Re: Decker's new book

#31
Here is the disk I was talking about with 11 signs of the zodiac ( from Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, by Karl Kerényi, Ralph Manheim Translator).
Image

about this, Phaeded said something interesting on another thread (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=974&p=14340#p14338):
Hermes leads Ariadne/Dionysos towards Scorpius, which is where the brightest part of the Milky Way crosses the zodiac. Macrobius confuses the two MW crossing points with the solstices at Cancer and Capricron but in fact they are in Gemini and arrrow-of-Sagittarius/tail-of-Scorpius; the latter was considered the "gate" of ascent (Gemini for birth/descent of the soul).

I've studied this object quite a bit in connection with the Roman cult of Mithras (which I see as a late, bastardized version of Orphic beliefs mapped over with Perisan names and a few geniune scraps of Zoroastrian beliefs).
So I want to know, Phaeded, can you tell me your reference? Would it have been known in the Renaissance? I thought that the issue was that the solstices had shifted since Cancer and Capricorn had been the tropics, due to precession. In that case, Macrobius would be defending the standard astrological view that the actual position of the stars doesn't matter, in relation to the solar year, it's the position of the stars whenever the system was set that counts. And the correction would be Gemini/Sagittarius. But Sagittarius is near the bottom!

If Hermes is leading them to Scorpio, then it isn't being depicted as an ascent, as Kerenyi supposes, and the forelegs of the horses are misleading--even though if, headed toward Sagittarius, it would in fact be an ascent. Also, I thought the claws were supposed to be where Libra is now. The artist has it backwards.

Here is what Kerenyi says about this zodiac (pp. 385-6; for the preceding paragraph, on the type of object it is, see the end of my post at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=974&p=14340#p14337):
The Brindisi disk includes the earliest known representation of the zodiac on Greek or Italian soil. To the artisan who fashioned it, the zodiac was still new. He inscribed it on the edge of the disk but he did not understand its figures. His Capricorn, originally an Oriental hybrid with horns and a fish's tail, has no tail; his Virgo is holding a slender vessel and is so low-waisted that the artisan's model may have stemmed from as early as the fourth century B.C. He also changed the order of the constellations but surely followed a very early model, for like the original Babylonian zodiac his has only eleven signs and a double-length Scorpio. {footnote: See F. Boll, C. Besold, and W. Gundel, Sternglaube und Sterndeutung, pp. 7, 52.] From this it may be inferred that the Brindisi disk was fashioned between the fourth and the first century B.C.
I infer that Kerenyi thought fourth century, because it's the end of the Peloponnesian War, when colonization resumed--or was it when the zodiac changed to 11?-- and first century, because that's when the zodiac changed to 12. But perhaps he was out of date. I any case, Plato is fourth century.

Re: Decker's new book

#32
mikeh wrote: I infer that Kerenyi thought fourth century, because it's the end of the Peloponnesian War, when colonization resumed--or was it when the zodiac changed to 11?-- and first century, because that's when the zodiac changed to 12. But perhaps he was out of date. I any case, Plato is fourth century.
The kleine Pauly has the 11-signs-zodiac in Greece since 6th century BC. It's about 40/50 years later than the work of Boll, Gundel etc (1926). Kerenyi died 1973, but had likely in his earlier time the focus on Greek matters. The Dionysos, 1976 as far I get it, appeared 3 years after his death, possibly composed from older material.

