Re: The Popess

#41
Dear Mike, I have very difficult to write in English. I cant say well my ideas. I need to be very brief. I apologize if I seem abrupt.

1.
For 1 and 2, I don't think explicit documents or pictures linking the image on the card with a particular interpretation (Church, Isis) are necessary, for reasons already stated.
Without documents, no history. There is science fiction, which it does Gebellin or Jodorowsky. If you show me a document where is a relationship between Isis and a pope, then I change my opinion. Until then, I think the Popess is not Isis... Much less the Virgin Maria. If you say in my village (Calabria, Italy), playing cards with the Virgin, somebody shot you with a pistol.

This is the divine hierarchy in Italy:

Saint local (as Santo Rocco) > The Virgin > Il calcio (football) > the woman > God.

2.
I have my doubts about the validity of the images you've provided, as I thnk their intent is to associate the Pope of that time with the whore of Babylon and aren't about the Popess or the Church as such (see 7 below)
.

I can not explain. First in Spanish:

Lo que yo digo es que. desde la contrarreforma, la papisa Giovanna era una herramienta publicitaria de los protestantes y la Iglesia católica condenó y desmitificó su historia, como se muestra en el documento que os enseñaba antes.

Si la Papisa hubiera representado a la Papisa Giovanna (y no hay ni un solo documento que atestigüe esta hipótesis de Dummett), NO se habría dejado ni en Francia, ni en la Lombardía controlada por España. Por el contrario, se habría dejado en los tarots del área protestante. Sin embargo, fue precisamente en el tarot de Besancon y el tarot belga donde se quitó (además de las Minchiate y en el tarochino bolognes por otras razones que no vienen al caso)

Sumary in English:

a) Not exists documents mentioning the popess of tarot as the pope Giovanna.

b) The Catholic Church condemned the popess Giovanna. Protestants used Giovanna as an advertising tool to condemn the Church of Roma. The popess disappeared from the Protestants decks and the stayed in Catholics decks.
I don't see in Boccaccio the idea that only if one does not have sex or children, can one be gender-neutral. or even the idea that one is not fully a man or a woman
Giovanni, benchè paia uomo quanto al nome, nondimeno al fatto fu femmina; la cui inaudita presunzione la fece conoscere a tutto il mondo, e per innanzi saputa. Benchè si dica per alcuni che ella fosse di Magonza, appena si sa qual fusse il suo proprio nome; avvegnachè alcuni dicano quella avere avuto nome Giliberta. È manifesto questo, che ella fu amata da uno giovane scolare nella sua gioventù; il quale dicono, che ella amò tanto, che, messa giù la paura e la vergogna d’una vergine femmina, fuggì di casa di suo padre nascosamente, e mutata in abito d’uno fanciullo, seguì quello: appresso del quale studiando ella in Anglia, fu pensato da ognuno, che ella fusse uno chierico, dove ella era della milizia di Venere, e dello studio. Poi essendo morto il giovane, conoscendo ella sè medesima avere buono ingegno, essendo tratta da dolcezzi di scienza, tenendo l’abito, non si volse accostare ad altri, nè manifestarsi sè essere femmina; ma attenendosi sollecitamente allo studio, fece tanto profitto nelle scienze liberali, che era tenuta eccellente innanzi agli altri; e così ornata di mirabile scienza già in età provetta si partì d’Anglia, e andò a Roma, dove leggendo alcuni anni le scienze primitive, ebbe maravigliosi uditori.

E essendo oltre alle scienze di singulare santità e onestà, fu creduto da ogni uno che ella fusse uomo. Per questo conosciuta da molti, e morendo Leone Papa Quinto, di consentimento di tutti i venerabili Cardinali fu eletta Papa in luogo di quello che era morto, e fu chiamata Giovanni. La quale femmina non temendo montare in sulla sedia del Pescatore, e trattare i sacri Misteri tutti, e darli ad altri, non concesso ad alcuna femmina per la Religione de’ Cristiani; tenne l’altezza del Papato alcuni anni, e femmina, tenne in terra il vicariato di Cristo.

E avendo egli dal Cielo misericordia del suo popolo, con comportò che femmina tenesse sì maraviglioso luogo, nè che soprastasse a sì gran popolo, nè che egli fusse ingannato per sì malvagio errore. Per la qual cosa, confortandola il diavolo, il quale l’avea menata, e tenevala in quella scellerata audacia, e avendo in privata vita servata speziale onestà, montato in sì alto pontificato, cadde in lussuria.

E come questo fu peccato indegno, e come maravigliosa la sapienza di Dio, finalmente mancò l’ingegno a nascondere l’adultero parto a quella che sì lungamente aveva potuto ingannare gli occhi degli uomini. Imperocchè essendo quello più presso al termine che non si credeva, ella andò per fare annuale sacrificio alla chiesa di san Niccolò al Laterano tra il Culiseo e la chiesa di Clemente Papa; non essendovi alcuna femmina per balia presta nella via, partorì pubblicamente; e manifestò con che inganni aveva ingannati tutti gii uomini, salvo che lo amante. Per questo fu messa quella in prigione misera col suo parto, dove finì sua vita.

E a vituperazione di sua disonestà, e per continuare la sua infamia insino a questo tempo, il Papa facendo con lo clero e con lo popolo la processione, e venendo a quel luogo del parto, il quale è in mezzo del cammino, per abbominazione di quello piegano la via per gli altri sentieri: così passato lo vituperoso luogo, tornati alla via, compiono lor viaggio.

http://www.classicitaliani.it/boccaccio ... to.htm#082
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

Boccaccio's Pope Joan again

#42
mmfilesi: I am working on a reply to the earlier points in your last post. Right now I want to say something about the Boccaccio chapter on Pope Joan.

First, none of what you posted from Boccaccio says that the Pope could or should be gender-neutral, or anything about what it means to be "fully a woman." It isn't in any of the passages you highlighted.

To be sure, there is a lot of negative stuff about Joan in those passages. The question is partly what Boccacio said, both positive and negative, and partly how to decide when and how Boccaccio is being ironic.

My original plan was to cite specific passages in the Italian text that you posted that show how he praises Joan as well as blaming her. Then I noticed that in the Italian version, two of the three passages read differently in the Italian than in the English. And the third and most important passage I wanted to cite isn't in the Italian version at all, although it appears in the English and there is something in Latin corresponding to it. Boccaccio wrote his book in Latin, and the Italian was a friend's translation. So what did he say, in his own words?

The first passage occurs when Boccaccio is describing how Joan taught the trivium disguised as a man. The English translation of the sentence reads:
Besides her erudition, Joan was esteemed for her outstanding virtue and holiness, and thus was believed by everyone to be a man.
Here is the Italian:
E essendo oltre alle scienze di singulare santità e fu creduto da ogni uno che ella fusse uomo.

(translation machine: And being besides the sciences of singular holiness and honesty, you/he/she was believed by every one that her fusse man.)

And the Latin original:
et cum, preter scientiam, singulari honestate ac sancite polleret, homo ab omnibus creditus.
The main difference is that the Latin "honestate" is translated into English as "virtue" and into Italian as "onestà." The difference is that "honesty" in this context has more of an ironic ring to it, reflecting negatively on Joan: her honesty helps her to deceive people better. In contrast, if her virtue makes people think she's a man, that reflects negatively on them, for being prejudiced in favor of men. After all, he's just written 200 pages in praise of women. So I don't know if this passage praises Joan, blames her, or both.

This difference in translating "honestate" occurs again in his account of what happened after she becomes Pope. The English translation has
In private life, Joan had been remarkably virtuous. But at the instigation of the devil, who had led her into this wicked act of audacity and caused her to continue it, she fell prey to burning lust once she had risen to the lofty pontificate.

The Italian has
Per la qual cosa, confortandola il diavolo, il quale l’avea menata, e tenevala in quella scellerata audacia, e avendo in privata vita servata speziale onestà, montato in sì alto pontificato, cadde in lussuria.

And the Latin is
Quam ob rem suadente diabolo qui eam in tam scelestam deduxerat atque detinetar audaciam, <actum est> ut, que privata precipuam honestatem servaverat, in tam sublimi evecta pontiicatu in ardorem deviniret libidinis.

(The actum est" is added in one early edition of the Latin but not the other.) Here, the contrast is between "honestatem" and "libidinis," which would seem to be virtue vs. lust. The sentence is about how the change came over her after she became Pope, i.e. left private life. So Boccaccio is praising Joan up to the point when she made that move.

Now I will get to the most important passage in Boccaccio I wanted to cite, which occurs in between the two previous passages. It is completely left out of the Italian. Here Boccaccio implies that God protected Joan in her deception, up until she became Pope. The English has
He abandoned to her own devices this person who boldly persisted in doing what should not have been done.

If God abandoned her, then it would seem that he had been protecting her before. The Italian has absolutely nothing corresponding to this sentence!

In the Latin, what corresponds to the English must be ihe last half of the following sentence, beginning "decipi a femina..."
Sane ex alto Deus, plebi sue misertus, tam insignem locum teneri, tanto presideri populo tanque infausto errore decipi a femina passus non est et illam indebita audentem nec sinentem suis in manibus liquit.
In English, the first part is
Then from on high God took pity on his people. He did not suffer a woman to hold so eminent an office, govern so great a people, and deceive them with so inauspicious a misapprehension.
That corresponds to the Italian
E avendo egli dal Cielo misericordia del suo popolo, con comportò che femmina tenesse sì maraviglioso luogo, nè che soprastasse a sì gran popolo, nè che egli fusse ingannato per sì malvagio errore.
But there is nothing in the Italian corresponding to the second half of the Latin sentence. The next sentence in the Italian is the sentence I quoted earlier, beginning "Per la qual cosa..."

So what does "...decipi a femina passus non est et illam indebita audentem nec sinentem suis in manibus liquit" really mean, and is the English translator right? The only Latin-English translation machine on the web I could find that didn't require downloading or giving out personal information (http://www.stars21.com/translator/latin_to_english.html) has: "ensnare a woman pace not is and that not owed boldness and not sinentem suis upon by the hands limpid." I make no sense of that. Well, I don't know Latin, especially not 14th century Latin. That seems to me a crucial set of words for interpreting the text; so I'm stuck.

We have to ask, too, why were these words omitted from the Italian text? Perhaps Boccaccio's translator friend wanted to protect him from those who would have taken offense at these words, and who would have expected the authorities to take offense as well. It is one thing to write something offensive in Latin, because only a privileged few will read it. When it's in the vernacular, words are more troublesome. Here we have a work that not only praises mostly pagan women--including pagan goddesses, i.e. idols--but the wicked Pope Joan as well, even though the praise is mixed with blame.

But the mixing of praise and blame is precisely what Boccaccio does throughout the book. He announces in the first sentence of the dedication that he wrote
"...a slim volume in praise of women." (Pridie, mulierum egregia, paululum ab inerti vulgo semotus et a ceteris fere solutus curis, in eximiam muliebris sexus laudem ac amicorum solatium, potius quam in magnum rei publice commodum, libellum scripsi.)
I have not found any other tales in the book that do not praise their subject. On the other hand, he also says that
You will find, at times, that an appropriate recital of the facts has compelled me to mix the impure with the pure...
(Et esto nonnunquam lasciva comperias immixta sacris--quod ut facerem recitandorum coegit oportunitas--ne omiseris vel horrescas...)

Thus in many tales he mixes praise and blame, e.g. Chapter L, about a prostitute so courageous as to bite her tongue off when subjected to torture, rather than betray her clients. I am inclined to see the same in the tale of Pope Joan, a mixture of praise and blame. Exactly how much he is praising her and how much he is blaming her, I cannot tell precisely, owing to my too meager grasp of Latin, including the conventions and politics of Latin prose in Boccaccio's time.

documents and images

#43
mmfilesi wrote
Without documents, no history. There is science fiction, which it does Gebellin or Jodorowsky. If you show me a document where is a relationship between Isis and a pope, then I change my opinion. Until then, I think the Popess is not Isis... Much less the Virgin Maria. If you say in my village (Calabria, Italy), playing cards with the Virgin, somebody shot you with a pistol.
And:
Lo que yo digo es que. desde la contrarreforma, la papisa Giovanna era una herramienta publicitaria de los protestantes y la Iglesia católica condenó y desmitificó su historia, como se muestra en el documento que os enseñaba antes.

Si la Papisa hubiera representado a la Papisa Giovanna (y no hay ni un solo documento que atestigüe esta hipótesis de Dummett), NO se habría dejado ni en Francia, ni en la Lombardía controlada por España. Por el contrario, se habría dejado en los tarots del área protestante. Sin embargo, fue precisamente en el tarot de Besancon y el tarot belga donde se quitó (además de las Minchiate y en el tarochino bolognes por otras razones que no vienen al caso)

Sumary in English:

a) Not exists documents mentioning the popess of tarot as the pope Giovanna.

b) The Catholic Church condemned the popess Giovanna. Protestants used Giovanna as an advertising tool to condemn the Church of Roma. The popess disappeared from the Protestants decks and the stayed in Catholics decks.
Translation of your Spanish:

"What I say is that from the counter-reformation, the papisa Giovanna was an advertising tool of the Protestants, and the catholic Church condemned and demythologized her history, since she appears in the document that I showed you before.

"If the Papisa had represented the Papisa Giovanna (and there is no document that testifies to this hypothesis of Dummett), she would not have been left either in France, nor in the Lombardy controlled by Spain. On the contrary, she would have been left in the tarots of the Protestant area. Nevertheless, it was precisely in Besancon's tarot and the Belgian tarot where it was removed (besides the Minchiate and in the tarochino bolognes for other reasons that do not enter the case)."


What I (mikeh) say:

For Pope Joan, I gave you the quotation from Aretino. It's about as clear-cut a reference as can be, referring back to the Boccaccio Joan's actual virtue, in contrast to what the other prostitute heard was her haughtiness. Read the Aretino again, perhaps it is not well known in the tarot history community: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=385&start=20#p8528. Do you need it to be in the original language, for it to be a "document"? If so, I'll try to get it. I doubt if I can get a photo of the original page.

Documents and images of any interest are almost all subject to interpretation, some more and some less. You give me images that you say show Popess = Church. I say that they use the Popess image, but meant as images of the Pope depicted as the whore of Babylon. I see no labels on them saying "Popess," or other indications that such is their title or content. They are Protestant propaganda about the Pope, I say.

I also say that the places that produced Fracasse and Juno were Catholic at the time. I produced clear unbiased evidence of the Catholic orientation of Brussels at the time Fracasse was introduced, which you misinterpreted. But let that be. I don't dispute that the Popess was associated with the Church in Catholic places, c. 1600, because Ross gives a Catholic image from 1615 showing a popess figure labeled "Church." What you say is that Church = Popess even in the 1400s, long before 1615. The only pre-1500 documents you cited--for a different purpose, admittedly, but it's all I could find in your posts--are these:
Dante. Paraiso, XXVII.
Boccaccio. Decameron. First day, second tale (Gianotto de Civigní)
Petrarca. Canzonero, CXXXVIII
In Paradiso XXVIII I looked for reference to the Popess as the Church. I found nothing. All I find is St. Peter talking about "the spouse of Christ," i.e. the Church, in these terms (http://italian.about.com/library/anthol ... quote]"The spouse of Christ has never nurtured been
On blood of mine, of Linus and of Cletus,
To be made use of in acquest of gold;

But in acquest of this delightful life
Sixtus and Pius, Urban and Calixtus,
After much lamentation, shed their blood.

Our purpose was not, that on the right hand
Of our successors should in part be seated
The Christian folk, in part upon the other;

Nor that the keys which were to me confided
Should e'er become the escutcheon on a banner
That should wage war on those who are baptized;[/quote]
Etc. Plenty about popes, negatively, and the Church as wife of Christ, which we know from Augustine. Nothing about a Popess.

The tale in the Decameron (http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italia ... y&lang=eng) says much about the degeneracy of the clergy in Rome, including the Pope, but says nothing about any Popess and ends by praising the Church, when Abraham the Jew says, for why he has decided to be baptized after all, that the Church must be powered by the Holy Spirit if it can grow and thrive despite such evils:
E per ciò che io veggio non quello avvenire che essi procacciano, ma continuamente la vostra religione aumentarsi e piú lucida e piú chiara divenire, meritamente mi par discerner lo Spirito Santo esser d'essa, sí come di vera e di santa piú che alcuna altra, fondamento e sostegno.
[ 026 ] And because I see that what they so zealously endeavour does not come to pass, but that on the contrary your religion continually grows, and shines more and more clear, therein I seem to discern a very evident token that it, rather than any other, as being more true and holy than any other, has the Holy Spirit for its foundation and support.
And here is Petrarch:
138. ‘Fontana di dolore, albergo d’ira,’
Fountain of sorrows, house of anger,
school of errors, and temple of heresy,
once Rome, now a Babylon of deceit,
from which come so many tears and sighs:
O smithy of deceptions, O prison,
where good dies, and evil is nourished,
a living hell, a miracle indeed if Christ
is not wrathful against you in the end.
Founded in chaste and humble poverty,
impudent whore, you raise your horns
against your founders: where is your hope?
In your adulterers? Or in the evil born
from such riches? Constantine will not return:
but take them to the sad world that creates them.

Translator's Note: The Emperor Constantine the Great (d337AD) was wrongly thought in the Middle Ages to have granted the Papacy temporal power in the West, by the document
called the Donation of Constantine.
Here what we have is the comparison of the Papal court in Avignon, including the Pope, to the Whore of Babylon, very much in the style of the Protestants later. Again, nothing about either the Church as such or the Popess.

So do you have any documents at all, ones stating, or images showing, Church = Popess in the 1400s, or in earlier texts read then? I don't think it's fair for you to hold me to a standard of evidence if you don't follow it yourself. (I do concede, let me remind you, a loose association between the Popess and the sponsa of the Song of Songs, just because she is female and the beloved (sponso?) is male, and both are in a religious context.)

You are a hard taskmaster, Marcos, but I think I can provide that type of document myself, similarly general, linking Isis with both the Popess, as the Two, and the Empress, as divine mother. Hadot gives some in The Veil of isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature (in Google books). I was going to save this quote for a post on the Empress, but I might as well give it now; it pertains to both:
Since the end of antiquity there had been a tendency to identify the Ephesian Artemis with Egyptian Isis in order to personify nature. For instance, Macrobius describes the statue of Isis as follows: "Isis is the earth or beneath the sun. This is why the goddess's entire body bristles with a multitude of breasts placed close to one another [as in the case of Artemis of Ephesis], because all things are nourished by earth or by nature." (Footnote: Saturnalia I, 20, 18.) In arithmology, that is, the discipline of Pythagorean origin that established a correspondence between numbers and metaphysical entities and the divinities that symbolized these entities, the Dyad was identified with Isis, Artemis, and Nature. (Footnote: Iamblicus, In Nichomachi Arithmetica Commentaria, pp. 13, 12. [Iamblicus], Theologoumena Arithmetica, p 13, Il. 13, 15. See R.E. Witt, Isis in the Graeco-Roman World pp. 149-150.)

In the sixteenth century, Vincenzo Cartari, in his handbook of iconography titled Images of the Gods, published in 1556, cites this text by Macrobius to prove that the ancients liked to represent nature with the features of Isis/Artemis. He specifies that a statue of this kind was found in Rome, and that he himself has seen an analogous figure on a medal of the emperor Hadrian. He might also have recalled, so far as the identification of Isis with nature is concerned, how Isis presents herself in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius: "I come to you, Lucius, I mother of all nature, mistress of all the elements." (Footnote: Metamorphoses XI, 5.)

From the sixteenth century to the nineteenth, there was a perfect awareness of this confusion between the two goddesses...(p. 236)
From this quote you can see how different the later humanists (from Ficino on) were from the earlier ones, a syncretism that affects (or infects) everything--including, I believe, the tarot, at least in those circles. (The references are not in Google Books; for those, I had to get the book from the library.) These documents have the same general relationship to Isis as Popess, for some, as Petrarch's and Boccaccio's diatribes against the clergy might in an earlier age, for some, have had for Church as Popess.

Artemis would not have been as good a fit to the Empress as Isis, because she did not have a child; she is more of a universal nurturer, or perhaps mother in the sense of "mother nature" (I don't know, I haven't studied Artemis much). Hadot is concerned with nature, not mothers of children, whom I think are more relevant to the Empress. But what he says about Isis clearly fits the Popess as the Dyad, the Two (in a philosophy that was everywhere, especially France, by the 16th century), and is one way of seeing Isis as mother, hence Empress. (I will quote more of Hadot on the Empress thread.)

Hadot gives other examples from the 16th-18th centuries. One that I find striking for one visual parallel to the Noblet Popess is a painting by Rubens and Jan Breugel the Elder, called "Nature Adorned by the Graces." It shows the Isis-Artemis figure as a statue, as in Plutarch's description of the statue of Isis at Sais, with the "veil" in part suggested by the curtain behind and above her, I think, and in part suggested by the action of the Graces, as though unveiling her.

Image


I include the original Noblet Popess rather than just Flornoy's restoration because I just realized, looking at the Noblet, why her face is so white and so oddly shaped. It is that way to suggest (although not quite be) a mask, Noblet's version of Isis's veil, covering her real face! We can even see a bit of the other face on the right behind the first, the mask-like one, in flesh tone. The relevant detail is below, from http://www.tarot-history.com/Jean-Noble ... pesse.html. Either that or, less likely, there is an unseen actual veil, as de Gebelin says, removing the color and darkening the face a bit. We today aren't used to seeing masks or veils in pictures; then they were probably more common.

Image


So now I have four visual suggestions of Isis in the Noblet: the conspicuous book (perhaps even earlier, in the Cary Sheet), the stole, the curtain, and now the mask or veil.

Hadot says of the Rubens/Breugel:
In other representations, by contrast, there is only a fleeting allusion to unveiling, and the respectful attitude predominates instead. It is perhaps in this sense that we must understand the picture by Rubens, painted before 1648, in which the three Graces are adorning the statue of Nature, designated as Cybele, but in conformity with the traditional representation of Isis (Fig. 11.) (p. 240)

Cybele is not, as such, Greco-Roman like the Graces. Her Greek equivalent was Rhea, whom I have discussed as another association to the Popess, whom the Greeks also identified with Isis. The whole painting is at http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/16356 ... ubens.html. The title "Nature Adorning the Three Graces" is surely an error, although it is perpetuated even on Wiki. The websites date the painting to 1615-1625; one even lists its British owner of 1625.

The Noblet Popess, admittedly, does not expose multiple breasts; that only suggests that she was not intended in the tarot to represent Nature. These breasts were not part of Plutarch's description anyway. The breasts, taken from statues of Artemis at Ephesus, were part of Artemis's attributes, at least as early as Raphael 1509, as another example of Hadot's shows (image from http://www.usna.edu/Library/Philosophy/Philosophy.html).

Image


But Macrobius, and the medal of Hadrian's reported by Cartari, showed Isis similarly; so in her capacity as Nature, that is the way she was shown. Another of Hadot's examples (just before the Rubens, p. 240) is a clearly Egyptianate Isis, from the frontispiece of Leeuwenhoek's [/i]Anatomia seu interiora rerum[/i] of 1687 (copied here from http://www.tooveys.com/lots.asp?WEBLOTI ... LOTID=3287).

Image


As wife of Osiris, mother of Horus, and devotee of Thoth/Hermes with supernatural powers, however, she was shown differently, an example of which I have already shown from Cartari, with the X on her front. It is more in that way that she is associated to the tarot Popess--although, as we see in Rubens, there might also be a suggestion of the other.

I think what I am presenting here is in part historical data, in part interpretation from historical data. It is very rarely, and usually uninterestingly, that one can do without interpretation. And I am not trying to say "who the tarot Popess was" in France of the 17th century, for which I can find no definite answer; I am only dealing with probable associations to the card, of which "Church" is another, more in line with Church dogma, and so the answer to give the tax-stamp people when they do their inspections.

P.S. You asked (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=385&start=20#p8544) about the reference for the Church - Empress picture posted by R.A. Hendley. Ross posted it on the Empress thread last February. He dates it to 1727 (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=386#p6516). That seems to me about right for the style. He notes in an earlier post another pairing, of "Potestas Imperialis" with "Potestas Ecclesiastica" in 1524, where the latter does not have the papal tiara. To me that might suggest non-association of Popess with Church then.

Re: The Popess

#44
Hi Mike :)

Thanks for the response studied. Sorry if I'm short. In Spain is 05 am. I have not slept and I'm very tired.

++++

1.
Dante. Paraiso, XXVII.
Boccaccio. Decameron. First day, second tale (Gianotto de Civigní)
Petrarca. Canzonero, CXXXVIII
Excuse me. It is a confusion caused by my English. I did not mean in these texts was the popes. In these texts is the vision they had at the time of the Church. This is important...

We have two churches:

a) The Church as a symbol of the Christian faith.

b) The Church as State. The church of the Pope. The Church as an institution. The Church of Rome.

Why is the Popess between the Human Court, in a miserable second position on the ladder of trionfi?

Because not is the Church as faith, but the Church as state. The Church describes by Petrarch, Dante and Boccaccio. Another power in the hearth, not in the Sky.

2. Sorry Mikeh, in this fragment I can not see the name Giovanna. I dont understand well whit this bit of text. Its confusing. I'll get the book and read it in context. After I can answer this question.
NANA: I had all the haughty airs and manners of an empress, which would barely suit her and are in any case a swindle. I took as my example a certain noblewoman who always carried a silken pillow around with her and made whoever spoke to her kneel on it.

ANTONIA: Oh, you mean the female Pope?

NANA: The lady Pope, or so I am told, did not put on such high and mighty airs; by my oath, she did not. Nor did she give herself so bright a title as those whores did. One woman, for example, called herself the daughter of Duke Valentine and another the daughter of Cardinal Scanio.
3.
I also say that the places that produced Fracasse and Juno were Catholic at the time.
I think Fraccasse is a satire against Spain; Bacus against the Pope of Rome; and Junon and Juno the result of the contempt they felt in Switzerland and Germany against the Church of Rome. Now I have many threads in work. But before look the exact political situation in the years when born tarots Belgian and Besancon.

4.
My original plan was to cite specific passages in the Italian text that you posted that show how he praises Joan as well as blaming her. Then I noticed that in the Italian version, two of the three passages read differently in the Italian than in the English.
Excellent work, thanks Mikeh. I'll get more translations to search the key of this enigmatic censured-translation.

I think its interesting compare the Giovanna's legend with the Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc. One of the hot items of the indictment was she dressing like a man. And she would not remove the clothes of a man ... We can work on this, I think.

Well friend, tomorrow more... I need sleep. Thanks for all.
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

Re: The Popess

#46
I can't believe you're still up... I heard they go to bed late in Spain... I submit things when all good little Europeans are asleep in their beds, so I can make changes, if I have second thoughts, before anyone there reads it. For example, I added one more picture of the Noblet, an enlargement of her face, and another idea (de Gebelin's) for what might be depicted there.

Ripa's emblem, I learn at http://emblem.libraries.psu.edu/Ripa/Im ... pa044a.htm, is of Holy Rome. The text explains that the shield has the "triple pontifical Crown over the Keys." It says that "the Serpent denotes Idolatry, introduc'd by the old Serpent." Roma Santa is stabbing the serpent with her spear, suggesting that in the name of the Papacy, idolatry is being stamped out. Probably, in that capacity, she represents the Church Militant. No hint of the Popess. There is perhaps an oblique reference to corruption, as she is probably meant as the driving force of the Counter-Reformation, or Catholic Reformation, as the Iconologia was first published in 1593.

You explained clearly enough at the time that you were not referring to Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch for their reference to any Popess. But they were the only pre-1500 texts you did refer to, so I looked at them anyway.

I'm very glad you appreciate my problem with the Boccaccio "Pope Joan" text.

Re: The Popess

#47
While searching on the Web for Popess-like images from the 15th-17th centuries, I stumbled across a web-page with several of interest, http://www.ritosimbolico.net/studi2/studi2_03.html. It is on the website of some Italian Masonic order. I don't know anything about it, but I do want to comment on a few of their images.

They have several from the Hypnerotomachia, published 1499 Venice but probably written by 1467. These suggest an association between the High Priestess of Venus with the tarot Popess. She has a crown reminiscent of the Cary Sheet, more like a bishop's than a pope's. The woodcuts where it looks most like the Popess's are these:

Image


to which I would add:

Image


Here are a couple more that I scanned from the book (Godwin translation), where it looks more like a bishop's.

Image


Image


What is being depicted a rite to fan the flames of love. As Poliphilo lowers his torch into the cistern, Polia cannot help but feel the flame of his love stirring in her own being. Most of the pictures have the prominent book, not typically associated with Venus

Since the leader of these rites seems to be the head priestess in just this one house, she would perhaps be more properly termed the abbess. The text calls her "High Priestess" (p. 215, pontificia Antistite) and "Heirophant" (p. 216, Ierophantia). (I looked up the original words in the facsimile edition.) Although they are priestesses of Venus, much of the language suggests the Virgin. Poliphilio calls the goddess "supernal Mother," (p. 216, sacratissima Madona--most sacred Madonna, I think). Describing the scene depicted in the first woodcut, the author writes:
Upon this pavement my brave Polia knelt with consummate elegance, reverently baring her milk-white knees. The Misericordia never saw more beautiful knees dedicated to it! [or her?: mikeh]...Now she remained humbly kneeling before an elaborate consecrated altar situated in the middle of the chapel, which burned with a divine flame. (p. 220, Godwin translation)
Sopra questo dunque la mia audacula Polia, denudati religiosamente gli lactei genui, cum summa elegantia genuflexe. Piu belli che unque ue desse la Misericordia ad se dedicati...Hora dinanti di una sanctificata Ara, nella mediana dil sacrulo operosarmene situata, di diuina fiamma lucente, geniculata humilmente se staua.

There is not a trace of the scandalousness that Christian writers often assume when writing about pagan rites. It is all an allegory for the mystical union with the divine, we may assure ourselves. But at this time, when the tale of Cupid and Psyche was both understood allegorically and put on marriage chests, everything was everything. Venus was described in terms like the Virgin, not only in the prose of the Hypnerotomachia but in art, for example the15th century Florentine "Triumph of Venus" that Vitali shows us (http://www.letarot.it/The-World_pag_pg133_eng.aspx, Fig. 14). The almond shape is most often seen enclosing Christ or the Virgin.

Image


I skimmed other web-pages of the Italian Masons. I looked at their article on Alberti because he is often mentioned as the author and/or illustrator of the Hypnerotomachia. I was surprised to find a quotation from Bessarion, the Greek cleric who became an Italian cardinal:
Per il cripto-paganesimo del Bessarione, cfr., sempre in “Arthos” n° 12, pp. 210-211 In lode di Giorgio Gemisto Pletone. Lettere del cardinale Giuseppe Bessarione in occasione della scomparsa del filosofo e maestro (1452). Nella Lettera ai figli di Gemisto si legge: “Il cardinale Bessarione saluta Demetrio e Andronico, figli del sapiente Gemisto. Ho appreso che il nostro comune padre e maestro ha deposto ogni spoglia terrena e se n'è andato in cielo, al sito di ogni purità, per unirsi al coro della mistica danza di Jacco [id est il Dioniso dei Misteri di Eleusi - ndr] con gli dèi olimpici”.

(For the crypto-paganism of Bessarion, cf. again Arthos No. 12, In Praise of George Gemistus Plethon, pp. 210-211. Letters of Joseph Cardinal Bessarion on the occasion of the death of the philosopher and teacher (1452). In the Letter to the children of Gemistus one reads: "The Cardinal Bessarion greets Andronicus and Demetrius, the children of learned Gemistus. I learned that our common father and teacher has deposited everything earthly and gone to heaven, to the site of every purity, to join the choir of the mystical dance of Jacco [id est the Dionysus of the Mysteries of Eleusis - ed] with the Olympian gods. ")
1452 is when Bessarion was papal legate in Bologna, where I speculated that he might have had something to do with the project that became the "tarot of Mantegna" (viewtopic.php?f=12&t=463#p5923). The article is mostly about Alberti and the Roman Academy. I will have to read more.

Another image, on on the same web page as the others, is an engraving that they say is by Martin de Vos and also reminiscent of the many-breasted Isis/Artemis; de Vos was a late 16th century artist of Antwerp. The engraving shows a woman suckling two infants. It is hard to make out what she is wearing against the busy background, but I think it is something like a papal tiara. I have not yet found a better reproduction.

Image


You will recall that Macrobius said in the Saturnalia, quoted in Cartari, that "Isis is the earth or beneath the sun. This is why the goddess's entire body bristles with a multitude of breasts placed close to one another [as in the case of Artemis of Ephesis], because all things are nourished by earth or by nature." So what we have is perhaps a visual association not only to the Popess but to Isis, representing nature, this time with the normal number of breasts.

Another image is from the Zurich manuscript of the Aurora Consurgens, 1420's at the latest, of a woman suckling two philosophers. This one does not have a papal tiara--not surprising, since it is from before the tarot was invented, or at lknown about by more than a few. It is a pre-Popess image, but similar to the later de Vos. So perhaps it is a protoype of the Popess.

Image


So who is this lady of the dawn? "Aurora consurgens" is a phrase in the Vulgate, designating the sponsa in the Song of Songs 6:9:
quae est ista quae progreditur quasi aurora consurgens pulchra ut luna electa ut sol terribilis ut acies ordinata.

(Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?) (http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=0&b=24&c=6)
Moreover, the opening chapter of the treatise is full of quotes from the Wisdom literature of the Bible, so-called because they involve the personified "wisdom of God" that the Septuigint called Sophia, Greek for the Hebrew Chochmah, Wisdom, consort of the Creator from the beginning, as we learn in Proverbs 8:22-30:
Dominus possedit me initium viarum suarum antequam quicquam faceret a principio...cum eo eram cuncta conponens et delectabar per singulos dies ludens coram eo omni tempore...
(The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning ...I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times;...)
In that context the Popess would stand to the Pope as God stands to Sophia. Who she would be in particular is, it seems to me, anybody's guess, and choice: the Church, the Virgin Mary, a presumed suppressed female priestess of the Israelites (Moses' sister Miriam?) or the early Church (Mary Magdalene or the Virgin?), or whatever: a placeholder to be filled by whoever someone imagines in that role. It's only a game.

For the alchemist of the Aurora Consurgens, this Sophia is none other than "a stone," described in terms that also apply to Wisdom:
For there is a stone, which he that knoweth layeth it upon his eyes, but he that doth not, casteth it upon the dunghill, and it is a medicine which putteth poverty to flight, and after God hath man no better thing. (Aurora II.21ff, p. 45 of translation)

The Aurora is echoing Proverbs 1:20-25:
Wisdom preacheth abroad, she uttereth her voice in the streets:...O children, how long will you love childishness, and fools covet those things which are hurtful to themselves, and the unwise hate knowledge?... You have despised all my counsel, and have neglected my reprehensions...

