Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

.... shall have written a "little chessbook" on the base of the work of Cessolis in Czech language in 14th century. According this picture of a text, which has the title: "DIE KÖNIGLICHEN FESTE IM MITTELALTERLICHEN BÖHMEN, October 28, 2017 | Author: Elvira Schwarz / Frantisek Smahel (?)" ... ehmen.html

The book might be interest in the research of the John of Rheinfelden text.áš_Štítný_ze_Štítného
Knížky o šašiech (kolem 1390), alegorické dílo o uspořádání středověké společnosti na základě pravidel šachové hry nebo z vizuální podoby figur napsané podle knihy italského dominikána Jacoba de Cessolis Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium sive super ludo scacchorum (Kniha lidských mravů a povinností šlechty neboli o hře v šachy). Štítného spis se vyznačuje vysokou originalitou, nejde tedy o pouhý převod Cessolisova díla do češtiny. Tomáš ze Štítného vypustil z původního textu četné fragmenty spojené s antikou a biblí a nahradil je mnoha příběhy z české historie a dílo doplnil o popis českých národních zvyklostí.
Automatic translation
Books on chess (circa 1390), an allegorical work on the organization of medieval society based on the rules of chess or from the visual form of figures written according to the book of the Italian Dominican Jacob de Cessolis Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium sive super ludo scacchorum or about playing chess). Štítný's file is characterized by high originality, so it is not just a translation of Cessolis's work into Czech. Tomáš ze Štítného deleted numerous fragments associated with antiquity and the Bible from the original text and replaced them with many stories from Czech history and supplemented the work with a description of Czech national customs.


Long list of chess allegories (German text) ... allegorien

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

Melanchthon shall have written or spoken:
(according Antonius van der Linde, author of chess books) .... ... up?q=tauss .... page 153
"Wenn ich reich wäre, so wollte ich mir ein gülden Schach und silbernen Kartenspiele werklich lassen zurichten zu einer Erinnerung. Denn Gottes Schach und Karte sind grosse, mächtige Fürsten, Könige, Kaiser, da er immer einen durch den andern sticht oder schlägt, das ist aushebt und stürzt. Nun ist Ferdinand die vier Schellen, der Papst die sechs Schellen, der Türke acht Schellen, der Kaiser ist der König im Spiel. Letztlich kommt unser Herr Gott, theilet das Spiel aus, schlägt den Papst mit dem Luther, das ist sein Tauss." .... (1497 - 1560), friend of Luther
My translation:
If I would be rich, so I would order a golden chess and a playing card deck of silver (such decks really were produced in 16th century) to be made for a memory. Cause God's chess and playing card are great and powerful princes, kings and emperors, cause he always beats one through another, which takes him out of the game. Now Ferdinand is the 4 of Schellen, the pope is the 6 of Schellen, the Türk (the Ottoman) is the 8 of Schellen, the Emperor is the king in the game. Finally comes our Herr Gott, distribute the cards, and beats the pope with the Luther, that is his Tauss (expression for the 2 in the card deck, occasionally the highest card).
Ferdinand means probably Ferdinand I, German king in 1531-64 and before arch-duke of Austria ... here 4 of Schellen
The current pope was possibly Clement VII; Medici and pope from 1523-1534 ... here 6 of Schellen
The Türk was probable the Osman leader Suleiman the Magnificent, who arranged a siege of Vienna in 1529 ... here the 8 of Schellen
Karl V. was probably the related emperor ... here the king (of the Schellen ?)
Luther is the Tauss ... here the 2 (of the Schellen ?) and here he beats the pope.

That's naturally a political joke, which uses the elements of the Karnöffel-Kaisern rules. Some rules take the cards 2-3-4-5 of a suit as 4 Emperors (then the 2 is the highest), other rules use the 4 banners (four 10s) as 4 emperors.