So the kleine Pauly had - plausibly - the last word, though it already is also 40 years old.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#33
mikeh wrote: If Hermes is leading them to Scorpio, then it isn't being depicted as an ascent, as Kerenyi supposes, and the forelegs of the horses are misleading--even though if, headed toward Sagittarius, it would in fact be an ascent. Also, I thought the claws were supposed to be where Libra is now. The artist has it backwards.
If the disk is as old as some think (which would make it one of the earliest zodiacal circles we know of) the order would not have been well-known and the artist may have simply goofed. That the chariot is moving towards a particular constellation I believe would have been of the utmost significance and it is moving horizontally so "ascent/descent" can only be meaningful in regard to something else - that being the "gates of genesis/apogensis" in Gemini/Sagitarius-Scorpius. So who posited Sagitarius-Scorpius, where the brightest portion of the MW (the galactic center) crosses the zodiac, as an immortality gate? Heraclides of Pontus. See Heraclides of Pontus, H. B. Gottschalk Clarendon Press, 1989. Don't have this in front of me so don't have the page #. Gottschalk discusses the three astral paths described by Heraclides. The immortality "path of Heracles" is located "near" Scorpius (technically the scorpion's tail, which is what the Brindisi disk shows)...which is where the Milky Way intersects the ecliptic (and this is how Manilius accurately desribes the crossings). Heracles was of course associated with the very creation of the Milky Way due to biting too hard on Hera's breasts. Heraclides apparently used his namesake hero to create a more meaningful myth as astral notions took root amongst the Greeks. He made up a lot of stories.

Macrobius was known in the Middle Ages but he does not discuss the misidentification of the Milky Way/Zodiac crossings as the Solstial crossings (Cancer/Capricorn) as due to precession but rather because he is trying to turn everything into a solar theology ('willful ignorance' on his part). In his mind it was more meaningful if the Milky Way/zodiacal crossings were the solstices - they aren't.

Phaeded

Re: Decker's new book

#34
Thanks, Phaeded. So was Heraclides known in the Middle Ages and Renaissance?

Speaking of what was "known" in the Renaissance, I thought it would be relevant
to seet how they in fact interpreted that passage in the Phaedrus (247A-B). It is part of what Michael J. B. Allen calls "The Jovian Cavalcade". He devotes chatper 5 of his book The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino: A Study of His Phaedrus Commentary, Its Sources and Genesis, 1984, to Ficino's treatment of this theme. I quote what I think is the relevant part (p. 118-18); scans of the pages follow:
...we should bear in mind that Ficino is not working either here or later with the famliar Olympian twelve as he himself enumerates them in the Platonic Theology 4.1 when talking of the zodiac: that is, Pallas, Venus, Phoebus, Apollo, Mercury, Jupiter, Ceres, Vulcan, Mars, Diana, Vesta, Juno and Neptune. (15) The fact that the ancients often disagreed as to who were to be numbered among the actual twelve--Dionysus for instance came and went--is irrelevant here, since Ficino is treating rather of the twelve gods he thought Plato had identified, most notably in he Tmaeus and the Epinomis, not with the zodiacal signs but with the twelve cosmic spheres. (16). These spheres and their deities consist of: Uranus as the fixed stars, and then Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, Venus, Mercury, and Diana as their respective planets--the Ptolemaic seven, though not necessarily in the Ptolemaic order; (17) and finally Vulcan as fire, Juno as air, Neptune as water, and Vesta as earth. (18).
I attach scans of the relevant four pages (starting with p. 116, which has a diagram; my quote is on 118-19) so people can see what came before, and what the footnotes are.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eOs50j3Wh3c/U ... len116.JPG
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MKdA5Dr6PmQ/U ... len118.JPG

The relevant passage in Ficino's commentary seems to be the second full paragraph on p. 83 of Allen's translation:
Just as the first sphere in the world's corporeal fabric is simply called Heaven [Caelum], the second sphere Saturn, the third Jupiter, and their souls similarly, so with this class of intellects which is beneath the intelligible world we can perhaps call the first intellect Sky [Cellius], the second Saturn, the third Jupiter, and then the remainder by the names of the planets and of the souls presiding over the elements (and so named in my Theology. (14) These names, I repeat, are appropriate for the twelve gods who lead the supermundane gods...

I attach my scans of the relevant page in English and Latin, plus the page with the relevant footnote.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QzYK72kX9Js/U ... cino83.JPG
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AIE2WKN_evQ/U ... Note14.JPG
In other words, the Renaissance wouldn't have seen the gods in this passage as associated with the zodiac, contra Wikipedia, but rather with the spheres around the earth.

Re: Decker's new book

#35
Mike,
Have no idea on the fortune of Heralcides work (fragmented as it is) - I suppose it might be in Gottschalk. I've never seen Heralcides quoted by a humanist though. Sorry, but my interest there was restricted to Roman Mithraism (certainly the Romans knew Heraclides - I believe Cicero quotes him - and thus quoted 'fragments' could have been known through them to the humanists). I think you might find Gottschalk's book rewarding; check it out. But I see there is a newer study on him (a collection of essays) since I last paid an interest:
http://www.amazon.com/Heraclides-Pontus ... 1412807980

Phaeded

Re: Decker's new book

#36
mikeh wrote: Speaking of what was "known" in the Renaissance, I thought it would be relevant
to seet how they in fact interpreted that passage in the Phaedrus (247A-B). It is part of what Michael J. B. Allen calls "The Jovian Cavalcade". He devotes chatper 5 of his book The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino: A Study of His Phaedrus Commentary, Its Sources and Genesis, 1984, to Ficino's treatment of this theme. I quote what I think is the relevant part (p. 118-18); scans of the pages follow:
...we should bear in mind that Ficino is not working either here or later with the famliar Olympian twelve as he himself enumerates them in the Platonic Theology 4.1 when talking of the zodiac: that is, Pallas, Venus, Phoebus, Apollo, Mercury, Jupiter, Ceres, Vulcan, Mars, Diana, Vesta, Juno and Neptune. (15) The fact that the ancients often disagreed as to who were to be numbered among the actual twelve--Dionysus for instance came and went--is irrelevant here, since Ficino is treating rather of the twelve gods he thought Plato had identified, most notably in he Tmaeus and the Epinomis, not with the zodiacal signs but with the twelve cosmic spheres. (16). These spheres and their deities consist of: Uranus as the fixed stars, and then Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, Venus, Mercury, and Diana as their respective planets--the Ptolemaic seven, though not necessarily in the Ptolemaic order; (17) and finally Vulcan as fire, Juno as air, Neptune as water, and Vesta as earth. (18).
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AIE2WKN_evQ/U ... Note14.JPG
In other words, the Renaissance wouldn't have seen the gods in this passage as associated with the zodiac, contra Wikipedia, but rather with the spheres around the earth.
Well, this Pallas, Venus, Phoebus, Apollo, Mercury, Jupiter, Ceres, Vulcan, Mars, Diana, Vesta, Juno and Neptune. is less from Ficino, but just from Manilius (as the author indirectly noted in the footnote). And Manilius has it for the zodiac, so Greek gods as background for the zodiac.
The other 12 are less Greek gods than Roman planet names (which are named according Greek-Roman gods) with some gods added as 4 elements and as 12th element Uranos for the heaven. The object is a model of spheres, so not a zodiac.

Both objects are not really comparable, and so the different "12 names" don't form a contradiction.

More interesting is a comparison with Lazzarelli's model:

http://trionfi.com/0/m/11
Lazzarelli used in his De Gentilium Deorum Imaginibus (ca. 1471) 27 figures, first the Spheres group (Mantegna Tarocchi Nos 50 - 41), which is followed by Musica (Mantegna Tarocchi No 26) and then the first book ends. The second book starts with Poetry (Mantegna Tarocchi No 27), and then the Muses+Apollo-series starts (Mantegna Tarocchi Nos 20 - 11). The both series ("Lazzarelli 1-11 = Spheres plus Musica" AND Lazzarelli 12-22 "Poetry plus Apollo + 9 Muses") seem to mirror each other. Then 5 gods are added : Athena (which is later used as Philosophia, Mantegna Tarocchi No. 28), Juno, Pluto, Neptun and Victoria (4 figures, which are unknown to the Mantegna Tarocchi). As a mathematical composition Lazzarelli seem to see a group of 11 (or 10+1) elements paired with a second group with also 11 (or 10 + 1) elements, and an additional group with 5. The idea to combine Musica with the group of the 10 spheres seem to have been inspired by Pythagorean ideas, in which spheres also are connected to music. Poetry - in Lazzarelli's interpretation - seem to reign the world of Apollo and the 9 Muses. As Lazzarelli must be considered surely as a poet and, perhaps, also as a singer, his representation shows till this point inner logic.
So the composition is:

A group of 10 (Spheres) + Poetry as the 11th
Musica as the 11th + a group of 10 (9 Muses + Apoll)
then Philosophia (= Athena) and 4 gods, which possibly serve as "4 elements"

In comparison:

Ficino's "second 12" in contrast displays the 10 spheres as 8 spheres and has the "4 elements"

The Mantegna Tarocchi itself has 10 spheres (Nos. 41-50) and instead of "4 elements" it offers 4 groups with 10 elements each (Nos. 1-10, Nos. 11-20, Nos. 21- 30, Nos. 31-40)

Further we have as a mental child of possibly the same time "the 20 added elements of Minchiate" (Nos. 16 - 35) , which includes 12 zodiac signs (Nos. 24-35), "4 elements" (Nos. 20-23) and Prudentia with 3 theological virtues (Nos. 16-19).

So we see, that some poets with own opinions "played a little bit around". One can hardly form the idea, that all the Renaissance saw something in a specific manner. "Systems" were suggested, but one can hardly say, which one had been more dominant than the other in the public opinion.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#38
Another Marseille deck fan....

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/fashi ... .html?_r=0
When the Tarot Trumps All
By DAVID COLMAN
The New York Times, 11-11-11

IF you were to peruse all the decks of tarot cards listed on the Aeclectic Tarot Web site, you might want, in poker parlance, to fold then and there.

There are nearly 1,300, starting from decks rooted in the late-Gothic and Renaissance eras, when the playing cards arrived on the scene with special cards, like the Lovers, for trumps. There are modern-day mystic-occult decks to suit every spiritual bent imaginable (Buddhist, Wiccan, Toltec, Cat People). There are decks with a less devotional approach: Stick Figure Tarot? Hello Kitty? Star Trek?

Then again, why stop at 1,300? Why no Contemporary Art deck, with Maurizio Cattelan as the Fool and Urs Fischer as Death? Why no Fashion tarot, with Anna Wintour as the Empress and Martin Margiela as the Hermit? Why no 21st-century tarot, in which the more irrelevant cards — Temperance, the Hierophant, the Chariot — could be updated to familiar faces like Bikram Yoga, the Psycho Ex and the iPad 3?

According to the art-film director Alejandro Jodorowsky, though, all deviations from the Tarot de Marseille are nothing but inglorious bastards.

“I’m a purist,” Mr. Jodorowsky said this month, standing at a display of tarot decks in a Greenwich Village bookstore, dismissing them one and all. He was in New York to be honored by the Museum of Modern Art, which was screening a retrospective of his films, including “El Topo” (1970) and “The Holy Mountain” (1973). But he was equally thrilled to talk about his abiding passion and hobby, the world of tarotica.

Mr. Jodorowsky, 82, certainly devotes as much time to it as he does to film these days. In Paris, where he has lived for the last 20 years, he lectures on the tarot and does readings for strangers once a week. And he vividly remembers how, at 20, he first saw an old (and, he said, naked) woman in his native Chile give a tarot reading, and was instantly intrigued. He soon moved to Paris, where he joined the mime company of Marcel Marceau and began traveling with him. It was in Tokyo, Mr. Jodorowsky said, that he first bought a tarot deck. This became a habit. Every place they went, he would figure out where and how to buy a new deck; before long, he had a vast collection.

A decade or so later, in the 1960s, when he was visiting an early hero, the Surrealist writer André Breton, he took along an obscure tarot deck as a gift, having heard that he was a fellow fan. But Breton had a trump card of his own.

“He told me that the only good tarot was the Tarot de Marseille,” Mr. Jodorowsky said.

