Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

#1
This thread is a continuation of the thread "Dummett and Methodology", viewtopic.php?f=11&t=975. But that thread is rather stale, and I want to take it in another direction that doesn't depend on reading everything in that one, focusing on Dummett's 1993 book Il Mondo e l'Angelo

NOTE ADDED JULY 3: I CHANGED THE TITLE OF THE THREAD BY ADDING "& MORE". THAT IS BECAUSE I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT POSTS HERE DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE TO COMMENT ON DUMMETT'S BOOK. THEY CAN COMMENT ON THINGS IN OTHER PEOPLE'S COMMENTS, NOT DIRECTLY RELATED. THEN IF THE DISCUSSION KEEPS GOING, ANOTHER THREAD MIGHT BE APPROPRIATE. THIS HAS HAPPENED STARTING AT THE TOP OF P. 6 OF THIS THREAD, CONTINUING ON P. 7; IT IS A GOOD DISCUSSION OF MARCELLO'S LETTER OF 1449 WITH NEW INFORMATION BUT NOT RELATING TO DUMMETT DIRECTLY. THEN A NEW THREAD WAS CREATED, TO WHICH I HAVE ADDED A LINK AT THE RELEVANT POINT. SINCE DUMMETT'S BOOK INCLUDES MUCH OF WHAT WE TALK ABOUT AS TAROT HISTORY--MORE SO THAN HIS OTHER BOOKS, I THINK--IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE TO RAISE ISSUES HERE RELATED TO OTHER POSTS BUT ONLY VAGUELY RELATED TO THE BOOK.

So I have been reading Dummett's Il Mondo e l'Angelo, translating as I go. My aim is to see what is in this later work (1993) that wasn't in Game of Tarot (GOT) (1980) and to get myself "up to speed", so to speak, with the literature. Since the 1993 work is not available in translation, and hard to get even in Italian, people on this Forum might be interested what is new in that book, not stated earlier. I will go chapter by chapter, and try to fill in as needed the background from 1980. I am mostly trying to "expose" him in the sense of making his later thoughts known. But where I have important disagreements, I will say so. Since I am not an expert translator (I have never studied Italian, just French and Spanish), I include Dummett's relatively easy Italian for reference.

Chapter One is about suits, normal (i.e. without the triumphs) vs. tarot. It recaps the first three chapters of GOT, but omitting all inessentials, including playing cards before they reached the Malmuks and other Mediterranean area Muslims, from whom they entered Europe. I see three additions:

(1) In previous writings, he had made the presence of a Queen in an incomplete surviving deck a strong indicator that the deck is a tarot, because normal Italian decks didn't usually have Queens. His reasoning was that all the normal decks that have survived lack Queens; but since other countries did have such decks--German decks, before 1500, and French suits, from whenever French suits were invented--probably a few in Italy did as well, until after 1500. On this point he now cites two early documents that "suggest" [suggerita] by "hints" [accenni] Queens in normal decks (p. 21).
È tuttavia possibile che fossero occasionalmente usati nell’Italia del XV secolo mazzi normali contenenti le stesse quattro figure del mazzo dei tarocchi; anche
se nessuna carta ci è pervenuta a sostegno di questa ipotesi, essa è suggerita da due accenni in documenti (5).

(However it is possible that there occasionally were used in Italy of the XV century normal decks containing the same four figures as tarocchi deck; even if no card has come down to us to sustain this hypothesis, it is suggested by two hints in documents (5)
Here is footnote 5:
5. Marzio Galeotti di Nami (morto nei 1478) usa l’espressione l’espressione «regum reginarum equitum peditumque potentiam», senza far cenno ai triumphi, in un passo relativo alle carte da gioco (De doctrine, promiscua, Firenze, 1548, cap. 36 in fondo). Analogamente, San Bernardino da Siena, nel suo sermone contro il gioco d’azzardo («contra alearum ludos») predicato nel 1423, nomina, a proposito delle carte da gioco, per primi «reges atque reginae» e poi « milites superiores et inferiores», ancora una volta senza alcun accenno a triumphi si veda S. Bernardini Senensis O.F.M. Opera Omnia, a cura dei PP. Collegii S. Bonaventurae, Vol. II, Firenze, 1950, Sermo 42, p. 23. È ovviamente possibile che l’uno o l’altro dei due autori avesse in mente le carte da tarocchi, ma non vedesse ragione di nominare i trionfi; questa è, tuttavia, un’ipotesi poco probabile.

(5. Marzio Galeotti di Narni (died in 1478) uses the expression "regum reginarum equitum peditumque potentiam," without mentioning the triumphi, in a passage relating to playing cards (De doctrina promiscuo, Florence, 1548, ch. 36 at the bottom). Similarly, San Bernardino of Siena, in his sermon against gambling (‘contra alearum Ludos’) preached in 1423, names in passing some playing cards, first "reges atque reginae" and then "milites superiores et inferiores', again with no mention of triumphi. See S. Bernardini Senensis, Opera Omnia, edited by PP. Collegii S. Bonaventurae, Vol II, Florence, 1950, Sermo 42, p. 23. It is of course possible that one or other of the two authors had in mind tarot cards, but did not see any reason to name the triumphs; this is, however, an unlikely hypothesis.)
In these quotes, I think he means, "regum" means "king" and "regina" means "queen". These hints do not, however, prevent him later on from using Queens as a likely indicator that a deck is a tarot. I will get back to this point later in this post.

(2) He revises his estimate of when French suits were invented, from about 1480 in GOT to "probably not earlier than 1465" [probabilemente non è anteriore al 1465"] in 1993 (pp. 34f). In his footnote to that remark, he gives his reasoning:
20. Un mazzo dipinto a mano del XV secolo, venduto all’asta da Sotheby nel 1984, è probabilmente il più antico mazzo finora pervenutoci di carte da gioco prodotte in o per la Francia. Una descrizione dettagliata del mazzo è nell’articolo di Tom Varekamp, ‘A XV-Century French Pack of Painted Playing Cards with a Hunting Theme’, The Playing Card, Vol. XIV, 1985-6, pp. 36-45 e 68-79. Si tratta di un mazzo completo di cinquantadue carte con segni di seme non standard, tutti collegati alla caccia (comi da caccia, collari di cane, cappi doppi e rotoli di corda). Minuziose ricerche da parte di Varekamp e di altri hanno fissato, per questo mazzo, la data del 1470, con un margine d’errore molto ridotto. La sua importanza per noi è dovuta al fatto che la sua composizione è esattamente quella di un mazzo di semi francesi: ciascun seme ha dieci carte numerali e, come figure. Re, Regina e Fante. Ciò rende probabile, sebbene naturalmente non certo, che il mazzo di semi francesi esistesse già all’epoca in cui questo venne prodotto, perché non si ha notizia di un tale gruppo di figure in alcuna altra forma standard di mazzo normale.

(20. A hand painted pack of the fifteenth century, sold at Sotheby's auction in 1984, is probably the oldest pack of playing cards that has come down produced in or for France thus far. A detailed description of the pack is in the article by Tom Varekamp, 'A fifteenth-Century French Painted Pack of Playing Cards with a Hunting Theme', The Playing Card, Vol XIV, 1985-6, pp. 36-45 and 68-79. It is a full fifty-two card pack with non-standard suit signs, all linked to hunting (hunting horns, dog collars, double knots and coils of rope). Painstaking research by Varekamp and others have set a date of 1470 for this pack, with a very small margin of error. Its importance for us is the fact that its composition is exactly that of a pack of French suits: each suit has ten pip cards and the figures King, Queen and Jack, making it likely, though of course not certain, that the French-suited pack already existed at the time when this was produced, because there is no notice of such a group of figures in any other standard form of normal pack.)
So he is saying that French suits not only probably didn't exist before 1465, but probably did exist by 1470. On p. 47 he is even more precise: the French system "appeared around 1465". His idea is that the French system got the Queen from the German system--as well as adapting the German suit-signs to the greater simplicity of the French. That system didn't become fully developed until "around 1460", he says. The relevance of this point to the tarot will be seen in my point 3 below.

(3) The tarot would not have been commonly known in France until "after the Latin suit system was forgotten over time". First, as in GOT, he says it is a "reasonable assumption" that the Latin suit system was used all over Europe until replaced by other systems in Germany and France. In particular, the French system would have taken over in France very quickly after its invention (p. 38f): it could be produced much more cheaply, needing only stencils for the numeral cards, as opposed to woodblocks. Then he says, (I highlight the most important new inference) (p. 39):
Se il mazzo dei tarocchi fosse stato noto in Francia, Svizzera o Germania al tempo in cui il sistema di semi italiano, o una sua leggera variante, era d’uso comune in quei paesi, i segni di seme usati per i tarocchi avrebbero dovuto seguire la stessa evoluzione di quelli dei mazzi normali: avrebbero dovuto esserci mazzi di tarocchi con semi tedeschi e svizzeri e, già nel Cinquecento, mazzi con semi francesi. Solo se i mazzi dei tarocchi si diffusero in quei paesi quando ormai i segni di seme latini erano stati dimenticati da tempo è possibile spiegare la sopravvivenza di quei segni di seme per le carte da tarocchi in tutta Europa fino alla metà del Settecento.

(If the tarot pack had been known in France, Switzerland, or Germany at the time when the Italian suit-system, or a slight variation, was customary in those countries, the suit signs used by the tarot would have had to follow the same evolution as those of normal packs. There would have been tarot packs in Germany and Switzerland with German and Swiss suit signs, and then, as early as the sixteenth century, with French-suited signs. Only if the tarot packs spread to those countries when the Latin suit signs had already been forgotten over time [erano stati dimenticati da tempo], can the survival of Tarot cards with those suit signs throughout Europe until the mid-eighteenth century be explained.)
This of course gives him a lead-in for his next chapter, which discusses the earliest extant tarot decks, from Milan. It is also possible that he is providing ammunition for his later contention that the French learned about the tarot from the Italians at the time of their military forays into the Italian peninsula, and not before, i.e. not earlier than 1495.

