Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#21
Steve: Yes, I don't deny that the Cary Sheet Star card is related to how Aquarius was portrayed at the time. I said as much and showed examples. But we have to ask, why did images of Aquarius with two jugs only occur in the 15th-16th centuries? And why did the Cary Sheet adopt that form rather than the classical one with one jug. My hypothesis is that both have to do with improving trade relations with Mamluk Egypt and resulting knowledge of the Dendera zodiac among Western Europeans. Ciriaco d'Ancona, who went to Egypt three times, 1420s-1440s, is just the best known. Another possibility is communication of the Dendera zodiac by astrologers attached to military units, but I find that mode of transmission less appealing than in the case of playing cards generally, because astrology, including images from ancient monuments, wouldn't have been against Islam.

The Bedford Hours seems to be the earliest of those you've found, 1410-1430. I know that France was much involved in Mumluk Egypt from 1250, initially adversarially when their king was captured. I don't know about later, but adversarial relations often lead to trade and cultural exchange afterwards.

Other non-Egyptian possibilities, when it is a woman, are naiads and Hebe. I would think Hebe especially when it is one jug into a basin (as in the Geoffroy), which became a classic garden fountain motif later. I do not know if the Greeks made any correspondence between Hebe and an Egyptian deity. If a naiad, there is still the question of what river or stream she is the source of.

What is particularly striking in the Dendera zodiac is the presence of the two fishtails, large and small, corresponding to the fishtails in the Cary Sheet Star card. None of the zodiacs you present have the fish-tails, nor the mountain on one side (the Eastern), suggesting the Ethiopian highlands. There is also, in the Tarot de Marseille II, the light brown water on land vs. clear and direct, suggesting silt (White Nile over clay) vs. clear (Blue Nile over rock), by the time of Chosson but perhaps earlier. We don't know what color the water is in the Cary Sheet.

By the time the bird was added to the card, around 1700 (Dodal or perhaps Chosson are the first examples I know of), the figure on the card was clearly female and so not Ganymede. It seems to me logical that some symbolic association would attach connected with the main figure, and if not Ganymede, the phoenix as described by Horapollo, Ambrose, etc. fits the motif of the Nile flood and regeneration otherwise suggested by Aquarius/Sothis and previously Ganymede. That is not to say that some card makers might not have known what the bird was; but I think the most popular designers did.

The Anonymous Parisian is not outside my scope. I wasn't aware of a pyramid and sphinx, or had forgotten, so thanks. What cards do you have in mind? The Emperor, http://cards.old.no/1557-geofroy/tdp/04.jpg, and the Pope, http://cards.old.no/1557-geofroy/tdp/05.jpg?

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#22
mikeh wrote:
18 Dec 2017, 09:57
The Anonymous Parisian is not outside my scope. I wasn't aware of a pyramid and sphinx, or had forgotten, so thanks. What cards do you have in mind? The Emperor, http://cards.old.no/1557-geofroy/tdp/04.jpg, and the Pope, http://cards.old.no/1557-geofroy/tdp/05.jpg?
I was recalling the Pope, which has both Sphinx and Pyramid --

The Paris Pope looking down at the sphinx sitting down at his side:
Image
What is the relevance of the sphinx?

In his lecture on psalm 119:144 (The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.) 1513/14 Martin Luther interpreted the Sphinx as "murderous ignorance" that kills those who do not understand the testimonies of God, i.e., divine scripture.

The Sphinx is also taken as an emblem of ignorance by Alciato:

quote:
What monster is that?
Image
It is the Sphinx.

Why does it have the bright face of a virgin, the feathers of a bird, and the limbs of a lion?

Ignorance of things has taken on this appearance: which is to say that the root cause of so much evil is threefold. Some men are made ignorant by levity of mind, some by seductive pleasure, and some by arrogance of spirit. But they who know the power of the Delphic message slit the relentless monster's terrible throat. For man himself is also a two-footed, three-footed, four-footed thing, and the first victory of the prudent man is to know what man is.
end quote


The Sphinx is also compared with Satan:

“Satan is the true Sphinx, who hath the face of a woman to entice and deceive, the claws of a Lion to tear us, and the wings of a bird to show how nimble he is to assault us; he lives upon the spoil of souls, as sphinx did upon the bodies; he did for many ages abuse and delude the Gentiles by his Priests and Wizards, with riddles and ambiguous oracles: there is no way to overcome him, but by hearkening to the counsel of Minerva, as Oedipus did; that is, by following the counsel of Christ, who is the wisdom of the Father; by this he shall be destroyed, and we undeceived.”

