Re: Bolognese sequence

#121
Ross said,
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.
You've lost me. Ferrara shows evidence (not conclusive, of course) of 13 and 14 trumps early on. In Milan, the Michelino had 16, and 16 trumps would correspond to the CY suit cards, for 5x16. In Florence there could, for all we know, have been 16, or 17 if we take the existence of the Moon and the Sun as weak evidence for the Star, and no evidence or favorable conditions before a little before 1450. There is no evidence for Bologna before 1442, also inconclusive, although conditions were favorable starting in 1438. So why couldn't there be 16 or 17 trumps ca. 1438 in Milan, 14 in Ferrara, same time; and 16 or 17 in Florence ca. 1449 or so? And Bologna the same as Milan, ca. 1439 (homage to Filippo, more plausible than creation from scratch ca. 1438 after a period of severe repression), in a limited way at first, maybe a printed edition 1440 or 1441; then later (c. 1449 or so) Bologna changes the look to be more like Florence, where Sante and his artists come from, one change of several. Since the ruling families of all four cities play cards with one another, the trump sequence could have had the same three sections, but with somewhat different cards, different numbers of cards in each section, and different orders in each, because of different local conditions. All of these cities have their local heroic/tyrannical families, and at least three with betrayals or other persecution (Ferrara is lucky until later). At some point the number of trumps shifts to 20 in Milan, without Devil and Tower; in Florence, without Devil and Popess; in Bologna the number is 20 or 21 (with or without Tower), still similar-looking to Florence except that it has two popes and two emperors, one of each pair looking rather effeminate. Later, in the interest of standardization, Florence and Milan have 21, too, but without Bologna's odd innovation. At some point (before or after standardization) Devil is added. Ferrara at some point--but before the "Steele Sermon," and Boiardo's poem, whenever they were--joins the others. I'm not saying that's the way it was, just that this account is as plausible as any other, and perhaps more reflective of the evidence.

Also, 22 is a prima facie strange number of trumps for a deck to start out with. 14 or 16 plus maybe a wild card is more natural, as it corresponds to the number of cards in the suits. (And if 13 wasn't an unlucky number until tarot made it one, there is no necessity, of course, that the Death card be number 13 early on.) 20 is a natural expansion: decades were also natural, as in the number of pip cards; and witness the "Montegna," which most art historians place in the 1450's or 1460's. Two decades make a natural progression of the soul, first down and then up through the ten spheres (Empyrian through Luna). Then in the interest of standardization, one more sphere is added, adding the sublunary to the other ten in each direction. (One might be tempted to say, well, that's a natural sequence, too; but I don't see such sequences of 11 written or pictured at that time.)
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.
Your assumption of Bolognese tarot conservatism 1435-1513 (roughly), based on Florentine conservatism then and Bolognese conservatism later, seems to me unjustified. Later on (after the 1400's), Bologna's tarot was conservative and Florence's wasn't, even though both were type A. So why couldn't Florence have been conservative and Bologna not, 1435-1513? Bologna was subject to frequent radically shifting external political and artistic dependencies then, especially in the critical period 1435-1447, unlike Florence then (either the shorter or longer period) and Bologna post-1512. So the Bolognese may have needed to be occasionally profligate redesigners, to keep up with changing times.

Ross wrote:
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.
I have not disputed this point, that there is contemporary politics in the game. It is my affirmation of it that makes me think that a deck with the "four papi" rule would have been too politically volatile for mass distribution in the period 1438-1440 and also the period 1442-1447. The "four papi" rule would have been offensive to many even in the one town of Bologna; many wouldn't have agreed about there being two popes, even cynically; and some of those that did would have disagreed about the wisdom of a game that said so. Fights might have broken out over this point. Only when the schism ended (i.e. after 1446) could there be a deck with two popes that all could agree on: a Pope in Rome and a Patriarch in Constantinople (and the cynics could still say, to each other, that it was the two popes in the West). That's the only time a mass-distribution deck with the "four papi" makes historical sense in Bologna, although I suppose there could have been a limited trial-run, withdrawn except for export, in 1440-1441.

Thanks for the explanation of the "two emperors." So unlike Felix and Eugenius, they're not in competition with each other. A possible difficulty is that then the situation with the emperors is not parallel with those popes. The explanation is ad hoc in that way. Eastern/Western is more parallel, with a subtext, for some people, of the two popes of the schism and nothing for the emperors, unless there is some aspect of competition between a bearded and non-bearded emperor relevant to Bologna that we don't know about, e.g. opposing policies. However an ad hoc explanation is better than none.

Re: Bolognese sequence

#122
Hi Mike,
mikeh wrote:Ross said,
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.
You've lost me. Ferrara shows evidence (not conclusive, of course) of 13 and 14 trumps early on. In Milan, the Michelino had 16, and 16 trumps would correspond to the CY suit cards, for 5x16. In Florence there could, for all we know, have been 16, or 17 if we take the existence of the Moon and the Sun as weak evidence for the Star, and no evidence or favorable conditions before a little before 1450. There is no evidence for Bologna before 1442, also inconclusive, although conditions were favorable starting in 1438. So why couldn't there be 16 or 17 trumps ca. 1438 in Milan, 14 in Ferrara, same time; and 16 or 17 in Florence ca. 1449 or so?
Such a scenario for me violates the simplest solution - cards are missing from all of these, which were once complete decks. The fact is that all of the surviving luxury Triumph decks of the 15th century (with the exception of Sola Busca) are incomplete. They lack some or most of the suit cards, so it is logical to infer they lack some trumps too. On one extreme, Charles VI only has one suit card remaining; on the other, Brambilla only has two trumps remaining, and most of the suit cards.

The subjects are common to them all, they are the standard subjects. The exceptions are the 3 Theological Virtues of the CY, and the mysterious figure of the Catania. This latter has at least one outstanding feature that makes an interpretation as Temperance - a standard subject - plausible, however. But 99% of the surviving cards, taken as a whole, represent the standard subjects.

The Occam's razor solution is that one standard series was adapted in various locations. Cards, including trumps, are missing in all of the surviving Tarot decks. The scenario of complexity - each set of surviving trumps is complete, and out of this profusion the three synoptic orders resulted (using the exact same subjects) - is counterintuitive and theoretically highly implausible.

All you have to remember is that in the first decade of attestation, 1442-1452, the game is known from Siena to Monselice, and from Ferrara (if not Rimini) to Milan. That's a large swath of Northern Italy. We can assume it was known in other places within these boundaries and on its edges at least - places like Bologna, right in the middle, and Padua and Mantua, just on the northern edge. All are attested in the next few years anyway. Who would have had the power - what "Central Tarot Authority" - to make sure everyone changed to the new standard every time new cards were added to the trump series? It's silly to think so. The simpler view is that each place received a version, either the original standard or an adaptation of it, and developed its own manner of play and ultimately redesigned the cards if the local market was big enough for a local cardmaker to need to make it. The differences among all the traditions are more of degree than kind, and all stick to the normal number.

The only problem for this scenario for Dummett was the CY - because like many he believed it could be as early as 1428. Therefore he posited a courtly invention, with small circulation, that was shortened into the standard. But now we know that 1428 is an impossible date, and that CY is probably a variant rather than an early standard. The Brambilla, exactly contemporary to the CY, shows no signs of having six court cards in each suit; and interpreting Bastoni as Arrows - done partially in both decks - never caught on outside of the Visconti court.

The only fact that does not fit this model nicely is the 1457 "carte grande da trionfi with 70 cards per pack" reference. I gave my answer to this on Aeclectic a while ago.
http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php? ... stcount=11
(the whole thread is worth reviewing in the context of our discussion here)

Basically, since it is so anomalous to the overwhelming trend of the evidence, it must be an error of the original accountant. But I admit this is the always the weakest of positions to take. However, you might want to consider whether "carte grande da trionfi" are different from "carte da trionfi" (Burdochio July 28 1442) or "cartexelle da trionfi" (Feb. 10 1442). I don't like Hurst's initial solution of a shortened deck (only two suit cards per suit... why not make the whole thing?), nor autorbis' of the Ferrarese standard being 5x14.

In sum, I think the idea that each location played with a different number of trumps, and gradually everybody coalesced into the same number and the same subjects, but in differing orders, is so unwieldy and complex, demanding so many interactions and standardizing moments, as to be impossible. It is certainly anti-Occam, actively "multiplying entities", when they are not necessary with the diffusion-adaptation model.

I hope you don't think Marziano had a 5x16 deck. The text doesn't mention the number of "pips", and only says a King for the courts. The most conservative position would be that it has 10 pips and a King in each suit, for 44 suited cards. Add the 16 Gods and Heroes and you have 60.

By coincidence, this division would match the ratio of Trumps to suit cards in Tarot, 22:14, or (roundly) 3:2. 16:11 is also the same 3:2. Dummett used the same reasoning to suppose that the CY had 24 Trumps and a Fool, for a Trump/Suit ratio of 25:16, or the same (round) 3:2.

Whether the ratio was important or not, it seems that a higher number of trumps relative to a suit was the desired model.

A difference between known 5x14 and 5x13 decks is that these latter were all suited; since we don't know how the Liechentsteinische game nor the Master PW game was played, we can't say that either had a trump suit. But even if they were played like that, the extra suit was not one of allegorical trumps, it was just another suit.
And Bologna the same as Milan, ca. 1439 (homage to Filippo, more plausible than creation from scratch ca. 1438 after a period of severe repression), in a limited way at first, maybe a printed edition 1440 or 1441; then later (c. 1449 or so) Bologna changes the look to be more like Florence, where Sante and his artists come from, one change of several. Since the ruling families of all four cities play cards with one another, the trump sequence could have had the same three sections, but with somewhat different cards, different numbers of cards in each section, and different orders in each, because of different local conditions. All of these cities have their local heroic/tyrannical families, and at least three with betrayals or other persecution (Ferrara is lucky until later). At some point the number of trumps shifts to 20 in Milan, without Devil and Tower; in Florence, without Devil and Popess; in Bologna the number is 20 or 21 (with or without Tower), still similar-looking to Florence except that it has two popes and two emperors, one of each pair looking rather effeminate. Later, in the interest of standardization, Florence and Milan have 21, too, but without Bologna's odd innovation. At some point (before or after standardization) Devil is added. Ferrara at some point--but before the "Steele Sermon," and Boiardo's poem, whenever they were--joins the others. I'm not saying that's the way it was, just that this account is as plausible as any other, and perhaps more reflective of the evidence.
As you can see, I hardly think this scenario is "as plausible as any other". It is certainly not the simplest and most obvious solution - diffusion of a standard pattern with variations evolving. It demands constant interaction of players across great distances, sharing games, and constantly borrowing from each other until a stasis is reached where everybody has the same number of cards, but arranged differently. This might be how water finds its level, but it's not how a tree grows, with branches and twists and turns around obstacles, and adaptations to its environment. Cardplayers don't like novelty for the sake of novelty; they get good at a game and like their cards as they are. On the iconographic level, it is hard enough to play with un-indexed cards - you have to get very used to the cards before play becomes natural, to the very subtle indications, since you can't see the whole of the cards in your hands, just a part of each of them - if new and unfamiliar images were added willy-nilly over a period of a few decades, it is hard to see how the game could have survived.

On a practical level, it would demand that new plates were carved every time a new set of cards were added, and old ones, still fresh (since they last decades), thrown away.
Also, 22 is a prima facie strange number of trumps for a deck to start out with.
What would be really strange is that everybody would end up with the same number in the end, if there were multitudes of various versions, with different numbers and subjects of trumps, spreading all over the place for several decades. Who centralized, standardized, and propagated this official version in different kinds, and managed to supress 100% of the local variants in 14, 15, 16, 17, 20 etc. numbers of trumps? (and different subjects, presumably).

In sum, the diffusion-adaptation of a single standard model (same number and subjects) is vastly simpler and explains more, than the coalescence over time of a multitude of different standards (different numbers and subjects) model.

