Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

Huck wrote:
28 Jan 2019, 11:17
In your argument is missing the connection to the 60-cards deck with 5 court cards mentioned by John of Rheinfelden (actually the major topic of his long work in 1377). It seems probable (not totally clear), that the Martiano work also spoke of a 60 card deck (he only speaks of kings and no other court cards).
The sudden appearance of so many playing cards (as John describes it) in 1377 results to us in the conclusion, that at another location some playing card culture MUST HAVE existed long before elsewhere.
The region of John (Freiburg im Breisgau, nowadays Germany and not the Freiburg in Switzerland) was in this time dominated by Habsburg and not by the Emperor (from the competing house of Luxemburg), which had then its major capital in Prague (with some good relation to playing card artists from Nuremberg). ...
Neither here nor there, but I lived in Freiburg im Breisgau back in 1986 (dropped out of college for a year and randomly picked that place to go find myself - still looking ;-). Beautiful city.

I'm not following your point on the 5 court cards since Marziano has 4 "celestial princes and barons" per suit - no interest in the radical step of creating an entirely new suit as we find in tarot. Also note German luxury decks sometimes had no "ace" so there does not seem to be a set number of pips - certainly 60 does not seem standard. I thought I also read that Pratesi had backed off his proposal of 6 pips in Marziano. If the surviving German luxury decks tended towards 60 cards I think a stronger argument could be made, but they don't.

Given that Marziano simply replaced the 4 suit court cards typical of Italian (and some German) decks, it seems he was not interested in changing the basic card deck format. 4 X 14 seems probable, IMO (the aces featuring a single bird, typical of the image you posted).

Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

Phaeded wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 16:34
I'm not following your point on the 5 court cards since Marziano has 4 "celestial princes and barons" per suit - no interest in the radical step of creating an entirely new suit as we find in tarot.
I think you are mistaken here, Phaeded. Marziano does indeed take the radical step of creating an entirely new suit. He describes the process, we are witnesses to it.

First he lays out a fourfold symbolic, moral structure.
Then he assigns four gods to each.
Then he assigns a kind of bird, with a king presiding over each.
Then he abstracts the gods from this fourfold structure, and puts them into their own hierarchy from highest to lowest.
From then on, they have no more relationship to the birds or the fourfold structure - they are their own suit. In this order of 16, they are above the fourfold orders of birds.

We see here the process of the invention of an independent and permanent trump sequence.

Marcello describes it from this characteristic - 16 "trumps", and four suits. This structural feature is what allows him to consider it a new kind of Triumphs. There is no other similarity between the two games except for this formal structure.

People from Franco onwards have speculated about the influence of Marziano's game on the creation of Tarot. Did it influence the conception, or even the iconographic subjects, by some kind of transformation? Although Marziano completed his studies in Florence, this had to have ended by 1406, when he went into the service of Gregory XII. But whenever he left Florence, it is far to early to consider him to have been inspired by a tarot-like deck in that city. On the other hand, when the Milanese invention was taken seriously, that is, up until about 10 years ago, the coincidence of Marziano's game and Tarot itself in the same court seemed suspicious enough to speculate on some link.

Such a link or inspiration seemed improbable again, with the establishment of Florence as the likely place for Tarot's invention. But the two new texts of Marziano raised the question of his possible influence. Not his name, since it is not present in these two other copies, but the text itself. The text in Brescia is clearly too late a copy to have influenced the invention of Tarot, but the elusive copy in Vibo Valentia remains intriguing. Its discoverer, Vito Capialbi, around 1800, describes the hand as "XIV secolo", the 1300s. This seems impossible, since we know that Marziano is the author and that it is early XV secolo. So it could be that it is written in an old style of hand, non-humanist. This made me suspect that it may the very autograph. But we cannot know until we get to see it.

The point of mentioning these is that it shows that the Duke's special game was known outside of Milan, at least the text describing it was. While the Brescia text may depend upon Marcello's copy, there is no reason to think the Vibo Valentia one does. Marcello himself heard about it from others, presumably cardmakers, so it was known outside of the court in Milan. But it was also known further afield in Italy, which makes it possible that it was known also in Florence, and thereby lets us speculate about its influence on the invention of Tarot.

Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 18:21
First [Marziano] lays out a fourfold symbolic, moral structure.
Then he assigns four gods to each.
Then he assigns a kind of bird, with a king presiding over each.
Then he abstracts the gods from this fourfold structure, and puts them into their own hierarchy from highest to lowest.
From then on, they have no more relationship to the birds or the fourfold structure - they are their own suit. In this order of 16, they are above the fourfold orders of birds.
The above is not an either/or proposition - the assigning of the gods to a suit is equally valid to the ranking of the gods considered as a separate group (and Marcello's comments are irrelevant to Marziano's design - Marcello knew tarot and Sforza was apparently actively playing it in camp outside Milan when Marcello saw Marziano's deck, so his emphasis on interpreting the "celestials" as trumps is wholly unsurprising. It merely tells us what he thought).

Certain card games use the convention of an order for the four suits; in that regard one may additionally note that in Dummett's book on the PMB he culminates the suits with Swords - apparently rightfully so, as the King of Swords with the shield of St. Marks must refer (whether mockingly or in earnest) to Sforza's employment as Captain-General of Venice's armies (no one else in Milan after 1450 could claim that former distinction), while the gauntlets found on the Queen of Swords (unusual for any queen) must refer to Bianca taking up arms and rallying the troops in Cremona (ironically, against the Venetians, and celebrated in verse in Filelfo's epic Sphortias, Book V, 335f). No other court cards indicate Francesco and Bianca, ergo Swords must have been considered the highest suit (Sforza wouldn't have appreciated having his person being visually referred to in a lower suit).

When the gods are assigned to each suit it is with an ordinal ranking with respect to replacing the normal king-queen-knight-page rankings; thus the "king-substitutes" are per suit and those are the highest "trumps" 1st through 4th cards; what follows is for the next three ranks, ranked downwards through the bird suits each time, so eagle is always highest, for "King-substitutes", phoenixes for "Queen-substitutes" (the second column of gods), etc., as conveniently laid out by Huck here:
Huck Marziano schematic.JPG
(31.59 KiB) Not downloaded yet

There is understandably confusion if the standard court cards are replaced and yet there is also reference to a king over the pips, but that is also wholly appropriate in the specific context of Visconti having his kingship (OK, "duke-ship", but we're mincing words here) under a tutelary "celestial" painted by the same artist that did this deck: Venus. So each "kingdom" of pips, headed by a king, would be under a court of gods, whether that connotation was for play or simple moral edification in its nominal structure (and moral edification was the purpose of the decks bought for the Ferrara princes).

Finally, I would point out this king over the pips could very well have simply been in place of the ten as we find in German luxury decks. E.g., the c. 1430 Stuttgart deck I have already posted images of (as well as the c. 1440-45 Courtly Hunt deck), has pips 9-1 and a "banner of hawks" for 10, which the king would replace in the case of Marziano, a banner almost always otherwise depicting the heraldic of a princely leader (i.e., "the king's arms").
Stuttgart hawk suit, 1-9 hawks w-10-banner.jpg
Stuttgart hawk suit, 1-9 hawks w-10-banner.jpg (29.41 KiB) Viewed 515 times
The Ambras Court Hunting deck, 10/banner of hawks:


Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

Huck wrote:
30 Jan 2019, 16:13
Capialbi is new to me and also to the Forum, if one can trust the search engine. Is this a copy of the text of Martiano da Tortona?
Yes, but there isn't much more I can say about it except that it exists. I found it by typing the first words of the chapter on Jove, "Athenis regnasse".

Vito Capialbi was an upper class man of Calabria and devoted his life to antiquarian research. He collected a lot of artifacts and books, which are held in Vibo Valentia. the Museum appears to be open, but the Library is private and closed. The family lives in Rome and must be appealed to for access.

Capialbi found a manuscript of the Tractatus that he thinks belonged to a monk of the monastery of San Giovanni Teresti, that was suppressed in 1784. He calls it a "trattato di Mitologia." From his description, it lacks the title and ascription to Marziano, as well as the last page, with the end of Cupid. But it should contain the Prologue (since he writes "Dietro la prima pagina, ove finisce la prefazione" (On the back of the first page, where the preface ends)) and everything but the last page.

Here is the title page of the book and a link, he describes the manuscript on pages 148 and 149 -
Image ... ia&f=false

Here is the combined text of the manuscript description, compared with the same passages in Paris lat. 8745. Click the link below for a larger version - ... 5comp2.jpg

Naturally, I made Franco aware of this as soon as I discovered it, in September, and we worked on ways to get access, without success so far. He is of course very interested in it. There is a scholar in a nearby town who wrote about the conditions of the library, and complained about how inaccessible it is. I wrote to him and we corresponded, but I have not heard from him since November.

Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

The easiest explanation for the manuscript would be, that Marcello ordered in 1449 a second copy in Venice (the Renee copy was made in Venice, did you get this info?), one, which he did send to Alfonso in Naples. I remember, that he was interested in a personal contact in the same year 1449, similar to his wish to have personal contact to Renee d'Anjou.
Then it wouldn't be a wonder, if the copy to Alfonso didn't have the note about the playing cards, running just under mythology. Marcello had only one card deck.

Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

Huck wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 04:54
The easiest explanation for the manuscript would be, that Marcello ordered in 1449 a second copy in Venice (the Renee copy was made in Venice, did you get this info?),
Yes, that was me. I found out that a palaeographer, Albinia Catherine de la Mare, had identified the scribe of the ms. as one Michael de Salvaticis (Michele Salvatico), in a 1985 article in Lettere Italiane.
Image ... b_contents
(see p. 353, no. 15)
one, which he did send to Alfonso in Naples. I remember, that he was interested in a personal contact in the same year 1449, similar to his wish to have personal contact to Renee d'Anjou.
Then it wouldn't be a wonder, if the copy to Alfonso didn't have the note about the playing cards, running just under mythology. Marcello had only one card deck.
I am not confident of any speculation, until I see a page of the manuscript at least. From Capialbi's description, it is not bound in any other work; it could very well be loose papers, which would explain why the end of Cupido is missing. But the capital letters are illuminated, which suggests it was a presentation or finished copy, not hasty like in Brescia (although that one left off the capitals for later filling, resulting in some mistakes by the second hand). Finally, it is only 15 pages, half the length of the copy made for Isabelle, which suggests a denser copy more like the Brescia one. Finally, Capialbi's remark on XIV century, which he would never have said about the clearly humanist hand of 8745 or the Brescia copy. It must look old, which made me think it could be the autograph.

Marcello had a copy made, so he kept the autograph that he had retrieved in Milan. From it, other copies were made, such as Queriniana C.VII.1 in Brescia. But it could be that copies were made before Visconti died, and the Vibo manuscript might be the key to finding out if this scenario has any basis.

San Giovanni Teresti in Stilo was an Orthodox monastery. Capialbi was not there for the dissolution of the monastery, but he must have picked up this manuscript among other things which were definitely from the monastery. So we would have to find out about the kinds of men who went there, to find any defiinte connection. It does not have to be in the 15th century, it could be any time up to the late 18th century that the manuscript ended up there.


Here is my note summarizing what I knew about the Paris manuscript in 2004 -

""7. For a detailed notice of the manuscript see Charles Samaran and Robert Marichal eds., Catalogue des manuscrits en écriture latine portant des indications de date, de lieu ou de copiste (Paris, CNRS, 1974) t. III, p. 79 and Plate CLV. The text was first catalogued by Guillaume Petit in 1518, in King François I’s library at Blois: see Omont, H., Anciens inventaires de la Bibliothèque nationale (Paris, 1910) p. 101. Petit notes both Marziano’s Tractatus and the following work in the codex, Paulus Vergerius De liberalibus studiis ac ingenuis moribus, indicating that they had already been bound together by 1518, perhaps among the 126 volumes bound in velvet over wood boards by Gilles Hannequin in 1504 (for details see L.V. Delisle, Le Cabinet des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque imperiale (nationale) (Paris, 1868) t. 1, p. 122 nn. 6 and 7; cf. Denise Bloch “La formation de la bibliothèque du roi” in André Vernet ed., Histoire des bibliothèques françaises: tome 1, les bibliothèques medievales du 6eme siècle à 1530 (Paris, Le Cercle de la Librairie, 1994) p. 125 and note 92). The history of the Tractatus along with Marcello’s letter, and the fate of the two decks of cards between 1449 and 1518, is unknown. In his study of King René d’Anjou’s library (Le Roi René (Paris, 1875) t. II pp. 182-197), A. Lecoy de la Marche notes that when René’s library was moved from the Château of Angers to Aix in 1471, some chests of notebooks remained locked and were not catalogued (ibid. p. 184). In addition the Tractatus, which by itself is a mere 32 small folio pages (20.4 X 13.8 cm) in four quaternions, is a negligible 0.5 cm in thickness when flattened; it is easy to see how it might have escaped the notice of cataloguers. Of course, any number of other things might have happened to the book and the cards between 1449, Isabelle’s death in 1453, and the library’s relocation in 1471. We might propose a scenario in which the book went from Isabelle to René (1453), then to René’s named heir, his nephew Charles of Maine (1480), who, dying in 1481, left the claims of Anjou, Provence and Maine to King Louis XI of France. Thus most of Rene’s books ended up in the collection of King of France. Louis’ collection was held at the Castle of Amboise, through the reign of Louis’ son Charles VIII. The crown of France passed to the Orléans branch, and when Louis XII of Orléans married King Charles’ widow in 1499, he inherited Charles’ library, which was moved to Blois around 1501, where it was catalogued by Guillaume Petit in 1518."

The front page of 8745 has the 16th century librarian's note of where it was in the library at Blois - "Tabula Eloquentie quinta in pariete versus fenestram"

Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

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.” ( ... -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 ( ... 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 [9], p. 132, ... /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 ... ti-di.html. The other is at ... 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 ... 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.

Re: How do you play Marziano's game?

Just for your files -
mikeh wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 11:27
(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 )
These were taken on a visit to Angera in 2008. The second one with me in front is to show the scale and aspect. The staircase was (probably?) not there when the room was frescoed in the 14th century. We took pictures of all of the frescoes, if you would like any others. As always, click on the link below for a larger version.

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