Re: Le Tarot dit "de Charles VI"

#201
Further concerning the plausibility of Germini/Minchiate being far earlier than generally thought, there is a parallel dynamic in Filippo Maria Visconti’s (presumably it was his commission) conception of the Cary Yale. I.e. the notion of “improving on” the standard game of Triumphs by adding whole groups of trump subjects, in the Cary Yale additionally two extra female court cards per suit.

And, both games were limited in their influence; FMV’s was apparently never imitated, and Pulchi/Lorenzo’s Minchiate perhaps never leaving a small circle of cognoscenti, until rediscovered (or recreated over whatever their model was) 40 years later.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
06 Sep 2018, 15:19
There seems nothing, in principle, against the hugely extended trump sequence being invented so soon after standard Trionfi. After all, John of Rheinfelden attests to many variants of playing cards in his neighborhood, within a decade or so of the introduction of cards into Europe.

So, some genius in Florence may have looked at the standard Trionfi trumps and had the same reaction people have had since Court de Gébelin to the regular trumps - where is Prudence? But he also wondered why more standard symbols weren't included, like the Theological Virtues, the Elements, and the Zodiac signs. It may have also been an effort to outdo the Trionfi inventor. And he may have done this shockingly early, by our standards.

The argument "too soon" isn't very strong.
My observation here in 2016 suggested this dynamic –
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
03 Nov 2016, 18:39
On the transmission Florence to Milan question, I think the game went from Florence through Bologna to Milan. A good time to look for it would be during Visconti's administration of Bologna 1438-1441. Plenty of all Milanese classes would have encountered the game during that time.

I would imagine that Filippo Maria Visconti himself, who we know liked card games, and co-invented one, saw one of the luxury Florentine productions, like the one commissioned by Giusto Giusi for Sigismondo Malatesta, and decided to have one made for himself, and he tried to go one better with the Cary Yale.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1120&hilit=messore&start=10#p17851

The point is that creative minds were tinkering with the structure of the standard game from the beginning. Not only the ordering of the trumps, where the inherited order suggested a deficiency from a certain moral perspective, but also in adding some higher subjects (never lower), to further elevate or ennoble the game. This is not to mention evolution in rules , which happens constantly in all games.

For instance, switching the places of Angel and World, and placing Justice to stand for judgment between them as in B, which suggests that some moralist in Ferrara decided that the World was the world to come, and that therefore the Resurrection had to come before it, but, critically, Judgment had to come between these two things. In B, the order changed, but not the number. This “spiritualization” of the trump sequence, which demanded that the group of Cardinal Virtues be broken up and used ad hoc for moralistic reasons, like band-aids over sensitive links in the sequence, suggests to me that it was someone religious like Don Messore who changed the order for Ferrarese players (the Este family forcing cardmakers in their domains to conform to this order, perhaps by printing numbers on the cards).

The strong link between Este rule and the tarocchi game, where their demise is coincident with the disappearance of the game in their regions at the end of the 16th century, was noted by Dummett.
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Re: Le Tarot dit "de Charles VI"

#202
Phaeded wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 22:12
A minor counterpoint , but Pratesi has already connected a provincial member of the clerical class to card-playing at an early date (http://trionfi.com/evx-arezzo-playing-cards). More importantly, the humanist members of the curia, including those who would even go on to become pope (such as Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who penned the bawdy Historia de duobus amantibus in 1444), were not necessarily adverse to a novel and fashionable (i.e., expensive hand-painted decks) means of passing the time, especially as they easily mixed with the humanists in Florence when in residence there. Ignorance of tarot, intended for clerics or not (but note the tondo – ace of coins? - of the cardinal on the Rosenthal “Colleoni deck”), and the well-traveled papal court of the middle half of the 15th century seems unlikely in the extreme.
Phaeded. how do you get from my assertion "the game was not intended for the clerical class" to the implication you draw that "Ignorance of tarot, [on the part of the clerical class] seems unlikely in the extreme"?

You know better than to make such strawman arguments. You can question on what basis I make my assertion that it wasn't created for churchmen, but I won't allow you to suggest that I was implying in any sense that the clerical class were ignorant of the game. That is patently ridiculous, since it is false.

Have you forgotten that I have written about Don Messore, the personal chaplain of Meliaduse d'Este, who actually made trionfi cards in Ferrara in 1454?

In a different context -
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
05 Sep 2013, 10:33
Don Messore went to Egypt with Meliaduse d'Este in the winter of 1440-1441, and left a very full record of the trip - and Don Messore went on to MAKE TAROT CARDS.

