Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#51
There was no Latin translation available for Marziano so the best I can do is assemble the factoids in Marziano and rule out which available Roman source had it or not - that should point to the source; then the likes of a fellow Milanese humanist such as Antonio Loschi could have provided the epitome (he was translating a Plutarch life, Marius, in 1410). Or of course Marziano could have translated the Tuscan version of Plutarch into Latin on his own....

I’m interested in your Mythographical intro to section IV.

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#52
I am still on the rules, including the scoring.

It seems to me that the rules would have been in between those of Viti and those of transitional games such as Karnoffel. I can find nothing about how Karnoffel was, or is, scored. Any sources?

As far as the rules of trionfi at this time, we have to bear in mind that this was a game which children played, and apparently was played with two people (as well as more), for example Galeazzo Maria and his uncle in Ferrara, or the 9 and 11 year-olds for whom a deck was bought in 1442 Ferrara, http://trionfi.com/0/e/01/.

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#53
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 15:36
Therefore the state of the question is that Marziano wrote his account of Vesta shortly before 1425, and we have a 1449 copy of it, and that an identical passage, adapted for context, appears in the early 17th century in two manuscripts of the Vita of Saint Gaucherius of Aureil. One of the manuscripts with this passage appears to have been written at Saint Victor in Paris (lat. 14366) while the other comes from Grandmont (lat. 17670) [now 12/04/2019 S. Magloire, Paris].
+
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 17:58
Of course we want to how and why Marziano created his Vesta.

Here's a new curve for you: Hrotsvitha, d. after 973 CE (Latin: Hrotsvitha Gandeshemensis; with a bewildering number of name variants which throws a wrench in your searches: Hrotsvit, Hrosvite, Hroswitha, Hroswithe, Rhotswitha, Roswit and Roswitha). Thankfully Wiki has a very decent entry on her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hrotsvitha

Why her and a connection to Gaucherius and Marziano? We'll have to take a convoluted and highly speculative path to Gaucherius, but incredibly she links Vesta with the hagiography of S. Agnes.

Why does that matter? Let's return to the penultimate question you've asked above for Marziano: why did he create this particular Vesta? I might further frame that as part of the larger question of why did he make this game for Filippo? Cupid, to say it again, plays a major role, ranging through everyone's sphere, making the entire realm of the "heroes" a sort of arena of Love. And again I ask you to entertain the idea that Filippo is not playing solitaire but perhaps with his beloved: Agnese, whose namesake is this virgin saint. Agnes was an especially appropriate name in Milan because Saint Ambrose, essentially the patron saint of the city and giving his name to the "Golden Republic" of 1447-50, wrote an epistle on her, De Virginibus (certainly suggestive of the suit of "virginities"), probably delivered in Milan in 376 on her feast day (https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/phi ... aint-agnes); translation of Ambrose here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf210 ... ii.ii.html Themes strongly evocative of Marziano's Vesta are in Ambrose, and Marziano would have had good reason to utilize anything associated with Milan's most important saint: "in virtue above nature," "the name of virgin is a title of modesty," and died in a pagan fire, Vesta's characteristic symbol: "she was ready to stretch forth her hands to Christ at the sacrificial fires, and at the sacrilegious altars themselves, to make the sign of the Lord the Conqueror."

The odd thing about Marziano is the interjection of the word "nun" and essentially a nunnery when describing the Vestals, something one of course would not find in any Roman source....but one would take from hagiographical material. Ambrose does not supply the connection to Vesta; however, other accounts do link her to the foundation of Christian Rome: The daughter of Constantine I, Saint Constance, was said to have been cured of leprosy after praying at Agnes' tomb (the suit of pagan "virginities" would all be precursors to the values of Christianity). That leads us to Hrotsvitha....

To save myself from transcribing or snipping even more from two scholarly works (I do snip and paste two portions further below), from Wiki:
One of Hrotsvitha's most well known plays was Gallicanus. It was also the first drama she wrote and, like another of her dramas, Calimachus, focuses on the theme of conversion. The central woman in the story is the Emperor Constantine's daughter, Constance. Constance is a consecrated Virgin, while Gallicanus is the Commander-in-Chief of Constantine's army. When Gallicanus tells Constantine that he wants to marry his daughter, Constantine goes to Constance and tells her of Gallicanus' wishes. But Constance is strong in her convictions of chastity, and Constantine supports his daughter's wishes.
Constance has a plan for her father to avoid her having to marry Gallicanus, which he happily goes along with. The conversion part comes in when they plan to have Gallicanus convert to Christianity. Constance's Grand Almoners, John and Paul, see to it that Gallicanus wants to convert when he thinks he might lose a battle, and after his victory Gallicanus has himself baptized and takes a vow of celibacy. Likewise, he informs Constantine that he can no longer marry his daughter, like Constance had planned. Constance is portrayed as an intelligent girl who has dedication and a vow of chastity, a common theme in Hrotsvitha's plays. Her faith is emphasized, as is her perseverance.[18]

Gallicanus is comparable to one of Hrosvitha's eight legends, Agnes. Both highlight the preservation of the main female's virginity and her faithfulness to God, even though the marriage she is being offered is an honorable one. Both also deal with conversion in a very similar way, with the man seeking to marry her eventually converting himself and becoming a follower of Christ. In all of Hrovitha's works that include the preserving of one's virginity, there seems to be a pattern of it being only a female virtue.[19]
Again, Constance is also connected to Agnes, cured of leprosy in a vision of Agnes, then building a shrine to her outside the Roman walls (also appropriate to Marziano's characterization of the Vestal shunning of worldly distractions).

Scholarly discussion of Hrotsvitha's Agnes story can be found in these two scholarly quoted below.

First, Stephen L. Wailes, Spirituality and Politics in the Works of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim (2010), describes the scene where she is being forced to marry a pagan, the son of the Prefect Sempronius, against her will, by being dragged to the temple of Vesta (ironically where she'd be ritually absolved of her virgin oath, but under the sanction of marriage) [2nd paragraph]:
Image
Wailes, Agnes, 115.JPG
(155.76 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Secondly, Jane Chance, The Literary Subversions of Medieval Women (2007: 33-34), quotes the passage concerning Vesta in Ovid's Fasti, where he equivocates on Vesta being both earth (hearth) and fire (the vestal flame); Chance explains and connects to our material:

Image
Chance, 33-34.JPG
(145.44 KiB) Not downloaded yet

What is especially interesting here is what personal appeal Martianus Capella may have had for Marziano in that the Italian version of Martianus is Marziano (a sort of humanist pagan "patron saint" namesake). I've not mined Martianus's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii for all of the Vesta references yet, but I did note that he divides "the whole sky into sixteen regions" - the same number of Marziano's deified heroes. The treatment of Vesta in the Agnes myth is ambivalent, but Marziano was not writing a hagiography, just establishing the pagan world of the deified progenitors (with Roman names), some of whom were incorporated into the genealogy of the Visconti; all the better if there were chaste exemplars that foreshadowed the Christian world (and again, Constance was astride those worlds, the pagan Empire transitioned into a Christian Empire...with her inspired by Saint Agnes, literally Agnese's patron saint).

As for the Vita of Saint Gaucherius with the added Marziano-Vesta language, he established places of spiritual refuge for men and women, not unlike the life of Saint Gallicanus with whom Agnes is connected in Hrotsvitha. Saint Gallicanus was a legendary Roman martyr in Egypt in 363, but known as a consul with Symmachus in 330 and converted to Christianity and retired to Ostia where founded a hospital and endowed a church built by Constantine I (whose daughter Agnes inspires). Ultimately he was banished to Egypt, and lived with the hermits in the desert. And again, the central woman in his story is the Emperor Constantine's daughter, Constance, a consecrated Virgin, while Gallicanus is the Commander-in-Chief of Constantine's army. Constance denies his marriage offer and instead gets Gallicanus to convert to Christianity and also takes a vow of celibacy.

