Bolognese or Florentine trump order, which is earlier?

#1
Aside from the equality or not of the "papi". the Florentine and Bolognese orders differ in two respects: first, Florence has the Chariot after the virtues, Bologna has it before; second, Florence has Justice after Fortitude, Bologna has it before. Which order came first?

As far as I can find (and I hope I am not repeating what has already been said), the last substantive discussion was in 2009 by Ross in the "Bologna" thread, concerning only the Chariot and defending its Bolognese placement as first (viewtopic.php?p=4147#p4147). Since then his only change has been to attribute that placement to Florence first, which then changed the placement of the Chariot twice, moving it above the virtues, and next exchanged its position with the Wheel of Fortune, one way or the other; Bologna, meanwhile, kept the Chariot in its original position.

In this post I want to suggest a third alternative, namely, that the Chariot was earlier above the virtues, as seen in the Florentine lists, but that the earlier placement of the virtues was as in Bologna. In other words, the Rosenwald order, on a sheet probably of Perugia and surely not earlier than 1501 (see Pratesi at http://pratesitranslations.blogspot.com ... rugia.html), may have been before either.

The Rosenwald is at http://trionfi.com/0/j/d/rosenwald/.
The Beaux Arts and Rothschild are at, respectively, http://www.tarothistory.com/images/encyclopedia1.jpg
http://www.tarothistory.com/images/encyclopedia2.jpg.

The three sheets are estimated to have been produced around the same time.

The Florentine orders of that time are presented by Depaulis at https://www.academia.edu/30193559/Early ... 07_p_39_50, pp. 42-44.

Between them the 12 cards of the Beaux Arts and Rothschild sheets include at least 11 of the last 12 cards of the traditional Bolognese sequence. That suggests to me that probably the 12th card on these sheets, the Chariot, was also among the last 12 at that time. This is not certain, to be sure; the two sheets do not divide up so that the last 6 are on one sheet and the previous 6 are on the other. Yet there is still the suggestion, and a reason for supposing that the Chariot is among the last 12, and so probably 10th or 11th.

In that case the two Bolognese sheets for the rest, each with 6 cards (4 sheets of 6), would have been much like the Rosenwald's one sheet (3 rows of 8), with three spaces free to put in three non-triumphs (the Rosenwald has Queens).

What the Rosenwald has uniquely in common with the Bolognese order is: (1) the virtues are in the order Temperance, Justice, Fortitude; (2) there are clearly two papal and two imperial figures, all together between the Bagat and Amore. In both respects the order does not correspond to any in Florence, all of which show the virtues in the order Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, none having or mentioning a Popess card or with numbering indicating its presence - although it still may have been present but unnumbered, as when numbers were put on the cards in Bologna. The difference from Bologna for cards II-V, of course, is that they form a distinct hierarchy, with II and III distinctly feminine. The Rosenwald is most likely from Perugia. If points 1 and 2 are true of both Bologna and Perugia, the Rosenwald's existence is another reason for supposing that the position of the Chariot card in Bologna then would have been above the virtues, by similarity among similars, which again does not yield proof, just a consideration in favor of that direction.

The order in Bologna would have changed sometime after the Beaux Arts/Rothschild lists, moving the Chariot from above the virtues to immediately below.

That it would have changed in that way is not implausible. There is the precedent of Florence, regardless of whether there was a Popess there. The Chariot is before Ruota in the Strambotto, and after Ruota in the handwritten numbers on the Charles VI and in Minchiate. That is only by one position, but in Bologna the virtues, when they are all together, could have been considered a single unit. In the Rosenwald, the Chariot must be before Ruota (as Depaulis concludes), since all the numbers up to X, Chariot, are taken, even though on the sheet Ruota is placed 13th. In Bologna it could have been either before or after Ruota, but since it is still before Ruota in its traditional order later, probably it always was. That would put it in the same position as it is in the Rosenwald.

Moreover, in every early region of the tarot the order did vary in one or two small ways from one list to another, in the 16th century. There is no reason for Bologna to be an exception, except the conservatism of the players, if it went back that far. It seems to me that we cannot infer from post-1507 (or 1513) conditions what was the case before then. At some point at least, some Bolognese seem to have been convinced that Bologna invented the game. If so, they naturally would have held onto the order as they remembered it.