Of course Don Domenico Messore was a churchman, and no humanist, and in his record he makes no mention of hieroglyphs at all, even though he has plenty of Arabic words. He wasn't stupid. He was impressed by the pyramids of Giza, which he knew by the name of garnarii de Pharaone (referring to Genesis 41, 35ff, and 47, 22, where the word is horrea (the references to Genesis are from the editor of Don Messore's text, Beatrice Saletti)), and even speculated that the name "garnarium" is a corruption of the word "granarium", and that the original word was "carnarium", in the sense of sepulcher (so "carnarii de Pharaone" - Pharaoh's tomb). But he doesn't evince the slightest interest in hieroglyphs.

We probably don't have any of Don Messore's cards, but it is a good bet that his cards didn't include subtle Egyptian (or Horapollian) hieroglyphic references. That is, he made conventional Tarot cards for the game played with them, as the players expected.
And here, for their itinerary in Egypt -
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=692&p=10119&hilit=messore#p10119

I know very well that ordained men were not ignorant of the game, and never implied that they were.

It is notable in this context that the Pope was not removed from Ferrarese tarots, although, as I suggested in the previous post, it seems to me that the Ferrarese ordering of the trumps implies religious tinkering.
Phaeded wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 22:12
It seems to me that your preference for a possible 1439 Florentine date, as tied to the Church Council, is precisely because of this Patriarch (or rather firsthand knowledge of an "Eastern Pope", by the presence of this Patriarch) and that the Tarocchino Bolognese deck's "Papi" reflects the Florentine ur-order/trumps, ergo the proof (which puts the burden of proof of a "Popess" on Milan, something I'm actually in agreement with).

However, please consider this historical rationale for pushing the Bolognese "Papi" tradition back to the time when Cardinal Bessarion was the papal legate there:
Bessarion Bologna in Hankins.png
(James Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance, 1, 1990: 247)
My preference for the date is only an inference from the distribution of attested dates, which as I have argued for over a decade suggests 3-5 years before 1442, or 1437-1441 inclusive. Of course, in 2010 we had the completely unexpected discovery of Giusto Giusti, putting 1440 and Florence front and center, after 136 years where nothing had been discovered mentioning the game earlier than 1442. Generations of scholars had come and gone, not that any of them had been waiting, but I had the good fortune to see my prediction fulfilled. It was perfectly consistent with the model.

But nothing else is implied; I don't know if the Council or anything to do with it is relevant to what informs the conception and design of the game or the subjects of the trumps. I only cite those things as potentially interesting background, consistent perhaps with a perceived battle or rivalry between the two churches and the two emperors, but I don't think that could ever be proven. I don't believe the equal-papi rule requires it; this was a time of rival western popes as well, and pope-emperor rivalry was proverbial.

So, no, my preference for this date and Florence is not because of the council or the presence of the Eastern Church. It is tempting as a background, and tempting to see my view through that lens, but that is emphatically NOT why I place my bets there. If there were no topically relevant circumstances in Florence in 1439, I would still be constrained by my reading of the evidence to put it there between 1437 and 1440.

So also for the equal-papi rule, my preference for it is not based on the Eastern-Western pope scenario, but because I think that Bologna preserves the original game, that the equal-papi rule is a "lectio difficilior" which has a hard time surviving outside of Bologna, but since it is found in the Piemonte-Savoy game, and is hinted at in Piscina's (and Anonymous IIRC) accounts, is best explained as being part of the original game, but quickly lost almost everywhere.

Again, my preference for the equal-papi rule is based on reasoning completely independent of any topical situations. You might invoke Bessarion for Bologna, but how does that explain the rule in Piemonte then? My preference is that the rule is original, at least by 1440 in Bologna (I have no justification for saying it might be Florentine, but why not?), and that the game already went from the original center to popularity in Piemonte during that decade. This implies that it was also taught to the first players in places like Ferrara and Milan, but that in neither place did the rule survive, as observed by Dummett and Mcleod for towns just outside of Bologna to this day, where there is a tendency to number the Mori and turn them into normal trumps.

Regarding two popes in Bologna, remember that Visconti imposed Felix on them in 1439. I don't know what practical effect that had, but it was law for a couple of years. Again it is circumstantial and hardly persuasive, not least because it is so topical and forces us to consider that somebody really thought Felix might be in competition with Eugene, which I think no one in the real world ever really believed, only the schismatics in Basel.
Phaeded wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 22:12
The above quote from Hankins by itself is not satisfactory, but the full career of Bessarion must be taken into account. (...) Thus there is no need to explain the Bolognese "Papi" by way of the Council of Florence (and a supposed ur-tarot connection to it).
Well, I hope it's clear I try to avoid such reliance on topicality or precise contemporary events. I think it is a mistake to interpret the game of triumphs, structure and rules, through specific historical events.
Phaeded wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 22:12
I'd like to address your take on the San Giovanni procession's influence on trionfi in your other 1457/Sforza/trionfo post (still working on my long-winded reply).
I look very much forward to discussing this.

P.S. If I sound snarky or short, I am not. I am just writing in cramped and dim conditions, and under a time constraint. I want to get this out so you can respond, so not much time for careful phrasing, so please don't read anything unkind into my tone or whatever. Thanks!
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Re: Le Tarot dit "de Charles VI"

#203
Aparte Byzantium path ...
I grant Ross for this :
"in 2010 we had the completely unexpected discovery of Giusto Giusti, putting 1440 and Florence front and center, after 136 years where nothing had been discovered mentioning the game earlier than 1442. Generations of scholars had come and gone, not that any of them had been waiting, but I had the good fortune to see my prediction fulfilled. It was perfectly consistent with the model.

But nothing else is implied; I don't know if the Council or anything to do with it is relevant to what informs the conception and design of the game or the subjects of the trumps. I only cite those things as potentially interesting background, consistent perhaps with a perceived battle or rivalry between the two churches and the two emperors, but I don't think that could ever be proven. I don't believe the equal-papi rule requires it; this was a time of rival western popes as well, and pope-emperor rivalry was proverbial.

So, no, my preference for this date and Florence is not because of the council or the presence of the Eastern Church. It is tempting as a background, and tempting to see my view through that lens, but that is emphatically NOT why I place my bets there. If there were no topically relevant circumstances in Florence in 1439, I would still be constrained by my reading of the evidence to put it there between 1437 and 1440. "

I m following this discussion with interest.
The Byzantine path as I called it in 1997 was one of my main intuitions. But in 1997 I had absolutely no specific data linked to the game to background my guess... The discovery of 2010 was yet to come...
Thanks also Phaeded for your evocation of Bessarion..
To be continued ...


Pour mémoire : Bougearel A 1997
A long long time ago! Ouf...
I woud not write the same way today! But the main intuition was nevertheless transmitted ...even if the hypothesis should fit better in an Unicorn research!
Puf!
I forgive myself : it was my first essay published with all the weakness inherent to a "debutant".
Well at least, S. Kaplan took it in consideration and mentionned the book in his Bibliography (Encyclopedia TIV Bibliography). Thanks to him...

Extraits
Les mathématiques pythagoriennes étaient connues dès le Moyen Age dans l’Occident latin notamment avec Fibonacci ou Leonard de Pise (1170-1250) proche de l’empereur Frédéric II mais leur propagation connut son apogée lors de la Renaissance italienne notamment avec les apports des lettrés byzantins.

L’Empereur byzantin séjourne à Milan en compagnie du duc de la ville Filippo Maria Visconti pendant l’année 1424 et l’influence de l’hellénisme byzantin deviendra prépondérant avec le Congrès de Ferrare-Firenze dans les années 1439...

Si l’on observe le Tarot du point de vue à la fois historique, sociologique, spirituel et iconographique, on aurait tort tort de ne pas émettre l’hypothèse de correspondences spécifiques avec le courant philosophique du syncrétisme de la Renaissance florentine.

Une idée s’élabora alors, selon laquelle la révélation platonicienne engendrerait seule la vérité irrévocable :

« Révélation primordiale de Dieu aux premiers hommes qui peuplent la Terre, révélation dont on retrouve trace dans toutes les anciennes religions et qui est interprétable en termes platoniciens. »

Cela signifiera que pour Marsile Ficin, tout comme pour Pic de la Mirandole :

« Hermès Trismégiste, Zoroastre, Moïse et Orphée étaient au même titre dépositaires d’une seule vérité occulte... Cette vérité s’exprime dans la magie néo­platonicienne et arabe ainsi que dans la kabbale juive. »


Les philosophes byzantins chassés de Constantinople seront la source d’une nouvelle richesse pour le syncrétisme platonicien. Ceci arriva peu avant que les Turcs ottomans conduits par Mehmet II le Conquérant ne conquissent Constantinople en 1453, dix années avant la chute définitive de l’Empire Byzantin en 1463.

À partir de 1438, le congrès de Ferrare et de Florence constate des échanges plus importants entre les intellectuels latins et byzantins.

« Les contacts entre Grecs et Latins s’accentuent (...) Bon nombre de savants et de lettrés byzantins émigrent vers l’Occident dès le début du XVe siècle et avant tout vers l’Italie où le congrès de Florence fut un exceptionnel point de rencontre. »

(Ces derniers) « transportèrent avec eux bon nombre de manuscrits dans lesquels une majorité d’œuvres antiques... les apports permirent de partir à la redécouverte des textes grecs de l’Antiquité ».

Alain Ducellier, Les Byzantins

Parmi ces byzantins, le cofondateur de l’université de Constantinople, Jean Argyropoulos, arrive en Italie en 1434 pour enseigner à Florence. Non moins illustre, Gémiste Plethon y demeure en 1440. Ses thèses, voisines du platonisme absolu, stimuleront l’humaniste et fondateur de l’Académie platonicienne, Marsile Ficin. La période, dorénavant, encourage le syncrétisme néoplatonicien spécifique à la Renaissance italienne.


Source / Kaplan pp 759
KaplanVol4bib.pdf
(701.23 KiB) Downloaded 19 times
http://www.sgdl-auteurs.org/alain-bouge ... Biographie

Re: Le Tarot dit "de Charles VI"

#204
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
15 Sep 2018, 11:18

Phaeded. how do you get from my assertion "the game was not intended for the clerical class" to the implication you draw that "Ignorance of tarot, [on the part of the clerical class] seems unlikely in the extreme"?

You know better than to make such strawman arguments. You can question on what basis I make my assertion that it wasn't created for churchmen, but I won't allow you to suggest that I was implying in any sense that the clerical class were ignorant of the game. That is patently ridiculous, since it is false.
My hypothesis was that Florence would not have shown a dead pope on the Death trump when the pope was resident in Florence, with the implication that they were well aware of tarot; to which you replied: "So, besides the fact the game was not intended for the clerical class, let alone the highest levels, the idea that depicting a dead pope might cause offence to a resident pope in the city doesn't even occur to me." It seemed to me that you had created your own straw-man argument that if decks weren't made for the clerical class they were therefore ignorant of tarot (and your "highest levels" lead me to the humanist connection remarks). But as you have pointed out your own research (e.g., Don Messore) shows you don't hold the view that the clerical class was ignorant of tarot, just that they would not be offended by being shown as dead within it. We can agree to disagree on that last point (and again, I only stick to that possibility when the papal court is resident in a relevant center of tarot production; I would also argue the papal city of Bologna eventually had Church influence brought to bear on the "Papi" which forced the change to Moors).
Ross again:
My preference is that the [equal-papi] rule is original, at least by 1440 in Bologna (I have no justification for saying it might be Florentine, but why not?), and that the game already went from the original center to popularity in Piemonte during that decade. This implies that it was also taught to the first players in places like Ferrara and Milan, but that in neither place did the rule survive, as observed by Dummett and Mcleod for towns just outside of Bologna to this day, where there is a tendency to number the Mori and turn them into normal trumps.
Could you please clarify the essence of the Bologna theory, once more? My understanding of your position is this (likely faulty or incomplete): The Bologna sequence most closely follows the ur-tarot, based on later historical developments in both Florence and Bologna that show similarities in sequence in those two cities (in fact this entire premise seems entirely based on sequence). And I'm showing my ignorance here as Bologna is not something I've researched much (the Bessarion connection was a lucky find, and I agree, doesn't prove anything, just another possibility) - but what early documentary evidence is there for tarot in Bologna (perhaps something new I've overlooked)? I was under the impression that the earliest concrete mention of trionfi in Bologna, aside from a merchant, was dated to 1459 or the early 1460s (I've seen a distribution chart of evidence and places posted by you before that indicated early 1460s for Bologna...one reason I jumped on the Bessarion connection and tarocchino as a new development dating to around then).

Finally:
I think it is a mistake to interpret the game of triumphs, structure and rules, through specific historical events.
But that posits that my interest is in "structures [=sequence?] and rules", for which I don't believe we have any evidence in the Fifteenth century (thus the retrodating 16th century sources onto 15th century evidence). This is clearly our greatest difference in approaching the problem(s) of the tarot, of which I am almost exclusively interested in the early hand-painted decks - with an emphasis on individual trump iconography changes. To my mind, sequence doesn't explain the idiosyncratic differences in the trumps from one hand-painted deck to the next - historical context does (and the persistent presence of stemmi is the unambiguous fact that leads me in that direction).

And no worries about your concern regarding tone, and my apologies if you felt I was baiting you.
Phaeded

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