Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

There is a lot of time between 1400-1500, 100 years. There must have existed a lot of different playing cards. We know only a small number of cards, which still exist.
We cannot expect, that we know from all the once existing deck types of the mentioned period one example. In fact the situation should be so, that we know only a very small part of these deck types. We have, that a lot of decks are very different to each other. Boiardo Tarocchi poem, Sola Busca, Guildhall, Goldschmidt, Michelino deck, Mantegna Tarocchi ... all are different models.
If we would have more cards from the time, likely we would know also more different models of decks.

Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

In my view you are focusing too much on the meanings of the cards and not enough on the practice of playing a game.
Actually I agree with this sentiment and it is why I think a "Popess" and a Faith existing in the same deck is preposterous, requiring card-players to use virtually identical-looking trumps. To say the obvious again, the "Popess"/Ecclesia replaced Faith. Out of curiosity, what is your position of when the "Popess" emerged and do you allow it to coexist with Faith?

Much of the rest of your argument relies on the CY trumps being assigned to suits, which I find unlikely in the extreme (especially without a contemporary source), and Dummett's doomed theory of sequence with which to ascertain why those 12/16/22 trumps. Why doomed? There is no canonical sequence, there are competing sequences. Moreover, if there was an earlier 16 or 14 trump deck, that sequence is lost and no amount of reconstruction can bring it back. Only a professor of mathematical logic, however lauded as a genius in his own field, would hazard this statement: "The hidden meaning, if any, lies in the sequential arrangement of the trump cards; and therefore, if it is to be uncovered, we must know what, originally, that arrangement was." That this theory lead Dummett nowhere besides the inevitable identification of regional variations of sequence, is all too clearly revealed in his rudimentary descriptions of the PMB trumps in his Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards (1986).

The very existence of contemporary yet competing sequences undermines the notion of sequence as a means for identifying the number and subjects of trionfi. Hell, it can't even posit an ur-sequence with any veracity.

And yes, I'm content to point to a literary source that identified the number of trumps and their subjects, with an admitted total ignorance of how sequence evolved within the card-playing milieu, or as Filelfo put it, via the "shrewd scholars of the gaming table."


Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

Phaeded wrote
To say the obvious again, the "Popess"/Ecclesia replaced Faith. Out of curiosity, what is your position of when the "Popess" emerged and do you allow it to coexist with Faith?
As I say, I agree that the Popess replaced Faith in meaning.

As far as when the Popess emerged, on my hypothesis it is not one of the original cards but was added later.

As to whether they co-existed at some point, it is possible, in one place or another, if the Popess was identified by her headdress and Faith by the communion cup. Admittedly the cross might introduce some confusion, but no more than the duplication of other identifiers, such as the eagle on both the Emperor and Empress, horses on both the Chariot and the Death card, wings on both the Angel and the god of Love, and so forth. However the similarity in meaning and yes, pictorial design, does not make for a stable situation. One or the other was destined to go. It seems to me that in Florence_ where I see the replacement of the theologicals by the celestials happening first, the Popess and Faith probably did not co-exist. Whether the same would have been true in Milan I can't say, but since no surviving deck has both cards, the evidence is weakly that they did not co-exist.

I have no particular theory about where the Popess was added. There is no direct evidence of a Popess card at all in Florence. Indirectly, there is the rather late Rosenwald (after 1507), which seems not to have been Florentine even if of Florentine derivation. Also, it seems to me that the minchiate Love card was called the fifth papa, which might suggest a missing Popess. Moreover, there actually are four triumphs before Love in Bologna., whose cards are much like Florence's. Also, the Popess seems to me a rather whimsical subject, more so than one would expect in a tradition with Hope, Faith, and Charity cards (arguing against Milan). I say whimsical because of the opposed meanings that could be attached to it. Yet the first solid Popess we have is from Milan. So I have no idea.

Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

mikeh wrote:
25 Aug 2018, 07:57
There is no direct evidence of a Popess card at all in Florence.
Which I think can be explained by Florence's historically long pro-Guelph position (especially with the pope being resident during the first tarot notice in Giusti; in fact there was a permanent "pope's apartment" maintained in Santa Maria Novella where Pius II also stayed in 1459 during his visit). A popess in Florence is just too odd of a card for that city to culturally appropriate. Even Santa Croce, the major Franciscan church in Florence (the PMB popess donning Franciscan habit), does not have any work of art that suggests a popess.

Otherwise, thanks for your feedback - I don't think we are that far off from one another on this point.

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