SteveM wrote: ↑
29 Apr 2017, 07:31
We discussed before here another illustration of a comet involving Mathias Corvinus:
Steve (or anyone),
I'm unclear on the iconography and meaning of this engraving, but nonetheless have a proposal.
The emperor is Frederick III who sought to unify the Habsburg hereditary lands of Austria, yet also has dynastic claims to Hungary as well as to the Burgundian inheritance
. Burgundy is ruled by Charles the Bold in this time period, but comes to his demise in 1477. If the cartoon dates to then or later, is the withered tree (end of the dynastic tree) and coat of arms of Fleur-di-lys not a reference to Burgundy (Borgodie
), with the upside down spelling of "DUX" also referring to the ill-fortune of that House, no longer able to support the Emperor? Duke Charles the Bold heated up his political intrigues in 1474 by coming into conflict with the Archduke Sigismund of Austria (the boat in the cartoon is Austria), who refused to restore his possessions in Alsace; ultimately Charles is killed at the Battle of Nancy (1477), when his head was cleaved in two by a halberd. Charles' primary symbol was the lion - as noted in the cartoon and on his coinage, as well as being featured in the center of the Valois stemma
(see the Double Briquet below, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475). The emperor in the cartoon literally stands upon the lion with one foot, as if that is the power source from which he launches himself.
But the real question is this: if a comet why no tail, and why is it labeled "sub Saturno" with its malignant ray (Saturn being a "bad" planet after all) striking Charles' tutelary animal, the lion, on the head? Charles dies on January 5th, which falls in the month under Capricorn, one of the two signs of Saturn. The cartoon seems to suggest the pope can have his way with Frederick III because his bellicose ally of Charles the Bold (and his House of Valois dynasty) was no more.
As an aside, I should state my primary interest here is in the use of the lion as a symbol of a region, cowed in defeat in an astrological context (i.e., it parallels an argument I've made for the VS Strength card).
PS the coin of Charles the Bold, the reverse being the stemma of the House of Valois, but both sides feature lions: