Re: The Hanged Man

Lorredan wrote:So if you can never roll 12 points with 3 dice the Dice are deceivers or cheats or (not sure of the French name) Quartos?
It may explain why the legs are in the shape of an upside down 4.
French word is "pipés" ; we shall say : "les dés sont pipés." This is used for cards too (but it's mostly used for dice).

This word seems to come from latin pipare : to whistle. We call a penny whistle "un pipeau".

The association whistling / cheating comes from this : you can catch birds by whistling (with a penny whistle). So they land on sticky branches, and they're caught.

Nature : v. n.
Prononciation : pi-pé
Etymologie : Lat. pipare, siffler : comparez pipeau. Les significations sont : siffler, prendre les oiseaux en sifflant, en imitant leur cri, et, en général, tromper ; d'où piper les dés, les cartes, les falsifier.

Another french expression : "Ne pas piper mot" means : to stay silent.

Re: The Hanged Man

Thank you chevre for your detailed answer. We often have to pay the Piper when we cheat.....
I will give a clearer answer to my point about the Hanged Man.
Hanged man.jpg
Hanged man.jpg (29.69 KiB) Viewed 7720 times
This is from the reconstructed Noblet. Note the tongue.
Sonja Musser Golladay wrote "Los Libros de Acedrex Dados E Tablas:Historical,Artistic and Metaphysical Dimensions of Alphonso X's book of Games. (2007 Alphonso's Book translated into English)
In the Hermetic side she concentrates on Numbers 7 + 12.
In the part of Dice, she explains "Dados que ayan los quatro" and remarks that the the preposistion of 'con' is missing, and therefore with the illustration thinks the term 'Los Quatros' seems to mean dishonest dice. Golladay offers two explanations, the most likely is that to do with the mention of 'dez de Chartres'. 'Dez de Chartres' is amongst the six kinds of cheaters dice. The etymology of the spanish word "Quatro" is thought to be rooted in the Latin Word Carcer meaning cell or prison -a container of four walls = Chartres. This man from Chartres in the illustration is a Cleric/priest without his coat/surplice on- by 3 dice that show 5-2-5. He is a cheat.
Under the ilustration are the penalities for cheating in this way. They are to cut two finger joint lengths off his tongue. Like chevre says he will remain 'Ne pas piper mot' = silent for ever.
IMPORTANT CORRECTION: The image and penalty Golladay speaks of is in the attached work to the Book of Games.
This is in the Royal rules or Ordinances for Games called Libro de Las Tahurerias
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: The Hanged Man ... Piccinino

Interesting note from ... ... n_Hawkwood
Holding ever more lavish funeral ceremonies for fallen condottieri was only one way in which Italian city-states competed with each other to attract the services of the most skilled mercenaries.[28] Hawkwood's funeral was sandwiched between the funerals in Siena of Giovanni d'Azzo degli Ubaldini—who had been poisoned by the Florentines in the Visconti wars—and Giovanni "Tedesco" da Pietramala. The commissioning of Uccello to repaint the fresco came at the "climax" of a war with Lucca, which had recently begun a monument to honor Niccolò Piccinino, in contrast to Piccinino's pittura infamante in the Palazzo della Signoria in 1428, depicting him hanging upside-down in chains, which was "depaint[ed]" in April 1430. ...{my comment: "I didn't know about this Hanging Man story"
For pittura infamente I found this wiki-article with Piccinino note and with a hanging man Tarot card.

At ... ... -piccinino
for November 1426
Brescia cade completamente in potere dei veneziani. Seguono trattative di pace, nel corso delle quali i viscontei esigono dai fiorentini la cancellazione delle pitture infamanti nei suoi confronti.
Possibly the action of 1428 relates to this event. The sentence translates according Google-machine :
Brescia completely falls into the hands of the Venetians. Following peace negotiations, during which the Visconti require the cancellation of the paintings by the Florentine defamatory against him [Piccinino ?].
As far I know, Brescia became lost, cause Sforza's engagement was blocked by other condottieri, between them Piccinino. But this likely can't be the reason, why Florence made shame pictures.

