Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#11
Regarding Pinkerton, he knew about Minchiati which he described as having forty-one atouts (note the French terminology), so he could also be familiar with the rules of the game and "corrected" the New Orleans players corruption of verzicole who may have been playing another form of tarot, namely what Dummett called Classical Tarot in which combinations are formed before play.

Here are some variants of verzicole:
Verzicole (Minucci, 1676), Verzigole (Onesti, 1716), Versicole (only 19th century?), all from Florence
Virzicoli (Villabianca, 1786), Sicily
Bergigole (Anonymous, c. 1570), Pesaro-Urbino?
Brezicole (Piscina, c. 1565), Mondovi
Brizigole (de Marolles, 1637), Nevers
Barsìgôla (Viriglio, 1900), Turin

A similar term in Bologna is Pariglie but the etymology is different. It means "pair" and can be found in other Italian card games. There's also the game of Briscola (1828) but I'm guessing the name came about from Italian players misremembering the name of the French game of Brusquembille then substituting it with a more familiar term.

Pratesi has published a paper in Ludica about the exports of Minchiate spanning thirty years in the 18th century. You can read it here: http://naibi.net/A/82-Pratesi-2a%20bozza-4ott2018.pdf What's surprising is the large number of packs sent to Lisbon (1.518). Pratesi notes that packs sent to Cadiz could possibly be for export to the Americas. Depaulis alerted me to a Ganellini reference in Sardinia dated to 1759. Sardinia and Corsica are big empty spots when it comes to card games research.

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#12
Thanks for the additional information on Pinkerton, Ludophone. It's been ages since I read it carefully.

A question related to the subject of this thread - would you be willing to come up with a hypothetical reconstruction for Marizano's game? It is pretty wide open, but some basic features such as inverted ranking in two suits and of course the permanent trumps in a straight hierarchy, are present.

I think it needs more than just abstract design, it needs to be played, and I don't have enough card players around me to try anything.

Do we give a card, say Cupid, the role of Excuse? Are there combinations, and sequences? What point values do the cards have, and what the are the values of the trumps, or specific trumps? And, since the King is the only court card, what is his value?
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#13
Good info Ludophone.



Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 15:37
hypothetical reconstruction for Marizano's game?...
Do we give a card, say Cupid, the role of Excuse?

Very relevant question Ross. It is the last trump, like tarot's Fool, and all hand-painted Fools are erotically charged (I'd argue the PMB madman with goiters is reaching towards his barely covered genitals and a child looks at the second Fool below, while the 3rd is self-evident in this aspect):
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Three of Marziano's suits can be linked to Love's activities (or as a foil to such - i.e., Virtues). In my opinion it is Petrarch's Triumph of Love, of which even Jupiter - Marziano's highest card - is driven before, along with a selection of gods from related sections of Ovid, recirculated by Boccaccio, but they are all placed in Love's arena, a place where one can retreat to and "find recreation from the weariness of virtue ."

A bit later than the Quattrocento, but this is a fascinating read in regard to personal and social control via erotic means in the writings of Giodarno Bruno (who draws on earlier humanistic texts of course):
Ioan P. Culianu, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, 1987.
https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Renaissanc ... 0226123162

Phaeded

PS Below, "Love's arena" as a hortus conclusus in the de Sphaera perpared for Sforza - a well-worn theme, very similar to the c.1411 fresco showing the same in the Castello della Manta, Saluzzo, Italy. And I wonder what relationship, if any, did Sforza's fountain impresa have to the fountain of youth usually associated with lovers? After the CY and PMB, he all but drops it from use, preferring other stemmi) - notably the dog tied under a tree, also featured in the Sforza manuscript of de Sphaera).

Cristoforo de Predis, De Sphaera, Children of Venus, c. 1460; 2nd image is the PMB Ace of Cups - a fountain modified with a chalice's base (the hexagonal base fountain also found on CY baton's court figures dress).

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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#14
I've taken the liberty of uploading the original query and Pinkerton's response here:

Pinkerton has done his research. He quotes Lollio, dismisses Gebelin's Egyptian claims, he knows where they are manufactured and exported to, that there are regional differences in how the trumps are ordered, the existence of French-suited tarots, etc.

