[continued from previous post]
Thus, we have to return to the text of JvR and continue close reading:
And should some persons find some passage in it not easy to understand, but obscure and difficult, let them get out of their boat at Burgheim and enter it again at Rinveld, and proceed, reading this treatise, as before, until they come to the end of it. For the said passage is dangerous to boat passengers, so that many get out and, at the other end, return into the boat,and proceed onwards as before. [Highlighting by vh0610]
Now the question arises what path is taken by these persons, perhaps this helps to clarify things. Huck proposed, as already depicted by referring to the map he provided, that the passengers took the direct land route from Burkheim to Rheinfelden, which is shorter than going along the the Rhine.
However, I propose that they did go along the Rhine, since most of them were traders with their goods on the ships, which they certainly did not want to leave alone in medieval times – and it made no sense arriving earlier in Rheinfelden than the ship they wanted to get back into. Hence they went with the line riders on the towpaths. We did already read in https://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Seite:De ... a)_079.jpg
Der Leinpfad oder der Weg längs den Ufern für Menschen und Pferde, welche ein Schiff ziehen […]
[The towpath, or the path along the banks for men and horses pulling a ship, […]]
The named towpath (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towpath
) tells us, that there is a path alongside the river for the action of towing. The German Wikipedia https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leinpfad
tells us that
Als Leinpfad oder […] Reckweg (Schweiz) wird ein Weg unmittelbar am Ufer von Flüssen oder Kanälen bezeichnet, der angelegt wurde, damit Menschen, Zugtiere oder Lokomotiven Frachtschiffe flussaufwärts ziehen konnten. […]
Der Leinpfad am Rhein von Basel bis in die Niederlande ist fast vollständig erhalten.
[Towpath or [...] Reckweg (Switzerland) is the name given to a path directly on the banks of rivers or canals that was created so that people, draft animals or locomotives could pull cargo ships upstream. [...]
The towpath on the Rhine from Basel to the Netherlands is almost completely preserved.]
Note that we learn by this that a towpath existed from Burgheim to Basel and by the Swiss name “Reckweg” we induce that also one existed until Rheinfelden. Hence there was a towpath to be taken by passengers from Burgheim to Rheinfelden alongside the river Rhine.
Let’s us do what JvR proposes for understanding his treatise and we follow this towpath alongside the Rhine (by inspecting google maps, for instance). We start at Burgheim, we pass the Istein threshholds, we come to Basel. Does this help?
No, hence I stop in Basel –as I did many times visiting the city-- because I still have no clue.
By the way, Basel is really a beautiful city, I had a friend in Basel which I visited quite often, nice place to see, especially the medieval structure. I remember him fetching me at the Badische Bahnhof, which is the train station – and I remember when being in the train, that I was always a little bit astounded that just before coming to Basel, the train being close to the River had to pass close by something like a mountain or better a limestone cliff –which is quite yellowish-white, this is why it is still in my eyes--, the passage between the cliff on one side and the mountains on the other side of the River was really narrow, which was always a little bit unexpected for me: coming from the quite large Upper Rhine valley and then having to pass that narrow passage just before Basel. This passage must be close to Istein, you can see this on this topographical map [Zoom one click out, then you see the passage better]
I realize that I am writing “passage” as JvR does. Let us follow this trace.
From the topographical map, I see that the narrow passage is close to Istein. Perhaps it is related to the Istein threshholds, let us visit the Wikipedia site again :
Die „Schwellen“ sind das letzte Überbleibsel eines Jura-Massivs (Isteiner Klotz), das ursprünglich dem Rhein den Weg in Richtung Norden versperrte.
[The "thresholds" are the last remnant of a Jurassic massif (Isteiner Klotz), which originally blocked the way of the Rhine to the north.]
Note that the Istein Jurassic massif “originally blocked the way of the Rhine to the north.” In other words, the Istein massif, called Isteiner Klotz (“Istein block”), was one of the largest dams imaginable, holding back the water towards the north (and letting the Rhine flow to the West until he met with the now French Rhone].
And then, one day in very former geological times: the breakthrough, the dam breach, which a passenger following the towpath can realize with his own eyes (see also again the topographical map by the link just given above – this is no hypothesis, this is evidence: even nowadays you can see this formation, you just have to go there and see with your own eyes):
Der Isteiner Klotz ist ein markanter Bergrücken im Landkreis Lörrach im Südwesten Deutschlands. Der Isteiner Klotz ist ein Vorgebirge zwischen den Dörfern Istein und Kleinkems, das sich etwa 150 Meter über die Rheinauen erhebt.