Someone utilizing an alphabetically organized compendium of the lives of saints would find Gaucherius's Acta right after or near Gallicanus; perhaps struck by their similar withdraw from worldly life, explored the other saint in more detail and came across Hrotsvitha's material, and with Agnes also connected to Constantine, is drawn to her life and the connection to Vesta. Further research on Vesta leads our mystery hagiographer to Marziano who provides a "nun-like" description of Vesta and her Vestals withdrawn from society, but applies that description to his saint. All of this would be based on the fortuitous grouping of a compendium of saints that included both Gaucherius and Gallicanus (or perhaps just the latter, Gallicanus come across since our writer is looking in the saintly book for where his new saint would go), Hrotsvitha, and Marziano....Marziano being the very limiting factor here, since only two known manuscripts.

Contrary to that, and equally speculative, consider that Gaucherius flourished in the century right after Hrotsvitha, so, contrary to my original opinion, there is the possibility that the Vesta material was actually original to the life of Gaucherius, appropriated from Hrotsvitha, and a copy of that was found in the monastery manuscript-hunting period right before Marziano's work (e.g., Poggio in St. Gall in 1417) . Of course this hagiography interested no other humanists....but Marziano found a use for this obscure material (but why would he link the Gaucherius vita to Vesta?).

At all events, it is the earlier life of Agnes that provides the link between the corpus of hagiography and Vesta. Other sources for her legend I have not explored yet besides St. Ambrose (to see what role Vesta plays) include a metrical Vita by Prudentius, one by Pope St. Damasus preserved in the Acta sanctorum, and the late 10th century Old English life by AElfric (Chance, 26), but it seems the place (central Germany) and time (also 10th century) would favor the prolific Hrosvitha as the source (even if she were somehow influenced by AElfic's Old English manuscript - but how could she read it?).

On the whole its hard to imagine Marziano, even being in the second ranks of humanists that we presume of him, plagiarizing a hagiography. Unless Marziano was driven to seek out such hagiographic sources because of his patron's love, Agnese....but Hrotsvitha does not provide the quote, only the connection to Vesta - the unknown author of the life of Gaucherius has the quote but he does not mention Vesta. I thus come to the conclusion that, however unlikely, Hrotsvitha and Marziano were in the same library, the former text leading leading our anonymous writer of Gaucherius to the latter text, both featuring Vesta. As for the problem of Marziano's potential use of Hrotsvitha, or Roman sources (namely Plutarch) - or both - I've still yet to compare figures of speech in all sources to make an argument either way. Right now I'd tentatively argue that the Agnes/Vesta connection (spurred on by trying to flatter Filippo's love for Agnese) lead him to search out Roman sources that allowed for an especially chaste/nun-like reading of Vesta and her Vestals (Boccaccio simply didn't).

Phaeded

PS I've since come across the oldest source for the Agnes/Vesta connection (not Prudentius - he cites Minerva) - which still does not clarify which source Marziano or the anonymous hagiographer of Gaucherius might have had access to, but the oldest Latin account of Agnes' martyrdom linked to Vesta is the Passio Sanctae Agnetis (BHL 156-7 and 2527-7a). This late antique Latin passion (date is disputed, 4th-5th century) was once attributed to Ambrose of Milan and numerous manuscripts make that attribution, which at least underscores that portion of my thesis of why Agnes would be especially noteworthy in the Visconti court, and indeed, no doubt why Filippo's lover, Agnese del maino, was named for that saint. Excellent dissertation on Agnes sources here: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/14131/1/507789.pdf

Perhaps a telling line from the author of the dissertation: "I have always been struck by the popularity of the passiones of the early Roman virgin martyrs and how countless medieval authors were inspired to adapt and retell the legends of such saints for a variety of different purposes."

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#54
Phaeded, you've given me a lot to digest, so please don't expect a quick response.

