There are two lot book appearances of the motif "pope with donkey".
1. Fränkisches Losbuch (c. 1426-1450)
Material to Fränkisches Losbuchhttp://www.bildindex.de/dokumente/html/ ... 2941#|home
Note: Not all pictures belong to the lot book. The lot book starts in the 5th row with the right picture and contains totally 13 pictures (last picture is the pope, the first is the lion)
The text is fragmented and in rather bad shape. The lot book is collected inside a MS with other texts.
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Inventar-Nr. Ms. germ. fol. 642
2. Lot book version of c. 1520, in Landshut printed by Johann Weißenburger
Printed Text is given here:http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db ... 06&seite=1
I talked about this already at the Lorenzo Spirito thread ...viewtopic.php?f=11&t=442&start=40
... but after one-day work on this topic I see the higher relevance of this detection.
It deserves an own point. Somehow it is a sort of "oldest Tarot", though naturally with some doubts:
The owner of the very fragmented text of the Fränkische Losbuch seems to tell, that it belongs to the second quarter of 15th century, somewhere else I captured the existence of an opinion, which dates it to the 3rd quarter of 15th century. Both opinions I register with some personal doubts.
The same text (as far this was controllable to me in the short research) with similar pictures and the same order of the essential elements of the divination system (as far as this was controllable) was printed by Johann Weißenburger in c. 1520. My doubts about a correct dating are raised by the condition, that the text in the printed version of 1520 is possibly really taken, as it had been before, so somehow 1:1 with no changes (my research to this point was only small, so this statement might be an error, and naturally, the text is also observable in very fragmented form). As the German language in this time seems to rather floating, I'm surprised by this condition. But I'm really not an expert, so - for the moment - there's the opinion of the people, who surely have a better overview than me.
If the dating 1426-1450 is correct, than the object, displayed in two versions, reaches in the time, when the Trionfi cards were formed.
A lot of argumentation was done (by myself and Trionfi.com), that the original system of the Trionfi hadn't been based on the number 22, but on versions with 14 or 16 trumps. In this lot book versions, however, we without doubt meet a system based on the number 22.
I was aware (before yesterday) of a version with similar structure, found in the lot book collection of Conradus Bollstatter, made between 1450-1473. The related version (the first system described in this collection) is clearly related to the year 1450. It is similar in structure (based on 22) and also text (with slight contradictions), as far this can be seen by the descriptions of cgm 312 as given here ..http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/h ... 95_JPG.htmhttp://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/h ... 96_JPG.htm
.. by Karin Schneider and additionally by Sotzmann in the Serapeum in 1850 ...
... and search for Bollstatter
That's 3x the same or rather similar object.
A 4th text (located in Trier) I found yesterday with varied content and made at begin of 16th century, but also with Pope (Nr. 22) and Emperor (Nr. 21). http://books.google.com/books?id=-itYVP ... &q&f=falseHs. 1121/1325
In this the 22 animals are the same (not clear is the order)
The 22 prophets might be the same.
The kings are varied towards German nobility and cities or regions with a possible focus on Cologne/Trier/Mainz - likely Mainz as the 5th highest figure behind Pope (22) and Emperor (21) and Cardinal (20) and King (19), after Mainz follow the 6 other Kurfürsten in the row.
A figure "Wildaman" (= wild man) ...http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilder_Mannhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_man
... a well known and often used figure, which also appeared on playing cards, here by Meister E.S. ...
... takes the lowest position (Nr.1), followed by an edelman (2) and an [assumed] knight (3) with (near) localities or nobility with increasing rank, so a variation of the pattern to increase the importance of somebody - likely of the archbishop of Mainz, which in the critical time was possibly Albert (von Hohenzollern) von Mainz ...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_of_Mainz
... a man, who by his cooperation with the Ablass-collector Tetzel possibly caused the following reformation.
