5. From Minchiate in 16 to the A orders in 22, 25 and 97, in matrices where the order proceeds by columns.
First let me summarize the most important points so far:
Cary-Yale surviving cards (order unspecified): Imperatrice, Imperatore, Amore, Carro, Death, Faith, Hope, Charity, Angel, World
Cary-Yale additions, hypothesized: Temperanza, Giustizia, Prudenza, Tempo, Ruota.
My basic hypothesis: What corresponds to Marziano’s Virtues, Riches, Continences, and Pleasures are, in the proto-Tarot with the 16 Modrone subjects, the four cardinal virtues Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance, in that order.
I do not expect to prove that hypothesis, but only show its reasonableness and ability to account for the known facts. As such, it is also one that may require modification with the addition of more facts.
Before continuing, since this post starts a second page in this thread, I present again the table, cut and pasted from Depauiis, of early A orders, including the relevant cards of Minchiate.
As it happens, if we divide the 16 chosen cards , 11 original and 5 hypothesized (given in the summary above the table) into 4 groups, using the Minchiate order as proposed by Pratesi, and put them into a 4x4 matrix in the manner of Marziano, we do not get a cardinal virtue in each row, as can be seen in the matrix below. (Here "Trombe", Trumpets, is Minchiate's name for the card otherwise known as "Angelo" or, in the Tarot de Marseille, "Jugement". Likewise Minchiate does not have an Empress or Emperor, just "papas".) Like Marziano, the numbering goes from 1 as the most powerful in terms of trick-taking to 16 the least powerful not counting the suit cards. Since there is not one virtue per row, suits cannot be assigned, so that the last column is blank.
This matrix can also be written from 16 down to 1, the method of numbering adopted both in Minchiate and Tarocchi, which we are more used to.
Before going on, however, I need to clarify a couple of things. I am postulating that what connects the game played with the Modrone (Cary-Yale, CY) cards is the cardinal virtues appearing in the row corresponding to that suit. Unlike Marziano's gods, in the care of the CY cards, the other cards do not somehow fall under that virtue in the way that Marziano's gods fell under one of his four categories of virtues, riches, continences, and pleasures. There may well have been some sage saying that connected the other cards with the virtue, e.g. "The just emperor will be generous and spare from death those of an enemy nation who took up arms against him but now submit to his authority." There would equally be a sage saying connecting three other cards to that same virtue .As we will see, the virtues can share a row with other cards in many ways.
I would have thought that the idea of dividing the 16 cards of our sequence into four groups of four based on the four virtues would not have occurred to anyone independently of knowing Marziano's treatise, there is nothing in the tarot subjects to suggest any association to one virtue rather than another. Marziano's division of gods and demigods into four groups, although contrived, is more natural, in that it depends on pre-existing qualities of these subjects. Yet it may well be that the idea of the four groups of four united by the four virtues may have been stimulated by something in Marziano's stay in Florence before Milan. Florence was divided into four quarters each divided into four gonfaloni (for their names see http://cds.library.brown.edu/projects/c ... ebook.html), a link Huck provided in post 2 of viewtopic.php?p=20791#p20791). This structure was depicted in a late 14th century fresco that has been recently restored and is now the ceiling of a seafood restaurant in Florence. A photo of this ceiling is included in Monica Donato's essay "Gli affreschi del Palazzo dell'Arte de' Giudici e Notai" (The frescoes of the Palace of the Guild of Judges and Notaries, in Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Classe di Lettere e Filosofia, serie 5, 2015, 7/1, pp. 3-33.
