Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#21
Marco wrote:
Dummett wrote that the coins on the cards were not derived “mechanically” from the actual fiorino, because the suit signs are larger than the actual coins. He thought that maybe the die for a medal similar to the fiorino (but larger) was used for the cards....

Yes, Dummett does not say anything about the date in which the fiorino was first made. Berti says it was first produced in 1442. Sandrina Bandera (the director of the Brera Museum in Milan), on the basis of her stylistic analysis, is of the opinion that the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla decks were painted after 1443 and before 1447 (“Tarocchi Viscontei”, 1991, p.27).
Marco,
I think that is a good summary of where thinsg are at but it doesn't contradict my idea that the design for a 1442 coin would have been available for the cards' artist to adapt the previous year (for the October 1441 wedding). Surely there is a numismatic reference work that can settle the dating issue but all I can find are these two works:

Francesco Gnecchi (Milan, 1847 – Rome, 1919; Italian painter and numismatist) Le monete di Milano da Carlo Magno a Vittorio Emanuele II, 1884

Friedberg, A. L. & I. S. Gold Coins of the World from Ancient Times to the Present. 8th Edition. First published in 1958 and now in it's 8th edition
[Google books actually lead to the coin quesiton but besides a b/w image, today's value of the coin and Visconti's years of rule there was no data of use whatsoever]

Phaeded

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#22
Dummett actually also mentions Kaplan's 1441 theory (Encyclopedia of Tarot, v.1, p.107):
Kaplan wrote:In the sixty-seven-card Cary-Yale pack, the costumes in the suit of swords are decorated with a Sforza quince or a branch bearing leaves and flowers. A large fountain, also thought to be an early Sforza device, is used in the suit of staves. The remaining two suits bear Visconti devices -crowns with branches or fronds in the suit of cups and pelicans or doves in the suit of coins. Thus two suits in the Cary-Yale pack contain Visconti devices and two contain Sforza devices, leading one to speculate that the deck was prepared about the time of the wedding in 1441 of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti, each family equally represented by two suits.

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#23
Marco: I would be very interested in reading what Sandrina Bandera has to say. Is there any way you can get me the page. I should probably try to get the whole book, but for now just that one page would be helpful.

Edith Kirsch, an internationally recognized expert on Visconti and Sforza art and especially miniatures, author of several books and articles on the subject, student of the renowned Millard Meiss, says, of the CY Love card, "second quarter of the 15th century." I posted a scan of this quote in her book at the beginning of the first post on this thread. This was in the same year as Bandera, 1991.

I was aware that Bandera and other experts say 1444-1447, based on the artistic style, but I don't know their arguments. It would help, in our assessing whether the dating could stretch back even to 1441. Personally, given the conservative nature of Lombard art at that time and especially of the Bembo (valued for being able to paint in outmoded styles according to Welch, in the article I posted on this thread) and probably the Zavatarri, I would think it would be ok to go back even further than 1441, just based on the style, but I'm no expert. Tolfo, on Storia di Milano's website, says 1428; that seems to me impossible, for the pieces of paper at Yale, but not for the CY-type.

I resolve the contradiction between Bandera's very short range of probability and Kirsch's very long one by positing a CY-type, of which the CY itself is a late representative.

Marco wrote,
The “before 1435 CY-type deck” you mention is a possibility, but it seems to me a good example of what Michael J. Hurst calls a Russell's teapot. A teapot orbiting the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars is a possibility: what does it buy me?
I do not think that adding a few years on both sides of 1444-1447 (as you yourself do, on a more limited scale) is very like the hypothesis of a teapot circling the sun. But I see the point: what does it get me? What you, Marco or Phaeded, get, extending the range back to 1441 based on the Sforza heraldics, is a marriage gift at the time of the marriage. But these same heraldics would fit the occasion of a christening in 1444. So what it gets you is two possible occasions on which the marriage could be commemorated with a tarot deck I think you have to acknowledge the possibility of a marriage commemoration deck in 1444, given the experts' opinions, the Sforza heraldics, and the state of Visconti-Sforza antagonisms from month to month. Given the experts' opinions, that seems to me the likeliest of all, regardless of our theories.

In my case, extending the range of a "CY type" back as far as 1427 and, much less interestingly or likely, forward to 1450 or 1468, is putting the deck into the context of a broad range of marriage and dynastic commemorations, starting with Filippo's apparently new interest in miniatures in around 1427 (the project of completing the Hours, with his addition to his father's genealogy) at the time of his marriage to Marie of Savoy and ending with the marriage of Bona of Savoy to Galeazzo Maria, which clearly was commemorated in art (marriage of Anna and Joachim). It also gives time for slow development, through humanist input in Milan (and elsewhere) from reading the "three crowns" not only of Florence but of all of Italy, and other works. That broadens the perspective from the narrow one of Filippo-Cosimo antagonisms and battle celebrations in 1440-1441. My shifting of focus to that broader one was criticized as unrealistic, even impossible. So that's why I was discussing the possibilities, not in a disconnected context.

Also, I am coming from Andrea Vitale's insistence, as an academic student and teacher of medieval Italian iconography, that in Italian universities it is taught as a given, a necessity, that there be assumed a 20-25 year lag between inception and the showing up, in concrete evidence, of something like the tarot in this time and place. I wrote him again recently to make sure I was understanding him correctly. I am not an expert on medieval iconography. I do not place blind faith in such a view, but I at least take it seriously, and not as something he has concocted to fit his own theories. Perhaps, Marco, you can ask Italian medievalist professors yourself about this. I would be very interested, and I'm sure Andrea would welcome it.

If defensible, I think the hypothesis of the 20-25 year lag, in Milan and/or elsewhere, might get us a lot, in terms of how and when the tarot developed.

I have not forgotten about the issues Phaeded raised about Anghiari-Ferrara-Milan. I'll get to them later.

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#24
mikeh wrote: Marco wrote,
The “before 1435 CY-type deck” you mention is a possibility, but it seems to me a good example of what Michael J. Hurst calls a Russell's teapot. A teapot orbiting the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars is a possibility: what does it buy me?
I do not think that adding a few years on both sides of 1444-1447 (as you yourself do, on a more limited scale) is very like the hypothesis of a teapot circling the sun. But I see the point: what does it get me?
Hello Mike, the teapot is not “adding a few years on both sides of 1444-1447”. Your teapots are here:
“We can't yet rule out that the CY or something like it was a betrothal present, before 1435. We especially can't rule out that a CY-type deck had been around for years, and the CY and Brera-Brambilla are two examples of that type, to be sure with different numbers of suit cards and different styles of swords, maybe even a different number of trumps.”

1) A teapot deck: "something like" the Visconti di Modrone deck which was a betrothal present created before 1435.
2) A a whole teapot class of decks, of which the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla decks "are two examples", ”with different numbers of suit cards and different styles of swords, maybe even a different number of trumps”.
mikeh wrote:What you, Marco or Phaeded, get, extending the range back to 1441 based on the Sforza heraldics, is a marriage gift at the time of the marriage.
It was not my intention to extend anything. Having seen Kaplan's 1441 theory being mentioned, I thought it appropriate to quote him, since I couldn't find his name in this thread. If he had already been quoted as the originator of this theory, I excuse myself for uselessly reiterating the concept.

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#25
Marco wrote:
It was not my intention to extend anything. Having seen Kaplan's 1441 theory being mentioned, I thought it appropriate to quote him, since I couldn't find his name in this thread. If he had already been quoted as the originator of this theory, I excuse myself for uselessly reiterating the concept.
All credit to Kaplan. The little discussed fact of the suits-stemma correlations in the CY, 2 each for Visconti and Sforza, is something highlighted by Kaplan.
Mike wrote:
But these same heraldics would fit the occasion of a christening in 1444.
Mike, if you are now leaning that way would you mind recapping the main points of that argument (pleading ignorance here)?

Thanks,
Phaeded

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#26
More reasons to consider 1441 - two medals by Pisanello made in Milan in that year or the year before. The dating and my comments are based on the blurbs in The Renaissance Portrait: From Donatello to Bellini (Keith Christiansen, Stefan Weppelmann, Patricia Lee Rubin, 2011: 246-251):
Image

Just the reverse (copy/paste the jpeg property info for the above image in your browser to see that much cleaner reverse):
Image


The allegorical woman atop the rocks has variously been identified as Venus or Strength, but neither is convincing and no one is making definitive claims. The cityscape is made-up, but the tower looks awfully close to that actual huge tower in Cremona and is similar to the one shown in the CY Judgement. The domed structure is unidentified.
Image

The horse on the reverse may indicate "force/strength" although the book I referenced simply says it could have been a favorite horse. The inclusion of books is interesting at this early date since Sforza was sometimes considered a philistine. The sword certainly backs up the notion as to why his heraldry would be associated with the Swords and Batons suits in the CY (batons because that is what a general wielded).

The key is the text on the obverse: "FRANCISCUS SFORTIA VICOMES MARCHIO ET COMES AC CREMONE" (Francesco Sforza Visconti, marquess and count, and lord of Cremona), on reverse, "OPUS PISANI PICTORIS" (the work of Pisano[nello] the painter).

Tying the two togther: Sforza being allowed to use the Visconti name via his wife does seem to indicate some kind of right of succession. The tower on the Visconti reverse looks quite similar to the one in Cremona and so the jousting knight below wearing Visconti heraldry would be his condottieo - Sforza (Filippo was too fat to ride at this point in his life). Both medals seem to celebrate the "merger" of their interests and are by the same artist in Milan and made at the same time in 1440/1. Other artisitic items produced to advertize the same - i.e., the CY deck - would only be natural. Any chance the CY artist was inflenced by Pisanello? From the same year of 1440 - similar to the Lancelot of the Lake drawings:

Lat. 697 = α.W.8.20, Biblioteca Estense, Modena, Pisanello school, c. 1440
Lat. 697 = α.W.8.20, Biblioteca Estense, Modena, Pisanello school, c. 1440.jpg
Pisanello Venus, 1440
Lat. 697 = α.W.8.20, Biblioteca Estense, Modena, Pisanello school, c. 1440.jpg (33.55 KiB) Viewed 6286 times
The following year Pisanello moved to Ferrara which simply shows the close cultural contact between those two courts at that time.
Phaeded

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#27
Marco wrote
Hello Mike, the teapot is not “adding a few years on both sides of 1444-1447”. Your teapots are here:
“We can't yet rule out that the CY or something like it was a betrothal present, before 1435. We especially can't rule out that a CY-type deck had been around for years, and the CY and Brera-Brambilla are two examples of that type, to be sure with different numbers of suit cards and different styles of swords, maybe even a different number of trumps.”

1) A teapot deck: "something like" the Visconti di Modrone deck which was a betrothal present created before 1435.
2) A a whole teapot class of decks, of which the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla decks "are two examples", ”with different numbers of suit cards and different styles of swords, maybe even a different number of trumps”.
I realized that I might not have understood the "teapot" fallacy. So I read up on it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot. His 1922 is a product of logical positivism. His 1958 statment seems to reflect pragmatism. I'm not sure which version you are referring to; numerous other authors have their own versions, all slightly different. Russell's is in the context of religion. Here is the 1958
I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely.[2]
I don't know how this applies to statements about human history of several centuries ago, as I don't know what "taking into account in practice" mean in that area. I don't agree with Russell that it applies to religious statements, as they are made in an entirely different context than statements about, say, physics. There is even a question of what "taking into account in practice" means when going from physics to psychology. Also, "taking into account in practice" varies from society to society. In the erly Renaissance, "taking into account in practice" in relation to religion meant considering whether you would run afoul of the Inquisition. Aside from such worries, it made no practical difference whether the earth revolved around the sun or the sun revolved around the earth. Then for a time it made no practical difference whether one believed in Newton or Einstein. Then came bombs.

For us, "taking into account in practice" might mean, "has a bearing on how we do research." Certainly, if a fact has no bearing on our research, we don't need to consider it (unless, of course, it has to do with the men's Olympic beach volleyball competition in 2012--look it up if you don't get my meaning). But surely statements about a range of dates in which the CY, or a CY-type, was made, does have a bearing on our research: e.g. on whether we need to consider such things as a marriage in 1428 or manuscript-completion projects initiated around then, or we should focus on the conflict between Florence and Milan in 1440.

Russell also has a 1922 statement invoking the teapot, but it is rather long, and it would take a while to explain its conversion it into a principle. He is again poking fun at religion--on dubious grounds, I think.

Perhaps, Marco, you can give me a link to something that explains how "Russell's teapot" applies to what we are doing. I am always ready to learn something new, if I can understand it.

When I said "we can't rule out that the CY or something like it was a betrothal present, before 1435" I was giving some small credence to Kirsch's dating of the CY Love card as "second quarter of the fifteenth century." I consider Kirsch something of a middle-sized giant in the field of Visconti and Sforza miniatures. So, to use Hurst's image, I sometimes like to climb on the shoulders of giants and report the view from up there, even though such heights make me uncomfortable. I prefer it when experts give reasons for their attributions; for me they are like the rungs of a ladder connecting me to the ground, where I feel more comfortable. That's why I said "or one like it".

When she says "second quarter of the fifteenth century" I interpret that as meaning that she is pretty sure the date isn't outside that range; and within the range, she can't say where one year might be more probable than any other. This is all relevant to her knowledge. She is a specialist on miniatures, not on playing cads. However it seems to me that hand painted playing cards are miniatures, too, so her opinions are worthy of consideration.

I take Kirsch as saying she would bet some small part of her reputation that the card wasn't made earlier than 1425 or later than 1450. Why such a wide range? While she doesn't discuss the card itself, she does give arguments for Filippo being interested in other marriage-related miniatures starting in 1427, as I stated. That tells me something of her thinking.

I am not sure how much of her professional reputation Sandrino would bet on the range 1443-1447. That depends on the context in which she said it, and the arguments she uses. I hope I can read what she says. Perhaps there was information that she knew that Kirsch didn't know. so that she could give a narrower date range for that reason. Or perhaps she was just less cautious. Or art historians' date ranges mean something different in Italy than in the US. It is hard to say, without knowing the context in which she makes the dating.

I myself tend to use "possibly" a lot, and give wide ranges for dating. Even when there is a date on a manuscript, I don't assume that the miniatures in that manuscript were of that year. They could have been done earlier or later, since the scribe is a different person from the illuminator. The date might also refer to when the author completed the writing, and he's someone else entirely. For example, there is the manuscript of "Dvx" Galeazzo Maria, showing him on the throne, dated 1464! (You can see it at http://eo.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosiero:Ga ... _1464_.jpg). It seems to me that the amount of relevant information we don't know about this period (I mean the 14th-15th century) far outweighs what we do know. With patience, perhaps some of it can be reconstructed from the known. But it is one thing to admire the rigorous methods used by art historians in reconstructing, say, Giotto's lost "Vanagloria" in Milan (I just read the amazing article by Gilbert); but playing cards just weren't considered as important as Giotto frescoes. While we can try to emulate art historians' efforts, our own field can probably not be as rigorous or well funded. We can unearth valuable facts (some of them in books published since 1900) and make valuable speculations nonetheless, including both sides of a contradiction (e.g. speculations about 1438-1440).

Also, Marco, I apologize for misinterpreting you. I thought you were saying that a 1441 wasn't a "teacup" date (of the kind you say "1431" is). I thought I knew what that meant; I see now that I didn't and don't. And I see now that you were just citing Kaplan for consideration. I cited Kaplan on this same point on Dec. 15 at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=906&p=13212), although it's in a different thread. I didn't draw any conclusions either. Phaeded and I talked about the fountains and the quinces (not pomegranates, we decided) in the CY several times in the present thread, and nobody asked where they came from, so I didn't cite Kaplan again. I tend to have many citations in my posts and think I should reduce their number, if only because they are so time-consuming. I have been focusing on making sure I give citations for things that can't be looked up easily on the Web. I will try to do better to link what I say in one thread with what I said in a related thread a week or two earlier. I have been getting lax about that.

Phaeded: On Pisanello. First, about the medal of Filippo and the rider. That's been brought up several times on this Forum, I forget when, but the Forum's search engine will tell you. I first mentioned it on this Forum in 2009, but I don't think I had the rider image then. Thanks for showing it.

I think that the artistry of the medal is better than that of the Filippo coin that Huck posted, but similar in quality, given the small size, to that in the cards. That's why I'd like to see the 1442 coin mentioned by Berti. Since Pisanello was in Milan 1440-1441, this is important.

But Pisanello was also in Lombardy in 1424-1425, doing frescoes at Pavia of hunting and fishing, per Wikipedia. It's a pretty safe bet that there were pictures of horses there that anyone could make copies of. The frescoes don't exist now, of course. I noted earlier that a greyhoud in Pisanello's sketchbook was quite similar to one in a Giangaleazzo Visconti manuscript (now in Paris, hence then at Pavia). (I can scan the two if you need to see them.) So I don't think it's safe to say that the sketchbook only goes back to, say, 1430 . The same sketchbook has dresses and flamboyant hats similar to the CY's in it (see next link). People usually date these to c. 1430, but they don't say the range of the "c.".

As far as Pisanello influencing the artist of the CY, I first brought that up in 2009, at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&p=4604&hilit=Pisanello#p4604. It was brought up later, 2010 I think, by someone who hadn't looked to see if there was an earlier discussion. For all I know, people brought it up before me, on forums now archived. I've thrown around Pisanello's name several times in the present discussion. Since Phaeded quotes from the thread where my 2009 discussion appears, I didn't think I needed to cite it, unless there was a good reason.

As for the miniature you reproduce, it is by "Pisanello school," not necessarily Pisanello. We don't know where it was done. Perhaps Milan, perhaps Ferrara, perhaps elsewhere. He traveled a lot "c" 1440; and where his "workshop" was I have no idea. And "c. 1440" only tells us about the manuscript, and maybe this illumination, not about the components of the image, which would have come from a sketchbook/modelbook. If it's Pisanello, we can only give a range, starting 1424. Your image, which I assume reminds you of the CY Love card, reminds me of another illumination:
Image

Some of the information in the book I got it from is pretty speculative, I think (although stated as fact), but I will post it if you first make a guess as to who the artist or workshop was--and more importantly, why you make that attribution. The artist's name associated with it is not obscure. You might come up with a better answer than the book.

Actually, you don't have to guess. But I'll give you a few days if you want to try. It may or may not be relevant, but hey, they're cute together.

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#28
I forgot: Phaeded wanted the main points of my argument for 1444. Well, Sandrino and others say 1443-1447 based on the style. Then you have to look and see when in 1443-1447 Filippo and Francesco aren't at odds, hostile to each other. That leaves 1444, the year in which Francesco and Bianca have their first-born. It also concurs with where Ross puts his dot on his scientific-looking chart. Do you want details, too, and if so, which part: the art historians or the biographical information? Thanks for asking, Phaeded; this was the 4th time in the past week in this thread that I mentioned that particular event in connection with the CY, the 5th time in the past year (the previous one was last April), and I don't mind discussing it further. I might even be wrong, who knows.

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#29
mikeh wrote: Perhaps, Marco, you can give me a link to something that explains how "Russell's teapot" applies to what we are doing. I am always ready to learn something new, if I can understand it.
Hello Mike,
I cannot clarify Russell's thought, I am sorry. I have been using the term “teapot theory” quite superficially. I will try to explain again what I mean, leaving Russell alone, but likely my point is not so important. I usually manage to simply ignore those reasonings that I find uninteresting, still I think it's a pity when an interesting subject gets muddled by unnecessary and confusing elements.
marco wrote:the teapot is not “adding a few years on both sides of 1444-1447”.
The range of dates has nothing to do with the “teapots”. Dummett discusses a great number of hypotheses for the dating of the Visconti di Modrone deck. It certainly is a difficult subject and, given the evidence we currently have, it is impossible to come to a definite conclusion. Your 1444 proposal seems to me a reasonable choice and other points of view are equally respectable. I see no “teapots” here.

The teapots I see are:
marco wrote: 1) A teapot deck: "something like" the Visconti di Modrone deck which was a betrothal present created before 1435.
Kirsch is speaking of the Visconti di Modrone deck, not of “something like” it. Where does this other deck come from? What does its hypothetical existence explain? How can we say that it was “something like” the Visconti di Modrone deck? Was it similar but somehow different? How was it different? What do we know about it? How could we gain more information about it?

How is it different from a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit between the Earth and Mars?
marco wrote: 2) A a whole teapot class of decks, of which the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla decks "are two examples", ”with different numbers of suit cards and different styles of swords, maybe even a different number of trumps”.
Why do we need to imagine a “CY-type deck” that “had been around for years” (before 1435?) of which the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla “are two examples”? Since when was this type around? What are the other examples of this type? How many are them? What can we meaningfully say about them? Are those other examples similar to the Visconti di Modrone or the Brambilla? Which suits do they have? How many court cards? How many trumps? We don't even know how many trumps were in the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla: is it really useful to worry about those other hypothetical decks?

I found those teapots worst than useless: confusing and distracting. I cannot see any interest or meaningfulness in discussing imaginary decks instead of actual ones.
mikeh wrote:I tend to have many citations in my posts and think I should reduce their number, if only because they are so time-consuming. I have been focusing on making sure I give citations for things that can't be looked up easily on the Web. I will try to do better to link what I say in one thread with what I said in a related thread a week or two earlier. I have been getting lax about that.
I appreciate you citations. I sometimes think of the people who could stumble on a thread and read it without even knowing of the existence of Dummett and Kaplan. For quotations, too much is better then too little :)

Teapots and Imaginary Gods/Decks

#30
Hi, Marco,
marco wrote:I have been using the term “teapot theory” quite superficially.
As is appropriate.

The "teapot" allusion is a commonplace expression referring to the typical argument supporting God, gods, unicorns, etc.: "You can't prove it isn't true", or "we cannot rule out the possibility that...", or by extension to the unicorns themselves.
marco wrote:Why do we need to imagine a “CY-type deck” that “had been around for years” (before 1435?) of which the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla “are two examples”?
...

I found those teapots worst than useless: confusing and distracting. I cannot see any interest or meaningfulness in discussing imaginary decks instead of actual ones.
Precisely.

Phantom decks, whether they are imagined to commemorate a battle or secretly encode the mysteries of Kabbalah, are rarely helpful. They lead from the world of historical facts to one of charming fantasy. One prominent member here has devoted a couple decades of study and promotion of a pet theory of this type. He has become extremely knowledgeable and has helped put a lot of historical material online, although his obsession with a failed theory has kept him from understanding much about the early history of Tarot himself. Another one seems to have a different "theory" every other month, often involving hypothetical decks.

For those interested in history and iconography, rather than their playful imaginary counterparts, the essence of the enterprise is actual historical evidence -- which doesn't change much from year to year -- and explanation of that evidence. Explanation entails values such as conceptual parsimony, the fewest possible needless inventions. Explanation should also entail theoretical integration, making sense of the facts in terms of what is known about the larger world and the research which has gone before. Currently, this type of 1) explanatory power with 2) conceptual parsimony and 3) theoretical integration is embodied in what Ross has termed the "Standard Model" of Tarot history. It is grounded in Dummett's research and analysis of 1980 and the findings, analysis, and conclusions of Dummett and other playing-card historians since then.
marco wrote:I appreciate you citations. I sometimes think of the people who could stumble on a thread and read it without even knowing of the existence of Dummett and Kaplan. For quotations, too much is better then too little :)
Absolutely. If something needs citation then please, by all means. Citations are not the problem with long posts. Extended quotations, and illustrations, from hard-to-find sources are always welcome.

Long posts about a new and personal theory of something or other, or simply exploring a topic not directly related to Tarot, are problematic for several reasons. Perhaps most significant is the fact that actual findings or insights which are related to Tarot get buried, sometimes never to be seen again.

I am certain that things have been hidden from (my) view in the last week, as an example; things which I would appreciate knowing about. However, I don't have NEARLY enough time to read every post in these long and discursive threads. For those few who are developing extremely involved theories, they might consider starting their own blog for such extended ruminations. Posts here could then be much shorter, highlighting a suggestive finding, insight, or hypothesis, and its connection with historical evidence, which could be followed up on the blog itself by anyone more deeply interested.

Just a thought.

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

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