The next question then is, why would the game have made such a change, moving the Chariot card below the virtues, unlike any other known A order? It seems to me that the sequence was meant to convey a moral message, not only in itself but when applied in the trick-taking game (Ross uses a similar argument, but deduces the opposite conclusion from mine). When Temperance takes a trick with Love in it, that means that Love, the crazy kind instilled by Cupid, is properly ruled by Temperance: Temperance is superior to Love. In the other A orders, that is all there is to it. But in Bologna, after the fall of the Bentivoglio and the imposition of a stronger role of the papacy, the Chariot, that is, the triumphator, might have been seen as having to be ruled by Temperance, too. We might recall the Bolognese tarocchi appropriati poem about Imre Tekeli, the Hungarian nationalist of the late 17th century:
...Tempra l’ardir, trattien il Carro, e ratto
Lascia d’Amor d’Imper la voglia acerba,

...Temper your ardor, slow your Chariot, and quickly
Leave off the immature desire of Love of Rule,...
Here the ardor is not the passion for the opposite sex, as shown on the Love card, but that of the Charioteer.

The title of the card in Bologna, "Tempra", is a verb that would apply to both Love and Chariot. In the old Italian, Treccani tells us (https://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/temprare/), temprare meant both "moderate", nowadays taken by the verb temperare, and a process in treating metals that had its analogy in living, namely that of "quenching", cooling a metal down after first reheating it, often by plunging it in cold water. We might recall that an alternative way of depicting the virtue of Temperance in the Middle Ages was a lady with a vessel in one hand and a flaming torch/cornucopia in the other. It is possible that the "Alessandro Sforza" stag-rider card has a torch (with a lewd connotation), since the card is damaged in just that area, below the upper cup and above the genitals.

In tempering a metal, the result is a finish that is less brittle than it would be, and in that way able to withstand blows better. By analogy, there is the moral idea that in tempering justice with mercy; a ruler actually increases his longevity in power, attending to particular circumstances as reasons for mercy. For that the Chariot should be before both virtues, as being ruled by Temperance. I take this as a reason for changing the order, to deepen the moral lesson. The triumphal Charioteer, being human like the Lover and those before him, is subject to the virtues. Those after the virtues - Fortune, Time, Death, etc. - are not (the Hanged Man is a special case, as Judas was associated with the number 12, for the 12th disciple, or conceivably 13, for the 13th seat at the Last Supper and King Arthur's table).

If the change was in the opposite direction, from before the virtues to after, that change could also be rationalized, by saying that the virtues are part of the education of a prince, and so of anybody, before he can be a good triumphator. However this rationalization is less in keeping with an educational function for the trick-taking aspect, in which subjects that should rule in humans are more powerful than those that sometimes in fact rule, overpowering the virtues. (The Devil is not an exception, because he should rule over the wicked after death. The other powers stronger than humanity are also part of the divine plan.)

Then there is the question of why the order of Fortitude and Justice would have been switched, even before such a change in the position of the Chariot, and even if that order is attested in a few sources (Ambrose Commentary on Luke, V, 62 and Wisdom of Solomon 8:7). In those sources, that Justice is before Fortitude seems merely incidental, whereas the sources in the other direction (Justice after Fortitude) offer good reasons for their choice, as well as being more authoritative (Plato, Aquinas). So the justification for going from Temperance-Fortitude-Justice to Temperance-Justice-Fortitude is much weaker than the other way around. Again it is the Rosenwald order that seems the earlier, although now shared by Bologna rather than Florence.

It is also true that the Rosenwald designs are simpler than those of the hand-painted cards of the Charles VI and of Minchiate. This is not necessarily due to the nature of the medium, woodcuts vs. painting, because the Beaux Arts/Rothschild designs are as complex as their hand-painted equivalents elsewhere. The simpler designs of the Rosenwald, instead of being earlier, could be due to less skill or effort on the part of the cutter, further removed from the allegories in what, despite the primitiveness of the order, is surely a later product than what we have, or perhaps have (since the provenance of those cards is still contested), from Florence.

Backwater places, e.g. Piedmont, sometimes preserve orders superseded elsewhere. So perhaps, apart from the hierarchy of dignitaries, the Rosenwald represents the earliest of the various known A orders, retained by Bologna as well as Perugia even in the early 16th century. If so, that is a good reason for assuming that this order also obtained in Florence, so that in fact there were four dignitaries rather than three at some point (as Depaulis asserts, without argument, in Tarot Revele, 2013).

Moreover, there is some slight reason for thinking that this order would have existed in Bologna before it went to Florence, because, given the general conservatism of players, a change in the order (here I am talking about the virtues) is more likely between cities, a change at the beginning in the second city, than in the same city.

Needless to say, there is much that is speculative here.