Alexander Ross Mystagogus Poeticus or the Muses Interpreter (London, 1648), p.393.

There also seems to be a small pyramid beside the sphinx? Is the image catholic or anti-catholic do you think? If anti-catholic, then an identification of catholicism with idolatry and paganism perhaps. If catholic, then the triumph of christianity over paganism? The Pope of the Paris has the stigmata, which with the keys identifies him with St. Peterwho was crucified, and at the end of the sixteenth century Pope Sixtus had the obelisk from the circus where St. Peter was crucified dug up, repaired and christianised (an iron cross put on top of of the pyramidon , the words "Behold the Cross of the Lord! Depart ye hostile powers! The Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed! Christ conquers, Christ is King, Christ is Emperor! May Christ protect His people from all evil!" inscribed at its base. Obelisks were dug up, christianised and used as pilgrims markers to the lead them to the churches at whose facades they stood. The one in St. Peters square, one which had overlooked the crucifixion of St. Peter, is now 'topped' by the cross and used in tribute to the first Bishop of Rome as a marker of the triumph of Christianity. Just as they were initially brought to Rome as trophies of Roman conquest, so later they were resurrected by the Popes of the late 16th and 17th century as emblems of the Christian triumph over paganism.

quote:
"This obelisk was brought to Rome by Caligula in the year 40 of
our era, so marking the date when S. Peter is related to have baptized
the centurion Cornelius, and in him, and his kinsmen and friends
of the same cohort of Italian volunteers, to have opened the Gospel
to the Gentiles, and more particularly to the Italians and to Rome.
It was set up by Claudius a little later, (about the time that S. Peter
is said to have come to Rome, and to have been delivered firom
prison A.D. 42, reaching Rome Jan. 18, a.d. 43), on the spina of his
Circus on the Vatican ; and it was standing there in a.d. 65, a silent
witness of the first persecution of the Christians by Nero, and of the
crucifixion of the Apostle, as it has since been a witness of the con-
course of the Christian world to the triumphant festivals celebrated
at his tomb."

THE TWELVE EGYPTIAN OBELISKS IN ROME; THEIR HISTORY EXPLAINED BY TRANSLATIONS OF THE INSCRIPTIONS UPON THEM. EDITED BY JOHN HENRY PARKER.

Under the patronage of three consecutive popes during the 17th century Kircher produced internationally popular works on Egypt and the Egyptian language, producing what later turned out to be somewhat fanciful interpretations of the hieroglyphics on some of Rome's obelisks; the Egyptian revival and references such as pyramids and sphinxs of the 17th century are rooted at this time in the works of Kircher; just as later revivals and the popular motif of the sphinx as furniture motif was based on the conquest of Egypt by Napolean (and earlier in the discovery of the Horapollo).

Frontpiece to Kircher's Oedipus Egyptiacus
Image

OnePotato in another thread shared with us this carved chair by F. A. Franzoni, late 18th century :
OnePotato wrote:
21 May 2009, 16:00
Maybe it's a chair like this old Greek antiquity, formerly in the Vatican, now in the Louvre:
(The Vatican connection is particularly nice, no?)
Image
Image
Here is where I found the photos:
http://lazygalquilting.blogspot.com/200 ... phinx.html
There is a statue by Donatello while in Padua c. 1446-50 of The Madonna with Child on a throne flanked by two Sphinxes with a relief of Adam and Eve on the thrones back.
In this instance they are generally interpreted by scholars as allegories of knowledge; but in connection with its associations with ignorance and folly could also be taken in their relationship with Adam and Eve as related to the Fall (or otherwise in relation to the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the 'eating' of which led to the fall).

Image
Quote:
“Of the seven large free-standing statues, that of the Madonna and Child worthily occupies the central position. Nobody was more modern than Donatello, nobody less afraid of innovation. But in this Madonna he went back to archaic ideas, and we have a conception analogous to the versions of the two previous centuries: indeed, his idea is still older, for there is something Byzantine in this liturgical Madonna, who gazes straight in front of her, and far down the nave of the Santo—a church with mosque-like domes, like those of the early Eastern architects. The Child is seated in her lap, as in the earliest representation of the subject: here, however, the Christ is a child, with an element of helplessness almost indicated, whereas the primitive idea had been to show the vigour and often the features of a biggish boy. Donatello's version is much more pathetic, as the little Christ raises a tiny hand in benediction. The Virgin herself is of unequalled solemnity, while her young and gracious face, exquisite in expression and contour, is full of queenly beauty. But there is still this atmosphere of mystery, an enigmatic aloofness in spite of the warm human sentiment. The Sphinx's faces, with all their traditions of secrecy, contribute their share to the cryptic environment. Donatello uses them as the supports of the throne on which the Madonna is seated; behind it are Adam and Eve in relief: in front she herself shows the New Adam to the multitude, on
whom he confers his blessing.”

Donatello by David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford LONDON: DUCKWORTH AND CO.
NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1903

From at least the 12th century poets began to apply to pagan fable the methods of allegorie and simile by which old testament figures and incidents had been turned into prefigurements of Christianity.This is revived in the 15th century in conjunction with the humanist interest in antiquity. Ovid is moralised and roman triumphs appropriated to the worldview of Christianity; and on one level it is in terms of this Christian appropriation that figures such as those of the sphinx may be understood, what relationship is there between Adam, Eve, Mary & Christ (New Adam, New Eve) and the sphinx?

One (but not exclusive) way of reading the figure of the Sphinx in terms of Christian typology was as a type of Satan:
“Satan is the true Sphinx, who hath the face of a woman to entice and deceive, the claws of a Lion to tear us, and the wings of a bird to show how nimble he is to assault us; he lives upon the spoil of souls, as sphinx did upon the bodies; he did for many ages abuse and delude the Gentiles by his Priests and Wizards, with riddles and ambiguous oracles: there is no way to overcome him, but by hearkening to the counsel of Minerva, as Oedipus did; that is, by following the counsel of Christ, who is the wisdom of the Father; by this he shall be destroyed, and we undeceived.”

Alexander Ross Mystagogus Poeticus or the Muses Interpreter (London, 1648), p.393.
The Sphinx is related to knowledge and the fall, the fall of Man in association with the first Adam, the fall of the Fiend Satan in association with the second Adam:

572 And as that Theban Monster that propos'd
573 Her riddle, and him, who solv'd it not, devour'd;
574 That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spight
575 Cast her self headlong from th' Ismenian steep,
576 So strook with dread and anguish fell the Fiend,


John Milton Paradise Regain'd: Book IV (1671)
The concept of the Sphinx as Satan sometimes led to the portrayal of the Sphinx with a serpent body rather than lion, through association with images of Satan as a serpent tempting Adam and Eve.
Image
The Riddle of the Sphinx: with Man as baby on all fours, as adult and with stick in background.
mikeh wrote:
18 Dec 2017, 09:57
My hypothesis is that both have to do with improving trade relations with Mamluk Egypt and resulting knowledge of the Dendera zodiac among Western Europeans. Ciriaco d'Ancona, who went to Egypt three times, 1420s-1440s, is just the best known. Another possibility is communication of the Dendera zodiac by astrologers attached to military units, but I find that mode of transmission less appealing than in the case of playing cards generally, because astrology, including images from ancient monuments, wouldn't have been against Islam.
Is there any evidence that the Dendera Zodiac was even known in the west, prior to the Napoleonic expeditions?
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#24
SteveM wrote:
18 Dec 2017, 13:12

Is there any evidence that the Dendera Zodiac was even known in the west, prior to the Napoleonic expeditions?
Not to my knowledge. Why would any European at that time have taken a 700 km trip southward along the Nile? This is real exploring. Europeans stuck to the Mediterranean coast, with Cairo about as far south as they ventured.
Image

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#25
SteveM wrote,
There are a couple of examples here of Aquarius with two jars from 11th and 13th centuries from the Warburg iconography database:
https://iconographic.warburg.sas.ac.uk/ ... &cat_7=671[/quote]
Thanks for that! The Spanish one is of particular interest, because it has the fish that is at the bottom of the Dendera zodiac image.
Image
Spain of course had much contact with the Muslim world at that time. I don't know if any Christian got as far as Dendera, but the images might have been in some Arab astrological manuscript. In one way, the fish strengthens my hypothesis. But then there is the problem of how Europeans would have have known it came from Egypt. You can't have a reference to Egypt if no one, including the designer, has any idea it comes from there. Perhaps it said so in the manuscript. Or else, at a later time similar images turned up (discreetly) in a bazaar of Cairo.

SteveM wrote,
Is there any evidence that the Dendera Zodiac was even known in the west, prior to the Napoleonic expeditions?
I was proposing knowledge of its imagery as a hypothesis for various correspondences between imagery at Dendera and in the tarot at various times. It is a reason for the tarot designer's selecting the fish tails and the two jugs in the Cary Sheet Star card, the male and female figures on the sun card, what appears to be pyramids in the back of a c. 1485 zodiac that I showed, and--in another image at Dendera-- the innovation of the cloak spread by the arm of the Hermit. Plus another thing I haven't got to, in various Magician cards (in this case, not the Cary Sheet).

It does not seem to me an unreasonable hypothesis. The zodiac was in a small chapel on the roof of the temple, easy to get to. Going up the Nile would be a trek, yes, but not unthinkable for a trader in search of better deals. Also, once it was known that Europeans were interested in such stuff, an enterprising Egyptian could just copy the images and sell the sketches downstream. They would also make a nice diplomatic present. And astrologers might have found the images useful. This latter alternative seems to be strengthened by the 11th century Spanish image that Steve found. They would not have had to know they were from Dendera specifically, only that they were from pre-Muslim Egypt.

And how did Napoleon know where to look? Surely somebody, Egyptian or European, already knew the place was of interest. The Internet says that they knew from "ancient sources". I know of no such sources that could take them there.

Re: Egypt: Magician

#26
In this post I want to examine one feature in particular of the Bateleur (Magician), starting with the PMB, namely, his hat, in relation to his table and his position in the sequence as number one.

On the Bembine Tablet, which Pietro Bembo purchased in 1527 but probably was known before that (if perhaps stolen in the Sack of Rome), in one section a series of gods and priests have headdresses with horizontal wavy horns, as well as a ram. Similar horns, sometimes on a goat and sometimes with a solar disc held between a set of vertical horns, are on various reliefs in Egypt itself (of which I will show one in the image following, and another later on in this post)
Image
At Dendera, to which I have already related several tarot motifs, these same horns are on figures on the exterior wall:
Image

The ram or goat relates them to the sacred animal of the creator god Amun. Herodotus had talked about these animals in his Histories. About the god with the head of a ram he said (Histories II 42, at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... D2&force=y; the comment in brackets is mine, from a footnote at that site):
The Thebans, and those who by the Theban example will not touch sheep, give the following reason for their ordinance: they say that Heracles [Herodotus' name for the god Shu, a footnote tells us] wanted very much to see Zeus and that Zeus did not want to be seen by him, but that finally, when Heracles prayed, Zeus contrived [4] to show himself displaying the head and wearing the fleece of a ram which he had flayed and beheaded. It is from this that the Egyptian images of Zeus have a ram's head; and in this, the Egyptians are imitated by the Ammonians, who are colonists from Egypt and Ethiopia and speak a language compounded of the tongues of both countries. [5] It was from this, I think, that the Ammonians got their name, too; for the Egyptians call Zeus “Amon”. The Thebans, then, consider rams sacred for this reason, and do not sacrifice them.
So in Egypt the king of the gods had the head of a ram. On the other hand, in Lower Egypt, at the town of Mendes, it was goats that were not sacrificed.
All that have a temple of Zeus of Thebes or are of the Theban district sacrifice goats, but will not touch sheep. [2] For no gods are worshiped by all Egyptians in common except Isis and Osiris, who they say is Dionysus; these are worshiped by all alike. Those who have a temple of Mendes or are of the Mendesian district sacrifice sheep, but will not touch goats.
By inference, it is the goat-god that is worshiped there, to the same effect. In other words, the original "goat of Mendes", as Eliphas Levi described his famous picture resembling a Devil, is that pictured above.
Image