What game was Pinkerton most familiar with? For him, the Fool "greatly increases the values of the other cards according to its position among them" and "representing any other card, of which its holder might be deficient, to form the sequence [verzicole]". This wild card function is found in only a few types of tarot games. It exists in Bolognese tarocchini (alongside the Bagatto), Grosstarock, and Piscina's game. There are games where it "increases the values of the other cards" without acting as a wild card like in Minchiate and the games Dummett considered "classical" such as Mitigati and the pre-19th century French games. I suspect the game Pinkerton witnessed is a lost game originating from eastern or southeastern France or Corsica that predates the arrival of Tarocc'Ombre and its subsequent evolution into Modern French Tarot.

As for Marziano's game, details are too sparse to warrant a reconstruction. The only conjecture I can safely make is that play is anti-clockwise as per other Italian games. I'm not totally sure but Marziano seems to expect that readers, the duke and his companions, would naturally know how to play. Perhaps players would assume it is a plain-trick game but with the only innovation being the fifth suit of permanent trumps. Are there any other card games besides tarot that has a card which excuses players from following suit?

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#15
Ludophone wrote:
03 Aug 2019, 03:43
As for Marziano's game, details are too sparse to warrant a reconstruction. The only conjecture I can safely make is that play is anti-clockwise as per other Italian games. I'm not totally sure but Marziano seems to expect that readers, the duke and his companions, would naturally know how to play. Perhaps players would assume it is a plain-trick game but with the only innovation being the fifth suit of permanent trumps. Are there any other card games besides tarot that has a card which excuses players from following suit?
I agree, the specifics Marziano gives are too sparse to reconstruct scientifically, like Dummett could do with Tarot itself. We can't make a playable reconstruction without a lot of assumptions and pure guesswork.

However, I am asking not for historical purposes, but for creative purposes, to really play it. This could be anything, as there are an infinite number of ways to play with cards. So, in order to limit my imagination, I rely on the direct statements Marziano makes, as well as reading between the lines. There is also Marcello's witness to take into account. Marcello sent Isabelle a Tarot as well as Michelino's deck, but he sent them without any instructions or rules whatsoever. He sent them with Giovanni Cossa, so we should assume that Cossa taught Isabelle the rudiments of the game when he gave Marcello's gifts to her.

But this doesn't include the rules for Marziano's game, for which we, like Isabelle, are left with Marziano's text itself. From the deck's structure, Marcello took it to be a different kind of Tarot, so there is a hint there on how he thought it should be played.

Therefore I think we are on safe historical reconstruction ground when we base our rules on the basic principles of Tarot.

Marziano only tells us that there is no ranking of suits (implying the existence of card games where this was the practice), and that the pips are ranked in reverse order in two suits, which is like archetypal Tarot. Finally, of course, the suit of gods is ranked in strict hierachy, from Jupiter highest to Cupid lowest.

Those three statements are the only actual rules we have. From inference, we can take it that the fourfold division into moral categories played some role in the rules. Marziano also sometimes gives a rationale for placing gods where they are, such as explaining that Mercury is 9th, "the fairly middle place", because he is a mediator among the gods. Perhaps we can take that as authorization to create sequences of gods as one object of the game. Finally, he apologizes for adding Cupid, but says that the game demands it. What rule can we infer "demands" Cupid? This is where I begin to think of an excuse or a wild card that helps build sequences.

We can assume other basic point-trick rules like following suit, since Visconti issued a decree approving only of such games that followed this "correct and ancient method." So if we are Marcello, we are basically taking over Tarot into Marziano, with the differences caused by fewer court cards and fewer Trumps being the only constraints.

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?
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#16
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 09:45
Finally, he apologizes for adding Cupid, but says that the game demands it. What rule can we infer "demands" Cupid?

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?

You can still touch on historical plausibility - there is comparable material that suggested a game that "demanded" Cupid; in that context I would stay engaged with your rules reconstruction.

Per my earlier reply in this thread I believe Cupid is not merely "demanded" but central - the game is played within "Love's arena." Marziano priggishly dances around the centrality of Cupid, I believe, in order to remain respectable. With that in mind, look at the younger and prurient Antonio Beccadelli (aka Panormita), appointed court poet to Duke Filippo Maria Visconti in 1429, but earlier had dedicated the Hermaphrodite (1425-26), to Cosimo de' Medici - a work almost contemporary with Marziano, that became a scandalous sensation (certainly the sources/themes Panormita was pursuing were around when Marziano conceived of his game). Panormita was inspired by classical Latin texts (Martial and Catullus, and was also working on a Plautus project while in Pavia) and not Petrarch's moralizing triumph, but clearly Marziano walked a line between the two, shading towards the latter (despite his stated goal of offering up a game from those who are wearied of virtue). Note that Panormita studied in Florence and then under Barzizza in Padua in c. 1420, so already we have him in Marziano's sphere of relations. And like Marziano, Boccaccio seems to be a major source of inspiration, per his translator, citing the Genealogies of the Gods, 3.31: "Albericus [that is, the Third Vatican Mythographer] takes Hermaphoditus, since he is born of Mercury and Venus, to symbolize speech that is unnecessarily lascivious, which when it ought to be manly, seems effeminate because of the excessive softness of words" (Antonio Beccadelli, The Hermaphrodite, Volume 42 of I Tatti Renaissance library, 2010: xxii; Tr. Holt N. Parker). Tamer emulators soon followed: Giovanni Marrasasio's Angelinetum (c. 1429), Leon Battista Alberti's "Lucian forgery" Virtus (c. 1430), Piccolomini's Cinthia (c. 1431), Tito Vespasiano Strozzi's Eroticon (1443), etc.

So Marziano created his game on the precipice of a humanist explosion of erotic and courtly love literary productions based on classical influences (which would be an emphasis separating them from the likes of the troubadours, that and the more bawdy material). I think it would be more likely that Marziano was mining secondary sources such as Boccaccio, instead of the classical sources themselves, and that Boccaccio quote above may be telling in regard to Marziano's own project in terms of how he may have sublimated the erotic theme. Mercury in the "fairly middle place" may be not only as a mediator among the gods but because his own gender was highly ambivalent - "in the middle" - per Boccaccio. So consider gender as possibly informing trick-taking in Marziano - his 16 gods are almost neatly split 50/50: 7 female to 9 male. But removing "hermaphoditic" Mercury from either gender category leaves us with 7 males for 7 males, with Cupido attacking both genders, outside the protagonists contained within "Love's arena." And Boccaccio links Mercury with Cupid as the father, so Mercury himself would seem to be beyond the erotic fray (Marziano does list Mars as the father, but in Martianus Capella's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii he famously marries Philology, not counted among Marziano's gods, not his allegorical suits).

Finally, consider the early Florentine humanist who flourished in Padua, who may have helped set the stage for all this: Francesco da Barberino (d. 1348). I'm still trying to discern the influence his texts would have had (surely Barzizza in Padua was aware of his work), but his illuminated works emphasize the power of love. Barberino's I Documenti d'Amore (c. 1310) can be viewed on-line here: https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Barb.lat.4076

The opening illumination clearly shows "love's arena" with Cupido above said arena. Marziano himself describes Cupido with features that originate with Barberino:

...aimed at being speedy; and often under the flowery or leafy garlands of girls, whereby the golden colour becomes mixed with the green...Whoever therefore desires to evade this most awkward and violent pest, let him hinder at the beginning what was suggested to the soul in the first place, any appearances of his delights, thus far being free vigour of the soul: may he not let in misleading persuasions, nor let the mind naturally very fond of liberty to be lead under the yoke of the most shameful servitude. Distinguished by a very youthful face, since many pursue that age. In flight, thus marking the instability of lovers; girded with human hearts, since he triumphs as victor of these. Nude, only because lovers desire one another completely; with a full bow, he wanders through heaven and earth wanton and in flagrant desire; whose arms, pestilent to gods and men, Jupiter himself is not able to escape.
(your translation: http://trionfi.com/martiano-da-tortona- ... -16-heroum
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And I believe the genders are set at odds here in the "arena", a woman shooting across at a male, returning fire (his long red dress matching that of the male in the second image below).

The garlands and hearts more clear in his 3rd to last image, the latter girded about Cupid's mount:

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Phaeded

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#17
Thanks for these considerations, Phaeded. I too have long noted the balance of male and female, especially if you put to one side the hermaphrodite Mercury and the baby Cupid.

I agree Marziano's Cupid is a crucial figure, His description seems to be almost entirely drawn from the Genealogia IX,4. I haven't gone line by line yet, but the psychological description of love's action through the eyes to the soul comes from Boccaccio. It was a convention, of course, but Marziano's phraseology is a barely disguised paraphrase.

There is more surprise, by the way, with Vesta, the central and major part of whose chapter is unparalleled in any mythographic source ancient or medieval. It is repeated, verbatim, in the Vita of a French saint two centuries later. The relationship between these two texts remains a mystery that requires deep archival research, if it can be solved at all.
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#18
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 18:04
There is more surprise, by the way, with Vesta, the central and major part of whose chapter is unparalleled in any mythographic source ancient or medieval. It is repeated, verbatim, in the Vita of a French saint two centuries later. The relationship between these two texts remains a mystery that requires deep archival research, if it can be solved at all.
Can you be specific in regard to which line(s) in Marziano's description of Vesta you are referring to as "unparalleled"? She merely seems to be the epitome of chastity/virtue, who nevertheless is mother to Ceres and Thetis in Boccaccio.

By the way, in his apology/recantation of The Hermaphrodite Panormita describes himself as having violated the house of Vesta, pitting that goddess against Venus:
I am now ashamed that I taught various filthy acts and impious ways of Venus, which nature shuns. I was hoping to raise up an immortal name for myself, by seeing if I could smash the temple of the goddess Vesta (Parker, 125).


Petrarch notably has a vestal virgin in the wake of Chastity's triumph ("Among the others was the vestal maid / who that she might be free of ill report / Sped boldly to the Tiber, and from thence / Brought water to her temple in a sieve." There is even a cassone somewhere that depicts this).

That's what's interesting about Marziano - he hasn't left the world of Petrarch and the moralizing Ovid genre, unlike his younger fellow humanists. He seems to provide a refuge from love within his game, so one can envisage the suit of Virginities - Pallas, Diana, Vesta, Daphne - as trumping the male gods (and in turn could trump each other, but only per their ordinal rank; e.g., Diana over Vesta); perhaps Cupid, in turn, can trump all of the other cards besides these four.

So perhaps the main rule exceptions to the stated ordinal rankings are these three:
* The four Virginity trumps triumph over all males, inclusive of Cupid, and over each other per their ordinal ranking. That leaves Juno, Venus and Ceres - since all of these goddesses were fecund in terms of childbirth you'd have to assume the Virgins triumph over them as well, based on virtue triumphing over venality (or Vesta over Venus in the parlance of Panormita) .
* Cupid triumphs over all the non-Virginity trumps (Chastity otherwise "binds" him)
* Mercury "hermaphroditely" takes on the complexion of whichever card he is coupled with (just as he does in his astrological nature; e.g., if in conjunction or in a Saturnine house he takes on the character of Saturn). Not sure what that would mean in terms of trick-taking - maybe this: One lays down Jupiter and then Mercury is neutral so that another round is played and whomever has the higher card then takes all four. The best strategy would then be this: if you had a high card like Jupiter you'd play Mercury first, hoping to take whatever your opponent laid down; e.g.: your opponent first places Vesta down and she is neutralized by your Mercury - the hand continues and your opponent places Apollo down - a high card - but you held back Jupiter and play it to sweep all four cards.

The key here, outside of the ordinal ranking, is sex/gender: a trump is either fortified against or prone to the desires of the opposite sex.

The kings and pips just have ordinal values, but inter-suit oddly place Riches over Virginities, but perhaps that was a court value Visconti would have wanted (riches allowing the courtly virtue of Magnanimity, still trumped by the suit of Virtues - Pleasures being the bottom suit). Huck's handy table to illustrate all of this: http://trionfi.com/olympic-gods .

Phaeded

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#19
Wow, those rules you suggest are subtle. I had thought of the unseemliness of Cupid beating the Virgins in any sense, but an excuse function doesn't seem so offensive. It just means that he lets the player avoid having to play a higher card or lose a more important card. But the idea that the Virgins themselves beat other trumps, irrespective of their rank, is innovative. I seem to remember forms of Tarot where one trump is singled out as the most powerful, or the object of the game. This is not the typical point-trick game.

Mercury as a transformative card, that is really subtle. I can't say how any of these would play, though, since I haven't tried (or been able to try, none in my immediate circle plays any kind of cards, I'd have to venture into strange territory).
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Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#20
Phaeded wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 20:08
Can you be specific in regard to which line(s) in Marziano's description of Vesta you are referring to as "unparalleled"? She merely seems to be the epitome of chastity/virtue, who nevertheless is mother to Ceres and Thetis in Boccaccio.
It's complicated. It is also the subject of an upcoming paper in the Analecta Bollandiana, but that is several months away at least, probably no sooner than next spring.

If you're ready for some nitty-gritty stuff, here is an explanation I wrote to Franco in March. The only clarifications since are that what I call the "Grandmont manuscript", BnF lat. 17670 (towards the end) also appears to come from Paris itself, so both manuscript sources for Gaucherius's Vita that include the passage probably originate in Paris or Meulan (Gaucherius' home town), and that the Breviary of 1626 that Becquet and the Acta Sanctorum mention does not contain the passage, while François de Blois's 1652 French Vie does contain the passage (or rather knows of it, since he quotes the incipit among the sources at the end).

I don't know how to put the attachments I sent to Franco here, so I'll post them separately in follow up posts. SEE THE NEXT PAGE OF THIS THREAD.

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The summary is that a portion of Marziano’s De Vesta is identical to a portion of the Vita of Saint Gaucherius of Aureil (Gaucher d’Aureil). This means either that one borrowed from the other, or that both adapted it from a common source. The state of the evidence leads me to think, provisionally, that an adaptor of Gaucherius’ Vita borrowed from Marziano’s text.

What you need to do:

1) Have before you the comparison of Marziano’s De Vesta and the relevant part of Gaucherius’ Vita, attached.
2) Google “fugiendas illecebras”, exactly as written, as a phrase within the quotation marks. This will bring up the two versions of a Vita of Saint Gaucherius of Aureil that contain the same text as Marziano’s Vesta.
3) Read my translation of the two versions compared (VESTA THE VIRGIN), if necessary, to see the subtle differences one makes of the other.
4) Read the introduction to Dom Jean Becquet’s Vita of Gaucherius, attached.

Also attached is a manuscript image from lat. 14366, which is explained below (our text for comparison begins on line 6; this is just proof, not crucial for you to read).

The background:

When Marco and I found Marziano obscure, it was often sufficient to turn to Boccaccio to see what he was alluding to. There is no comparable source; Virgil provides the background to a few of Marziano’s lines, and he apparently invents some things, but Boccaccio provides by far the organization and substance of the major part of his information.

When we came to Vesta, the chapter presented no difficulties at all. Even Paris and Brescia agreed completely. Nevertheless, out of habit I looked at Boccaccio (VIII,3), and was shocked to see that the narrative had nothing in common with Marziano. That is both Marziano and Boccaccio mention Vesta’s fire-symbolism, and virginity, but otherwise share nothing. Marziano’s Vesta is a girl who remained chaste and founded the monastic life for women, the Vestal Virgins of Rome.

I was intrigued by Marziano’s account, and began looking for another source. First Boccaccio again, De mulieribus claris, but he does not devote a chapter to Vesta (in chapter 43 he gives the account of the famous woman Ilia (Rhea Silvia) who was forced to become a Vestal, but does not account for the origin of the institution itself). So I began looking at other mythographers, starting with Albericus and the first two Vatican mythographers, Fulgentius, and then all the rest, back to the purely classical accounts.

There was nothing at all in any account or mention of Vesta or the Vestal Virgins that made Vesta a woman who founded the Vestal Virgins. This euhemerism and the accompanying narrative appeared to be completely Marziano’s invention.

I was used to finding a line here or there in Marziano that demonstrated his inventiveness, but to find the major part of a whole chapter completely invented was stunning. So we took it as such and continued with the rest of the work.

Occasionally I went back to Vesta, however, and tried googling phrases phrases in the text to see if any other source used it. Finally I tried “fugiendas illecebras”, which brought up a text I had not seen before. Moreover, even in the Google search results it was clear that the surrounding text was the same as well. I couldn’t believe my eyes – at first I thought someone had printed Marziano’s text in the 17th century! But it was not that; it was just this portion of Vesta, in the life of a 12th century saint.

The only thing to do, therefore, was to research the historiography of the saint. The major source became Dom Jean Becquet, who in 1964 edited the Vita of Gaucherius from around 1200. Becquet noted that this Vita was essentially the same as that published in the 17th century by Philippe Labbe and the Bollandists in Acta Sanctorum, but that in the latter it was divided into six readings for the liturgical feast day of Gaucherius, 9 April. He noted that at the end of the third reading in the Acta Sanctorum (present also in Labbe’s undivided version), there was a passage describing Gaucherius’ founding of the spiritual life based on contemplative meditation, which was lacking in the earliest 12th century Vita.

This passage is of course the same passage as that found in Vesta.

Becquet notes that there are two manuscript sources for the Bollandist version, the one divided into six lessons, both of which are from the 17th century. The one that is viewable online contains our passage (lat. 14366; Becquet [3] 27, note 13; in the same note Becquet says that at Grandmont itself Saint Gaucherius’ readings have nothing in common with the Vita, that is, the readings for the day as found the Acta Sanctorum; for these mss. see https://archivesetmanuscrits.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cc68706h (lat. 17670) and https://archivesetmanuscrits.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cc751282 (lat. 14366))

In order to account for why the earliest Vita lacks the passage (our passage) that shows up in the 17th century manuscripts and the printed versions based on them, Becquet notes that the 12th century manuscript he is currently (1964) editing was probably copied by a monk of the Grandmont monastery, and he surmised that this monk suppressed the passage because he wanted to credit the great saint of Grandmont, Etienne de Muret, with the origin of the contemplative life (Becquet, [5] 29). The Grandmont Vita is thus a somewhat adapted copy of the original, lost copy of the Vita from Aureil itself, which was probably written in preparation for Gaucherius’ canonization in 1194.

There seems to be no evidence for Becquet’s speculations about the motives of the Grandmont copyist, as I have not been able to find anything in Etienne de Muret’s historiography that claims our passage for him.

Therefore the state of the question is that Marziano wrote his account of Vesta shortly before 1425, and we have a 1449 copy of it, and that an identical passage, adapted for context, appears in the early 17th century in two manuscripts of the Vita of Saint Gaucherius of Aureil. One of the manuscripts with this passage appears to have been written at Saint Victor in Paris (lat. 14366) while the other comes from Grandmont (lat. 17670) [now 12/04/2019 S. Magloire, Paris].

It remains to get to the bottom of the version published by Labbe in 1657, which is identical to the Acta Sanctorum version except for the lectionary division. Becquet discusses these on page 26 [2], second paragraph. Labbe and the Bollandists credit their version to “an ancient legendary of Limoges”, which appears to be that which Becquet calls “un ancien manuscrit de l’Eglise de Limoges”, but of which it appears nothing further is said. This one might the be the crucial piece of evidence, since it seems unlikely that Labbe would have called a 17th century manuscript “ancien” in 1657.

The other manuscript Becquet mentions in the same paragraph, the “cartulaire primitif” which supplied some verses of poetry included in the Acta Sanctorum version, is available to read, and does not contain a Vita of Gaucherius (Becquet [3] 27, note 18). See https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k ... checontact

The person to have asked about all of this would have been Jean Becquet himself, but he died in 2003 (1917-2003). The next step is to ask if anyone else working with the Revue Mabillon has taken over his work, or if anyone is familiar with the dossier on Gaucher d’Aureil. I wrote the editors of that periodical over a month ago, and have received no response. The next step might be to write a short paper laying out the case, and submit it to the Revue.

It is possible that both Marziano and the author of the Vita of Gaucherius used a common source. If so, I have found no hint of such a source, either from word searches or from reading hagiographies about the founders of female monasticism, such as Saint Scholastica (twin sister of Benedict).

If the Grandmont 17th century manuscript 17670 contains the Vesta passage, then we can situate it outside of Paris. But I have not seen it. Latin 14366 was written in Paris, so conceivably the Paris copy of the Tractatus was itself the source. But this depends upon finding out if Labbe and the Acta Sanctorum are based exclusively upon those two manuscripts.

But on the speculation that it originated outside of Paris, given the existence of copies of Marziano's Tractatus, without his name or that title, we know that the manuscript did circulate somewhat. Secondly, one of those manuscripts, the one in Vibo, was found among the books belonging to the recently suppressed monastery of S. Giovanni Tirestì (Capialbi p. 148). We are permitted to think that monks might be interested in this kind of reading, then. Finally, the library of the monastery of Aureil was notable for the number of books by classical authors, according to another paper by Becquet in 1965, which contains a list of the 188 books in the library in the 13th century. 90 of those books, nearly half the library, were classical texts. From my studies of the first two Vatican mythographers (probably contemporary 9th-11th century authors), I learn that the reason these compilations were made in the first place was to provide background for the mythic allusions in classical authors, which are ofter very sketchy. Thus it is reasonable to suppose that mythographic writings like Marziano (anonymous but noble, addressed to a duke) would have a place in libraries with large classical collections, in order to clarify faint and allusive mythological references. If the text was imported from Marziano to the Vita of Gaucherius, it was done before 1563, when the library was dispersed in the disturbances of the Huguenot uprisings.
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