Re: Bolognese or Florentine trump order, which is earlier?

#2
Great post, Mike. I really like your idea about the Beaux-Arts/Rothschild (BAR) sheets, that they indicate an earlier Bolognese order in which Chariot was above the three virtues. I don't think I had noticed that before. I have long thought that the Chariot must have been in that position in Bologna once, because of the overwhelming evidence from the rest of the Type A orders: It's not just in the earliest Florentine order and the Rosenwald deck that have Chariot just below Wheel, it's also in the Colonna deck from Rome, the Sicilian deck, and the poem from Cesena that Andrea Vitali found in the Vatican Library. But I hadn't realized that the BAR sheets give us some evidence to support this supposition.

The decision to move the Chariot below the virtues was probably because of a sense that they should rank higher than military/political triumph, as you suggest. Another factor influencing this decision may have been the trump order used in Ferrara, where Fortitude is just below Wheel. Ferrara and Bologna were close, not just geographically but also economically and socially, and we have evidence of significant influence from one on the other where tarot is concerned (I'm currently working on a post which will present all of that evidence in detail). Of course, the ordering of the other virtues was very different in Ferrara. But perhaps the rank of Fortitude alone did give the Bolognese the idea of promoting it to that position, and then the other virtues came along with it—because, as you say, the Bolognese do seem to have seen the virtues as constituting a single inseparable unit. I think that is apparent in the names they gave them: "Forza Giusta Tempra". Those abbreviated names form a very catchy and memorable little phrase, which not only has the effect of making it a lot easier to remember their order, it also makes it hard to imagine ever splitting them up, or indeed ever altering that order of the three in any way. They were simply "Forza Giusta Tempra," and "Forza Giusta Tempra" they would forever stay.

I also like your idea that the order Temperance-Justice-Fortitude was probably earlier than Temperance-Fortitude-Justice precisely because it appears to "make less sense" than Temperance-Fortitude-Justice, i.e. it is much easier to imagine someone deliberately changing the former order to the latter than to imagine someone changing the latter order to the former. If people had Justice in the highest position to start with, they would probably have been inclined to leave it there, whereas if Fortitude was in the highest position to start with, they would have been tempted to demote it and move Justice up in its place. At the risk of sending this thread totally off-topic, I'll just say that I think the same principle can also be usefully applied to other questions regarding the trump order. It is one reason why I think the World was originally the highest trump (in Milan) and someone (the Florentines) then swapped it with the Last Judgment ("because it's the Last Judgment, of course it has to be the last card, it makes no sense for the World to be the last card," etc.) and one reason why I think the original order had the Traitor at 13, not Death.

The only major difficulty with your argument that Temperance-Justice-Fortitude was the primary Type A order is the Sicilian deck, which has Temperance-Fortitude-Justice, like Florence. The earliest Sicilian cards bear strong resemblance to the earliest Roman cards, so it is reasonable to assume that this was the order of the virtues in Rome too. That would suggest that the virtues must have been in that order at an early stage, when the Romans imported tarot from the north. That doesn't allow a lot of time for the deck to spread between Florence, Bologna, and Perugia before order of the virtues was changed. Nevertheless, it does seem possible that either the Florentines changed the order at a time when tarot was still in the process of establishing itself in Rome, or that the Roman game was simply influenced by the Florentine game for a while in the early years, and Rome consequently adopted the Florentine change. Or perhaps the Sicilians simply made the same change that the Florentines did, independently.

This is certainly all very speculative, but a few weeks ago I was inclined to take the speculation even further. I looked at all the early trump orders to try to work out what the order of the virtues would have been in the very first standard deck. I don't think it could have been what we see in any of the known Type A orders, because it doesn't look likely that such an order would have given rise to what we see in the earliest Type B and C orders.

Let's assume that you are right and the earliest Type A order for this section of the trumps, from lowest to highest, was Love, Temperance, Justice, Fortitude, Chariot. The earliest Type B order, the Steele Sermon, has Temperance, Love, Chariot, Fortitude and then Justice is far off near the top of the order. The earliest Type C orders are a little more confusing, because one of them (Alciato) is different from the other three (Susio, Piscina, and Viéville), but if we assume Alciato is a later modification, we have Love, Justice, Chariot, Fortitude and then Temperance is far off near the top of the order.

