A sort of Victory - Brieg playing cards 1303 ; theme -1377

#1
Added January 2017: The thread was renamed from "A sort of Victory ... playing cards 1303" to "A sort of Victory - Brieg playing cards 1303 ; theme -1377" with the intention to collect threads, where the topics are earlier than the year 1377 (early playing card documents); not included are themes, which don't relate to a very early origin of playing cards.
I intend to collect these threads via link at the thread "Collection Playing Cards before 1377 ; theme -1377"
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1155


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Start original article:

"Anno 1303 wurden zum Brieg in einem Hause am Ringe, drey Karten-Spieler vom Donner erschlagen/ wie sie die Blätter ausgetheilet hatten."
Three card players died 1303 in Brieg in a house "am Ringe" (a sort of address, likely street name) by a lightning, after they had dealt the cards.
"Brieg" should be "Brzeg" nowadays
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brzeg


from: "Neue Laußnitz- Böhm- und Schlesische Chronica/ Oder Allerhand Denck- und Merckwürdiger Unglücks- und Trauer-Fälle/ so sich in dem Marggraffthum Lausitz/ dessen angräntzenden benachbartem Königreiche Böhmen/ und Fürstenthümern Schlesien/ in den nechsten dreyhundert und Sechs und Achtzig Jahren begeben und zugetragen : Theils aus gelehrter Leute Schrifften/ theils aus guter Freunde communicirten Manu-Scriptis, theils auch aus eigenen Collectaneis, in eine richtige Jahrgängige Landschaffts-Ordnung gebracht und auffgesetzet / Von Heinrico Roch, I.C. & Reip. Pat. Senatore" (in the year 1687)
http://digitale.bibliothek.uni-halle.de ... ure/444886

A source noted by Hübsch in 1850 in his book about Bohemian trade.
http://trionfi.com/0/p/95/

The author tells, that he is Heinrich Rochus, Jurus Consultus und "Ratsverwandter" at Marglissa (likely Lesna near Görlitz). He seems to give his sources (however, not specific), but it's doubtful, if they're of any use.

He reports "bad events" from 1301 - 1687 in Bohemia, the Lausitz and Silesia in 3 different parts, one for each of the different regions. Bad events are earthquakes, great fires, floodings, heavy storms, plagues, murderous activities, wars und as a speciality, if somebody was hit by a lightning.
A rough estimation : 90-95 % of the texts sound like more or less true, plausible stories.

... well, something to do.

*****************

I've read all 3 regions from 1300 - 1500 and took some quick views at the rest of the text which is the larger part of the book (which has about 500 pages).
I found 3 notes of interest in the early part:

1303: A lightning kills 3 cards players in Brieg (Silesia)
1303: A lightning kills 7 dice players in Kotnitz (Lausitz)
1309: "Anno 1309 brachte das Kärntnerische und Tirolische Kriegsvolck das Würfel-Spiel in Böhmen/ das Land-Volck begab sich in die Städte /verliessen ihre Wirthschafften/ und brachten einander umb das Geld/ daraus enttand Blutvergiessen und Todtschläge".... which means some mercenaries from Styria and Tyrol brought dice playing to Bohemia, which caused much trouble. This note was used by Hübsch in his text, the other both not.

No other note about card or dice playing till 1500 in the text (disappointing). I took only a rough view about the later parts of the 3 texts and detected 3 murder cases connected to gambling easily, probably there are some more (but - for my interests - they are "too late").