As long I did knew only of the version of Conradus Bollstatter, his report might have referred to a very small production, but with this 3 other surviving similar works this German 22-22-22-22 lot book system gets the suggestion, that it had been a broad tradition - this naturally changes the perspective and its relation to other well known productions like ..
a. the Karnöffel game, which also uses Emperor, Pope, Devil (wild man ? Trier version ?) and occasionally cardinal as Karnöffel (the Trier version knows the cardinal as 3rd figure ... in a card game this might be the Unter-position)
b. The German Quaternionenadler and this same context the 1st Murner deck of 1502 with some heraldic system
c . The chess iconography of Cessolis
d. the Tarot in its final form with also 22 elements as trumps.
e. The deck, which was recently discussed as a new finding, related to the Nurremberg chronicle of 1493, which by its use of dice results indicated the use of at least 21 symbols ...
Alright ... that's a sort of revolution
, a really new factor in the calculations.
Here are the basics of this "rather old Tarot", in its basic version: 22 elements, each with a number, each with a prophet, each with a king, each with an "animal" (which are occasionally zodiac signs) and each with a theme (which is given by the question). I give the original question, and I translate it, then I give the prophet, then the king and then the animal:
1. Ob ains an Wirdigkeit mag komen (question)
If one gets honors (translation of question)
Prophet David (Prophet)
King Franckreich (France) (King)
Animal: Wag - Zodiac: Libra (Animal ... in this case a zodiac sign)
2. Ob ains gedancken vollend mugen werden
If one's ideas reach their goal
King Engelland (England)
Animal: Wider - Zodiac: Aries
3. Ob es gut sey wider feynd kriegen
If it is good to fight against an enemy
King Schottenland (Scotland)
Animal: Ochs - Zodiac: Taurus
4. Von frawen haymlichkeit
About "Hamlichkeit" of the woman
King Ungern (Hungary)
Animal: Krebs - Zodiac: Cancer
5. Von gottes huld und gnaden
About god's grace
King Marroch (Marocco)
Animal: Leb - Zodiac: Leo
6. Von manne haymlickeit
About "Haymlichkeit" of the man
King Cecilien (Sicilia ?)
Animal: Rab - Crow
7. Von gtrewn Lewten
About loyal persons
King Römischer König (Rome)
Animal Jungfraw - Zodiac: Virgo
8. Von vil frawen
About many women
King Morenland (land of the Moors)
Animal Fisch - Zodiac: Pisces
9. Von reichtum
King Armenien (Armenia)
Animal Wassertrager - Zodiac: Aquarius
10. Von langem leben
About long life
King Schweden (Sweden)
Animal Zwyling - Zodiac: Gemini
11. Von deinem frewnde
About a male friend
King Turcken (Turkey)
Animal Schutz - Zodiac: Sagitarius
12. Von deiner Frewndin
About a female friend
King Spangen (Spain)
Animal: Scorpion Zodiac: Scorpio
13. Ob es gut sej wallen
If it good to "wallen" (? to wander or to make a pilgrim's journey ?)
King Indian (India)
Animal Einhorn - Zodiac: unicorn/capricorn
14. Ob es gut sey zu Ee greffen
If it good to marry
King Capodocia (central Turkey, Anatolia)
Animal: Kranch (crane)
15. Ob eins sein schuld vergelten mag
If something is paid back
King Tartern (land of the Tartars ? Mongolia ?)
Animal: Arr (eagle)
16. Von weisheit und thorheit
About wisdom and stupidity
King Lilio (?)
Animal: Nachtigall (nightingale)
17. Von herren lone
About salary of a master
King Nobie (Nubia)
Animal: Kamelthyer (camel)
18. Von sorgen
King Cypern (Cyprus)
Animal Syttich (parrot)
19. Ob eins verloren ding wider finde
If a lost object is found again
King Arragon (Aragon)
Animal: Hyrs (stag)
20. Von hoffnung
King Babylonien (Babylon)
Animal: Hundt (dog)
21. Ob ein gefangener erlöst mug werden
If a prisoner will be released
King - Emperor
Animal: Has (Hare)
22. Von der libe
King - Pope
Animal: Esel (donkey)
Well it's a little bit crazy, but not totally obscure.