In any case, Dummett's point seems to me rather speculative. He gives examples of particular decks surviving because they are attached to a particular game (Aluette is his main example, a "Spanish" deck that survived the commercial onslaught). The tarot deck, with its typically14 cards per suit, quaint designs, and aristocratic pedigree, is for tarot. The French deck of simple suit cards of 13 cards each is for other, more commonplace games.

Another question, for me, is why the tarot, originating in a country where the normal deck usually didn't have Queens, managed so firmly and uniformly to have suits with Queens. I suspect influence from Germany, just as in France. But if so, why not normal decks as well? Here what Dummett says about the putatively 1377 Basel text Tractatus de moribus is relevant, with its discussion of female courts. I highlight the relevant parts in the quote below (although the whole passage is relevant to the issue of Queens) (p. 24f):
Il Tractatus de moribus ci è pervenuto solo in un manoscritto del 1429 e in altri tre, tutti del 1472 8. Ci sono pochissime varianti fra questi quattro testi, ma, se l’originale è veramente del 1377, essi devono contenere interpolazioni, forse del copista del 1429. Da questi testi e da un certo numero di antichi mazzi tedeschi pervenutici, veniamo a conoscenza di un alto grado di sperimentazione nella composizione del mazzo normale nella Germania del Quattrocento, e fu in seguito a questi esperimenti che la Regina fece il suo primo ingresso nel mazzo di carte. Ai sostentori della liberazione della donna farà piacere sapere che essa fu originariamente introdotta non come inferiore al Re ma come di pari grado. [/i]Il Tractatus de moribus[/i] descrive mazzi in cui nei quattro semi, o in due su quattro, tutte le figure erano femminili. Un famoso mazzo quattrocentesco dipinto a mano, prodotto fra il 1427 e il 1431, è uno degli esempi a noi pervenuti di questo secondo tipo. In altri mazzi ancora troviamo Unter femminili. Attraverso quella che fu probabilmente una fase di sviluppo successiva, si giunse a mazzi in cui tutti e quattro i semi hanno Re, Regina, Ober e Unter. Esempio di questo è un mazzo dipinto a mano, datato 1440-5, noto come mazzo di caccia Ambraser 9; e ci sono molti altri mazzi tedeschi quattrocenteschi con quattro figure per seme. Il Tractatus non ne fa cenno; esso fa riferimento, tuttavia, con grande entusiasmo, a un tipo che non ci è pervenuto, con quindici carte in ciascuno dei quattro semi, compresi Re, Regina, i due Marescialli e una Servetta (ancilla) come carta più bassa fra le cinque figure. Quando, nel 1470 circa, i fabbricanti di carte francesi introdussero la loro grande innovazione, il sistema di semi francese, essi presero a prestito la Regina dai mazzi tedeschi con quattro figure, in sostituzione del Cavaliere del mazzo con semi latini; fu questa la sua comparsa insieme col Re in un mazzo con solo tre figure per seme.

(The Tractatus de moribus has survived in only one 1429 manuscript and three others all of 1472 (8). There are very few variations among these four texts, but if the original is really in 1377, they must contain interpolations, perhaps by the 1429 copyist. From these texts and a number of old extant German packs, we learn of a high degree of experimentation in the composition of the normal pack in Germany in the fifteenth century, and it was following these experiments that the Queen made her first entry into the card pack. Supporters of women's liberation will be pleased to know that she was not originally introduced as inferior to the King but as of equal rank. The Tractatus de moribus describes packs in whose four suits, or two out of four, all the figures were female. A famous hand-painted fifteenth-century pack, produced between 1427 and 1431, is one example presented to us of this second type. In which feminine Unters are found. Through what was probably a later stage of development, she entered packs in which all four suits have King, Queen, Ober and Unter. An example of this is a hand-painted pack dated 1440-5, known as the Ambraser hunting pack (9); and there are many other fifteenth century German packs with four figures per suit of which the Tractatus makes no mention; it refers, however, with much enthusiasm, to a type that has not survived, with fifteen cards in each of the four suits, including King, Queen, the two marshals and a Servetta (ancilla) as the lowest card among the five figures. When, in 1470, manufacturers of French cards introduced their great innovation, the French suit-system, they borrowed the Queen from German packs with four figures, in place of the Knight in the pack with Latin suits; this was an appearance together with the king in a pack with only three figures per suit.
However Dummett thinks that a corresponding change did not usually happen to normal decks in Italy, despite his quotes to the contrary from St. Bernardino and Marzio Galeotti di Narni--except in the case of tarot decks, and then always. Dummett's basis is the lack of surviving normal decks with Queens. There are, to be sure, surviving Italian decks that have Queens and no triumphs, but they are "probably" tarots. But there are many more that don't. To evaluate Dummett's claim, I would have to know how many other surviving normal decks contemporary with the tarot decks there are, how many cards are extant in each deck, among other things. He says that surviving hand-painted tarot decks outnumber handpainted normal decks 2 to 1. So there are around 9 without Queens, vs. 2 with and 2 documents. Even if I knew how many cards in each of the nine, and where and when they were from, I have no idea how to compute the odds that the ones without Queens are by chance. I assume he is right. But how did tarots get Queens not normal decks?

In the passage I quoted, the parts I highlighted might have a bearing on what city the tarot originated in, or at least acquired Queens in. We know, if nothing else, that tarot decks had Queens. Some had other female courts as well. There was a whole subtype of normal decks, called "Portuguese" that had female pages in two suits. He doesn't say where it originated, except not in Portugal. In the tarot, we find that feature in the Minchiate and in the Budapest/Met woodblock sheets, so probably not before the second half of the 15th century, perhaps via Aragonese influence (from normal suits in Aragon, where the "Portuguese" type is documented). Or vice versa. And where the Aroonese would have gotten it is another story.

Of course the Cary-Yale had a full complement of female courts in all four suits; this is almost as many as Frater Johannes has in the deck of 1377. Here I ask, which cities in Italy had the closest connection with Germany in the first half of the 15th century? Milan, Mantua, and Modena (and hence Ferrara) had court connections. Many cities, including Florence, in the first half of the century, made a point of distancing themselves from Germany, due to the old Guelph fear of the Emperors. There were, to be sure, connections via the printing of cards, both in Germany and by Germans moved south. But they normally printed whatever the local market wanted.

For this new experiment, whether in Milan or elsewhere, of adding a fifth suit, it seems reasinable, they also experimented with the German innovation of female courts, not only the Queen, but, in Milan at least, other courts. Such experimentation, however, requires an openness to German practices.

Along these same lines, there is a fact Dummett misses (he doesn't miss much!). This is that some French suits seem to have had female Knights as well as Queens (and hence perhaps also Pages). These are shown in vol. 1 of Arthur Hind's Introduction to a History of the Woodcut, where the females' suit-signs are conspicuous by their absence (as Ross once pointed out). They would have been added by stencil, just like on the numeral cards:
Image

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#2
Dummett and Tom Varekamp talk of the Flemish hunting deck.

http://www.wopc.co.uk/france/flemish-hunting-deck.html

Image

http://trionfi.com/0/j/d/flemishhunting/

Dummett takes it as a hypothesis, that specific information in the John of Rheinfelden text might have been added later (after 1377), in the 1429 or 1472 editions (a version of 1377 doesn't exist).
The original text is clearly from 1377, at least this is so stated by Arne Jönssen, who attempted to translate the text (in the state of 2003; Jönssen had published a short report in 1998 in a Swiss card book, mainly written by Detlef Hoffmann - German language)). Jönssen had all four versions, which had contradictions to each others (as far I understood it).

It seems, that this project never was finished, which is a great pity. But Jönssen had the opinion, that the deciding information is from 1377 and not from 1429.

Dummett and his generation had done work to kill the "forgeries" of the "old age" of the cards. So the document of "Bern 1367" was interpreted in the manner, that it was from later, similar the Johannes of Rheinfelden text; this was contradicted by the German scholars, who had found and seen the document).
Later other new discoveries turned up from Spain (c. 1370), so before the date of 1377 (which was seen as the general "begin of the playing card invasion").
Kaplan has a longer report about this phase in his Encyclopedia.

I personally think, that the Hübsch report (from 1850; actually more a note) has to be taken serious. Hübsch wasn't a playing card researcher, but wrote about Bohemian trade in many details. According his note there were playing cards in Bohemia since 1340, and before it was played with them by Polish nobility. Hübsch didn't refer to his documents, so that's "not proven".

Generally we had a repeating plague between 1348-1377, which should have reduced trade and traffic. If there were islands of "humble playing cards use" at specific locations in Europe, there is no need, that everybody knew about them.

The distance from Prague (Bohemia) to Kiew (then under influence of the "Goldene Horde" - Mongols) was less than Prague's distance to Rome. Traffic Prague/Kiew was common. If the Mongols brought playing cards from China, it was easy, that some of them might have come to Poland and Bohemia.

The report of Johannes speaks of a very great start in one year in his city (1377, Freiburg im Breisgau) with many deck variations, only possible, if there was a longer production phase before "elsewhere".

The date of Johannes (1377) has to be seen likely in context with two big emperor journeys of Charles IV to Aachen and Paris (1376, 1377). At this occasion a lot of persons from Bohemia accompanied the emperor and his son Wenzel. This looks like the correct background for the many decks, observed by Johannes, from which he doesn't know, where they came from.

It's likely true, that the big revolutionary increase of playing card use in Europe happened 1377, but some smaller use should be assumed for the time before, no everywhere, but at some locations. Bohemia with the Emperor court, and Spain looks like such locations. And both might have existed independent from each other. Spain might have used the Latin suits, and the Bohemian might have followed their own ideas.

************

There are many Queens in playing card decks in Germany during 15th century, and Johannes knows them already for 1377. Although between 1500 and 1700 the German standard decks had the male triad King, Ober and Unter, there still were enough Queens.