Difficult to say, if it's probable, that the both about 1303 are "faked history" or not. The fact, that they appear both at the "first place" an "the same year" makes them somehow not reliable, disregarding the problems, that playing card history has with such early entries, which tell something about playing cards.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: A sort of Victory ... playing cards 1303

#2
I found a second note referring to the same story in one of the sources, which was given by Roch:

It's difficult to quote it:
http://www.digitalisiertedrucke.de/sear ... d&f=author
take the second link, the BOOK-icon
then go to page 14

Roch noted as source: "Helandi Donnerpredigt". I found:
Heland, David:
Est Visa Dei Gloria, In Fulgurita Curia. Man sahe GOttes Herrlichkeit/ Ins Donnerschlags Gefährlichkeit. Nemlich: Es entstund zu Cotbuß in Nieder-Lausitz/ Ao. 1664. d. 7. Julij ... ein ... Donnerwetter/ welches den Thurm des Rathhauses ... einen sonderlichen Schlag that. Dannenher veranlasset ward die gewaltige Donner-Predigt ...
Guben 1664
The relevant passage:
Die Dopler und gewinsüchtige Spieler / welche die edle muthwillig verspielen / mit solchem Handel /dabey falschschweren / Begierde des Nächsten Guth / Versäumung des Berufs / Fluchen / Mord und Totschlag vorgehet. Jene 3 zu Brieg / welche also tod gefunden / daß sie die Kartenblätter in den Händen zertheilet behalten / alhier zu Cotbuß Anno 1303. Sieben auf einmal beym Würffelspiel.
Heland used "Cotbuß" as city name for the location of the dice player (Cottbus nowadays), Roch used "Kotwitz" (which even might be another location), so it seems NOT plausible, that Heland's text should be the single source of Roch for the story. Heland's choice of the presentation leaves the question open, if the playing card story happened 1303 (but the dice player's story happened 1303), in Roch's presentation both happened 1303.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: A sort of Victory ... playing cards 1303

#3
Another source of Roch:

Matthäus Hammer, Rosetum Historiarum Das ist: Historischer Rosengarten / Darinen aus vielen bewehrten Historicis kurtze und denckwürdige Historien / als liebliche Rosen / abgebrochen / mit füglichen Sententien teutsch und lateinisch gezieret / aus welchen man den guten Geruch allerley Tugenden kan nehmen / hingegen die Laster als spitzige Stacheln fliehen und meiden. In gewisse Capita versetzt / und zuletzt eine Zugab / darinnen schöne Dencksprüche / zugleich auch mit einem ordentlichen und nützlichen Register gezieret. Gedruckt zu Zwickau / bey und in Verlegung Melchior Göpners / und Andreæ Löfflers. Anno 1654.

... generally much more superstitious than Roch. However:
http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Hammer, ... 0.+Capitel
Page 367
"Anno Christi 1546. war so ein groß Gottes Wetter ümb Mecheln / daß es in die 800. thonnen Pulver anzündete und alles zerschmetterte / daß man in 300. todte und anderthalb hundert beschädigte fand / muste auch einem schwangern Weib die Frucht ausgeschnitten und das Kind in der Noth getauffet werden / [367] eine Frau wolte unter dem Wetter die Läden zu machen /der schlug es den Kopff ab / in einem Wirthshauß spieleten etliche Männer / schickten die Frau in Keller nach Bier / da erschlug es die Spieler / die Frau aber blieb lebendig / kam am dritten Tag allererst wiederaus dem Keller erfür und fragete ob die Welt noch stünde."
Other source: "1546, Mecheln: Een groot deel van de stad brandt uit na de ontploffing van de Zandpoort (200 doden), waar buskruit was opgeslagen."
... reports a bad weather around Mecheln (Belgium) in 1546 and a heavy explosion of "800 tons of gun powder", resulting in 300 dead persons (an independent source speaks of 200 victims and of a resulting big fire). One part of the accident relates to a group of players, which did send a women to the cellar to fetch some beer. The men died, the woman survived and was recovered after 3 days.

Other passages in the book:
http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Hammer, ... 5.+Capitel
All p. 322-323
"Herodotus meldet daß in Lydien bey 18. Jahren sey grosser Hunger gewesen / da habe man deß Hungers in etwas zu vergessen das Spielen erfunden und auffgebracht. Zeitbuch Nicolai. pagina 147. im 6. Buch.
"

It notes, that Herodot told, that in "Lydien" (= Turkey) had been big hunger for 18 years and that in this time playing was invented. Likely the same Herodot passage caused, that in mid 18th century the French opinion appeared, that playing cards were invented in Lydien.
Als der König Ptolemæus einsmals spielete / da kam sein Secretarius zu ihm mit einen Zettel / darauff ein Vrthel vom Rath gefället über etlichem Personen so das Leben verwircket hätten / und wil darüber deß Königs Consens einholen / deß Königes Gemahlin aber / die Bernice kommet darzu / reisset den Zettel aus den Händen und sagt zum Könige: wann einer im Spielen begriffen ist / sol er über der Leut leben und todt / oder in peinlichen Sachen nicht richten / und diese Red hat den König bewegt / daß er hat auffgehöret. M. Majus.
It tells, that Bernice, wife of king Ptolomaeos, caused, that the king didn't judge about life and death during playing.
[323] Die drey W. stifften in der Welt / sonderlich unter Ruchlosen Leuten / viel übels / Würffel / Weib /Wein. Schauplatz."
The 3 bad "W"s (... :-) ... www), which are "Würffel, Weib and Wein" (= dice, women and vine), cause much trouble in the world.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: A sort of Victory ... playing cards 1303

#5
mmfilesi wrote:Its interesting, but maybe its very risky think in early date for the cards. (I know that Johannes speaks also of the early fourteenth century).

Until we find more documents, I prefer think that the cards arrived about 1350 - 1370.
Johannes of Rheinfelden says, that playing cards are new in Freiburg im Breisgau in the year 1377, and (as it seems) he haven't heard from them elsewhere before.
Master Ingold writes 1432, that playing cards arrived in Germany in the year "1300". He had read so, "als ich gelesen han", according his statement. Naturally the value of this unknown referenced document might be doubtful, too.

"un ist das spil vol untrü, und als ich gelesen han, so ist es komen in tüsche land des ersten do man zalt von Cristus geburt tusend drühundert jar ..."
http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db ... 86/images/

or (other version)
"Nun ist dz spil fol untrew un als ich gelesen han so ist es kume in teutsch land in dem iar da man zalt von crist geburt tausent dz(? or "r")uhunderr iar ... "
http://www.hs-augsburg.de/~harsch/germa ... _sp40.html

There are other documents, but it's said and believed, that they are not reliable, not totally secure. Well, it's difficult for a document of this early time to be declared 100% secure ... but with each new "insecure document" the probability grows, that there was something before this credo "playing cards started to develop in Europe ca. 1370".
The Mamluk hypothesis is based upon 3 documents and one half "very early" playing card and the Topkapi cards for all of 14th and 15th century ... I don't know, how much "insecure documents" we have before 1370 in Europe, but I'll start counting some day, maybe I get 15, 20 or even 30 I could imagine. If I don't count Johannes of Rheinfelden and the many documents from the Brabant court, we hardly have more from the period 1370-1400 and some of these might be also a little bit insecure, but the interest is not given to prove this, as it is believed that playing cards had won their reality in the eyes of the historians.

There was a vivid trading route via Black Sea - Novgorod, which was very active till some crisis in late 14th century, when its importance was replaced by Genuese and Venetian activities. Another trading route went from Kiew - Lemberg to Breslau, from here to Prague and Dresden. Kiew is said to have had more than 100.000 inhabitants, before it was destroyed by the Mongols ... and it's likely, that the Mongols brought the playing cards. The Goldene Horde then reigned the region and the trade way.
Brieg, where 3 card players were smashed by lightning 1303 (with insecurities, of course), is an interesting small city located near Breslau and the trading route Breslau-Kiew went through Brieg. The distance Breslau - Kiew is something about 1100 km, the distance Breslau-Barcelona is 2000 km or Breslau-Rome 1600.

Naturally countries like Spain and Italy - in which playing cards are dominated by the Latin suit system - took cards from the Mamluks (if the Mamluks had some), but Northern European cities like Breslau and Prague might have been reached by playing cards directly from the Mongols instead of waiting for Spanish or Italian decks to appear. Well, the Northern playing card development wasn't dominated by the Latin suits, only occasionally these suits were used for export decks. And the French suit system seems to have been more influened from German suits than from the Latin suits.

A wandering of the medium playing card from China - Mongols - Northern Europe is on step shorter than China - Mongols - Mamluks - Southern Europe, beside the general observation at the globe, that the Breslau-Peking route is more than 1000 km shorter than Rome-Peking. Actually Italian diplomats to Kiew and Moskau took their way via Breslau, if the sea route to the Krim was blocked.

An early playing card note from Brieg has internal logic.

The Master of Brieg in the relevant time (1303) ...

Image


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boles%C5%8 ... e_Generous

.. Boleslaw the Generous had been in 1303 a 12-years old boy (a good age for playing cards, as we've variously learned), who was send to the Bohemian court and was married to a daughter of the king and with some luck he even might have had become Bohemian king. This didn't happen, but he got a good relationship with King John the Blind of Luxembourg and had been allowed to rule a little bit over Bohemia for some time, when John was not present (which had been often the case).

From another insecure source (Hübsch ... http://trionfi.com/0/p/95/ ) we know, that Bohemia had around 1340 playing cards and that before "Polish nobility" played with cards.

Boleslaw can be called Polish or cannot be called Polish ... at least his mother had been a Polish princess. The nationalities at this time were floating. The region around Brieg / Breslau actually became Bohemian and the inhabitants had a lot of German culture.

Recently we had another insecure Eastern note. Werner von Orseln, master of the German knights in Marienburg (that's today Poland), prohibited card playing for his knights. Well, insecure, but the appearance of the note fits in the assumed situation.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=514

And recently we had a synodial prohibition in Prague 1353 and actually the text was rewritten or copied much later and the whole was declared a writing error, "cartarum" misread for "chorearum" .... somehow "likely" correct interpreted as "wrong". But together all this fiction "in 1370 playing cards were distributed" meets more and more suspicion.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: A sort of Victory ... playing cards 1303

#6
a)
aster Ingold writes 1432, that playing cards arrived in Germany in the year "1300".
Yes, sorry, I think in Ingold, but confused the names.

b)
There are other documents, but it's said and believed, that they are not reliable, not totally secure. Well, it's difficult for a document of this early time to be declared 100% secure ... but with each new "insecure document" the probability grows, that there was something before this credo "playing cards started to develop in Europe ca. 1370".
:) ... Yes, yes, its true.

In addition, we must take account the plague in 1350. It is a critical moment that broke many developments.
but Northern European cities like Breslau and Prague might have been reached by playing cards directly from the Mongols instead of waiting for Spanish or Italian decks to appear.


Very interesting. We know some Mongolian deck?
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

Re: A sort of Victory ... playing cards 1303

#7
Image


15.88x20.32cm
Ground Mineral Pigment on Paper
12th century

Tibetan monks painted on paper and Mongolian took some religion and its habits from the Tibetans. The technical side of paper-painting had been developed then.

John Meador once made a collection of links to such sort of productions.
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=22080

*****************
Generally the Wilkinson article ...

http://autorbis.net/tarot/biography/tar ... inson.html
(follow the further link)

... had some sort of historical position for the idea, that playing cards developed in China.

Sylvia Mann showed in her "Alle Karten auf den Tisch" some Chinese playing cards, between them also "Chess cards" ... not too old cards.
It's difficult to have an overview, how far the Chinese playing card research has come till now.

Actually the biggest number of cards we find in Indian Moghul decks of 19th century. The Moghul rulers have descended from Mongols, which took a kingdom in India during 16th century.
"The Mughal Emperors were descendants of the Timurids, and at the height of their power around 1700, they controlled most of the Indian Subcontinent — extending from Bengal in the east to Balochistan in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south." ... so they are somehow "Tamerlane's children".

Generally the wiki article might summarize the situation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_or ... ying_cards
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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