Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot

Playing with two highest trumps (or two specialised cards, which are the highest) in practical card play can have different forms.

This one is from Doppelkopf.

You have two identical "highest cards" (heart-10 called "Dulle") with the same value - in Doppelkopf, which is played with two sets of cards (so 20 or 24 motifs multiplied with 2, depending on the used rules) some rounds of players play with the rule, that the second heart-10 captures the first, if they meet in the same trick.

From the viewing point of play this rule is very interestiong, as the usual power of the highest trump is broken. Usually you can play the highest trump carelessly, but if there is a second outside with the power to take your card, you have to pay more attention. Also you can aim on strategies to capture the Dulle of the opponent - this is a major fun in the game. This usually occurs at the end of the game, when two played have spared their powerful cards - which happens often in this game (and others).
Cause: First is usually tried to bring Aces and 10's (in Doppelkopf) or Kings and Queens (in Tarot) in your possession (they have high point value) and they win only, if no trumps appear in the trick. In the final stage of game there are usually many trumps and only few normal suit cards left.

This are basics, if you're used to play these game, but maybe unknown, if the sense is focussed on iconographic details ... :-). It might be called likely, that this rule "the second beats the first" was present in the early games, cause it's a logical rule. The game becomes more interesting than with an "allmighty highest trump".

Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot

EnriqueEnriquez wrote: Reading Huck’s post a question came to mind: how many members here know how to play tarot?
That's a good question ... :-) ... I for my part have no opportunity to play the game, but I'm experienced in the kind of game and easily learn them, cause the important tricks and the experience with it is easily transportable to a variation).

I've to add something to that what I wrote yesterday ... there is a second passage, which also refers to cards of equal rank, though at this place it's not the question of the 2 highest trumps, but of the 4 Papi. Who wins the trick, if cards of equal rank (as there are probably two emperors and two popes) meet each other in one trick. There must have been a criterium of decision, usually the "first played" or the "last played" of the 4 four should win the trick. And what happens, if in such a case a third trump, higher than emperors and popes, is also in the trick?
Marco's translation wrote:Now you do not have to be surprised that when playing the Emperor, of a lesser authority and dignity than the Popes, sometimes he wins and takes them: in my opinion, the Inventor wanted to signify that, as we can read in ancient and modern Histories, it often happens that the Emperors win and imprison the Popes, sometimes for fault and rightful causes that push them to do so, as it is written about Boniface VIII, other times for greed and insolence of their Captains, as almost at our times happened to the Blessed Clemente VII, whose dignity, together with the unhappy Cardinals [12] and the rest of the Holy priests was cruelly offended by the fierce greed and unlimited desire of gold of the Barbarous soldiers of the very August and Undefeated Emperor Charles V.
Another observation to the 4 Papi, which I already told to Ross: In one of the Austrian Tarock variants called "Königsrufen" (calling a king), we have a similar handling of the 4 lowest cards (which are there the Trumps 1,2,3,4, ... not as the Papi 2,3,4,5), though more complex:

An easy way to play the game is described at Wikipedia:

And more complex at:

At the simpler Wikipedia description we see, that there are specific names for the cards:

1 Pagat
2 Uhu
3 Kakadu
4 Marabu
and the aim is given as to get the last trick with this card (which has to be announced)

Uhu, Kakadu and Marabu are bird names and so the whole group is addressed as Voegel (birds, not Papi). Apparently the inventors of this rule were inspired by the -u-ending. Also appaarent it is, that we find here birds as in one of the oldest known games (Michelino deck) and as they also appear in some of the very old German card decks (for instance the game of Master PW, but also others).

Uhu is in English Eagle-Owl, Kakadu is Cockatoo, Marabu is Marabou Stork. But in players slang the expressions and names could alter in good humor (probably in dependency of the taken drinks).

The pagat description shows more details:

Pagat Ultimo* 1 2 win last trick with the I
Uhu* 2 4 win 2nd last trick with II
Kakadu * 3 6 win 3rd last trick with III
Marabu* 4 8 win 4th last trick with IIII

A Marabu has to win the 4th last trick and gets much bonuspoints (8, which is VERY MUCH in this game), the others as ranked.

The rules to this special event of the game are very complex, but this is usual in Königsrufen anyway. It has a lot of bidding stages and also Bonus points. The game has also a way to capture the highest trump, though not with the second highest trump (called "Mondfang"), but with the help of the Sküs (Fool). And even the Sküs could be captured (called Sküsfang or Emperor's trick) , but only with the help of Pagat and World (called "Mond").

The deck is reduced, they play with 54 cards. An interesting game, very similar to Doppelkopf.

Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot

marco wrote:Yesterday I went to the library and found an edition of Ficino's Opera Omnia.
Ficino's commentary on Plato's Timaeus is quoted by Piscina to explain why the suits are four.
I have translated a few passages from Ficino in a note in this page:

Thank you for those quotes Marco. It shows that he assumed his readers would understand the reference to the qualities of the number 4. Not only the fourfold nature of the world, but also the qualities of the number (1+2+3+4 = 10).

I am just now working on typing out the Gl'Ingannati scene with the two hoteliers.


Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot

Marco -

Thank you for this translation. You've provided us with such a fabulous resource.

I have a question about this phrase:
questo sapevo io che molti diranno che un Tarocco ha favellato e trattato de Tarocchi, e se si può dire Tarocchamente.
which you translate as
"I know that many will say that a Tarocco has Tarotly (if I can say so) spoken and discussed of Tarot."

I'm not sure how it should actually be translated, and I may be substituting modern slang for older terms, but could something like this be possible?

"I know that many will say that a "Throw Away"/Fake/Quack has spoken about and discussed [treated with] Tarocchi and, if I may say, in a blustering* [manner]. (*from taroccáre - to rage or bluster)

It's an interesting play on words.


Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot

Hello Mary,
I am happy that you find the Discorso valuable! :)

About the sentence that you ask me to clarify, its meaning is somehow dubious. In contemporary Italian, the only other meaning of “tarocco”, excluding the trumps, is “fake”. Ross has documented the fact that in ancient Italian the word meant “stupid”: a similar meaning is still current for “minchiate”.
I think there is a web page with more information on this etymology, but currently I can only find this ATF post.
So, possibly, the intended meaning of the sentence was: “a stupid has stupidly spoken about Tarot”. Piscina writes “if I may say, Tarocchamente” because he is inventing the adverb “tarocchamente” (“tarotly”).

I hope that Ross will add a comment on this interesting point.


Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot

Yes, I think Marco is right. "Tarocchamente" is Piscina's invention. You can't make a truly literal translation - you have to use a substitute.

Piscina has the same understanding of the word "tarocco" that Berni, in his Capitolo della gioco della Primiera (1526) had:
...che altro non vuol dir Tarocco che ignocco, sciocco, Balocco... (... that the only signification of this word Tarocco is stupid, foolish, simple... (trans. Kaplan I, p. 28))

It is the same as used by the macaronic poet Bassano Mantovano:

"Tarochus/Tarocus. The late 15th century macaronic Italian poet Bassano Mantovano uses the word “tarochus” to mean “idiot” or “imbecile” in one of his poems (c. 1495)

"Erat mecum mea socrus unde putana
Quod foret una sibi pensebat ille tarochus
Et cito ni solvam mihi menazare comenzat"

Maccheronea del Bassano, ll. 34-36 (various editions)
(Cordié's 1977 edition spells the word "tarocus"; for the meaning "imbecille", see there the Glossario sub "Tarocus" of Carlo Cordié, ed. "Opere di Teofilo Folengo" vol. I (Milano, Ricciano Ricciardi) p. 1029).
From my own compilation, formerly on a Geocities webpage, now removed

A clever translation would have to find a matching English concept where a nominal form exists, in both the singular and plural, but an adverbial form does not.

Like "A wanker has wankerly spoken of Wankers." But, of course, we have to find a term matching the apparent meaning of tarocco as well, stupid, imbecile, etc. It would be best if it were also the name of a game, in the plural (like "Skittles" or something).


Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot

Ross & Marco

Ross wrote
of course, we have to find a term matching the apparent meaning of tarocco as well, stupid, imbecile, etc. It would be best if it were also the name of a game, in the plural (like "Skittles" or something).
There is a solitaire game called "Idiot's Delight," but it doesn't meet your qualifications. Ah well.

Couldn't Tarocchamente (although it is clearly made up) also be a play on taroccare - "blustering"?

Anyway - a footnote on this would help since we all sit up when we see those terms bandied about.

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