There's a "somehow disturbed" system of the zodiac-signs, which starts with Libra (1), then seems to follow for some time the usual row (Aries (2), Taurus (3), ... then a small jump to Cancer (4) and to Leo (5), then a break with the crow (6) and a back to order with Virgo (7), then a big jump (180°) to Pisces (8), running back to Aquarius (9), collecting the forgotten Gemini (10) with a following another (180°) big jump to Sagitarius (11) with a step back to Scorpio and going back and finishing in the unusual unicorn-capricorn. Isn't this a little bit crazy?
Then we have a change in the 22 questions, just with the starting word "'Ob" or "Von" ("if" or "about) ... this seems somehow sorted:1-3 ob
4-12 von13-15 ob
16-18 von19 ob
In contrast to the zodiac row this looks sorted. It is somehow the system, as we meet it in the Hebrew alphabet in the Sepher Yetzirah
1. 12 simple letters (in the Sepher Yetzirah - as "nearly" here - ALSO given to the zodiac)
2. 6(7) double letters, but one is special
3. 3(4) mothers
Each of the single groups parted in "ob" and "von" elements
I get from this "second order" the inspiration to attempt to understand the zodiac confusion, by getting it in groups of 3:
1st group: Libra - Aries - Taurus ... a somehow "logical triad"
Why? It starts with Aries (the "me" and Mars in astrology) between two women ...
(Libra=Venus - Aries=Mars - Taurus=Venus)
... as this is a divination book and divination books had as major topic occurrences in love life, one shouldn't overlook this dimension The "me-Aries" in encircled by the "you-libra" (180° opposition) and the natural follower in the zodiacal row "Taurus=possession".
Alright, this looks sorted.
2nd group: Cancer-Leo-(crow interference)-Virgo
Well, this is also a group: this are just the months of summer - though with a "crow-interference" somehow at the right place. Cancer is reigned by the moon and Leo is reigned by the sun, and so they are in the astrological system a logical pair. So ... which 3rd sign should be taken? As the first triade focused the male principle - the MAN between two attractive women, now here a female should be focussed, and for matters of love and cause this is a divination book for love affair, that the virgin Virgo ... perhaps intended to signify the daughter of Sun (father-in-law from the perspective of the male principle) and the daughter of Moon (mother-in-law from the male perspective)
I jump to the 4th group (for easier understanding):
4th group: Sagitarius encircled by Scorpio and unicorn-Capricorn ... well, this 3 are the 3 dark months, and it is arranged in the manner, that it finishes with unicorn-Capricorn, which - thanks to the interference of the crow - now is outside of the first 12 signs. Capricorn stands for "motherhood", and, well, that's the aim of the operation "man meets virgin". With the birth a new systems opens, and so unicorn/Capricorn stands outside of the 12 - thanks to the crow.
Back to the 3rd group: Pisces-Aquarius are naturally both connected to water and associative they are a pair and whatever in this water period happens to the two lovers (man in 1-3 and virgin in 4-7) , we finally find them as Adam and Eve in Gemini:
... so have at the peak of the 3rd group the fall into sexual activities with following 3 "dark monthes" (pregnancy) in the 4th group with the final birth, when the Unicorn comes ...
... well, this is from the Lorenzo Spirito text, who also had its very big special observations about the unicorn.
We're in the dimension of the Hymeneus activities with lot books.
Well, this is from the marriage Costanzo Sforza and Camilla Aragon 1475, and this is just that, what has to found out, that noble playing cards aka Trionfi cards aka Tarot cards in their origin as luxury objects were made for the high moments in life, when two people married.
Well, there a new theme ... possibly it starts best with the "pope and the donkey", which has to be explored. What does this mean? ....