Interesting aspects, Lorredan.Lorredan wrote:The black and white Death as Cardinal that was posted by mmfilesi has some interesting connections.
So I see Huck's explanation of Chess and Death as a Bishop who travels across the board diagonally as just perfect.
Real cardinals got - in the relevant time - often great military missions. One example is the monster Vitelleschi, which first was used by pope Eugen and then executed (1440), or Cesarini (death at battlefield 1444 in Nicopolis, Bulgaria) and St. Capristanus (1456), which organised crusades and battles. Much later Cesare Borgia took a start as a cardinal and was feared in all Italy. So the cardinal as "Karnöffel" (which meant an "aggressive beating man") wasn't a bad idea.
Unluckily we don't know precisely, when this death=cardinal association was used (in other cards="when this card was made") and also we don't know, when precisely the change from slow bishop to quick bishop (= modern use) was done at the chess board.