Re: A Triumph of Books

This collection is a gold mine of sorts... if only the miners can distinguish the golden parallels from the pyrite and other tailings.
Treasure indeed - thanks Marco, Michael and Steve. All I need now is Time (and a discerning eye for FG)...

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Books of Fortune and Dreams?

Pen wrote:

examined those curious Books of Fortune and Dreams on which the cultured ladies of those days set so much store!

Now I'm curious - the books mentioned at The Hermitage, More than a Game don't seem quite right, and a search (in both English and Italian) has revealed nothing that does, although I could easily have missed something in Italian - any ideas?
There have been books purporting to interpret dream symbols and listing signs of fortune or misfortune since books began. In fact, some theorize that writing may have emerged from a dual need - recording inventory and recording dreams & oracles (and what they mean). Cheap chapbooks (as well as a few elegant compendiums) on these subjects were printed by the thousands. Most of the cheap books have not survived.

BTW, the Warburg had this interesting book but no information on it: Buona fortuna e scongiuri : una 'chartula' lombarda del Trecento.

Re: Books of Fortune and Dreams?

Thanks Mary. A search for 'Medieval Dreambooks' (rather than 'Renaissance Dream Books') brought up this link: Six Oneirocritica in Translation which may be useful.

Apparently the classical precedent for all the later books (which as you mentioned were popular and widespread) was Artemidorus of Daldis' Oneirocritica.

There's a list of furthur references that should be worth looking into on page 192 of The Italian Renaissance Imagery of Inspiration: Metaphors of Sex, Sleep and Dreams by Maria Ruvoldt.

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Books of Fortune and Dreams?

Thanks Marco, it's interesting how these echo with the tarot and wonderful to have translations of the prophesies. I noticed that the (more or less) standard Tarot de Marseille depiction of the moon itself is called an eclipse - I think that has been mentioned before, but I never quite believed it until now.
Let the eclipse and the comet appear in Cancer
if you want to see Venice in a great danger,
the son of one of the greatest Kings die
and then his father, if heaven does not forbid that.

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Books of Fortune and Dreams?

marco wrote:On Tarotpedia you can find some images and prophetic verses from Triompho di Fortuna.


Deep thanks to you for continuing to put wonderful resources up on Tarotpedia. These are a great collection of images, and as Pen suggests, make an impression when seen presented this way.

The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Books of Fortune and Dreams?

Well, I might as well post another link. This to Innocenzo Ringhieri -'Cento givochi liberali, et d'ingegno' (100 witty games). There is already an edition at the Warburg Institute in the Games section of online facsimiles, as posted above in this thread.

I just found another copy at -

There are no images in this book, except Hercules fighting the Hydra on the title page. But it seems there are many people who can read Italian etc. on this forum. So this link is for you.

Lina Bolzoni spends 7 full pages on this book (120-126) in 'The Gallery of Memory'- U. of Toronto (english edition). Bolzoni's book has an entire chapter on Sorti and other renaissance games of this type. It is also a great read for Tarot and Renaissance iconography enthusiasts. It's main subject however, is the Art of Memory. I've had to read every word twice :-) But that's because it cost me 70.00$ us :-O
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

Re: Books of Fortune and Dreams?

I know of another fortune telling game book in english. It is an emblem book by George Wither from 1635. 'A Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne'. It has 2 dials and instructions for using it to tell your fortune on the last pages.

The engravings in this book were lifted from 'Nucleus Emblematum Selectissimorum' 1611 by Gabriel Rollenhagen -

I have been wondering if there is any evidence in the text of Rollenhagen that it too was used as a fortune telling game. Maybe one of the more scholarly members here who can read latin will be interested in checking this out
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

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