Five - Nine - Seven

#1
Three groups. The 21 tarocchi trumps have traditionally been divided into three groups of related cards. Because 21 is one and a half times 14, the number of cards in a Tarocchi suit, it may be tempting to say the 21 trumps are three groups of seven. Many division points have been proposed. I want the divide between the first and second groups, to be after the Pope card, making the first group only five cards. As to the divide between the second and third groups, I have no very strong argument to say where it should be, but I think starting the last group at the Devil card works as well as anything. Here are two arguments supporting five cards in the first group; I'm sure neither is original with me: The first five trumps are called the five popes in Tarocchi Bolognese, and a special rule says any one of them can trump any other. After the throned potentates leading up to the pope as the highest, there can't be another throned potentate to follow after, since no one can rank higher than the pope. The only way is for this group of cards to be finished, so the pope is the highest within the group.

Considering the middle group, the Wheel of Fortune is in the center. The Wheel of Fortune shows a man tied on, with his head downward. It also shows a very old man, so old he can no longer stand. In some other pictures of the wheel, not on tarocchi cards, death in the form of a skeleton awaits to untie the dead at the bottom (4):
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Whether shown or not, death is the meaning of the low point of the wheel. There is also the Emperor card showing a crowned man on a throne, which matches the picture at the top of the wheel. So four tarocchi cards, Emperor, Hanged Man, Old Man, and Death, match images either on tarocchi Wheels of Fortune cards, or from other images of the wheel. The Wheel lifts up, as well as casts down. The Wheel shows a man tied to the rising portion of the Wheel, but he is not doing anything; if this little image on the Wheel, corresponds to a card or cards, which are they? Which cards show a man enjoying sudden good fortune? The Lovers card seems to show a betrothal. Chariot, if it is not the supreme award for a soldier, the granting of a triumphal chariot (the card was sometimes called that), it is by any interpretation an upbeat card. So we can describe the second group of trumps, in the middle row, as follows: the Wheel is more or less in the center, bad fortunes and the end of life are after the wheel, and hopeful youth is before it (usually). The second row also holds three of the four cardinal virtues (usually). If the Wheel card originally had a happy lover and a victorious soldier, instead of the one happy figure, then we could say that all the cards (except virtues) on the Wheel row came from small images on the Wheel card, using them all, and in the same order. The one exception is the crowned and throned man at the top of the Wheel: he is on a card, but that card is above the Wheel, rather than on the Wheel row. We will get back to him shortly.

Those tarocchi decks which follow the Dummett type B order, place one of the cardinal virtues, Justice, near the end of the trumps, certainly in the third group. If we think in terms of an original or standard tarocchi from which the three orders are variants, it is easier to see this placement of Justice up next to Last Judgment, as a move to fix some problem, than it is to see both type A and type C orders as moving Justice away from that spot, to fix some problem. If we take that as meaning that the original tarocchi did not have Justice in this spot near the end, then the last group, starting at Devil, had originally seven cards. So the groups are five, nine, and seven.

Just for symmetry, let's center each group in its row. This is the Jacques Viéville Tarot de Paris order, which matches (except for one switch) the order of the Susio poem, so it is likely to be the order of Milan, or close to it.
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A pattern is as good as a book, to provide a way to memorize the order of the trumps, and I see the start of a pattern here, a ring of yellow around the central Wheel of Fortune. Yellow is the color of virtue, in this layout.

Some bawdy songs. I am interested in this yellow ring of virtues, but first a digression through some unvirtuous songs. I have not quite verified that one of the songs in the collection called the Carmina Burana, was named Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi, but in any case that was a traditional epithet. Here's a snippet:

On Fortune's throne
I used to sit raised up, / crowned with / the multi-colored flowers of prosperity;
though I may have flourished / happy and blessed,
now I fall from the peak / deprived of glory.

The wheel of Fortune turns;
I go down, demeaned; / another is raised up;
far too high up / sits the king at the summit - / let him fear ruin!
for under the axis we may read / “Queen Hecuba.”

and here's another

O Fortuna,
like the moon / you are changeable, / ever waxing / ever waning;
hateful life / first oppresses / and then soothes / as fancy takes it;
poverty / and power / it melts them like ice.

Triple axis. The central vertical axis of the deck, in the above Viéville order, is Imperatrix – Fortuna – Moon; That is, Fortuna herself repeated three times, as a triple goddess. Here is the front cover of the Codex Burana. Note Fortuna's crown. The four figures bound to the wheel are labeled: I will reign, I reign, I used to reign, I have no realm.
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Card-playing louts. The Carmina Burana is a collection of drinking songs, and many of them are about drinking. The seven other illustrations in the manuscript show drinking beer, a pair of lovers, a forest, scenes from Dido and Aeneas, and three scenes of gambling, at backgammon, chess, and dice. (Card playing had not yet been learned from the Arabs.) Other songs are about gluttony, death, fate, luck, the return of spring, the rape/seduction of shepherdesses by knights, students, and clergymen (these are called pastourelles), and then there's a first-person narrative of a ten-hour love bout with the goddess Venus.