Dummett's statements of the 1990's naturally had the condition, that he didn't know all the things, which came to the surface in the 2000s and 2010s. And this were a lot.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#3
For the Queen question there is the interesting detail, that Anton Woensam (engraver artist from Cologne at first half of 16th century) produced c. 1535 Aces and Queens for a deck, which was made by Schäufelein (artist from Nuremberg at the same period) ...

Image

http://www.zeno.org/Kunstwerke/B/Woensa ... +und+Damen

... which possibly means, that somebody in Cologne or the general market played with Aces and Queens (56 cards), but the Nuremberg (or East-Southern Germany) market preferred perhaps the 4x12 deck (48 cards). Master PW (also in Cologne) made a 5x14 cards deck (c. 1500) with Queens. A later cardmaker with suit signs similar to those of Master PW, made a 4x13 deck with Queens, but with Aces.

http://koeln-tarot.trionfi.com/03/
http://koeln-tarot.trionfi.com/05/

There are no other cards from Cologne of this period, which I know of. There are much more remaining cards from Southern-East Germany, and these findings are so, that some assume, that the German standard deck had 4x12 cards and no Aces and no Queens.
From it's geographical position Cologne had a natural relation to Burgundy and France, so possibly Cologne had a French influence. But possibly France adapted a style "with Queens", which was common along the Rhine valley, cause the 4x13-deck from 1496 (with 4x13 cards, made for the marriage of the Habsburg children with the Spanish prince and princess) is given to the upper Rhine valley.

Freiburg im Breisgau (the place of Johannes), more or less, also belongs to the Rhine valley.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#4
Yes, thanks for the details on the Bohemian cards, Huck. Dummett seem to assume that t trade would have only gone to Bohemia and Poland via the Mediterranean countries, and that therefore originally the suit signs were Latin all over Europe. Specifically, he says (p. 31):
Unfortunately, Brother John, in his Tractatus de moribus, failed to indicate what the suits signs were; but as far as we know today, it is logical to assume that the 'Latin' signs were used throughout Europe in the first decades of the spread of playing cards.

(Sfortunatamente Frate Giovanni, nel suo Tractatus de moribus, mancò di indicare quali fossero
i segni di seme; ma per quanto ne sappiamo oggi, è logico supporre che i segni ‘latini’ fossero usati in tutta Europa nei primi decenni di diffusione delle carte da gioco.)
And later, more fully (p. 36):
Quale che sia la verità sulle diverse versioni del sistema di semi latino, è ampiamente dimostrato che carte con semi latini, nelle varie forme, erano l’unico tipo conosciuto in Italia, Spagna e Francia fin verso il 1470. Se accettiamo l’ovvia ipotesi che, quando le carte da gioco fecero la loro prima comparsa in Europa, esse avevano dappertutto lo stesso sistema di semi, ne consegue che questo poteva essere soltanto il sistema latino: si
potrebbe giungere a questa conclusione anche senza saper nulla a proposito delle carte mamelucche.

Ci è pervenuta una notevole quantità di carte tedesche e svizzere del Quattrocento e primo Cinquecento, in maggioranza databili dopo il 1450. In entrambe le aree si producevano carte con semi latini e non solo per l’esportazione; erano tuttavia ben lungi dal predominare. In nessuna delle due aree, tuttavia, esiste un sistema alternativo che lasci in alcun modo supporre di essere stato il modello rispetto al quale gli altri siano deviazioni. Anzi, troviamo in Germania e, in misura minore, anche in Svizzera, tracce di frenetica sperimentazione con i segni di seme e altri tratti del mazzo di carte: innumerevoli oggetti diversi sono utilizzati come segni di seme nell’uno o nell’altro mazzo. Quello che doveva diventare il sistema di semi tedesco fu ideato intorno al 1460, e quello svizzero risale forse alla stessa epoca; ma fu solo verso la fine del secolo che il primo fu elevato a sistema standard — e quello svizzero qualche decennio più tardi. Niente di tutto ciò porta conferme definitive alla nostra ipotesi, ma tutto è coerente con essa. È probabile che le carte da gioco tedesche e svizzere del Trecento fossero a semi latini; nel Quattrocento iniziò una lunga ricerca di un sistema di semi più consono alle culture nazionali.

(Whatever the truth about the different versions of the Latin suit system, there is ample evidence that cards with Latin suits, in various forms, were the only type known in Italy, Spain and France after 1470. If we accept the obvious hypothesis that when playing cards made their first appearance in Europe, they were everywhere the same suit-system, it follows that this could only be the Latin system: one could come to this conclusion without knowing anything about Mamluk cards.

A significant quantity of German and Swiss cards of the fifteenth and early sixteenth century have come down to us, the majority dated after 1450. In both areas, cards with Latin suits, and not just for export, were produced; however, they were far from being predominate. In none of the two areas, however, is there an alternative system which lets us in any way suppose it to have been the model against which others are deviations. Indeed, we find in Germany and, to a lesser extent, also in Switzerland, traces of frantic experimentation with suit signs and other parts of the card packs: countless different objects are used as suit-signs in one or another pack. What was to become the German suit-system was invented around 1460, and the Swiss dates perhaps to the same time; but it was only towards the end of the century that it was elevated to a standard system – and that of the Swiss some decades later. None of this leads final confirmation to our hypothesis, but everything is consistent with it. It is likely that German and Swiss playing cards of the fourteenth century were Latin-suited; in the fifteenth Century there began a long search for a suit-system best suited to the national cultures.)
So the argument seems to be lack of evidence to the contrary, including places (extant cards) where evidence of independent, non-Latin derivation would be expected to be found. If he is right, any spread of cards from a non-European source was so minimal as to be undetectable. However he seems not to have known about Hübsch. It seems to me that when we discussed this before, there was something more tangible. I will try to check. (At the moment I can't find that discussion.)

Before my original post, I had looked on the Internet at books about medieval trade and there was some trade overland to Poland in the Middle Ages, which could have gone down to Bohemia. I didn't see mention of Kiev-Prague. But with the rise of the plague, that might have been used more.

There were two means of transmitting plague; one was by being bitten by an infected flea or rat; the other, for a different strain of plague that infected the lungs, by means of droplets in the air.

It seems to me that overland trade would have been less likely than river transport to carry either form of plague, because rats would jump off goods loaded on mules right away, and infected caravan drivers would have died by the time they got to their destination. Whether goods themselves would have retained the infection as left by the droplets I did not see discussed; I assume much less. So these overland routes might have been used more after the plague started--but if so, they would have had to take along their own security forces. Normally security was the responsibility of the area traveled through, but that wouldn't have been true of these areas.

River traffic would have spread the plague rapidly, via stowaway rats. Since the plague didn't get to North-Central Europe unti later than the Mediterranean (and in a weaker strain), these routes clearly weren't used much.

However the normally most used trade routes did go from the Mediterranean northward.

On John of Rheinfelden, Dummett accepts that the report about cards was originally 1377. Here is his first mention of Johannes, on p. 23 (I include the footnotes for completeness):
Le carte da gioco comparvero per la prima volta in Europa nel 1370 circa 6. Non ci è pervenuta alcuna carta del XIV secolo (con al massimo un’eccezione 7); dei molti riferimenti ad esse in documenti dell’epoca, uno solo ci dà qualche informazione sul loro aspetto. Si tratta del celebre Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis, scritto a Basilea, probabilmente nel 1377, da un frate di nome Giovanni (di solito indicato come Giovanni da Rheinfelden).
_________________________
6. Il primo documento contenente la parola «naips», che significa ‘carte da gioco’, è il Diccionari de rims (Vocabolario di rime) del 1371 del poeta catalano Jaume March (pubblicato a cura di Antoni Griera, Barcellona, 1921; si veda p. 63). Cfr. Jean-Pierre Étienvre, Figures du jeu: études lexico-sémantiques sur le jeu de cartes en Espagne (XVIe-XVIIie siècle), Madrid, 1987, pp. 19, 68. Étienvre cita un altro riferimento alle carte da gioco nel Llibre de les dones di Francesc Eiximenis, «probabilmente dello stesso anno».
7. Si tratta di due fogli antichissimi stampati da matrici di legno e non tagliati nell’Instituto Municipal de Historia a Barcellona: si veda Simon Wintle, ‘A «Moorish» Sheet of Playing Cards’, The Playing Card, Vol. XV, 1987,
pp. 112-22. È probabile che questi fogli risalgano al primo decennio dei XV secolo.

(Playing cards appeared for the first time in Europe in about 1370 (6). No card of the fourteenth century still exists (with a maximum of execution (7)); of the many references to them in documents of the time, only one gives us some information on their appearance. This is the famous Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis, written in Basel, probably in 1377, by a monk named Johannes (usually indicated as John of Rheinfelden).
__________________________
6. The first document containing the word ‘naips', which means 'playing card', is the Diccionari de rims (Dictionary of rhymes) by the 1371 Catalan poet Jaume March (published under the editorship of Antoni Griera, Barcelona, 1921; see p. 63). Cf. Jean-Pierre Étienvre, Figures du jeu: études lexico-sémantiques sur le jeu de cartes en Espagne (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), Madrid, 1987, pp. 19, 68. Étienvre cites another reference to playing cards in Llibre Francesc de les dones by Francesc Eiximenis, “probably of the same year”.
7. There are two sheets printed from ancient wood matrices, uncut, in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona: see Simon Wintle, 'A Moorish Sheet of Playing Cards', The Playing Card, Vol XV, 1987, pp. 112-22. It is likely that these sheets go back to the first decade of the fifteenth century.)
Also, I left out a footnote to the passage I did quote on p. 24 that I should probably have included, as it reinforces his defense of the correctness of 1377. Here is the beginning of the paragraph I quoted, to the end of the page, followed by the footnote:
Il Tractatus de moribus ci è pervenuto solo in un manoscritto del 1429 e in altri tre, tutti del 14728. Ci sono pochissime varianti fra questi quattro testi, ma, se l’originale è veramente del 1377, essi devono contenere interpolazioni, forse del copista del 1429. Da questi testi e da un certo numero di antichi mazzi tedeschi pervenutici, veniamo a conoscenza di un alto grado di sperimentazione nella composizione del mazzo
____________________________
8. Cfr. Sir Edward Augustus Bond, ‘The history of playing-cards’. Athenaeum, n. 2621, 19 gennaio 1878, da p. 87, col. 3, a p. 88, col. 2; Peter Kopp, ‘Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz’, Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, Voi. 30, 1973, pp. 130-46; e Hellmut Rosenfeld, ‘Zu den frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz: eine Entgegnung’, ibid.. Voi. 32, 1975, pp. 179-80. Più recentemente, Ronald Decker in ‘Brother Johannes and the Year 1377, The Playing Card, Vol. XVIII, 1989, pp. 46-7, ha proposto un’emendazione del testo, secondo la quale la data 1377 sarebbe quella in cui le carte da gioco arrivarono per la prima volta nella sua regione; il trattato quindi potrebbe essere stato composto un po’ dopo, forse intorno al 1400, oppure nell’anno 1429 della prima copia. Comunque, come rilevato da David Parlett nella sua lettera alla Playing Card, Voi. XVHI, 1990, p, 73, altri brani del trattato convalidano l’anno 1377 come data della sua composizione; si veda anche la risposta di R. Decker, The Playing Card, Voi. XIX, 1990, pp. 20-1.

