Thanks ... after all of this it seems, that there is - for the moment - no base for saying:
"In the mid 1500's an oracle appeared in Germany from an unknown source called Zoroaster's Telescop."
Eric, in your youtube-contribution you speak of a usenet text, that you saw. Do you have this at hand?
Does somebody see anywhere a possibility to get the German edition of 1797? Any title, a publisher, author or something like this? I see from Steve, that this appears just in the French description without details.
Karl Kern's work seems to have been ...
http://www.worldcat.org/title/wahrsagen ... sView=true
Wahrsagende Kabbala der Magier - die Kabbala des Zoroaster (1932/1933), 109 pages. The Nazis gave Nietzsches writings some honor, and Nietzsche stood for Zarathustra, so that's likely the base for a publication just in 1932.
Karl Kern is mentioned in this text ...
http://www.scribd.com/doc/56832590/The- ... i-Ideology
... not very often. But it seems clear, which political direction he had.
The scheme of the described divination system used 112
elements and it is spoken of Zoroaster, in other words, "about Persia".
There's an old chess version, at least in existence since mid of 14th century, and it is called "Tamerlane Chess", cause Tamerlane loved it. Tamerlane reigned in the region around Persia in a kingdom, which was not much smaller than the old big Persian Empire. Half of Mongolic descend, he was identified with Persia. As Tamerlane didn't fight against Europeans, but against foes of the Europeans, he was perceived with friendly eyes.
Tamerlane Chess uses 112
fields in a strange manner:
2 fields are outside of the board and had a special function. Naturally also the two king positions are "very special".
In the explanation of the divination scheme the 112 elements are parted in 4 groups:
Looking at Tamerlane chess, one easily can detect, that the 2 positions of the two kings
would make 2 principe
The 2 additional fields
would make 2 Ghosts
The 9 Intelligences
could stand for 9 different chess officers
without king (from which 2 appear only once at each side - the two figures beside the king - and 7 appear twice at each side).
In the explanation we find, that 7 of the intelligences are given to the "7 planets" (inclusive sun and moon) and 2 are given to "spiritual sun" and "spiritual moon". So again, the number relation between Tamerlane chess and Zoroaster divination system would fit.
The 99 others seem to be a composition of 9x11
, so "9 intelligences" multiplied by 11 ... what 11? Well, Tamerlane chess has 11 different pawns
This is the representation in the German text:
That's not too difficult to read, there's a 9x11-scheme, which generates the 99 numbers, but it's included in a 9x12 scheme in the manner, that the 12 means "sign of the zodiacs" and the 9 means the 9 "Intelligences". The first sign of the zodiac (the "primitive" Aries) gives then the definitions of the Intelligences (and it so NOT part of the 9x11-scheme).
Well, then we see, that there are 9 "cycles" (= zodiacs) and we can recognize, that we know the model: This are simply spheres.
For instance here we have 8 circles (7 planets plus an 8th called Celum stellata) and above them the 9th, which is shown by Apollo. In the center (in the picture at the bottom) we have the 4 elements.
In the Mantegna Tarocchi we have also spheres at Nr. 41-49, the eight sphere is called Octava shera and 9th picture is called "Primo Mobile"
Well, the whole idea is very old. But in other systems we don't meet the number "112", which is here reached by by adding "9x12" + 4 elements (9x12 = 108 /108 + 4 = 112)
This scheme is slightly different, by putting primo mobile in a 10th cyle:
http://relaxedmachinery.ning.com/profil ... he-spheres
Generally a very common model, occasionally presented a little different.
I've written earlier a lot of Montefeltro's interest in the number 28 (1474-76). The number 28 appears in Tamerlane chess, in which two players play with 28 figures each. The board has in a rather unusual way "112" fields and 112 = 4x28. I had the theory, that Montefeltro had been shown "Tamerlane Chess" by a diplomat from Persia (143/74), actually a Spanish Jew, who worked as physician at the court of Uzun Hassan (king of an greater "Persia"). Uzun Hassan had an alliance with some European states and the current aim had been a joined attack on the Osmans.
(detail of a picture)
The meeting led to picture production with Montefeltro and the Persian diplomat. In the follow-up Montefeltro made a few things (or instance his studiolo got 28 famous men), in which Montefeltro seemed to have been fascinated by the number 28.
In islam countries the moon calendar has a big role, and the moon is connected to 28 houses. Tamerlane Chess has developed from this background.
In short, we meet in the 18th century divination model some Persian elements and the whole thing is called "Telescope of Zoroaster".
The sphere-model is also old European, but I remember not the appearance of a 112. Does somebody know any use of it in Europe?
From your recent info I see, that there is suspicion, that the author produced the text in Neuwien (which is a new part of Vienna then, if I understand this right).
German wikipedia is better in the German details of the biography of Andréa de Nerciat. Nerciat had a lot of time in Germany. It might well be, that he authored also the German work. Yes, the author had been in Vienna in 1796.
The author had been short before active for the duke of Braunschweig. This (and his father) had been "war heroes" at various opportunities. Another duke of Braunschweig had been Gustav Selenus, a famous chess book author. He also founded a famous library.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus_t ... 3%BCneburg
It seems plausible, that the later dukes knew about their prominent ancestor and they knew likely also something of chess. In 19th century Germany became famous for his chess players. Braunschweig is not far from Ströbeck (45 km), the German chess village.
Well, Nerciat worked some time in German libraries. The duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wi ... %C3%BCttel
... became a great man, when he became chief commander in an army, which intended to save the French monarchy in 1792. The canon battle of Valmy ...
... didn't have the result, which was desired. The French revolution survived. Two years later he retired from his position.
Nerciat biography: "Im Jahr 1792 fungierte er als Unterhändler des Herzogs von Braunschweig, dem er seine Dienste als Geheimagent angeboten hatte".
He worked as diplomat and "secret agent" for the duke in 1792. Nerciat likely was known to the duke from other opportunities before, I would assume, but I have no confirmation. But it seems not plausible, that he was acceptable in this function, if he wasn't acquainted with him longer time before. Some time Nerciat had been at the court in Kassel and Braunschweig and Kassel are not far (150 km). The Landgraf of Kassel earned his money, by lending a lot of soldiers to the American battlefield, so he was a natural factor in the war games of 2n part of 18th century. The war duke of Braunschweig Wolfenbüttel should have been occasionally at this court, which had some fame for his festivities.
Nerciat anyway had a career as secret agent. One is only not sure, for whom he worked all the time.
If such an exotic game as the Tamerlane chess was known in Europe, the address of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel would take a first place for knowing something about it.