Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#31
Ah, well. Thanks for looking, Marco. To summarize my post: the sculptures are in a different context from the card, after death rather than in the middle of life. The Bonasone has nothing to do with the Phaedrus, or probably even the other images, since winged Eros was typically associated with a two-horsed chariot anyway. The cameo and the tomb were done after the PMB, perhaps as much as a decade (Chastel says 1475, for the cameo, but he has been convincingly superseded on that point), inspired by Ficino, not the Phaedrus directly, and both in the context of a memorial after death, inappropriate for the middle section of the Phaedrus. I suppose it is possible that the card, if it was regarded as inspired by the Phaedrus, might have been an impetus for the two others, going to a different part of the text, but nothing else. In 1452-1462, there was no standard way of representing the Phaedran charioteer, and no reason to think that two designers would choose the same motifs in different circumstances. Again, the various later images that have been produced are irrelevant to the CY and PMB.

I remembered a classical model that I had found years ago, most closely related to the "Venetian" card (at left; Kaplan 2 p. 271 says "late fifteenth century or sixteenth century"; Dummett tentatively agrees with previous opinion in calling them "Venetian" (Game of Tarot p. 405). It has Eros holding the reins and Hermes leading the horse, with what Kerenyi says is Dionysus and someone (he thinks Ariadne rather than Semele, and I agree:Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life p. 386). I don't know if they would have thought that in the Renaissance. The disc portrays an ascent. Given that Hermes = Reason, there is a similarity to the CY if you delete the reins, rein-holder, and man on top (yes, that's asking a lot, and I don't push it; the Phaedrus is enough). If there is a connection to either card, it has already removed the element of ascent, as it should be for a card in the middle section. The position of the horses on the "Venetian" card is like the Cary Sheet, one horse looking toward the other, as would befit an otherwise unruly horse wishing to avoid pain. I don't see a groom on the "Venetian" card but if there is one, it would probably be with the horse on our left (the noble horse), as in the CY, and we can't see it.

Image


According to Kerenyi the disk was found in Brandesi, which is in Italy, part of Greater Greece (p. 385).
This medium sized terra cotta disk, found in Brindisi, is adorned with a relief of the cosmos [146]. 321. Smaller disks shaped like cakes, and marked with the attributes of many gods, served as symbolic sacrificial offerings in this region. The large number of such dischi sacri found not only in and around Taranto but also in almost all of Magna Graecia (322) permits us to infer that they were buried with the dead. But the sepulchral use of the Brindisi disk is only secondary. A mythological representation such as this ascension of a divine pair served primarily for the worship of the represented deities in their temple. The disk, however, like the smaller dischi without mythological representations, may also have been found in a tomb.

Footnote 321. The diameter is 35 cm. See Kerenyi, "Anodos-Darsettlung in Brindisi," pp. 271-307, and "Die religionsgeschichtliche Einordnung des Diskos von Brindisi," pp. 93-99.
322. F. T. Elworthy (see his "Dischi Sacri," [Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, London 1897], pp. 51 ff) found in the museum of Tarentum fifty-six more pieces which I was unable to find. I did, however find various pieces and fragments in Brindisi, Bari, and Potenza, and in Palinuro, a well-preserved mold for such "cakes." See Kerenyi, Werke, III, in the index s.v. foccaccie sacre ("holy cakes").
The resemblance to the "Venetian" card seems to me at least intriguing. I will post an image of the whole disc, with its zodiac, and say more about it on the "Decker's new book" page, where we are discussing how many signs there were when in the zodiac. There are eleven on this disc.

Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#32
Mike,
You cut off the surrounding zodiac on the Brindisi disk - Hermes leads Ariadne/Dionysos towards Scorpius, which is where the brightest part of the Milky Way crosses the zodiac. Macrobius confuses the two MW crossing points with the solstices at Cancer and Capricron but in fact they are in Gemini and arrrow-of-Sagittarius/tail-of-Scorpius; the latter was considered the "gate" of ascent (Gemini for birth/descent of the soul).

I've studied this object quite a bit in connection with the Roman cult of Mithras (which I see as a late, bastardized version of Orphic beliefs mapped over with Perisan names and a few geniune scraps of Zoroastrian beliefs).

Phaeded

Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#33
Yes, I know it's cut off. It's an old composite, from a slide show I did, and my good image-processing software quit on me, so I couldn't redo it and still have the two side by side. I said I'd post it in the other thread. But then I had to go out. I may as well do it here, too (from Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life
by Karl Kerényi, Ralph Manheim Translator., 1976)
Image

What you said about Gemini and Scorpio, and Macrobius being confused, was interesting. I want to continue this discussion on the other thread, where we are actually talking about these things. Go to viewtopic.php?f=12&t=971&p=14341#p14341.

Filelfo texts in relation to the middle section

#34
In this post I want to repeat what I said in two posts on another thread (on Filelfo's Odes), omitting what I said about the Odes there so as to focus on just the part relevant to the middle section of the tarot. My texts will be primarily three short texts by Filelfo, one a letter in 1427 to Ciriaco, the second an allegedly 1438 letter to Sforza, and third a poem in Greek written to a patron in Florence c. 1460-1461. To flush out Filelfo's meaning I will also refer to the Sforziad, a c. 1473 philosophical essay, and two earlier letters, 1426 to Ciriaco and 1428 to a Venetian monk named Francanzani whom Filelfo had known from his student days in Padua (Diana Robin, Filelfo in Milan 1991, p. 47).

Robin introduces Filelfo's 1427 letter as a reply to Ciriaco in which Filelfo, just returned from Greece and confined to his rooms in Venice due to plague, responds to
...his friend's request for a repudiation of the commentaries of the medieval schoolmen and a new interpretation of Vergil's epic
meaning the Aeneid. Ciriaco thinks Vergil didn't intend simply to "imitate Homer and praise Augustus." Filelfo doesn't disagree with that interpretation, but thinks it is more an allegory. Robin says (1991, p. 54):
Filelfo follows Servius and Fugentius in reading the first six books of the Aeneid as an allegory of the six stages in every man's journey toward the good: birth, infancy, boyhood, puberty, young adulthood, and maturity.
Aeneas never attains the good; but he shows the way. Aeneas is a "traveler moving toward truth" (1991, p. 55), and "his image grows brighter day after day". I am of course reminded of discussions on THF about the nature of the tarot sequence (search "ascent" in the Dummett and Methodology thread).

I will return to other parts of this letter. Now for the alleged 1438 letter to Francesco Sforza. I say "alleged" because these early letters may or may not be reconstructions based on memory and editorial license done in the 1450s. The tone is very similar to the Sforziad. Robin thinks that the ending, on how a ruler has to avoid even "the mere suspicion of such a stain" as the atrocities he is protesting against, was not written for Sforza. Filelfo's "Letters" were for potential patrons elsewhere. Also, the comments about anger here differ markedly from comments that Filelfo was making as late as 1434-5 in Siena, in reference to the Aeneid on furias: "rage suits a wise man" etc. (Kallendorf, The Other Virgil, 2007, p. 37). That is not his position here.

in October 1438 Sforza's soldiers had laid siege to and then sacked his birthplace, Tolentino, with reports of atrocities, and Filelfo is giving Sforza a piece of advice. Here is the key part, a mixture of translation and paraphrase. After saying how Philip of Macedon, Alexander, and Scipio Africanus Maior were the greatest generals of antiquity precisely for their clemency, lenience, and charity, he adds (Robin 1991 p. 46):
For do you prefer to be feared perhaps rather than loved? It is best seen that hatred naturally follows in the footsteps of fear. But you can never be esteemed and loved unless you demonstrate that you are truly just and beneficent. Indeed, the just and beneficent man is neither one who either harms others intentionally nor is he one who either neglects or is unwilling to impose a policy of moderation concerning matters which he is responsible.
The good prince, Filelfo continues, must restrain his anger, casting away every emotion that stands in the way of reason and deliberation. For the man who cannot rule himself surely cannot rule others; moreover, the greatest victory of all is self-mastery. The rule Filelfo exhorts Sforza to follow is that of the Spartan Aristo, Socrates, and Christ, to be good to your friends, and to make friends of your enemies.

Filelfo's final argument rests on the immortality of the soul (animus), which he contrasts to the fragility and transitory nature of the body and worldly things. "Reason," he writes, "not desire, must always be obeyed. For, reason, above all else, demonstrates how superior we are to the rest of the earth's creatures."
First, the context is that of the virtues: beneficence, justice, moderation, all except fortitude, which is assumed, in a letter to Sforza. Second, we have the soul, here declared immortal. Third, we have three components: reason (ratio), anger (ira), and desire (cupiditas). "Anger" is Filelfo's term for the middle part of the Platonic soul. We know that from a c. 1473 essay that Robin paraphrases (p. 154f), but with a footnote that the same thing was said in a letter to Ciriaco in 1426. Here it means something like "righteous indignation"--the part of the soul that is centered in the heart and rises up against wrongdoing. Filelfo no doubt knew the emotion well.

It seems to me that what Filelfo is saying is very close to what is on the Cary-Yale Chariot card, if it illustrates one part of Plato's charioteer myth in the Phaedrus. That is, Reason, i.e. Sforza, is the groom with the calm horse (the noble horse, in Plato's terms there), which Filelfo calls Anger (which Filelfo is worried Sforza lets out of control, at least in his men). The unruly horse is Desire. On the chariot is personification of the virtues, especially Chastity, also Bianca Maria. The two horses are both white because a dark horse would be unsuitable for her, as her chariot is in the archetypal world. I know this is not a very suitable combination: his noble and ignoble horses, with her pure horses, but it is what we have on the card. Similar inconsistent combinations of imagery occurred not infrequently in the Renaissance, as in e.g. the Hercules/Mithras image I showed earlier in this thread.

That Filelfo would identify Bianca Maria with the lady on the CY Chariot--and the PMB's as well--is indicated by his idealization of her in the Sforziad, as opposed to a critical stance toward Sforza. In comparing the Sforziad to the Aeneid Kallendorf p. 51 observes:
For example, at a crucial point at the beginning of Aeneas's enterprise (Aen. 1.776-89), his wife Creusa encourages him and directs his attention from Troy to the new project he is to undertake. Likewise Bianca Maria (or rather, Athena in the guise of Bianca Maria) encourages Sforza to establish his kingdom on the Po, but with one key difference: Sforza had withdrawn by himself deep within his home and was in despair, thereby appearing weaker than his Virgilian counterpart.
There is also the account of how she rallied Sforza's troops at Cremona (p. 57). Bianca Maria In the Sforziad, it seems to me, is his primary reader, along with her children, and secondarily princes everywhere. A similar idealization relative to Sforza is indicated in his Ode to Bianca Maria Sforza (see Filelfo, Odes, in Google Books). Also, it must be remembered that the Visconti traced their ancestry to Aeneas himself, in which Bianca Maria and her children are included but not Sforza, like Filelfo a perpetual outsider.

In his 1473 essay, Filelfo has a fourth character besides Reason, Anger, and Desire, namely, Mind. Reason is a function of Mind. Probably he also had this distinction in his 1427 letter to Ciriaco. In his 1427 letter he speaks of Wisdom (sapientia) vs. Prudence (prudentia):
In civic life, then, prudence alone is the master over all the rest of the moral virtues. Prudence alone moderates and rules these. But prudence is but a broken and weak thing--a quality without strength--unless it abides by and is obedient to wisdom alone, as though to a prince or queen.
As far as the "moral virtues", you will notice the prominence of "moderation". Later he adds, in reference to the Aeneid:
Although there is much about the duty of justice and piety, still fortitude is the virtue that flourishes first and foremost.
Piety is another Platonic virtue, listed in the Gorgias. I would guess that Wisdom is a property of Mind, and Prudence of Reason. Mind might do for the lady on top of the chariot. (And if there is any relation to the tarot, there are two missing virtues, not just Prudence.) In 1473 he applies the image of the queen to mind (p. 155):
The mind holds sway over the two inferior parts of the soul like a queen in her citadel (regina in arce).

Similarly in the 1428 letter to Francanzani he says (I have put in bold the most relevant parts):
Indeed, I think that our actions should be in such close harmony with the knowledge of the truth, that we would know that all of our actions should be judged in terms of their relation to the role of Wisdom. For like some queen or empress who is content to herself, after she has rid herself of all cards concerning migratory and fleeting matters, Wisdom alone is the one who, so that she may direct herself toward the light of the one supreme and and everlasting good and so that she may fix her gaze on it unguarded, places Prudence in charge over all the rest of the moral virtues, and she (as though she were their provider) assigns tasks to each individual virtue according to its own particular duties. Therefore we ought to subordinate all the moral virtues to Prudence. Prudence is the virtue that belongs to reason; but Wisdom, which belongs totally to the intellect, rules over Prudence. Whoever lives in this way, yet refuses to admit that he partakes of the highest pleasure and that he is clearly happy and blessed, should in my opinion be thought not only silly, but foolish and insane.
It does not follow, to be sure, that Filelfo designed the card. He was in Milan in time to do it. Or he may have added this touch to the letter later. If so, it might be his interpretation of the card. I have no idea. It is a coincidence to be noted.