The life of Agnes mentioning Vesta is certainly eye-catching. But let me get my head around what your method is digging up. The best place to look for sources is of course in hagiography. I hope you caught my update on the manuscript sources for the pericope Gaucherii, that the second one most likely comes from Paris too. So that all the definite and known sources for this version of Gaucherius come from either Paris or Meulan, Gaucherius' home town, not terribly far from Paris. It makes me wonder if the source is not the Paris copy itself, latin 8745. But I would like to see the other Gaucherius manuscript first. It will surely be up on Gallica one day, but I might have to push it and get a copy of that life sooner, maybe from Thierry in a few months. But if I can hook him with the surprise of this connection, maybe he can do more ground-level work with the nexus of Antoine Vion d'Herouval and François de Blois, both natives of Meulan. De Blois 1652 is the earliest printed evidence of the pericope, but the two manuscripts may be earlier. But by citing an "ancien légendaire" or "cartulaire" of Limoges, he makes it seems as if the texts, whether manuscript or printed, are much older. But we may find ourselves secure in suspecting that either Picard or the Magloire copy are the source of the interpolation. I think Picard himself may have been familiar with the Royal Library.

Whatever the solution of the Gaucherius interpolation, Marziano's sources, or at least inspiration, remain to be found, and your work is well on the way to providing the ground. So let me get to it.
Image

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#55
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
18 Aug 2019, 18:20
you've given me a lot to digest...

Whatever the solution of the Gaucherius interpolation, Marziano's sources, or at least inspiration, remain to be found, and your work is well on the way to providing the ground. So let me get to it.

Hell, I'm still digesting it - came out of an unfamiliar rabbit hole (medieval hagiographies) and quickly tried to make some coherence out of it all in an effort to post that material here (and failed, perhaps putting too much of a focus on Hrotsvitha instead of her ultimate source, at least where Marziano is concerned). So another, abridged try at this....

I think the most intriguing source is the Ps.-Ambrose "Passio Sanctae Agnetis" which originally interjects Vesta into the story (and I'm guessing this was not understood as "pseudo" even in the 15th century), and would resonate with anyone in Milan; i.e., Marziano...leading him to further explore Vesta. And again, the real Ambrose epistle on Agnes found in his work De Virginibus certainly lends itself to Marziano''s oddly named suit of "virginities" (virginitatis)

Unlike Marziano's situation, whomever did the Gaucherius interpolation was far from Ambrose's home city of Milan and thus Ambrose, pseudo or otherwise, was not necessarily regarded as a privileged text in Paris (or wherever in France), and thus Agnes/Vesta of little import. Furthermore Marziano, concerned as he is with the pagan gods, does not make a connection to Agnes, so his Vesta text could be applied to any saint. But it seems there would have to be a hagiographic bread crumb that lead one to Marziano's Vesta, and the only half-baked one I can come up with was our anonymous writer was culling the usual compendia of saints' stories for information, found Gallicanus (and then perhaps Hrotsvitha), near to where the future Gaucherius entry would go (depending on how many "G" saints were listed in said compendium). Gallicanus and Agnes are tied in different ways to Constance - especially if one has Hrotsvitha, thus inviting one to explore Agnes's story and then Vesta (leading one to Marziano's tractatus of the gods where Vesta is listed). One is not poaching one saint's story for another since, again, Marziano makes no connection to Agnes. Agnes/Vesta merely encourages one to understand who Vesta was.

Without Gallicanus->Agnes->Vesta its hard to understand why someone writing about Gaucherius would have been lead to Vesta material, with the very tenuous argument I'm offering that Gallicanus was looked at merely because he was near where Gaucherius would go in the saintly phone book, as it were. One could have read Ps.-Ambrose's Passio Sanctae Agnetis and the Vesta mention there, and still have had one's interest piqued in Vesta....but why would one be researching Agnes for material on Gaucherius? The biggest problem here is Gaucherius has zero connection to Vesta (and that cult died in 394 CE, so one wouldn't know anything about it without recourse to Medieval mythological compilers or a Roman source).

