Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#31
Nevermind on the need for an epitome of Plutarch's Numa or that Filelfo's Latin translation came a decade later than Marziano's text; one of the fairly numerous manuscripts based on the late 14th century Tuscan translation would do just fine:
Less than ten years after Simon finished his Latin version of De cohibenda ira, Plutarch’s Lives were translated for the first time. Around 1380 the Aragonese Juan Fernández de Heredia had a number of historical works translated into Aragonese, among them the Lives. they were first translated into demotic Greek, in Rhodes, and then into Aragonese (Álvarez rodríguez (1983) and (2009)). At the beginning of the 1390s Salutati had heard about the Aragonese Lives and managed to procure a copy, with the intention of having them translated into Latin. This never happened; instead a Tuscan translation was produced, which is extant in at least fourteen manuscripts (*Pade (2007) 1.76–87). Thus, by the end of the fourteenth century, thanks to Salutati’s efforts, there is a direct knowledge in Italy of one of Plutarch’s opuscula and the majority of the Lives. (Marianne Pade, “The Reception of Plutarch from Antiquity to the Italian Renaissance” (Ch. 36) in A Companion to Plutarch, ed, Mark Beck 2013: 538).


* Pade 2007 = Pade, M. (2007). The Reception of Plutarch’s Lives in Fifteenth-Century Italy, vols. 1–2 [Renæssancestudier 14]. Copenhagen, 2007. Vol. 1, 76f.

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#32
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 17:58
Of course we want to how and why Marziano created his Vesta.
Short answer: Vesta/Hestia is one of the 12 Olympian gods and she allowed a strong representative in the Virginities suit. But I'd also propose that it was the very occasion/circumstances of the production - it was to be played in the home/palace in idle hours, presumably by the hearth, with which Vesta is associated (see Ovid's lengthy connection of Vesta to hearth and home in his Fasti, book I for instance). And of course the Vesta temple's fire is a sort of archetype for every Roman's hearth, the Vestals themselves, per Plutarch, "had no other business than the preservation of this fire." And we have anecdotal evidence that card-playing especially occurred in the winter, when the hearth was used: Sforza's famous request for tarot via Cicchus while in Lodi is dated in December; Marcello's letter to Isabelle with his dedicatory version of Marziano's deck is dated November - so both in the early months of winter, cards allowing one inside amusement until campaigning, hawking and hunting could commence again in the spring.

Only so many snowball fights one can entertain oneself with....bring out the cards!

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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#33
Phaeded wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 21:59

Short answer: Vesta/Hestia is one of the 12 Olympian gods and she allowed a strong representative in the Virginities suit. But I'd also propose that it was the very occasion/circumstances of the production - it was to be played in the home/palace in idle hours, presumably by the hearth, with which Vesta is associated (see Ovid's lengthy connection of Vesta to hearth and home in his Fasti, book I for instance). ... And we have anecdotal evidence that card-playing especially occurred in the winter, when the hearth was used: Sforza's famous request for tarot via Cicchus while in Lodi is dated in December; Marcello's letter to Isabelle with his dedicatory version of Marziano's deck is dated November - so both in the early months of winter, cards allowing one inside amusement until campaigning, hawking and hunting could commence again in the spring.
Interesting thoughts. Yes, of course the indoors activities of winter, especially the Christmas-Epiphany season, were card playing times. I think there are even statutes to that effect here and there.

Just to be a little contrary, though, the Borromeo "Tarocchi Players" don't seem to be doing it in winter. The background is reminiscent of Angera, and it is outdoors, so it seems to be the Borromeo escape from Milan's oppressive summer.
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#34
Phaeded wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 21:16
instead a Tuscan translation was produced, which is extant in at least fourteen manuscripts (*Pade (2007) 1.76–87). Thus, by the end of the fourteenth century, thanks to Salutati’s efforts, there is a direct knowledge in Italy of one of Plutarch’s opuscula and the majority of the Lives.
Thanks. It would be nice to get that list of 14 manuscripts. Maybe some of them are online somewhere.
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#35
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
07 Aug 2019, 10:09
Phaeded wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 21:16
instead a Tuscan translation was produced, which is extant in at least fourteen manuscripts (*Pade (2007) 1.76–87). Thus, by the end of the fourteenth century, thanks to Salutati’s efforts, there is a direct knowledge in Italy of one of Plutarch’s opuscula and the majority of the Lives.
Thanks. It would be nice to get that list of 14 manuscripts. Maybe some of them are online somewhere.
Yeah, I wondered if there would be enough interest in a volgare translation of Plutarch for a scan, but quite frankly that early date is interesting in itself as it preceded the onslaught of Latin translations of Plutarch, in what Pade calls the "heroic age of Plutarchan studies, the Aetas plutarchiana, may have ended by 1420."
Iacopo Angeli (c. 1360–1410/1411) was a close friend of Coluccio Salutati and was the first to publish a Latin translation of one of Plutarch’s Lives directly from the Greek. In relatively few years he translated Brutus (1400), Cicero (1400/1401), Pompey and Marius (both probably before 1406). he also published the first translations of any of the opuscula after Simon Atumanus’ fourteenth-century version of De cohibenda ira, namely De Alexandri virtute aut fortuna (On Alexander’s Virtue or Luck) and De fortuna Romanorum (On the Luck of the Romans, both before 1409), both of which deal with the relative merits of some of the heroes described in the Lives (Weiss (1977) 255–277). Leonardo Bruni (1370–1444)...has been said that his Greek scholarship primarily intended to restore and renew Latin culture (Hankins (2002) 192). Certainly his work on Plutarch could be interpreted in that way: most of his Plutarchan translations are of the lives of famous generals and statesmen from the roman republic: Mark Antony (1404–1405), the Younger Cato (1405–1408), Aemilius Paulus (1408–1409), the Gracchi (1410), Quintus Sertorius (1408–1409 or 1410), and Cicero in the Cicero Novus, his adaptation of Plutarch’s Cicero (1413). his translation of the life of King Pyrrhus of Epirus (before 1413) was surely motivated by his interest in Roman republican history, and his Demosthenes (1412) was intended as a foil for the Cicero Novus, which reversed Plutarch’s judgment and portrayed Cicero as the greater man, the ideal “civic humanist.” as a young man Bruni planned to translate all of Plutarch’s Lives (Griffiths et al. (1987) 184–185); later in life he composed the Vite di Dante e del Petrarca (Lives of Dante and Petrarch) (ibid, 539)

At all events, we have a fairly widespread interest in Petrarch up through c.1420, the time Marziano composed his tract, hence not that surprising to find Plutarch's influence for a deity whose description Marziano found otherwise wanting in Boccaccio.

Just to emphasize how seemingly rare that volgare transaltion of Plutarch is, contrast Bruni's list of volgare works, that all come later in his career (this avoidance of the vernacular was driven by his patron/friend Niccolo Niccoli's contempt for the volgare - and therefore Dante - while focusing on a polished Ciceronian Latin; Bruni eventually turns against that per the evidence below). The listing of Bruni's works in the vernacular below - and note the earliest is about Venus (just a few years after Marziano; you can find a Google scan of the Italian and English translation of Bruni's "Song of Praise for Venus" in Melancolia Poetica, ed. Marc A. Cirigliano, p. 149f ) - is taken from this article by Hankins: https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/han ... sequence=1
Bruni works written in the vernacular.JPG
Bruni works written in the vernacular.JPG (58.36 KiB) Viewed 1580 times


Phaeded

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#36
Ross,
Your new book came this past week. Very handy to have all of the Marziano-related sources in one place; also I'm assuming Aline is your wife - very nice work on the cover art; I know you posted the mock-up here but looks great in person (I especially like the thin vellum look).

Rereading the funeral oration (which must have been for broader circulation and Marziano's family's consumption - how many humanist types were in Tortona?) I noted that Marziano's role as adviser to Visconti is prefaced by comparisons to Cato and Gaius Laelius, both appropriately exemplary advisers to Pompey and Scipio, respectively. The Cato comparison may lead us back to Plutarch's life of him (Laelius, as Scipio's advisor, is merely mentioned in Plutarch's Moralia). Dante recasts Cato tending the gate of Purgatory (Cantos XX-XXII), who like fellow pagan Statius, will receive special compensation on the Day of Judgment; more relevant to the times, Bruni's Latin translation Plutarch's life of Cato (c. 1405-8) would have been familiar to Marziano - perhaps Barzizza knew it as a favorite book of Marziano? The significance of Cato, besides being the paragon of virtue, is he was used to prop up the Italian humanists' favorite Roman, Cicero:
"Finally, his achievements are held in such high esteem that M. Cato, man of austerity and gravity, thinks that because of these he [Cicero] deserves to be called the father of the country: and, as we said above, it was accorded to Cicero for the first time and in the time of liberty, so that a certain poet, poking fun at the emperors who received this designation from adulators, said «Rome at the time of liberty called Cicero the father of the country»).
Translation from Bruni's Cicero Novus, p. 73 here: http://www.desk.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/downloa ... Takada.pdf
At all events, more circumstantial evidence pointing towards the influence of Plutarch.

Phaeded

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#37
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 09:45

For point values we are therefore left to the analogy of Tarot, with the basic rule that kings count the same as at least four of the Trumps. I say four Trumps on the assumption of Bolognese rules being the closest to the original, and also on the fact of the fourfold structure of Marizano's game. On that basis, I'd give the two highest and two lowest gods the same value as kings: Jupiter and Juno, and Daphne and Cupid. Let's say 5 points for these 8 cards.

The other 12 gods are empty. A trick counts for a point.

So, for the basic game, if we assume 56 cards dealt out to four players, that is 14 cards with no discard, 40 card points, plus 14 points for tricks gives 54 points up for grabs in a hand. If we give 2 additional points for winning the last trick, we get 56 points, which is the same as the number of cards, a neat coincidence. We can assume a fixed partnership form, who can strategize together (signals, some words?) and combine their points.

A full round is four deals, rotating counterclockwise, for a total of 224 card points in play. Here is where we have to get really creative, and assume that some other number was fixed upon, for which we have to create other points for sequences of trumps, or combinations like three and four kings, or a set of gods, according to moral category, for instance, e.g. all of the Virtues: Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, and Hercules. The combinations are where we can get really creative, for instance giving the Dii Consentes pairings some point value, or references to some mythological event that involves specific gods.

So this is how I mean to be creative in coming up with rules, a plausible reconstruction, but not one I'd offer as an historical argument.

Would anybody be up for trying to make games for the Marziano deck?
There are two categories of tarot games that use combinations. The first is what Dummett called classical tarot and likely originated in Milan in the 15th century. Depaulis found it was played all over France during the 1580s. In this type, combinations are made before play. The purpose of this is to let players get a partial glimpse into each other's hand to create strategies. Players that reveal their special cards are compensated with points for the risk they took.

The second type is associated with the Bolognese and Florentine games in which combinations are made before and after play. McLeod notes that no other card games had this during "that period", which I assume to be around 1500 to 1800. I must point out that the most conservative Sicilian tarot games have faint, vestigial traces of combinations before and after play which may be why Villabianca called the game "little Gallerini". The spirit of these games is to make and break sequences as that is where the real points lie.

A sorely overlooked game is the one invented by Pier Antonio Viti of Urbino during the 1490s. Viti's game is often ignored as it does not adhere to tarot rules closely and is poorly thought out. Yet Viti did not invent his game in a vacuum, he clearly played tarot and borrowed much of the general structure from the rules popular in Urbino. When all cards are dealt, the players expose them to each other; this is very likely inspired by combinations but Viti doesn't do anything clever with this nor does he award players with points. At the end of the hand, players try to form the longest sequence to win. This appears to be proof that Bolognese-Florentine style gameplay goes back to the 15th century.

As for Marziano's pack I recommend the following combinations (which may overlap):
  • Three or four kings
  • Three or four trumps of the same morals
  • A sequence of the top four trumps plus any consecutive trumps
  • The same with the bottom four trumps
  • The top two and bottom two trumps
  • Ten or more trumps
  • Entire hand consists of consecutive trumps
I am curious as to why your pack has 56 cards. Do you believe kings take the place of 10s? Without a discard, it is much harder to trump a king or make combinations. With a discard, honours can only be discarded to create an entire hand of consecutive trumps. There should also be a bonus for winning all tricks.

The Bolognese games are the only tarot games that have combinations and signalling together but not all of them do as there are many two-handed forms. I've compiled a list of games that have signalling from Dummett-McLeod volume 1, its supplement, and pagat.com. I haven't found any in volume 2 so far but I haven't finished it.
Switzerland: 5.1-5, 5.8 (supplement)
Piedmont-Savoy: 8.11-12, 8.40-42, https://www.pagat.com/tarot/piedicavallo.html
Bologna: 11.1-4, 11.6, 11.13-18 with appendix
Sicily: 14.1, 14.6, 14.8

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#38
I am curious as to why your pack has 56 cards. Do you believe kings take the place of 10s? Without a discard, it is much harder to trump a king or make combinations. With a discard, honours can only be discarded to create an entire hand of consecutive trumps.
Yes, kings replace 10s in a 56-card version. My only historical justification is that Fernando de la Torre's Spanish pack already suppressed the 10s in 1450. It was a common feature of German packs from early, too. So I can't see why it couldn't be 1420 as well. Additionally, 56 points (giving the bonus of last trick) coincides with 56 cards, although that is a circular argument if invoked as proof. Of course extra game points could make 60 as well if kings are the 11th card in a suit.
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#39
Thank you very much for your ideas, Ludophone! Especially on the combinations. I forget whether we formed combinations before play also in Pinochle. It has been decades since I played, but we were very good at it around 1985.

I am not sure why it should be hard to trump a king if there is no discard. If you get rid of your lower pips fast, and conserve any of the trumps, a trump can be used to take a king, like in normal Tarot. The main difference between the ratio of Trumps to court cards between to the two games seems to be that the trumps are far more useful in Tarot, since there are so many more points to be won in the tricks. It makes me believe that Marziano didn't think his game completely through, that it did not have time to evolve.
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#40
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
13 Aug 2019, 16:27
I am not sure why it should be hard to trump a king if there is no discard. If you get rid of your lower pips fast, and conserve any of the trumps, a trump can be used to take a king, like in normal Tarot. The main difference between the ratio of Trumps to court cards between to the two games seems to be that the trumps are far more useful in Tarot, since there are so many more points to be won in the tricks.
If the king is the only counting card in its suit, there is no incentive to preserve it. You would want to play it immediately the first chance you get. Kings would be out of the game after the first few tricks. With a discard, a player can void their short suit(s) making capture of a king more likely.

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