(The Tractatus de moribus has survived in only one 1429 manuscript and three others all of 1472 (8). There are very few variations among these four texts, but if the original is really in 1377, they must contain interpolations, perhaps by the 1429 copyist. From these texts and a number of old extant German packs, we learn of a high degree of experimentation in the composition of the normal
___________________________
8. Cf. Sir Edward Augustus Bond, ‘The history of playing-cards’, Athenaeum, no. 2621, 19 January 1878, from p. 87, col. 3, to p. 88, col. 2; Peter Kopp,‘Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz’, Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, Vol. 30, 1973, pp. 130-46; and Hellmut Rosenfeld, ‘Zu den frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz: eine Entgegnung’, ibid.. Vol. 32,1975, pp. 179-80. More recently, Ronald Decker in 'Brother Johannes and the Year 1377’, The Playing Card, Vol XVIII, 1989, p. 46-7, proposed an emendation of the text, according to which the date 1377 would be the one in which playing cards arrived for the first time in his region; so the treatise may have been composed a little later, perhaps around 1400, or in 1429, the year of the first copy. However, as noted by David Parlett in his letter to The Playing Card, Vol XVIII, 1990, p, 73, other parts of the treatise validate the year 1377 as the date of its composition; see also
the response of R. Decker, The Playing Card, Vol XIX, 1990, pp. 20-1.
Added a half hour later: one place I remember exploring a non-Latin link to Central Europe was in my first post on Decker's book. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganjifa had a link between the Persian "Ganjifa" cards and the Ambraser Hofjagdspiel and Hofamterspiel. but no explanation in any of these three sites of an historical link.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#5
mikeh wrote:
So the argument seems to be lack of evidence to the contrary, including places (extant cards) where evidence of independent, non-Latin derivation would be expected to be found. If he is right, any spread of cards from a non-European source was so minimal as to be undetectable. However he seems not to have known about Hübsch. It seems to me that when we discussed this before, there was something more tangible. I will try to check. (At the moment I can't find that discussion.)
I found a note about Hübsch in a Czech report about playing cards in Bohemia in an IPCS article of 2000 ...

Image


Image


... but I didn't note, that this got much attention by others. The year "1364" in the article is wrong, cause it's a clear 1354 in the book of Hübsch ...

Image

http://books.google.de/books?id=V2Y7AAA ... en&f=false

Naturally one might suspect, that if somebody searched in 1364 for a Jonathan Kraysel, that this means nothing. But the error might have occurred later than 1929.
Before my original post, I had looked on the Internet at books about medieval trade and there was some trade overland to Poland in the Middle Ages, which could have gone down to Bohemia. I didn't see mention of Kiev-Prague. But with the rise of the plague, that might have been used more.
Hübsch's book is full of very specific details since 10th century. And the presence of the emperor in Prague is a sort of guarantee, that this was a time of increased trade in all directions.
There were two means of transmitting plague; one was by being bitten by an infected flea or rat; the other, for a different strain of plague that infected the lungs, by means of droplets in the air.

It seems to me that overland trade would have been less likely than river transport to carry either form of plague, because rats would jump off goods loaded on mules right away, and infected caravan drivers would have died by the time they got to their destination. Whether goods themselves would have retained the infection as left by the droplets I did not see discussed; I assume much less. So these overland routes might have been used more after the plague started--but if so, they would have had to take along their own security forces. Normally security was the responsibility of the area traveled through, but that wouldn't have been true of these areas.
Generally big rivers (Rhine, Donau) are interpreted as a difficulty for the distribution of the plague. Mountains were another. So Bohemia didn't get the first wave of the plague. Contradicting to earlier reports it seems, that also Nuremberg was involved in the first big wave. Also Southern Poland wasn't involved (where the trade way went through).

..
On John of Rheinfelden, Dummett accepts that the report about cards was originally 1377. Here is his first mention of Johannes, on p. 23 (I include the footnotes for completeness):
Le carte da gioco comparvero per la prima volta in Europa nel 1370 circa 6. Non ci è pervenuta alcuna carta del XIV secolo (con al massimo un’eccezione 7); dei molti riferimenti ad esse in documenti dell’epoca, uno solo ci dà qualche informazione sul loro aspetto. Si tratta del celebre Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis, scritto a Basilea, probabilmente nel 1377, da un frate di nome Giovanni (di solito indicato come Giovanni da Rheinfelden).
_________________________
6. Il primo documento contenente la parola «naips», che significa ‘carte da gioco’, è il Diccionari de rims (Vocabolario di rime) del 1371 del poeta catalano Jaume March (pubblicato a cura di Antoni Griera, Barcellona, 1921; si veda p. 63). Cfr. Jean-Pierre Étienvre, Figures du jeu: études lexico-sémantiques sur le jeu de cartes en Espagne (XVIe-XVIIie siècle), Madrid, 1987, pp. 19, 68. Étienvre cita un altro riferimento alle carte da gioco nel Llibre de les dones di Francesc Eiximenis, «probabilmente dello stesso anno».
7. Si tratta di due fogli antichissimi stampati da matrici di legno e non tagliati nell’Instituto Municipal de Historia a Barcellona: si veda Simon Wintle, ‘A «Moorish» Sheet of Playing Cards’, The Playing Card, Vol. XV, 1987,
pp. 112-22. È probabile che questi fogli risalgano al primo decennio dei XV secolo.

(Playing cards appeared for the first time in Europe in about 1370 (6). No card of the fourteenth century still exists (with a maximum of execution (7)); of the many references to them in documents of the time, only one gives us some information on their appearance. This is the famous Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis, written in Basel, probably in 1377, by a monk named Johannes (usually indicated as John of Rheinfelden).
__________________________
6. The first document containing the word ‘naips', which means 'playing card', is the Diccionari de rims (Dictionary of rhymes) by the 1371 Catalan poet Jaume March (published under the editorship of Antoni Griera, Barcelona, 1921; see p. 63). Cf. Jean-Pierre Étienvre, Figures du jeu: études lexico-sémantiques sur le jeu de cartes en Espagne (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), Madrid, 1987, pp. 19, 68. Étienvre cites another reference to playing cards in Llibre Francesc de les dones by Francesc Eiximenis, “probably of the same year”.
7. There are two sheets printed from ancient wood matrices, uncut, in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona: see Simon Wintle, 'A Moorish Sheet of Playing Cards', The Playing Card, Vol XV, 1987, pp. 112-22. It is likely that these sheets go back to the first decade of the fifteenth century.)
Also, I left out a footnote to the passage I did quote on p. 24 that I should probably have included, as it reinforces his defense of the correctness of 1377. Here is the beginning of the paragraph I quoted, to the end of the page, followed by the footnote:
Il Tractatus de moribus ci è pervenuto solo in un manoscritto del 1429 e in altri tre, tutti del 14728. Ci sono pochissime varianti fra questi quattro testi, ma, se l’originale è veramente del 1377, essi devono contenere interpolazioni, forse del copista del 1429. Da questi testi e da un certo numero di antichi mazzi tedeschi pervenutici, veniamo a conoscenza di un alto grado di sperimentazione nella composizione del mazzo
____________________________
8. Cfr. Sir Edward Augustus Bond, ‘The history of playing-cards’. Athenaeum, n. 2621, 19 gennaio 1878, da p. 87, col. 3, a p. 88, col. 2; Peter Kopp, ‘Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz’, Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, Voi. 30, 1973, pp. 130-46; e Hellmut Rosenfeld, ‘Zu den frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz: eine Entgegnung’, ibid.. Voi. 32, 1975, pp. 179-80. Più recentemente, Ronald Decker in ‘Brother Johannes and the Year 1377, The Playing Card, Vol. XVIII, 1989, pp. 46-7, ha proposto un’emendazione del testo, secondo la quale la data 1377 sarebbe quella in cui le carte da gioco arrivarono per la prima volta nella sua regione; il trattato quindi potrebbe essere stato composto un po’ dopo, forse intorno al 1400, oppure nell’anno 1429 della prima copia. Comunque, come rilevato da David Parlett nella sua lettera alla Playing Card, Voi. XVHI, 1990, p, 73, altri brani del trattato convalidano l’anno 1377 come data della sua composizione; si veda anche la risposta di R. Decker, The Playing Card, Voi. XIX, 1990, pp. 20-1.

(The Tractatus de moribus has survived in only one 1429 manuscript and three others all of 1472 (8). There are very few variations among these four texts, but if the original is really in 1377, they must contain interpolations, perhaps by the 1429 copyist. From these texts and a number of old extant German packs, we learn of a high degree of experimentation in the composition of the normal
___________________________
8. Cf. Sir Edward Augustus Bond, ‘The history of playing-cards’, Athenaeum, no. 2621, 19 January 1878, from p. 87, col. 3, to p. 88, col. 2; Peter Kopp,‘Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz’, Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, Vol. 30, 1973, pp. 130-46; and Hellmut Rosenfeld, ‘Zu den frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz: eine Entgegnung’, ibid.. Vol. 32,1975, pp. 179-80. More recently, Ronald Decker in 'Brother Johannes and the Year 1377’, The Playing Card, Vol XVIII, 1989, p. 46-7, proposed an emendation of the text, according to which the date 1377 would be the one in which playing cards arrived for the first time in his region; so the treatise may have been composed a little later, perhaps around 1400, or in 1429, the year of the first copy. However, as noted by David Parlett in his letter to The Playing Card, Vol XVIII, 1990, p, 73, other parts of the treatise validate the year 1377 as the date of its composition; see also
the response of R. Decker, The Playing Card, Vol XIX, 1990, pp. 20-1.
Well, the researchers were astonished by the big number of playing cards, and the detail, that there were so much variations, which contradicted the idea, that there was an immediate and very quick playing card invasion in 1377. Seeing the contradiction between their theories and the text of Johannes, they brought up the interpolation story of 1429.
But John writes, as I understood it, that the playing cards arrived in "this year 1377" and he notes details like close earth quakes (confirmed; "The Basel earthquake of 18 October 1356 is the most significant seismological event to have occurred in Central Europe in recorded history", accompanied by other smaller earthquakes around this time in this region ... Freiburg im Breisgau is relatively close to Basel, about 50 km) and a living King Louis of Hungary (died 1382).

And Johannes was full of enthusiasm for the cards, if he had been aware of all the prohibitions short after 1377, it seems plausible, that he couldn't write in this positive manner.

Well, there was the feature of missing earlier documents ... but generally the time was bad with documents, likely cause a lot of things were bad cause the life in an enduring catastrophe. And it's plausible, that there were lots of regions without playing cards ... but some regions, likely preferred by less trouble with the general plague, might have had cards.
It's in the logic of every innovation story, that the new things are in some regions and in others not. And if traffic and trade was hampered by the plague, naturally the spread of innovations slowed down.

There's the document of 1367 in Bern (prohibition; Kaplan published it). If it wouldn't have been so early, nobody would have attacked it. But the English researchers attempted to make it "from 1397" or so, as far I remember. But the German researchers didn't see a reason to agree with their idea.

Naturally one is astonished, what happened to the early Bohemian playing card production. There was in 1409, a situation, when German students left the Prague university .. in protest. Thencame the story of Jan Hus in 1415 in Constance, and then followed the brutal Hussite wars for a long time. Likely the Hussites didn't love playing cards.

Around 1455 we have the Hofämterspiel for Ladislaus postumus. A guild of cardmakers was established in 1526.

Added a half hour later: one place I remember exploring a non-Latin link to Central Europe was in my first post on Decker's book. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganjifa had a link between the Persian "Ganjifa" cards and the Ambraser Hofjagdspiel and Hofamterspiel. but no explanation in any of these three sites of an historical link.
Don't you know these cards?
Perhaps this list helps ...
http://trionfi.com/0/p/25/
there's an error with the links, sorry. These work

http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks02/d00360/d00360.htm ... Stuttgarter Jagdspiel 1427-31
http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks02/d00360/d00361.htm ... Hofämter c. 1455
http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks05/d02367/d02367.htm ... Ambras c. 1440
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#6
Huck wrote,
Don't you know these cards?
Well, I knew what they look like. What I didn't know, and still don't, is why anyone would think that they were connected to those Persian and Mogul cards.

Thanks for the very interesting and credible information related to 1377 and before, and to trade and the plague. Since John describes such a variety of decks, they surely had been around for a while before that, but just not in his area. One question: I don't understand why large rivers would have been considered a barrier to the plague. Rats could get on those boats just as easily as on boats in seas. So empirical evidence would have refuted them. I don't know if the Moldau would be considered large enough or not. It looked pretty large to me, in Prague, but maybe it's dammed up downstream or something. They do that to small rivers here, to make them safer (slowing them down) and prettier.

Before I move on to Chapter Two of Dummett's book, I have one other passage of Chapter One to include. It is not anything he didn't say before, but you might have some comments, Huck. It's on p. 47:
Questo vantaggio si conservò e accrebbe nella loro seconda innovazione, il sistema di semi francese; soprattutto, le carte diventarono meno costose da produrre per il fabbricante. Il sistema di semi francese, che comparve verso il 1465, va certamente considerato un adattamento del sistema tedesco, con le Picche (Piques) al posto delle Foglie, i Fiori (Trèfles) al posto delle Ghiande e, naturalmente. Cuori francesi (Coeurs) al posto di quelli tedeschi. Le forme dei segni di seme francesi, in tutti e tre i casi, sono versioni normalizzate di quelli tedeschi. L’unica corrispondenza mancante è quella fra i Quadri (Carreaux) e le Campane; e, anche in questo caso, uno dei primi mazzi francesi — prodotto da Francois Clerc di Lione fra il 1485 e il 1496 e di cui la Bibliothèque Nationale conserva un foglio non tagliato — presenta Mezzelune al posto dei Quadri, avvicinandosi così maggiormente alla forma rotonda delle Campane.

(The French suit-system, which appeared about 1465, goes certainly to be considered as an adaptation of the German system, with Spades (Piques) in place of leaves, flowers (Trèfles) instead of acorns and naturally, French Hearts (Coeurs) instead of the German ones. The forms of the French suit signs, in all three cases are normalized versions of the German ones. The only thing missing is a correspondence between Tiles (Carreaux) and Bells; and even in this case, one of the first French packs - produced by Francois Clerc of Lyon between 1485 and 1496 and of which the Bibliotheque Nationale retains an uncut sheet - has Crescents instead of tiles, thus approaching more the round shape of the Bells).
Other researchers have constructed credible derivations of French suits from Latin suits, I seem to recall. Latin suits are prima facie more to be expected, if that is what was there before French suits in France. It seems to me that one test would be to see if early games with French suits in France followed the same other rules as German vs. Italian games of the time, or a little earlier, with their suit-symbols, e.g. the order of numeral cards reversing in two suits, or the presence of female Fanti/Unters in two suits vs. males in two other suits.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#7
mikeh wrote:Huck wrote,
Don't you know these cards?
Well, I knew what they look like. What I didn't know, and still don't, is why anyone would think that they were connected to those Persian and Mogul cards.
:-) ... Good question, but others, who have this idea, should answer it. The Hofämterspiel with its professions as a significant detail meets the 60-cards-deck known to John of Rheinfelden (professions to all number cards) in 1377. The profession idea clearly comes from Cessolis and from Chess.

Not-European chess versions are not known for Queens. European chess versions have a Queen. So Queens on cards likely look like a European invention.

...
One question: I don't understand why large rivers would have been considered a barrier to the plague. Rats could get on those boats just as easily as on boats in seas. So empirical evidence would have refuted them. I don't know if the Moldau would be considered large enough or not. It looked pretty large to me, in Prague, but maybe it's dammed up downstream or something. They do that to small rivers here, to make them safer (slowing them down) and prettier.
I remember, that this idea came from a plague analysis, it wasn't mine. But i took it as logical. Additionally tere is the condition, that most big cities at the Rhine were located at the left (once Roman) side. So large ships with goods, which might have attracted rats, went on this site. Upstream the way was also on the left side (Treidelpfad or Leinpfad, horses were used), as far I know (I'm not sure, if the right side also had a Treidelpfad).
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leinpfad
The Donau had a Treidelpfad at both sides, I saw mentioned.

If somebody crossed the river, if often happened with small boats connected to a long rope fixed on one side of the river ("flying bridge"). Such small boats likely hadn't rats. But I don't know, when this developed with the terminus Gierseilfähre (maybe there were earlier, comparable technologies). Well, the Rhine of nowadays might be different to the Rhine a few centuries ago. Each location might have had different solutions.
Before I move on to Chapter Two of Dummett's book, I have one other passage of Chapter One to include. It is not anything he didn't say before, but you might have some comments, Huck. It's on p. 47:
..
(The French suit-system, which appeared about 1465, goes certainly to be considered as an adaptation of the German system, with Spades (Piques) in place of leaves, flowers (Trèfles) instead of acorns and naturally, French Hearts (Coeurs) instead of the German ones. The forms of the French suit signs, in all three cases are normalized versions of the German ones. The only thing missing is a correspondence between Tiles (Carreaux) and Bells; and even in this case, one of the first French packs - produced by Francois Clerc of Lyon between 1485 and 1496 and of which the Bibliotheque Nationale retains an uncut sheet - has Crescents instead of tiles, thus approaching more the round shape of the Bells).
I can't add something useful.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#8
Thanks, Huck. On Queens, another thing is that in cards, as in chess (at some point) the Queens had a lot of power. Dummett says (p. 25; he said the same in 1980, too),
Supporters of women's liberation will be pleased to know that she was not originally introduced as inferior to the King but as of equal rank.
This is in the context of the 1377 document but also of others, unmentioned by name, so it is not clear what his source is.

Another connection between the suit cards and chess is in the Italian word "Cavallo", which normally means "horse" but in chess and cards--and nowhere else that I know of--it also means the rider on the horse. Outside of chess, the rider is "cavaliere". It's not true in English: ""knight" is the person, in life, chess, and cards; the animal is "horse". But Spanish is like Italian, "Caballo" for the rider in chess and cards (at least in tarot) and the animal, while the person is "caballero. The same for Portuguese, "cavalo"; Romanian "cal", German "pferd" ("Ritter" applies to people but not chess pieces or cards, the online dictionary says). But French is like English: "cavalier" for the person, chess piece, and card, and vs. "cheval" for the animal, But in chess and cards the word is spelled "cavalier" vs. "chevalier" for an actual person. I expect that "cavalier" (similarly "caval") is the old spelling, kept the way it was back in the 15th century.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#9
In Chapter Two of Il Mondo e L'Angelo (1993) Dummett discusses the cards he classifies as Milanese. This chapter and the next correspond to Chapter 4 of Game of Tarot (GOT), with many additions.

I gave a summary of the second half of this second chapter at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1017#p15124, but I didn't discuss the first three on his list of Milanese at all, i.e. the Cary-Yale, Brera-Brambilla, and PMB. Before I begin, I need to say that he consistently calls the Cary-Yale deck (CY for me) by its older term, "Visconti di Madrone", and the PMB deck the "Visconti-Sforza". Also he consistently does not include the Fool among the triumphs. This is from its role in the game; it never takes, i.e. triumphs in, a trick. Also, it is normally not numbered, suggesting that it is not part of the trump sequence.

In this post I am just going to look at what he says about the Cary-Yale, probably the oldest extant tarot deck known. This of course is a very familiar issue on THF; but it doesn't hurt to approach it from the angle of Dummett's later thoughts. I really think that they provide a good framework for discussion.

DUMMETT 1993 ON THE CARY-YALE

Here is what I see that is new or otherwise of note:

(1) About the coin-image with Filippo Maria Visconti's name in it, both in the CY and in the in the Brera-Brambilla (BB) suit of coins. It is often used to date the decks, Dummett says (p. 46, note 7):
7. La tecnica di queste rappresentazioni del fiorino di Filippo Maria rimane un mistero. Pare evidente che sono state fatte per mezzo di un autentico conio, ma i numismatici ci assicurano che le immagini sulle carte sono più grandi della moneta stessa; forse l’artista usò il conio per una medaglia.

(It seems evident that they have been made by means of an authentic coinage, but the numismatic experts assure us that the images on the cards are larger than on the coin itself; perhaps the artist used the coin for a medal.)
I had not read this bit at the end about the medal idea before. I assume he is implying that the medal, and not the coin, would have been what was imprinted on the coin. That would also explain the feature that Marco noticed, at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13807&hilit=florins#p13807, that the words around the circumference aren't in the same place on the coin and the card. But it won't help in dating the card, except for some time in Filippo's reign, because the Visconti florins had had that same design through 3 prior Visconti rulers (see my post at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13807&hilit=florins#p13797. But the medal idea is interesting, because Pisanello was in Milan in 1440-41 and did strike medals, of Francesco Sforza and Filippo Visconti. But the device used for imprinting couldn't have been an actual medal, because the letters would have come out reversed (likewise for a coin). It had to have been something made for the express purpose of making the coin image. A medalist could have made such a die easily enough, just for the card--actually two dies, because both sides of the coin are represented. The technology was readily available even without Pisanello, for example, in making rings that left their imprint on sealed letters, i.e. a goldsmith's product, done to leave an imprint that looked like the coin. If so, it could have been done any time between 1412 and 1447. In fact Dummett here only uses the coin argument to establish an upper limit, i.e. no later than 1447. I can't argue with that.

(2) Dummett no longer insists that Bonifacio Bembo painted the CY and BB. This is because, while the experts were unanimously for Bembo in 1980, some experts since have seen the hand of Zavatarri in the cards.

I would add that for me it is not even clear which of the Bembo would have donethe work, including the Lancelot illuminations, as it was a workshop established by the father earlier. Evelyn Welch expressed this doubt in the Encyclopedia of Art, 1996. I reproduced his encyclopedia entry at the end of viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13407&hilit=Welch#p13420. That said, the CY cards look to me more in the Bembo style than the Zavatarri.

(3). Dummett continues to be ambivalent about the occasion for the CY Love card. Opinion in the past was unanimous that it was assicuated with a particular marriage. That view has been questioned by the Deckers,propose instead that it represents Tristan and Isolde. I would guess that this based on the similarity of the cards to those for a Lancelot book were done around 1446, noted in 1980.

It seems to me that that in proposing a marriage here, no one was saying it portrayed the actual act of getting married. That would have been done in a church, or at least with a priest present. So the card, on the "marriage" interpretation, would be a meeting between bride and groom before the wedding. This was actually a common occurrence among the nobility at the highest level in their region.

Dummett reviews and evaluates three different proposals for the marriage: the 1428 (actually, 1427) wedding of Filippo with Maria of Savoy; (b) the 1441 wedding of Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza; and (c) the wedding of Galeazzo Maria Sforza and Bona of Savoy. The arguments against (a) and (c) are well known. Filippo kept his wife isolated, away from him, with no chance of contacting other men, and the marriage was childless, probably never consummated. Against both (a) and (c), the white cross on a red field, besides being the shield of Savoy, is also that of Pavia, where the Visconti had a second court. Against (c), the cards with the coins and Filippo's name would have to have been saved for 20 years, and the triumphs added in the same archaic style. (This last argument is not conclusive, as a Visconti coin could have been saved and used to make the dies needed, and a deck made from scratch in the archaic style, which the Bembo were known to be good at. Such a deck would make sense as propaganda for Galeazzo Maria's claim for "bon droyt" as Filippo's direct and loyal descendent. as well as being the son of the foremost condottiero of his age. But Galeazzo Maria was not known for his subtlety.)

Dummett also has one new argument, which he makes against the 1428 interpretation, but would work against the 1441 as well, unless Filippo really wanted his daughter's marriage to be a bad one:
In addition, the card shows a dog between the two people; as the barking of a dog at a wedding was considered a bad omen by Filippo Maria, only an artist of the highest impertinence or recklessness would have included one on a card intended to evoke the event.
Dummett gives no source for this alleged superstition.

In favor of the 1441 wedding, however, there remain the Sforza heraldics of the fountain and quince in all the figure cards of Batons and Swords, and the Visconti heraldics on the Coins and Cups. For this reason Kaplan's proposal that the cards commemorate the Francesco-Bianca marriage is not eliminated. Kaplan did not address the difficulty of the banners on the tent; but they could both be Visconti banners, one in Milan and one in Pavia, representing the bride and Lombardy, the groom's adopted home, and balancing out the fountain on the man's chest, which is a Sforza emblem. Dummett concludes (p. 49):
Sia che sia stato un regalo nuziale oppure no, gli anni intorno al 1441 sembrano la data più probabile. Se si è trattato di un regalo, l’ipotesi di Kaplan è la più plausibile; non sarebbe stato un gran complimento per una donna della Savoia che emblemi savoiardi fossero dipinti su una sola carta, mentre le altre carte erano piene di quelli viscontei e sforzeschi. Anche se non si è trattato di un regalo, questa data rimane ugualmente probabile. Nei suoi ultimi anni, Filippo Maria era quasi cieco. Sappiamo che, quando era più giovane, il gioco delle carte lo aveva appassionato e che aveva commissionato un mazzo dipinto a mano a Michelino da Besozzo. E pertanto plausibile che egli abbia commissionato due mazzi di tarocchi a un pittore della fama di Bembo o di Zavattari, ma non è al tempo stesso plausibile che lo abbia fatto negli ultimi anni di vita. Il mazzo Visconti dì Modrone può essere ragionevolmente datato verso il 1441, e il mazzo Brambilla un po’ più tardi.

(Whether it was a wedding gift or not, the years around 1441 seem the most likely date. If it was a gift, Kaplan's hypothesis is the most plausible; it would not be a great compliment to a woman to have emblems of Savoy painted on a single card, and other cards were full of those of the Visconti and Sforza. Even if it was not a gift, this date remains equally likely. In his later years, Filippo Maria was nearly blind. We know that when he was younger, he was passionate about playing cards and had commissioned a hand painted pack from Michelino da Besozzo. It is therefore plausible that he commissioned two packs of tarot cards to a painterof the reputation of Bembo or Zavattari, but it is not very plausible that he did it in the last years of life. The Visconti di Modrone pack can be reasonably dated to 1441, and the Brambilla pack a little later.)

For myself, the 1441 marriage commemoration idea remains the most plausible, because of the heraldics on the court cards and the Love card. As for the dog, it is not barking; if a barking dog is a bad omen, a calm dog would seem to be a good omen (as opposed to no dog at all, which would be neutral). Dogs otherwise were symbols of faithfulness.

Besides what Dummett has brought out, I would add that there was a strong tradition among the Visconti of giving illuminated manuscripts featuring their own portraits and heraldics as marriage gifts, (as shown by Kirsch; see viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&sid=126a9f155b ... 9c61577b38;), of which illuminated cards might have been a fashionable extension. Francesco and Bianca themselves, much later, commissioned a marriage commemoration tapestry reminiscent of the scene on the card (http://www.storiadimilano.it/arte/imprese/Imprese07.htm).

As to the banners, their both being Visconti is OK by me, but the alternating banners do look like they are complementing the scene below and so the union of two houses, as so many commentators have said. It seems to me that they could refer back to a previous commemoration, whether in a tarot card or some illumination or fresco, of the Filippo-Maria of Savoy marriage, perhaps done before the 1427 marriage. This is a standard technique in many works of art; it situates the work in a tradition. If done before the marriage, the work in question would have given a much needed (considering his previous wife's fate) impression of a lover's devotion to the match--or done afterwards to give that impression to outsiders.

I have been roundly criticized for hypothesizing an actual tarot deck of 1427-1430, one without the Sforza stemmi but with an otherwise similar Love card. It was said that I was introducing a "Russellian teapot". But it is not. There is no reason to hypothesize a teapot floating in outer space between the earth and Mars, but plenty of reason for thinking that the Cary-Yale was not the first tarot deck in Milan. For one thing, there were already tarot decks in Florence, a city for which Francesco was working at tha time. For another, card decks get used up with use. So it is to be expected that an earlier deck, not as expensive, would not have survived. For his part Dummett makes no claim that that the Cary-Yale was the first deck in Milan. In fact, he hypothesizes just the opposite. You can imagine my surprise when I saw on p. 106 Dummett himself hypothesizing the invention of the tarot deck in Milan of around 1428:
Possiamo redigere dunque una cronologia provvisoria, basata di necessità su congetture; le date sono naturalmente approssimative:

1428: i tarocchi sono inventati alla corte viscontea.
1430: la corte estense di Ferrara conosce i tarocchi.
1435: i tarocchi si diffondono a Bologna.
1440: i fabbricanti di carte cominciano a produrre mazzi di tarocchi a buon prezzo, stampati da matrici di legno.
1442: i tarocchi si diffondono da Bologna a Firenze.
1444: la composizione del mazzo di tarocchi diventa standardizzata dappertutto.

(We can therefore draw up a provisional chronology, based of necessity on conjecture; the dates of course are approximate:

1428: Tarot is invented in the court of the Visconti .
1430: the Este court in Ferrara knows the tarot.
1435: tarot spreads to Bologna.
1440: card makers begin to produce decks of tarot cards at a good price, printed by woodblock.
1442 tarot spreads from Bologna to Florence.
1444: The composition of the tarot deck becomes standardized everywhere.)
A discussion of these places and time will be suitable at another time, when I get to chapter 6 (except for the last one: that is his date for the Brera-Brambilla). My point is that Dummett hypothesizes decks not only in Milan but elsewhere considerably before the first recorded instance that he knew about, that of a court purchase in Ferrra from a Bolognese merchant in 1442.

It might be argued that Dummett, unlike me, does not hypothesize any specific details about this deck. It seems to me that we can indeed project back one specific from 1441 to 1428, not with any certainty, to be sure, but with some weak claim to justification. The justification is precisely the presence of the banners on the tent, which look so much like those of a courtly love situation particular to a Visconti and a Savoy.

(3) Another issue that Dummett takes up is that of what cards and how many are missing from the 11 that have come down to us.

As to how many triumphs there were, he says various things. First he says:
E impossibile stabilire se il mazzo Visconti di Modrone sia stato un esperimento isolato, che si distaccava da una norma già stabilita, o se sia runico esempio superstite di uno stadio primitivo in cui il mazzo dei tarocchi non aveva ancora acquisito la struttura che doveva in seguito diventare canonica. Se esso rappresenta uno stadio primitivo, è altresì impossibile stabilire se si tratti di uno stadio in cui coesistevano notevoli variazioni nella composizione dei mazzi di tarocchi o in cui prevaleva una norma ben precisa, diversa da quella che sarebbe stata osservata in seguito.

(It is impossible to determine if the Visconti di Modrone pack was an isolated experiment, that departed from a norm already established, or it was the unique surviving example of a primitive state, in which the tarot pack had not yet acquired the structure that was to become canonical. If it represents a primitive stage, it is also impossible to determine whether it is a stage in which there co-existed considerable variations in the composition of Tarot packs or one in which a precise norm prevailed, different from that which would was observed afterwards.)
That seems to me very sensible.

However he also says what he said in GOT, against the idea that it had only 14 triumphs; now, however, he makes it it is "extremely likely", unless the deck was already standardized at 21, that it contained 24, despite the fact only 11 have come down to us; at the same time, this is "pure hypothesis", until more reliable information is at hand (in the lengthy quote that follows, I highlight these phrases). Although these statements "impossile to determine", "extremely likely", and "pure hyothesis") don't actually contradict each other, the middle one has a very different tone out of context than the other two At least one of these three statements is bound to sound right, if the truth is ever known. Here he goes (pp. 51-52, basically what he says in GOT; but I give the 1993 statement as a groundwork for discussion:
L’ipotesi che il mazzo Visconti di Modrone non fosse una variante isolata ma rappresentasse uno stadio primitivo nell’evoluzione del mazzo dei tarocchi offre un
valido motivo per ritenere che si tratti del più antico gruppo di carte da tarocchi pervenutoci e quindi sicuramente prodotto durante il regno di Filippo Maria Visconti e probabilmente prima del mazzo Brambilla: quest’ultimo, infatti, evidentemente
aveva solo le solite quattro figure per ciascun seme, anche se, dal momento che ci restano solo due dei suoi trionfi, non possiamo sapere con certezza quali soggetti fossero ritratti
su quelli andati perduti. Poiché una delle virtù di solito inclusa nel mazzo dei tarocchi, la Fortezza, compariva nel mazzo 52 Visconti di Modrone, è estremamente probabile che anche le altre tre virtù cardinali — Giustizia, Temperanza e Prudenza — figurassero originariamente fra i trionfi di quel mazzo, formando, con le tre virtù teologali, la consueta serie delle sette virtù maggiori. Una delle curiosità del gruppo standard dei
trionfi nel mazzo dei tarocchi è che la quarta virtù cardinale, la Prudenza, non è inclusa a fianco delle sorelle; ma, quando incontriamo la Fortezza insieme a Fede, Speranza e Carità, è difficile non pensare che l'interò gruppo dovesse in origine essere presente.

Non sappiamo per certo se il mazzo Visconti di Modrone comprendesse il Matto, o quanti trionfi ne facessero parte. È stata avanzata l’ipotesi che, a parte le tre virtù mancanti, esso includesse solo quei trionfi che ci sono pervenuti, in tutto, quindi, quattordici. Quattordici trionfi e sessantaquattro carte dei semi porterebbero il numero di carte del mazzo alle consuete settantotto, seppure distribuite in modo diverso. Il totale delle carte in un mazzo di tarocchi non è, tuttavia, particolarmente significativo: ciò che conta davvero è il rapporto fra il numero dei trionfi (a parte il Matto) e il numero delle carte dei semi. È vero che questo varia notevolmente da un tipo all’altro di mazzi di tarocchi: ma è estremamente probabile che, in questa prima fase di evoluzione del mazzo, il rapporto fosse l’unico elemento costante. Nel mazzo a settantotto carte, il rapporto è 3 a 8: in altre parole, il numero dei trionfi è esattamente una volta e mezzo quello delle carte di ciascun seme. Se il rapporto nel mazzo Visconti di Modrone era questo, dovevano esserci ventiquattro trionfi. Esso avrebbe allora potuto includere tutti i soggetti standard e, in più, Fede, Speranza e Carità; oppure, se la Prudenza era uno dei trionfi, sarebbero stati presenti tutti i soggetti standard tranne uno. Tutto questo è, tuttavia, pura ipotesi: solo l’imprevista scoperta di nuovi elementi potrebbe darci informazioni sicure sui trionfi mancanti del mazzo Visconti di Modrone.

(The hypothesis that the Visconti di Modrone pack was not isolated but represents a variant of one primitive stage in the evolution of the tarot pack offers a valid reason for believing that it is the oldest group of tarot cards come down and thus definitely produced during the reign of Filippo Maria Visconti and probably before the Brambilla pack: the latter, in fact, clearly had only the usual four figures for each suit, although, since there are only two of its triumphs, we cannot know with certainty, of those subjects lost, which were portrayed. As one of the virtues usually included in the tarot pack, Fortitude, appeared in the 52 Visconti di Madrone pack, it is extremely probable that the other three cardinal virtues - Justice, Temperance, and Prudence - also originally figured among the triumphs of the pack, forming, with the three theological virtues, the usual series of the seven greater virtues. One of the curiosities of the group of standard triumphs in the tarot deck is that the fourth cardinal virtue, Prudence, is not included alongside her sisters; but when we encounter Fortitude together with Faith, Hope and Charity, it is difficult not to think that the entire group should have originally been present.

We do not know with certainty if the Visconti di Modrone pack included the Fool, or how many triumphs there were. It has been suggested that, apart from the three missing virtues, it included only those triumphs that have come down to us, in all, therefore, fourteen. Fourteen triumphs and sixty-four suit cards would bring the number of cards in the pack to the usual seventy-eight, although distributed differently. The total number of cards in a Tarot pack is not, however, particularly significant: what really matters is the ratio between the number of trumps (apart from the Fool) and the number of suit cards. It is true that this varies greatly from one type of Tarot pack to another, but it is extremely likely that, at this early stage of evolution of the pack, the ratio was the only constant. With seventy-eight cards in the pack, the ratio is 3 to 8: in other words, the number of triumphs is exactly one and a half times that of the cards in each suit. If this was the ratio in the Visconti di Modrone pack, there would have to be twenty-four triumphs. It would thus have been able to include all the standard subjects and, in addition, Faith, Hope and Charity; or, if Prudence was one of the triumphs, it contained all the standard subjects except one. All this is, however, pure hypothesis: only the unexpected discovery of new elements could give us reliable information about the triumphs missing from the Visconti di Madrone pack.)
As to the first part, I would agrees that Prudence would reasonably have been one of the cards, because there are already all 3 theological virtues and 1 cardinal virtue in the deck.The seven virtues were a common theme in art. So likely, (if the person who chose the subjects was thinking in a strictly traditional way), they all were there. Furthermore, as I found out a little while back, the Popess in the PMB carries attributes of Prudence (also Wisdom), namely a book and a staff-cross (see my post at viewtopic.php?f=12&t=970&p=14202&hilit= ... aff#p14202). So perhaps the Popess substituted for Prudence and/or Wisdom. Since Giotto used a cross-staff and a scroll for Faith, however, there are other possibilities,

The rest of this passage, about the preferred principle being the ratio of triumphs to suit cards, seems to me more dubious. The problem is that we cannot say what principle governed triumphs vs. normal suits, if any, was from looking at what happened later. What happened later was decided later, not at the earlier time, including decisions by people in other cities. That person may or may not have used the same principle used in the Cary-Yale, if there was one. The principle that Dummett enunciates is one possible way of continuing the tradition (which also helps define the tradition). But in fact we don't know. There are merely arguments for and against.

We do know that normal decks had a variety of numbers of suit cards, 40, 48, 52, etc. We know that later there were different tarot games for different numbers of suit cards, too. So another possibility is that the triumphs (excluding the Fool) were 21 in CY, for whatever reason, and that whoever came next used the principle of "same number of trumps" and only the suit cards changed in number. In that case, the ratio would vary, but depending on the number of suit cards. These later decisions would then define the standard. It does not make the previous period, before such decisions, any the less "primitive".

Another realistic possibility for "same number of triumphs": it could have been 19 plus the Fool at the beginning, given that the PMB, also from Milan, has that number (and no hand-painted Milan deck has the Devil or Tower). The Star, Moon, and Sun of the PMB have visual similarities with Hope, Faith, and Charity, respectively and might have been replacements for them. That possibility is also suggested by the place of these virtues in Minchiate, which are exactly in the same spots as the Star, Moon, and Sun in the standard tarot order. Even though done much later, the Minchiate inventor might have been thinking about earlier decks with the theological virtues when he restored them to the sequence.

Another reasonable alternative that Dummett has not considered is that the number of triumphs equal the number of cards in each of the suits, whatever it was. Since suits typically had 13 or 14 cards,This is supported by various documents attesting to the making of "13 new playing cards" in 1422 (http://trionfi.com/playing-cards-ferrara-1422), "14 figures" in 1441 (http://trionfi.com/ferrara-tarot-tarocchi-trionfi, not known to Dummett in 1993), and decks of 70 cards in 1457 (http://trionfi.com/tarot-trionfi-painte ... ts-ferrara; they might be 5x14-- or (4x12) + 22, as Franco Pratesi recently suggested). So in the CY, with 16 cards per suit, there would be 16 triumphs. If someone initially used "same number as the suits" as a principle, the next person could have changed it to "same number of trumps". Or vice versa.

I would also make an argument to literary and visual precedents for the sequence as a whole. Visual representations in games (including board games) devised deliberately rarely are just random; they have a rationale. In the triumphs as in the suits. it would have been easy just to number the cards, like pages in a book, and give free rein to the artists' imaginations for the pictures. But it didn't happen. You had to memorize the sequence, even after a few decks, e.g. the Sola-Busca, in fact were numbered. There was very likely a reason the sequence had to be memorized, something about life. The reason may have changed over time, too: from something satirical to something serious, for example.

Here I would build on an idea expressed by Dummett, the closest thing to an overall plan to the tarot that I find in his book, on pp. 106-7, immediately after the section I quoted earlier from p. 106). By "scope" in the first sentence I think he means whether divination or occult meanings were involved, which is the next subject he takes up. By the "carte supplementari" he means not the 6 second artist cards of the PMB, but rather the whole set of triumphs added to the normal deck.
Prima di considerare lo scopo dell’invenzione, vale la pena di domandarsi perché le carte supplementari furono chiamate ‘trionfi’.

Molti hanno cercato di spiegare il termine «trionfi» con l’uso dei ventuno trionfi nel gioco, cioè come quelli che ‘trionfano’ sulle altre carte; e non siamo in grado di dimostrare l’inesattezza di questa spiegazione. Più suggestiva è, tuttavia, una brillante ipotesi di Gertrude Moakley. La studiosa ritiene che il nome non abbia niente a che fare con l’uso delle carte, ma solo con ciò che vi è raffigurato: la serie dei trionfi rappresenterebbe una specie di corteo trionfale. Come è documentato da Burkhardt e Moakley, uno dei passatempi prediletti delle corti del Rinascimento italiano era proprio l’allestimento di tali cortei trionfali con carri addobbati di figure derivate dalla mitologia classica o raffiguranti astrazioni quali l’Amore, la Morte, ecc.: una metamorfosi del trionfo di un generale o imperatore romano in un elegante intrattenimento allegorico. Un elemento frequente di questi trionfi rinascimentali era l’idea che è al centro del poema petrarchesco I Trionfi, in cui ciascuna astrazione personificata trionfa, sconfìggendola, sulla precedente; così nel poema l’amore trionfa su dei e uomini, la castità sull’amore, la morte sulla castità, la fama sulla morte, il tempo sulla fama e l’eternità sul tempo. L’ipotesi sarebbe confermata se fosse possibile spiegare i soggetti dei trionfi del mazzo dei tarocchi come parte di un corteo trionfale di questo genere; ma, malgrado i notevoli sforzi di Gertrude Moakley, integrati successivamente da quelli di Ronald Decker, tale spiegazione, pur plausibile in linea di principio, è difficile da rendere convincente nei dettagli. Ciò nonostante, in mancanza di meglio, possiamo accettare come probabile, seppure assolutamente non come certo, che fu questa associazione di idee a ispirare l’uso della parola «trionfi» per le carte supplementari del mazzo dei tarocchi.

(Before considering the scope of the invention, it is worth asking why the additional cards were called 'triumphs'.

Many have tried to explain the word "triumph", with the use of twenty-one trumps in the game, that is, as those that 'triumph' over the other cards; and we are not able to demonstrate the inaccuracy of this explanation. More striking, however, is a brilliant idea of Gertrude Moakley. The researcher believes that the name has nothing to do with the use of the cards, but only with what is shown: the set of trumps would represent a kind of triumphal procession. As documented by Burkhardt and Moakley, one of the favorite pastimes of the courts of the Italian Renaissance was just the preparation of these triumphal processions with floats decorated with figures derived from classical mythology or depicting abstractions such as Love, Death, and so on. : A metamorphosis of the triumph of a Roman emperor, general in an elegant allegorical entertainment. A common element of these Renaissance triumphs was the idea that is at the center of the poem I Trionfi [The Triumphs] of Petrarch, in which each abstraction personified a triumph, triumphing over the previous one; thus in the poem, love triumphs over gods and men, the chastity over love, death over chastity, fame over death, time over fame, and eternity over time. The hypothesis would be confirmed if it was possible to explain the subjects of the trumps of the tarot deck as part of a triumphal procession of this kind ; but, despite the considerable efforts of Gertrude Moakley, supplemented later by those of Ronald Decker, such an explanation, though plausible in principle, is difficult to make convincing in detail. Nevertheless, in the absence of anything better, we can accept as probable, though not as absolutely certain, that it was this association of ideas inspiring the use of the word "triumph" for the additional cards of the tarot deck.
It seems to me that most of the Petrarchan triumphs (to which I think can be added one from Boccaccio, and perhaps also a view of Love in a more positive sense than Petrarch expresses), most are already in the CY surviving cards: Love, Chastity as the lady on the Chariot, Fortune (from Boccaccio), Death, Eternity. Probably Fame is there, too, in the so-called World card, with its trumpets at the top and a scene with at least one knight at the bottom. If Dummett can extrapolate from four virtues the existence of the other three, surely I can extrapolate one or two more Petrarchan triumphs; Time was in the other early decks, usually called the Old Man. The virtues then take their places as tools for overcoming the negative and achieving the positive of the various triumphs. 7 triumphs plus 7 Virtues is 14. Since the Emperor and the Empress are among the surviving cards, perhaps coming from the game of Emperors, we can get as far as 16 in this way but no further. We don't know what else was in the game of Emperors. Possibly there were other high and low members of society (e.g. Pope, Popess, Bagatto, Fool), as in the frontispiece to an edition of Petrarch's De Remediis done in Milan c. 1400, of which MJ Hurst posted a color reproduction, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xPT34252d4w/U ... detail.jpg. If so, that would make 18 plus the Fool. Also, these cards were later all next to each other in the order. That is not true of the the 3 remaining. (The Hanged Man could conceivably count as a very low member of society; but he was not in any grouping of such figures that I know of, nor is he in that part of the sequence.) However it is just as likely that the Emperor and Empress were at the beginning of the sequence by themselves, just to represent the card-player himself or herself, at the beginning of life, with material privileges but nowhere near the goal..

Another schema is the "chess analogy", of 16 pieces to 16 triumphs that Huck has worked out for this deck. Its results are consistent with the "triumphs plus virtues plus Emperor and Empress (only)" model. Over-determination is a valid principle for works of art.

Another fact is that when the Cary-Yale came to Yale, the existing triumphs had been assigned to particular suits. If this was original (a questionable assumption, I know), it would imply a number divisible by 4: i.e. 12, 16, 20, or 24.

I am not proposing this as an "original" tarot, about which I have less of an idea. I am just proposing it as one reasonable alternative fitting the Cary-Yale.

I can also think of an argument that supports Dummett's proposal. The "Olympian gods" deck of Marziano, much like the tarot that followed, if it had 10 numeral cards per suit plus kings, i.e. 11 cards, the ratio of suit cards to triumphs is very nearly 3:2. If there were one less triumph and one less suit card, it would have been 3:2 (and very close to 3:8 as well in the other ratio) It is true that if there were five other courts that didn't count for points, then its suit cards would equal the number of triumphs. But I'd think that if there were 6 court cards, an atypical number even in an age of experimentation, Marziano would have mentioned them.

So there are several reasonable possibilities at that time, including "no principle" in that early "primitive" time, ranging from 13 to 24 triumphs (excluding the Fool), but with 16, 18, 19, 21, and 24 the most reasonable (with or without the Fool). I think we have to leave it at that, pending more information.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo"

#10
Dummett according MikeH's translation wrote: We do not know with certainty if the Visconti di Modrone pack included the Fool, or how many triumphs there were. It has been suggested that, apart from the three missing virtues, it included only those triumphs that have come down to us, in all, therefore, fourteen. Fourteen triumphs and sixty-four suit cards would bring the number of cards in the pack to the usual seventy-eight, although distributed differently. The total number of cards in a Tarot pack is not, however, particularly significant: what really matters is the ratio between the number of trumps (apart from the Fool) and the number of suit cards. It is true that this varies greatly from one type of Tarot pack to another, but it is extremely likely that, at this early stage of evolution of the pack, the ratio was the only constant. With seventy-eight cards in the pack, the ratio is 3 to 8: in other words, the number of triumphs is exactly one and a half times that of the cards in each suit. If this was the ratio in the Visconti di Modrone pack, there would have to be twenty-four triumphs. It would thus have been able to include all the standard subjects and, in addition, Faith, Hope and Charity; or, if Prudence was one of the triumphs, it contained all the standard subjects except one. All this is, however, pure hypothesis: only the unexpected discovery of new elements could give us reliable information about the triumphs missing from the Visconti di Madrone pack.)
This refers to the discussion with Decker in the 1970s.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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