Based on those three early orders, I arrive at the following reconstruction for the earliest standard deck:

Temperance - Love - Justice - Chariot - Fortitude

What happened next: Someone in Type B decided to move Justice up to the second-highest position, resulting in the Steele Sermon order. Someone in Type C decided to move Temperance up to the position after Death, resulting in the early Type C order. (It is not hard to come up with simple and convincing hypotheses for the reasoning behind both of these decisions.)
In the Type A region, they decided that it was most sensible to bring all the virtues together, which they did in the simplest possible way, bringing Fortitude down one position and Temperance up one position—resulting in the order we see on the Rosenwald sheet.

Re: Bolognese or Florentine trump order, which is earlier?

#3
Nathaniel wrote,
The only major difficulty with your argument that Temperance-Justice-Fortitude was the primary Type A order is the Sicilian deck, which has Temperance-Fortitude-Justice, like Florence. The earliest Sicilian cards bear strong resemblance to the earliest Roman cards, so it is reasonable to assume that this was the order of the virtues in Rome too. That would suggest that the virtues must have been in that order at an early stage, when the Romans imported tarot from the north. That doesn't allow a lot of time for the deck to spread between Florence, Bologna, and Perugia before order of the virtues was changed. Nevertheless, it does seem possible that either the Florentines changed the order at a time when tarot was still in the process of establishing itself in Rome, or that the Roman game was simply influenced by the Florentine game for a while in the early years, and Rome consequently adopted the Florentine change. Or perhaps the Sicilians simply made the same change that the Florentines did, independently.
It seems to me that the tarot spread to Rome from Florence, whether as triumphs and or minchiate, and did not influence Bologna, or Perugia either, at least by the time of the Rosenwald (a little after 1500). The Sicilians adopted the game at a very late date, comparatively speaking: 1663-1664, according to the source that Dummett found reliable, introduced by a new governor (Game of Tarot, p. 376r-377r). That is much later than when the order of virtues would have changed in Florence (and Rome), because they were already Temperance, Fortitude, Justice in the Strambotto, c. 1500, and the numbers on the Charles VI of around the same time.

Nathaniel wrote,
Let's assume that you are right and the earliest Type A order for this section of the trumps, from lowest to highest, was Love, Temperance, Justice, Fortitude, Chariot. The earliest Type B order, the Steele Sermon, has Temperance, Love, Chariot, Fortitude and then Justice is far off near the top of the order. The earliest Type C orders are a little more confusing, because one of them (Alciato) is different from the other three (Susio, Piscina, and Viéville), but if we assume Alciato is a later modification, we have Love, Justice, Chariot, Fortitude and then Temperance is far off near the top of the order.

Based on those three early orders, I arrive at the following reconstruction for the earliest standard deck:

Temperance - Love - Justice - Chariot - Fortitude
Your derivation of the three orders of virtues out of your proposed ur-order is ingenious. Apart from its ability to generate the three orders in a straightforward manner, it has an inherent rationale: it pairs virtue and Petrarchan in a nice way, one after the other: Temperance is needed in Love; Justice for the Triumphator; and Fortitude for whatever comes next, Wheel or Old Age or Death. However the necessary Chariot card is conceptually more that of Florence or Bologna than of the Cary-Yale: it is a political triumphator, rather than a chaste one, who needs justice. But perhaps the CY's charioteer is political, too.

And what about Prudence? You don't think Milan had Prudence early on? Well, it is easy enough to include, and then drop. So the sequence continues: ...Fortitude, Wheel, Prudence, Time, ...

I will have to think about your proposal. It is certainly simple enough.

My own reconstruction is different, and more complicated, but also explains more. I have Prudence being in the deck at that point, and the five cards from Devil to Sun being absent. That doesn't make any difference to your proposal, but it is necessary for mine. A brief summary:

Prudence is present because (1) four virtues, with their objects, correspond to the four suits, with theirs; (2) the Cary-Yale would have had seven virtues; and (3) Imperiali, writing of the B order in c. 1550, in fact put Prudence as the "other dance" between Death and the Old Man, as though there were a tradition.

Devil to Sun are absent because (1) those five are invariably in the same order everywhere, so added at a time of standardization and cooperation; (2) the five are a bridge between Death and Eternity, filling the hole left by Petrarch's Fame and Time, which in the early tarot are before rather than after Death; (3) the CY's having the three theologicals but no celestials is too much of a coincidence, so the celestials probably replaced the theologicals, in the 21 triumph version of the game; and (4) the celestials in the game of triumphs go in precisely the same place as the theologicals in Minchiate, right after Lightning; (5) there are visual associations between the theologicals and corresponding celestials in Milan, conceptual ones elsewhere.

So for Florence: Love, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, Justice, Chariot, Wheel, Time, Death, World, Angel
For Ferrara: Temperance, Love, Chariot, Fortitude, Wheel, Time, Prudence, Death, Angel, Justice, World

The only difference is that Ferrara has separated the virtues by two other cards, probably to associate each virtue with a nearby Petrarchan, not necessarily before or after.

In Lombardy Justice and Temperance are switched, and the virtues are separated by one card, except for two between Fortitude and Prudence:
Lombardy: Love, Justice, Chariot, Fortitude, Wheel, Time, Prudence, Death, Temperance, World, Angel

I cannot see that the CY World card could possibly have been last, because it is a this-worldly theme of the Fame of a knight. Also, it seems to me likely that Piedmont got its order from next-door Lombardy.

The Wheel is not a Petrarchan, so an addition to the original conception of the deck, which is of 4 papi, 4 virtues, 6 Petrarchans. Adding the Wheel requires removing the Popess, who will be restored by Sforza. Visconti prefers the Wheel (seen in the Brera-Brambilla) to the Popess, and it is needed where it is in order to form a 4x3 matrix (plus 2 above the matrix) in which there is a virtue in every row of three, emulating Marziano.

Ferrara's schema is more symmetrical and elegant than Lombardy's (hence later). It, too, works with a matrix, either 4x3, with Angel above and Bagat below, omitting both Pope and Popess, or 4x4, all the cards in the matrix, including Pope and Popess. See my charts at https://marzianotoludus.blogspot.com/20 ... velop.html, where I also give the details in my reason (5) for thinking that the celestials replaced the theologicals.

Re: Bolognese or Florentine trump order, which is earlier?

#4
mikeh wrote:
03 Nov 2020, 12:51
It seems to me that the tarot spread to Rome from Florence, whether as triumphs and or minchiate, and did not influence Bologna, or Perugia either, at least by the time of the Rosenwald (a little after 1500). The Sicilians adopted the game at a very late date, comparatively speaking: 1663-1664, according to the source that Dummett found reliable, introduced by a new governor (Game of Tarot, p. 376r-377r). That is much later than when the order of virtues would have changed in Florence (and Rome), because they were already Temperance, Fortitude, Justice in the Strambotto, c. 1500, and the numbers on the Charles VI of around the same time.
Sicilian tarot certainly seems to have been directly influenced by Roman tarot, but Dummett's 18th century source, Villabianca, was a lot less reliable than Dummett wanted to believe—we've known that since Franco Pratesi's discovery in 2011 of evidence that tarot was well established in Sicily by 1630. This is not terribly surprising, given that we are talking about a late 18th century amateur historian who was simply reporting a widely held belief, rather than the result of any diligent historical research; what is more surprising is that Dummett was prepared to place such firm faith in the tale. Moreover, a comparison of the earliest Sicilian cards with the surviving 17th century Roman ones suggests that tarot probably reached Sicily even earlier, by the end of the 16th century at the latest.
But none of that is really relevant here. My point was that there is evidence of tarot having reached Rome by the 1450s, so either you have to believe that the Florentines had already made the change at that early stage, or you have to believe that the Roman game was influenced by the Florentine one later, which is conceivable, but not the easiest thing to believe. Or you hypothesize that the Sicilians made the change independently.

I'm glad you like my proposal for the earliest order of the virtues. But I would like to stress that it is purely speculative, and one could easily imagine alternative possibilities. For example, the first standard trump order might have had Love-Temperance-Justice-Fortitude-Chariot. This might have spread from Milan to Florence in the 1430s. Then, the Milanese decided to space the virtues out by moving Temperance down one place and Fortitude up one (perhaps to make it easier to remember which order the virtues came in), and the game then spread from Milan to Ferrara at that point. This is probably less likely than my previous suggestion, but we cannot be sure about any of this really.
And what about Prudence? You don't think Milan had Prudence early on?
I make no mention of Prudence because I am talking about the first standard deck, or (to be more exact) the first standard trump order, which must have been the common ancestor of all the trump orders known to us. Imperiali's verse is far from being an unambiguous reference to a "Prudence card" (indeed, I think that is one of the less likely interpretations of what he meant) so there is no evidence of any trump order containing a card called Prudence (UPDATE: except the order in the anonymous Discorso from ca. 1565, which contains other uniquely anomalous features as well and cannot be taken as any guide to the first standard trump order). So I think we have to assume there was no such card in the first standard order. I do believe there almost certainly was a Prudence card in Milan at an earlier stage (and it was almost certainly included in the CY deck) but that earlier stage is not what I'm talking about here.
I cannot see that the CY World card could possibly have been last, because it is a this-worldly theme of the Fame of a knight.
Our views of what the World card originally signified are of course different—I presented mine (briefly ) here.