The surviving Hrotsvitha manuscripts are discussed in this Brill work: A Companion to Hrotsvit of Gandersheim (fl. 960): Contextual and Interpretive Approaches, edited by Phyllis R. Brown, Stephen L. Wailes 2013: 25f [but one page of this section was not scanned]. Missing chapter page aside, I don't see a Parisian copy, but some prelates made the rounds between monasteries, particularly if of the same order. And although Gaucherius was Augustinian, his monastery at Aureil was in the Limoges area (less than 10km to the SE of the city), where the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Martial's library in Limoges was second only to the library at Cluny; Hrosvitha was a nun, or canoness at the Benedictine monastery of Gandersheim in Saxony. Someone writing about Gaucherius surely checked out the renowned library in the area (since destroyed and manuscripts disbursed), and given it was Benedictine was more likely to hold the Benedictine Hrosvitha's writings.

Phaeded

PS OK, not so abridged.

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#56
Phaeded wrote:
18 Aug 2019, 06:20
What is especially interesting here is what personal appeal Martianus Capella may have had for Marziano in that the Italian version of Martianus is Marziano (a sort of humanist pagan "patron saint" namesake). I've not mined Martianus's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii for all of the Vesta references yet, but I did note that he divides "the whole sky into sixteen regions" - the same number of Marziano's deified heroes.
I wish I had known of this sixteen regions of the heavens before writing the divination section! The literature on it is small, but since Kopp's edition of Martianus Capella, in 1836, the relationship with Etruscan cosmology has been known, and subsequent studies relate it to Etruscan hepatoscopy, speciifically a bronze liver (Bronzeleber) with Etruscan words inscribed on it; the outer ring relates to Martianus' account of the sixteen divisions.

Marziano would absolutely have known Martianus Capella. The De Nuptiis also mentions the Dii Consentes, equivalent to the Twelve Olympians, at the beginning of the section on the sixteen divisions with their very unusual selection of gods. See Shanzer's translation, linked below, and Weinstock's study which goes a long way to explaining the arrangement.

Here are some notes I've taken today, just in case you want to pursue this angle in your spare time -

The sixteen regions section with its divinities is Book I, sections 41-61.
Vesta is not mentioned much in Capella,
Kopp edition, sections. 72, 168, 215

Unfortunately the seminal 1946 article by Stefan Weinstock “Martianus Capella and the Cosmic System of the Etruscans” (Journal of Roman Studies 36, pp. 101-129) is not readable online at JSTOR.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/298044?seq ... b_contents
Edited to add: I found it on Scribd, which someone has cleverly uploaded with a translated title –


(Edited to add - I see that the link brings up the whole paper; tell me if you can't download it.)

The other classic study, in German, is Carl Thulin, Die Götter des Martianus Capella und der Bronzeleber von Piacenza (Gieszen, 1906)
https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_apADBbqbL4AC

See also Danuta Shanzer, A Philosophical and Literary Commentary on Martianus Capella’s De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, Book I (University of California Press, 1986), pp. 212-213 (translation).
https://books.google.fr/books?id=XmPsVE ... en&f=false

Shanzer page 4 shares the following intriguing insight about the “sixteen regions” passage:

“Perhaps the greatest insensitivity that one encounters in Martianean criticism is lack of a sense of humour and ear for parody. This is a point that cannot be sufficiently emphasized when reading the De Nuptiis: it is a spoudogeloion work in the best Menippean tradition. Consequently, it is full of parody and allusions that are meant to be amusing and not to be taken too literally. I have my doubts about the famous “sixteen regions” passage so learnedly analysed by Weinstock; various details of this passage suggest that it is a parody of the traditional catalogue of deities. (11)

Note 11: For the genre of the De Nuptiis see Chapter 2. One notes the astonishing variation in choice of verbs for each deity (18.5 ff): mansitabant… domicilium possidebat… domus constitutae… corrogaret… venerunt… poscimini… placuit adhiberi… accitus… convenisitis… venit… devocatur… postulantur… acciti… convocantur… advocati. Interesting also is the imitation of subjective Hellenistic apostrophe at 18.17 vos quoque Iovis filii and 19.2 Neverita tuque, Conse,ex decima convenistis. To these might be compared Vergil, Aen. 5.840; 7.733; 7.744; and 7.759.

(Shanzer’s sections “18” and “19” in this note refer to Kopp’s 41-46, and in Shanzer’s translation this is called "Appendix" and uses the siglum K for Kopp. I’m not sure what Shanzer’s numeration refers to, as I can’t see enough of the book.)
Image

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#57
I had also looked up Ambrose, De Virginibus, as a potential and plausible common source for Marziano and Gaucherius, but of course the passage is not to be found there.

Failing to turn up any phrases from Vesta in any source but Gaucherius made me lean to the what at first seemed the least likely option, that the hagiographer had borrowed from Marziano. It remains possible that the common source is in manuscript, or for some reason in a printed text beyond Google's OCR reach. But all of the other factors surrounding Gaucherius, especially the late attestion, and Parisian provenance, make Marziano the default origin.

I had not made the connection between Saint Agnes and Agnes del Maino, which is certainly worth noting in our search for context.
Image

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#58
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
19 Aug 2019, 17:01
....the relationship with Etruscan cosmology has been known, and subsequent studies relate it to Etruscan hepatoscopy, speciifically a bronze liver (Bronzeleber) with Etruscan words inscribed on it; the outer ring relates to Martianus' account of the sixteen divisions.

I'm not so sure Marziano would have gone down the Etruscan rabbit hole - the antiquity of the number 16 and its association with the sky was enough for him (and many of those deities assigned to each of the sections of the sky were surely obscure to him). He may have been aware of the Etruscan connection but what generally appealed to him in Capella (I'll use that name to avoid confusion between our two authors) was the divine creation of knowledge - Philology (she literally vomits up books and genres of learning, and and is then offered something to drink by her mother, Apotheosis, Book II.139-140) - and its dissemination by Mercury (who penetrates everywhere), that essentially allowed for the apotheosis/euhemerism for those enlightened by such knowledge (certainly an appealing for humanists).

In the book already published you rightfully point out Marziano was interested in the gods allegorically, deified by the process of euhemerism - Capella's "marriage" is an allegory of that very process. Boccaccio provided the deity summaries, but even his unused version of Vesta is deeply related to Capella's project in this sense: Vesta is elemental, earth and fire, - perhaps best understood as earth that becomes fire (the apotheosis process or catasterism); an Ovidian metamorphosis. Boccaccio, in keeping with the title of the book, focuses on Vesta and the genealogical lines she generated, mainly by copulating with "Sky" (Celi), while she symbolized earth. So through that act, the celestial(=fire) divine element is brought down to to earth, allowing for mortals to realize their divine component, in this case through knowledge (this is not unlike any number of ancient mystery cults - Mithras, Orphics, Gnostics, etc.). Right away Boccaccio calls Vesta "earth" (Book 1.8.3, p. 87 - all page #s refer to Solomon's I Tatti translation) , and as such starts listing off her children as the product of her and Sky, "decorated with stars": Saturn's wife Ops (III.2.1), Ceres (III.4.1, p. 329 - central to the Eleusian mystery cult of Demeter/Ceres), Titan (as in the Titanomachy, IV.1.1, p. 413), and raises Jupiter when hidden away from child-eating Saturn (IV.1.5, p. 415; a variant from that standard myth). After the mentioning of Jupiter in connection with his battle against the Titans (the Titanomachy), it is worth quoting Boccaccio to get back my original premise of the ultimate symbolism of Vesta for him:

Now that we have examined the historical interpretation, a few words must be said about the others, first what they want to suggest by saying that he [Titan] was the son of Sky and Vesta. I think one can say this about any mortal without regard to the truth of the story: we have an earthly body and a celestial spirit; in essence these make us human. (IV.1.8, p. 47)

