Germini / Minchiate

Well, it's November 27, 2016 ... the old post at this place is moved to "Post 2". The old thread was active from 08 Dec 2009, 12:01 till 19 Aug 2010, 15:30.
Only the first and 2nd post were changed. The idea is to improve the first post as a sort of introduction.


Picture material

World Web Playing Card Museum
British Museum
general research: ... =minchiate
Special deck: ... id=3058908
More Views to this ... more-views

Gallica collection ... 2image%22)

Minchiate Etruria ... truria.jpg

Endebrock collection

Minchiate Francesi
discussed at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=782&p=11174#p11174
41-trumps-version: ... rk=21459;2
21 trumps version: ... hemindefer
The 42-trumps-version had added the card Chaos

Possibly the oldest Minchiate: the socalled "Rosenwald Tarocchi"





Meanwhile a lot of things have happened around the game Germini / Minchiate. Franco Pratesi has restarted his researches on playing cards (November 2011) and Minchiate became a longer time his major topic. once organized his various contributions to this point (till end of 2013):
(19 articles sorting according the time-related topics)

Franco changed then from English to Italian language in 2014 and produced these articles at ...
The years 2014/16 saw these articles specific to "early Minchiate":
1634: Livorno – Minchiate e ganellini

Secolo XVI: Firenze – Il nome dei germini

1499-1506: Firenze – Nuove informazioni sulle carte fiorentine.
This article was very important, cause it contained a report about the earliest appearance of Germini in 1506.
It was translated by Michael S. Howard at ...

1450, 1473, 1477: Firenze – Leggi sui giochi.
It was translated by Michael Howard at ...

Trionfi milanesi e fiorentini – ipotesi e commenti.
This was translated in 2 different parts mixed with discussions
Sminchiate del Cinquecento.

Il terzo foglio Rosenwald.
It was translated at ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1105&p=17038&hilit ... ald#p17007

Genesi favolosa di trionfi e minchiate
It was translated at ...
Partly these were translated to English by Michael S Howard. See ...


In Andrea Vitali's essay collection ... (Ialian language) (English language, mostly translated by Michael S. Howard)

... I find the following contributions to "early Minchiate" ... with the help of a google command ... 0minchiate

... 293 entries, which is naturally "too much". At ...
... I find a sorted list of articles:
Minchiate between Game and Literature

Minchiate in Literature
From the XVth to the XIXth century

Farsa Satyra Morale
"Sminchiata" means stuff for fools
Very important, cause it contains an early "sminchiate" in c. 1510.

Treatise on the Game of Minchiate
A document on the Game of Minchiate dated to 1716

Del Minchione
Where we talk about stupid, mad and waster men (In Italian)

Ganellini seu Gallerini
The game of Minchiate in Genoa, Rome and Palermo (XVII - XVIII)

Del 'Minchionare' e della 'Minchionaggine''
Stories of cunning and stupidity (In Italian)

May cancer come to Goffo and to Tarocco
New documents between history and literature from the XVIth to the XIXth century

Una guerresca partita a Trionfi (A warlike game of Triumphs)
Two compositions by Giovanni Petrei - XVIth century (In Italian)

Il cane di Diogene (Diogenes' Dog)
A satirical-literary text by Francesco Fulvio Frugoni (1687) (In Italian)

(I would be nice, if the entries of the list would contain a link to the relevant article, but this isn't. So the reader at this site has to search it in the longer content. I have added them here.)


Girolamo Zorli at
Varianti italiane del gioco dei Tarocchi. Germini, Minchiate, Ganellini e Gallerini. (2011) ... gallerini/

I giochi di Francesco Berni (c 1528) ... i-1528-ca/

Lode della Rovescina (c. 1540-46), by Anton Francesco Grazzini (Firenze 1503- Firenze 1584), detto il Lasca ... rovescina/

Le Carte Parlanti, o dei giochi di Pietro Aretino (1543) ... o-aretino/

I Germini sopra quarante meretrice della città di Firenze (1553) ... etrici.pdf

Le Minchiate di Paolo Minucci (1688) ... ucci-1688/

Le regole delle Minchiate di Niccolò Onesti (1716) ... esti-1716/

Spiegazione del Giuoco del Tarocchino (1746?) by anomino and transribed by Lorenzo Cuppi (with notes on the parola Sminchiate) ... hino/#c513

Nazario Renzoni - Andrea Ricci
Explanation of the Minchiate Rules

Re: Germini / Minchiate

I moved this post from position 1 to the position of post 2 with the aim to use the place of post 1 for an overview about Germini and Minchiate. Post 2 is added to this same post at the end.


