I agree with what you write Mike, and think you are coming close to seeing what it is.mikeh wrote: I don't see why Martiano's gods can't both belong to the four suits of virtues, riches, virginities, and pleasures, by virtue of their association with these qualities, and also form a 16 card hierarchy of their own when it comes to winning tricks. (And thanks for quoting the list, Ross; I'd forgotten.) What's the contradiction? Martiano doesn't think in either/or terms; he doesn't know anything about "trump suits." In taking tricks, the gods form a hierarchy of their own similar to the tarot trumps. On the instructional side, if for no other reason, they each also belong to one of the four suits.
"why they can't be both" - this is what I meant by "The fourfold theme covers the whole deck, but it has two manifestations - as four suits of birds under kings, and as a suit of gods with its own order."
"When it comes to winning tricks" - this is what I meant by emphasizing "practical" in the structure of the game - its physical and ludic structure.
"On the instructional side" - this is what I meant by the "moral theme" and "conceptual structure" of the game - its "fourfoldness".
"he doesn't know anything about 'trump suits'" - right! But he just *invented* one, for all practical purposes, and Michelino apparently painted the pack that way.
I think the problem for Huck and Michael is to distinguish between the conceptual fourfoldness and the suits - the suits are the birds under their king; the gods are "above all the orders of birds and the ranks of kings". This is the best definition of his "trump suit" that Marziano could come up with, since there was no other term.
No, he says nothing at all unfortunately. But I think you begin to answer your own questions in the scenario you propose. If Juno is part of the Phoenix "suit", then you *can* follow suit if Phoenixes are played - you are not "trumping". There is no point in having the gods have their own order if they are part of the suits. The suit isn't "riches", the suit is "phoenixes" - "Riches" is one of the four conceptual and moral aspects of Marziano's design, but has nothing to do with the play (as I see it). I imagine it would be played just as Tarot - if you don't have a suit card in the suit led, you must trump; if no trumps, any other card.I still don't understand how the game was played. If someone leads a phoenix, for example, are the other players obliged to follow suit, unless they don't have any? Does that mean a person has to play Juno, for example, if that 's the only card in the suit of riches that they have? If so, Juno would be both #2 in the hierarchy and, importantly, belong to the suit of riches. And if they can't follow suit, can they still win the trick if they play a god-card, but not otherwise?
Does Marziano say anything about these situations?
Edited - more on the point of no reason for the gods to have their own order. For example, if you are forced to play a "riches" trump when you have no more phoenixes, then you have to play Juno, Neptune, Mars or Aeolus (if you have them). If you play Neptune (following suit as "Riches" in your scenario), number 6, if someone plays Jupiter (the highest god), who wins? Jupiter isn't following suit, but he is higher than Neptune in Marziano's order.
If you are forced to play by the moral order "Riches" rather than by following the literal suit, Phoenixes, you would have to play Juno, Mars or Aeolus (if you have them), or another god, who very well might be higher than Neptune. If you only had Juno, you would win, because following "suit" - Riches. But if you had to follow suit with Mars or Aeolus, you would lose, making the whole point of having an order and separate strategy for the gods and heroes irrelevant.
Look at it another way in your scenario - say Bacchus is led; you have no Dove cards nor any trumps of Pleasures; you only have Jupiter and Juno; you decide to play Juno. So, if you are forced to play a trump, you would not be following suit, and would lose your Juno to a lower card, Bacchus, even though according to Marziano's numbering, Juno is higher than Bacchus. What is the purpose of the ranking of the gods then?
By these rules, Cupid could beat Pallas, Diana, Vesta or Daphne, which is very much against the moral message of the Virginities division. In fact it is literally immoral to consider it.