Re: Bolognese sequence

#111
mikeh wrote: The one on the left is looking off to his left, west, where the star is telling them they should go.
OUR (the viewer's) "left" means that the figure on OUR left (the crowned one) is looking to his RIGHT shoulder. The compass direction is nowhere implied that I can see. I would say he is looking to his right.

I certainly wouldn't claim anything from that.

My only observation is that he is looking away from the crown. Whether it means anything or not is up to us to argue. I think it helps a specific apocalyptic view; others think it means that Christ is born.
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Re: Bolognese sequence

#112
hi Mike, merry christmas

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The object left is called "Reichsapfel" - "Empire apple" or globe.

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In old Trionfi cards this object is presented with the emperor (although German kings used it, when not crowned but being representative of the Empire).

Now the object is in very primitive form arranged on top of a crowned person on a Bolognese card, in a manner, which was occasionally used to signify a person. Why should this man be somebody else than an Emperor?
We've seen, that old Tarot cards presented the card star with a woman, later with a single king (Sforza). At a d'Este card we see 2 persons, none of them a king, both probably astronomers. We've seen, that the card developed from Hope, another female allegory. We've heard the argument, that the 3 Magi were especially popular in Germany, not in Italy. The greater Italian popularity started perhaps with the Medici chapel. We've in later card motifs the person become a woman again.
Even in later Bolognese Tarocchi we've one of the 3 persons signified as a pope ... he isn't one of the holy 3 kings then.

... :-) ... Why do you say, that it could be nobody else than the 3 holy kings?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence

#113
I wrote:
The one on the left is looking off to his left, west, where the star is telling them they should go
.

Ross wrote:
OUR (the viewer's) "left" means that the figure on OUR left (the crowned one) is looking to his RIGHT shoulder. The compass direction is nowhere implied that I can see. I would say he is looking to his right.

I certainly wouldn't claim anything from that.

My only observation is that he is looking away from the crown. Whether it means anything or not is up to us to argue. I think it helps a specific apocalyptic view; others think it means that Christ is born.
OK, I meant to say "looking to our left." I am suggesting that right and left be interpreted as they would appear on a map, in which our right is east and our left is west. It is all from our point of view. The compass directions come from Matthew 2:1:"ecce magi ab oriente venerunt Hierosolymam" (behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem), In the Bembo painting, the equation, right = east, left = west, is clear enough (when not presented backwards, as Kaplan does). And I agree with both the "Christ is born" and apocalyptic interpretations, among others.

Huck wrote
Why do you say, that it could be nobody else than the 3 holy kings?
: Well, I don't say that, exactly. There could be subtexts. I just say that the primary, or surface, meaning is them, whatever they are called. They are called Magi in the Bible, hence priests rather than kings. But Old Testament prophecy (e.g. Isiaiah 60:3) referred to kings, so they had to be kings as well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi). Magi were also learned in astronomy, knowledge of the stars; that's why the three happen to be following one. So they were kings, high priests, and astronomers/astrologers rolled into one. They were all or any, whichever one wanted to depict them as. The Este card has Wise Men, who aren't in this case portrayed as kings but as astronomers/astrologers. The BAR has one with a crown, two with Phrygian caps, i.e. priests. Later cards have that one on our left with a papal tiara. In Bologna, 1492, part of the celebration of Ippolita Sforza's arrival as a bride was "a particularly magnificent spectacle, which included representations of the coming of the Magi, the passion of Christ, and the heavenly court" (Ady p. 172). The word Ady uses, presumably copying her source, is "Magi" rather than "Kings."

Now I want to address what you two have been talking about more recently, Annibale 1438-1441. Here is more from Ady's book. First, for the coming of Annibale:

"Early in 1438 Raffaello Foscherari, one of the most prominent of the Bentivoleschi, had a secret meeting in Ferrara with Gerardo Rangoni, lord of Spilamberto, a Modenese subject and a warm friend of the Bentivoglio. Here they agreed to send letters to Milan, asking that Niccolo Piccinino might come to their aid in avenging Antongaleazzo's death and re-establishing a citizen government. On 20 May the friends of the Bentivoglio, among whom, as usual, were the butchers, opened the Porta di Stra San Donato to Piccinino and his men." (p. 17f. Ady’s source: Corpus Chronicorum Bononiensium, vol iv, p. 90)

Ady then comments on how naive the Bolognese were to suppose that all this was done for their benefit. She goes on:

"After helping to establish the new government, he [Piccinino] left Bologna, and the leaders of the revolt were free to crown their achievements by summoning Annibale Bentivoglio to come and assume his rightful place among them. Annibale had not accompanied his father to Bologna in 1435, and he was fighting under the Angevin banners in Naples when the call came to him to return to the city of his birth. He was about twenty-five years old ‘valiant, handsome, prudent and well-mannered, and of so charming a disposition that he drew all hearts to himself.’ (Ady's source: Ghirardacci, pt. III. p. 54.) His first reluctance to hazard life and fortune in Bologna was speedily overborne, and, on 8 September 1438, enthusiastic multitudes welcomed him into the city, where he was to reign henceforth as the idol of the people." (p. 19)

Annibale was "first citizen," but did not have a place in the government. Ady goes on:

"There was much to be said for treating him as a figurehead, and leaving the direction of affairs in their own more experienced hands. Raffaella Foscherari, in particular, adopted this point of view. As the maker of the revolution, he wished to retain the chief place in the government for himself. He aimed, it was said, at making himself Gonfaloniere di Giustizia for life, and he prevailed on Piccinino to keep Annibale as much as possible in his camp. Annibale was not of the temper to consent to remain in tutelage, and he threw down the gauntlet by rejecting Foscherari's proposal that he should marry his daughter. Foscherari replied by threatening to send him back to groom horses as a soldier of fortune, and Annibale began to lay his plans for sweeping an enemy from his path. On 4 February 1440, he and fifteen picked companions stationed themselves in a shop in the Via delle Clavuture, and when Foscherari came out of his own house near by, on his way to the Piazza del Comune, they fell upon him and killed him." (p. 20. Sources: Fileno delle Tuata, Storia universale, ii., f. 285, Poggio, Anali, f. 466, Corpus, vol. Iv, p. 98.)

Annibale hid out at the house of Piccinino's representative. Then:

"Four days later the government issued a decree in which they accused the murdered man of trying to bring the city under the rule of a tyrant, and hailed Annibale as the vindicator of Bolognese liberty. In recognition of his services they conferred on him the right of entry into all councils and magistracies of the commune with the same privileges as were enjoyed by their elected members." (p. 20. Sources: Archivo di Stato, Bologna, Liber Fantini, f. 84. Decree of decem Reformatores status libertatis, 8 Feb. 1440.)

Annibale then went to Piccinino in Parma for his blessing. There followed a year later the marriage to Donnina Visconti. Thanks, Ross, for the descriptions of the festivities. Then comes the Peace of Cavriana (10 December 1441), and Piccinino was out of a job. So he retook Bologna in the name of the papacy, March 1442, and had his son imprison Annibale, for which I have already quoted Ady. After escaping and overcoming the Picconino, Annibale was killed by the Canetoli, on St. John Baptist Day 1443 (p. 28).

After all this, and what Huck and Ross have written, there occur to me several objections to Ross's theory that the tarot was invented by someone in Bologna 1439-1441, during the city's brief freedom from the Papacy.

(1) That time was too tumultuous, and too short, for any new game to take hold. From March of 1442 on, Bologna was back in the orbit of the Papacy.

