SteveM wrote: ↑
07 Nov 2016, 13:08
mikeh wrote:The only reason that these virtues don't make sense at the top, it seems to me, is that at the Last Judgment it is the virtue of Justice in particular that comes to the fore. What am I missing?
Its position makes it not just the cardinal virtue Justice, but possibly identifies it with Astrea, returning to earth at the return of the Golden Age.
“Now is the Virgin returning also, and the realms of Saturn come again."
The world card and the earthy kingdom it represents, is the long-standing ideation of Ferrara with the world to come as the vision of Peace.
The ideation of Ferrara as the City of Peace was one propagated by Niccolo d'Este, and followed also, together with Guarina influenced 'Justice-Peace' trope by Leonello, Borso and Ercole d'Este. It is also reflected in the medal of Isabelle d'Este of Nemesis returning as Astrea in the Golden age of Peace. Another d'Este of the 16th century (can't find the reference at the moment) also took the motto 'Justice kisses Peace' (from psalms), so a long standing trope over time and generations among the d'Estes.
"Hail, honour of Este, glory of the world, Borso ; under whose
sway Astraea has left the stars to dwell on earth ; with whom as
prince, the manners of the olden time and the golden ease ot eternal
spring have returned."
"Salve, Estense decus, terrarum gloria, Borsi ;
Quo dace, sideribns terras Astrea relictis
Incolit, et prisci rursum, quo principe, mores
Aureaque aeterni redierunt otia veris."
(Mateo Boiardo: Pastoralia, vi. 65-70).
Another Ferrara Court poet Ercole Strozzi (the younger first cousin of Matteo Boiardo), in his funeral elegy for Eleonora of Aragon (wife of Ercole d'Este) also made several representations in his poem on the theme of Justice, Astraea and the Golden Age.
In line 27 he represents Eleonor herself with Astraea, suggesting her marriage to Ercole and arrival at Court is a continuation of the Golden Age of Ferrara under the just rule of the d'Este:
[27 Heu raperis Spes Qua pietas, qua prisca fides, Astrea que nobis magna tuorum: Venerat, et nitidos terris mutaverat axes.]
In lines 113/14 is described how, following the death of Leonello, the fate of the kingdom called upon Borso, who brought the Golden Age to his country:
[113 Mox solio insedit, fatis in regna vocatus
Borsius, et patriae dedit aurea saecula genti.]
In Lines 423 to 425 Eleonora in a death bed speech to her son Alfonso extolls him to be just in his treatment of his faithful citizens, with level scales to reward the good and punish the bad; to remember that in the Golden Age the Goddess (ie, Astraea/Justice) wandered safely over the world:
[420 Proximus huic Alphonse: mihi Ilithyia priorem
Quem sexu meliore dedit: pia sarcina regni
Te manet: aetheria cum mecum serus in arce
Astra colet genitor. Populi tunc fida fovere
Agmina: et aequata iustis dare praemia lance:
Supplicioque malos tunc perdere
Nate Iusticiam coluere dei, cum saecla vigerent
memento Aurea: et immensum erraret dea tuta per orbem.]
Ercole Strozzi's father Tito Vespassian Strozzi in his latin Poem 'Borsias' describes Astraea standing watch over the birth Borso d'Este:
[At Iovis imperio pueri fidissima custos
excubat ante torum noctes Astraea diesque]
At Jove's command as faithful guardian of the child
Astraea herself stood watch at night
The theme is resumed by Ercole Strozzi's friend Ariosto in regards to Alfonso d'Este, in his Orlando Furioso (being a continuation of Boiardo's Orlando in Love), with the return of Astrea to mark the reign of Ercole d'Este successor :
Alfonso è quel che col saper accoppia
sì la bontà, ch’al secolo futuro
la gente crederà che sia dal cielo
tornata Astrea dove può il caldo e il gielo.:
Alfonso know how to combine goodness, such that future generations will believe that Astrea had returned from heaven---