And so, he started all over. He got rid of his collection and began obsessively studying the Tarot de Marseille, a historic tarot family with roots dating from the 16th century. Over time, he became something of a black belt, to mix dark-art metaphors. But he was always frustrated, he said, at not being able to find the perfect Tarot de Marseille deck.

Then, in the mid-1990s, he contacted the last descendant of the Camoin family, who had printed the Tarot de Marseille since the 19th century. Together, they worked for the greater part of a decade to piece together the ideal 78-card deck, filled with a wealth of arcane detail and with 11-color printing.

He never goes anywhere without it in his chest pocket. At least not without the so-called major arcana: the 22 cards most often identified with tarot, like the Lovers or Death. (The other 56 are, in essence, a deck of playing cards, with four face cards instead of three.) “The whole deck is a little much to travel with,” Mr. Jodorowsky said.

To him, the tarot is such a constant companion that it has become all-purpose: a point of reference, of reflection, of divination. He has put it into his films, he uses it to communicate in a nonliteral way, and it is a simple pastime to boot.

“The tarot is sacred,” he said, adding, “It’s all a game.”

In short, Mr. Jodorowsky’s philosophy of the tarot (about which he has written a book, “The Way of Tarot”) is flexible and even slippery. But it does appear that tarot can be everything and anything you want it to be. Maybe the tarot doesn’t need to learn from the iPhone. The iPhone needs to learn from the tarot

Re: Decker's new book

#39
mikeh wrote:
Chapter Three begins with an account of Marziano's "game of the gods", fairly straightforwardly derivative from Ross's analysis on trionfi.com, which Decker cites. Then comes his defense of a 14 card original sequence, expanded to 22 later pp. 76-77). It is the familiar one advanced here (with much criticism) by Huck (although without crediting Huck and unlike Huck not involving the PMB or the Charles VI). He bases himself on the 14 "figures" in Ferrara of Jan. 1, 1441, followed by the 1442 order there for "triumphs" and the 70 card deck order of 1457 (4x14 + 14). He seems to have written this before the Giusti document of Florence was brought to general attention. He opts for Milan as where the tarot was invented, apparently on the basis of his preference for the "C" order of the triumphs, reflected in the Tarot of Marseille (Tarot de Marseille), of which he holds that a "prototype" was the first tarot, at first with just the first 14 cards of the Tarot de Marseille (numbers 1-14), to which the other 8 were added later, by 1465
Belated reply to the original post (after receiving my own copy of the book). Am I the only one struck by the lazy, circular argument Decker is making here: Marseille must be the original order, therefore the first 14 cards of the must be the original ur-deck? Problems with that assumption and what Decker declines to explain:

1. Why would any deck culminate in Temperance (#14), instead of Judgment or the World? Either Justice or Prudence(=World, IMO) are valued over the other cardinal virtues in the quattrocento; e.g., Bruni: "We said earlier that there were five intellectual virtues. Among these we come first of all to prudence, since in its activity it is generally allied with the moral virtues. Prudence is the same thing as right reason, which is controlled by the moral virtues, and which, fleeing from extremes, causes us to rest in a morally excellent mean. Whence it follows that none of the moral virtues can exist without prudence"(Isagogicon moralis disciplinae, 1426: 29).
2. The CY dates close to the ur deck and contains both Judgement and the World - why would these cards be missing in Decker's 5x14 theory?

Phaeded

Re: Decker's new book

#40
On point one, Decker has a special interpretation of Temperance as signifying reincarnation, the soul going from one body to another, as the Pythagoreans and Plato held. So it is a return to the beginning. And Decker does hold that Prudence is in the deck: it is the meaning of the Popess, if you read a little further. This view was also suggested as a possibility by Dummett in his 1985 essay (I will quote it, hopefully tomorrow, in another thread). After all, she has a book, an extremely popular attribute of Prudence. I would add that the cross was a not infrequent one. (See the thread on that subject.)

One point two, I think you are absolutely right. I thought I had said the same thing, but in looking over what I wrote maybe I missed that rather obvious point, deferring it until I had examined the rest of his argument. I cannot see that he ever addresses the point.

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