I made a transfer from the Bolognese origin discussion to here, as the theme is too far off:

Theme Germini

I made this study about Italian pasta this morning:

In Schreiber's text of 1938 there is a report to a game with the name Gherminellae in Florence 1415 ...
Im Florentiner Stadtrecht von 1415 ... befindet sich ein 11 Paragraphen umfassender Tractatus contra ludentes ad ludum zardi et alios ludos prohibitos [note: " Statuta populi et communis Florentinae anni 1415. Friburgi 1783, tom. II, liber IV, p. 405].

Rubr. 28: "Nullus in civitate, comitatu vel districtu Florentiae aliquo tempore, etiam ultima die aprilis et prima die maii, et qualibet die totius anni ad ludum zarae, sive zardi cum taxilles, vel ad ludum aliossorum, vel gherminellae, vel ad ludum, qui dicitur coderonae, vel ad ludu maliossorum, vel gherminellae, vel ad ludum, qui dicitum coderonae, vel ad ludum cum taxillis ossis, cerae vel terrae, vel lapideis vel ligneis, uno vel pluribus, vel ad ludum narborum."

Rubr. 29: "Aliquis .. non audeat .. ludere ad ad ludum zardi, aut narbae, vel narborum, vel alium ludum taxillorum prohibetum."

Rubr. 31: Aliquis non audeat ludere .. ad marellas vel ad aliossos, vel ad pomum, vel ad ludum narborum, vel aliud ludum vetitum."
At p. 160 Schreiber assumes, that Gherminella is a dice game, that was prohibited 1325 and 1415. But ...

According an Italian dictionary it means: "Antico gioco di mano che consisteva nel far apparire e scomparire una cordicella da un bastoncino"

To this explanation the following story exists ... ... la&f=false

... which should be from the Florentian Franco Sacchetti in the year 1399, who wrote 300 novellae, from which about 250 survived. The "Passado da Gherminella" story is one of them ( Novella LXIX )

In the text "Passada da Gherminella" is a natural person (a swindler), who tried the game of Gherminella with his Florentian fellows. Outside of Florence the trick didn't work (perhaps the understanding was, that the game "Gherminella" got the name of the person, or, that the person got the name Gherminella cause the game).

The later developing game Minchiate (known since 1466, with cards similar to Trionfi cards) got the similar name "Germini", probably only in Florence, during 16th century.

The I.P.S.C. gives the following information:
This type of pack originated in Florence in the first half of the 16th century, by 1540 at the latest. It is properly designated "Italo-Portuguese", since, while it has several "Portuguese" characteristics, it lacks others, and the pattern was presumably devised at a date when the Portuguese type was not yet thought of as constituting a distinct suit-system. By the later 17th century, it was in use also in Genoa, where it was known as Ganellini, and in Sicily, where it was known as Gallerini, the word "Minchiate" having an obscene connotation in both areas. It died out in Sicily during the 18th century, when, however, it became highly popular in Rome under the name "Minchiate", which in the 17th century had replaced the original name of "Germini". It seems to have died out in Florence in about 1900, and in Rome probably some decades earlier.
As producers are noted:
"Al Mondo", "Al Soldato", "Al Poverone", "All' Imperador" or "Alla Fortuna", all in the 18th century and all of Bologna.
Cocci, Florence (1898).
The following are probably also all from Florence: "Paragone" (early 18th century), "Poverino" (18th century) and "Etruria" or Agostini Francia (18th century).

the term "Germini" is related to "Gemini" (= "twins") and Gemelli ("twin noodle", a type of pasta) ..
Il gioco era inizialmente noto con il nome di Germini, derivato probabilmente dalla parola Gemini (Gemelli), il più alto dei tarocchi caratteristici del solo mazzo delle minchiate.