The fresco features a series of concentric circles, similar to medieval representations of the cosmos. Inside all the rings are squares; around the inner square are four other squares each divided into four squares each. (Ignore the four large rectangles pointing vertically and horizontally; these are something else, administrative units of the city government. Ignore also the figures between each pair of virtues, which are civil law and canon law. For a fuller treatment, see my post 11 at viewtopic.php?p=20845#p20845.) These 16, as well as the four sets of rectangles in the four quadrants of first ring, represent the 16 gonfoloni, districts, within the 4 quarters of Florence. In the next ring outward are rectangles representing the 21 guilds of Florence, with an equal number of shields, each with the heraldic of a particular guild. Outside the last ring (of a moat, I think) are the four cardinal virtues, one for each quadrant of the 16. (For better pictures of the virtues, see Phaeded's post.) Donato says:
In relation to the quadrants of the circle, moreover, there is a relationship between one virtue and one group of four. The fresco is a picture of the relationship I am suggesting between a suit, representing a virtue, and four out of sixteen cards.A destra e sinistra dell'immagine della città sono le quattro Virtù cardinali, principi guida della vita civile, tradizionalmente associate a figure di regnanti, a designarne la sovranità.
(To the right and left of the image of the city are the four cardinal Virtues, guiding principles of civic life, traditionally associated to the figures of rulers, to designate their sovereignty. )
I do not know whether any significance should be attached to the number 21 in relation to the cards at this point. But the 16 standards in four rectangles is the same as Marziano's structure, and that they were surrounded by the four cardinal virtues has a direct relationship to the modification of that structure I am proposing for the tarot subjects.
In fact, looking at the fresco as a miniature cosmos radiating out from a central point, it is not clear whether each quadrant, i.e. suit, has 4 elements or 5, since the virtue could be considered an additional element, as opposed to representing the suit.. a 4x5 matrix would of course include 20 cards, and if one were outside the matrix, in the way that the Fool is outside the sequence of tarot trumps, that would be 21, the same as the number of guilds and one less than the number of triumphs that is enumerated in the later lists (except that of the Charles VI as numbered and the Strambotto, which have just 20 plus the Fool). If the tarot preceded Marziano's game, then it may well be that Marziano's is a shortened form of tarot rather than the tarot being an expanded version of Marziano. And if 21, then what about 25 or 26, adding the three theologicals, and prudence, and perhaps not subtracting the Popess, which is missing from Minchiate? The upshot is that we have to investigate several such matrices, not just the 4x4 of Marziano..
Another issue is that of how the 4x4, 4x5, etc. matrix by columns, as Marziano had it, affects the conduct of the game. Somehow the four virtues would mnemonically be associated with the three other cards in its group, perhaps by a sage saying. But what would that have to do with the conduct of the game? It seems to me that each row of triumphs has to function as an extension of its corresponding suit, to which it is is subordinate, so that following suit in a trick requires that one play a card in the suit led, and if one has none, then to play a card in the corresponding extension if one has one. Failure to do so would be to forfeit the hand, while doing so may require one to give up a card one would have preferred to put to better use later in the hand.
With these clarifications and complications, let us see how the standard Minchiate order above can reasonably be supposed to have been slightly different at an earlier time. All of these variations will keep the same system of numbering, from 16 down to 1 going in columns from left to right.
It is not hard to fix the matrix by just one change. One of them, putting Time high instead of low, i.e. as a celestial meaning cosmic time, is not a change but simply a different interpretation of the Petrarchan triumph called Time, Tempo. The other is the obvious one of putting Prudence with the other cardinals instead of with the theologicals. Prudence could be inserted anywhere, but a couple are more interesting than the others. One is to put Prudence above the others in the order, as Cicero and St. Thomas Aquinas did. Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae Part II of Part II, listed Prudence immediately after the theologicals and before Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance, in that order.
We could also imagine that the theologicals were directly above Prudence. However we need not go that far to be able to assign suits according to the virtue in each row.
The order of suits here is not the same as Marziano's. But we could also imagine a different placement of the Chariot originally, that it was put before the virtues, as it is in the Bolognese order, where I imagine the theologicals and Prudence placed where we see them in Minchiate:
Alternatively, we could imagine putting an additional ruler in position 3, Minchiate's third "papa", corresponding to the Pope in other decks, and removing the Wheel. I am not going to provide tables for this alternative not only because I find the Wheel more likely as an early card than the Pope, as I explained earlier, but also because as far as the position of the virtues is concerned, it amounts to the same thing as moving the Chariot card.
Then, from A4, moving Prudence to be with the other cardinals, but this time as second from the top (although it could have been otherwise), we get:
With this placement of Prudence, the virtues are in the order presented in Plato's Republic, assuming that instead of his Wisdom we have Prudence, which Aquinas defined as "wisdom for man". Now the suits are in the same order as inferred for Marziano's game. Moreover, the cardinal virtues are all in the same column. If one is designing a sequence where the cardinal virtues are the key link to the suits, this is a very logical and memorable way to do it. It won't matter if someone gets the order wrong elsewhere, as long as the result is all the cardinal virtues in the third column counting from the top, the second column counting from the bottom.
This feature also has one other advantage, more difficult to explain. When there is a conventional association between a suit and a cardinal virtue, it is possible to reduce the matrix to one of 12. However in so doing either some cards will out of order in the internal hierarchy, or some cards will have changed what row they are in. The more irregularity, the more this will happen. If both games, with a 12 and 16 card matrix, are played in the same city in the same time period, this is an opportunities for confusion. I will illustrate this point with A4, already presented:
If the virtues are removed from the rows we get:
Here Time is out of order. But if we correct the order, then the rows will change:
Here all the cards in the middle column are different from what they were in the 16 card matrix. But of course removing the cardinal virtues from A5 would not disturb anything. That is another advantage of an order where all the cardinals are in the same column.
From any of A1-A5, one or other of the known A orders can be derived simply by subtracting the theologicals and prudence, and then adding the new ones. It is of interest that the Minchiate order in 16, lacking a virtue in one or more rows, with 25 cards, obtained by adding to the 16 nine additional cards, no longer has that problem.
The position of Prudence in Minchiate is perhaps where it is just so that the Marziano-type game could be played with 25 cards. To that extent the above matrix is not excluded from being the original form. Here of course the Fool is not part of the matrix; this is fitting for a card without number. The same matrix can be preserved even with Minchiate's full 97 cards, because the number of additional cards is divisible by 4 (4 elements and 12 zodiacal signs). It is a 10x4 matrix.
The 21 or 22 cards of the so-called Charles VI deck, given the order indicated by small numbers handwritten at the top of the cards sometime after they were produced, is achieved from any of A1-A5 by removing the fousome Hope-Charity, and the , and adding the usual tarot subjects (perhaps excluding the Popess) in their usual places. The numbering is from Depaulis's table of A orders presented above; the 5 cards missing from the Charles VI are in italics. It is unlikely that this was originally a 16 card deck, because the otherwise similar Catania cards includes an Empress, recently discovered (see my post at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1112, referencing Emilia Maggio, "New Insights into the So-called Alessandro Sforza Deck", in The Playing Card for April-June 2016):
Here the bottom row does not have a virtue, because of course Prudence is no longer there. But if the deck had a Popess card, perhaps that condition could be fulfilled by her. Prudence was typically shown carrying a book. She sometimes had a cross-staff as well, as in the PMB Popess card, and as Wisdom she would get a crown. If the Charles VI didn’t have a Popess (possible since the numbering has the Emperor as 4), then the Bagatella would be put into the matrix in her place. In this case Prudence dictates having nothing to do with that character, on pain of losing one's Denari. Otherwise it remains outside the matrix with the Fool.
From A4, the shortened Bolognese order, the full 22 is likewise achieved by subtracting the series Hope-Charity, inserting the series Diavolo-Sol and the Hanged Man, and adding two more “papi” in front of the existing two. At some point the order of Fortitude and Justice would have been reversed. We see a similar reversal in the Rosenwald sheet. Or else, to be sure, this order is original and the Minchiate and Charles VI is not.
So the A order supports the hypothesis I am advancing quite well. But Marziano was in Milan. when he wrote his treatise with the implied 4x4 matrix. So it makes sense that I also examine the C order, to see whether either is more fundamental than the other. While it makes sense to have the virtues all in sequence as in the A region, there may be an equally valid rationale for the C order of virtues, within an order that is otherwise like that of Minchiate, and which has a cardinal virtue in each row of the 4x4 matrix.