There is also a relief inside the "birth house" at Dendera (above) that shows a similar god at a potter's wheel making a human being, or at least its body. Modern Egyptology identifies that god as Khnum, but I do not know of any Greek text ascribing that function to a god of that name. (Decker in The Esoteric Tarot cites Eusebius, but a quick check online, at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/euseb ... _book1.htm, reveals that the god to which Decker refers, which Eusebius calls Cneph and Tauthus, has the body of a serpent and the head of a hawk!)

However, one of the Hermetic texts identifies the potter-god as none other than Hermes, as the Greeks called him, Thoth to the Egyptians (as Eusebius among many others explains). Excerpt 23 of the Roman-era anthology by Strobaeus, in in Scott's translations of the Hermetica (vol. 1 p. 475), has Hermes relating how he got the job of forming the human body. Originally, the dialogue relates, the God of all gave the souls the job of forming bodies for themselves out of a mixture of water and earth, in which he had breathed in a certain life-giving spirit. Instead, they created all the various animals and set themselves up as creator-gods. The "god of all" wanted to punish the souls for their audacity by imprisoning them in matter. The job was given to Hermes (Scott trans., vol. 1 pp. 473, 475):
"And I," said Hermes, "sought to find out what material I was to use, and I called upon the Sole Ruler, and he commanded the souls to hand over the residue of the mixture. But when I received it, I found that it was quite dried up. I therefore used much water for mixing with it; and when I had thereby renewed the liquid consistency of the stuff, I fashioned bodies out of it. And the work of my hands was fair to view, and I was glad when I looked on it. And I called on the Sole Ruler to inspect it, and he saw it, and was glad; and he gave the order that the souls should be embodied."
The result of course was much wailing and weeping on the part of the souls thus imprisoned, but they could do nothing about it.

Modern Egyptology identifies the potter god as Khnum, but that would not have been known to the pre-19th century Western Europeans. With two accounts of different gods, one identified with Hermes and the other with Zeus,p erforming functions attributed to the Christian God, pre-19th century Europeans would simply have seen them as two aspects of "the Creator". Given that the Bateleur has on his table or in his hands symbols readily identifiable with the four elements, it would be natural to identify his magic as that of the creation of the material circumstances of life, the physical world as a whole and individual humans in particular. Just as the dealer in a card game (with cards bearing the same symbols) gives each player its "lot" in the game, so the creator gives each soul its "lot" in the world, to make of as they will. As creator, moreover, he would naturally be number one, the number numerologically associated with God the source of all.

De Gebelin identified the Bateleur as the creator of this world of illusion, a comparison found in Plato's Republic which the 19th century occultists echoed by identifying the Bateleur with the Creator. But he and they, it seems to me, were most likely just following a tradition that preceded them, for the reasons I have outlined. Herodotus's account and the Bembine Tablet were well known by the 17th century, and, by then, probably images of the same god from Roman-era at Dendera and elsewhere, such as the one below, which I reproduce from Brian Ines's The Tarot.
Image
In fact this interpretation will fit even the earliest known version of the card, the PMB of 1450s Milan. The jagged lines of the hat do not fit that of the Visconti pages, which are more elegant, nor the more vertically enlarged hats of condottiere. The solar disc between the vertical pair of horns on that disc would have been painted red originally, corresponding precisely to the red dome of the hat, both in the PMB and most Tarot de Marseille versions.

Such images could have been known even in the time and place of the first card, because it is where Ciriaco d'Ancona spent his last days, the early 1450s. He was in Cremona, where and when the PMB was originally done. Ciriaco had visited Egypt three times, getting as far as the Cairo area, sketching antiquities as he went. Upon his return he shared what he had found with the rulers of the Italian states, e.g. Leonello d'Este of Ferrara in 1449. Bianca Maria Visconti, Duchess of Milan, and part of the time her husband Duke Francesco Sforza, commissioners of the PMB cards, were also there in Cremona then, escaping an outbreak of plague in Milan; Ciriaco surely would have given his talk and shown his sketches. By then he had written six volumes of illustrated commentaries about Greece and Egypt . Most were later destroyed in a fire at Pesaro, where they had been handed down to another Sforza who ruled that region. A few became famous before that: his giraffe, for sure, and probably other African animals (they show up as far away as Flanders, in the "Paradise" panel of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, but nothing of Egyptian antiquities. And while Ciriaco might not have known the significance of that god, there was another expert in Cremona at that same time, also escaping the plague, namely Francesco Filelfo, who had spent years in Constantinople while in diplomatic service, copying and studying the ancient Greek classics, which I expect would have included Herodotus.

I concede that associating the PMB with the creator-god is quite speculative, but a similar association in the 17th century is much less so, and I think even earlier, if some of the hats on other decks are any indication, in particular the horn-like appendages extending from the hat of both the Rosenwald, early 16th century, and the Anonymous Parisian (2nd from left and far left below).
Image
The Cary Sheet card (2nd from right) does not have such a hat. Given that the Cary Sheet has numerous cards similar to the Tarot de Marseille later, and the Geoffroy (far right) is the first with the Tarot de Marseille order, it is somewhat surprising that the Tarot de Marseille design passed over both of these decks and took the hat of the PMB instead. It suggests to me the likelihood of a deliberate choice to use something that would associate the card with what they would see as the creator god or gods of Egypt.

There are independent reasons for thinking that the PMB card does not refer merely to the itinerant, one- step-ahead-of the law entertainer, swindler, and patent medicine seller of medieval Italy. Besides his number, always the lowest triumph, hence the first, and symbols of the four elements on his table, there is also the straw hat, later converted to a purse, which to me resembles the cover on the communion cup of the Eucharist; it is there, and in the Magician's hat, where the magic takes place. And in addition, his face, which resembles that of Jesus in the Bembo paintings of the Coronation and the Ascension, below (both dated at the 1440s; the reproductions come from Bendera and Tanzi's catalog to the 2013 Bembo exhibiton at the Brera, with my enlargements of the faces, together with that of the PMB, on the right).
Image
In other words, the creator in the sense in which the Gospel of John proclaims "Through him were all things made." These are not generic faces, such as we see in the later Visitation of the Magi, but rather specific; the only other Bembo faces it resembles that I have found are those of King David in an illuminated manuscript and the King of Cups in both the CY and PMB.

Another correspondence is with a couple of cards that do not have the wide-brimmed hat, namely the Ferrara, 16th century, and Catelin Geoffroy, 1557, to which the figure of the man at the entrance to the garden of life passing out handouts, illustrating the Tablet of Cebitis, is similar. Here with the Ferrara I would compare only the hat on Holbein's 1523 original; on the later (version D, it is called, artist unknown), The comparison with the Geoffroy is fuller, including stick and beard as well as hat.
Image
Image
Admittedly this "genius" is not a creator of bodies; the theme is Plato's more familiar one of souls' acquisition before birth of images of the archetypes needed to survive this world; the tarot sequence is another example of such archetypes.

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#27
SteveM wrote:
18 Dec 2017, 13:12
The Pope of the Paris has the stigmata, which with the keys identifies him with St. Peterwho was crucified, and at the end of the sixteenth century Pope Sixtus had the obelisk from the circus where St. Peter was crucified dug up, repaired and christianised (an iron cross put on top of of the pyramidon , the words "Behold the Cross of the Lord! Depart ye hostile powers! The Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed! Christ conquers, Christ is King, Christ is Emperor! May Christ protect His people from all evil!" inscribed at its base. Obelisks were dug up, christianised and used as pilgrims markers to the lead them to the churches at whose facades they stood. The one in St. Peters square, one which had overlooked the crucifixion of St. Peter, is now 'topped' by the cross and used in tribute to the first Bishop of Rome as a marker of the triumph of Christianity. Just as they were initially brought to Rome as trophies of Roman conquest, so later they were resurrected by the Popes of the late 16th and 17th century as emblems of the Christian triumph over paganism.
"The obelisk was carved during the reign of Nebkaure Amenemhet II (1992-1985 BCE), and originally stood in the Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis. The Roman emperor Caligula brought it to Rome in 37 AD as one of many tokens of the Roman conquest of Egypt, and erected the spoil on the spine of his eponymous circus, later renamed for Nero.

