The Tower

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Re: The Tower

Postby Lorredan on 12 Aug 2012, 23:19

What about the lightening, then?

Once your comrades have rowed you beyond those creatures I cannot advise you of the best course to take. I will tell you the choice, but you must decide.( Homer)

.....with continuous lightning flashes Zeus went,(from the Mountain of Heaven) and the bolts flew thick and fast amid thunder and lightning from his stalwart hand, trailing holy flames. All around, the life-bearing Earth rumbled as it burned... The whole land was seething, and the streams of Oceanus, and the undraining sea. The hot blast enveloped the chthonic Titans; the indescribable flames reached the divine heavens... it was just as if Earth and the broad Heaven above were coming together...( Homer)

or...

As I was saying this and weeping in the bitter agony of my heart, suddenly I heard a voice from the nearby house chanting as if it might be a boy or a girl (I do not know which), saying and repeating over and over again 'Pick up and read, pick up and read.'( :p ) At once my countenance changed, and I began to think intently whether there might be some sort of children's game in which such a chant is used. But I could not remember having heard of one. I checked the flood of tears and stood up. I interpreted it solely as a divine command to me to open the book and read the first chapter I might find. For I had heard how Antony happened to be present at the gospel reading, and took it as an admonition addressed to himself when the words were read: 'Go, sell all you have, give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me' By such an inspired utterance he was immediately 'converted to you' . So I hurried back to the place where Alypius was sitting. There I had put down the book of the apostle when I got up. I seized it, opened it and in silence read the first passage on which my eyes lit: 'Not in riots and drunken parties, not in eroticism and indecencies, not in strife and rivalry, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in its lusts...from Saint Augustine's Confessions

The Church Bells ring out Fulgura Frango Fulgura Frango...
Make your Choice.
City of God Or City of the World
(methinks both are winners..join Greenpeace and read a Good book!)
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts
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Re: The Tower

Postby Huck on 16 Dec 2013, 10:33



Michael J. Hurst presented this picture at his website ...
http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.de/
(February 2013)
... with the comment "God grants Death power over Mankind"

"God" is presented with arrows of Jupiter (Mantena Tarocchi), who has a background role for the Tower card.

***********

As I get it, the picture is from Jean Mielot and from 1450.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... t-1450.jpg

Jean Mielot
ean Miélot, also Jehan, (born Gueschard, Picardy, died 1472) was an author, translator, manuscript illuminator, scribe and priest, who served as secretary to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy from 1449 to Philip's death in 1467, and then to his son Charles the Rash.[1] He also served as chaplain to Louis of Luxembourg, Count of St. Pol from 1468, after Philip's death.[2] He was mainly employed in the production of de luxe illuminated manuscripts for Philip's library. He translated many works, both religious and secular, from Latin or Italian into French, as well as writing or compiling books himself, and composing verse. Between his own writings and his translations he produced some twenty-two works whilst working for Philip,.[3] which were widely disseminated, many being given printed editions in the years after his death, and influenced the development of French prose style.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Mi%C3%A9lot

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Image

***********

It's a question, if the castle with towers in the background are symbolic part of the allegory (Death gets arrows - or lightnings - for the attack on the castle or just decoration).
Philip the Good had problems with the city of Ghent, which ended in a bloody massacre ... 16-20.000 were dead.
Revolt of Ghent (1449-53)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolt_of_ ... 80%9353%29

That's rather contemporary for the picture. especially as picture dating is often a little bit insecure.
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Re: The Tower

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 16 Dec 2013, 11:39

Huck wrote:It's a question, if the castle with towers in the background are symbolic part of the allegory (Death gets arrows - or lightnings - for the attack on the castle or just decoration.


Maybe he'll practise on the rock in front of him first, before attacking the city. And no doubt he'll use the trees in the background to make more arrows when God's run out.
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Re: The Tower

Postby Huck on 16 Dec 2013, 12:18

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
Huck wrote:It's a question, if the castle with towers in the background are symbolic part of the allegory (Death gets arrows - or lightnings - for the attack on the castle or just decoration.


Maybe he'll practise on the rock in front of him first, before attacking the city. And no doubt he'll use the trees in the background to make more arrows when God's run out.


The article to the revolt of Ghent ends with ...
Philip the Good's summer campaign had also reinforced the establishment of modern gunpowder artillery as a decisive factor in early modern battles.

... so cannons were important.
Phaeded recently spoke of Piacenza (1448 ?) and how it was taken by Sforza and I know from other sources, that this siege was given as one of the "first examples", when cannons had gotten a deciding role (likely caused by tecgnical improvements around this time).
Phaeded in his argument related "Sagitta", arrows, Tower card etc. to cannon attacks.

Now we have a Flemish picture (far away of Italy), in which arrows get (possibly) a similar meaning.

Maybe the "castle" has similarity to the city of Ghent? I don't see a way to control that.

This tower is rather old (13th century)

Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belfry_of_Ghent
The houses around it are similar to one recognizable object at the picture.

This shows the surrender of the citizens:

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Re: The Tower

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 16 Dec 2013, 15:34

This current trend started by Phaeded - which Mike and you seem to be picking up - to call the card "Arrow" is bizarre to me. I know I have hit a nerve, denying the tower any importance, so it will surely be an important part of what Phaeded has in store for us when he reveals his explanation of the choice of subjects (although he has already said that the order of the cards in all surviving exemplars and lists is irrelevant, so it will be a rectified reconstruction).

When we say "bolt of lightning", that term "bolt" meant in the first instance "arrow", and we still use it in reference to the arrows used in crossbows - they are "bolts". But when we say "bolt of lightning", we don't then start to think literally of an arrow - we know it is a figurative term. So did they when they said saetta - thus the depictions. Mitelli, a Bolognese whose tradition used and still uses the term saetta, knew that it meant lightning, whatever the etymology of the word and the fact that it was taken figuratively to describe flashes of lightning.
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Re: The Tower

Postby Huck on 16 Dec 2013, 17:41

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:This current trend started by Phaeded - which Mike and you seem to be picking up - to call the card "Arrow" is bizarre to me. I know I have hit a nerve, denying the tower any importance, so it will surely be an important part of what Phaeded has in store for us when he reveals his explanation of the choice of subjects (although he has already said that the order of the cards in all surviving exemplars and lists is irrelevant, so it will be a rectified reconstruction).

When we say "bolt of lightning", that term "bolt" meant in the first instance "arrow", and we still use it in reference to the arrows used in crossbows - they are "bolts". But when we say "bolt of lightning", we don't then start to think literally of an arrow - we know it is a figurative term. So did they when they said saetta - thus the depictions. Mitelli, a Bolognese whose tradition used and still uses the term saetta, knew that it meant lightning, whatever the etymology of the word and the fact that it was taken figuratively to describe flashes of lightning.


I've no specific engagement in this point, I just saw this picture, found the context and noted a related cannon observation.
I don't see a Tower card in the Sforza decks. I think, that the Tower symbol came from chess and as this it appeared on the cards Fame-World and Judgment, both later "highest trumps". Both cards don't show attacked Towers.

A tower with destructed form we have in the Charles VI.
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Re: The Tower

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 16 Dec 2013, 18:06

Huck wrote:I've no specific engagement in this point, I just saw this picture, found the context and noted a related cannon observation.
I don't see a Tower card in the Sforza decks. I think, that the Tower symbol came from chess and as this it appeared on the cards Fame-World and Judgment, both later "highest trumps". Both cards don't show attacked Towers.

A tower with destructed form we have in the Charles VI.


Yes, even none of the copies have it, or the Devil. If necessary, I can believe they suppressed these cards in their luxury productions, for reasons of taste. I don't think the luxury cards were used for play very much in any case; they were there to show off and give as gifts (the Brambilla cards don't look like they were ever used - the gold leaf seems untouched by wear). They played, no doubt, with common cards.

We know Visconti was terrified of thunderstorms, at least Decembrio presents him as such - even having a special reinforced room made where he went to hide during bad storms; and a bolt of lightning one time destroyed a tower in the castle. Also, the Sicilian Tarot took the lightning away from the tower, and changed the Devil to a ship. And of course Pope and Popess (and Emperor and Empress) suffer various changes. So the imagery of individual cards is subject to suppression and change, beyond stylistic differences.

Nevertheless, whatever their "decorum" issues and how they present certain subjects, the luxury productions are modelled after the standard sequence, which did contain the Devil and the Thunderbolt. Common players weren't chasing around the rare luxury decks to model their cards on.
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Re: The Tower

Postby Huck on 17 Dec 2013, 16:57

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
We know Visconti was terrified of thunderstorms, at least Decembrio presents him as such - even having a special reinforced room made where he went to hide during bad storms; and a bolt of lightning one time destroyed a tower in the castle. Also, the Sicilian Tarot took the lightning away from the tower, and changed the Devil to a ship. And of course Pope and Popess (and Emperor and Empress) suffer various changes. So the imagery of individual cards is subject to suppression and change, beyond stylistic differences.

Nevertheless, whatever their "decorum" issues and how they present certain subjects, the luxury productions are modelled after the standard sequence, which did contain the Devil and the Thunderbolt. Common players weren't chasing around the rare luxury decks to model their cards on.


In German books there are collections of thunder- and lightning events, often modified to mythical dimensions. Also books with songs, which might help in the case of thunderstorms. It was a world before Benjamin Franklin, they hadn't a way to avoid the connected trouble.

3 card players smitten in Brieg by lightning, and 7 other nearby by playing with dice (found twice in books from 17th century). Both in 1303, second oldest note about card playing in Germany/Poland, direct after Ingold's "1300", written in 1432. The case smells, of course, like a myth.
Likely somebody wished to express, that God had been against against playing cards (3 victims), but more against the dice game (7 victims). Likely teaching material for preachers against gambling.

I've looked for connections between Jupiter and cannons, and found modern use of "Jupiter" as name for British Navy ships (6x), naturally all with lots of cannons.

HMS Jupiter (1778), ein Schiff der 4. Klasse mit 50 Kanonen, das 1778 vom Stapel lief und 1808 abgewrackt wurde.
HMS Jupiter (1813), ein Kriegsschiff 4. Klasse mit 50 Kanonen. Ab 1837 wurde sie als Truppentransporter eingesetzt und 1846 in eine Kohlenhulk umgewandelt. 1870 wurde sie abgewrackt.
HMS Jupiter war eine Kohlenhulk, die 1833 als Schiff der 5. Klasse mit 44 Kanonen mit dem Namen HMS Forth (1833) vom Stapel lief. 1869 wurde sie in Jupiter umbenannt und 1883 verkauft.
HMS Jupiter (1895), ein Schlachtschiff der Majestic-Klasse, das 1895 vom Stapel gelassen und 1920 verschrottet wurde.
HMS Jupiter (F85), ein Zerstörer der J-Klasse, der 1938 vom Stapel lief und 1942 durch einen Minentreffer versenkt wurde.
HMS Jupiter (F60), eine Fregatte der Leander-Klasse, die 1967 vom Stapel lief und 1997 zur Verschrottung verkauft wurde.


I found no 15th century material, but generally the idea seems to have been not rare to connect cannon use with the Jupiter name.
Naming cannons wasn't rare in old times, I know examples.

Chinese chess developed a cannon figure.
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Gaston de Foix, 11 April 1512

Postby Huck on 05 Mar 2014, 20:56

http://www.cristoraul.com/ENGLISH/histo ... MBRAY.html

Thus died Gaston de Foix, Duke of Nemours, at the early age of twenty-three, who in the course of a few months had achieved the most brilliant military reputation, and acquired the surname of the “Thunderbolt of Italy”.


Would be interesting to know the Italian expression at this time.

The French expression seems to have been "fouldre d' l'Italie". According this he got this name cause his surprising quick march and attack on Brescia (February 1512) ...
http://books.google.de/books?id=-MWPgP8 ... on&f=false

The other source again ...

A short time before, after protecting Bologna, sacking Brescia and getting money from Bergamo ... (February 1512)

Louis began to perceive the machinations of Margaret, and felt the necessity for striking a speedy and decisive blow. He seemed suddenly to have emancipated himself from his own bigotry and the influence of his consort; the Pope was attacked by pamphleteers and openly ridiculed on the Paris stage by the Enfans sans souci; nay, a medal was even struck with the legend Perdam Babylonis Nomen, a name for the holy see which has hardly been surpassed in the vocabulary of subsequent reformers. Gaston was instructed to deliver a decisive battle, after which he was to march to Home, dictate a peace, and depose the Pope. These proceedings were to be authorized by a Legate dispatched from the Council of Pisa at Milan, who was to accompany the army.


I searched for this coin, but couldn't find one.
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Re: The Tower

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 06 Mar 2014, 07:51

"Folgore d'Italia" seems to be the main expression.

One recent translator used "saetta d'Italia" - Roberta Zuppet's Italian 2003 Italian translation of Ross King's Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling (2002). In Italian this was published the following year as Il Papa e il suo pittore: Michelangelo e la nascita avventurosa della Cappella Sistina.

I think this expression served French propaganda and jokes; it was probably not invented by the Italians concerned.
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