The "stone" is the philosopher's stone, of course. in that sense, the Popess, her priestess, is the Soror, and the Pope her Adept.

mmfilesi writes
Why is the Popess between the Human Court, in a miserable second position on the ladder of trionfi?

Because not is the Church as faith, but the Church as state. The Church describes by Petrarch, Dante and Boccaccio. Another power in the hearth, not in the Sky.
I am not sure that these early cards are only the "human court." They are in the allegorical interpretation delineated by tarot historians, a valid one to be sure, but not the only one possible, especially after Pico's syncretism. Some triumph and tarocchi decks had no Christian figures at all. Early on, there was the Michelino, and later, the Sola-Busca. There was also an early 1500s deck (Hind vol. 6, p. 698), probably done by Nicoletto da Modena. Hind gets it from Cigognara. The six cards in Hind include an Apollo and a Cupid, plus some Sola-Busca-like pip cards. These decks died out, but the penchant for Greco-Roman imagery did not.

Even from a purely Christian viewpoint, the lowest was also the highest. Jesus went barefoot and begging among simple people and earned the enmity of the powerful. Erasmus, for all his learning, advocated a simple, sincere faith accessible to all, far preferable to the pontifications of the high and mighty (Praise of Folly and other works). Various legends had Jesus appearing humbly in later times to test people's charity: e.g. St. Christopher and the Christ-child, or the baker's daughter who refused to give a begging Christ some bread, for which he turned her into an owl (referred to in Hamlet 4.42: "They say the owl was a baker's daughter.")

So the Popess is likewise both among the lowest and among the highest. She is the deceiver Pope Joan, the Church at her worst, and the harlot Mary Magdalene, as well as the virtuous Joan, the Holy Church, and one of Jesus's most dearly beloved. Above her, and below her, is the Monad, the Creator himself, the Platonic demiurge with his signs of the four elements, also descended to preach among the lowly, regaled as a cheap Conjurer, a worker of fake cures or a practitioner of sorcery. Above and below both of them is the Neoplatonic Absolute, that which is beyond all words and conceptions, the great Nothing about which Cusa and others wrote, faith in which the wisdom of the world calls folly (I Cor. 3:18, 4:10).

This double nature, as the highest and the lowest, may also help resolve a difficulty I have been having, in figuring out what Kabbalist sefira the syncretists of the 16th century, drawing on the Christian Kabbalah available in Latin at that time, would have associated to the Popess. You don't think I would leave them out! People who enjoyed tarot, alchemy, and humanism, surely would have checked out Kabbalah (e.g. Lazzarelli, in his Hermetic works). But those who wrote about it best got the worst from the Church. Pico's book was burned, all the copies they could find; Reuchlin was saved only by a sympathetic Emperor; Agrippa was vilified; Bruno was burned at the stake; even as late as 1661, van Helmont was imprisoned and tortured by the Inquisition for "Judaizing." So I will proceed, despite the absence of clear documentation that people linked Kabbalah and tarot even in the 16th-early 17th centuries.

On the one hand, the Popess fits Paolo Ricci's 1515 description (introduction to the Portae Lucis) of the second sefira, as "“Ioh, Wisdom, first-born, essence, unformed” (Blau, The Christian Interpretation of the Cabala of the Renaissance p. 40). That would make her very high on the Tree. But mostly she does not fit the way the early Christian Kabbalists described this sefira; it was seen as male, as Christ. In the gospel of John (1:1), similarly, it was the Logos who is at the beginning, forming all things, not Sophia. There was a switch from female to male, and likewise in the Kabbalah; so we have the second sefira as male, despite the Dyad's feminine characterization in Alexandrian Neopythagoreanism.

On the other hand, the Popess fits the way in which some of the Kabbalists described the tenth sefira: Pico (1486) calls it “Kingdom, severed from the other shoots by Adam's sin” (28.4), “Knesset Israel” (28.17), and “atonement” (Oration p. 16). Reuchlin (1518) calls it “the Bride in the Song of Songs” (Sponsa in canticis canticorum) and “the mystery of Law as transmitted by word of mouth” (Mysterium legis ab ore datae)—i.e. reading aloud, as in the Schoen Horoscope and the Cary Sheet. Other descriptors of the tenth sefira don't apply at all. But there is enough there to say that the Popess partakes of both the 2nd and the 10th sefira, the highest and the lowest, the first-born and the one severed from the rest, cast out, but to be saved eventually by the Redeemer.

In these ways she is the Dyad in both aspects: she is the first to separate from the Monad, and so the origin of everything that follows; and she is the formless, suffering one, yearning for reunion with the One.

Re: The Popess

#48
In my last post, I inadvertently left out the most Popess-like rendition of the High Priestess of Venus in the Hypnerotomachia. I added it in an edit, but here it is again for those who may have read the post already.

Image

Pinturicchio's Isis

#49
I have discussed the possible relationship between the Cary Sheet Popess and Pinturiccio's 1493-1495 Borgia frescoes in another thread, "The Cary Sheet Again." I would have been content to leave it there, but then I found a few other images of Isis that bear comparison with that Popess, and the Marseille Popess as well. Since there are people on this thread who have difficulty associating the Popess with Isis, I will present all these images here.

I should clarify also that when I spoke, on the other thread, of "Egyptomania" in Milan and Rome at that time, I was referring to the court, not the common people, although some of them, too, would have been interested, or at least not put off. Curran talks about how the image of Isis was part of the 1520 Rome Carnival celebration, an event for the masses (p. 190f, citing Pastor, History of the Popes 8:174f, descriptions by Sanuto and Michiel; it is said to have been modeled on a statue in Pope Leo X's collection). Perhaps, for clarity, I shouldn't use the word "Egyptomania," but rather simply say that the Pope and some members of his, the Milanese and the Imperial court (which also included a member of the Milanese court, Bianca Maria Sforza) were fascinated by ancient Egypt.Both the Pope and Maximilian went so far as to pay someone to have their ancestry traced back to Osiris. In art, the Pope had his rooms decorated with frescoes illustrating the story of Isis and Osiris as recounted in Diodorus. The Emperor had Durer do a woodcut of him surrounded by hieroglyphs whose description and meaning came from the ancient 4th century Greek text by Horapollo, Hieroglyphica. (These were pictures of animals done in Durer's style, not copies of Egyptian hieroglyphs.)

I am assuming that the Milanese court would have had something to do with the tarot cards produced there, including cards done in the 1490s, considering the remnants that still exist from the Visconti-Sforza family earlier in the century. Bianca Maria Sforza, Maximilian's bride, liked tarot, if memory serves. Tarot cards themselves were considered to be hieroglyphs,at least in later reports (see Ross's initial post in "hieroglyphs" thread on ATF). At least two members of the Milenese court, Filelfo, there 1440-1470s) and Filarete, there c.1452-1465, talked about the sacred letters of Egypt as pictures conveying sacred things known only to the few (see my first post on the "hieroglyphs" thread). Later on came Leonardo da Vinci's enigmatic images, which seem to me done that way in part to satisfy a demand in Ludovico's court. After Leonardo went to France, Giorgione met a similar demand in Venice. It is in this context of courtly humanism that I suggest viewing associations to Isis in the Popess card.

First, here is the Cary Sheet Popess, reversed, alongside a detail from Pinturicchio's Isis,a similarity noticed first by O'Neill (http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/librar ... /papess).I posted this image in the other thread. The Cary Sheet image is reversed because that is what would happen to it in a woodcut, if the cutter was copying the fresco of Isis before him.

Image


Then here is an excerpt from my comments:
Notice not only the face, but the crown, scepter, chair, book, and the kneeling figure to our right, of whom we see only the hands. Her hand resting on what looks like a specific passage in the book is quite close to the later "Marseille" Popess.

Yes, Rome is not Milan. But there are several connections. For one thing, in Borgia, the Sforza finally had their man in the Vatican (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Alexander_VI). Relations between Milan and the Vatican were excellent in this period. For another, the Pinturicchio fresco series seems to have influenced a poem written in Milan somewhat later, c. 1496-98, the Antiquarie prospetiche romane, which describes the Meta Romuli (see http://roma.andreapollett.com/S6/roma2-05e.htm) as being encrusted in "fine gems," just as Pinturicchio painted it (Curran, The Egyptian Renaissance: The Afterlife of Ancient Egypt in Early Modern Italy, p. 117). The author of the poem is presumed to be an associate of the Milanese painter Bramante (Curran p. 68).
Now I want to add additional images. First, here is the larger context of O'Neill's detail:

Image


According to Mary Greer (http://marygreer.wordpress.com/category ... -research/) she is flanked by Hermes Trismegistus and Moses. If so, that is certainly an image of sacred wisdom.

Second, here is another portrayal of Isis in the frescoes. What is striking is that except for the head and hair, there is not much to indicate that one of the persons is female (not the cow; that's the Apis bull). Which is Isis and which is Osiris? You have to look carefully. This image is relevant to the argument that the Cary Sheet Popess isn't really a Popess, but actually a Pope or a Bishop. In Pinturiccio's style, you can't tell the gender from the way the trunk of the body is drawn; he is drawing Isis androgynously. Breasts in particular are little in evidence.

Image


A group of examples from about this time where not much distinction in gender also occurs, except in the face and hair, is the Rosenwald, of which I give the whole row for comparison.

Image


Unlike the Rosenwald, however, Osiris's hair and face, when he is portrayed by himself, are nearly as feminine as Isis's. Two examples are Pinturiccio's portrayals of Osiris teaching the Egyptians how to pick fruit (detail, left, Curran p. 112) and use the plow (detail, right, Curran p. 113). It is only the rather square-jawed face that suggests his gender.

Image


My final image is in relation to the stole that the Popess wears, in comparison with the crossed-sashes that appear in images of Isis, for example in Cartari. Here is Pinturiccio's depiction of Isis with the members of Osiris (Curran Plate 3). (Yes, it's a bit macabre; but it's also reminiscent of the "Marseille" style Death cards, with their body-parts on or in the ground.)

Image


This image makes me wonder if the crossed-sash way of representing the Popess goes back to the time of Alexander VI. We see a suggestion of it already in the Rosenwald, above, when compared with the Pope. Those who were familiar with the Pope's frescoes in his private apartments would have then associated such Popess cards with Isis. In this way, such cards, to the extent they resembled the Noblet and other "Marseille" Popess, would strength the Popess's tie to Isis as represented first by Pinturiccio and continued by Cartari.

Here is the whole scene of which this representation of Isis is a part:

Image


The lettering in the center, below the pyramid, reads, according to Curran (p. 115)
UXOR EIUS ME(M)BRA DISCERPTA TANDEM INVENIT QUIBUS SEPULCHRUM CONSTITUIT.

[At last his wife discovered his dismembered limbs for which she set up this tomb.]
I wonder about the hieroglyphs below the lettering, the bird and the ox-skull. In Harapollo the bull's horn is labor (Boas's translation, in Google Books, p. 75), but the Hypnerotomania, perhaps a good guide to the Renaissance understanding, has an ox-skull with the translation "labore." Thus Isis's labor brings about the recovery of Osiris's body, and the rituals she conducts sanctify them for burial. If the bird is a hawk, it represents victory, the sublime (Boas p.46) or else the wind (p. 75); or it means the soul (p. 75). If it is an eagle, it represents a king in retirement (p. 56). If it is a vulture, it means a mother (p. 49f). From just the feelings I get from the images, I'd guess that it means victory over death.

Re: The Popess (tarotanka)

#50
she is bride
to every One --
Him and All ...
she denies no one
though all deny her
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

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron