I misreported a clarification that Franco made to me. It is not something in the note itself but in a comment I made about the first 7 sections, in my follow-up (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1086&start=20#p16717
). I said:
The other comment is about Marziano in Florence. In clarification, he says that for the period of relevance, we have no knowledge of any relationship to Florence. That is consistent with Ross's research. When Franco wrote about Marziano, he estimated that the project would have been about 1415; since then it has been thought later.
This is wrong. Franco's clarification to me was not about Marziano. It was about the state of our knowledge about triumphs in Florence, which is that we have no knowledge of it before 1440.
Now I am going to discuss only sections 8 and 9 of Franco's second note, i.e. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1086&start=20#p16721
. I have no problems up to there. My intent is to do it in a way that accepts and takes into account all the assumptions up to that point. I am not trying to substitute a different set of assumptions that are somehow more reasonable, or more grounded in fact. The main subject, as I see it anyway, is to reconstruct how Marziano's game might relate to the later tarot and minchiate.
1. Hypothetical and real orders of triumphal cards.
In section 8 we read:
In the minchiate sequence (the real one respected for centuries, and the other, purely hypothetical, suggested on the same basis as the CY in the previous note) the theological virtues are found in very high position. It may be reasonable, because the theological virtues certainly cannot be put in a hierarchical order below those of the cardinals, or under other subjects that are lower or even with negative characteristics.
The problem I see is that up until section 8 there were two hypothetical constructions for the CY, Franco's and mine. They both need to be examined. For reference, here they are again.
The subjects in italics are hypothetical reconstructions. Mine, admittedly, does not have the theological virtues in a high position. I was trying to make a link between the Marziano and the Cary-Yale by means of a division of 16 triumphal cards into four groups, using the schema that was passed on by the Cary Family and filling in the blanks as best I could. There are various ways of ordering the virtues. That is part of an answer to Dummett's question of why the virtues appear in such different places. Does faith trump prudence, or fortitude trump temperance? A rationale can be provided, but so can rationales for other orders. If you look at the line-ups of the seven virtues as they appear in various frescoes (i.e. Giotto c. 1305 https://farm1.staticflickr.com/558/1968 ... 6113_z.jpg
), miniatures, and cassone (e.g. Pesselino 1460s http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/wi ... irtues.jpg
, dal Ponte 1430s http://fe.fondazionezeri.unibo.it/foto/ ... /33110.jpg
, among others), sometimes Charity is most prominent (taking the center position) sometimes Prudence, sometimes Justice. The others are similarly variable.
In the CY order I propose, the cardinals are ordered in the way that they appear in a 15th century Bolognese illumination which for some indeterminate time has been in Milan (https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-go-CKy-AY9Q/ ... logna1.jpg
). The theologicals are ordered in St. Paul's order. What is needed is a memorable order. Allegories can be constructed to help one's memory. It is not hard to remember that in the face of a bad turn of the Wheel, one must have not only fortitude but faith, the basis for hope; then Charity comes next, following St. Paul. This seems to me not illogical nor hard to remember. It is an adequate basis for a sequence. With it, most importantly, one can play whatever the game was that Marziano designed, one that required the four groups.
What I want to suggest is that the ordering of the CY-type and the GG-type might have been different. The GG-type can be the proto-minchiate order and the CY-type can be my suggested order, based on the structure of the MZ and the assignments passed on by the Cary family.
2. Return to the virtues, in terms of "direct" as opposed to "inverse" constructions.
If the theological virtues, all three together, had been inserted into a deck that had none, thus getting in Florence the minchiate (or sooner the GG), one would expect to find them inserted as a compact group, no Prudence in the middle, as indeed is found in the same minchiate for the four elements or twelve zodiac signs.
This seems to be meant as a refutation of the "direct" construction of the theologicals, from different previous cards. But no matter whether these cards were replacements or put there originally, even as part of the original ur-tarot, it is still unexpected. The oddness is not something that one can draw any conclusions from, regarding whether it resulted from replacing other cards. Presumably it was done for a reason, whenever it was done. I would guess that people had a sense that prudence was very high in the virtues and it should be put with other high virtues.
What needs to be done is just what Franco did earlier: look also at the inverse construction of the virtues, and then compare the two. So if the theologicals were there already, what cards would they be replaced by? For Franco, this perhaps would be a nonsense question, because they never were replaced in minchiate. But there were two permitted games in Florence, at least in 1477, one called "triumphs" and the other called "minchiate". They seem also have had two different decks as well. The Charles VI, Florentine if only because of its Medici "palle" on the Chariot card, would seem to be a triumph deck. It could be that someone removed all the minchiate-only cards, but that seems unlikely with beautiful works of art. The Charles VI has a Moon card and a Sun card, so likely a Star card as well. The Star, Moon, and Sun form a group, without any subtlety required. There is also a lightning-truck tower in the Charles VI, a card called ""Lightning-bolt" (Sagitta, literally "Arrow") or "Fuoco" (Fire) in the early lists. And if you look, Fire, Star, Moon, and Sun are in exactly the same part of the sequence as the three virtues plus prudence in the Minchiate. It would seem to me reasonable that the game called "triumphs" replaced the 3 theologicals plus prudence with Fire, Star, Moon, and Sun. Just as the four in one group are all virtues, the four in the other are all lights, of increasing strength. Then another deck was for people who didn't want the theologicals removed; at some point it was called minchiate.
It seems to me that the inverse construction makes more sense than the direct, because it has one coherent group replacing another in exactly the same places in the sequence. It is like the replacement of the Popess by Juno and the Pope by Jupiter in the Besancon, where Juno took the Popess's position and Jupiter the Pope's.
3. Interrelationships between the two proposed orders, the CY-type (my proposal) and the GG-type (Franco's proposal).
Clearly there is a relationship between the CY-type (Milan) and the GG-type (Florence). If nothing else, they have the same cards, at least on the hypotheses that Franco and I were considering, mine and his. But what is the relationship?
There are four possibilities, excluding for the sake of argument the influence of other cities:
(1) the card-selection was generated in Milan on the basis of the MZ and then passed to Florence, which gave them a different order that they found more "logical".
(2) The cards were generated in Florence in an order that made sense to them, passed on to Milan and rearranged there on the basis of the MZ.
(3) The cards were generated in Milan but then rearrnaged due to influence from Florence.
(4) The cards were generated in Florence and rearranged due to influence from Milan.
On hypothesis 1, the 16 cards, organized according to the "four groups" order I proposed, came to Florence. Either the card makers didn't know the Milanese order or they thought that the sequence there was illogical. They didn't know about Marziano and his game, and how spreading out the cardinal virtues fits the idea of the four groups. They only knew about other trick-taking games, and the 4 + 3 groupings of the virtues. The theologicals should be near the top, they reasoned. And time should be before death, because that is when it counts. They think that Petrarch, with his desire for Fame, was an elitist. The average person isn't going to be famous no matter what he does. To him it doesn't matter that Time destroys Fame; Time is what happens before Death. The result in Florence is then Franco's order of the 16 triumphal cards.
On hypothesis 2, the cards are generated in Florence, using the same reasoning I have just gone through for that city. Then they go to Milan, where Filippo sees the cards from the standpoint of the Marziano game and re-orders them.
On hypothesis 3, Milan adjusts its cards after seeing what Florence has done. For example, it puts prudence between hope and faith, puts the virtues into two groups, and raises the three theologicals plus the one intellectual virtue to a higher level.
On hypothesis 4, Florence adjusts its cards' order after seeing what Milan has done.
I see no justification for hypothesis 3, at least during Filippo's lifetime. Nothing suggests that prudence was ever between hope and charity there. It is true that we can do an inverse construction, based on the 16th century lists, that puts these four virtues in the same place as in the proto-minchiate. But such replacement could have been done at any time, and is more likely after 1450, when there was a new duke of Milan, one in alliance with Florence and friendly with the Medici, and when tarot in Milan was more likely not the preserve of the court but of the populace.
Hypothesis 4 is unlikely because the proto-minchiate order is in fact Florentine, and there is nothing about that order that suggests Milan's influence on it in particular.
Hypothesis 2 has the problem of explaining why exactly 16 cards were chosen, and not only that, but ones that fit the Marziano structure so well. First, why 16 in particular? Why was it necessary to borrow a triumph from Boccaccio, that of Fortune. And if one, why only one? Boccaccio had other triumphs, namely Riches and Wisdom. (Wisdom was seen by some as higher than Prudence, while others made no distinction.) Then in particular, the four cardinal virtues fit Marziano's structure well. If the cards were generated in Florence, without Marziano's influence (he hadn't been in Florence since 1407), it is a striking coincidence that it fits Marziano so well.
So I would redo Franco's flow chart. Given the assumptions Franco and I developed, the triumphal cards most likely went one way in the 1430s, from Milan to Florence. Then, if the four "replacements" --perhaps three, if Prudence was simply dropped, and Fire added considerably later--happened in Florence, these changes went back to Milan, when the city was under new management. Or, if the "replacements" came from somewhere else, such as Ferarra, the same process occurred but from a different city. Less likely, I think, it could have happened in Milan itself, and spread to other cities from there. In any case, the game was now for the masses in Milan as well as Florence, and Marziano's square array of four groups and four cardinal virtues a thing of the distant past.
Below is my proposed flow chart. It ignores most intermediate steps, if any. It also ignores influence from other cities. In Florence, I see that as particularly important in the development of its non-minchiate "triumphs", both before and after the GG of 1440, and in changing the triumphs in Milan after Filippo's death. It may also have been important in forming the CY-type in the first place. I make a point of emphasizing that is the order of a CY type that is being hypothesized, not just of the physical object that has been preserved. I assume that is what Franco means by "CY' in his chart, but it is not totally clear. The same is true of the "GG type" (even if it may be that the GG itself is not of this type, as I will explain later). By “GG” in the chart I mean “Franco’s GG-type, and possibly the GG itself”.
And for comparison here is Franco's again.
4. The court cards.
There is the question of whether, as far as the court cards, the CY is "a quirky variation on successes in a more traditional form", as Franco concludes (stravagante variazione sul tema di trionfi già esistenti in una forma più tradizionale) , or, alternatively a quirky early form that became eclipsed by later successes. I am not sure exactly what "traditional forms" he means, but presumably one at least without female knights, and probably with half as many female pages.
But again, there is the magic number 16 to consider. Decks in fact did vary in the number of suits, but as far as we know, all the pre-triumph decks in which the suits had equal priority had the same number of cards in each suit (whether Marziano is an exception is unknown; there it is more likely that including the triumphal cards in each suit, the suits had the same number as the triumphal cards alone). That is one reason for thinking that the number of cards per suit would have equaled the number of cards in the triumphal cards, grouped as a suit. Another reason is the various bits of odd documentation suggestive of such a hypothesis. In 1422 Ferrara there are "13 new playing cards" with backs the same as the old (http://trionfi.com/playing-cards-ferrara-1422
); on Jan. 1 1441 there are "14 figures"; in 1457 there are orders for decks of "70 cards", which could either be 14 x 5 or 4 x 12 + 22; late in the century Franco finds that the cost of a triumphs deck is in a 5:4 ratio to the cost of an ordinary deck. None of this proves anything, to be sure.
Dummett's hypothesis, that the ratio of triumphs to cards per suit was 3:2, has going for it the various lists of 21 triumphs (the fool not being a triumph) from a variety of sources and cities. But these are late in the 15th century at their earliest. Can we really infer from generalizations made some distance after creation to a time near the invention? If so, then refrigerators never had unsightly bulbs on top, and automobiles never ran on steam.
So there was a very good reason for females in all ranks: to make the number in a suit equal 16. There was already a precedent for females in all ranks in the Stuttgart Playing Cards
, c. 1430, where two of the four suits were all-female and two all-male. Admittedly, none of the courts were on horseback. But for that there are the Courtly Hunt Cards
, of the 1430s: the queens in herons and falcons are on horseback ((http://www.wopc.co.uk/germany/ambraser
). That this theme reached the common level is suggested by some French 1490s woodcut cards (their suit signs not yet stenciled on) reproduced in Hind's Introduction to a History of the Woodcut
, vol. 1 (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... 028LGR.jpg
There is every reason to think that the innovation would have been well received by its intended audience. In Milan and nearby the game was a social occasion that included and perhaps was presided over by women, at least among the nobility and the rich (which is all we have any evidence of). The Borromeo fresco, c. 1445-1450, had three women and two men, with the dominant figure being the center woman (http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo ... /479651747
. There is an extant description of the lost frescoes at Pavia done for Galeazzo Maria Sforza, which depicted "Elisabetta [Maria Sforza] and damsels playing cards and other games" (I am quoting Lubkin, A Renaissance court
, p. 309, citing Welch, "Galeazzo and the Castello di Pavia", p. 373). There is the fresco at Malpaga Castle, on the border between Lombardy and the Veneto, shown in an essay by Andrea Vitali, http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 54&lng=ENG
, near the end; the card players are all women. There is also Viti's letter and illustrations to a lady of the court in Urbino about the Boiardo deck (http://trionfi.com/0/h/
On my favored hypothesis 1 about the triumphs, the deck that would have gone from Milan to Florence would have been such a deck, before the Florentines adjusted it to their own taste. This is where Fernando de la Torres' verses and ekphrases (descriptions of imagined paintings) to Countess Casteneda in Spain of c. 1450 are relevant (Ross Caldwell at http://www.academia.edu/6477341/_El_jue ... _card_game
). They did more than create an all-trumping female Emperor (never called Imperatriz) to extol his patroness and her virtues. He made most of the 48 other cards females, as can be seen by looking at the individual verses and descriptions, even while retaining the traditional male titles of rey, cavallero, and sota for the courts. That is precisely the kind of gender-bending that the female knights of the CY have. If, as Ross surmises, Torre may have got the idea of a trump card from his stay in Florence in 1434-1435, he likely would have got the idea of feminizing male cards from the same source.
There is not the same evidence for female dominance in triumph-playing in Florence as in Milan. What there is, is of men playing with men: two men arrested for playing "trionfi" in 1443, Pulci and Lorenzo playing "minchiate" in 1466. There may be social reasons for this. Men didn't marry until 28 or 30. So fathers locked up their daughters and young men developed the habit of socializing with each other (see references 56 and 57 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history
; their section on Florence is also helpful). So it is harder to imagine female courts of all ranks arising in Florence than Milan. Milan-style suit cards in Florence probably changed fairly soon, I'd guess by 1440, because even in Milan of the mid 1440s the Brera-Brambilla has the standard four courts. And with this change went the need for precisely 16 triumphs and the link to the suits. Whether the GG of 1440 was a proto-triumph or a proto-minchiate, I would not hazard a guess.
So I would say that the CY-type, as far as its courts, was most likely a quirky beginning, or early phase, first in Milan and then Florence, that was soon eclipsed, sooner in Florence than in Milan, by later successes.
I started with two hypothetical orders of the same 16 cards, presumably derived from Petrarch, Boccaccio, and the 7 medieval virtues, to fit the structue of Marziano's deck in Milan. Various possible ways the triumphs could have evolved between Florence and Milan were examined. One order of triumphs, suggested by documents passed on by the Cary Family, is closest to Marziano's structure and therefore associated with Milan. The other is associated with the later minchiate and therefore Florence. Most likely the cards would have gone from Milan to Florence, where, not knowing about Marziano, cardmakers rearranged them on a different basis, in particular moving the theological virtues up in the order. At the same time the 16-card suits would have been adopted for a time, as evidenced by Torre's use of feminized suit cards in Spain; but at some point Florence would have dropped female knights and relegated female pages to just two of the suits. The result is then the basis for the game later identified as "minchiate". Further changes, replacing prudence and the theological virtues with other subjects, perhaps already used in other centers, would result in a deck at some point identified as "triumphs". What these terms actually referred to in Florence at the times of their various early uses has not been assigned a probability. Also unassigned are influences from other tarot centers that might have impacted the process, and Florence's and Milan's influence on other centers. All of this is contingent upon at least one of the hypothetical structures, mine or Franco's, having been at some time before 1440 actually existing.