Well, a good time to start some own thinking.

"Gherminella" seems to have been a game with two cords around a baton. In that form the two cords looked like a twin noodle. So with some right on can state, that the game Gherminella and Germini are related, as far the name is considered. One idea for an explanation for the name Germini seems to have been, that the zodiac sign Gemini is the highest trump in the row of the zodiac row inside Minchiate (trump 35) and actually it has the highest number, cause the cards 36-40 are without number. But this might have been in the construction of the Minchiate system only a second idea, as Minchiate is ...

40 number cards + 40 trumps + 16 courts + 1 Fool, so the actual twins in the structure are "40 number cards" mirroring "40 trumps".

"Italian playing cards most commonly consist of a deck of 40 cards (4 suits going 1 to 7 plus 3 face cards), and are used for playing Italian regional games such as Scopa or Briscola."

There may be some chance, that this had already been so in 16th century - or at least in some regions. If we look at the Germini poem of Bartolomeo di Michelagnolo, 1553 ...

.. (I think, it was Marco, who translated it ?), than we have there the attempt to merge the 40 Minchiate trumps into a 4x10-scheme. This is done by mockery, declaring the 4 virtues XVI-XVIIII (Hope, Prudentia, Faith and Caritas) to ruffians, which preside about 9 whores.

XVIIII reigns about trumps 40-32
XVIII reigns about trumps 31-22
XVII reigns about trumps 10-15 and 20-22
XVI reigns about trumps 1-9

This is done in such a cruel way (disregarding a probable original structure), that one hardly can take it as the original, but has to take it as a second mockery ... or are there other opinions?

Nearer to the origin seems to be the twin appearance of 5 Papi at the begin and 5 Aries at the end.

1-5 versus 36-40

whereby we're left to see

6-10 (5 good trumps) versus 11-15 (5 bad trumps)


4 virtues (16-19) versus 4 elements (20-23)


the zodiac with 12 signs


I know of Berni, who tells, that "sminchiate" has 200 cards in 1526.

Kaplan tells, that there were versions with 120 cards.

The version of Germini in 1553 `(the poem) seems to be 40 trumps (+Fool ?). It leaves some doubts about the composiition, although most motiofs seems to have found their place.

Is there any structure information about the game between 1526 and 1553?


Now to Tarocchino Bolognese ... this seems to have been long unnumbered.

Tarocchino ALL'Agnolo, first quarter of 19th century in Andrea Vitali's book has number 5-16, the lower cards unnumbered and the upper cards unnumbered. They've 4 moors (?) and 1 magician and 1 Fool unnumbered below (or is the fool thought "above" ?) and 4 unnumbered cards above, moon, sun, world, angelo. In contrast to the Minchiate the star has a number, "16".

Isn't there the story, that "17" is an unlucky number in Italy, worse than "13"? Is this true for all Italy? Possibly the reason, why higher than 16 isn't counted in the Tarocchino?

The following versions are the same.

If we see the matto as "above", we've again a twin mirroring, 5 unnumbered at top, 5 unnumbered at below.

'macaronesca ars' ... Germini belonged at least to some degree to the universe of humor and irony and the funny side of life. Macaroni Latin (mixing of Latin and vernacular) started 1489 as a poetical genre and had its lovers of some irony since this time. Gemelli as twin noodle fits into the scheme, as a mixing of the astrology pattern and the "normal Trionfi".
Bologna was famous for its kitchen. Haven't they been proud to be a little more common than the Florentians?

POST 2 (same date)

I detected this morning:

(1815) ... q=&f=false

which is a later version of this one

(1807) ... 00lippuoft

.. of the author Lorenzo Lippi, painter and writer ((1606 - 1664), who wrote with the name "Perleone Zapoli"

It is mentioned by Samuel Weller Singer in his work about playing cards (1816) under the title of Minchiate: ... to&f=false

It's quite a riddle, what this is, at least for a reader with only few understanding of Italian language.