Unluckily van der Linde didn't give a quote, where he got this piece from. More famous is this quote: "warumb doch das erwehlte Tauss
das geringste vnd ärmste stück auff der Karten der Keiser heisse? Viel halten der Bapst habe jm zuvil geraubt vnd gestolen das er ein Bettler muss seyn vnd doch
der Keiser heisse“. This was printed 1537 and as author the „Orden der Kartenspieler vom Karnöffel gestalt“ was given. ... frontcover


I found under keyword "Daus n.", point 2 ...
1531/5 deus distribuit ludum, schlecht den babst mit dem Luther, der ist sein taus (nachschr.) Luther tischreden 1,492 W.

It was spoken likely in 1531 at the table of Luther, probably by Melanchthon (?)


I found
Luther (107) kennt neben den Schellen die Eichel: «Ferdinandus ist die 4 Eichel, Papa ist die 6 Schellen, Turca ist die 8 Schellen, Caesar est rex, tandem Deus distribuit ludum, schlegt den babst mit dem Luther, der ist sein taus.»

107 Martin Luther, Werke. Weimarer Ausgabe. Tischreden 1,494.
Source: Zur Entwicklung der Spielkartenfarben in der Schweiz, in Deutschland und in Frankreich, p. 23, (1976), Author: Rumpf, Marianne ... -rumpf.pdf

I didn't get a complete edition of the Tischreden.
I didn't find something, that relates to Melanchthon. ... .-)
I found this funny modern game "Luther: Das Kartenspiel" ... It has a variant called "Melanchthon" .... .-)


Anyway: 1531 is before the Karnöffel version of 1537. And the 1531 version is definitely different from the 1537 version. That's an interesting aspect. The famous text of 1537 is written by an anonymous.


Added later: Mary Greer had in her Tarot blog this result in 2011: ... rds-part-1
Martin Luther, 1525
Martin Luther, who elsewhere spoke against gambling, declared himself to be God’s Ace who trumps the pope. Bells are a German suit-marker. He gives cards identities similar to those in Karnöffel in this quote from 1525, four years before Latimer’s sermon:

“If I were rich, I would have myself made a golden chess set and silver playing cards as a remembrance; for God’s chesspieces and cards are great and mighty princes, kings, and emperors; for He always trumps or overcomes one through another, that is lifts him off his feet and throws him down. N. [Ferdinand] is the four of bells, the pope the six of bells, the Turk [Devil] the eight of bells, and the Emperor is the king in the pack. Lastly, our Lord God comes, deals out the cards, and beats the pope with the Luther, which is His ace [Daus].”

[Tischreden 1:491-2, no 972, quoted in “Playing Cards and Popular Culture in Sixteenth-Century Nuremberg” by Laura A. Smoller, in The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 17, no. 2, (Summer, 1986).]

NOTE on the word “Turk”: Both Hugh Latimer in England and Martin Luther in Germany used the word “Turk” as roughly synonymous to the Devil. Today this is, of course, not considered politically correct. In the 16th century the Turks were the boogey-men that all children were taught to fear. Constantinople had fallen to the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453, ending the Christian Byzantine Empire. Even more recently they had temporarily captured a part of Italy, and then, in 1529, after several earlier forays, the Turks sailed up the Danube and besieged Vienna. Although they were driven out, Europeans lived for a couple of hundred years with anxiety about an impeding invasion by the Turks. A helpful summary of the Ottoman Empire and its rapid spread can be found here.

Finally .... I solved the riddle with the Tischreden editions. That is, what is there ... ... up?q=ludum


headline of page 491, first book of the Tischreden, first half of the 1530s, so 1531-1535


bottom of page 491(footnotes)


top of page 492. It's noted, that this passages come from the collection of Veit Dietrich and Nikolaus Medler


bottom of page 492 (footnotes). There'something , which talks of Melanchthon, but this belongs to another part of the text.


additional notes page 650


Veit Dietrich
Nikolaus Medler

I don't see from this, that something connects to Melanchthon or 1525 or 1531. At least it seems clear, that the passage was written before the year 1537. The text consists of 6 books and the passage is from the first of the series. The books were produced 1912 and in the following years as a part of the socalled Weimarer Ausgabe, a project, that started 1883 and was finished 2009.
Perhaps later research long after 1912 has improved the situation.

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