The second coincidence in a text by Filelfo relates to the PMB Chariot, as well as to other cards. It is in a poem in Greek of 1460-61 to a patron in Florence. Robin calls it "Counsel to the Newlywed Donato on Virtue". Filelfo begins by talking about the highest good, which is virtue. Then he goes to the happiness of man and wife and the rivalry between virtue and pleasure. He says to choose pleasure only at night, and virtue the rest of the time (p. 32):
[13]Now I don't advise that the Muses should bow down to Aphrodite. I'd rather see that goddess be Aonian daughters' slave; leave only the idle portion of the night to the Cyprian. The rest of your time, my friend, should be wholly given to virtue.
This is being written by a man with 27 children, his last one born, by my reckoning, at age 73. The "Cyprian" is Aphrodite.

Then (23-27) Filelfo describes the mind of man:
[19] ...Just as the moon sails now to the Antipodes, an then to the lofty regions of Olympus, gazing on everything intently, so the mind contemplates everything which exists throughout boundless eternity and corruptible time. Because of his mind, then, man alone is a creature worthy of praise.
And fortune:
[28] We can laugh at the extremes of fortune, for they have no strength. Fortune changes with each day, and like a trap, it causes us to founder; hope is always fruitless.

But the Muses "will make you a most favored guest of the heavenly gods" (31). And:
[35] Once the pure soul has gazed upon the truth of existence with its perfect reason, it longs to seize it for its own. I urge you, dear Acciaiuoli, to believe that all else vanishes. Virtue alone is the good, and virtue teaches us to revere God in heaven most highly, for God alone is virtue.
By "the truth of existence" is meant "what truly is" or "being", I think, judging from his account of being in 1473.

So the poem ends. Robin notices allusions to the Phaedrus.
The image of the mind sailing through all eternity like the moon in its nightly course (23-27) points to Filelfo's familiarity with at least two particularly graphic passages from Plato, both of which depict mind (nous) orbiting in space like a heavenly body: Phaedrus 247c-d, but still more specifically Laws 898a-b.
She then quotes the latter. Then:
Having disposed of fortune as a source of human happiness and hope, we return in lines 31-34 to Filelfo's earlier exhortation to the young follower of Plato to follow the Muses (13-16), without whom a man cannot control his self-destructive sexual urges (Laws 783a) and pure souls cannot receive divine inspiration (Phaedrus 245a). Filelfo's allusion to the Phaedrus in the previous lines leads next to a pithy condensation of Phaedrus 247d.
She then quotes Phaedrus 247d, which she has said Filelfo condenses:
The intelligence of God and of every soul is nourished by both mind and pure knowledge, insofar as intelligence is able to take for itself what is properly its own; and when it has looked with joy on reality and has gazed on the truth after a period of time, it is nourished and rejoices.
I wish to point out that this sentence in the Phaedrus, 247d, is the one immediately after, still 247d, that in which Plato describes the object of the soul's gaze, namely gods such as Justice, Temperance, Knowledge, etc., in their chariots drawn by winged horses both of which are noble; I quoted this whole passage earlier, as what I think the PMB Chariot depicts:
And while she is borne around she discerns justice, its very self, and likewise temperance and knowledge, not the knowledge that is neighbor to becoming and varies with the various objects to which we commonly ascribe being, but the veritable knowledge of being that veritably is.
The reference to Laws 783, concerning "self-destructive sexual urges" might just as well have been to the charioteer and his ignoble horse. Also, one image that Robin does not comment on is that of the soul that "longs to seize it [virtue] for its own". This is the image of the ignoble horse, Desire, which wanted to rape the image of beauty, now transmuted to celestial Desire longing to unite with God.

The poem stands as an eloquent commentary on the middle section of the PMB tarot. Filelfo, in his letter to Ciriaco, characterizes the first six books of the Aeneid as pertaining to the contemplative life and the last six to the active life (Kallendorf p. 35:"The basic principle that Landino would develop in detail several decades, that the first six books of the Aeneid examine the contemplative life and the second half exalts the active life, appears here [Filelfo's letter to Ciriaco] as well"). Landino in 1480 actually said just the reverse (Kallendorf p. 32: "he saw Aeneas passing from the active to the contemplative one through a gradation of virtues", confirmed on p. 109 and Murrin Cambridge Companion to Allegory p. 166). I have no opinion regarding the Aeneid. But in the tarot, it seems to me that after childhood, a period of contemplation through study, comes the active life--the middle section of the tarot-- after which the contemplative will follow again.

Death and the Virtues

#35
Some other issues relative to the middle section. Specifically:

(1) Is Death in it, or in the following section?

(2) were all three virtues in it originally, and

(3) what was the original order of the virtues?

And finally

(4) What does Dummett's division into three groups based on the 11 early orders say about the original groupings of the tarot?

The only reason I ask the first question is that Dummett (Game of Tarot, pl. 398r) said that the middle section ends with the Hanged Man:
The middle segment consists of five cards, of which the typical order is, from lowest to highest: Love, the Chariot, the Wheel, the Hermit, the Hanged Man.
But in a 1985 essay in the journal FMR, according to Hurst, Dummett says it belongs in the second group. Then there is a quote (http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.it/2007/11/ ... cards.html):
The next group of cards could be described as representing conditions of human life: love; the cardinal virtues of Temperance, Fortitude..., and Justice; the triumphal car; the wheel of fortune; the card now known as the hermit; the hanged man; and death.
Is this from Dummett? I assume so, although Hurst does not say in so many words. If so, it would be nice to know what else Dummett says, so we can see his argument. I would at least like to know the title, volume, and page numbers of the article so I can try to get it on Interlibrary Loan. I cannot find it on JSTOR.

This new conclusion is not implied by Dummett's comparison of eleven various early orders. Looking at his charts in Game of Tarot, I can see no reason for putting Death in one segment rather than the other. I would like very much to be able to read the essay in FMR. I assume it is the one at http://www.pianki.com/FMR-Magazine_c_320.html. I have no quarrel with Dummett's second thought, and also his reasoning, such as we have it. Perhaps he has additional facts. Until I can read the FMR essay, I have go with those that Dummett gives in Game of Tarot, although not his conclusion.

Dummett says, reasonably enough, that there seems to have been a convention to have Death as XIII. The early A type decks were fairly creative in how they avoided giving Death that number. The Rosenwald, where Death was 14th, avoided breaking this convention by not having a number on that card, or the one before it. (Kaplan, 2:186, avoids the issue by having the Wheel, also unnumbered, as number 14; that seem dubious, because otherwise it never gets higher than 11.) Other A-decks solved the problem by having an unnumbered Bagat.

These solutions kept all the virtues on the low side of Death. That raises the question, where were the three virtues, originally--or whenever there were these three virtues in the deck, if it wasn't at the beginning?

On this second question, it seems to me most reasonable that they were all near each other and the other cards in the middle section. True, they are not "conditions of life"; but they are responses to the conditions of life. The cards in that section call for the virtue cards as responses to unavoidable conditions. Someone afflicted with Love requires all three virtues, to avoid favoritism (Justice), extremes (Temperance) and faint-heartedness (Fortitude). The Charioteer herself is a virtue in early Milan, and calls on the one guiding the Chariot, the groom, to be virtuous. In Florence, the Charioteer, masculine, is either virtuous or vicious, depending on his cause, and regardless of his courage. If he serves the Church, in a Church-controlled place such as the early 16th century Bologna of the BAR, he is virtuous. The Charles VI leaves it ambiguous, but triumphs are the result of actions, not simply things that happen to us, and were evaluated with regard to virtue and vice. The Wheel of Fortune makes one go up and down; virtue is the only remedy. It is also the only remedy, or preventative, for the Hanged Man.

Then there is the order. Among philosophers and theologians respected in the Renaissance, the most popular order, omitting Prudence or Wisdom, was Justice, Fortitude, Temperance. It is in Bernard of Clairvaux (http://www.archive.org/stream/bernardde ... t_djvu.txt, pp. 28-30), Plato (Republic 441-442), Aquinas, Augustine (City of God), Cicero, Aristotle, and Maccabees (the last five at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_virtues). Another order is Temperance, Justice, Fortitude, which is in Aquinas and Ambrose. Another is Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, in Augustine (De moribus eccl., per Wikipedia), which is the reverse of the most popular order. The most popular corresponds precisely to the C order. The A order (Dummett p. 399r) is either Temperance, Justice, Fortitude (Ambrose, 2nd Aquinas), or Temperance, Fortitude, Justice (2nd Augustine), the reverse of the most popular order. However this last A order is not documented as early as the other, being based on the Siciliano, the Minchiate, and the numbers on the Charles VI. The B order has Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, which could either be an altered early A order, Justice pulled out to go at the end, or Augustine 2's order. The former has no philosophical precedent as an account of the cardinal virtues, although God's justice has ample precedent; the latter would make sense if all three were part of an "ascent of the soul" narrative, as temperance belongs to the lower part of the body, fortitude to the middle, and justice to the top. But in B, Justice belongs to God, not the soul. And it is not at all clear that the middle portion of the sequence is what I would term an "ascent narrative", as it would have to be, to make philosophical sense. If it merely describes the course of life, in which love is usually early and a white beard late; temperance is needed both at the beginning, against love, and as one ages, for proper diet to curb the afflictions of old age. It is also needed after triumphs, to curb excess. Unfortunately, all the virtues are needed all the time.