Ross
Image

Re: Bolognese sequence / Holy Cow "22"

#123
hi,
...
Such a scenario for me violates the simplest solution - cards are missing from all of these, which were once complete decks. The fact is that all of the surviving luxury Triumph decks of the 15th century (with the exception of Sola Busca) are incomplete.
"Fact" is, that the surviving cards are interpreted by some in the manner, that they belonged to a so-defined standard Tarot composition with 4x14+22-structure.
The "real fact" about the surviving cards is, that they are, what they are, and that they are an object to research and can be interpreted by suggestions, what their background might have been. Your attempt "that all of the surviving luxury Triumph decks of the 15th century are incomplete" wishes to fish a "result" out of the current research situation, which favors the idea, that a "4x14 + 22"-structure existed from beginning on.
They lack some or most of the suit cards, so it is logical to infer they lack some trumps too. On one extreme, Charles VI only has one suit card remaining; on the other, Brambilla only has two trumps remaining, and most of the suit cards.
You're right, most of the 15th century decks are incomplete, but it doesn't mean, that all were incomplete. For instance we can regard the whole matter in "complete suits". For the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarocchi it means, that 2 suits are incomplete and 2 others are complete and for the 5th suit, the trumps, we don't know. Either it's "complete", as the 5x14-theory suggests, or it 's incomplete, as the early-standard-Tarot-hypothesis takes it. The suits results suggests, that it's a 50% chance for both (cause 2:2 suits are incomplete/complete), but the document of 1457 speaks of 70 cards (together with many other observations) and that decides the matter for the 5x14 theory ... not with 100 % security, of course, but with the right to claim to be the probable solution.

From the maybe 30 complete or incomplete decks, which we have from 15th century from the German/Flemish background, we have a good portion of 20-25% which might be called complete or nearly complete. Why we should assume by this statistic, that all surviving cards of Italian decks are incomplete?
The subjects are common to them all, they are the standard subjects. The exceptions are the 3 Theological Virtues of the CY, and the mysterious figure of the Catania.
Not to forget Fama in the Cary-Yale, the Goldschmidt and Guildhall cards, the Visconti-Snake, the falconer, the Mantegna Tarocchi, the Boiardo Tarocchi poem, the Sola-Busca Tarocchi, the Minchiate, the composition of the Michelino deck, curious details of triumphal processions, the differences in the local numerology of the cards etc., then, after we sorted this other strange objects all out, we have the result of a clean monotheistic "standard Tarot", which always had been and was the dominant card game of 15th century.
That's a solid woodcutter technology, if he cuts everything, what doesn't look like an oak tree, he finally gets an oak forest.
Well, the method explains the "final success" of an oak forest, but not the conditions in the original forest. And I would say, we're interested in the original forest, when we ask for the origin of Tarot
... But 99% of the surviving cards, taken as a whole, represent the standard subjects.
... 99% ... :-) ... after you've sorted the documents, or before? If I count Michelino deck, Boiardo poem and Sola-Busca alone, then I've 16+22+22 = 60 trump cards ... how many surviving standard Tarot motifs as trumps do you have on your list? I would think, that the number of "unusual single trumps" of 15th century surpasses the number of surviving standard Tarot cards from the same period, your "99%" might be quickly down to 49% or less.

The Occam's razor solution is that one standard series was adapted in various locations.
.. :-) ... Occam's razor woodcutter technology? We've documents, which inform about "Trionfi cards", not Tarot cards. And we're interested to know, what this term means in 15th century use. We know, that it could mean "Michelino deck" and even "Mantegna Tarocchi" and also "standard Tarot" motifs. What do we wish to clear with Occam's razor? Simplify the state of the documents? "Trionfi" customs were a broad creative genre.
Cards, including trumps, are missing in all of the surviving Tarot decks. The scenario of complexity - each set of surviving trumps is complete, and out of this profusion the three synoptic orders resulted (using the exact same subjects) - is counterintuitive and theoretically highly implausible.
Well, we have as object a period of various decades in 15th century with a lot of persons and a lot of time to do something, and we've the curious detail, that these persons in Italy 15th century didn't dance according the pipe of 20/21th Tarot researchers and formed some individual cards and games ... good luck, how reality would be stupid, if it were different.
Well, the only thing, which I can regard as "counterintuitive" is this stubborn theory, that there always was only one game of Tarot, and this in spite of a proven existence of many other games, many other creativity and the general irregular behavior of the researched object.

All you have to remember is that in the first decade of attestation, 1442-1452, the game is known from Siena to Monselice, and from Ferrara (if not Rimini) to Milan. That's a large swath of Northern Italy.
You forget to tell, that this all occurs in a limited net of very high standing persons, which naturally communicated with each other.
We can assume it was known in other places within these boundaries and on its edges at least - places like Bologna, right in the middle, and Padua and Mantua, just on the northern edge. All are attested in the next few years anyway. Who would have had the power - what "Central Tarot Authority" - to make sure everyone changed to the new standard every time new cards were added to the trump series? It's silly to think so. The simpler view is that each place received a version, either the original standard or an adaptation of it, and developed its own manner of play and ultimately redesigned the cards if the local market was big enough for a local cardmaker to need to make it. The differences among all the traditions are more of degree than kind, and all stick to the normal number.
What we only miss in the documents are the clear sign of mass market Trionfi cards. We know, that high circles of society adapted the game with very personal interests to manifest with their games a personal luxury.
...
Cardplayers don't like novelty for the sake of novelty; they get good at a game and like their cards as they are. On the iconographic level, it is hard enough to play with un-indexed cards - you have to get very used to the cards before play becomes natural, to the very subtle indications, since you can't see the whole of the cards in your hands, just a part of each of them - if new and unfamiliar images were added willy-nilly over a period of a few decades, it is hard to see how the game could have survived.
This might be true, if mass market existed.
What would be really strange is that everybody would end up with the same number in the end, if there were multitudes of various versions, with different numbers and subjects of trumps, spreading all over the place for several decades. Who centralized, standardized, and propagated this official version in different kinds, and managed to supress 100% of the local variants in 14, 15, 16, 17, 20 etc. numbers of trumps? (and different subjects, presumably).
There is no need for centralization and "official versions" in phases, in which the creative aspects dominated ... and we've only evidence for this "creative and expensive decks". And generally ... we've also in Germany observable a long creative phase, before "standard forms" became dominant.

We have it for Bologna in 1459, that a card producer could identify a single Trionfi deck as his own. What sort of Trionfi card producer was this? Surely not a Trionfi card mass market producer. And it was a German, not a homeland producer, which it should have been, if Trionfi card production had already a longer tradition in Bologna. So far our knowledge about Bolognese card production.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence

#124
Hi Mike,
mikeh wrote: Your assumption of Bolognese tarot conservatism 1435-1513 (roughly), based on Florentine conservatism then and Bolognese conservatism later, seems to me unjustified. Later on (after the 1400's), Bologna's tarot was conservative and Florence's wasn't, even though both were type A. So why couldn't Florence have been conservative and Bologna not, 1435-1513? Bologna was subject to frequent radically shifting external political and artistic dependencies then, especially in the critical period 1435-1447, unlike Florence then (either the shorter or longer period) and Bologna post-1512. So the Bolognese may have needed to be occasionally profligate redesigners, to keep up with changing times.
I showed in some previous posts that Florence's 78 card game is demonstrably changing in the 15th century, up to the invention of Germini (generally held to be around 1520). Charles VI and Catania's numbers (early 16th?) show a system that puts the Chariot above the Wheel, while the Rosenwald (c. 1500) sheet seems to want it below the Wheel, and the Strambotti poem (1500-1502) puts it beneath the Wheel. Additionally, the Popess is missing in the Strambotti poem. Finally, the fact that the papi cards are named Empress, Emperor and Pope is also a documentary hapax for Florence or any A sequence. Finally, at some point the Empress was changed into another Emperor, which is how these cards iconographically entered into the Germini. There is no trace of the 22 trump card game in Florence either after the Strambotti poem and Rosenwald sheet.

We don't have any definitely Bolognese cards earlier than the BAR, so we can't say what if any changes were made in the 15th century to the Bolognese pattern. We can say that in the 16th century rules (Pedini) the names match the images, and that in the 17th century the images have changed only slightly from the BAR of around 150 years earlier, and that the order of the cards is the same as the Pedini rules. In other words, a very strict continuity for the first 150 years of attested existence, which continues today. Assuming the same degree of continuity for the earlier 60 years should be the default position.

Comparing the Florentine luxury cards to Rosenwald is a control method which happily exists. Unfortunately we cannot see if they had a Popess and Empress yet in the 1450s or so when these cards were painted, but the numbering on the Charles VI shows that there was only room for one other Papi card when the series was numbered, so it was probably an Empress (if we directly infer from the evidence of the Strambotti poem), or another Emperor (if we guess that it had two Popes and two Emperors when it was painted).

Lately I'm tending to think that the Florentines invented the Popess and Empress, probably in the 1440s, and it was from Florence that the printed Tarot made its greatest expansion. In this model, the sequence still went Love-Chariot when Tarot went from Florence to France - and thereby contained the full four papi, but with the female figures, as well. Thus Rosenwald shows a Tarot that might have been in France in the second half of the 15th century, before it took the "Tarot de Marseille" form and classic C ordering.
Image

Re: Bolognese sequence / Holy Cow "22"

#125
Huck wrote:
Such a scenario for me violates the simplest solution - cards are missing from all of these, which were once complete decks. The fact is that all of the surviving luxury Triumph decks of the 15th century (with the exception of Sola Busca) are incomplete.
"Fact" is, that the surviving cards are interpreted by some in the manner, that they belonged to a so-defined standard Tarot composition with 4x14+22-structure.
The "real fact" about the surviving cards is, that they are, what they are, and that they are an object to research and can be interpreted by suggestions, what their background might have been. Your attempt "that all of the surviving luxury Triumph decks of the 15th century are incomplete" wishes to fish a "result" out of the current research situation, which favors the idea, that a "4x14 + 22"-structure existed from beginning on.
You're missing my point, but you get it below - all of the decks are incomplete, except for Sola Busca which is not relevant to our period anyway (since it, like Boiardo, is obviously an adaptation of the already existing standard).

Lost cards - it is true for all of them. Some lost most or even all of their trumps (Brambilla, Rothschild), some lost most or even all of their suit cards (like BAR), but all are incomplete. Incompleteness is the rule. I infer from this that it is much more likely that trump sequences with less than the standard number are incomplete, rather than complete but variant styles of trumps.
They lack some or most of the suit cards, so it is logical to infer they lack some trumps too. On one extreme, Charles VI only has one suit card remaining; on the other, Brambilla only has two trumps remaining, and most of the suit cards.
You're right, most of the 15th century decks are incomplete, but it doesn't mean, that all were incomplete. For instance we can regard the whole matter in "complete suits". For the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarocchi it means, that 2 suits are incomplete and 2 others are complete and for the 5th suit, the trumps, we don't know. Either it's "complete", as the 5x14-theory suggests, or it 's incomplete, as the early-standard-Tarot-hypothesis takes it. The suits results suggests, that it's a 50% chance for both (cause 2:2 suits are incomplete/complete), but the document of 1457 speaks of 70 cards (together with many other observations) and that decides the matter for the 5x14 theory ... not with 100 % security, of course, but with the right to claim to be the probable solution.


It's not "50/50" because the rule of incompleteness makes it much more likely that the PMB is incomplete as well (as it factually is, in the suits).
From the maybe 30 complete or incomplete decks, which we have from 15th century from the German/Flemish background, we have a good portion of 20-25% which might be called complete or nearly complete. Why we should assume by this statistic, that all surviving cards of Italian decks are incomplete?


But it's NOT an "assumption", it's just a fact. Which 15th century Italian Tarot, with anything like the standard subjects, or any Italian deck at all, is complete? Except for Sola Busca and Boiardo's poem (both of which show the 4x14+22 structure), that is, of course.
The subjects are common to them all, they are the standard subjects. The exceptions are the 3 Theological Virtues of the CY, and the mysterious figure of the Catania.
Not to forget Fama in the Cary-Yale,
You call her Fama, but she is cognate to the Charles VI and Catania "Fama" too - so why not just "World"?
the Goldschmidt and Guildhall cards,
the Visconti-Snake, the falconer, the Mantegna Tarocchi,
We don't know that the Gold. and Guildhall cards were a "Tarot".
The Pseudo-Mantegna are NOT playing cards at all, and are not known to have been called "tarocchi" until the 18th century.
the Boiardo Tarocchi poem, the Sola-Busca Tarocchi, the Minchiate,
The first two are based on the structure of the standard Tarot - they are not independent inventions of the idea of a trump suit. Minchiate is an evolution of the same standard game.

What relevance do any of these have, except to show that people experimented with standards? Minchiate became a very standard set in its own right, but it also had a few experiments done on its imagery.

The standard is the rule, the experiments are the exception. You are trying to invert this by bringing in late and derivative designs, but these are not relevant to the 1440s and the invention of an extra suit of permanent trumps.

There is only ONE prior example, and that is:
the composition of the Michelino deck,
This is finally something close to the concept of Tarot. The extent of its influence is unknown, and we can only speculate - we don't even know when it was painted. At least Marcello recognized that it had a suit of trumps, which is the only thing I can imagine led him to call it a "triumph" game. I don't think he'd have called the Stuttgart pack a "triumph game".

But if any and all card-experimentation is to be called "triumphs", then it is hopeless to try to define anything or write its history.
curious details of triumphal processions, the differences in the local numerology of the cards etc.,
The differences of local numbering are precisely what shows that various regions reacted differently to the same standard set of unnumbered trumps. It is impossible that they would all come to the same subjects and number of subjects independently, by accident. One of them is either original, or close to the original, idea of the set of carte da trionfi.
then, after we sorted this other strange objects all out, we have the result of a clean monotheistic "standard Tarot", which always had been and was the dominant card game of 15th century.
That's a solid woodcutter technology, if he cuts everything, what doesn't look like an oak tree, he finally gets an oak forest.
Well, the method explains the "final success" of an oak forest, but not the conditions in the original forest. And I would say, we're interested in the original forest, when we ask for the origin of Tarot


I don't know your timeline, it would be interesting to see, how the Steele Sermon, the Budapest/Met museum sheets, the BAR, Rosenwald, and numbering of the Este, Charles VI and Catania cards - all within one of the three families of standard orders, resulted.

Is there time, in your theory, for the Bolognese maker of 1477 to have "standarized" a previous mess of cards, and then for other regions to have changed the orders and designs of the same cards, into their own standards, by 1500? And where does Steele fit into this? Depaulis thinks it could be as early as 1460 - of course you will have to disagree on principle.

So, by your theory, the three standard families were developed completely between 1477 and 1500, and all trace of the previous strange experiments never gained any traction and were lost, although the same cards continued to be used, just expanded equally and by exactly the same number of subjects by all.
... But 99% of the surviving cards, taken as a whole, represent the standard subjects.
... 99% ... :-) ... after you've sorted the documents, or before? If I count Michelino deck, Boiardo poem and Sola-Busca alone, then I've 16+22+22 = 60 trump cards ... how many surviving standard Tarot motifs as trumps do you have on your list? I would think, that the number of "unusual single trumps" of 15th century surpasses the number of surviving standard Tarot cards from the same period, your "99%" might be quickly down to 49% or less.


SB and Boiardo don't count; they are derivative of the standard order, completely reinventing it. They imply the existence of the standard. I cannot believe you think they are independent inventions, unaware of standard Tarot. If so, it is quite a coincidence they use 4x14+22 - they must have loved that 22 for some reason!

Michelino is again a proto-Tarot, and whether it is direct ancestor or distant cousin is not possible to tell, only to conjecture about.

The Occam's razor solution is that one standard series was adapted in various locations.
.. :-) ... Occam's razor woodcutter technology? We've documents, which inform about "Trionfi cards", not Tarot cards. And we're interested to know, what this term means in 15th century use. We know, that it could mean "Michelino deck" and even "Mantegna Tarocchi" and also "standard Tarot" motifs. What do we wish to clear with Occam's razor? Simplify the state of the documents? "Trionfi" customs were a broad creative genre.
Again, it is absurd to use Mantegna in this context. It is a complete misnomer, and very late anyway.

It seems that Michelino could only mean "triumph" because it had something in common with standard Triumphs - since it is not the subject matter, in any way at all, it has to be the structure. 4xX+16. This is the source of Marcello's remark. Polismagna's reasoning must be the same, and maybe he even saw the deck in person, if he had dealings with Marcello.

I don't think you can infer from these specific circumstances that "trionfi were a broad creative genre". There had to be a first that the creativity derived from, just like today with all our thousands of tarots. The first one was the creative one, the others adaptations of that initial design, sometimes not resembling it at all.

All you have to remember is that in the first decade of attestation, 1442-1452, the game is known from Siena to Monselice, and from Ferrara (if not Rimini) to Milan. That's a large swath of Northern Italy.
You forget to tell, that this all occurs in a limited net of very high standing persons, which naturally communicated with each other.
Siena's "people" we don't know who they were; Florence's 1450 rule doesn't say who is playing the game; Marcello's "makers of these things" are not known; Sforza's retail supplier in 1450 is not known; Burdochio is only there because he happened to sell a Triumph pack. Trotti is only known because he wrote a book, not because he was connected to a rich house. All of these are preserved not because they were intimate associates of the rich and powerful, but by accident. Their connection to Triumph cards has nothing to do with a close-knit group of aristocratic players.

The point is that of course historical accident preserved the records of the rich and powerful of this decade in this area, and naturally they are associated with each other. Those who are not associated will not have the same chance to be preserved.

Ross
Image

Re: Bolognese sequence / Holy Cow "22"

#126
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Lost cards - it is true for all of them. Some lost most or even all of their trumps (Brambilla, Rothschild), some lost most or even all of their suit cards (like BAR), but all are incomplete. Incompleteness is the rule. I infer from this that it is much more likely that trump sequences with less than the standard number are incomplete, rather than complete but variant styles of trumps
Exactly, one only need look at the chart of Visconti decks in Kaplan to see that the standard was to lose cards. The amazing thing about the Visconti Sforza is that it managed to remain as intact as it is, and even it, no matter what theory you chose to apply on top of it, is nevertheless, incomplete.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Bolognese sequence / Holy Cow "22"

#127
robert wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Lost cards - it is true for all of them. Some lost most or even all of their trumps (Brambilla, Rothschild), some lost most or even all of their suit cards (like BAR), but all are incomplete. Incompleteness is the rule. I infer from this that it is much more likely that trump sequences with less than the standard number are incomplete, rather than complete but variant styles of trumps
Exactly, one only need look at the chart of Visconti decks in Kaplan to see that the standard was to lose cards. The amazing thing about the Visconti Sforza is that it managed to remain as intact as it is, and even it, no matter what theory you chose to apply on top of it, is nevertheless, incomplete.
A supporter ! (of this part at least) Thanks Robert!

Glad you brought up Kaplan's chart (especially the bigger one in Volume 2). I was looking at it to see if the VS copies also copied the missing suit cards, and it seems none of them preserve them. Makes me suspicious of forgery, or at least late enough that the cards were already missing before the copies were made.
Image

Re: Bolognese sequence / Holy Cow "22"

#128
You're missing my point, but you get it below - all of the decks are incomplete, except for Sola Busca which is not relevant to our period anyway (since it, like Boiardo, is obviously an adaptation of the already existing standard).


Sorry, I don't see clear evidence, that the Boiardo is an adaptation of the already existing standard - it might be the first. Not, that I think it probable, but "obviously" goes too far.
Lost cards - it is true for all of them. Some lost most or even all of their trumps (Brambilla, Rothschild), some lost most or even all of their suit cards (like BAR), but all are incomplete. Incompleteness is the rule. I infer from this that it is much more likely that trump sequences with less than the standard number are incomplete, rather than complete but variant styles of trumps.
Well, as far the trumps are concerned, I think, that the 14 Bembo cards and the 16 Charles VI are complete, and about the Michelino deck, the Boiardo Tarocchi poem and the Mantegna Tarocchi we have complete information, though not "with real surviving playing cards." We have also complete information about the standard deck by Tarocchi poems, but all these are later in time and we discuss the origin and not the later successful dominance of a specific set of Trionfi cards ... it has no doubt, that these were later the successful variant.
It's not "50/50" because the rule of incompleteness makes it much more likely that the PMB is incomplete as well (as it factually is, in the suits).
There is no rule of incompleteness. And some statements about incomplete trionfi sets just depend on possible insecure and careless evaluations.
From the maybe 30 complete or incomplete decks, which we have from 15th century from the German/Flemish background, we have a good portion of 20-25% which might be called complete or nearly complete. Why we should assume by this statistic, that all surviving cards of Italian decks are incomplete?

But it's NOT an "assumption", it's just a fact. Which 15th century Italian Tarot, with anything like the standard subjects, or any Italian deck at all, is complete? Except for Sola Busca and Boiardo's poem (both of which show the 4x14+22 structure), that is, of course.
The 5x14-theory assumes, that the 14 Bembo trumps and the Charles VI trumps are complete trumps sets ... that shouldn't be new to you. The Michelino is also completely known. Also the Mantegna Tarocchi.

Your idea, that the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo trumps are originally a 4x14+22 deck and the Charles VI-deck also, is an assumption ... as you might call my different idea about them also an assumption.

That's assumption versus assumption ... where is the problem?

The account book of 1457 knew, that it had to pay for 2 times 70 cards. That's also a sort of complete description, which we know of. Though, we don't know the motifs.

You didn't say something about the condition, that we have complete decks in Germany. There is no "rule of incompleteness", that's nonsense. There is just a state, cards are either present or missing.
You call her Fama, but she is cognate to the Charles VI and Catania "Fama" too - so why not just "World"?
... this card has a flying trumpet, why call it world?

We don't know that the Gold. and Guildhall cards were a "Tarot".
I don't call it Tarot. Trionfi cards is the expression.
One of the Guildhall cards is a "World", which otherwise would be seen as a Trionfi card from the Visconti-Sforza series. But it was found in Sevilla, with the others. So ... why shouldn't this be counted as Trionfi cards?
The Pseudo-Mantegna are NOT playing cards at all, and are not known to have been called "tarocchi" until the 18th century.
They were called "Roman triumphs" 1493 in Germany
the Boiardo Tarocchi poem, the Sola-Busca Tarocchi, the Minchiate,
The first two are based on the structure of the standard Tarot - they are not independent inventions of the idea of a trump suit. Minchiate is an evolution of the same standard game.
They document, that Trionfi cards were not simply examples of "Standard Tarot".
What relevance do any of these have, except to show that people experimented with standards? Minchiate became a very standard set in its own right, but it also had a few experiments done on its imagery.

The standard is the rule, the experiments are the exception. You are trying to invert this by bringing in late and derivative designs, but these are not relevant to the 1440s and the invention of an extra suit of permanent trumps.

There is only ONE prior example, and that is:
the composition of the Michelino deck,
This is finally something close to the concept of Tarot. The extent of its influence is unknown, and we can only speculate - we don't even know when it was painted. At least Marcello recognized that it had a suit of trumps, which is the only thing I can imagine led him to call it a "triumph" game. I don't think he'd have called the Stuttgart pack a "triumph game".
I'm not sure, that Marcello wouldn't have done so.
Actually we discuss, when the standard Tarot did develop (or something strong similar with Trionfi cards). There is no security, that it existed at the begin of the Trionfi cards experiments, indeed we have with Michelino deck and Cary-Yale clear signs, that at the beginning were other forms and with the argumentation to the Bembo cards and the Cary-Yale further indications, that its first existence possibly happened late.
But if any and all card-experimentation is to be called "triumphs", then it is hopeless to try to define anything or write its history.
I think we try to understand, what the term "Trionfi" meant, as far it was used in specific situations.
I don't know your timeline, it would be interesting to see, how the Steele Sermon, the Budapest/Met museum sheets, the BAR, Rosenwald, and numbering of the Este, Charles VI and Catania cards - all within one of the three families of standard orders, resulted.

Is there time, in your theory, for the Bolognese maker of 1477 to have "standarized" a previous mess of cards, and then for other regions to have changed the orders and designs of the same cards, into their own standards, by 1500? And where does Steele fit into this? Depaulis thinks it could be as early as 1460 - of course you will have to disagree on principle.

So, by your theory, the three standard families were developed completely between 1477 and 1500, and all trace of the previous strange experiments never gained any traction and were lost, although the same cards continued to be used, just expanded equally and by exactly the same number of subjects by all.
Let's assume, that the "handpainted Trionfi culture" produced something 2000-10000 decks totally , and then the mass market started and possibly produced 20.000 - 100.000 decks in comparable short time, cheap decks, created for new market of customers with small purse. How quick would be the "handpainted series" overtrumped and forgotten?
Similar we see a lot of German decks appear and disappear. Finally we even see, that most of the German suit system were replaced by French suits.

With some right you asked occasionally, how it was possible, that a game form of 5x14 or 5x16 was replaced by a deck form with 4x14+22-structure . But turning the question, how was it possible, that the Trionfi cards lost their name and took another, Taraux or Tarocchi? Around 1505, just the time, when Lyon had a climax in card production and France seemed established as having successfully extended to Northern Italy.



SB and Boiardo don't count; they are derivative of the standard order, completely reinventing it. They imply the existence of the standard. I cannot believe you think they are independent inventions, unaware of standard Tarot. If so, it is quite a coincidence they use 4x14+22 - they must have loved that 22 for some reason!
Yes, I think it astonishing, that Giovanni Pico de Mirandola in December 1486 pubklished his thesis to the Kabbala and its 22 letters and his cousin Matteo Maria Boiardo engaged in January 1487 in the Boiardo Tarocchi poem with 22 trumps. That's a strange coincidence, which gets sense, if Boiardo was the first to use this number.

Michelino is again a proto-Tarot, and whether it is direct ancestor or distant cousin is not possible to tell, only to conjecture about.
Again, it is absurd to use Mantegna in this context. It is a complete misnomer, and very late anyway.
It's an expression, what people made out of the idea "Trionfi", especially in combination with allegorical motifs. What has the Boiardo Tarocchi poem in common with a normal Trionfi deck with similarities to Tarot cards? The deck structure and some smaller points more, a Fool, a world, a Fortezza - and it aimed at playing cards. The Mantegna Tarocchi has similar motifs, and numbers and a suit structure and a real interpretable model. So it's a relative to Trionfi cards, even if it never had been a game.
If you prefer it to make here a hard cut in your evaluation, okay, I don't. Other people saw it similar to me and so gave birth to the name Mantegna Tarocchi.
What has common Tarot to do with Animal Tarock? Other persons come to the opinion, that there is no other "true Tarot" than Marseille Tarot, Rider Waite or Thoth ... why not.

Siena's "people" we don't know who they were
It seems rather plausible, that the Siena deck of 1452 was made for the Emperor visit.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence / Holy Cow "22"

#129
Ross wrote: You're missing my point, but you get it below - all of the decks are incomplete, except for Sola Busca which is not relevant to our period anyway (since it, like Boiardo, is obviously an adaptation of the already existing standard).


Sorry, I don't see clear evidence, that the Boiardo is an adaptation of the already existing standard - it might be the first. Not, that I think it probable, but "obviously" goes too far.
Lost cards - it is true for all of them. Some lost most or even all of their trumps (Brambilla, Rothschild), some lost most or even all of their suit cards (like BAR), but all are incomplete. Incompleteness is the rule. I infer from this that it is much more likely that trump sequences with less than the standard number are incomplete, rather than complete but variant styles of trumps.
Well, as far the trumps are concerned, I think, that the 14 Bembo cards and the 16 Charles VI are complete, and about the Michelino deck, the Boiardo Tarocchi poem and the Mantegna Tarocchi we have complete information, though not "with real surviving playing cards." We have also complete information about the standard deck by Tarocchi poems, but all these are later in time and we discuss the origin and not the later successful dominance of a specific set of Trionfi cards ... it has no doubt, that these were later the successful variant.
It's not "50/50" because the rule of incompleteness makes it much more likely that the PMB is incomplete as well (as it factually is, in the suits).
There is no rule of incompleteness. And some statements about incomplete trionfi sets just depend on possible insecure and careless evaluations.
From the maybe 30 complete or incomplete decks, which we have from 15th century from the German/Flemish background, we have a good portion of 20-25% which might be called complete or nearly complete. Why we should assume by this statistic, that all surviving cards of Italian decks are incomplete?

But it's NOT an "assumption", it's just a fact. Which 15th century Italian Tarot, with anything like the standard subjects, or any Italian deck at all, is complete? Except for Sola Busca and Boiardo's poem (both of which show the 4x14+22 structure), that is, of course.
The 5x14-theory assumes, that the 14 Bembo trumps and the Charles VI trumps are complete trumps sets ... that shouldn't be new to you. The Michelino is also completely known. Also the Mantegna Tarocchi.

Your idea, that the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo trumps are originally a 4x14+22 deck and the Charles VI-deck also, is an assumption ... as you might call my different idea about them also an assumption.

That's assumption versus assumption ... where is the problem?

The account book of 1457 knew, that it had to pay for 2 times 70 cards. That's also a sort of complete description, which we know of. Though, we don't know the motifs.

You didn't say something about the condition, that we have complete decks in Germany. There is no "rule of incompleteness", that's nonsense. There is just a state, cards are either present or missing.
You call her Fama, but she is cognate to the Charles VI and Catania "Fama" too - so why not just "World"?
... this card has a flying trumpet, why call it world?

We don't know that the Gold. and Guildhall cards were a "Tarot".
I don't call it Tarot. Trionfi cards is the expression.
One of the Guildhall cards is a "World", which otherwise would be seen as a Trionfi card from the Visconti-Sforza series. But it was found in Sevilla, with the others. So ... why shouldn't this be counted as Trionfi cards?
The Pseudo-Mantegna are NOT playing cards at all, and are not known to have been called "tarocchi" until the 18th century.
They were called "Roman triumphs" 1493 in Germany
the Boiardo Tarocchi poem, the Sola-Busca Tarocchi, the Minchiate,
The first two are based on the structure of the standard Tarot - they are not independent inventions of the idea of a trump suit. Minchiate is an evolution of the same standard game.
They document, that Trionfi cards were not simply examples of "Standard Tarot".
What relevance do any of these have, except to show that people experimented with standards? Minchiate became a very standard set in its own right, but it also had a few experiments done on its imagery.

The standard is the rule, the experiments are the exception. You are trying to invert this by bringing in late and derivative designs, but these are not relevant to the 1440s and the invention of an extra suit of permanent trumps.

There is only ONE prior example, and that is:
the composition of the Michelino deck,
This is finally something close to the concept of Tarot. The extent of its influence is unknown, and we can only speculate - we don't even know when it was painted. At least Marcello recognized that it had a suit of trumps, which is the only thing I can imagine led him to call it a "triumph" game. I don't think he'd have called the Stuttgart pack a "triumph game".
I'm not sure, that Marcello wouldn't have done so.
Actually we discuss, when the standard Tarot did develop (or something strong similar with Trionfi cards). There is no security, that it existed at the begin of the Trionfi cards experiments, indeed we have with Michelino deck and Cary-Yale clear signs, that at the beginning were other forms and with the argumentation to the Bembo cards and the Cary-Yale further indications, that its first existence possibly happened late.
But if any and all card-experimentation is to be called "triumphs", then it is hopeless to try to define anything or write its history.
I think we try to understand, what the term "Trionfi" meant, as far it was used in specific situations.
I don't know your timeline, it would be interesting to see, how the Steele Sermon, the Budapest/Met museum sheets, the BAR, Rosenwald, and numbering of the Este, Charles VI and Catania cards - all within one of the three families of standard orders, resulted.

Is there time, in your theory, for the Bolognese maker of 1477 to have "standarized" a previous mess of cards, and then for other regions to have changed the orders and designs of the same cards, into their own standards, by 1500? And where does Steele fit into this? Depaulis thinks it could be as early as 1460 - of course you will have to disagree on principle.

So, by your theory, the three standard families were developed completely between 1477 and 1500, and all trace of the previous strange experiments never gained any traction and were lost, although the same cards continued to be used, just expanded equally and by exactly the same number of subjects by all.
Let's assume, that the "handpainted Trionfi culture" produced something 2000-10000 decks totally , and then the mass market started and possibly produced 20.000 - 100.000 decks in comparable short time, cheap decks, created for new market of customers with small purse. How quick would be the "handpainted series" overtrumped and forgotten?
Similar we see a lot of German decks appear and disappear. Finally we even see, that most of the German suit system were replaced by French suits.

With some right you asked occasionally, how it was possible, that a game form of 5x14 or 5x16 was replaced by a deck form with 4x14+22-structure . But turning the question, how was it possible, that the Trionfi cards lost their name and took another, Taraux or Tarocchi? Around 1505, just the time, when Lyon had a climax in card production and France seemed established as having successfully extended to Northern Italy.



SB and Boiardo don't count; they are derivative of the standard order, completely reinventing it. They imply the existence of the standard. I cannot believe you think they are independent inventions, unaware of standard Tarot. If so, it is quite a coincidence they use 4x14+22 - they must have loved that 22 for some reason!
Yes, I think it astonishing, that Giovanni Pico de Mirandola in December 1486 pubklished his thesis to the Kabbala and its 22 letters and his cousin Matteo Maria Boiardo engaged in January 1487 in the Boiardo Tarocchi poem with 22 trumps. That's a strange coincidence, which gets sense, if Boiardo was the first to use this number.

Michelino is again a proto-Tarot, and whether it is direct ancestor or distant cousin is not possible to tell, only to conjecture about.
Again, it is absurd to use Mantegna in this context. It is a complete misnomer, and very late anyway.
It's an expression, what people made out of the idea "Trionfi", especially in combination with allegorical motifs. What has the Boiardo Tarocchi poem in common with a normal Trionfi deck with similarities to Tarot cards? The deck structure and some smaller points more, a Fool, a world, a Fortezza - and it aimed at playing cards. The Mantegna Tarocchi has similar motifs, and numbers and a suit structure and a real interpretable model. So it's a relative to Trionfi cards, even if it never had been a game.
If you prefer it to make here a hard cut in your evaluation, okay, I don't. Other people saw it similar to me and so gave birth to the name Mantegna Tarocchi.
What has common Tarot to do with Animal Tarock? Other persons come to the opinion, that there is no other "true Tarot" than Marseille Tarot, Rider Waite or Thoth ... why not.

Siena's "people" we don't know who they were
[/quote]

It seems rather plausible, that the Siena deck of 1452 was made for the Emperor visit.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Bolognese sequence / Holy Cow "22"

#130
Hi Huck,

You asked about my "Bolognese origin" theory, and its interpretation. I already noted on December 5,
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&start=40#p5211
that you couldn't appreciate it because you don't accept the premise of an original 22-card standard set. I reiterated this to Mike when he joined in the discussion. For you, "carte da trionfi" doesn't mean anything in particular - it could be any kind of cards, and any kind of pictures, in any kind of order or number.

For you the information on this chart -


this is Thierry's revision of my original chart - I don't have all of his new references

- is just random evidence of the name "(carte da) trionfi" and some objects people may have called "trionfi", but it does not refer to a specific thing that we can trace through time. We would have to add John of Rheinfelden's various kinds of cards, Marziano, Karnöffel, the German hunting decks, the Liechtensteinische deck, the E-Series, and probably other things - they are all "trionfi" to you too.

In other words, this chart is meaningless to you - or rather, it is uninformative except for giving indications of where the name "trionfi" was used and when, and some cards that look like later Tarot cards, but are not indications of the standard series. None of these points mean anything - they could all be referring to very different objects, which just happen to be called "trionfi", or to look like cards from the later "Tarot".

Since the definition of "trionfi" for you is "a broad creative genre" that can include everything from Marziano to the E-Series, from Karnöffel to the hunting packs, it is impossible to use this chart for anything except to narrow the date when the name "trionfi" began to be applied to all these kinds of cards. It cannot be used to indicate when the standard sequence was invented. So you cannot understand the basis of my theory that you expressed interest in, which is that "carte da trionfi" were invented in Bologna, 1437-1441.

To go any further - trying to interpret the Bolognese series in its standard order and iconography, as if it were invented during this time - is therefore futile.

By analogy with New Testament studies, we are not at the point of debating the priority of Matthew or Mark, we are at the point of not even being able to agree there were complete gospels at all until the second century at the earliest. You would have us think that various disconnected sources floated around until the second century or so, when they were compiled into Gospels. Since the sources were often common, it is not surprising that Matthew and Luke look similar, and it looks like Mark is contained in the same way in both of them, and it is not surprising that they all tell a similar story. But there is no proof that any complete synoptic Gospel existed in the first century.

So for you there is no proof that the standard sequence existed in complete form until the Steele Sermon and Rosenwald sheet, both of which may be dated after Boiardo. Thus, it is likely, in your opinion, that somebody liked the number 22 that Boiardo used, but not his subjects, so they assembled various parts of existing trionfi sets into a 22-card sequence, and printed it. This became popular, and dominant, and other people imitated it so that by 1500 there were a half a dozen different sequences with the same 22 subjects being printed in various areas. These standard games replaced the various subjects and orderings of previous and highly varied "trionfi" - people in Ferrara, say, gave up playing with 14 trumps and switched to 22 after 1490.

I'm sorry if that sounds plausible - I have not included any of the multitude of objections to every point of it, and the overall near-impossibility of it - I just want to establish that if this is the point of view you and Mike have, there is no point in discussing the theory presented on this thread right now. We have to go back to the 5x14 theory thread.

Ross
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