Am westlichen Ende bei Istein bildet der Rücken ein steiles Kliff.
[The Isteiner Klotz is a prominent mountain ridge in the district of Lörrach in southwestern Germany. The Isteiner Klotz is a promontory between the villages of Istein and Kleinkems that rises about 150 meters above the Rhine floodplains.
At the western end near Istein, the ridge forms a steep cliff.]
See the hollow moulding formed by the Rhine –as every passenger could see in 1377-- after the dam breach in the following photograph
This is a breakthrough on several levels: first of all a geological breakthrough, and second a breakthrough on the semantic level which we can use for our scientific reasoning: Hence, we can formulate a new hypothesis:
JvR as a Christian monk from the order of the preachers saw the danger he wanted to point at with his treatise that the re-established order in Basel under the Habsburg command in 1377 was like being hold back by a dam being very unstable and prone to be broken through. The whole treatise is written in order to appease the situation and to restabilise the ordered world of medieval times.
This hypothesis serves in the following as a new perspective for a relecture of JvR – and we will support this new perspective by many signs given in the treatise of JvR.
First of all, if the hypothesis can hold, we have to ask ourselves why JvR does not mention Basel but goes until Rheinfelden, this little tiny unimportant village only few kilometers away from Basel.
Answer is: because Rheinfelden was not at all the tiny little unimportant village in the 13th and 14th century. It was the center of the German kingdom [and potentially: the Empire, since the German Habsburg king was waiting for being crowned as Emperor by the Pope], since it hosted the castle Burg Stein in which the German Habsburg king lived:
Die Burg Stein war mehrere Jahrzehnte Hauptwohnsitz der Habsburger und Aufbewahrungsort der Reichskleinodien, 1283 erliess Rudolf I. dort die Rheinfelder Hausordnung. 1330 geriet auch die Stadt in den habsburgischen Herrschaftsbereich, als Kaiser Ludwig IV. aus dem Hause Wittelsbach sie an Herzog Otto den Fröhlichen verpfändete.
Die Verwaltung der Stadt [Rheinfelden; vh0610] lag zunächst in den Händen von Ministerialen. 1331 wurden drei Zünfte zugelassen (später als Zunft zum Bock, Kaufleutenzunft und Zunft zum Gilgenberg bezeichnet). Sie verdrängten die Adligen allmählich aus den Führungsgremien und wählten ab Mitte des 15. Jahrhunderts alle Ratsmitglieder selbst.
[Stein Castle was for several decades the main residence of the Habsburgs and the repository of the imperial regalia; in 1283 Rudolf I issued the Rheinfeld House Rules there. In 1330, the town also came under Habsburg rule when Emperor Louis IV of the House of Wittelsbach pledged it to Duke Otto the Happy.
The administration of the town [Rheinfelden; vh0610] was initially in the hands of ministerials. In 1331, three guilds were admitted (later called the Zunft zum Bock, Kaufleutenzunft and Zunft zum Gilgenberg). They gradually ousted the nobles from the governing bodies and elected all council members themselves from the middle of the 15th century. ]
Note that the castle Burg Stein was built on top of an island within the river Rhine and was considered as being untakeable (see https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burg_Stein_(Rheinfelden)
for more details).
Note that the „Reichkleinodien“ are the imperial and royal treasure, for which an untakeable castle is a good place to be:
Die Reichskleinodien (auch: Reichsinsignien oder Reichsschatz) sind die Herrschaftsinsignien der Kaiser und Könige des Heiligen Römischen Reiches. Dazu gehören als wichtigstes Teil die Reichskrone, die Heilige Lanze und das Reichsschwert.
[The imperial regalia (also: imperial insignia or imperial treasure) are the insignia of rule of the emperors and kings of the Holy Roman Empire. The most important parts are the Imperial Crown, the Holy Lance and the Imperial Sword.]
Note furthermore that w.r.t. power, Rheinfelden could serve –also in 1377 and later—as a model for the peaceful transition in collaboration of nobles and commons: “The administration of the town [Rheinfelden; vh0610] was initially in the hands of ministerials. In 1331, three guilds were admitted […]). They gradually ousted the nobles from the governing bodies and elected all council members themselves from the middle of the 15th century.”
In this light, note that ministerials are defined as following https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministerialis
The ministeriales (singular: ministerialis) were a class of people raised up from serfdom and placed in positions of power and responsibility in the High Middle Ages in the Holy Roman Empire.
The word and its German translations, Ministeriale(n) and Dienstmann, came to describe those unfree nobles who made up a large majority of what could be described as the German knighthood during that time. What began as an irregular arrangement of workers with a wide variety of duties and restrictions rose in status and wealth to become the power brokers of an empire.
Note that this is a possible reason for the fact that JvR changes in Part II the order of the nobles in comparison to de Cessolis [citing from my previous post on this in the present thread], see Rosenfeld, Verfasser-Datenbank (De Gruyter, 2012)
Im 2. Teil (38r-116v) will J. die Moral der Vornehmen stärken. Er hält sich dabei (mit kleiner Änderung der Reihenfolge) genau an die 5 Kapitel der Schachallegorie, indem er König, Königin, Principalis princeps, Principales und Principales miliciae behandelt.
[In the 2nd part (38r-116v) J. wants to strengthen the moral of the nobles. Thereby, he follows (with a slight change of the sequence) exactly the 5 chapters of the chess allegory, by dealing with king, queen, principalis princeps, principales and principales miliciae.]
This analysis of Rosenfeld is confirmed by the structure and titles of chapters within the respective parts Jönsson reports for the JvR-tractatus, see Jönsson (2005), pp. 364-365.
This yields a basis for the invention/extension of JvR’s-tractatus: De Cessolis gives the form and content, as well for Part 2 and also Part 3:
The English translation on
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1t88 ... _away=true
confirms this for the second part [of de Cessolis; vh0610]
The second part of The Book of Chess begins here. It concerns the form of the noble pieces, describing each of the thirteen figures. It is divided into five chapters. The first tells about the form of the king, his character and matters that pertain to him; the second, about the form and character of the queen; the third, the form and character of the elders; the fourth, the character and duties of the knights; and the fifth, the character and duties of the rooks.
Thus, JvR places the military knights at the end of the hierarchy of nobles in contrast to de Cessolis – since for him the peaceful living together has higher priority than war action.
In this light, JvR not only mentions Rheinfelden for the Burg Stein as the center of the Habsburg dynasty (The grandfather of Duke Leopold III is even born in the castle Stein in Rheinfelden, see https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrecht_I._(HRR)
), but also for a model of how nobility and commons can peacefully live together.
However, the danger which prevails in 1377 is in the tension between Rheinfelden (Habsburg nobility) and Basel (commons). JvR sees this tension, perhaps due to the organizational attachment of his Freiburg abbey to the Basel mother abbey, and wants to warn massively of the possible dam breach, which is then uncontrollable as the River Rhein flowing through the Istein breach.
The dam breach he thinks about is nothing else than the destruction of the medieval order of society, which guarantees stability – and change was not connoted positively, see Jönsson (1998), p.143
Wechselhaftigkeit und Veränderung hatten damals einen sehr negativen Beigeschmack, da sie an die Unvollkommenheit und Lasterhaftigkeit der Welt erinnern.
[Changeability and change had a very negative connotation at the time, as they reminded of the imperfection and depravity of the world.]
The medieval order guaranteeing stability --and due to the Evil Caneval of 1376 in danger in 1377-- was the so-called Estates of the Realm, the Ständeordnung https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%A4ndeordnung
• Der Erste Stand umfasste die Gruppe aller Geistlichen, das heißt Angehörige der hohen Geistlichkeit wie auch des niederen Klerus (Lehrstand).
• Der Zweite Stand bestand aus Mitgliedern des Adels, sei es aus dem Hochadel, dem niederen Adel oder auch aus dem oft verarmten Landadel (Wehrstand).
• Der Dritte Stand umfasste nominell alle freien Bauern, später auch die freien Bürger (Nährstand).
Das ständische System galt den Menschen des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit als feste, von Gott gegebene Ordnung, in der jeder seinen unveränderlichen Platz hatte. Für den Adel und den dritten Stand galt, dass jeder zunächst den Stand seines Vaters übernahm. […] Das ständische System ist ein statisches Gesellschaftsmodell. In der mittelalterlichen Theorie waren den drei Hauptständen bestimmte Aufgaben zugewiesen. Der erste Stand hatte für das Seelenheil zu sorgen, der zweite Stand sollte Klerus und Volk gegen Feinde verteidigen, Aufgabe des dritten Standes war die Arbeit.
[- The First Estate comprised the group of all clergy, i.e. members of the high clergy as well as the lower clergy (teaching estate).
- The Second Estate consisted of members of the nobility, whether from the high nobility, the lower nobility, or even the often impoverished landed gentry (defending estate).
- The Third Estate nominally comprised all free peasants, later also the free citizens (nourishing estate).
The system of estates was regarded by the people of the Middle Ages and early modern times as a fixed, God-given order in which everyone had his unchangeable place. For the nobility and the third estate it was valid that everyone first took over the estate of his father. [...] The system of estates is a static model of society. In the medieval theory, the three main estates were assigned certain tasks. The first estate had to take care of the salvation of souls, the second estate was to defend the clergy and the people against enemies, the task of the third estate was work.]
So the Estates of the Realm secured the God-wanted stability of the world. And the Evil Carneval 1377 in Basel –and we cannot thank Huck enough for this hint of the Evil Carneval, thanks again!-- attacked exactly this God-wanted stability, see https://altbasel.ch/fragen/fasnacht_1376.html
Unter ihren Bannern kehrten die Bürger bewaffnet auf den Münsterplatz zurück, um gewaltsam gegen Leopold und seine Ritterschaft vorzugehen.
Herzog Leopold konnte sich durch eine entehrende Flucht über den Rhein retten. […]
Der Tumult endete mit mehreren Toten und der vorübergehenden Gefangennahme einiger Adliger. Der Ausgang der Ausschreitungen war für Herzog Leopold und seine Gesellschaft eine tiefe Verletzung des Standesbewusstseins.
Auch war dem Adel die Tatsache beunruhigend, dass das Volk sich mit Waffen gegen ihn gewandt hatte. Es erinnerte wohl beängstigend an Volkserhebungen, wie die blutige Jacquerie im Jahr 1358 in Frankreich.
[Under their banners, the citizens returned armed to Münsterplatz to take violent action against Leopold and his knighthood.
Duke Leopold was able to save himself by a dishonorable flight across the Rhine. [...]
The tumult ended with several deaths and the temporary capture of some nobles. The outcome of the riots was for Duke Leopold and his company a deep emotional injury to their consciousness of belonging to the higher estate of the realm.
The nobility was also disturbed by the fact that the common people had turned on him with arms. It was probably frighteningly reminiscent of popular uprisings, such as the bloody Jacquerie in 1358 in France.]
Note that the “bloody Jacquerie in 1358” was leading to pure chaos, see
Anlass des Aufstandes waren die Verwüstungen, die Karl der Böse von Navarra in der Gegend um Paris anrichtete und die den Bauernstand besonders hart trafen. Im Februar 1358 erhoben sich die Pariser Gewerke unter dem Prévôt des marchands Étienne Marcel gegen den Adel. Die Erfolge dieses Aufstands ermutigten die Bauern, sich ebenfalls gegen ihre Peiniger zu erheben, die sie aufs Härteste bedrückten und unter anderem kostenlose Reparatur ihrer von den Engländern verwüsteten Besitzungen durch die Bauern verlangten. Am 21. Mai 1358 begann der Aufstand in Compiègne und griff auf den Nordosten Frankreichs über. Die Aufständischen legten dabei hunderte von Schlössern in Schutt und Asche, ermordeten Edelleute und begingen zahlreiche Gräueltaten.
Schließlich einigten sich die Ritter aller Parteien, und es gelang ihnen, am 10. Juni 1358 die Bewegung zu ersticken. Dabei nahmen sie an den Rebellen furchtbare Rache. Infolgedessen blieb die Gegend nordöstlich von Paris auf viele Jahrzehnte völlig verwüstet, und auch der Adel lebte noch Jahrhunderte später in Angst vor einer Wiederholung dieser Ereignisse.
[The uprising was prompted by the devastation wrought by Charles the Wicked of Navarre in the area around Paris, which hit the peasantry particularly hard. In February 1358, the Parisian tradesmen under the Prévôt des marchands Étienne Marcel rose up against the nobility. The successes of this revolt encouraged the peasants to rise up as well against their tormentors, who oppressed them most severely and demanded, among other things, free repair by the peasants of their estates devastated by the English. On May 21, 1358, the uprising began in Compiègne and spread to northeastern France. In the process, the insurgents reduced hundreds of castles to rubble, murdered nobles, and committed numerous atrocities.