(2) Even games aren't invented in a vacuum. They come out of prior conditions, especially prior games, which also enable the new ones to take hold. In contrast to Milan and Ferrara, we know of no such, nor do the conditions seem favorable, due to tumult and papal severity. It seems more likely that during the 1441 wedding celebrations tarot would have come into Bologna from outside, and not the other way around. Even then, due to the brevity of Bologna's independence, it would not have taken hold on the popular level. There was no strong sponsor countervailing the Church and, for a time, the Piccinino.

(3) The "Caesar story" that Ross postulates for the sequence does not fit Bolognese values at the time. Caesar's victory enabled the destruction of the Republic, whereas Bologna was trying to secure one, for which the Bentivoglio were the symbol. Caesar would not have been considered a hero who failed due to imprudence, but as an enemy of the Republic who failed due to self-aggrandizement. Later that same moral was probably used against the Bentivoglio. Given the actual occasions for triumphal cars in Bologna, the Chariot card most likely would have looked then more like that of the Cary-Yale or the Catania (the "Allesandro Sforza," as Ross says it's sometimes called, viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&start=70#p5301), i.e. female on top and male with the horses, suitable to a bride's entry into a city, as opposed a scene of martial triumph.

(4) Bologna was doggedly loyal to Eugenius IV, despite the harsh rule 1435-1438. Even when independent of the Papacy, it rejected Felix’s overtures (Ady, p. 38, citing Longhi, Niccolo Piccinino a Bologna, Atti vol. xxiv p. 506). This loyalty of the citizens to the Papacy is something the rulers of Bologna always had to contend with (Ady pp. 13, 17, 52 and elsewhere). So it is unlikely that the "two popes and two emperors" or "four papi" rule would have been created with the “western schism” in mind. The uniting of Rome and Constantinople under Rome is more in line with Church policy, and is a natural interpretation of the Star card as well.

There remains the question of whether Annibale's widow could have played a role in keeping the tarot alive in Bologna after moving there. There is a line in the material that Ross quoted that I liked, and perhap Huck did as well, since you two have been pursuing her Borromeo affiliation:

Donnina continuò ad occuparsi dell'educazione del figlio Giovanni che, raggiunta la maggiore età, divenne signore di Bologna.
(Donnina continued to occupy herself with the education of her son Giovanni, who upon reaching his majority became lord of Bologna.)

Giovanni became “first citizen” of Bologna when Sante died, which happened to be just before Giovanni reached 21; and even while Sante was alive, he was the lover of Sante’s wife Ginevra (Ady p. 130). She made sure (and wrote a letter of thanks to Francesco Sforza, Ady p. 138) that none of the great houses offered their daughters to Giovanni in marriage, so that she could continue in her role as Great Lady. So it is possible that the tarot, once introduced from elsewhere, could have survived through Donnina and been resurrected, 1452-1455, in the time of Sante and Ginevra, continuing in the time of Giovanni and Ginevra.

But perhaps I am missing some things.

Re: Bolognese sequence

#114
hi Mike,

anything about Borromeo in Ady? Had Borromeo been a background for Donnina's marriage?


Huck wrote
Why do you say, that it could be nobody else than the 3 holy kings?
:
.... The BAR has one with a crown, two with Phrygian caps, i.e. priests. Later cards have that one on our left with a papal tiara.

Well ... it looks not so high usually ... but you've a point here. This picture is from Ravenna. Did Bolognese pictures use this cap?
In Bologna, 1492, part of the celebration of Ippolita Sforza's arrival as a bride was "a particularly magnificent spectacle, which included representations of the coming of the Magi, the passion of Christ, and the heavenly court" (Ady p. 172). The word Ady uses, presumably copying her source, is "Magi" rather than "Kings."
Ippolita's husband Alessandro became later of some importance for Milan, so it's of some interest to observe him. Her father was an illegimate son of Galeazzo Maria.
Annibale was "first citizen," but did not have a place in the government. Ady goes on:
...
Then comes the Peace of Cavriana (10 December 1441), and Piccinino was out of a job. So he retook Bologna in the name of the papacy, March 1442, and had his son imprison Annibale, for which I have already quoted Ady. After escaping and overcoming the Picconino, Annibale was killed by the Canetoli, on St. John Baptist Day 1443 (p. 28).
? 1445, I assume. Interesting, that it had been St. John festivities. Is this a big event in Bologna?
After all this, and what Huck and Ross have written, there occur to me several objections to Ross's theory that the tarot was invented by someone in Bologna 1439-1441, during the city's brief freedom from the Papacy.

(1) That time was too tumultuous, and too short, for any new game to take hold. From March of 1442 on, Bologna was back in the orbit of the Papacy.

(2) Even games aren't invented in a vacuum. They come out of prior conditions, especially prior games, which also enable the new ones to take hold. In contrast to Milan and Ferrara, we know of no such, nor do the conditions seem favorable, due to tumult and papal severity. It seems more likely that during the 1441 wedding celebrations tarot would have come into Bologna from outside, and not the other way around. Even then, due to the brevity of Bologna's independence, it would not have taken hold on the popular level. There was no strong sponsor countervailing the Church and, for a time, the Piccinino.
I would assume, that the "invention of the game" isn't really a problem ... this could have existed (and it probably has existed in my opinion) already a longer time before (Imperatori, Karnöffel or similar). If a deck with a predefined 4th or 5th trump existed (whatever the motifs were) the game would have existed, the trump row needn't to have allegorical content and even normal decks might have been used.

The point is, that the "Trionfi cards" satisfied higher taste and "triumphal occasion ". For this the Bentivoglio look a little too small as a family or a "court", but with a marriage at a really crucial time in May 1441 (when Trionfi productions had a very successful year) and some involvement of the "right people" (Bianca Maria, Borromeo) the things would look a little different (we've evidence for card playing involvement of Bianca Maria and Borremeo). It's not really plausible, that Bologna guided in this process, but that it imitated something at this time is a different matter.
(3) The "Caesar story" that Ross postulates for the sequence does not fit Bolognese values at the time. Caesar's victory enabled the destruction of the Republic, whereas Bologna was trying to secure one, for which the Bentivoglio were the symbol. Caesar would not have been considered a hero who failed due to imprudence, but as an enemy of the Republic who failed due to self-aggrandizement. Later that same moral was probably used against the Bentivoglio. Given the actual occasions for triumphal cars in Bologna, the Chariot card most likely would have looked then more like that of the Cary-Yale or the Catania (the "Allesandro Sforza," as Ross says it's sometimes called, viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&start=70#p5301), i.e. female on top and male with the horses, suitable to a bride's entry into a city, as opposed a scene of martial triumph.