Re: Bolognese or Florentine trump order, which is earlier?

#5
Thanks for bringing up Pratesi on Sicily. I can't believe I forgot about him.

Nathaniel wrote:
I make no mention of Prudence because I am talking about the first standard deck, or (to be more exact) the first standard trump order, which must have been the common ancestor of all the trump orders known to us.
I do not see why such a deck would not likely have included Prudence, for the reasons I have indicated in my previous post. My hypothesis is that the first standard trump order had 14 trumps, i.e. 4 dignitaries, 4 virtues, and 6 Petrarchans, perhaps in that order, or close to it, based on what we see in the earliest surviving deck, the Cary-Yale (which is not the earliest standard deck, of course) and Brera-Brambilla. The Hanged Man would not have been part of the first standard trump order.

By "standard" I assume you mean an order agreed upon by players in a particular place or region in a particular time-period, repeatedly used without needing to be agreed upon card by card each game. This does not exclude there being two standard trump orders at the same time in the same place, as we later see in Florence between Minchiate and Tarocchi, and perhaps between the strambotto order vs. that of the numbers on the Charles VI, and maybe even two at the same time in Pavia. Another example would be those of the Brera-Brambilla and Cary-Yale. But some order that catches on is earliest. So there would be a first standard trump order. If the amount of time needed to qualify as a "standard order" is flexible enough, there would also be a first standard trump order that is the ancestor of the rest. I say that because players might almost immediately decide on an order different from that proposed by the deck's designer or producer. So the agreement to use a particular order might not last long. But this is unlikely; players tend to be complacent, at least for a while, and just follow the proposal of the card producer or designer. But since numbers aren't on the cards, and children are among the earliest players, as we know, parents and educators get other ideas about what order is most educational. it is then not excluded that more than one order, descendants of the first, go on to influence the order in the next place the game is played. But probably not. I don't actually see that it matters, as long as we maintain some flexibility about where and when changes take place.

There is also the question of whether it matters to get to a "first standard trump order". I am happy just to get to one early enough to account for the various changes that have to happen to it, given the extant decks and lists. Or more than one, after which we can evaluate the probabilities, as much as possible, leaving it hazy otherwise.

But perhaps you have a different concept of "standard trump order".

Trump order in a 1602 Bolognese appropriati

#6
I have another thing to say about the position of the Chariot card in Bologna, supporting the hypothesis that the Chariot was at the time of the Beaux Arts/Rothschild sheets among the last 12 triumphs. There is a tarocchi appropriati by Giulio Cesare Croce, 1602, cited by Giordano Berti in his essay at http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=268&lng=ita. SteveM has summarized the whole at viewtopic.php?p=17062#p17062. The poem in its original edition is at http://badigit.comune.bologna.it/GCCroc ... 7/mode/2up. Below, I have reproduced the title page and the first page after a dedicatory page and a one page Proemio.
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CroceLotto.jpg
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Before the list of triumphs (the second list on the right hand page), the poet says "Then they pulled out all the Triumphs of the Deck, & placed them in order one after the other, as they go, that is..." There follows more explanation, in which the ladies' names are put in a jar and pulled out one by one by a child, along with the name of a gift in another jar. The first name is that of Isabella, to whom the stanza of the Angel is addressed, which appears on the next page, followed by 19 more stanzas, each titled as in the list and in the order given.

Berti discusses the lack of a Pope and Popess, saying that there were probably religious reasons for omitting them. I am not concerned with that issue. For whatever reason, there were surely two more triumphs with crowns of some sort.

There are two things about the list that interest me. Of most relevance for this thread is the position of the Chariot card. It is above the virtues, and among the last 12 cards, just as is suggested weakly by the Beaux Arts/Rothschild sheets. If indeed there were two papal cards, it would be number 10 in the order (excluding the Fool), making the order the same as that on the Rosenwald Sheet.

The other thing of interest is that unlike every other Bolognese tarocchi appropriati, all of which are at least 80 years later, the two imperial cards are treated individually: it is not "papi" or "papa" to cover all, but "imperatore" and "imperatrice". Moreover, one is clearly of the female gender, just as in the Rosenwald.

I would have not expected such things as late as 1602, but there you have it. I assume that the two missing subjects were in fact a Pope and a Popess. This is not to say that the "equal papi" rule was not in effect then. It is only to say that the situation is similar to that of Piedmont: all four, even of two genders, may well have been considered equal.

It is noteworthy, too, that the virtues are in the order Temperance, Justice, Fortitude. That is the order in all Bolognese lists, as well as that of the Rosenwald. It is the order of none of the Florentine lists. The only doubt about this list is that the spellings of the subjects are all in standard Italian, not the peculiar Bolognese versions. He was writing not just for Bologna but for Italy. Other places would have not known "papi" in the plural, and "papa" alone would be out for the same reason the Pope and Popess are not there. That might conceivably explain why he has the imperial subjects in both genders, but not the position of the Chariot. And even that excuse for two genders is questionable, because in every other respect--besides the spelling, the named imperials, and the position of the Chariot--the list is Bolognese.

Re: Bolognese or Florentine trump order, which is earlier?

#7
Thanks for bringing the Croce text to my attention! I had overlooked that one. And I think you're absolutely right about its significance. With this and your observation about the Beaux-Arts/Rothschild sheets, plus the fact that every other Type A order puts the Chariot immediately below the Wheel, I think it's clear that the Bolognese order in the 16th century must have had the card in that position too, above the virtues.

And that, in turn, has implications for the dating of the other early source from Bologna, the Pedini manuscript. Lorenzo Cuppi, in "Tarocchino Bolognese: Due Nuovi Manoscritti Scoperti e Alcune Osservazioni - Parte 1" (The Playing-Card 30, no. 2 (2001) pp. 79-88 and esp. pp. 82-3) wrote that this manuscript must date from the mid 17th century at the latest, the time when tarot seems to have enjoyed a significant rise in popularity among the literate classes of that city. But he went on to suggest it could be up to a century older, when games with "honors" and a 62-card deck are first known to have existed (I'm not sure what he based that latter observation on, but it was probably Girolamo Zorli's analysis of tarot in nearby Ferrara as described by Lollio and Imperiali). Dummett, McLeod, Zorli, and others have all favored the earlier end of Cuppi's proposed date range, i.e. the mid 16th century, but without any really solid basis for doing so. Such an early date now looks very unlikely. While it's true that the shift from the earlier ranking of the Chariot to the later ranking probably wasn't accepted by the entire city overnight, and there was probably an interim period in which some people used the new order while others clung to the older one, that interim period could not have lasted long. So the earliest plausible date for the Pedini manuscript is "circa 1600," and it is probably significantly later than that, most likely from the mid 17th century, for the reason Cuppi suggested. It is probably no earlier than the French rules from 1637 (the text by the Abbé de Marolles, the earliest known rules of tarot other than the Pedini rules) and could well be slightly later.

As for Croce's unusual use of the full, standard Italian names for the virtues and his failure to use the term "papi," I don't believe there's any real reason to think he was doing this for the benefit of readers outside Bologna. The book was printed in Bologna, the people involved in the event described in it were all locals, and Croce was very much Bolognese himself.

I think the main reason the text doesn't use the word papi is simply because the papal cards were not included in the deck that was used—and Berti was surely right about the reason for that, even if he was probably wrong to suggest that it was Bolognese cardmakers who removed those cards: It is more likely to have been only a minority of players who did so, by taking those cards out of the decks they purchased. All the other evidence we have of Bolognese tarot, both direct and indirect, indicates that there were four papi, so it seems unlikely that there would ever have been a deck in widespread and long-term use that was manufactured with only two. The removal of the cards was probably due to the sense of propriety of the circle of ladies and gentlemen who were involved in the event Croce describes, rather than any qualms on the part of Bolognese cardmakers.

I think that sense of propriety could also explain the use of the standard Italian names for the virtues instead of the abbreviated names typical of Bolognese tarot. Those abbreviated names were obviously not "proper" Italian—they were gameplayers' slang, tarot game jargon. It seems likely that the same kind of minds that were troubled by playing games with the pope may well have been troubled by the use of such slang in a literary work intended for polite society. The more "proper" terms may even have been an overcorrection on Croce's part, whose own social origins were very modest (his father was a blacksmith and he started out in that trade himself) and who may have been trying too hard to meet the expectations of his genteel patrons in this instance.

Re: Bolognese or Florentine trump order, which is earlier?

#8
Thanks for your comments of reassurance, Nathaniel. I had it in mind to go back to Cuppi, so I did. Re-reading him I see the following:
Il manoscritto segnala un abuso finora ignoto: alcuni giocatori giocavano Amore e Carro allo stesso modo dei Papi: se le due carte venivano giocatenello stesso giro, la seconda giocata prendeva la prima. Questo potrebbe essere un indizio di incertezza sull'ordine di questi due trionfi documentato anche da altre fonti particolarmente antiche.

(The manuscript reports a hitherto unknown abuse: some players played Love and Chariot in the same way as the Popes: if the two cards were played in the same round, the second played took the first. This could be an indication of uncertainty about the order of these two triumphs documented also by other particularly ancient sources.)
I am not sure what uncertainty Cuppi is talking about, the sources' or the players', but I think the players'. If so, then I cannot think of anything that would cause such uncertainty, about just those two cards, unless it would be a recent move in the position of one of them.

Apparently the 17th century was a time of change in other respects, following the reduction to 62 cards. in Quando a Bologna arrivarono le Mori,an exhibition catalog of the municipal library of Bologna (which has one of the most important collections of old works in the area, those of the Archiginnasio), 2018, Marcello Fini writes (online in Academia) :
A essere cambiati maggiormente, dal Quattrocento a oggi, anche se attraverso un lungo periodo di transizione e trasformazione, sono la dinamicadel gioco e il valore delle carte nel conteggio finale dei punti. Il gioco ancora oggi praticato a Bologna nasce e si regolarizza nel corso del Seicento soprattutto con l’introduzione del computo delle cricche e delle sequenze.

(The dynamics of the game and the value of the cards in the final point count have changed the most, from the fifteenth century to today, even if through a long period of transition and transformation. The game still played today in Bologna was born and regularized during the seventeenth century, especially with the introduction of the calculation of cricche and sequences.)
Unfortunately he does not give any argument for this assertion, in terms of sources.

Well, now I want to get more speculative, so as to address again the question I posed as the title for this thread.

It seems to me that if the Chariot was originally after the virtues in Bologna, that makes for an even stronger case for Bologna's order of virtues being earlier than Florence's.

With Chariot before the virtues, it might be argued (in reply to our our not being able to think of why Fortitude would be placed higher than Justice) that Temperance (Moderation) and Justice come first, in an educational context, because they are the virtues that should primarily rule the Triumphator in power, as opposed to Fortitude. Fortitude is needed to deal with the turns of the Wheel and the vicissitudes of Time, which immediately follow that virtue. So Temperance and Justice, virtues especially needed in matters of Love and Fame, come before Fortitude.

But with Chariot after the virtues, and Fortitude the one immediately before, the implication is that Fortitude is more important for a ruler, or at least Triumphator, than Justice. That goes against both Aquinas and Plato. It is like saying to a ruler, defeating the enemy or at least standing your ground is the all-important thing, more important than justice or moderation. So nobody would change the order from Justice high to Fortitude high, unless they were being cynical rather than educational. There is indeed some realpolitik in the deck, letting Emperors defeat Popes and Popes be defeated by Love, but making Fortitude higher than Justice goes a bit far. It is true that the French did just that in the 16th century, but in that case Justice was put immediately after the Chariot, so as to show what should rule it, and Fortitude after the Wheel and Old Man, to show what should rule them.

How could it have happened that Justice was put lower than Fortitude, with the latter followed immediately by the Chariot? It is possible that a cautionary allegory was meant about "the fall of princes", those who value fortitude more than justice. But in general the allegories are positive guides, when it comes to personal responses to the impersonal forces of instinctual love, time, death, temptation (from the Devil), and disaster (the Tower), rather than negative examples, excepting only the obvious example of the Traitor, with his money bags. Even the Wheel is an allegory about expecting turns of fortune: it is primarily fortune that is the cause, not the person on the wheel.

So it seems to me more likely just an oversight that put Fortitude above Justice. Perhaps someone looked in Wisdom of Solomon 8:7 and put what he saw, thinking yes, a Triumphator needs Fortitude (http://www.latinvulgate.com/lv/verse.aspx?t=0&b=25&c=8):
et si iustitiam quis diligit labores huius magnas habent virtutes sobrietatem enim et sapientiam docet et iustitiam et virtutem..

(And if a man love justice: her labours have great virtues: for she teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, ...)
Even without such a verse, it is obvious that without Fortitude the Triumphator won't triumph. It's the bravery of the military hero, who does the job required of him. But that doesn't make Fortitude higher than Justice. The order in Wisdom (and in Ambrose) is just a list. The hero risks death for the sake of justice, which even in this verse is what he loves.

Such an oversight is much easier to commit if you are the first to line the virtues up one after the other, as opposed to following Florence's philosophically more correct order. If so, it certainly took a long time to fix.

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