There seems to a poem, which is commented by two other writers in a sort of discussion or poem explanation, "Min." (= Minucci)and "Bisc." (= Biscioni) and at the word "Minchiate" in the poem a longer explanation starts, what the reader shall understand with this word.

"Appunto il Generale a fa s'e posto
Alle minchiate ... "

Octavo Cantare, verse 61, which in the version is page 243.

Re: Germini / Minchiate

What triggers me with this Gherminella-Germini-Gemini-twin-context is, that I recently wrote about ...


... the Festival book of 1475 for the marriage of Camilla of Aragon and Constanzo Sforza, where I analyzed the text of the pages 16-46, and stumbled about the description of "Castor and Pollux" ... which in Greek mythology are twins and brothers of Helena/Klytemnaestra and all 4 children of the love affair of Jupiter with Leda in the form of a swan marriage ... the brothers, of which one is "never-dying" and the other is mortal. By edict of Zeus it becomes possible, that the mortal brother is allowed to come back to life for the half time ... so Castor and Pollux are identifyable as "sun and moon", which is at the wedding activities of 1475 the major topic.

Castor and Pollux appear at the wedding text page 21 ... ... strPage=21

... and the passage is then followed by the longer description of the following persons ...

(page 22 and following pages) ...

1. Hymeneus
2. Vivande de Venere - Erato
3. Vivande de Iove - Perseo
4. Vivande de Juno - Iris
5. Vivande de Apollo - Orpheo
6. Vivande de Pallas - Hebe
7. Vivande de Vesta - Tatia (daughter of Tatius, king of the Sabines)
8. Vivande de Neptuno - Triton
9. Vivande de Diana - (missing page 36)
10. Vivande de Marte - Romulo
11. Vivande de Ceres - Arethusa
12. Vivande de Bacho - Syleno

... which somehow show an immortal and mortal figure as a "pair of twins".


In the Florentine context we've 3x the word Minchiate noted in documents (1466, 1471 and 1477), so parallel in time to the 1475 marriage, and some time later we've a Florentine playing card catastrophe (1497) with the appearance of Savonarola, who made playing cards and other items burnt in Florence, so a reason exist, why these early Minchiate experiments perished to our attention and why we have not much playing cards of Florence.

Re: Germini / Minchiate

"There is a legend that it was Michelangelo who invented the game of Germini or Minchiate. I do not believe this ... "

wrote Michael Dummett in ... ... ni&f=false

.. "Michael Dummett: contributions to philosophy" by Barry M. Taylor

Now have with the Minchiate poem about prostitutes (1553), translated at ...

.. as author given a "Bartolomeo di Michelagnolo", which possibly seems to be an error, as I saw at other place noted, that the author is an anonymous, but Bartolomeo di Michelagnolo is the printer ...
Titolo: I Germini sopra quaranta meritrice della citta di Fiorenza, doue si contiene quattro ruffiane, le quali danno a ciascuna il trionfo, ch'e a loro conueniente. Dimostrando di ciascuna, il suo essere. Con una aggiunta nuouamente messa in questi. Opera piaceuole.
Pubblicazione: In Fiorenza : appresso Bartolomeo di Michelagnolo S.M., 1553 (In Fiorenza : appresso al Castello).
Descrizione fisica: [4] c. ; 4°
Impronta: nana dore dore dore (C) 1553 (R)
Lingua: Italiano
Luoghi: 1.Firenze
Paese: Italia
Editori: 1.Sermartelli, Bartolomeo <1.>
Fonti: ANSPP
Stato: Medio
Identificativo: CNCE 20708
Data di creazione: 01.01.1997
Localizzazioni: FI0098 Biblioteca nazionale centrale - Firenze
... who is said to have started just in this year 1553 and stayed a long time in business - till 1591
Nome: Sermartelli, Bartolomeo <1.>
Date in BD: Firenze 1553 - 1591; Venezia 1574;
Notizie: Tipografo e libraio attivo a Firenze, figlio di Michelangelo de' Libri. Aggiunse al proprio nome il cognome del suo mecenate, che apparteneva alla famiglia Martelli. Cominciò a stampare nel 1553, ma fino al 1563 lavorò poco. Nel 1553 aveva casa e bottega presso il Castello, dal 1559 si spostò nelle vicinanze del Vescovado. M. l'11.4.1604. Dal 1591 gli successe nella direzione dell'officina il figlio Michelangelo, che stampò fino al 1608.
Insegna: Testuggine (Firenze)
Indirizzo: In la via nuova da San Giuliano presso al Castello (Firenze); appresso al Castello; presso il Vescovado (Firenze)
Nome su edizioni: Bartolomeo Sermartelli; Bartolomeo S. M.; Bartolomeo di Michelagnuolo S. M.; stamperia del Sermartelli; Bartholomaeus Sermartellius; bibliotheca Sermartelliana; officina Sermartelliana
Fonti: AMTCI (Sermartelli Bartolomeo, sen.); MBSDB, BORSA, BMSTC, ADCAM, IACLA (Sermartelli, Bartolomeo);
Marche: (Z1154)(V78 - Z1153)(Z1152)(Z1151)(Z1155 - A58)(U132)(U255)(Z1139)
Stato: Massimo
Identificativo: CNCT 160 ... n=13&i=160


Rodolfo Renier, who wrote about Tarocchi, wrote this ..
Molte volte in Italia si sbizzarrì la poesia intorno ai giuochi di carte. Michelangelo Buonarroti il giovane, nella sua veglia Le mascherate, descrive il giuoco del giulè [Opere varie, ediz. Fanfani, pp. 150 sgg. Nel ricercare la fortuna dei giuochi di carte nella letteratura nostra mi fu di grandissimo vantaggio la coscienziosa Bibliografia italiana de' giuochi di carte, che A. Lensi pubblicò per nozze Fumagalli-Sajni, Firenze, Landi, 1892.], che nel secolo successivo era ormai dimenticato da tutti, come ci attesta quel capo ameno di G. B. Ricciardi, il quale a sua volta piacevoleggia, in certi suoi versi pieni di doppi sensi poco puliti, sul giuoco del cocconetto [Rime burlesche di G. B. Ricciardi, ed. Toci, Livorno, 1881, p. 27.].

The Fanfani work should be this: ... ngoog.djvu

... and indeed I find something about cards, but the mentioned "Michelangelo Buonarotti il giovane" is indeed the "younger Michelangolo" ... ... il_Giovane
a late relative (*
of the more famous Michelangelo, the sculptor, architect, etc.
so it's hardly possible, that he invented Germini or Minchiate

Re: Germini / Minchiate

The printer of the Germini of 1553 is a *very* nice coincidence with the Michelangelo legend.

Here is what I have for it:

"Charles de Brosses (1709-1777), writing from Rome in 1739-40, is the earliest witness I have found to the legend, sometimes met, that Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) invented the game of Minchiate:

Ce jeu [Minchiate] a été inventé à Sienne, par Michel-Ange, à ce qu’on prétend, pour apprendre aux enfants à supputer de toutes sortes de manières :en effet, c’est une arithmétique perpétuelle. Il faut que ce jeu ne se soit mis en vogue à Rome qu’au temps du pape Innocent X, Panfili ; car le pape des minchiate ressemble comme deux gouttes d’eau au portrait de ce grand pontife.

[This game (Minchiate) was invented in Siena, by Michelangelo, it is supposed, in order to teach children to calculate in every kind of way; indeed, it is a perpetual arithmetic. This game could not have been in fashion in Rome until the time of Pope Innnocent X,Panfili; for the Pope of the Minchiate is the spitting image of this great pontiff.]

L’Italie il y a cent ans, ou Lettres écrites d’Italie à quelques amis en 1739 et 1740 ; par Charles de Brosses (1st edition (posthumous), M. R. Colomb, ed, Paris, 1836), p. 209 (Lettre XLIV, to Madame Cortois de Quincey; De Brosses’ description of the game of Minchiate occupies pp. 207-210).

What is interesting is that one of the English writers of the 18th century, before de Brosses' work was published, also mentions this legend in almost exactly the same terms.

Re: Germini / Minchiate

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:The printer of the Germini of 1553 is a *very* nice coincidence with the Michelangelo legend.

Here is what I have for it:

"Charles de Brosses (1709-1777), writing from Rome in 1739-40, is the earliest witness I have found to the legend, sometimes met, that Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) invented the game of Minchiate:

Ce jeu [Minchiate] a été inventé à Sienne, par Michel-Ange, à ce qu’on prétend, pour apprendre aux enfants à supputer de toutes sortes de manières :en effet, c’est une arithmétique perpétuelle. Il faut que ce jeu ne se soit mis en vogue à Rome qu’au temps du pape Innocent X, Panfili ; car le pape des minchiate ressemble comme deux gouttes d’eau au portrait de ce grand pontife.

[This game (Minchiate) was invented in Siena, by Michelangelo, it is supposed, in order to teach children to calculate in every kind of way; indeed, it is a perpetual arithmetic. This game could not have been in fashion in Rome until the time of Pope Innnocent X,Panfili; for the Pope of the Minchiate is the spitting image of this great pontiff.]
"Pope Innocent X (6 May 1574 –7 January 1655), born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj (or Pamphili), was Pope from 1644 to 1655."
How shall this fit together?

Re: Germini / Minchiate

"Michelangelo invented Germini/Minchiate in Siena" might perhaps been a joke, which once was taken serious as "real action".
Already in Lorenzo's time the Florentine youth made jokes on Siena. Lorenzo himself participated in the mockery ... it has survived in one of his writings, a story in Boccaccio style with sexual content (possibly dated ca. 1467, I don't have it at hand, at least it's very near to the date, when Pulci wrote his Minchiate letter 1466). "Giacoppo" .. ... po&f=false

Michelangelo got a contract about 15 statues for the Duomo in Siena (1501), which he never fulfilled. Michelangelo had always better paid commissions, 4 statues were really delivered. The process around this commission went over years and decades. It was part of the artist ethos, that Michelangelo MUST have fulfilled the contract and delivered the statues, BUT ...

The whole actions around this commission might have triggered jokes about "how Michelangelo taught (business) arithmetic in Siena" ...
Generally it seems, that Minchiate is especially useful (as some other card games, which also use "much counting") to learn arithmetic operations. The Sienese were regarded in Florentian eyes as stupid ...

Florentians in contrast believed (with some right) to be rather talented in business calculation.
I found this description wrote:... Michelangelo went to Rome. He sat there 5 years: from 1496 to 1501.From that period there are two famous sculptures: Bachus, made for Jacopo Galli and Pietŕ from San Pietro.

For unknown reasons, Michelangelo returned to Fluorinate. He sat there from 1501 to 1505. He found everything changed ...
During the time spent in Fluorinate Michelangelo sculpted a lot of statues. The first 'job' was coming from Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini (future Pope Pirus II), Jacopo Galli's friend. Michelangelo had to make 15 statues for the Cathedral from Siena, in 4 years. Michelangelo's behavior was at least weird. He did not respect the engagement. At the end of the period he had only 4 statues. Michelangelo made another sculpture, Madonna from Brunger, for the Cathedral from Siena, but he changed his mind: he sold it in 1506. He sculpted a lot of others 'Maddens'. They were very beautiful pieces, unlike the ones from Siena. Michelangelo's statues gave the impression of life.

Petrus, Duomo in Siena, Michelangelo

Michelangolo had gone to Rome 1496 to escape the Savonarolian movement, which (short time later) "burnt cards" and other items of art. Michelangelo had lived before as pupil at Lorenzo's Medici court, so was associated to the Medici. When Michelangole returned back to Florence, he hadn't been "very successful" in Rome (and scuptores had the character of "minor art" against painting - Michelangelo in contrast loved stone and wasn't later very enjoyed, when he was pressed to paint the Sixtin chapel by Pope Julius) and in Florence the Savonarolian movement had been stopped, but still the population had stayed adverse against Medici and also against "gambling habits", the political situation wasn't relaxed (Cesare Borgia was at his height).
Michelangelo made the contract with Siena under personal financial pressure ... he had a big family, which was not in a good financial state, and which plundered his resources. So he took the Sienese commission ... but couldn't enjoy it.

Sienese History
In 1404 the Visconti were expelled and a government of Ten Priors established, in alliance with Florence against King Ladislas of Naples. With the election of the Sienese Pius II as Pope, the Piccolomini and other noble families were allowed to return to the government, but after his death the control returned into popular hands. In 1472 the Republic founded the Monte dei Paschi, a bank that is still active today and is the oldest surviving bank in the world. The noble factions returned in the city under Pandolfo Petrucci in 1487, with the support of Florence and of Alfonso of Calabria; Petrucci exerted an effective rule on the city until his death in 1512, favouring arts and sciences, and defending it from Cesare Borgia. Pandolfo was succeeded by his son Borghese, who was ousted by his cousin Raffaello, helped by the Medici Pope Leo X. The last Petrucci was Fabio, exiled in 1523 by the Sienese people. Internal strife resumed, with the popular faction ousting the Noveschi party supported by Clement VII: the latter sent an army, but was defeated at Camollia in 1526. Emperor Charles V took advantage of the chaotic situation to put a Spanish garrison in Siena. The citizens expelled it in 1552, allying with France: this was unacceptable for Charles, who sent his general Gian Giacomo Medici to lay siege to it with a Florentine-Imperial army.

The Sienese government entrusted its defence to Piero Strozzi. When the latter was defeated at the Battle of Marciano (August 1554), any hope of relief was lost. After 18 months of resistance, it surrendered to Florence on 17 April 1555, marking the end of the Republic of Siena. The new Spanish King Philip, owing huge sums to the Medici, ceded it (apart a series of coastal fortress annexed to the State of Presidi) to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy in the 19th century.

So Siena lost against Florence a fight, which lasted centuries, and Michelangelo still lived then "successful" and could serve with his early difficulties with Siena as a symbol. One might express it with "Michelangelo taught arithmetic in Siena".
The views of victors survive and the perspective of losers aren't considered.

If the story would be real, the correct date would be probably ca. 1501 ... but if it was a joke, it might be well a joke "after 1555".

Re: Germini / Minchiate

#8 ... 22&f=false



4 Moors in a carnival show 1507 Florence/ life of Bartolomeo Michelagnolo (= Baccio, the organist ... musician, not printer)



In 1428 Donatella made a Dovizia-statue, which was presented at the market place



At the Florentian Baptisterium symbols of the Dovizia are given to Caritas.


This is interpretated as a combination of Wealth and Caritas (as political propaganda)

Donatello's "Dovizia" as an Image of Florentine Political Propaganda
Sarah Blake Wilk
Artibus et Historiae, Vol. 7, No. 14 (1986), pp. 9-28
Published by: IRSA s.c.

In the described carnival show of 1507 I count 19 "living" figures. Caritas in Minchiate had Nr. 19. Accident? I don't know ... remarkable are the 4 Moors - didn't they come much later in Bolognese Tarot? The three accompanying singers might have been intended as Hope, Fides and Prudentia.

Re: Germini / Minchiate

From the Life of Annibale Bentivoglio ... ologna.htm

1506 Sett. ... Viene scomunicato dal papa Giulio II.

1506 Ott. ... Ha il comando dell'esercito bolognese, per un totale di 4000/5000 uomini.

1506 Nov. ... Il primo giorno del mese effettua una sortita nelle immediate vicinanze di Bologna; la notte seguente fugge dalla città con i suoi famigliari e ripara a Parma: la città per tale ospitalità deve subire l'interdetto ecclesiastico per dieci giorni. Abbandona pertanto tale località e si rifugia a Ferrara con il fratello Ermes e 300 cavalli.

1507 Gen. ... E' costretto ad abbandonare anche Ferrara.

1507 Mar. ... Giunge a Mantova: la città è sottoposta ad interdetto per la sua presenza. I pontifici pongono sulla testa sua e del fratello Ermes una taglia di 4000 ducati se consegnato vivo ed una di 2000 a favore di chi lo avesse consegnato morto: viene pure concesso il permesso di rientrare in Bologna ai fuoriusciti che cooperino a tale azione.


The Fall of Bologna and the Bentivoglio was very fresh at carnival 1507 ... what mean the 4 moors?

1 other Moor had fallen in 1500 (il Moro = Lodovico Sforza)

1 other Moor was present at the murder of Galeazzo Maria 1476.

The Medici also had some relation to a Moor.
Alessandro de' Medici (1510 - January 6, 1537), Duke of Penne and also Duke of Florence (from 1532), ruler of Florence from 1530 until 1537, was the last of the "senior" branch of the Medici to rule Florence.

He was announced as the illegitimate son of Lorenzo II de' Medici, Duke of Urbino (grandson of Lorenzo de' Medici, the Magnificent), but many scholars believe him to be in fact the illegitimate son of Giulio de' Medici, later Pope Clement VII. The nickname (= the Moor) derives from his features, and the possibility that his mother was a Moorish slave.
He was made ruler of Florence after Clement VII succeeded in returning control to the Medici in 1530, after a lengthy struggle. His rule was harsh, debased and incompetent. One relic of his rule is the massive Fortezza da Basso, today the largest historical monument of Florence.
Using Alessandro's debased nature to set a trap, his distant cousin Lorenzino de' Medici, secretly assassinated him, and then fled to Venice. The Palleschi discovered the murder before their opponents, and were therefore able to ensure that power then passed to Cosimo I de' Medici, the first of the "junior" branch of the Medici to rule Florence.
He was survived by two illegitimate children: a son, Giulio (age four at the time of his father's death), and a daughter, Giulia; their descendants include most of the royal houses of Europe.

Re: Germini / Minchiate

Huck wrote: The Fall of Bologna and the Bentivoglio was very fresh at carnival 1507 ... what mean the 4 moors?
The four Moors didn't come into the Bolognese decks until 1725.
The replacement of the 'Papi' by 'Mori' came about in 1725 by the intervention of the Papal Legate, Cardinal Ruffo. At that time, Bologna, although very proud of its ancient liberties, fell within the Papal States, but, by an agreement of 1447, enjoyed considerable autonomy. In 1725 Canon Luigi Montieri of Bologna produced a geographical Tarocchino pack: the body of each trump card gave geographical information ... What annoyed the Legate, Cardinal Ruffo, was that on the Matto Bologna was described as having a "mixed government" (governo misto). Ruffo ordered Montieri's pack publicly burned; Montieri and everyone concerned with its production were arrested. However the Legate quickly came to realise that to proceed against them on this ground would arous deep resentment in the city. He therefore had the prisoners rapidly released, and, to save face, demanded instead that the four 'Papi' be replaced by four Moorish satraps, and the Angel by a Lady (Dama). The first change was accepted, though the second was ignored, and Montieri's pack was reissued with the Moors instead of 'Papi'; moreover, Moors were henceforth used in all Bolognese Tarot packs.
(Dummett and McLeod, "History of Games Played with the Tarot Pack" (Mellen Press, 2004) pp. 263-264)

However, in Rome's early-16th century "Colonna" cards (Kaplan I, 134) there is already what looks to me like a Sultan (who is a moor), and Dummett suggested somewhere that it might have been that acquaintance with this Roman practice is what gave the idea to Cardinal Ruffo to change the Bolognese pack accordingly.

Note in the Colonna cards that the Sultan is numbered 5, which means there were probably four of these cards, as well as a Bagatto, while in Florence there only survived three such cards (and Bagatto) - by around 1500 in Florence, the Popess was already removed. By the time Minchiate was invented (1520?), the Empress and Pope had been changed to a second Emperor (imitating Bolognese practice?) and a "Grand Duke" (Merlin's term - just "papa quattro" for the Florentine game).

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