The Hermit

A secluded place, set aside for the exclusive use of those wishing to study the iconography of tarot cards. Each trump has its own thread, allowing exploration of each card in detail from a variety of sources and possible inspirations.

Re: The Alessandro Sforza Temperance card

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 28 Nov 2013, 09:51

mikeh wrote:
Temperance holds a torch and pours out a jug full of water, for, as Julianus Pomerius says: "Ignem libidinosse voluptatis extinguit". Footnote: De vita contemplativa lib. III, cap. 19 (Migne P. L. 59, 502)

I could not find Migne listed in his bibliography, to decipher the "P. L."

"P.L." stands for Patrologia Latina, the overall name of the series (the other big one is Patrologia Graeca)

All of the volumes are online, usually in multiple copies. Here are some links to all of the PL volumes - ... -page.html

Here is a list for PG (the main value (for me) of Migne's Greek editions is that they are accompanied by Latin translations in parallel columns, making references easy to find): ... a-pg-pdfs/

Nice text reference, btw. It's a good gloss on the card: Temperance "puts out the fire of lustful pleasure" ("libidinosse" should be "libidinosae"). ... col502.jpg
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Ross G. R. Caldwell
Location: Béziers
Favorite Deck: Bibl. nat. Estampes, Kh. 34 rés t.I
Mood: Pedantic
Aliases: belmurru

Re: The Alessandro Sforza Temperance card

Postby Huck on 28 Nov 2013, 11:08

mikeh wrote:Between Phaeded's analysis of what is in the hands, and mine of what the stag means, I think we now have a fairly complete interpretation of the Alessandro Sforza Temperance card. The extinction of the sexual appetite and a longing for God. In Platonic terms (the Symposium), it is the transmutation of vulgar love into celestial love, Aphrodite Pandemos into Aphrodite Uranos, Göttliche Liebe.

This, it seems to me, is especially suitable for a Temperance card that either immediately precedes or follows the Death card, as it seems to relate particularly to old age, and so the soul just before or after death; in the latter case, not only are the bodily appetites extinguished, but the body itself.

.... :-) ... I wonder, what Alessandro Sforza would have said, if he could read this.

"Erotic decks" are quite common in the history of playing cards, though they didn't often survive. That, what we have as Alessandro Sforza Trionfi card fragment (likely modified Charles VI) has more than one "naked body" ...


... and the hand without person holding the cup looks like a masturbating gesture.
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