrara.
A single further note arrived around Christmas from Ferrara from the work of Veber Gulinelli, "Delle carte da Gioco Italiane Storia e diletto". It seems, that it was earlier overlooked by Franceschini (from "14 Lug. 1460").
Thierry Depaulis surprised at begin of February 2012 with a new "oldest Trionfi note" from September 1440, ..
.. reported by Nerida Newbigin about the work of an Anghiara notary and public official Giusto Giusti in "Il Giornali di ser Giusto Giusti d'Anghiari (1437-1482)" in Letteratura Italiana Antica, III, 2002. The deck was produced in Florence and was brought to Sigismondo Malatesta by Giusto Giusti himself. The price was in the dimension of the highest paid prices in Ferrara.
Franco adds with this article 4 further Trionfi notes (early March 2012) from 1445 (Ancona), 1450 (unknown), 1451 (Venice) and 1454 (unknown) from the byway business of two silk traders, both (again) naturally from Florence. They are part of 23 recorded deals with playing cards within 15 years. The note of 1445 is - for the moment - the 4th-oldest of all Trionfi notes.
Franco has two other new entries, which are more or less "unpublished" in the moment (1450/51), both Trionfi allowances in smaller towns in the Florentine region.
From the 22 new documents possibly 21 (or a little less) refer to Florence, so the earlier dominance of the Tarot city Ferrara is broken. Totally there are now 56 documents, from which 24 belong to Ferrara, and possibly 23 (or less) to Florence.
3-4 documents between 1440-1442
Only 1 to 1443-1448
12 documents between 1449-1452
Still the statistic gives the impression, as if there had been a blocking condition (prohibition ?), which hindered the quick distribution of the game in the years 1443-1448.
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