(4) Bologna was doggedly loyal to Eugenius IV, despite the harsh rule 1435-1438. Even when independent of the Papacy, it rejected Felix’s overtures (Ady, p. 38, citing Longhi, Niccolo Piccinino a Bologna, Atti vol. xxiv p. 506). This loyalty of the citizens to the Papacy is something the rulers of Bologna always had to contend with (Ady pp. 13, 17, 52 and elsewhere). So it is unlikely that the "two popes and two emperors" or "four papi" rule would have been created with the “western schism” in mind. The uniting of Rome and Constantinople under Rome is more in line with Church policy, and is a natural interpretation of the Star card as well.
It's difficult to exclude something, as the persons changed their positions rather quickly. Actually the chances of Felix had already turned to "bad" in ca. end 1441 - with the peace in Italy. Piccolomini was the deciding man ... secretary of the emperor. The emperor was interested to earn some profit from his pro-Eugen politic .
There remains the question of whether Annibale's widow could have played a role in keeping the tarot alive in Bologna after moving there. There is a line in the material that Ross quoted that I liked, and perhap Huck did as well, since you two have been pursuing her Borromeo affiliation:

Donnina continuò ad occuparsi dell'educazione del figlio Giovanni che, raggiunta la maggiore età, divenne signore di Bologna.
(Donnina continued to occupy herself with the education of her son Giovanni, who upon reaching his majority became lord of Bologna.)
Any date or indication, how long she lived?
[/quote]
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence

#115
Hi Mike,

Thanks for giving your impressions from Ady and grappling with my Bolognese interpretation. My impressions are very different from how you present Ady. Except for archival materials, the sources are available - chronicles and histories, as well as more up-to-date histories. See below - starting with Terpstra's summary - for some examples pertaining to our case - mostly the same sources as Ady.

Briefly - Eugene never regained Bologna for the Church; the peace of 1442 was on paper only, the Bolognese did not want to surrender to Papal rule again (now that Piccinino was working for the Pope). Attempts by Papal/Milanese armies to regain the city after Annibale's escape in 1443 were all failures. The city did not reach an effective agreement with the Papacy until 1447 - only under a new Pope, Nicholas V.

The Bolognese loved their liberty more than anything, and worked with whomever seemed to guarantee it best against the greater enemy - in our time, this is first Duke against Papal rule, and then native son (Bentivoglio) against Duke/Pope.

There are plenty of "Caesarean" examples from this time in Bologna. Overreaching tyrant, or betrayed hero - either can be found. In fact this is the very dichotomy of Caesar which always made him a subject of debate, as much then as now.

For Caesar - the fun part of my interpretation of the sequence is seeing the middle section as a Triumphator who is betrayed. Whether this is just (vainglorious tyrant) or unjust (betrayed hero) is a matter to argue about. If you put the invention in Bologna, at a certain time, as I am doing here, you tend to look for relevant figures. How you interpret the other cards between the Triumphator and Traitor is also part of the game.

For the Star, this is both a reaction to the World figure, who is obviously not Christ (in any Southern design), and also to the iconography of the BAR (and the later versions) Star, which is highly unusual if intending to depict the Three Kings. But interpreting the final part of the sequence as apocalyptic is not unique to me.
mikeh wrote: "Four days later the government issued a decree in which they accused the murdered man of trying to bring the city under the rule of a tyrant, and hailed Annibale as the vindicator of Bolognese liberty. In recognition of his services they conferred on him the right of entry into all councils and magistracies of the commune with the same privileges as were enjoyed by their elected members." (p. 20. Sources: Archivo di Stato, Bologna, Liber Fantini, f. 84. Decree of decem Reformatores status libertatis, 8 Feb. 1440.)
Foscarari is another good candidate for the Caesar-example, especially if you consider Brutus and Cassius to have been liberators, as many republican-minded interpreters did at the time (and an opinion Poggio most famously resurrected in 1435 in his argument for Scipio over Caesar).

He wouldn't be my preference though - that would be Piccinino (father, son or father/son as would-be tyrants). Under the shadow of Visconti, of course.
After all this, and what Huck and Ross have written, there occur to me several objections to Ross's theory that the tarot was invented by someone in Bologna 1439-1441, during the city's brief freedom from the Papacy.

(1) That time was too tumultuous, and too short, for any new game to take hold. From March of 1442 on, Bologna was back in the orbit of the Papacy.
I don't think we can judge the probability of a game being invented or taking hold from a priori consderations. It happened, and it happened at a certain time and place. Evidence is evidence, there is no way to judge if extant evidence should be probable or not. There is no "right time" for a game to be invented, as far as circumstances go. A politically or religiously tumultous time is no less probable to a game's invention than a peaceful time. In fact it was held that dice and chess were invented during famine and/or wartime. They did not regard games as the products of a leisure-society, but only of leisure-time during normal hard times.

Life carried on as normal despite the way it looks to us - business was conducted, laws were made, taxes were collected, poetry, music, and festivals were performed, the University had its students and teachers. People were not paralyzed with fear, dying by the thousands, and the city destitute for 3-5 straight years, whatever the drama of some political actions.

So - Bologna 1439-1441 is as good a time as any for the game to have been invented.
(2) Even games aren't invented in a vacuum. They come out of prior conditions, especially prior games, which also enable the new ones to take hold. In contrast to Milan and Ferrara, we know of no such, nor do the conditions seem favorable, due to tumult and papal severity. It seems more likely that during the 1441 wedding celebrations tarot would have come into Bologna from outside, and not the other way around. Even then, due to the brevity of Bologna's independence, it would not have taken hold on the popular level. There was no strong sponsor countervailing the Church and, for a time, the Piccinino.
What "papal severity" do you know of that would have prevented the Bolognese from playing games? There is none, of course. LIKE Milan and Ferrara, the evidence of cardplaying goes back in Bologna quite a few decades, even earlier than Milan or Ferrara in fact, to 1405.

Again, tumult in City Hall is no reason not to play games in a tavern. A fight in the north of the city is no reason some students in the Faculty of Law downtown would not be playing cards, or even inventing a new game.

On the "transfer" of the game, you have to recall that Marchione Burdochio, from Bologna, had a tarot deck on hand - that is, for retail sale in Ferrara - just over a year after this wedding. My supposition is that he had it from Bologna - which implies that the Bolognese were already making them in a much cheaper way than the luxury cards. But if Bologna first was exposed to the game in May 1441, in a luxury form, it was a very quick progression to retail-level cards by July 1442.

"Countervailing the Church" is the whole population of Bologna, the Arti, the guilds, and the University. The people may have loved Albergati, but they didn't love Eugene, nor direct Papal rule in general. The Galliera represented Papal tyranny more than another other kind of tyranny. It must have been destroyed and rebuilt 4 or 5 times between 1400 and 1450.
(3) The "Caesar story" that Ross postulates for the sequence does not fit Bolognese values at the time. Caesar's victory enabled the destruction of the Republic, whereas Bologna was trying to secure one, for which the Bentivoglio were the symbol. Caesar would not have been considered a hero who failed due to imprudence, but as an enemy of the Republic who failed due to self-aggrandizement. Later that same moral was probably used against the Bentivoglio. Given the actual occasions for triumphal cars in Bologna, the Chariot card most likely would have looked then more like that of the Cary-Yale or the Catania (the "Allesandro Sforza," as Ross says it's sometimes called, viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&start=70#p5301), i.e. female on top and male with the horses, suitable to a bride's entry into a city, as opposed a scene of martial triumph.
Caesar can be used many ways, and was. This may be my fault, since you seem to have misunderstood me. My basic position is that the middle sequence is a "warning to would-be tyrants". That's not a very flattering view of Julius Caesar, but it fit in enough with republican values that the Florentines chose him precisely - and ONLY him - to deliver this very message to Alfonso during his triumph in Naples in 1443. Bolognese values and Florentine values were very similar in this respect, which makes Caesar perfectly appropriate for this lesson. However, Bologna's dramatic condition at this time provides a few living examples that would have been very clear - particularly Antongaleazzo Bentivoglio (if it is a "hero" Caesar who is betrayed), Niccolò or Francesco Piccinino (if it is a rueful warning about the fate of tyrants), or even Annibale Bentivoglio (assuming it is not one of his partisans who invented it). Of course it could just be the sentiment against tyrants or the vainglory of those who would rule a free people... lots of choices, but more clear and dramatic than Florence at this time.
(4) Bologna was doggedly loyal to Eugenius IV, despite the harsh rule 1435-1438. Even when independent of the Papacy, it rejected Felix’s overtures (Ady, p. 38, citing Longhi, Niccolo Piccinino a Bologna, Atti vol. xxiv p. 506). This loyalty of the citizens to the Papacy is something the rulers of Bologna always had to contend with (Ady pp. 13, 17, 52 and elsewhere). So it is unlikely that the "two popes and two emperors" or "four papi" rule would have been created with the “western schism” in mind. The uniting of Rome and Constantinople under Rome is more in line with Church policy, and is a natural interpretation of the Star card as well.
I don't think Church policy would have much to say about what a game could look like in Bologna in 1438-1441. More to the point, I think the term "doggedly loyal" is a great overstatement, as you can see from some of the documents below. In fact they voiced support for Felix in August 1440 - for purely political reasons.