Card playing was a crime. It was a sin. The rough types who played cards were involved in other sins and crimes, covering up their gambling by pretending to play for cookies. Trionfi cards were used for gambling by artisans so poor that the cheaply printed cards in their hands represented a third of a day's pay, three soldi. That is the world the cards come from, that is the world where they were used, and that is the world they are about.

(One final note, Carl Orff's setting of the Carmina Burana was part of a triptych with The Songs of Catullus and Trionfo di Afrodite. The name of the triptych? Trionfi.)

A memory scaffold. When the trumps are laid out, if they make a pattern, that is a way to check that you have laid them out in the correct order. It is the visual analog of making something easy to remember by casting it into verse, the rhyme pattern aids memory, and so does a visual pattern. If a spread layout of the cards, which can be seen and remembered, is used to fix the trump order, rather than reference to some outside source of order such as a book, then visual memory, rather than book learning, is being used. We may speak of a trump layout. Looking at the above Viéville (and likely Milan) layout, a pattern springs to the eye, a ring of yellow around the Wheel. which is in the exact center of the layout. I have shown the cardinal virtues in yellow. Star, Moon, and Sun may be hints at, or mistakes for, the Biblical virtues Hope, Faith, and Charity. Popess may be a mistake for Prudentia. I have highlighted these cards in yellow. Could the ring of virtues once have been complete?

Could the Popess card be a mistake for Prudentia? Prudentia is often shown strangling a snake, and with a male face on the back of her head. Another choice, more rare but not unknown, has her reading a book to an audience at a lectern. Either way she often holds a mirror, usually a round or oval mirror on a long stick, showing a face. If the first printed edition of the cards had a Prudentia, and this was wrongly taken as Popess, then the artist must have chosen the book rather than the snake, or the mistake could never have been made. Even so, the mirror should have settled it, but perhaps the artist omitted it, or drew it so it could be mistaken for something else. Here is the Popess from the Cary sheet:
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The original artist, meaning her for Prudentia, could have drawn exactly this, in every detail (book, lectern, crown which is not a triple crown), except that instead of a crozier, she held a round mirror, showing a face, on a stick. All it would take would be a flaw in the woodblock carving to turn that mirror into a crozier.

The Queen of the Virtues presides: First, the ring of places around the Wheel is eight places, and there are only seven virtues. There needs to be an eighth, a presiding figure, as Apollo is added to the nine muses fill out a row of ten in the Tarocchi di Mantegna. This eighth figure added to the seven virtues should be a woman, as the virtues are, and she should preside. The Empress card seems as good a choice as any, and she is already in the right place. She may have been a goddess, rather than an empress, and she just might have been Diana.

King <–> Justice swap. In the Viéville order, spread as a layout, only two slots in the ring around the Wheel don't have virtues: the upper right and the middle right. (That is counting Empress as being Diana, for the “eighth virtue,” virginity). In the upper right, is the Emperor card. Assume that this place was originally Justice. Also assume the king pictured on the Wheel was repeated as a card, and was on the Wheel row, like the other cards taken from the small images on the Wheel. Especially once the card above the Wheel has been taken to be an Empress, this king could easily have been taken to be the Emperor. But he would have trumped the Pope! This was unacceptable, so the king card, taken as Emperor, had to be moved to the spot just before the Pope, and just after the Empress. The card that was in that spot was Justice, and it was moved to the spot where the king had been. This broke the ring of virtues, but several virtues (and Diana) had not been recognized, so the ring of virtues was no longer obvious.

Temperance to the end of the Wheel row. In the Viéville order layout the Temperance card, is at the far right of the Wheel row, but if the ring of virtues idea is correct, she was originally just after the Wheel, part of the ring. The last three slots on the Wheel row after her should then have been Hanged Man, Old Age, and Death, following the order around the Wheel. This made the Death card number 14; all the orders eventually made Death the unlucky number 13. So if Temperance was just to the right of the Wheel in the ring of virtues layout, she was moved to the end of the row, and the other three cards were slid left one space, making Death 13. This further breaks the ring of virtues. These two changes, one imperative because the Emperor must not trump the Pope, and the other imperative because Death must be 13, is all it takes to change the ring of virtues layout to the Viéville layout.