Re: The Hanged Man

Following on Samuel Edgerton's suggestion, mentioned on this thread -
- that Andrea del Castagno's lost 1440 pittura infamante of the Albizzi traitors might have resembled one of his angels, I had my wife Aline photoshop the wings out of the picture and add a leg from another of his drawings, and turn it upside-down - here is the result. Quick and dirty (for her), but it gives an impression: ... gnorev.jpg


Re: The Hanged Man

(something written in 2008, with new material - Antiqua Ducum Mediolani Decreta (1654) is now online - appended; I have not amplified or corrected anything in the 2008 material, it's late and I'm going to bed, but some of you might be on a different schedule and might like to read it)

Even though the meaning of the card as “punishment” was never really lost (Court de Gébelin knew it was a form of punishment), it is Gertrude Moakley who made tarot writers aware of its association with treason, and in particular with the practice of “shame painting”.

Focusing in on explicit examples of the practice around the time and in the place where the trumps were created, Moakley noted a particularly close one – Francesco Sforza’s father, Muzio Attendolo (nicknamed Sforza, “the Strong”), had been a subject of shame painting in Rome in 1412, during the pontificate (soon thereafter considered an anti-pontificate) of John XXIII (Pope 1410-1419):
The Pope had given him (Muzio) the title of Count of Cotignola in gratitude for his services as a condottiero. When Muzio later offered the services of his army to one of the Pope’s enemies [Ladislas “the Magnanimous”, King of Naples], the Pope ordered him depicted on all the bridges and gates of Rome, hung by the right foot to a gallows, with his heraldic mattock in his right hand. In the other hand was a scroll with this inscription: “I am the peasant Sforza of Cotignola, traitor, who have committed XII treasons against my honor; promises, agreements, pacts I have broken.” (p. 95)
Thus Moakely was able to associate the card with an event in the past directly related to the Sforza family, for whom Bembo painted the cards (and also, without explicitly noting it, to the traditional number of the card, XII).

The “shame painting” idea persisted among historians as the “literal” meaning of the image. It is attractive because it was so widely practiced in Italy, especially northern Italy and Tuscany, and thus appears a natural source for the tarot image. Gherardo Ortalli published a historical study of the practice in 1979, “pingatur in Palatio": La Pittura infamante nei secoli XIII-XVI (Società Editoriale Jouvence, 1979), with a revised version in French in 1994, La Peinture infamante du XIIIe au XVIe siècle (trans. Fabienne Pasquet and Daniel Arasse; Paris, Gérard Monfort, 1994). From Ortalli, we learn that the two places where it was most often used were Bologna and Florence, while there are no records of it in Ferrara (perhaps notable as far as tarot is concerned). The case of Milan is more subtle, since Ortalli quotes a law from the 1390s expressly banning the practice of shame painting in Milan.
Altogether, for what concerns the picture of infamy proper, understood as a genre characterized by precise connotations and whose diffusion was made in a manner neither sporadic nor occasional, it can be said that its use tends to stay within the limits of the 14th century. Afterwards it suffered an inexorable decline, very marked in the course of the century by legislation which took hold in places like Lodi and Milan under the domination of the Visconti. Between 1390 and 1396, at the time of Gian Galeazzo, when the legislation of the two towns was reorganized and updated with the promulgation of new collections of statutes, there appeared, in both places, a chapter intitled: “Concerning the pictures on the walls of the palaces being removed, and the names of the defamed being registered.” These clauses were inserted at almost the same date. The text from Lodi, dated to 1390, is contemporary with that of Milan, of which the redaction, finished in 1396, had been started in 1389. In reality, the common source of these texts is found in an earlier redaction of the Milanese statutes, which was begun in 1348 by Luchino Visconti and was finished in 1351 by his brother and successor, Archbishop Giovanni. Thus at Lodi and Milan, in practically identical terms it was thereafter forbidden to paint the images of those condemned to infamy on the walls of the communal palaces, and it was ordained at the same time to erase any existing images because they in fact dishonored the cities themselves. This last precision is interesting (and we will come back to it later) but, more than for this particular reason, above all, the decision in itself should be noted here. In fact it marks with certitude a general degradation of the practice, equally seen elsewhere and independent of specific interdictions – these last being thus symptoms more than causes of the crisis unfolding. (p. 26)

This ban seems to contradict something that Timothy Betts presented in his study of the tarot, in 1998 (the first time it made its way into tarot historiography as far as I know, but unfortunately Betts did not provide the source) -
Evidence for the true meaning of hanging upside down comes from a 1393 decree for Milan and Lombardy:
”Let him be drug on a [wooden] plank at a horse’s tail to the place of execution, and there be suspended by one foot to the gallows, and be left there until he is dead. As long as he lives let him be given food and drink.” (Straxinetur ad caudam equi cum aside ad locum iustitie et ibidem per pedem furcis suspendatur, et ibi tantum teneatur quod a se ipsa moriatur; detur tamen ei de cibo et de cibo et potu donec vivit) (the dittography of “et de cibo” is in Betts’ text)
Timothy Betts, Tarot and the Millennium (1998), pp. 278, 299.
It seems what we have then is a continuation of the practice that originated the shame painting, and continued to inform it, but a ban in Milan on the painting itself. This ban and the punishments for breaking it were not lifted by any subsequent Visconti or Sforza that I can find. But the practice of hanging by the foot for high crimes like treason continued under Gian Galeazzo’s successors, like his son Filippo Maria -
From a ruling of Filippo Maria of September 1, 1422 we read how those guilty of crimes against the state were punished according to the decrees of his forefathers and the statutes of the city of Milan. The criminal would be dragged behind a horse to the place of execution, and there hanged on the scaffold by one foot; or attached to a turning wheel, or quartered; his dismembered body parts were attached to the gates of the city, and his head on a metal pole, which stood at the top of the tower of the town hall.

We have a terrible decree of the Count of Virtù (Gian Galeazzo Visconti), dated September 13, 1393. He prescribes that he who conspires against the state, should be dragged behind a horse cum asside, along the most frequented way, to the place of justice, hanged by a foot to the scaffold, and to remain there until he dies; however while he is still alive he should be given food and drink: detur tamen eidem de cibo, et potu interim donec vivet.

(from Carlo Morbio, Storie dei municipi italiani, vol. III, pp. 27-29)
We could add under Filippo Maria Visconti that he demanded the Florentines remove their shame painting of Nicolo Piccinino in 1426 (which they found a difficult demand).

Added 2013 -


See Antonio Pertile, "Storia del diritto Italiano" vol. 5, p. 263 note 13. ... 00pertgoog

" Proditorie tractans contra statum vel signoriam nostram straxinetur ad caudam equi cum aside ad locum iustitie et ibidem per pedem furcis suspendatur, et ibi tantum teneatur quod a se ipsa moriatur; detur tamen ei de cibo et potu donec vivit.
"For plotting treason against the state or our rule, let him be dragged on a plank at a horse’s behind, as with an ass, to the place of execution, and there be suspended by one foot to the gallows, and be left there until he is dead. As long as he lives let him be given food and drink. Otherwise (he could be) tortured with red-hot pincers and attached alive to a wheel until he dies”. The statute (Landgerichtsordnung) of Aargau [canton of northern Switzerland] ordains for Jews to be attached to the gallows by a foot, between two vicious or biting dogs. The Statute of Anghiari 112. No person shald be hanged by the arms, or by the feet, or by the middle in any way unless he should be a murderer."

"Renes" are the kidneys literally, and Pertile paraphrases this quote in the main text above with the Italian phrase "la vita", meaning vital organs in this context.

From Antiqua Ducum Mediolani Decreta (Milan, 1654), p. 187, decree of September 23, 1393 (Pertile mistakenly says page 189; see the last item on the page): ... ump187.jpg ... &q&f=false

Re: The Hanged Man

The soul of Judas falls headlong from his body into the hands of the devil:


Alsatian or Southern German
The Hanging of Judas, c. 1520

Judas, red-haired, yellow robe, clutching a money purse, next to the devil:


Giotto: The Pact of Judas (1303-05)
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: The Hanged Man


I hope you’ll forgive what may be a stupid question, but the hanged man of the so-called Charles VI deck appears to have a tail, which would seem to suggest an association with the Wheel of Fortune. I have not noticed this feature with respect to this trump in other decks. Moreover, I have not found any reference to this in tarot commentaries.

Thank you and regards,

Re: The Hanged Man


I read recently (albeit I cannot attest to the veracity of the source) that the practice of utilizing “shame paintings” for financial crimes/debts had fallen into disuse by the time Trionfi cards were introduced to Italy. Can anyone tell me if research supports this contention?

And if this contention is false, does anyone know from primary source documents the specific nature of these financial crimes/debts?

For example, if memory serves, although Dante had been condemned as a traitor, he was informed that he could return to Florence, provided that he paid financial penalties or damages to the state and that he confessed his crimes publicly. I realize, of course, that Dante’s situation falls outside the relevant time period. But is it possible that the use of “shame paintings” was related to financial debts owed to the state as damages in relation to high crimes (i.e. treason), or might it include any financial debt owed to all and sundry?


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