"A millenium and a half later, in 1585, Pope Sixtus asked Domenico Fontana to move the 330-ton Aswan granite the quarter mile or so to St. Peter's Square. The operation was carried out using hemp ropes and iron bars weighing 40,000 pounds, plus 900 men and 72 horses, and took about 5 months to complete. It was no easy move. Nevertheless, the entire event proved to be a spectacle, captivating the city's populace."
Image
Image


http://pruned.blogspot.com.tr/2007/05/m ... elisk.html

Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di nostro signore papa Sisto V, fatte dal cavallier Domenico Fontana, architetto di Sva Santita, libro primo by Fontana, Domenico, 1543-1607; Bonifacio, Natale, 1538-1592; Guerra, Giovanni, 1544-1618:

https://archive.org/details/gri_33125008662708

"The obelisk works as the needle of a giant sundial, aligned to the summer solstice. In 1817, paving stones were added showing 12 signs of the Zodiac. The tip of the shadow of obelisk hits each stone sign on the day that the Sun actually moves into it."
Image
https://www.oxfordastrologer.com/2013/0 ... eters.html
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#28
For more hellenistic Egyptian depictions of the zodiac there are two here from the tombs of two brothers, one shows Aquarius kneeling holding up two jars, the other standing figure with breasts pouring liquid from two jars:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums-static/dig ... /tomb.html

And here there is the other [long] Denderah zodiac, and the two zodiacs from Esna:
http://www.revisedhistory.org/egyptian-horo.htm#

(Useful for its illustrations - the dating theses I imagine is controversial, to say the least)
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot: Sun

#29
mikeh wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 03:45
Also, there is the astronomical ceiling at Dendera, whose Gemini shows a man and a woman holding hands. In this case, what is above them is a giant scarab, which they would have known from Horapollo was a solar symbol, even while here it seems to be the Greco-Egyptian sign of Gemini.
It (the "scarab") is Cancer the crab - which is next to Gemini in the order of the Zodiac -- as on the zodiacs in the tombs of the two brothers it is depicted as a crab (with 8 legs and two claws), as does the Heter lid zodiac, rather than the scarab -- (however, I believe the image of the scarab, or winged scarab, was also used for Cancer in some of the zodiacs)


Scarab:

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Denderah zodiac, 8 legs two claws:
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Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#30
Steve: thanks for correcting me on the "scarab". Yes, too many legs to be a scarab. I thought I had read somewhere that it was a scarab, but maybe not. I also read that in Greek the same word means both "scarab" and "crab", but now I can't remember what the word is.

I knew about some of the other Hellenistic Egyptian depictions of Aquarius with two jugs. The ones in tombs, of course, couldn't influence anything, until the tombs were dug up. What would be of particular interest would be Aquariuses with 2 jugs in ancient times outside of Egypt, in particular in the western parts of the Roman Empire, which could serve as a model for the Western European ones with two jugs later. Also, it would be of interest to know whether there are fishes/fishtails with any of the Aquariuses.. So far all there is, is the Spanish one, with one fish in the right place to have been derived from Dendera, and the Cary Sheet's two fishtails.

Here is my photo of a two-jugged figure in the horizontal zodiac at Dendera. I am not sure whether it is Aquarius (setting, perhaps) or merely symbolic of the flood. It is very Hapi-like, unlike the other one. Sothis is the cow with a star over it. I don't know who the figure is next to the figure with the jugs. I read about themin a fairly recent book in French at the library. I will have to get it again.
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Do you happen to have a link to Yates' review of Dummett's book, I mean the whole thing and not just the first 3 pages, or a copy of the essay itself? I hate to have to pay $9 or so just to see it.

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