Boccacio goes on to recount a version of the Titanomachy where Vesta/Earth was wronged, gave birth to the Titans, who had a remarkable spirit but due to pride rose up and attacked Olympus/Jupiter; defeated they
fall from the most glorified virtue into detestable vice, , and then they become sterile, that is, lack the fruit of virtue....In addition by making war on the gods they represent the magnanimous and proud, for the magnanimous try to be like gods in their good deeds, while the proud overestimate themselves and, by words, and, if possible, by deeds, spend their time trampling the true God himself, which is why they are cast down and returned to nothing ( IV.1.12-14, p. 419)
I'm sure you picked up the medieval tropes - the arch-vice of superbia (think Nimrud's tower struck down) - and courtly virtues such as magnanimity (Boccaccio dedicated his work to the King of Cyprus/Jerusalem), thus this is a Interpretatio christiana, moralizing pagan material with an eye on how euhemerism applies to the right honorable Christian soul (at least the courtly magnanimous) ones, such as the Visconti). I emphasized "for the magnanimous try to be like gods in their good deeds" as that is the Christian take away, against the negative example of the Titans. So Marziano can't use Boccaccio's cosmogenic aspect of Vesta (spawning some creatures who rebel against heaven itself) , but her creatures have tasted of the tree of knowledge (Philology in Capella) - they just need the Christian virtues applied. So Vesta's connection to the Vestal virgins is played up, their tending to the fire a a metaphor for burning away of pride and the other vice-like dross from our souls, so we can approach the divine: a pagan precedent for Christian salvation (and appropriately compared to nuns).

Boccaccio does give us an archetype of the soul as Vesta's husband, Celum/Uranius (again "Sky), but this time no longer literally the sky but a man "of fiery virtue and extraordinary clarity, from which his name came into then light. (III.1.1, p. 319).; furthermore Jupiter established an altar for him and named the sky for him. And to come full circle "Euhemerus says that this Sky died in Oceania, and is buried in the town of Aulatia" (III..1.2, ibid). All too human indeed, but hinting at the celestial afterlife through "fiery virtue."

Compare Capella, for whom Marziano is only mining as a source for this theme of a Vestal figure, associated with virtuous marriage (again, all brides-to-be came to be blessed at the Temple of Vesta). All quotes from the accessible (and the first two important books are largely scanned by Google) translation by William Harris Stahl, E. L. Burge, Richard Johnson, Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts: The Marriage of Philology and Mercury, 1977. The betrothal ceremony is merged with Plato's Myth of Er, the celestial mechanics of reincarnation, connected here with Numa who passes down this knowledge to his Roman successors (no doubt sending Marziano off for more info about him), along with the "patron deities of the elements" (a link with Boccaccio's cosmological treatment) who are nonetheless there for "the things of the mind" (also note the reference to the "librarians of the gods" - this passage would appeal in the extreme to an early humanist).

Image
Capella, 24.JPG
(126.18 KiB) Not downloaded yet

And then the project of euhemerism is nakedly referred to in regard to this allegorical marriage, where the bride takes on Vesta's elemental nature we found in Boccaccio - earth-born - but elevated by the marriage (p. 32; and note Anchises' son, founder of the Visconti line, is specified here, allowing one to think of the Visconti genealogy in this specific context):

Image
Capella 32.JPG
(131.64 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Here, Cupid is kept at bay (the virtue versus pleasure tension, especially relevant for a Christian), but it is noted that both sexes rise to heaven with Philology (knowledge; and in his own humble way Marziano teaches about these very gods in his deck, the same ones present at the consecrating "marriage" of Philology):

Image
Capella 50.JPG
(92.78 KiB) Not downloaded yet

We finally get to Vesta, which is not that odd that she is bringing up the rear, as Vesta was the last deity to be invoked in Roman prayers; what is unusual is that Philology's very essence, her genius, is equated with Vesta who in turn is renamed as an aspect of Juno in her guise as the tutelary goddess of marriage. It is the Temple of Vesta's role in Roman marriages then that drives Capella and, in turn, Marziano, as the most virtuous aspect of Vesta (who in Capella is also tied to divine knowledge that deifies).

Image
Capella 55.JPG
(143.2 KiB) Not downloaded yet

The close of Book II and the conclusion of the wedding ceremony (the dry discussion of the seven liberal arts follows in the next books) , has Philology opening the box of perfume giving to her by Vesta, which spreads about to everyone in the room, like a metaphor for the dissemination of knowledge. Capella then pops up from behind the curtain and addresses the reader directly, in terms that are considerably similar to Marziano's prefatory remarks to Filippo about this learned entertainment:

Image
Capella 63.JPG
(69.98 KiB) Not downloaded yet

It seems that Capella was a mediating influence on how Marziano could rework the unsavory aspects of Vesta in Boccaccio. I've also looked at the other classical sources for Numa and it is Plutarch that provides the most information in regard to the Vestals (but more on that and Agnes later - this post is already way too long).

Phaeded

PS Pisanello's 1449 Medal of Alfonso embodies all of the above: the reverse proclaims his magnanimity - LIBERALITAS AVGVSTA; the obverse's helmet the very role of Philology - an open book nourishing virtue and wisdom that will allow the magnanimous to govern the stars: Vir sapiens dominabitur astris (written directly on the book; no doubt a double meaning, of controlling fate but also the eventual ascending to heaven). The enduring theme from Capella found in the the learned Neapolitan court (where even Boccaccio once flourished):
Image

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#59
Phaeded wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 05:45
All quotes from the accessible (and the first two important books are largely scanned by Google) translation by William Harris Stahl, E. L. Burge, Richard Johnson, Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts: The Marriage of Philology and Mercury, 1977.
Not accessible by my Google, unfortunately. EU or French restrictions often differ from what other countries, particularly the US, can view. Actually I can't see a single page of it - not even snippet view.
If his translation and notes for sections 41-61 are available, can you post images of those? I'd like to see at least what commentary he offers on the list, where he differs from Weinstock's interpretations, etc.
Image

Re: Tractatus de deficatione sexdecim heroum, text and translation

#60
Phaeded wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 05:45
I'm not so sure Marziano would have gone down the Etruscan rabbit hole - the antiquity of the number 16 and its association with the sky was enough for him (and many of those deities assigned to each of the sections of the sky were surely obscure to him). He may have been aware of the Etruscan connection but what generally appealed to him in Capella (I'll use that name to avoid confusion between our two authors) was the divine creation of knowledge - Philology (she literally vomits up books and genres of learning, and and is then offered something to drink by her mother, Apotheosis, Book II.139-140) - and its dissemination by Mercury (who penetrates everywhere), that essentially allowed for the apotheosis/euhemerism for those enlightened by such knowledge (certainly an appealing for humanists).
I only meant for myself, in the imagination of the divination section. I can't begin to know whether Marziano would have thought of this section, or the Etruscans, but I am sure he didn't intend or even conceive of cartomancy. But I would have enjoyed alluding to the sixteen divisions in Capella, and their possible connection to haruspicy of the Etruscans, and cited Marziano's 3 or 4 times emphasizing Apollo's connections to divination, the augurs, etc.

I also wish I had known of Capella's explicit statement regarding deification in I.94; I first came across it yesterday in Weinstock, and see you quote it above in Stahl and Burge. There may even be linguistic coincidence, which would lean in favor of Marziano having had Capella in mind more than merely a generic euhemerism. Of course Philology, like the mortal Psyche in the Cupid and Psyche story, is also deified. One of the very first insights I had when thinking about the relationship of Marziano to Tarot is that "deification" is a synonym for "triumph," in that one current of triumphal lore has the triumphator becoming god-like, if not a god (and thereby justifying the tradition of the slave whispering to him "Remember that you are but a man"). There is a panel painting in Ferrara by Serafino de Serafini called "The Triumph of Saint Augustine" ("Trionfo di Sant'Agostino") while other versions of the subject call it "The Apotheosis of Saint Augustine," ("Apoteosi di Agostino") etc., as well as for other saints. I have not yet done a survey of such subjects. The point is that triumph as apotheosis is a Christian trope, epitomized by the procession of Jesus on Palm Sunday, and imitated by the martyrs. Of course "deificatio" in the doctrinal sense means "union with God," not "becoming a god", and it can only happen post-mortem, but the line between intellectual doctrinal distinctions and real feelings of belief as they are experienced (like the difference that is supposed to exist between worshipping saints and worshipping God) is blurry.

So my thought ran that maybe there was a conceptual connection between Marziano's "deifications" and the "triumphs" of the later game.
Image

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron