Re: The Chariot

#51
Huck wrote:
23 Feb 2020, 14:49

The Chariot in the PMB doesn't mean FAME. Fame was presented by the card, which was taken as Justice, as already demonstrated.
The Chariot in the Cary-Yale doesn't mean FAME. Fame was presented by the card, which was interpreted as Mondo-World.
Oh Huck... All you've done in that post is just repeat what you already said before, without offering any new evidence that I haven't already rebutted—I just talked about that winged trumpet on the CY World card in my last post directly above yours! And in my second post in this thread, I already explained why the male riders on the later cards appeared, i.e. because it didn't matter any more who was on the chariot, only the chariot itself was of any significance.

All you're doing in this post is restating your position without in any way responding to my arguments or presenting new evidence yourself. But I couldn't help smiling after reading it, because it made me think of the Monty Python argument sketch:
M: I came here for a good argument! An argument isn't just contradiction.
O: Well, it CAN be!
M: No it can't!
M: An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
O: No it isn't!
M: Yes it is! It isn't just contradiction.
O: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position!
M: Yes but it isn't just saying 'no it isn't'.
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn't!
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn't!
O: Yes it is!
M: No it ISN'T! Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
O: It is NOT!
I mean, we could be stuck doing that for months... When would it end?

Soll ich dir alles nochmal auf Deutsch sagen? Wäre es dann klarer? Das könnte ich ja, ich könnte dir die ganzen Posts ins Deutsche übertragen und dir privat zusenden...

Re: The Chariot

#52
... :-) ... it's true, that I repeated the argument about the Justice-Fame in PMB
it's not true, that I repeated the argument about the Fame card in Cary-Yale, at least not in this thread. Naturally it is a repeated argument from other places here in the forum, it's common behavior as writers appear here, which are new to the themes. Are you a new writer here, or are you somebody, who has changed his name? Your writing style remembers me on somebody inclusive some missing politeness and excellent German writing abilities. If I count correctly, this ,might be your 3rd appearance here.

Nathaniel wrote:
In other words, the chariot was more strongly linked to Fame than to any other of the allegorical figures used in Petrarch's Triumphs: None of others - Love, Death, Time, etc - were ever normally portrayed riding triumphal chariots except in illustrations of I Trionfi. But Fame was always on a chariot, even when not in an illustration of that work.
That's nonsense.
If you type for instance "fame with trumpet" in the search engine, you get fame presentations without chariot. Further Minchiate decks have a lot of Fame representations without chariot. If you give now the argument, that these presentations are too young, then you can read Chaucer ...
http://www.eleusinianm.co.uk/middle-eng ... se-of-fame
... and you don't find the word "chariot" in it.
Image
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: The Chariot

#53
Sorry Huck! I will try to be more polite in the future. It might sometimes be difficult, because I disagree with nearly all of your ideas, but I do have an enormous amount of respect for the work you have done in collecting information and sources on the history of tarot. And my offer of sending you everything in German was genuine; I honestly thought you might want that.

I assure you, I am not whoever it is you are thinking of—my first post in this thread was the first time I've ever posted here.

Huck wrote:
Nathaniel wrote:
In other words, the chariot was more strongly linked to Fame than to any other of the allegorical figures used in Petrarch's Triumphs: None of others - Love, Death, Time, etc - were ever normally portrayed riding triumphal chariots except in illustrations of I Trionfi. But Fame was always on a chariot, even when not in an illustration of that work.
That's nonsense.
If you type for instance "fame with trumpet" in the search engine, you get fame presentations without chariot. Further Minchiate decks have a lot of Fame representations without chariot. If you give now the argument, that these presentations are too young, then you can read Chaucer ...
http://www.eleusinianm.co.uk/middle-eng ... se-of-fame
... and you don't find the word "chariot" in it.
I think you have misunderstood: I was not referring to every image or description of Fame in the entire history of medieval and Renaissance Europe. I was referring to "Every single Italian image of earthly Fame I have seen from the entire fifteenth century" as I said in the previous paragraph. Admittedly, that would include the tarot cards from that century; I suppose I should have added "not on a tarot card" at the end of that sentence, because I have seen that one—and I don't think that counts, because it's obviously the result of a Telephone-game transformation of what was originally the Angel of the Last Judgment. This Telephone phenomenon means that images on later tarot cards are not very useful as comparative reference points to explain the meanings of images on the earliest cards, because their iconography is likely to be heavily influenced by preceding cards that may have been intended to mean something quite different. (In some cases they may still help to shed light on the earlier cards if we can reconstruct the steps of the Telephone game that let to them.)

And you know, you're probably right: there could well be some non-tarot images of Fame from Italy from the fifteenth century that don't show her on a chariot. I just haven't seen any of them. But this doesn't affect or negate my basic argument, which is that the chariot was more strongly linked to Fame than to any other of the allegorical figures used in Petrarch's Triumphs. Even if it did sometimes appear without the chariot, it still frequently appeared with it, whereas the other triumphal allegories only seem to have appeared on chariots in the context of Petrarch's Triumphs. So I think the rest of my argument stands, including the part about card artists being likely to think that the sole figure in the deck on a chariot would probably represent Fame.

Admittedly Boccaccio's triumph figures in the Amorosa Visione included Love, so that would be one that might sometimes appear on a chariot in illustrations that weren't Petrarchan. But no one could think the Chariot card represented Love, not least because it is very obviously the subject of a different card. Fame was evidently not obviously the subject of a different card, so the misinterpretation was possible.

And of course that takes the discussion back to the World card. Which was definitely not the Triumph of Fame, not in the CY, not in any tarot deck ever. It's clear that I am definitely going to have to do that post about the Triumph of Eternity that I keep saying I will do, because there is too much to discuss here and it's not appropriate to this thread.

[Updated one day later to include references to Telephone game.]

Re: The Chariot

#55
Thanks for your thoughtful replies, Nathaniel. I will try to argue at least using different words, even if the ideas are somewhat repetitive.

For me the issue is whether it is plausible that Petrarch's I trionfi poems were one stimulus for the ur-tarot. If so, it is necessary to be able plausibly to go from the evidence of the extant cards and lists back to the six poems, more or less.s. Love and Death are easy. In this thread we are concerned with the Chariot card. We cannot say which of the various designs is temporally prior to the others, at least between cities. (That is, we can say that the CY is prior to the PMB, and the Catania is probably prior to Charles VI, but not whether the Catania is prior to the CY, for example. We have no ur-Chariot. Instead we have a variety of them, having in common one or more riders - if more than one, then one principal one - on a carro driven by horses. Carri drawn by horses meant "triumph". That is why Petrarch had Cupid on a carro in his poem, and why all the Petrarchans have horse-drawn carri in the 1440s Petrarch illustrations. We are being referred back to the triumphs of ancient Rome, as did the victory parades and horse-drawn wedding processions of the 15th century..

But the triumph of what? Well, Petrarch's Pudicitia was between Love and Death. And someone can be celebrated, exalted for their Pudicitia., So that is a candidate. We can't assume that all the Petrarchans are there in order, but at least some of them should be, since Love was first and Death third,out of six. We would expect a female personification, because of the -a ending and the tradition of making virtues female. However these hand-painted cards were for particular persons or families; so the question of whether the rider is male or female may be answered by whose triumph is being celebrated, or who among others. Petrarch seems to be celebrating both Pudicitia and Laura when he says "her of whom I write", never explicitly naming her (http://petrarch.petersadlon.com/read_tr ... ge=II-I.en). But he seems to be drawing on the psychomachia tradition, in which Pudicitia battles with Libido (p. 2 of Katzenellenbogen at https://books.google.com/books?id=DsEIA ... =pudicitia). But Pudicitia, considering only the title of the poem, is a virtue in men, too, excellence in a way related to the masculine gender. Military excellence is what Florence wants to emphasize. In the Catania card the rider is sexually ambiguous.

Fame is also a candidate, given that the rider in the extant cards often bears attributes of Fame. Triumphs do bring Fame to the one who has triumphed. Whether the card originally had such attributes we don't know. But Petrarch's Fame is of particular relevance after Death. So at least if the order was stimulated by the poems, it is more likely one of the cards after Death in the sequence, if one suggests Fame by its attributes or the story it seems to be telling.

I have not proved anything. All I am concerned with is plausibility. Fame is plausibly the World card, in all the various designs except perhaps the PMB, and the World card in those cards also has attributes of Fame. Even in the PMB, if "Fama" means "glory", it applies. But this is rather clearly not the ur-tarot's design, so it can be excluded. Eternity is plausibly the Angel card.

If you want to argue that Fame is the Angel card and Eternity the World card, well, that doesn't affect my main concern, the applicability of Petrarch to the ur-tarot. It is even possible that by the time of the cards we see, the Carro card was taken as "before-death glory", vs. "after death glory" in a card after Death in the sequence. In support of that idea (as I may be the first to argue) is the Steele Sermon's description of the card (http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=780), "Lo caro trionphale vel mundus parvus": "mundus parvus" means "little world", which might be a translation of the Greek "microcosmos"; so, triumph, and consequent glory, in the little world. That would be as opposed to the "big world" of a later card. That alternative, too, does not affect my thesis, since what seems to be emphasized as well is gender-related excellence, appropriate for a military parade or a wedding procession in which carri might be used, with one person singled out on it.

If Time is the Old Man, with wings or an hourglass, then he is out of sequence. Since he is in the same place in all the lists, there is no grounds for denying that. There is grounds in the poem for putting him out of sequence, however, so I will rest with that. Another possibility is that one or more of the celestials corresponds to Time, another of Petrarch's images. All I can say is that the Old Man is more ubiquitous in the earlier cards in the two centers with the earliest cards, Florence and Lombardy, than any of the celestials. and more obviously connected with Time, since an old man doesn't have to be shown with an attribute of Time, if that detail is irrelevant. And if there can be two Fames at some point (not the ur-tarot), there can be two Times, at some point. I do not think the connection to Petrarch is lost altogether very soon, because of the numerous Petrarch illustrations in the prcise time-period of the hand-painted cards.

I cannot see how anything you've said affects this argument.

Re: The Chariot

#56
Compared to you guys, my knowledge of the early Tarot is severely lacking, so please take my comments worth a grain of salt... =)

...but has anyone ever made a connection between the early Chariot cards and the Cardinal Virtue of Prudence?


Here's an image from the Wellcome Library. It comes from an illustrated copy of the Book of Revelation from 1420, (see here for the full manuscript: https://wellcomelibrary.org/item/b19684915).


The figure in the chariot is holding a scale. The label "Prudencia" appears above her head. Note that the groom/valet on horseback is carrying a whip. Also note the women clustered around "Prudencia" in the bottom left corner. Taken altogether, the multiple images on this page bear a passing resemblance to the Issy Chariot.



It's no secret that the Cardinal Virtues were typically depicted as women. That could potentially explain why a female charioteer appears on the Cary-Yale, Pierpont Morgan Bergamo, and Issy Chariots. Here they are side by side for comparison:



I also recall that in his Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas refers to Prudence as the auriga virtutum (literally the "charioteer of the virtues"). He even ranks them in order of importance. Aquinas says, "Now to be a thing essentially ranks before effecting it, and the latter ranks before safeguarding it by removing obstacles thereto. Wherefore among the cardinal virtues, prudence ranks first, justice second, fortitude third, temperance fourth, and after these the other virtues." Apparently, it was common knowledge among the Ancient Greeks and Christian theologians that Prudence was the driver of the Cardinal Virtues.

To further demonstrate this concept, I present an Andrea Mantegna painting from 1502, titled Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue:



The other three Cardinal Virtues (Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance) appear in the clouds. At first glance, Prudence doesn't seem to feature in this painting.



Upon closer examination, we find that she has been walled up inside the stone structure on the far right of the painting with only a white fluttering banner to reflect her cry for help.



It's kind of difficult to read the banner, but it says "ET MIHI VIRTVTṼ MATRI SVCCVRRITE DIVI." For those of you not familiar with medieval scribal abbreviation, the squiggly line above the letter V indicates that the letter M has been omitted. Thus, it reads "Et mihi virtutum matri succurrite divi" which can be roughly translated to "And you, O gods, help me, the Mother of Virtues."

Without Prudence, everything goes to hell. The other virtues can only look on in horror as the scene of debauchery unfolds. Fortunately, Minerva/Athena (the goddess of wisdom) arrives to restore Prudence and set things right.

I wonder if this medieval line of thought could explain the "absence" of the fourth Cardinal Virtue from the traditional Tarot. Maybe it's not really missing. Maybe it's concealed in the Chariot card. I don't know... =)

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Another thing I find interesting is the ordering of the Virtues.

In Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas ranked the virtues as follows:
1. Prudence
2. Justice
3. Fortitude
4. Temperance


If we look at the Mantegna painting again, and take Minerva to represent the restoration of Prudence, then the order from left to right is again
1. Prudence
2. Justice
3. Fortitude
4. Temperance

Then, if we start looking at the Trump orders in various Tarot decks, we find some interesting things.

From Michael Dummett's The Game of Tarot, we have:

TYPE A - Trump Orders
-----------------------------------
Minchiate
10. Chariot (Prudence?)
8. Justice
7. Fortitude
6. Temperance

Tarocco Siciliano
9. Chariot (Prudence?)
7. Justice
6. Fortitude
5. Temperance

Charles VI
9. Chariot (Prudence?)
8. Justice
7. Fortitude
6. Temperance

Other decks from this group such as the Tarocco Bolognese and the Rosenwald pack put the Chariot right alongside the other Cardinal Virtues, however they do not follow Thomas Aquinas' order. But does the proximity of the Chariot to the other three Virtues mean anything? I wonder...


TYPE B - Trump Orders
-----------------------------------
None of the decks in this group order the virtues like Aquinas.



TYPE C - Trump Orders
-----------------------------------
In several of the examples, the ordering of the virtues is like Aquinas, only reversed, (i.e. the Chariot/Prudence has the lowest number and Temperance has the highest).

Catelin de Geoffroy deck
7. Chariot (Prudence?)
[Missing]*
[Missing]*
14. Temperance
*Note: Dummett notes that the Trump order of this deck is probably the same as the Tarot de Marseille

Tarot de Marseille/Tarot de Besançon/Belgian Tarot
7. Chariot (Prudence?)
8. Justice
11. Fortitude
14. Temperance

La Maison académique de jeux
7. Chariot (Prudence?)
8. Justice
11. Fortitude
14. Temperance

Also from this group, the Susio poem and Viévil pack do not follow Aquinas' ordering of the virtues.


Well, that's all I have for now. Maybe I'm on to something, or maybe this is all just a textbook example of apophenia. I'll leave it up to you guys to decide. =)

Re: The Chariot

#57
It's an idea I investigated for a while, starting on Aeclectic Tarot and moving here, sometime around 2011.

Google
"auriga virtutum" "chariot" "tarot"
for various places.

On THF there is this thread. I deal with the Mantegna painting -
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=826&p=11764&hilit=auriga#p11764
same thread
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=826&hilit=auriga&start=20#p11786

Edit -
As far back as 2006 actually, on Aeclectic Tarot -
Ross G Caldwell
14-10-2006, 02:59
Strange this thread has just come back up - I looked it up on Monday.

I'm working on the idea that the Chariot really represents Prudence, the Charioteer of the Virtues (Aurgia Virtutum), and that the tarot order which best expresses it is the Southern or A type, where the Virtues and the Chariot are all together.

The "Charioteer of the Virtues" is a term which was first used by Saint Bernard in about 1150 (in his sermons on the Song of Songs). It is important that Bernard says "moderatrix et auriga virtutum", because it shows he conceived of the Charioteer as female (although the term "auriga" is masculine). The Visconti cards show a female charioteer, as does an early Ferrarese card, and the gender of the other early ones is debatable (Charles VI for instance - although armored, the figure is unbearded).

It became popular with theologians in the 13th century, both Franciscan and Dominican, and is one of the sources for Dante's vision of the Chariot and Beatrice on the Chariot (in my opinion) in Purgatory XXIX-XXXII, carried over into Petrarch's "Trionfi".

Thus the combination chariot/prudence/woman/virtues/triumph can be seen as developing over time and being well-placed to make a contribution to the tarot triumphs. This in reality as well as in literature. Further, the Chariot in the earliest southern sequences is in graphic relationship to the three other virtues, and suggests that the designer of this sequence thought of the Chariot as the "conductor" (auriga) of the following virtues.

Just an overview.
The archived posts on Aeclectic are not dated in their original context; you have to go to the text-only version to get the date.
http://www.tarotforum.net/archive/index ... 24836.html
Post number 68 here - http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=24836&page=7
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Re: The Chariot

#58
Hey Ross!

Thanks for the links to the old forum posts! Made for some interesting reading. Wish I could have been around for those earlier discussions, but I'd never even heard of Tarot cards until a few years ago. Guess I'm late to the party again... =P

I stumbled onto the Mantegna painting by accident last year and filed it away in the cluttered mess that is my mind. Like you, seeing the three virtues in the clouds immediately made me think of the Tarot and its absence of a fourth virtue. I'd completely forgotten about the painting until the discussion here brought it all rushing back. Glad to know that other people have walked this path before me and that I'm not as "lost in the woods" as I thought I was. =)

You guys found some pretty interesting hidden symbolism in the Mantegna painting. I especially liked your analysis of the perspective and lines of sight! I'm a comicbook artist by trade and these are the weird sorts of things I notice when I look at a piece of artwork. Nice to see someone else thinking this way.

If Prudence is hidden in the deck somewhere, I think that you and the other forum members who participated in those earlier discussions already made a good case for the Chariot as opposed to some other card. I see that you bring up some of the same points I make in my post, like the order of the virtues in Type-A decks and the Thomas Aquinas descriptions. Looks like a pretty solid theory to me!

Over the years, I've heard a lot of other wacky theories about the supposed location of Prudence in the deck. Here they are in brief:

  • The occultists from the late 19th and early 20th century transformed the Popess into a "High Priestess" guarding the entrance to a temple. The Kabbalistic associations of her with the "shekhinah" and/or the temple virgins have made her into a gatekeeper of divine wisdom, and thus, Prudence.
  • In modern times, the Hermit is often considered a symbol of Prudence, in part due to the perception of him as a religious figure or sage. His carrying of a lantern also draws to mind the legend of Diogenes the Greek philosopher. (The discovery that the figure on the card was originally a personification of Time and that his lantern was originally an hourglass kind of rules this theory out.)
  • Court de Gébelin and de Mellet tried to explain the missing virtue by stating that the Hanged Man and the crossbeam of the gibbet had been flipped upside down. They claimed that the card originally depicted the traditional image of Prudence walking near a snake. They were probably inspired by decks where the orientation of the Hanged Man card was ambiguous, such as the Viéville (1650), the Dodal (1700), or the Madenié (1709) decks.
  • Last but not least, you have the World card which is sometimes seen as the culmination of a progression through the Tarot. It represents the attainment of ultimate wisdom. This is probably a holdover from Paul Christian's fantastical stories about the Trump cards representing the steps of an initiation ritual into the ranks of the Magi.

These are all nice theories, but if you look at the early Tarot and what people of that time period may have been thinking when they created the cards, it makes sense that they would incorporate concepts that they were familiar with (like Prudence as the charioteer of the Virtues), and not some complicated theory like what the cartomancers and occultists of subsequent centuries tried to impose on the cards.

We may never know for certain whether the Chariot card was originally intended as a reference to Prudence or not, but it sure is fun to speculate. Anyways, I'm just glad to learn that I'm not alone in pursuing this theory. =)

Thanks again for the links to the older forum posts here and on Aecelectic! I'll make a note of them in case my research ever ventures back into this territory.

By the way... I just received a copy of your "Sixteen Heroes" book in the mail. My compliments on a first-class job! I'd read the earlier translations you posted online at Trionfi.com, but it's nice to have it all in book form. Thanks for all your hard work!

Re: The Chariot

#59
Hi John, I'm glad we tuned into the same frequency.

These days (and for a long time now), I'd say that I don't believe the designer intended for the Chariot to be taken as Prudence. I think the subjects were chosen mostly from recurring themes in the St John the Baptist and Magi parades in Florence, which always had somebody on a chariot, usually King David. There were also virtues accompanying the chariot, or going before or behind it.

So it may not really matter what the designer intended, since it could be argued that the association of the chariot with the virtues was based on a theological commonplace, that originated in the "auriga virtutum" equation, and is the basis for its place in the processions. So the Chariot as Prudence, the Auriga and Mater Virtutum, is implicit, even if the designer didn't care or know about it, or intend for people to read it this way. As far as I am concernced, the designer only wanted people to easily place the unnumbered cards in the right place in the sequence, and the virtues always accompany the chariot. Beyond that, unless we have some specific people in mind, we are really reading minds. It could be, for example, that the designer of the game was also someone who helped design the processional themes, in which case they may have known of these deeper associaitons and rationales. But then again, maybe not, if it was just "always that way."
Image

Re: The Chariot

#60
Interesting...

The "Italian parade" explanation is one of my top three theories as to the origin of the 22 Tarot Trumps, the others being the Danse Macabre artistic motif and the Great Chain of Being from Greco-Roman, and later, Medieval philosophy. Could even be a product of all three! I'm not ruling anything out. =)

The Chariot does figure prominently in the parade theory, though. We still use them in parades today. We just call them "floats."



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