The problems with the C order as original are (a) it is attested rather late, Alciato 1544 being the earliest; and (b) Temperance is on the other side of Death. If Death is made the beginning of the next section, then Temperance is in that section rather than with the other virtues. Originally, the virtues should at least be in the same section. My solution is that Death is part of the middle section. As to whether Temperance has a different meaning on the two sides of Death, I see no particular problem. It is close to Death either way, and so probably gets a secondary meaning of the Eucharist. It probably was put on the other side of Death after the convention was fixed that Death was number XIII. People could then make what they would of it: masses for the dead, a Hebe with nectar, or just the same as before, not given the by then unlucky 13.

I conclude that the original order of the virtues was probably Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, all in the middle section--as in fact they are in all of the 11 or so early orders, except for Justice being high in the B order, if the Devil is considered the first card of the next section. But perhaps there are considerations I have not considered. Also, I am going by what seems to me most reasonable. Tarot designers are of course not bound to do what is most reasonable overall. There are local considerations, too.

It also seems to me quite probable that there were 9 cards in the middle section before there were 8 in the B order, assuming, as we have, that Love starts that section.

Finally, on question 4: Dummett's three groups. What do they say about the original order of the trumps, or if not original, then at least when all or most of them were part of the sequence? It seems to me that the question of three groups does not arise for the first such tarot. Dummett arrived at his groups by means of comparison among tarots in different regions and times. So the question of groups only arises once there is a second tarot with a markedly different order than the first. It is that second tarot that brings them about. Whether the second designer did so out of respect for the groupings of the first tarot or from some conception of his own is another question. That a third type of order conforms to the second in its groupings only tends to show that the third arose from the second rather than independently from the first. Moreover, the order of the first full tarot may not have been precisely the same as any of A, B, or C, due to interactions between regions, as all of A, B, and C are at some remove from the source: notably, there is the restraint imposed by the need to put Death at 13, a restraint that seems not to have existed before the creation of the tarot. So the original order is only an approximation of A, B, or C, with any groupings therein also an approximation based on assumptions made in the second region; and any attempt to divide the sequence into groups and then characterize the groups should bear this fact in mind.

Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#36
The point is that there are three kinds of subject matter in the trump sequence, which is Dummett's crucial insight. Although he arrived at this insight the hard way - banging away at the various trump sequences - what he hit upon is actually a basic, underlying organizing principle in iconographic vertical hierarchies. It is so basic that it is essentially unconscious, in the background rather than used consciously as an organizing principle (I think it is part of what Aby Warburg in 1912 called the "yet unwritten 'historical psychology of human expression'" ("...noch ungeschrieben 'historischen Psychologie des menschlichen Ausdrucks'" in case anyone wants to look it up, in his essay on the Schifanoia frescoes, themselves very clear examples of the threefold division of subject matter).

That is, the lowest part is appropriate for low or terrestrial things, and the highest part is for celestial things. The question is what goes in the middle, between the terrestrial and celestial, and this is where they put the moral things (or, more generically, "conceptual"), personifications of principles and ideas, things like "the Virtues", etc. It can be vividly observed in the Pseudo-Mantegna model book sequence, which, like the trumps, is an iconographic vertical hierarchy with no overall story or meaning. It also demonstrates how the threefold structure is in the psychological background, rather than the foreground, of such an organization, since the conceptual, middle, part, is itself composed of three series (muses, arts and sciences, virtues; note how the "pagan" muses are the lowest, while the moral virtues are the highest, with the sciences - intellectual things, culminating in Theology, which touch on the divine - in the middle).

In the case of the Tarot, the personification of a moral principle like Death is clearly in the middle part (I consider the Devil to be the end of the middle section, on the strength of the proverbial phrase "death and hell"; the part Fortune to Devil is the "Fate" (fatal) or "bad things" part of the moral section, with Virtue or "good things" as the first part).

It doesn't matter how the virtues are ordered, just that they are a group. Clearly the author of the game chose an order, and the original players learned it as such, but I can't believe it had any deep meaning.
Image

Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#37
Ross wrote
The point is that there are three kinds of subject matter in the trump sequence, which is Dummett's crucial insight. Although he arrived at this insight the hard way - banging away at the various trump sequences - what he hit upon is actually a basic, underlying organizing principle in iconographic vertical hierarchies. It is so basic that it is essentially unconscious, in the background rather than used consciously as an organizing principle (I think it is part of what Aby Warburg in 1912 called the "yet unwritten 'historical psychology of human expression'" ("...noch ungeschrieben 'historischen Psychologie des menschlichen Ausdrucks'" in case anyone wants to look it up, in his essay on the Schifanoia frescoes, themselves very clear examples of the threefold division of subject matter).