The visual key to the trump order, in the card player's hand. I have not found a wheel of fortune with six or five figures tied to it, but you could put six figures on a wheel, and put that on a playing card, and have the figures still be large enough to be recognized. In that way, the Wheel card in the player's hand, is the key to the order of the trumps. Rather than use a poem which many buyers won't know, or some monument that only one city would know, the game designer has chosen a visual key to the trump order, and put that visual key in every player's hand, as the Wheel card. This Wheel card would have shown five figures: 1) a fortunate lover getting engaged, 2) a victorious soldier awarded a triumph, 3) a king reigning in brief glory, 4) an traitor upside down, and 5) a very old man. Death as a skeleton waits at the bottom. With this card, the six cards on the Wheel row are placed: Lovers, Chariot, King, then the Wheel inside the ring of virtues, then Upside down Traitor, very Old Man, and Death. With the figures on the Wheel, plus the ring of virtues around the Wheel, re-enforced by the triple goddess vertical axis, all but six of the 21 trump cards are placed. (Those six cards may have a place in the scheme as well.) It was an excellent plan, to have an easily remembered image be used to place the cards. So what went wrong?

Virgil's Trivia: I digress, to talk about the vertical axis for a bit. In 1440, the Seven Virtues were over a thousand years old. Chastity is not one of the Seven Virtues, but in the Italy of the 1400s, she was an overwhelmingly important virtue, and virginity also. My idea of a ring of virtues suggests the empty spot directly above the Wheel would have needed a sort of “eighth virtue,” a female figure who fits in among the other seven. Virginity works, and the way to show virginity would have been Diana. The card buyers didn't know much mythology as a rule, but Diana and Actaeon was the one myth you could find on a cassone or a desco da parto. Of course Diana was the goddess of the moon, so the central axis is now connected with the moon, all three cards of it.

The card below the Wheel is Moon. mikeh thinks it is the virtue Faith, based on iconology. I take his opinions seriously, but I had thought it was Charity, based on the idea that the reliable sun, rather than the inconstant moon, was Faith (I also want Faith where it is). Charity is usually shown in art as a bare-breasted woman nursing. In the CYV Charity, she has one breast bare and one baby, but in other images of Charity it is both breasts bare, and more babies to suckle than could possibly be her own, hence charity. Here is Charity by Jan Matsys, a Flemish painter born in 1509, and famous for his erotic female nudes. (3)
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This bare breasted woman would have suggested to the singers of the tavern songs found at Beuern, and to the card playing louts of Italy as well, a different sort of giving of favors. The card at that point in the trump order, may or may not have been a virtue, but it ended up as the Moon card, so it had a moon on it; a moon on the card suggests a night scene. So we have a bare-breasted, fecund, and generous woman, encountered at night.

If you wander the woods under the moon, and encounter Diana naked, she turns you into a stag and sets your own dogs on you. Bare breasted Charity does not look like she'd be so strict. Boccaccio's Comedia della ninfe fiorentine was a play rather than a book. Boccaccio, more than Petrarch, was likely to be drawn on for a cassone or a desco da parto (as this play was), so if any written source is a clue to what the common people would have known and understood, it is this play. It stars Ameto, a shepherd who wanders the woods and stumbles upon some nymphs, but unlike Actaeon he did not end up being eaten: these nymphs are followers of Venus, rather than of Diana. This play, by the way, has nymphs representing six of the seven virtues (leaving out Faith, which was just as well, as they are worshipers of Cybele, the Phrygian mother goddess!)

So the central axis has three women, or goddesses, all connected with the moon: At the top, perhaps Diana, virginal and dangerous to encounter naked. At the bottom, a much more charitable naked goddess, perhaps Venus: Ameto suffers no more than being thrown into an ice cold spring to cool his blood. Between these good and bad outcomes is Fortuna, like the moon she is changeable. Both Diana and Actaeon, and this play, can be found on deschi da parto. A triple goddess, with Diana as the virginal one of the three, was a well-known concept, although here I must cite Virgil (who does not make the desco da parto cut). Virgil's usual name for Diana was Trivia (Three-road), in his times the goddess was worshiped at every three-way crossroads, and a three night bash was celebrated every new moon. But even without having read Virgil in particular, the central axis, as a triple moon goddess, should have been recognizable as a pattern to the Italians. Anyone who had seen the play would not have forgotten where in the trump order that bare-breasted woman under the moon was supposed to go: she goes on the other side of Fortuna from the virginal Diana.

The ring of virtues. I propose that the first trionfi printing with 21 trumps had this layout, which I will call the ring of virtues layout.
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The Wheel card had six spokes, and had five figures tied to it, showing in miniature, on the rising side, a fortunate lover and a successful soldier, at the top a throned king, and then on the descending side a man upside down with his crown falling off, and at the bottom an old man so weak he cannot stand. Next to him Death as a skeleton waits to untie him. Thus the six figures of the middle row can be placed in order, by simply looking at the Wheel card. The ring of virtues should have been easy to remember, and the order of the ring is the Thomas Aquinas order: Wisdom (Prudentia), Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance, followed by the Biblical virtues (1). (These are not in the Bible's order, but other clues give the order of these three trumps.)

Waxing abstract, we may say the vertical axis is cosmic, the horizontal axis is a man's life. The vertical is female, the horizontal male. Both vertical and horizontal lines are about what the world does to you, the circle of virtues is about how you should live in the world. Wheels are within wheels, and the Sun, Moon, and Star are the cycling days, months, and years, located within eternity. The Wheel row is the course of man's life from youth to death, and eternity follows after. The happy lover may find his happiness smashed by death; the defeated soldier may be raised to the highest throne; in the end, Fortuna trumps all. These concepts might not have been familiar in the form of written words to the average card buyer, but they can be felt in the placement of the spread out cards, and they add to the layout's coherence.

So what went wrong? Justice with her scales, and Temperance pouring water into wine, were easily recognized as the virtues they were, and the woman weight-lifter can be recognized as Fortitude once you know she's one of the seven virtues. But the Prudentia (Wisdom) card likely showed a woman, in a chair, at a lectern, reading a book to students (as in other images of Prudentia). She may or may not have carried a mirror. She was not bare headed but in some sort of headdress, or perhaps she wore a crown (perhaps all seven virtues did). To the card buyers, this was a woman giving a sermon, seated on a throne, in some sort of fancy hat. Therefore to those who saw the card, she was a high church official, perhaps a bishop. But there weren't any woman bishops – except, just once, a woman had been elected bishop of Rome. No one doubted that Pope Joan was historical fact, in the XV century. So they thought this was a picture of Pope Joan.

Likewise the Charity card had a bit too much Moon in it, a bit too much of Ameto's nymph Lia, to be recognized as the virtue Charity. Star and Sun had been made prominent on those cards for a reason (Moon trumps Star, Sun trumps Moon), but the result was that Hope and Faith failed to be recognized as the virtues they had been intended for. (They knew the cross on the Sun/Faith card was a cross, but not that the card was the virtue Faith.) Without the virtues, there is no ring of virtues. One casualty is Diana, not seen as the virtue Virginity, but just a crowned woman on a throne.

So there's a muddle. The top row has Bagatto, Pope Joan, Empress, Justice, Pope. All but the page boy are crowned and on thrones. But there's a mistake, the Emperor is three steps higher than the Pope! Better not show such a thing around here! So the King, who is really just the traditional king from the top of the Wheel, and no emperor, gets put in the place of Justice. Justice moves to somewhere more or less where the king used to be.

And then, someone notices that Death is trump number 14. Can't have that. Move Temperance to the end of the row, so Death will be 13.

Just those two changes, two necessary changes, moving the Emperor to be before the Pope so you won't be in trouble with the Parte Guelfa, and making sure that Death is at XIII, change the ring of virtues layout, to this:
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And this, is the order the Viéville Tarot de Paris (except switching Hanged Man and Old Man), and of the earlier Susio poem from Pavia (except for a further switching of Popess and Empress). These are type C or Western orders. Pavia is near Milan, and the French adopted tarot when they conquered Milan. Thus on two grounds this was the likely early order of Milan.

Order types A and B.
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This A order results from a reasonable desire to bring together the three virtues that the deck seems to have. World and Last Judgment are switched, and the couples are brought together on the top row. It makes Death 14, but this was dealt with by other means, such as not giving the Bagatto a number.
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The Met has three of these sheets, only one is online (5). Others are in Budapest (6). B order moves Justice to be next to Last Judgment. This makes Death be 13. Both A and B orders move Temperance to be the lowest ranking virtue (of the ones they recognized). Aquinas, by placing them in order, was giving the first-listed virtue the greatest weight, so that Wisdom ranked higher with him than Temperance. While C order puts the virtues in the Aquinas order, which makes sense if the only point is to use the Aquinas order to remember the order of the trumps, A and B orders more properly reverse the order, so the more important virtue outranks the less important. But the A and B reworking of the trump order, must have been after the failure to recognize Prudentia.

Conclusion: When one of the trump orders, which was likely that of Milan, is grouped by concepts into five, nine, and seven cards, and those groups are placed in rows and centered, a part of a pattern emerges: a ring of virtues around the central card, the Wheel of Fortune. If a deck existed with this ring complete, then only two moves, both explainable, are required to get to the Milan order from that starting point. Three cards, Emperor, Hanged Man, and Old Man, match images on the Wheel of Fortune card, and a fourth, Death, matches an image found on other wheels of fortune. The other Wheel image is a young man of rising fortune, who is not shown doing anything in particular, but he corresponds, at least in happiness, to two cards, the Lover getting engaged, and the victorious soldier awarded a triumphal Chariot. A Wheel card might have shown these two examples of happiness rather than just the one man rising. With that change every card on the Wheel row, was shown on the Wheel card, using them all, in the same order. A third pattern, a triple moon goddess, is found in the central axis of the layout. Every concept used in these patterns was known to the ordinary people of Italy, and not just to advanced humanist circles, as is shown by scenes on birth trays and hope chests, and by the presence of these concepts, such as the Seven Virtues, deep into the medieval past.

A designer of the trionfi game, seeking to make the trump order easy to grasp and remember by ordinary card buyers, might better have chosen a set of patterns and symmetries seen visually in a layout of the trumps, rather than copy some 21 things found in a book. The ring of virtues trump layout described here is such a layout. That such a highly symmetric and crosschecked pattern exists, and is only two explainable moves away from the known Milan order, is unlikely to be due to chance. This is evidence that this order did in fact exist, as the first large printing of trionfi decks, and the known orders emerged as explainable variations from it. That changes from this well-designed starting layout happened at all, was likely due to the failure of four of the virtue cards to be recognized as the virtues they were intended to be.

Re: Five - Nine - Seven

#2
sandyh wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 05:48
Three groups. The 21 tarocchi trumps have traditionally been divided into three groups of related cards. Because 21 is one and a half times 14, the number of cards in a Tarocchi suit, it may be tempting to say the 21 trumps are three groups of seven. Many division points have been proposed. I want the divide between the first and second groups, to be after the Pope card, making the first group only five cards. As to the divide between the second and third groups, I have no very strong argument to say where it should be, but I think starting the last group at the Devil card works as well as anything.
So far so good, a division into three groups, Bateleur to Pope; Lovers to Death; Devil to World, is one largely accepted following Dummet identification of such three groups; however, by then moving cards between the groups (rather than within each group), one immediately undermines the very basis for said divisions identified by Dummet, and come up with a variant pattern at odds with every regional pattern we know of!
The visual key to the trump order, in the card player's hand. I have not found a wheel of fortune with six or five figures tied to it, but you could put six figures on a wheel, and put that on a playing card, and have the figures still be large enough to be recognized.
You could, but like yourself, I have yet to see one -- the practicalities of the woodcut process I think would lead to simplification rather than complexity, and I imagine cards printed from woodblocks would have been smaller than the huge hand-painted decks of the courts, leading to problems of space - thus four figures were more likely in my opinion, or with requirements of simplification more likely less than more, like the three of the later Tarot de Marseille style -
Every concept used in these patterns was known to the ordinary people of Italy, and not just to advanced humanist circles, as is shown by scenes on birth trays and hope chests, and by the presence of these concepts, such as the Seven Virtues, deep into the medieval past.
Most surviving birth trays and marriage chests I am aware of come from fairly wealthy families - did the woolcarder class also buy birth trays and marriage chests? If so, were their decorations the same style we know of from those wealthy families - As for the seven virtues, regardless of coming from 'deep into the medieval past', with but few exceptions (Justice, Fortitude and Temperance) they were not recognized according to your own assessment by the 'wool-carder' class of players -- despite theirs being the very environment from which the cards appeared and were designed for?
A designer of the trionfi game, seeking to make the trump order easy to grasp and remember by ordinary card buyers,
Seems by your own assessment to have completely failed, not only did the players completely fail to recognize at least five subjects of the cards, but the 'easy to remember' order with in-built reference seems not to have been taken up at all and is at odds with all the actual existing orderings--
That such a highly symmetric and crosschecked pattern exists, and is only two explainable moves away from the known Milan order, is unlikely to be due to chance.
But it didn't exist, you have merely constructed it, and in doing so have done far more than simply make 'two explainable moves' , it depends upon a veritable comedy of errors, mistaken identities, non-existing cards (a wheel of fortune with figures of the other cards around it, the Empress re-interpreted as 'Diana'), and an order at odds with all existing ones and which undermines the basis of the Dummet divisions (by moving the Emperor or 'King' from one group into another group) which have gained a quite widespread acceptance - I suspect you have under-estimated the factors by which you measure the odds of probability in regards to it being "unlikely to be due to chance."
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Five - Nine - Seven

#3
SteveM wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 13:00
sandyh wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 05:48
The visual key to the trump order, in the card player's hand. I have not found a wheel of fortune with six or five figures tied to it, but you could put six figures on a wheel, and put that on a playing card, and have the figures still be large enough to be recognized.
You could, but like yourself, I have yet to see one -- the practicalities of the woodcut process I think would lead to simplification rather than complexity, and I imagine cards printed from woodblocks would have been smaller than the huge hand-painted decks of the courts, leading to problems of space - thus four figures were more likely in my opinion, or with requirements of simplification more likely less than more, like the three of the later Tarot de Marseille style -
Well, not seen one in connection with the Tarot I mean, there are plenty of illustration of the WoF with several figures upon it in other contexts: for example -
Image
Image
Those connected with the ages of man have several figures one might associate with tarot trumps:
Image
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Another with the Ages of Man:
Image
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With the turning of the planets:
Image
And with the four passions of the soul (as with the suits of Boiardo tarot)
Image
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Although there are only four figures here, it may be of interest for the identicaion of such with the four passions of the soul - a subject of the pips of Boairdo's tarot deck - of the four passions Petrarch wrote:

"Reason contends with the Four Passions, offspring of Fortune's emissaries, Prosperity and Adversity -- These two sisters gave birth to two sets of twins: Prosperity's passional offspring are Joy (Gaudium) and Hope or Desire (Spes sive Cupiditas); and Adversity's offspring are Sorrow (Dolor) and Fear (Metus) -- Where Joy and Sorrow are concerned with the past and the present - Hope or Desire and Fear are concerned with the future; both sets of passions afflict the mind as diseases of the body --"

Remedies for Fortune Fair and Foul: by Francesco Petrarca
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Five - Nine - Seven

#4
sandyh wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 05:48

The Queen of the Virtues presides: First, the ring of places around the Wheel is eight places, and there are only seven virtues. There needs to be an eighth, a presiding figure, as Apollo is added to the nine muses fill out a row of ten in the Tarocchi di Mantegna. This eighth figure added to the seven virtues should be a woman, as the virtues are, and she should preside. The Empress card seems as good a choice as any, and she is already in the right place. She may have been a goddess, rather than an empress, and she just might have been Diana.
One can find several 8-fold virtue schemes, for example to the four cardinal and three theological Lull adds Sophia as 8th - at Chartre Cathedral we can see the seven (4-3) virtues with associated vices together with an 8th Humility contra Pride -- while one can find one virtue described as Mother of the others, I don't recall seeing or reading of any under regency of a goddess (such as Diana or any other) akin to Apollo and the Muses (and think it would be somewhat odd to have some pagan deity over the Christian theologlcal virtues - more likely God, Christ or even Mary perhaps, or Sophia)

There were many virtues to be chosen from, not just the famous 7, in the 14t/15thh century the Pearl poet drew upon 8 from Christ's sermon on the mount: Dame Poverty, Dame Pity, Dame Penance the third, Dame Meekness, Dame Mercy and merry Dame Cleanness, and then Dame Peace and Dame Patience:

http://www.eleusinianm.co.uk/middle-eng ... y/patience

Virtues were commonly found together with images of Kings - to show the wisdom and moral goodness of the king - In representations of Kings, courtly or chivalric virtues were also often used; for example of an eight-fold mixed scheme of cardinal and courtly virtues, here is the front-piece of the Bible of Robert d'Anjou, King of Naples, which is also of interest for the polygonal type halos of the virtues, c1340:
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In the front row are Justice, Fortitude, Prudence and Temperance – behind them are the courtly virtues of Courtliness, Purity, Discretion and Loyalty, their identities are labeled inside their halos. They stand above corresponding personifications of eight vices: Avarice, the Devil, Indiscretion, Treason, Tyranny, Weakness, Folly and Fury, with their identities labeled on ribbons--

It is unusual perhaps in that two of the virtues are male, Fortitude seems to be a Samson like figure wearing a lion-head hooded cape - we may see in it at least 7 of our usual trumps, the central King/Emperor like figure (of Robert d'Anjou the King of Naples), Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, Devil, Traitor (treason/hanged man) & folly:
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Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Five - Nine - Seven

#5
I am sorry not to participate more often, but my main attention is on another project at the moment, working with Andrea Vitali to revise the translations of his iconological essays. We finished the Star. Only 6 to go.

But I do have something to say on the topic in question. First, in relation to the three groups, it is important to understand the context in which Dummett proposed them. Steve has reminded us of this, but I want to emphasize it further, with links. Then I want to throw out a few ideas of my own.

Dummett was trying to explain the variability among the 18 different early orders he found in the cards. His explanation in Game of Tarot (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1175) was (p. 398r):
The different orders of the trumps testify, not to a reliance on the numerals alone, but to the existence, at an early date, of wide local variation in the manner of play.
That is not much, but it is a start. We are to assume that when the game traveled from its place of origin, wherever that was, the pack arrived with people who didn't know the order precisely; or thel people in the new locality didn't respect what the traveler said and followed a slightly different order. Yet it is not total chaos, Dummett says, because there are three groups.
One is of "the Bagatto and the four Papal and Imperial cards" (Ibid); the second was "five cards, of which the typical order is, from lowest to highest: Love, the Chariot, the Wheel, the Hermit, the Hanged Man". He is excluding the virtue cards, because they have too wide a variation, he thinks. The third is "Death, the Devil, the Tower, the Star, the Moon,-the Sun, the World and the Angel" (p. 399l). Then the virtues are put in, for the characteristic three orders. What is missing here is any general characterization of the three groups indicating the principle by which each group is formed, making each a group.

In his FMR article, 1986 (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1185) he said there was first the Bagat and "the papal and imperial cards" for the first group, the same as before;, the second was "the conditions of human life", which he elaborated as
love, the cardinal virtues Temperance and Fortitude (always referred to in early sources as la Fortezza, not. as she is now. la forza) and Justice: the triumphal car; the wheel of fortune: the card now known as the hermit: the hanged man: and death.

The third group, as before, was the "spiritual and celestial powers".

In that article , as can be seen from the quote, he said that the three cardinal virtues were all in in the second group. In that way he seems to have excluded the B order placement of Justice from consideration, although he gives no argument in favor of that position. Also, you will have noticed that Death has been moved from the third group to the second. That should teach us that the division between second and third groups is not very firm.

There are also other problems. One is that while "Papal and Imperial Powers" makes a kind of sense, in that they describe the two basic kinds of authority in medieval society, secular and ecclesiastical, the Magician doesn't fit. Nor does the "Stations of Man", like the tarot of Mantegna, quite fit, because there is nothing in the middle, and the bottom should be occupied by a craftsman or laborer. People advancing the "three groups" hypothesis sometimes say, no, he is at the bottom because he is a terrible sinner. I do not doubt that the Church considered him so; but I can think of much worse; he was mostly an entertainer. And surely a Traitor is worse, and he's up in the middle of the sequence. And again, what about middling sinners? Also, if "sinfulness" is the criterion, surely the least sinful of men were not emperors and popes, but saints. So I am sympathetic to Alain Bougereal's effort to make the Bagatto a group of one (http://letarot.it/page.aspx?id=603, and a thread here starting at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1102#p16910), given that he was always the first trump (assuming that everywhere the Fool was a wild card).

Dummett in 1980 and 1986 seemed to assume that most of these cards existed from the beginning of the game, or at least at the time when the game spread from one city to others. But in a 2004 article Dummett advanced the position that the virtues were added after the others, and was particularly hard to remember where they went. He says (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1073&p=16421; here, mid-sentence, I borrow one of Huck's images of the printed text to save myself some typing):
When the tarot pack was first invented, perhaps around 1420 and perhaps in Milan, it had only 18 trump cards. They had a uniform order, followed
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For corroboration Dummett offers the 1457 pack in Ferrara of 70 cards, which he supposes consisted of 52 regular cards (missing the Queens) plus 18 trumps. Well, there are other possibilities for those 70 card decks, and there are no established cases of triumph decks with 52 regular cards. Otherwise it is a simple fact that the cardinal virtues, unlike the Petrarchans, were presented in all sorts of orders. It is no wonder nobody would follow one particular way. Moreover, in the case of justice there are two major types: human justice and divine justice. People knowing only the title could interpret it one way or the other. It is not a question of explaining the virtues' disorder as much as it is accounting for the relative order in the rest.

In this regard I offer a few considerations.. First, the part of the sequence from Devil through Sun was always in exactly that order everywhere. That suggests that these cards, at least most of them, came late in the deck's early development, when the game was already played in different cities and when card makers in one major center decided to add some of them, at a time when commerce and players went freely from one place to another, i.e. after the Peace of Lodi, or the time leading up to it,when northern Italy was more or less free from intercity conflicts. With good communication, the added cards were added in the same order everywhere. So we can consider these cards as a unit. I do not say that all of these cards were added later, just most of them.

The virtues, by their very disorder, suggest a time when intercity peaceful interaction was less frequent, except perhaps mercenaries switching sides.

On the other hand, those cards that had been identified as titles of the Petrarchan triumph poems could be expected to fall in the same order relative to each other as in Petrarch's poem, if not the same as Petrarch's then at least close to it, There is the problem that the pictures on the cards don't precisely conform to Petrarch's ideas. Time is represented by an old man, and because he is someone not yet dead,, he would go before the Death card, not next to last as in Petrarch. Given that the World card was sometimes understood as Fame (or maybe Providence) and sometimes as the Heavenly Jerusalem (which Milan when renovated would of course approximate), we can expect some variability at the end of the sequence, too.

Also, it seems to me that the idea of one card triumphing over another might play some role in defining the groups. When someone is in the heat of the game, each trick is a kind of mini-allegory, in which one card triumphs over the others that were played. But there are places in the sequence where this principle doesn't fit. It makes no sense to say that Love in the sense of betrothal leading to marriage triumphs over the Pope, So that can be a basis for a new group. On the other hand, in a romantic or instinctual sense Love did fit some popes, and that scandal would be part of the fun of the game. It may have been precisely to avoid that consequence that the B order inserts Temperance between Pope and Love.

However the Pope does triumph over the Emperor, the Emperor triumphs over the Empress (except perhaps where women have a say) and everybody except the Fool triumphs over the lowly street performer. The Popess can be inserted in different places. As Pope Joan (or, for the Sforza family privately, Manfreda), she triumphs over the Bagatto in being a higher class of trickster. But the Empress, as a rightful leader and exemplar of women, triumphs over the tricksters. However, as the Church, the Popess triumphs even over the Emperor, even if the Pope triumphs over the Church.

When we get to the middle section, choosing a wife may or may not take precedence over getting victories. It makes sense either way. If the Chariot card means the victory of marriage (as may be the case in the Milanese decks), then it triumphs over betrothal. But if it celebrates the winning of military honors, the obtaining of such achievement can be more important than following through on a betrothal. But Fortune always triumphs over material successes, and the only way to triumph over fortune is to live in the spiritual world, without attachments, like a monk. We then come to a sticky one: how can a young Hanged Man triumph over an old Hunchback? It might be that the Hanged Man image was already associated with the number 12. Yet this is also a good place for a break: Just as Love doesn't triumph over the Pope, officially, the Hanged Man doesn't triumph over an old person. In that case the defining feature of the last group would be "Last things", of which an ignominious death is one alternative, thus including the Hanged Man in in the third group.

The tendency to want each card to triumph over the one before it perhaps explains Alciati's term "fama" for the Temperance card and the "fama sol" banner of Vieville and the Flemish tarot,, wanting Petrarchan Fame to triumph over Death.

Another thing I notice is that the borders between groups is consistent through all the 18 or so different orders that Dummett details. That is, the Pope, which is the end of the first group, is always fifth. And Death is always 11th, if the virtues are excluded. For that matter, if we don't count the Sicilian order, which is much later than the others, the Hanged Man is always 10th, and the Old Man always 9th. (These are interchanged in the Sicilian.) So any of these serve as a good border-card. Take a look at Dummett's groups A, B, and C at pp. 399-401 of Game of Tarot (scroll down at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1175).

As for the virtues, they can go in any order consistent with their application. Particular virtues can be construed as triumphing over other "conditions of life" in a variety of ways. I have already discussed Justice. The only other problem virtue is Temperance after Death. How can Temperance triumph over Death? Well, moderation prolongs life, other things being equal. Alternatively, the card assumes a different meaning, either that of the Eucharist (mixing water and wine) or of the soul changing its "vehicle" from a terrestrial one to a kind of light-body, as Dante describes somewhere. These departures from the normal meaning (as one of the four cardinal virtues) would most likely apply only after it had already had the normal meaning.

Re: Five - Nine - Seven

#6
SteveM wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 10:29
sandyh wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 05:48

The Queen of the Virtues presides: First, the ring of places around the Wheel is eight places, and there are only seven virtues. There needs to be an eighth, a presiding figure, as Apollo is added to the nine muses fill out a row of ten in the Tarocchi di Mantegna. This eighth figure added to the seven virtues should be a woman, as the virtues are, and she should preside. The Empress card seems as good a choice as any, and she is already in the right place. She may have been a goddess, rather than an empress, and she just might have been Diana.
One can find several 8-fold virtue schemes, for example to the four cardinal and three theological Lull adds Sophia as 8th - at Chartre Cathedral we can see the seven (4-3) virtues with associated vices together with an 8th Humility contra Pride -- while one can find one virtue described as Mother of the others, I don't recall seeing or reading of any under regency of a goddess (such as Diana or any other) akin to Apollo and the Muses (and think it would be somewhat odd to have some pagan deity over the Christian theologlcal virtues - more likely God, Christ or even Mary perhaps, or Sophia)
The context for the origins of tarot is still Florence and besides Humility as an added eighth virtue on the older bronze doors of the Baptistry, the preponderance of examples of Virtue cycles in Florence is seven (from an older post of mine):
The seven virtues decorate numerous religious spaces throughout Florence (including the campanile next to the Duomo) but also dominates the most politically-charged space of the Piazza della Signoria, in the form of the large bas reliefs within trefoils carved below the parapet (by Agnolo Gaddi, c. 1385) of the so-called Loggia dei Lanzi from where public proclamations were read out. The four Cardinal virtues look out from the façade of the Loggia over the piazza while the three Theological Virtues face the Palazzo della Signoria (aka, “Vecchio” today) from across a narrow street (see my photo from a Palazzo window looking out at five of the virtues here - two of the Theologicals are out of frame to the download/file.php?id=1541). But note that Charity is singled out as the highest virtue by being placed above the cornice the others are beneath and protected by a canopy (photo from the ground looking up/west at the Theologicals: download/file.php?id=1543. Perhaps this was a nod to Florence’s strong ties to the papacy, but obviously [Chancellor] Bruni sought to elevate Prudence instead.

The seven virtues remained symbolically central to Florentine public life throughout the Quattrocento as evidenced by the major commission of the Mercanzia for large paintings of the seven virtues over the tribunal seats there (http://herstoryportrait.com/wp-content/ ... aiuolo.jpg (see Alison Wright, The Pollaiuolo Brothers: The Arts of Florence and Rome, 2005, 228f, especially 240 for the discussion of the seven virtues hung over the judges’ seats) as well as in more minor works such as Pesellino’s virtues with classical/biblical exempli below them on a cassone (http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/wi ... irtues.jpg.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1062
Especially noteworthy is the fact that the influential Scrovegni cycle of the virtues in padua was by a Florentine, Giotto:
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Seven as the fundamental until of tarot makes perfect sense anywhere in Northern Italy, but especially in Florence, and needs no special pleading that other sub-units require (and I admit my argument is that the Fool was tacked on in the PMB and not part of the ur-tarot).

Phaeded

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