Eugene had no more power in Bologna after 1438 - ever. Even the Bishop he named for Bologna after Albergati died - Tommaso Parentucelli (1445) - dared not enter Bologna. It would not be until Eugene was dead and Parentucelli became Pope - Nicholas V (1447), that the ruling Sante Bentivoglio and the Papacy made a lasting accord that had real political consequences.

In short, there was no particular love for the Papacy in Bologna - it was a marriage of convenience, and they as often rejected it as accepted it - especially during the time of the Western Schism, and up to 1447. It all depended on the degree of liberty they preserved. It had to be shared equally with the people. Papal rule was as likely to be abusive as Ducal rule, and we see a dramatic instance of how this politic worked during our time of interest, when the Bolognese chose Ducal rule to protect them from Papal rule, whereas it was usually the other way around. In the end, they found a strong partner in "first citizens" the Bentivoglio, under whom the Church's influence was mitigated for 60 years.

A summary narrative of the political history of Bologna, 1420s to 1450s, from Nicolas Terpstra, Lay Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance Bologna (Cambridge University Press, 1995) pp. 32-34.

“After a year of rebellion (1428-1429), the city capitulated only to discover that it had lost the war and won the peace. Not wanting to incur again the ruinous cost of a siege, Martin V in August 1429 signed a treaty which left the rebels unpunished, the sedici in office, the Bentivoglio in exile, and the Papal legate in limbo. With victory over the Papacy secure, the Bolognese fell once more to fighting among themselves. In February 1430 ten patrician exiles returned, but by April there were fears of an uprising in the works. Niccolò Ariosti rose in the council of 600 to denounce Egano Lambertini, Nicolò Malvezzi, Bagarotto Bianchi, Filippo dalle Anelle, and Tommaso Montecalvi; over their protests of innocence, they were hustled from the chamber and immediately murdered. Fear once more gripped the city, muting all but a few objections; only Antonio Caccianemici, his brother Giacomo, and Antonio detto Negro protested the summary executions, and within a week they were beheaded on charges of treason. The Papal legate fled the city and war resumed. Martin V’s death in February 1431 provided a pretext for peace negotiations which culminated in a new treaty signed by Eugenius IV in April (1431). Eugenius’ confirmation of the powers of the sedici in 1433 did not ease the tensions, and by the end of the year the Canetoli had once more launched a rebellion. Antongaleazzo Bentivoglio entered papal service and was rewarded with permission to return to the city after the rebellion sputtered out. His return in triumph on December 4 (1435), and the enthusiastic reception he received, made the Papal governor Daniele Scotti distinctly uneasy; Antongaleazzo was dead before Christmas , beheaded by papal guards as he was leaving the Communal Palace where he had celebrated mass at Scotti’s invitation. On the same day, Tommaso Zambeccari was seized and hanged from the windows of the Podestà’s palace.
The murder of two faction leaders set the Bolognese ever more firmly against Papal rule, and the itinerant Eugenius IV could remain there from April 1436 to January 1438 only by virtue of his armed guards. Upon his departure for the Council of Ferrara-Florence, the Bentivoglio faction negotiated with the Duke of Milan and then opened the city gates to his condottiere Niccolò Piccinino (21 May, 1438). This paved the way for the return of twenty-five year old Annibale Bentivoglio, Antongaleazzo’s eldest son who had been fighting as a mercenary in Naples. Sensing their own security under Milan’s protection of Annibale, the Bolognese began granting the young Bentivoglio tax concessions and membership in the city’s chief magistracies and councils. He in turn betrothed Donnina Visconti, kinswoman of Duke Filippo Maria Visconti, and prepared to assume signory over the city. Peninsular politics had brought events to this pass, and now intervened to change the situation drastically.
Visconti’s protection of Bologna was strategic in light of his struggle against Venice, Florence, and the Papacy; with the Peace of Cavriana in December 1441, the Duke of Milan abandoned Bologna and pledged to help the Papacy recover the city. The condottiere Niccolò Piccinino had ambitions of his own, and in March 1442 he returned to the city to claim it for the Papacy and, he hoped, for his own. Bologna’s helplessness before these larger powers was underscored when Piccinino lured Annibale out of the city and imprisoned him in a Parmese castle. The arrival of Piccinino’s son Francesco as Signore stirred Galeazzo Marescotti and other members of the Bentivoglio faction to stage a daring jail break. Under cover of darkness on June 5 (1443), Annibale was pulled by ropes over the city wall at the shrine of S. Maria del Baraccano, ironically confirming his grandfather’s fears that this was a strategic weak spot in the city’s defenses. More to the point, it was a deliberate act calculated to invoke the protection of the Madonna del Baraccano, and to underscore the close identification of the shrine with the Bentivoglio which had grown since Giovanni I had turned from walling it up to expanding its quarters. Annibale’s dramatic return was the signal for an uprising that threw out Piccinino. It also threw Bologna into war with both Milan and the Papacy. Annibale immediately set to work building bridges outside and inside the city, negotiating an alliance with Florence and Venice, and insisting that his old enemies the Canetoli be brought into government and that other exiles be allowed to return. A united commune defeated the armies of the Papacy and Milan in a bloody battle on August 14, before once again turning on itself. Annibale tried to bind the factions together through kinship ties, arranging his sister’s marriage to Giacomo Canetoli and standing as godfather to the son of the prominent Canetolisto Francesco Ghisilieri. Returning with Ghisilieri from the baptism on June 24, 1445, Annibale was set upon by Baldassare Canetoli and murdered; the assassins also murdered three of the four Marescotti brothers, narrowly missing Galeazzo. The Anziani and Gonfaloniere di Giustizia initially fled before the well-organized conspiracy, but they and the Bentivoleschi were rallied by Galeazzo Marescotti to resist. A pitched battle raged through the city’s streets, but by nightfall the Canetoli had fled. Forays by Milanese and Papal troops over the next two years were repulsed with the help of Florence and Venice, and in the absence of a local Bentivoglio willing to hazard the signory, the faction reached to Florence for Annibale’s cousin, Sante. After some hesitation, the twenty-three year old Sante arrived in Bologna in November 1446; he would prove to be the only one of the five Bentivoglio who ruled the city in some form or other through the Quattrocento to die a natural death in his own bed in Bologna. Sante’s relations with Cosimo de Medici cemented the Florentine alliance. His good fortune in the election of Albergati’s long-time secretary Tommaso Parentucelli as Pope Nicholas V secured a Concordat with the Papacy in 1447. His marriage to Ginevra Sforza sealed the peace with Milan in 1454. The Canetoli, Pepoli, Fantuzzi, Zambeccari, and Vizzani were less easy to subdue. In 1448, Baldassare Canetoli was beheaded on the spot where he had assassinated Annibale, and three years later Francesco Ghisilieri was hanged in the ruins of his destroyed palace. His execution followed by a few days the defeat of the last major assault on the city by the anti-Bentivoglio factions. The peace of Lodi in 1454 robbed these factions of their necessary outside support, and a relative calm settled over Bologna for the next three decades.
“This brief account of Bologna’s politics from the 1420s through the early 1450s underscores the difficulties facing Nicolò Albergati as he sought a hearing for his program of religious reforms.”

Sorbelli Corpus 3 (RIS XVIII p. I, v. IV)
http://www.archive.org/details/rerumita ... 13murauoft

p. 82 – Peace established with Pope Eugene (27 September 1435).
83 – Bolognese send ambassadors to bring Pope from Florence to Bologna (7 November 1435).
84 – Antonio Bentivoglio’s murder (23 December 1435); Baldessare da Offida, podestà, is a cruel tyrant.
85 – Pope Eugene arrives (18 April 1436)
86 – Offida, working for Pope Eugene, plans to capture Francesco Sforza (September, 1436)
87 – Offida’s plot is discovered; he is captured and dies in prison.
88-89 – Emperor Sigmund dies in December 1437; Pope Eugene honors him in San Petronio, 8 January 1438.
89 – Eugene leaves secretly for Ferrara at “hore 12” in the morning on 23 January 1438 for Ferrara. The scandal of the promise of the Council in Bolonga and the tax imposed to bring the Emperor of Constantiople (A “uno e mezo per corba”; B “soldi uno, dinari sie per corbe”) – A “which was very displeasing to the citizens of Bologna”; B “which was very displeasing to most of the citizens of Bologna”.
89-92 – Nicolo Piccinino arrives, Bentivoglio partisans let him enter on 20 May 1438, to cries of “Long live the people, and the Duke of Milan!” The city gives Piccinino the standard of the Commune (2 June). A fourteen-day battle for control of Bologna from papal and anti-Bentivoglio partisans rages.
93 – Eugene leaves Ferrara for Florence (16 January), avoiding the direct route of Bologna; sending his household by water to the east, and going himself by Modena and thence south, accompanied by Leonello d’Este and soldiers.
95-96 – Emperor John Paleologus arrives in Bologna, 31 August, stays 3 days. Another explanation of the cost and how much it displeased the Bolognese that the council was not held there.
96 – Council of Basel’s deposition of Pope Eugene posted on doors of St. Peter and St. Petronio, declaring him deprived of all ecclesiastical office and a schismatic, simonist, and heretic (21 July 1439).
97 – Felix (V) created Pope by Council of Basel. A – “Et in quello tempo era papa Eugenio quarto che steva a Fiorenza, ma havea pocho credito”; B- “Sì che in questo tempo erano dui papi, zoé era papa Euzenio, che demorava in quel tempo in Fiorenza.”
98-99 – Raffaele Foscarari’s murder (4 February 1440).
99 – Niccolò Piccinino enters Bologna in triumph (4 March 1440 – Ghirardacci adds (p. 61) that it was with 6000 soldiers).
99-101 – Patriarch of Constaniople’s death in Florence. Conspiracy of Tommaso da Logliano to restore Pope Eugene’s authority in Bologna. His discovery and beheading, 27 October 1440.
(Not noted in Chronicle, marriage of Annibale and Donnina, 7 May 1441.)
102 – 1441, 5 August, news of peace between Milan and Venice; 14 August, “se levò le offexe a Bologna fra lo papa Eugenio et lo commun de Bologna.”
106-107 – Niccolò Albergati dies in Siena, 9 May 1443; news reaches Bologna 11 May; he is buried in the Certosa of Florence. Bologna holds three days of mourning.
108-115 – Annibale’s escape from captivity (4-5 June, 1443).
114 – League between Venice, Florence and Bologna against attempts of Piccinino to retake Bologna (12 July 1443 – the Florentines sent 800 cavalry and soldiers).
115-119 – The Bolognese, led by Annibale, repel invasion attempts.
119 – Bologna joins a league with Venice, Florence, Milan and Genoa against the predations of the troops of Alfonso of Aragon in Bolognese territory (18 October, 1443) (part of a wider battle of Alfonso (troops commanded by Piccinino) and Sforza).
119 – Annibale receives the “dazio de le cartexelle” for five years.
120 – Sforza decisively defeats Piccinino (Fossombrone; 12 November 1443).
121 – Letter of Vladislav I on the defeat of the Turks (9 November, 1443).
125-129 – Death of Annibale (24 June, 1445) – A “Death of Annibale Bentivoglio betrayed by Francesco Ghisilieri his compadre”.
(Not noted in Chronicle – Eugene names Tommaso Parentucelli Bishop of Bologna, June 27 or 28, 1445. Tommaso had studied in Bologna and was Albergati’s longtime secretary).
139 – B – deformed male child born to a blasphemer, who said if his wife gave birth to another girl he would choke her and bash her head against a wall; seen as an ironic miracle (31 December, 1446).
139 – Pope Eugene appoints Tommaso Parentucelli cardinal (21 December 1446).
139 – Pope Eugene dies, 22 February 1447 (news reaches Bologna 26 February).
140 – Tommaso Parentucelli made Pope (Nicholas V - 5 March, 1447); news reaches Bologna 9 March). Bolognese send ambassadors.
142 – 12 July - “Peace is concluded between Pope Nicholas V and the Bolognese”.

A couple of things from Ghirardacci
http://www.archive.org/details/rerumita ... 31murauoft

1439 – Francesco Piccinino arrives in Bologna with 300 cavalry. It is believed that he has come to take possession of the city (18 February), which was a most easy thing to do, since the two most powerful men in the city, Annibale Bentivoglio and Battista Canetoli, hated each other so much.
1445 – The Duke of Milan gives seven hundred ducats to Baldassare Cantetoli for having killed Annibale Bentivoglio, which greatly increases the hatred of the Bolognese against Visconti.
1446 – January 2, “In Bologna there are shown hanged by the feet as traitors on the wall of the Palace of the Notaries depictions of: Galeotto, Gaspare, Lodovico, Baldassare, all the Canetoli, Nicolò Santi, Delfino Attinconti (Delfini), Lodovico dale Correggie, Lodovico Griffoni”.

Tommaso Parentucelli (1397-1455)

“On the death of[NIccolò Albergati] he (Tommaso) was appointed to succeed him in the See of Bologna [28 June, 1445], but was unable to take possession owing to the troubled state of the city. This led to his being entrusted by Pope Eugene with important diplomatic missions in Italy and Germany, which he carried out with such success that he obtained as his reward a cardinal's hat (Dec., 1446). Early next year (23 Feb.) Eugene died, and Parentucelli was elected in his place, taking as his name Nicholas in memory of his obligations to Niccolò Albergati (6 March, 1447).”

(Thomas Scannell, “Pope Nicholas V” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 29 Dec. 2009 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11058a.htm>.

Selections from Michele Longhi’s documentation for “Niccolò Piccinino in Bologna” – Atti e memorie della r. Deputazione di storia patria per le province di Romagna, ser. 3, vol. xxv (Bologna, 1907), pp. 283-377.
http://www.archive.org/details/attiememorie00marcgoog (Atti e memorie xxiv (1906))
http://www.archive.org/details/attiememorie16romagoog (Atti e memorie xxv (1907))
or
http://www.archive.org/details/3attieme ... 25depuuoft

I, iii (July, 1443?) – Letter of the Bolognese to the Cardinals in which they explain the reasons for the rebellion of 1438-1443 (pp. 286-287).
III, i (July 2, 1439) – Letter of the Synod of Basel to the Anziani and the Commune of Bologna (pp. 327-329). Announces the deposition of Eugene.
III, iv (August 18, 1440) – Letter of the Bolognese to the College of Cardinals (in Florence) explaining the reasons for rebelling against Pope Eugene (pp. 332-333). Explains the mess the papal regime made in governing the city.
III, vi (August 18, 1440) – Letter from the Bolognese to the Commune of Florence for not giving help to the Pope (pp. 334-335). Complains about the “cruel regime” of papal rule. Also says that they are not abandoning Eugene and supporting Felix for religious reasons, but political necessity. They say they are embarrassed to be known as the first Italians to abandon obedience to the former Pope, but “Necessitas legem non habet” (Necessity knows no law).
III, v (August 20, 1440) – Letter to the Anziani of Bologna from the Priors of Florence (pp. 333-334).
III, iii (August 23, 1440) – Letter of the Cardinals in Florence to the Bolognese (pp. 330-332).
III, viii (November 5, 1440) – Letter of Felix V to the Bolognese (pp. 336-337). Gives his blessings to the city, mentions the “adversary of the faith Gabriele Condulmario, formerly Eugene”, now deposed by the Holy general council in Basel, and asks for political support and money.
III, xii (30 November, 1441) - Letter of Nicolò Piccinino to his secretary about the fear of the Bolognese to go back under the Pope (pp. 341-342).
III, xi (December 1, 1441) – Letter of Nicolò Piccinino to the Anziani and Sixteen Riformatori (pp. 340-341). Asks them not to fear going back to obedience of Eugene.
III, xiii (December 8, 1441) – Letter of Nicolò Piccinino to the 16 Riformatori exhorting them not to fear the chapter that establishes the restitution of Bologna to the Pope (p. 343). Piccinino personally guarantees not to abandon them to papal reprisals.
IV, vii (October 22, 1442) – Letter of Filippo Maria Visconti in which he offers to act as intermediary for the release of Annibale Bentivoglio, Gaspare and Achille Malvezzi (pp. 362-363).
IV, viii (October 23, 1442) – Letter of Filippo Maria Visconti to the Bolognese in which he claims to have charged his chancellor with the release of Annibale Bentivoglio and companions (pp. 363-364).
V, ix (November 2, 1442) – Nicolò Piccinino accused of wanting to consign Bologna to the Pope and to bring Battista Canedolo back from exile. The reasons for which he imprisoned Annibale and company. Letter of Nicolò Piccinino to the Anziani and Conf. of Justice and to the 16 Riformatori on the capture of Annibale (pp. 364-366).

Longhi’s summary of his study of Piccinino in Bologna:

“It seems that the Government of Piccinino should not be considered at last as much a princedom than a true tyranny. But, judging from the sources from which such an opinion derives, which attest still to the liberty which we have seen enjoyed before Francesco Piccinino came to Bologna, we ought to say that, at least for the period before the capture of Annibale, the city continued always free. Servitude began but with the entrance of Francesco, with his insidious permanence in the middle of the citizens. It began when Filippo Maria, after the peace of Cavriana, rather than restore the city to the Pope, tortured it: she was tormented and utterly destroyed (as quoted in a letter of the Bolognese to the Cardinals around 1445). This is the judgment concerning the Government of Piccinino, of the protection of the Duke of Milan, that the Bolognese make in a letter to the Cardinals. A judgment which is in perfect accord with the curse with which a chronicler accompanied the parting of Francesco Piccinino: “may it please God that he that leaves in this hour not return to these parts.” It is the intimate curse of a people that, by the mouth of a public writer, expressed its judgment on a government at first beneficent and liberal, becoming afterwards tyrannical and insupportable.” (Atti e memorie xxv, pp. 282-283)
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Re: Bolognese sequence

#116
Huck wrote:
There remains the question of whether Annibale's widow could have played a role in keeping the tarot alive in Bologna after moving there. There is a line in the material that Ross quoted that I liked, and perhap Huck did as well, since you two have been pursuing her Borromeo affiliation:

Donnina continuò ad occuparsi dell'educazione del figlio Giovanni che, raggiunta la maggiore età, divenne signore di Bologna.
(Donnina continued to occupy herself with the education of her son Giovanni, who upon reaching his majority became lord of Bologna.)
Any date or indication, how long she lived?
I can't find out this in any of my sources. I seem to remember a study of Bernabò's descendants, but I can't find it at the moment. Ady might have more, since she is interested in the whole dynasty of Bentivoglio.
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Re: Bolognese sequence

#117
Ross, wrote (quoting Longhi):
III, vi (August 18, 1440) – Letter from the Bolognese to the Commune of Florence for not giving help to the Pope (pp. 334-335). Complains about the “cruel regime” of papal rule. Also says that they are not abandoning Eugene and supporting Felix for religious reasons, but political necessity. They say they are embarrassed to be known as the first Italians to abandon obedience to the former Pope, but “Necessitas legem non habet” (Necessity knows no law).
Thanks for the additional material, Ross. It presents a different picture than Ady. She doesn't mention the signori's support of Felix; in fact she denies it ("in spite of the bid for her support made by he Council of Basle, Bologna had maintained her spiritual allegience to Eugenius IV" (p. 38)). She even cites Longhi, the same source you are quoting, but a different section, xxiv p. 506. But perhaps it is in reference to something later in the same sentence, Eugenius's continued gestures of good-will as indicated in his support for building-operations at S. Petronio and appointments to benefices. If so I don't know what her evidence is. Perhaps her key word is "spiritual," as opposed to "secular." Even the letter to Rome declaring Bologna's allegience to Felix says that it is only by political necessity; spiritually and ecclesiastically perhaps Eugenius is still their pope (but without his direct rule over them). That would be two popes indeed! And I don't understand the political necessity for supporting Felix. Was Milan demanding it? Otherwise, I don't see the point. Why court trouble, as long as the Pope didn't rule over them? This decision by the signoria was bound to be a matter of contention among the people of Bologna.

Going with your presentation of the facts. I guess is possible that in the period 1438-1440 somebody at the University might have invented such a game and played it with his friends, and in 1440, after the declaration for Felix, gone public with it, to the extent of producing it in a cheap edition. Then, during Piccinino, 1442-1443, it would have gone underground, or sold to foreign cities, only to come out again openly after that, so popular now that no Papal legate dared take measures against it (which they very much had the power to do, even without direct, unshared papal rule). And the story in the cards might sometimes have been of a champion of the republic who was betrayed, and sometimes of an overrreaching tyrant who gets his just desserts. (I leave to others how the first of these stories fits Julius Caesar.) The two popes, at least at first, would have been Felix and Eugenius; the emperors would have been a little less common knowledge. I don't understand why it was important to have two emperors. Italians had no say in their election; what difference did it make to them? Perhaps you have explained this somewhere before; if so give me a link. I can see the emperors as Constantinople and Rome, especially in the 1450's; but if so the two Popes would be, by then, of these jurisdictions, too.

I don't know what to make of the Bolognese with his deck for sale in 1442. Maybe it was a deck produced for sale outside Bologna. Or maybe he bought it in Ferrara.

And I still don't think the game would have been played in the taverns of Bologna, in this period 1438-1440, because there was too much instability, not just at City Hall, but everywhere in town. It was like in Romeo and Juliet only more so, with the leading families lined up on one side or the other, out for blood, and the guilds involved, too (the butchers with the Bentivoglios, others perhaps neutral), and bulk of the citizenry involved to one degree or another. There might have been a "two popes" faction and a "one pope" faction, and a good occasion for tavern brawls that could escalate into something more. And it is then not just an amusement or escape: it is too close to reality. Even after 1440, with Annibale's victory and the resolution supporting Felix, I'm not sure that feelings would have quieted down enough for the game with its "four papi" rule to become established among the population. As you say, Bologna was conservative.

It would have been easier for the game to develop in an autocracy, like Milan's or Ferrara's, without reference to outside political controversies. There it would be a game of the aristocracy and the leading families, in genteel surroundings, for amusement--and to inculcate the nobility's loyalty to the autocrat. In autocracies, too, the game could have an autocrat-sponsor to help it along. Such conditions did not exist in Bologna until after 1447, when the peace negotiated by Sante took effect.

In a republic, however, as opposed to a duchy, there is more reason to make the game one for the masses, and put it out in cheap printed versions. There it is important to have the people on your side, not just the nobility. A game identified with one family would have propaganda value. So I still favor the city of Bologna as a site for early cheap editions, after the game was invented elsewhere, people following the lead of the fashion set by the matrons of the great house.

I suppose the University of Bologna could count in the the "elsewhere" category, as far as the invention and early playing of the game. Theoretically the game could even have been invented by the "two popes" faction alone (some member of the Bentivoglio faction, and played in the Bentivoglio houses among themselves during 1438-1441. However there it still seems like too politically loaded a game, with its two popes and emperors, and not very diverting, as not everyone could be trusted not to tell tales.

But perhaps there is still something I am still not understanding about your viewpoint.

Re: Bolognese sequence

#118
mikeh wrote: But perhaps there is still something I am still not understanding about your viewpoint.
My perspective here is that I am basically offering a theory about the Ur-Tarot.

It is difficult to even get agreement on the definition of "Ur-Tarot". Very few qualified authors have tried to theorize about the origin and early development of Tarot. One's views of this problem affect one's view of the possibility of meaningfulness in any of the sequences we have. If there are missing cards, or the structure were different from anything surviving, then it may be fruitless to attempt to intepret the allegory of the trumps (hence Dummett's phrase "unicorn hunt").

The standard trump sequence, with 22 trumps arranged in one of the three families of orders (discovered by Dummett and labeled by him A, B and C (1980); later more descriptively by Tom Tadfor Little (I believe) as Southern, Eastern and Western respectively (1999)), is considered the "archetypal" or standard Tarot, but on the date of the appearance of this number of trumps in any of the orders there is no consensus at all. Dummett theorized in 1980 that the original tarot was like the Cary Yale, and that it may have had Prudence as well, which was changed to the Popess by the time of the Visconti Sforza. Whatever the exact date of the Visconti Sforza, it represents the standard subjects, and was produced shortly after 1450; therefore, in A Wicked Pack of Cards (WPC) (1996), the authors suggest that the standard form was fixed by 1450. Earlier than that, Dummett would suggest there is an unknown period of evolution, including changing Prudence into the Popess or dropping her, and dropping the Theological Virtues.

He wavers on the date in his works; in WPC he (they) suggest 1410 as the earliest plausible date, echoing what Dummett says in the introduction to his 1986 The Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards, on the premise that cards had only been known for about 35 years before 1410, which is not enough time for a "radical innovation" in the manner of playing cards to have been invented. However, in the latter work Dummett also argues for other datings, the highest being "shortly before 1440". The most common dating he seems to have proposed, to allow for a period of evolution in the structure and subjects of the trumps, is 1425; but in his latest work, the Supplement to A History of Games Played with the Tarot Pack (2009) with John McLeod), he says without qualification "in the late 1430s". So I don't know really what Dummett would bet on if he had to, for a date. My sense however is that he would still consider there to be some experimentation in the structure and subjects of the "Ur-Tarot" before the "Standard Tarot" became... standard.

In this, I believe he is followed by Thierry Depaulis, who also sees Prudence's absence as a sign that the standard sequence(s) are all corruptions of an original that probably had her.

You already know the 5x14 theory, which posits instead a different kind of development, one of slow accretion of smaller parts. In the 5x14 theory, "Ur-Tarot" has essentially no meaning - various forerunners of the standard Tarot, and various parts of it, as well as other kinds of trump cards, were in play for decades before someone began producing the first "standard" Tarot of 22 trump subjects, which could be as late as the 1480s. In this theory also, the 22 trumps may have no coherent narrative as a whole, since each part was developed in isolation and only clumped together with other parts later.

For the positions above, attempting to interpret any extant Tarot (except for unique creations like Boiardo or Sola Busca, or, for the 5x14 (etc.), the Visconti-Sforza sequence) is liable to be misleading and wrongheaded, if not completely impossible - because all of the pieces are not there to begin with. First you would have to attempt to reconstruct this hypothetical Ur-Tarot, and then interpret it. So far, as far as I know, nobody has tried to do this (except Court de Gébelin and some other later occultists, but no actual historian).

My position starts with the dating argument -
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=258
- and assumes that "triumph cards" refers to the standard trump sequence, and that the new name was invented to refer to the new object (unlike Huck's position, which is that the name "trionfi" is just a new name for an old object, known by one or many other names before). The dating leads to within 5 years of 1442 (1437-1441 inclusive), obviously with a few years of margin on the lower side. The lowest I'd be willing to go, by the trend of the extant evidence, is 1432, or ten years. That would be just a guess though, and theoretical points on the chart that go further than 5 years before 1442 become increasingly isolated and therefore unlikely.

Other considerations, which I have explained elsewhere, lead me to consider A or Southern to be the original type, and Bologna over Florence (given the dating, since the Pope and Council were actually in Florence 1439-1441, and Eugene was on good terms with Florence for the whole of the 1430s, unlike his and his representatives' esteem in the eyes of the Bolognese, who were much more ambivalent).

I insist that while my dating range is narrow, it is based on sound inference from neutral data, and has nothing to do with interpreting any iconography or rules. Likewise, but iconographically, my preference of A is an inference based on the commonalities between the earliest painted A types (charles VI, Catania, Rothschild), and the later printed A types (Rosenwald and BAR), compared to vast difference between the Visconti and Sforza style of cards and anything later printed in the C orders. My preference for A, in the range of the late 1430s, is, I think, a sound position.

Finally, my preference is for Burdochio's being a printed deck (plenty of evidence for printed cards by then), and being adapted for luxury users, rather than vice-versa, based on the dating being too narrow for the latter to show up already by 1442. Burdochio's selling of a deck to the Este court is itself the direct evidence that a court could take up "popular" objects. Indirect evidence of the court's adaptation of the popular tarot is, I suggest, Burdochio's presence dealing with the Este court in early January 1442, when the commission for Sagramoro's first four decks was conceivably made (he was paid on February 10). Naturally, there are plenty of other opportunities for the Este to have become acquainted with the game in their interactions with Bolognese earlier than this, but Burdochio is a known seller of carte da trionfi and appears at this juncture around the time when the commission must have been given, which is a useful reference to keep in mind in any case.

So, after all of these choices and weighing of options has been done, all that remains is to choose a sequence and imagery to interpret. In the light of all this and what I have said before about having no reason to think the Bolognese were profligate redesigners of the imagery or sequence, I took BAR as my model, on the premise that whatever changes may have been done in the approximately 60 years between the Ur-Tarot and BAR, they can be measured by the differences between BAR and the painted A types, and the other differences can be explained the different places of origin - BAR in Bologna, the painted cards in Florence. Since Rosenwald (Florence) shows greater similarity to the painted cards (Florence), I assume that BAR would have equal similarity to what a Bolognese deck of the 1450s would look like, and that the difference between the 1450s and the date of invention is utterly inconsequential. Therefore, by this reasoning, the BAR sheet is the closest design to the Ur-Tarot.
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Re: Bolognese sequence

#119
mikeh wrote: I suppose the University of Bologna could count in the the "elsewhere" category, as far as the invention and early playing of the game. Theoretically the game could even have been invented by the "two popes" faction alone (some member of the Bentivoglio faction, and played in the Bentivoglio houses among themselves during 1438-1441. However there it still seems like too politically loaded a game, with its two popes and emperors, and not very diverting, as not everyone could be trusted not to tell tales.

But perhaps there is still something I am still not understanding about your viewpoint.
In all my thinking, remember that I am constrained by my dating, by my premise that it was 22 trumps originally, and that the Bolognese version of the A family is the Ur-Tarot. Thus the equal-Papi rule - not known in Florence, but then we only know Florentine rules later from Minchiate, when one of those papi had already been removed (presumably the Popess present in the Rosenwald sheet) - is relevant, and the position of the Chariot, before the three Virtues, is relevant to the allegorical interpretation. With these premises, for which I have tried here and elsewhere to establish the basis, I think that contemporary concerns can be seen in the sequence. Since they are so specific, I think this offers a reason why outside of Bologna nobody understood it and changed the order and style of the subjects to suit other concepts of what the allegory might be made to say (yet still using the same 22 subjects, which proves their stability, and to me seems to be evidence of their being originally established as such).

I think there is nothing implausible in it being a pointed - or perhaps slightly muted - political allegory of the state of the world in general, and the Bolognese situation in particular, at this time. Its anonymity would suggest as much. About the political allegory of the equal-Papi rule, something we were talking about a few months ago is appropriate here:

From
viewtopic.php?p=4022#p4022
Michael once sent me a quote while we were discussing the Pope-Emperor wrestling picture a few years ago, which gives a lot of insight that I think also applies to understanding why there are various trump orders -
It might too easily have been considered contrary to
the maxim that summa ratio est quae pro religione facit, "the
best rule is that which is in the interest of religion." But with
the new media of the engraving and, after 1400, the woodcut,
a greater freedom of expression resulted. The woodcut allowed
the artist a margin of safety and anonymity which the painted
image could not grant him, and was easily and cheaply repro-
duced. With it the skeptical layman's notion of the essential
connection between pope and emperor in respect of power, posi-
tion and right could appear openly and explicitly.


While the modern political cartoon must be so composed
that it can be read and understood at a glance, the older politi-
cal picture was often extremely complicated crowded, even
overloaded, and remained so down to the beginning of the
Industrial revolution -- surely a far from accidental coinci-
of production and consumption. Sometimes the early
picture could be interpreted in a variety of ways, calling for
literate interpreters and lengthy discussion. Contemporary stu-
dents might have disagreed about their detailed meanings just
as present-day historians may differ in the interpretation of the
15th and 16th century prints reproduced here.
It is not certain
whether the meeting of pope and emperor depicted in these
two prints, took place near 1460 or in 1470 between Pius II
(1458-64) or Paul II (1464-71) and Emperor Frederick III.
From "World Politics" (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs), p. 90 (my bold)

"Contemporary students might have disagreed about their detailed meanings..."

This is why there are different orders. However, even though the detailed meanings of the various sequences indicate different understandings of the series on the part of their inventors, what is inescapable is that the same GENERAL understanding (the three main parts) remains intact in ALL orders (excluding only the Virtues, and then only possibly in B-Eastern). This means everybody got the "gist" of it, but fussed about with particular placements in the "middle section" (I call this gist, by analogy with biblical criticism, the "synoptic" view - and it is neat that there are three families of trump orders, just as there are three synoptic gospels).

But since all the orders use, in various arrangements, the same 22 subjects, this implies that there was an original set in a particular order that would explain both the choice of subjects and their sequence. It may have been too localized for it to have been precisely understood outside of its original context, and contemporary players might have disagreed about the detailed meaning of the sequence (and changed it accordingly), but the synoptic story was clear."



Moakley (pp. 73-74) commented on this:

"Then too, the Pope and Popess would be thought of as natural enemies of the Emperor since there was constant conflict between Popes and Emperors. Occasionally political cartoons of the time show this in caricature. One cartoon shows a snake marked "Duke of Milan" on the back of the Pope's head, while the Pope is wrestling with the Emperor." (notes: "The political cartoon is reproduced in Hind (Early) IV pl 399 (a Venetian cartoon of about 1470). Pope and Emperor are naked wrestlers, standing on the mast of a ship marked "Duces Austrie".)"

Showing politics, including Popes and Emperors (here wrestling, later bowling or playing cards), as a game was common enough with advent of woodcut, so I don't think it is far-fetched to see it IN a game as well. Especially in a city that had good reason, and was intelligent enough, to be "skeptical" - if not downright cynical. My claim that the equal-papi rule shows this makes tarot the earliest woodcut to show it (that I know of) and imply it by the rules, but Tarot has a number of other "firsts" - such as associating Death with 13, and putting a Popess under the triumph of Love - so I don't think it is too strong, at least not unprecedented nor gratuitous, to claim this for tarot as well.
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Re: Bolognese sequence

#120
mikeh wrote:I don't understand why it was important to have two emperors. Italians had no say in their election; what difference did it make to them? Perhaps you have explained this somewhere before; if so give me a link. I can see the emperors as Constantinople and Rome, especially in the 1450's; but if so the two Popes would be, by then, of these jurisdictions, too.
I think Emperors of East and West is the most apt interpretation too, but insofar as we have the iconography of the Papi as such in Bologna (before they were changed into Moors), they seem to distinguish the Emperors by beard or no beard, and sitting or standing (rather than by typically "eastern" features vs. western ones). Both are shown by Mitelli, while the 17th century cards (like those in my first post on this thread) seem to both be sitting - but they are distinguished by a beard and beardless. In the Charles VI, there is only one Emperor, but he is sitting and bearded, which is in agreement with half the equation.

The distinction then may be between a "sitting" Emperor - the old one, established, and the new, youthful one. This condition is somewhat met in our time, but Sigmund (bearded) really died in December 1437, although Albert (II of Habsburg, 1397-1439), his successor, was 40 years old, he isn't shown with a beard in any pictures I have seen. Albert's successor Frederick III really was young though (only 24). So two Emperors might just refer to dynastic inheritance rather than a real battle for supremacy. Or maybe it is just the need for symmetry with the two Popes, following on the symmetry of the four papi themselves with the four King(dom)s of the suits.

Our time is good for an Eastern-Western Emperor interpretation though, because of the Council of Ferrara-Florence. The Ecclesiastical union was supposed to be a political one too. Paleologue made a point to visit Bologna on his way home from Florence, staying August 31-September 3 1439 and knighting some citizens, in grand pomp. He must have been aware of the controversy surrounding the money that the Bolognese had raised to pay for his coming to Italy; the chronicles mention it again in their entries on his visit.

Although no western Emperor attended the Coucil in person, in Ferrara an empty throne was set opposite to that of the Emperor of Constantinople to represent him (the recently passed Sigmund).
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