That is, the lowest part is appropriate for low or terrestrial things, and the highest part is for celestial things. The question is what goes in the middle, between the terrestrial and celestial, and this is where they put the moral things (or, more generically, "conceptual"), personifications of principles and ideas, things like "the Virtues", etc...
I found the part in Warburg's essay where he talks about the three levels (Renewal of Pagan Antiquity p. 565, http://books.google.com/books?id=rWVDLJ ... --although the part you quoted didn't seem to make it into Google Books, or ScribD either (but at least it's in Gombrich's essay on Warburg):
In the highest zone, the Olympian deities ride past in triumphal chariots; the lowest shows the worldly activities of the court of Duke Borso, who can be seen attending to official business or cheerfully riding out to hunt. The intervening zone belongs to the astral world, as would in any case be apparent from the zodiacal sign that appears in the center of each field, attended by three mysterious figures.
The three mysterious figures are symbols of the decans, from the Picatrix, as later becomes apparent (Warburg refers to it by its author, Abu Masar). These would seem to be part of the celestial realm, not intermediary between the celestial and the terrestrial. Also, in the same register as the Olympians are ordinary humans, "children" of the Olympians, clearly not celestial. These are mostly separated from the gods by cliff-faces.

Thus the Schifanoia could be seen as having four groups: humans, then astral entities, then humans again, then the gods of the months. This is a more symmetrical way of seeing the registers. The top two illustrate the twofold division "as above, so below." The lower two make the same distinction, but whether the astral signs have any correspondence to what Borso and his friends are doing I don't know.

Yes, a tripartite division of the world is part of our unconscious psychological heritage. But usually it is terrestrial, subterrestrial, and superterrestrial; or in Christianity, purgatory, hell, and heaven; or in society, commoners, nobles, and clerics, or in stories, beginning, middle, and end; or in life, childhood, adulthood, and old age; or in time, past, present, future; or in quantity, less, the same, more; or in animals, land, water, and air; or in motion, forward, back, sideways; or in giving directions, left, right, straight ahead; or.... I will look for a tripartite division into terrestrial, virtues/conceptual, and celestial; so far I can't think of a source with that in it, but maybe it's deeply unconscious. But a similar list could be composed (and has, many times) for other numbers. Wasn't it Irenaeus who said there couldn't be more than four gospels because the number four indicated the whole of something--four directions, four elements, four qualities, etc. (or something like that)?

Ross wrote:
It can be vividly observed in the Pseudo-Mantegna model book sequence, which, like the trumps, is an iconographic vertical hierarchy with no overall story or meaning. It also demonstrates how the threefold structure is in the psychological background, rather than the foreground, of such an organization, since the conceptual, middle, part, is itself composed of three series (muses, arts and sciences, virtues; note how the "pagan" muses are the lowest, while the moral virtues are the highest, with the sciences - intellectual things, culminating in Theology, which touch on the divine - in the middle).
The Pseudo-Mantegna indeed has the same structure as the tarot, if, as I read you, you combine the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th groups into one group, also tripartite: one group of 10, one group of 30, and one group of 10. And yes, philosophy, astrology, theology--also cosmico (from the Greek for World)--end up in the middle of the middle section, which seems a bit odd, since they are concerned with eternal things. And I don't know why practical arts that deal with terrestrial things--grammar, dialectic, rhetoric--should be in the middle of the second section, while the Pope is in the first section. I wouldn't call it a three stage structure without considerable imposition of form by the viewer.

Ross wrote,
In the case of the Tarot, the personification of a moral principle like Death is clearly in the middle part (I consider the Devil to be the end of the middle section, on the strength of the proverbial phrase "death and hell"; the part Fortune to Devil is the "Fate" (fatal) or "bad things" part of the moral section, with Virtue or "good things" as the first part).
It seems to me that one could just as well say you have four groups, as in the case of the Schifanoia: 6 in your first, 5 in your second, 5 in your third, and 6 in your fourth. It is much like what Decker put forward in 1975, except that he did call it four (he doesn't hold that theory now). He put the Wheel in his second group ("Love and Virtue") and the Tower in his third ("Hell and Damnation"): http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7AGhf86K1B4/U ... 3-088.jpg/. This is in an article called "Two Tarot Studies Related", Parts I and II, pp. 13-20, I'm not sure about the volume or number.

Calling the second and third groups that I listed one big group is, yes, very much like calling the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th groups in the Pseudo-Mantegna one group, or calling the gods and their human "children" one "celestial" group. (Or have I misunderstood you?) It just seems slightly arbitrary, without something else to control it.

Your division of the second group into two subgroups characterized as you do seems to presuppose that the A order is the original one. Dummett's characterization, leaving out the virtues, does not, as he does not arrive at a conclusion in Game of Tarot as to which is original. In that way, Dummett's is more useful; it assumes less.

I don't disagree with Dummett's 3 groups, or where he puts Death. My reasons are not quite the same as Dummett's, at least not as those he gives explicitly where I can read him (in Game of Tarot), but they come out to be much the same.

One can think of a story for many groupings, although I do favor Dummett's, such as I know it (since some of it isn't in Game of Tarot) as the original one for 22 trumps. If Revelation is the story, then for sure the Lightning-Struck Tower is in the last group, being visited by Celestial energy, so it can't be much of a bad thing. Marco finds the Devil in Revelation. But as you say, the Devil can be seen as much a part of Fate as the Wheel, Time, and Death. It's just not a "condition of life". The Hanged Man as part of Fate? Say more.

That there are different plausible ways of dividing the cards into groups suggests to me that they might not be necessary and might mostly be our own 20th-21st century projections, except as they are grounded in specific texts valued at the time. But the same text can be applied to the tarot in different ways; and there are many texts. The only definite groups I see are "minor atouts" and "major atouts", which are terms inside the GAME (I capitalize for Michael's benefit) and its method of scoring; how far back these terms go, in what languages, seems to me a worthy historical enterprise.

Ross wrote,
It doesn't matter how the virtues are ordered, just that they are a group. Clearly the author of the game chose an order, and the original players learned it as such, but I can't believe it had any deep meaning.
As far as the order of the virtues, I wasn't presenting it as a question of deep meaning. I was considering whether there was a standard order to the virtues historically, independently of the tarot. I don't know the answer. I do know that the most popular order, repeated by the most philosophers and theologians, among those respected most in the Renaissance, was (excluding Prudence) the order Justice-Fortitude-Temperance. That's the way they were expounded. So it would seem the most likely one to have been in the original tarot, although a rather weak "likely" to be sure.

Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#38
But in a 1985 essay in the journal FMR, according to Hurst, Dummett says it belongs in the second group. Then there is a quote (http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.it/2007/11/ ... cards.html):

The next group of cards could be described as representing conditions of human life: love; the cardinal virtues of Temperance, Fortitude..., and Justice; the triumphal car; the wheel of fortune; the card now known as the hermit; the hanged man; and death.


Is this from Dummett? I assume so, although Hurst does not say in so many words. If so, it would be nice to know what else Dummett says, so we can see his argument. I would at least like to know the title, volume, and page numbers of the article so I can try to get it on Interlibrary Loan. I cannot find it on JSTOR.
FMR (Franco Maria Ricci) 1985, Nr. 8 (from 1985 ... the text claimed, that they made 10 editions each year)
page 41-60 is "Tarot triumphant", from which p. 46-53 is from Dummett - 2 of the pages are filled with pictures, so Dummett has 6 pages. The whole is a summary of all and everything about Tarot.

The quoted passage is from a rough description of the cards, starting with: " ... The remaining 21 trumps may be /b]divided in 3 groups."
I - V, VI till XIIII and XV till XXI.
This passage has 3 columns. It's not an argument, it's just a description with a potpourri of details (all well known meanwhile).

FMR has very good pictures of some of the trumps.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#39
Once (2004) we made this (for the order, which was used in the Marseille Tarot) ...

Image


... from which the middle section looked this way:

Image


... from
http://trionfi.com/0/g/61/

The state of research had been then a little different than today.
Nonetheless this arrangement has the advantage, that the wild distribution of the cardinal virtues (in Marseille Tarot) looks meaningful in this arrangement.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Trumps VI- XIII

#40
What you present is the same group as Ross's, Huck's, but with a different story-line for the Devil card. That the Devil is an altered Prudence, mediated by the snake as a symbol for both, the Visconti viper and a French effort to humiliate the Sforza, strikes me as implausible, even for the Tarot de Marseille. Or do you still defend it? I assume not, since you say "The state of research had been then a little different than today". It's the story-line that matters most, I think, especially a story-line that would work somewhat earlier than 1500. That's why I'd like to see Ross's.

Thanks for giving the reference for Dummett's later thoughts.

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