So what could be the connection of Marziano to the later tarot of Florence 1440, the CY and so forth?
I want to advance a hypothesis. By rights this should be in the Unicorn Terrace section of the Forum, but it follows directly from what has been discussed on this thread, so I will put it here.
Part of the connection, of course, is that Marziano has 16 gods that function at least in part as a triumph suit, and if the CY has 16 cards per regular suit, it might have 16 triumphs as well, as a fifth suit. That is something, but not enough, because at least the majority of later decks had 14 cards per suit and 22 triumphs. But I think there is more. Marziano introduces his game by saying it will provide a game that a man of virtue will be justified in playing. He starts out (thanks to Ross for providing the Latin and their improved translation):
Quoniam necesse est operantem virtutem si tempus excesserit fatigatione languescere. Utrum ad defesse virtutis recreationem ulla ludi species homini decora sit : Nam cum in ludo nil arduum difficileve deprehendatur circa quod debet virtus omnis humana versari : Cumque plurimis puerile quoddam ludus videatur et parum maturitatis habere, neque ad felicitatem ordinari ad quam omnis nostra operatio dirigenda est: his forte rationibus censebitur a ludo vir gravis absistere.
Seeing that it is inevitable for virtuous toil to be weakened by fatigue, if the time be excessive, it might be asked whether it would be fitting for a man to find recreation from the weariness of virtue in some kind of game. For while playing, nothing tiresome or difficult is encountered which requires the employment of every human virtue. But whenever any game is seen by many to be childish and not to have sufficient maturity, nor to be conducive to happiness (to which our actions in everything should be directed), then maybe, by this reasoning, it is to be supposed that a serious man should abstain from playing.
The game Marziano is about to describe can meet that objection, he says:
... ingenii tui acumen nonnullos conspiciet caeleberrimos heroa: quos virtus inclita beneficiorum amplitudine: aut maiestas praepotens deos effecit: aut maiestas praepotens deos effecit, ut horum animadversione ad virtutum studia propensius exciterismost
...your keen intelligence will notice several famous Heroes: renowned models of virtue, whose mighty greatness made gods, and ensured their remembrance by posterity. Thus by observation of them, be ready to be aroused to virtue.
Thereby, as he promised in the previous paragraph:
Neque enim circumstantiarum debitarum adhibitio difficultate carebit et ad felicitatem pertinere videbitur :Ut quae prius languida erat : virtute recreata nobilem intellectus operationem vehementius prosequamur.
Not only will its playing be free from the difficulty of finding appropriate circumstances, but it will be conducive to happiness. So that, having restored the virtue that was previously fatigued, we can continue more effectively in the noble working of the intellect.
The problem is that what is depicted on the cards are gods who are infamously not very virtuous. That problem was important enough to have been articulated by Plato in Book II of the Republic
, as first translated by Candido Decembrio's father Uberto in 1403, an achievement (with much help from a Byzantine scholar) that quickly made him part of the Milanese court. Using this translation to justify the Visconti’s form of government, in a commentary of c. 1420, further endeared him to Filippo. (James Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance, vol. 1
, E. J. Brill, New York, 1990, pp. 108, 110, 126, online in Google Books).
Marziano has attempted to fix that problem to some extent by describing the gods in Virtues and Continences in solely virtuous terms, ignoring their less honorable behaviors. At the same time his schema demands that the gods in Riches and Pleasures be at least depicted in a way that emphasized their less savory qualities. Venus, for example, has her “breast and arms exposed, knee bare; in the showing of these, more easily to entice to love”; she also carries a bow to “hunt and wound the souls of men.” (http://trionfi.com/martiano-da-tortona- ... -16-heroum
). An exception is Ceres, for whom he does not suggest any tendency to gluttony, even if he does refer to the danger of “luxury” and lack of moderation in food and drink. The result is a game in which the vice-tending gods triumph over the virtuous gods almost as much as the other way around, as can be seen in the hierarchy already presented:
Virtues: 1 Jupiter, 5 Apollo, 9 Mercury, 13 Hercules,
Riches: 2 Juno, 6 Neptune, 10 Mars, 14 Aeolis,
Continences: 3 Pallas 7 Diana, 11 Vesta, 15 Daphne
Pleasures: 4 Venus. 8 Bacchus, 12 Ceres, 16 Cupid
So it is not a game which "arouses to virtue", but rather one that suggests that the way to win in life is by a judicious mix of virtue and vice. Such a realpolitik may suit Filippo, but it is not what Marziano promised in his first paragraph. Nor is it a game for fathers and husbands (or lovers) to play with their children, wives, and mistresses. What is needed is a game that really does prioritize virtue, so as to induce the mind to think of the virtues when confronting life's problems.
It is true that virtus
in Latin does not have the same moral connotation as virtù
usually does in Italian: in Latin it means “strength” or “excellence” as well as “virtue” in the moral sense. Each god or demigod has his or her excellence, which does not always translate to moral excellence. But that is the problem. It is virtue in the moral and theological sense, action in accordance with divine will, that Marziano is promising to “arouse” in Filippo - he explicitly says, in a sentence I have omitted, that his concern is the virtue of "moral actions", "actibus moralis" - and it is that which is now mixed up with vice.
Moreover the Greco-Roman gods do not fit the self-styled title adopted by the Visconti lords as "Counts of Virtue", after the county of Vertus in Champagne, acquired by Filippo's grandfather early on by marriage. Moakley (http://moakleyupdated.blogspot.com/2017 ... akley.html
, footnote 1) observed that in the funeral oration for Filippo's father Giangaleazzo there appeared the passage (with my English translation):
O chiara luce, o specchio, o colonna, o sostegno, o franca spada, che la nostra contrada mantenevi sicura in monte e in piano!
O bright light, O mirror, O column, O support, O confident sword, that your territory remain safe in mountain and in plain!
The last four would seem to refer to the four cardinal virtues, she says: the mirror for Prudence, the column for Fortitude, the sword for Justice, leaving the "sustegno" for Temperance.
It is possible that those four symbols also refer to the four suits. What the fifth would be is unclear. Here I can cite something that Moakley noticed, a game proposed by Innocentio Ringhieri (Cento giuochi liberali et d'ingegno
, Bologna 1551, Libro Nono , p. 132, https://archive.org/details/centogivoch ... /page/n273
), which assigned Temperance to Cups, Fortitude to Columns, Justice to Swords, and Prudence to Mirrors. Three of these are the same as in the funeral oration. At least three of these also correlate cardinal virtues with objects in the standard suts, as Moakley observes: a sword appears in the Justice card, cups in the Temperance card, and Fortitude, besides being depicted by a woman holding onto a column, was sometimes depicted as a soldier with shield and stick, as in Giotto's version. There is also a certain parallel between the roundness of a coin and that of Prudence's mirror. So now just as in Marziano’s game, there are four themes that might possibly fit both the regular suits and four groups of triumphs.
This same emphasis on the seven virtues was made elsewhere around the same time; Phaeded has reminded us of the work of Leonardo Bruni and the new humanism to that effect. Probably something similar was happening in Ferrara. However we do not have the early cards from these other places. We do have the Cary -Yale, which would seem to fit the bill. assuming it has among its missing cards the three missing cardinal virtues. Along with them the cards Love, Chariot (Chastity, in Petrarch), Death, World (Fame), and Angel (Eternity) do not represent vices to be utilized but challenges to be overcome. To them I would add the sixth Petrarchan triumph, Time, and, probably, Fortune. There are three reasons for Fortune: (1) it is included in the Brera-Brambilla deck, stylistically very similar to the Cary-Yale; it is in medieval tradition as well as Boccaccio’s Amorosa Visione
a triumphator over all worldly ambitions; (3) there was a large fresco of the Wheel at the Visconti Castle on Lake Maggiore (thanks to Phaeded for pointing this out; for more see Evelyn S. Welch, Art and Authority in Renaissance Milan,
New Haven, 1995, pictured p. 14. This page is online in Google Books ) I know that Huck has suggested the Fool, based on chess in Germany and France. One problem is on what basis that card fits into a 16 card matrix in the way I have in mind, in which cards are either virtues or situations to be ruled by virtues. We know him as outside the structure. For now I leave him out.
With Fortune, I have a reasonable 16. The challenges presented by the cards other than cardinals would need to be ruled by them not in the sense that the virtues triumph over them in the game, but in the sense, for example, that the concept "continences" rules over the four virgin goddesses, and "pleasures" over the four in the row below. Since every cardinal virtue is necessary to face most difficult situations, there is considerable flexibility. The point is a to make a special connection between each card and its associated cardinal virtue.
My idea is that instead of two virtue-tending and two vice-tending qualities, Marziano or someone after him developed a new version of the game, this time with four virtue-tending qualities, governing four orders of triumphal cards. Given the seven virtues of the Cary-Yale, the most natural way to have four virtue-tending qualities, one in keeping with Visconti tradition, would be to use the cardinal virtues as governing principles for all cards within their row of a 4x4 matrix.
For this to make sense, not only the cardinals but also the rest of the triumphs have to be in a more or less definite order. Of the orders as later known, only Minchiate has the requisite cards, in a definite order. It is not the whole 40 triumphs, of course, but let us suppose just 16 of them, the ones shared with the Cary-Yale, in order, but ignoring the other cards. It used to be thought that Minchiate was too late to be considered, but recent discoveries have put that assumption into question. This particular way of thinking about Minchiate, in terms of the Cary-Yale cards, I get from Pratesi, whose two notes on the topic I have translated. The main one of relevance here is at http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com ... ti-di.html
. The other is at http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com ... nk_22.html
For present purposes one question is, What Minchiate card corresponds to Time?We might think the Vecchio (Hermit), with his hourglass, but Petrarch's own primary image was the Sun (Petrarch, I Trionfi,
“Triumph of Time,” lines 1-2ff, at http://petrarch.petersadlon.com/read_tr ... age=V-I.en
), a card which also exists in Minchiate. Moreover, the Sun is in the right place for the Petrarchan triumphs to proceed in the same order Petrarch had them in. Another problem is that Minchiate had no Empress and Emperor, just "papi". It does not matter. I will use the terms "Empress" and "Emperor", but if it makes someone uncomfortable think of them as two Imperial cards. The only allegorical use of them that I will make is of them as rulers. We have no idea what Minchiate looked like originally; but we do have the Cary-Yale cards, and that will be the basis for everything that I am developing here. I am not trying to prove anything, merely develop a hypothesis connecting them with the Marziano. My point so far is that the cards we have suggest a game that meets Marziano's stated objective better than the "game of deified heroes" that he presented in is treatise.
If we arrange the Minchiate cards corresponding to those of the Cary-Yale in the same way as Marziano's, with the most powerful first, we get, using the Old Man (I give it the letter A because Minchiate is from the region Michael Dummett gave for the region including Florence (see chart p. 399 of Game of Tarot
, online at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1175
A1: Minchiate in 16 using Old Man as Time:
1 Angel, 5 Prudence, 9 Fortune, 13 Temperance,
2. World, 6 Hope, 10 Chariot, 14 Love
3. Charity, 7 Death, 11 Justice, 15 Emperor
4. Faith, 8 Old Man 12 Fortitude, 16 Empress
In this order, there is a cardinal virtue in each row except the second, and there are two cardinals in the last row. We cannot play my game of virtue with such a matrix. However if Time is the Sun (or any celestial) rather than the Vecchio, we get:
A2 Minchiate order using Sun as Time
1 Angel, 5 Faith, 9 Fortune, 13 Temperance,
2. World, 6 Prudence, 10 Chariot, 14 Love
3 Sun, 7 Hope, 11 Justice, 15 Emperor,
4 Charity, 8 Death, 12 Fortitude, 16 Empress
Now we do have a cardinal virtue in each row. If the cardinal virtues are what govern the cards in their row, there is one cardinal virtue ruling over every card. The problem is that it is difficult to commend all three of the other subjects in the row to be grouped with that particular virtue. It was obvious that Bacchus and Venus would fit Pleasures, but it is not obvious at all what, say, Fortitude has to do with the Empress or Charity, except in a very general sense in which all of the cardinal virtues apply to every human situation. Likewise, what does Temperance with Faith? But at least now there is an ordering principle for a 4x4 array, resulting in a parallel structure using the Cary-Yale cards, and the same game can be played with the Cary-Yale cards in the Minchiate order as with Marziano's game. In a sense we are still playing Marziano's game.
The 4x4 could also be laid out in a different way, the hierarchy going from row to row instead of column to column:
A3 Minchiate order going row by row
1 Empress, 2 Emperor, 3 Love, 4 Temperance,
5 Fortitude, 6 Justice, 7 Chariot, 8 Fortune,
9 Old Man, 10 Death 11 Hope, 12 Prudence
13 Faith, 14 Charity, 15 Angel, 16 World
In this case there are two virtues in the second row and none in the fourth, so the game won’t work. It will be the same if Time is put in the fourth row.
In this last way of arranging the 4x4 matrix, however, unless following suit includes the gods, there is no reason for remembering the matrix, or for the division into four groups of four. The cards can be remembered in any way that is convenient. There is also no special priority for the virtues; in fact they are rather low in priority, except Prudence. However if the triumphs are included in following suit, then remembering which cards go in which row will be necessary to know, and for that knowing the virtue governs each row would be helpful, especially if, as is likely, there was a standard set of associations between suit-signs and virtues, in at least two of the suits there are visual clues. But the Minchiate reduced to 16 is quite unsuited for such a game. Only if one of Justice or Fortitude is moved to the fourth row would it be possible. Such a result would be quite promising. But that never happens in any of the A orders.
I will finish up in another post, trying to construct orders using only the same cards with virtues in every row based on information regarding Milan and Ferrara, and drawing conclusions. Ferrara, obviously, does have Justice in the fourth row when the cards are divided into four consecutive groups. But we don't have Prudence or the Theologicals in any of the known early orders in Ferrara, or in any known order in Lombardy. Some assumptions will be needed and justified. Whether the same assumptions can then be extended in an interesting way to the comparable A orders in Florence or Bologna I haven't worked out, but I am dubious. But for now I will stop to see if anyone has problems with what I have written so far.