Re: tarocch = tree/blockhead

#11
"The frequent encomiastic* play on words concerning the mulberry-tree (moro in Italian), which late 15th century poets and painters include in their works, is therefore tantamount to an authentic cultural and political strategy, consisting in the replacement of Lorenzo de’ Medici’s ‘laurel tree’ with a new tree symbolizing the Sforza family, the prestigious emblem of a superiority both political and economic."

Princes and Princely Culture. 1450-1650, Volume 2 by Arie Johan Vanderjagt, p.35

*encomiastic - expressing praise
SteveM wrote: The mulberry itself was used by poets in reference to the Dukes of Milan, especially to Ludovic, who was nicknamed after the mulberry (il moro) -
Milan rests under the protective shade of the Mulberry Tree:

E perché la mia patria è il bon Milano,
Milan, d'ogni paese il più suave,
a Iove, da quel cel che è più soprano,
per crescere il mio ben, non parve grave
per un suo messo farme aperto e piano
che men non ha mia patria che mai have
di ben, di gloria, sotto un Moro a l'ombra
che di sua fama tutto el mondo ingombra.
often with statements as to how it ranks above the laurel (i.e., Florence).
Only the Mulberry is more glorious and greater in virtue than the laurel:

APOLLO a DAFNE alora alora conversa in lauro.

I' t'ho seguito cum il pie' veloce
non già sì come tuo mortai nemico,
ma constretto d'Amor crudo e feroce,
che meco fa vendetta d'odio antico;
tu il cor avesti verso me sì atroce,
sì rebelle ad amarme e sì pudico,
ch'hai pria voluto transmutarti in legno
che d'una iusta grazia farme degno.
Or, poi che non ti posso aver per moglie,
ché dura scorza il tuo bel volto asconde,
per aquetare in parte le mie voglie
almen serai la mia diletta fronde:
de imperatori e vati le tue foglie
seran corona, e de mie chiome bionde,
et ornerai mia gravida faretra
l'arco mio curvo, e mia sonante cetra.
Fra gli arbori gloriosi serai prima,
exceptuato solamente il Moro ,
che per valor più inalzerà sua cima,
el qual non solamente io Febo onoro,
ma Jove che primer ne fa gran stima,
e tutto quanto il cel de coro in coro,
sì che per sue virtù nel mondo rare
d'ogni altro il Mor serà più singulare.

There is also the story of how the white fruits of the Mulberry turn red:

APOLLO.
Da questa causa adonca serà nato
che 'l frutto monstra obscurità vermiglia,
chè degli amanti el sangue è qui arivato
là dove il colore atro ciascun piglia,
onde, se 'l Moro è sempre inamorato
aver non se ne die' gran maraviglia,
che 'l sangue degli amanti non pur fuore,
ma tinto l'ha perfino in mezzo al cuore.
Dimme ancor se la donna morta è bella.

Based on Ovid's story of Pyramus and Thisbe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramus_and_Thisbe

ref:
Pasitea, by Gasparo Visconti*:
http://www.bibliotecaitaliana.it/xtf/vi ... 001426.xml
SteveM wrote:
So then the word Tarocch would have arisen from a form of appropriati - in which persons connected with the french occupation of Milan are identifed with the trumps... in particular Ludovic the tree il moro with il matto (= tarocch as both tree and blockhead) c. 1499 - 1505? Also, as well as possibly being considered a 'blockhead' for entrusting Milan to a traitor who sold it to the french; he was indeed 'uprooted' from govenment, and thus, like the fool of the tarocchi, here, there and everywhere, has no place, no rank.

See! he twelfth Lewis from the hills descend,
And with Italian scouts his army bend
T’uproot the mulberry, and the lily place
In fruitful fields where rul’d Visconti’s race.
In Ludovic's lament in Gringore's lettres nouvelle de Milan, I think he is made to say something along the lines of "I am not of the king's noble lineage, I am from the line of madness (folie) and unwise courage (imprudent couraige) -- but I have difficulty with the script, which someone more familiar with French would better comprehend:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b7 ... ore.langFR

The tree of Sforza lineage, one of madness (folie) and unwise courage, was uprooted and replaced with the rightful lineage of the King, whose claim rested on his family tree lineage to the Visconti's through Valentina. If I am reading it right, then it gives some credence I think to my suggestion that if the french were to attribute a card to il Moro, as they did with the traitor Coste, it would have been with il Matto. (One then is also led to wonder, why should the french use cards from such a game to mock the Sforza, was it thought that triumphs/tarocchi had some special connection with the Sforza - to mock them with a game of their own families invention perhaps? Or, less ambitious, which they were introduced to via Sforza/Milanese connections? Or more simply (and less speculatively) one in which, as we know, the Sforza celebrated in propaganda emblems and slogans its 'rights' as heirs to the Duchy of Milan?)
Lorredan wrote:..but I have never seen a 'Fools' game.Who wants to win at a Fools game?
~Lorredan
From the (admittedly limited) examples of poetic use in the late 15th and early 16th century however, tarocchus/tarocch does seem to have been used to mean fool or variations of such, and it is that meaning that Florius gives it in his 16th century Italian/English dictionary.

SteveM
*re: Gasparo Visconit, as mentioned by Huck in research forum, Gaspare Visconti was noted in the dedication of the work by Bassano Mantovano, which presented the earliest Tarochus note. Another poet who uses the term ‘tarocch’ (in the sense of idiot, fool), Alione of Asti, also wrote poetry celebrating the victories of the french over the Italians, for example:

La conquest de Loys douziesme roy de France sur la duche de Milan. Avec las prise, du signeur Ludoviquepar Alione d’Asti
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#12
I understand your argument Steve, but I do not get the timeline with the understanding of it.
So when the game was said to have no understanding of the name (what Ross translated- I have forgotton the sermon) one would think there would be understanding of it as common usage The french calling Italians blockheads/fools or suchlike or using the game of the Sforzas for example.So the name came over a hundred years after the game? That is important is it not?

My argument for Tarocchi is much like the word that has no etymology known is 'Tantrum' which was first noted in a dictionary somewhere in the 18th century.
Now back in Church Latin- In early medieval times little boys who threw tempers in church were called Maestro del sistrum. In english that is master of the cymbals or something you shake like a rattle.
It is thought it became a play on the word 'sistrum' and the Italian word Tantino -little -sistrum.
Little shaker and screamer- Tantrum- a pun. Much like today we say 'Little bleeder!' and it is not written in any dictionary apart from maybe coloquial ones. Lingua franca.
So when in History do we find the first use of the word 'Tarocchi as a card pack'?
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#13
Lorredan wrote: So when in History do we find the first use of the word 'Tarocchi as a card pack'?
~Lorredan
1505 - thus my dates of 1499 (when the french took over Milan) to 1505 (the first recorded instance of the word in reference to cards). As you yourself quoted in an earlier post:

The use of the word Tarocchi and Taraux is proven for the year 1505 in two cases, one for Italy, one for France* (recent findings of Depaulis and Francesschini).


So far from being a 100 years out, the dating (1499-1505) and locations (Italy & France) are sort of 'on the ball' fr the name change, aren't they? Or am I misunderstanding your point?

SteveM

*More specifically Avignon, not technically speaking part of France at that time.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#14
So far from being a 100 years out, the dating (1499-1505) and locations (Italy & France) are sort of 'on the ball' fr the name change, aren't they? Or am I misunderstanding your point?
So for aprox 100 or so we have a game- lets say called 'Triumphs' with a fool card- spread all about Italy, France,Spain and Germany,Portugal? and places between and it gets a name change because of it been an Italian game of the Sforza's? Not that I am disagreeing with you- because even today the italian soldiers have that sort of reputation so far away in New Zealand......but I cannot see how the italians would have stood for it is what I meant by the point of the hundred years or so.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#15
Lorredan wrote: So when the game was said to have no understanding of the name (what Ross translated- I have forgotton the sermon) one would think there would be understanding of it as common usage.
In common usage in would be understood to mean nothing other than the name of the game -- as an infant I could say let's play ludo with everyone understanding without the sleightest knowledge of the name's etymology. In common usage tarocchi was understood to mean the game of tarocchi, etymology was irrelevant - it was the name of the game that it became widespread and popular under post-1500.
So for aprox 100 or so we have a game- lets say called 'Triumphs' with a fool card- spread all about Italy, France,Spain and Germany,Portugal? and places between and it gets a name change because of it been an Italian game of the Sforza's? Not that I am disagreeing with you- because even today the italian soldiers have that sort of reputation so far away in New Zealand......but I cannot see how the italians would have stood for it is what I meant by the point of the hundred years or so.
~Lorredan
Was it spread all about Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal under the name Triomphi prior to 1499? If so, was it among commoners or restricted to courtly circles or well-off where perhaps it was introduced via marriage, or through the movement of artisans, dance instructors, teachers among courtly circles?

If it was so widespread and popular prior to 1500, under the name of triumphs, one would have thought the older name would have stuck in some places among some classes.

I suspect it became more widespread, among regions and classes, and in a relatively short space of time, under the name tarot (or variations thereof) post 1500 than it ever was under the name triumphs pre-1500; otherwise I don't see how the name tarot would have... triumphed.

Well it got a name change, and one under which the game quickly spread, and it was an appropriate name that was perhaps only understood in a limited context (as that in which the fool has a special role) if and when at all (the name, of Milanese dialect, may not have been understood across all of Italy - and whatever the meaning and origin of its name, we know it was quickly forgotten or obscured by speculation).

Secondly, there was no Italy but various city states with varying and conflicting allegances - in favour of the emperor or pope for example. A city state in 'Italy' could have greater allegiance to a region of Northern France, or Spain, or the Netherlands, or Germany, etc., than it did with its Italian speaking neighbours. Venitian, or papal states, and most certainly Florence, would enjoy a pop at Milan and the Sforzas as much if not more than the french king. Indeed, it was in allegiance with the Venetians, and the approval of the Pope and Florence, that Louis laid his claim on Milan -- so why should they not enjoy the joke too, what objection could they have? In any case, how could there rise an objection, the circumstances of the change being limited to a few at the time and subsequently fading into obscurity?

While we don't know the etymology of the word, we know what it meant in use among poets of the time, and that was as 'fool' and/or cognates. Florio equates it to meaning 'fool'.

Lack of etymology suggests to me that its roots are not to be found in latin or greek or arabic; as I have long maintained, I think it came to mean 'fool', blockhead figuratively from a word meaning tree/stump/log probably that survived in certain dialects such as Milanese.

The 'game of the fool' doesn't strike me as particularly unlikely name, especially in such a game where the fool has a special role. There are all sorts of bizarre card game names, a family christmas favourite of ours was 'fuck you' (I think it has a politer name too). As the name that 'stuck' suggests perhaps it in a short time had a wider customer base than it did as triumphs, perhaps spread by soldiers to commoners/taverners as tarocchi instead of the name of triumphs as it was known to earlier, richer players and poncy courtiers.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#16
SteveM wrote:
Lorredan wrote: So when in History do we find the first use of the word 'Tarocchi as a card pack'?
~Lorredan
1505 - thus my dates of 1499 (when the french took over Milan) to 1505 (the first recorded instance of the word in reference to cards). As you yourself quoted in an earlier post:

The use of the word Tarocchi and Taraux is proven for the year 1505 in two cases, one for Italy, one for France* (recent findings of Depaulis and Francesschini).


So far from being a 100 years out, the dating (1499-1505) and locations (Italy & France) are sort of 'on the ball' fr the name change, aren't they? Or am I misunderstanding your point?

SteveM

*More specifically Avignon, not technically speaking part of France at that time.
Actually there are 3: two in Ferrara (June and December), one in Avignon (December)
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#18
SteveM said this...
As the name that 'stuck' suggests perhaps it in a short time had a wider customer base than it did as triumphs, perhaps spread by soldiers to commoners/taverners as tarocchi instead of the name of triumphs as it was known to earlier, richer players and poncy courtiers.
Yes I agree with this point- but it also perhaps, because of the multi nation(including those of the many italian City states or nations) make up of mercenary troops- the idea of occhi as eyes as a bridgeword might well have been understood- much like the Western words 'EyeCandy' today as slang, but used today in Italian as a pun on Dolchi Canditi (Candy) - Occhi canditi/caramella to Lingerie models and beach bunnies
Lets see if I can be clearer.
Given that on titled cards the Fool is called Le Fou or le Matt and never Le Tarroch-(as far as I know :)
If a soldier from wherever saw/played/heard of cards called Tarocchi- what do you think that soldier might have taken from the word?
Do you think he would have thought "Fool" or "Eye"?
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#19
Lorredan wrote: If a soldier from wherever saw/played/heard of cards called Tarocchi- what do you think that soldier might have taken from the word?
Do you think he would have thought "Fool" or "Eye"?
~Lorredan
He would have taken from it what it meant to him by convention -- a card game. We do not in everyday usage 'etymologize' the words we use - that is a game for wordsmiths, historians, scholars, translators, exegetes... if I visit my nephews and nieces and say lets play ludo -- they get the board game out, we don't process it being latin for I play from ludere, or Italian for 'light', or a shortened form of 'ludovic', or descend into speculations as to how perhaps it must have been invented to while away the time of mad king Ludo of Bulgaria... (well, actually I might, sounds like it might make the beginning of a good tale...)
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: That Word Again...Tarot

#20
or descend into speculations as to how perhaps it must have been invented to while away the time of mad king Ludo of Bulgaria... (well, actually I might, sounds like it might make the beginning of a good tale...)
:ymparty: Well you are a wordsmith and a good one.

Now I have to disagree with you. We do take the card games (and other board games) and know what they are by their names. The game you play at Christmas with that body function is pretty discriptive. So is "Black Bitch" which I play sometimes (Queen Spades) 500 is also self explanatory. A Rubric cube? Scrabble? The names and the reason are usually in the rule sheet and there is usually some sort of correlation between the name and the play. Even backgammon has a Western name Saxon history Gamen for game and boek for Back. What it was further east- I have no idea.
Any way it is a sort of useless discussion, as your Il Moro the blockhead has just as much merit as any other- and for me is interesting.....but he already has a chocolate bar named after him- much more understandable. =p~
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

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