Finally, the knights of all parties came to an agreement and succeeded in quelling the movement on June 10, 1358. In the process, they took terrible revenge on the rebels. As a result, the area northeast of Paris remained completely devastated for many decades, and even the nobility lived in fear of a repetition of these events for centuries to come. ]
Moreover --thanks again Huck, we owe again this hint to you!-- we have to add now in the South the Massacres of Faenza and Cesena, in February 1376 and 1377 respectively, which were also uprisings from common people, see https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/s ... ticle.pdf
Hence, in 1377, the order of the world was at stake, the dam should not break endangering the world falling into chaos (to the opponent of God, the Devil, which comes from Greek “diabolein”, throwing everything into chaos).
We should now reread the title of JvR’s treatise, see Jönsson (2005), p.361:
De moribus et disciplina humane conversacionis (“on the morals and discipline of human life”)
Note that the JvR’s title is about “Morals and discipline”! Morals and Discipline are needed to prevent the breach of the order of the world.
And that he addresses this subject is clear when rereading the second and third aim of the treatise of JvR, see Jönsson (2005), p.361
2. to draw conclusions as regards morals or teach noblemen how to live in a morally acceptable way […]
3. to teach the common people how to live virtuously
[Highlighting by vh0610]
JvR belonged to the first Estate which should teach --hence he confirms the Estates of the realm by action-- and which was not involved in the dangerous tension between the second (nobility, Habsburg dynasty, Rheinfelden) and the third Estate (commons, Basel), this is why he did not include in his treatise any description of the first Estate, see Rosenfeld (2012)
Die geistlichen Stände läßt er aus.
[He omits the first Estate of the clergy]
And as a preacher-teacher he tries as best as he can to protect the God-given order and to prevent the dam breach of the Estates of the Realm between Nobility (Habsburg dynasty; Rheinfelden) and Commons (Basel) using the cards as allegory. This is why he starts his treatise, in the introduction (Bond 1878)
[JvR; vh0610] prefaces this statement [that he writes in 1377; vh0610] by an argument that terrestrial beings are, in the sphere of their actions and passions, subject to super-celestial influences
Note that by this, he takes out the question of culpability of the conflict. It is “super-celestial influences” which brought this situation of the Evil Carneval (as well as the earthquakes and the plague described later by JvR, see again Bond (1878)).
JvR then proceeds (Bond, 1878)
Hence it is a certain game, called the game of cards [ludus cartarum], has come to us in this year, viz. the year of the Lord M.CCC.LXXVIJ. In which game the state of the world as it now is is excellently described and figured. […] But this I say that it is of advantage to noblemen and other persons of leisure that they may do no worse
Note that the cards are there for “noblemen and other persons of leisure that they may do no worse”! And “worse” is: to fight each other in leisure time as a tournament in Carneval in 1376 – and, by this, to harm the order of the world. Furthermore: fighting each other does not bring the ultimate victory to one party, see Jönsson (1998), p.141
So vergleicht er [JvR; vh0610] das Kartenspiel in verschiedenen Zusammenhängen als ein Krieg zwischen mehreren Parteien […] An einem anderen Ort weist Johannes darauf hin, dass einige Karten Edelleute vorstellen, andere aber Gewöhnliche, und ihre Begegnung in der Schlacht verläuft so, dass manchmal die Edelleute, manchmal die Gewöhnlichen in der Schlacht den Sieg und den Triumph davontragen.
[Thus, in various contexts, he [JvR; vh0610] compares the card game as a war between several parties [...] In another place, John points out that some cards represent nobles, but others represent commoners, and their encounter in battle proceeds in such a way that sometimes the nobles, sometimes the commoners, win the victory and triumph in battle.]
Hence, JvR says implicitely that it makes no sense to fight each other all the time, there will be no ultimate victory, this is what the game of cards tells us. It is better to keep the peaceful order of the world and not to go into this chaos of the ongoing battle. And for keeping the order we need structure and discipline.
So the cards are there to give order in its structure (Part I of the treatise) and by playing to prevent all human beings from doing bad things in their leisure time (Part II for noblemen and Part III of the treatise for commons) – and to understand: that for the God-wanted order of the world, they need each other.
In this light, we understand why Bond (1878) realizes
Unfortunately the holy friar [JvR; vh0610] is so fascinated with his view of the moralization of the game that in the remainder of his work he omits to describe the various methods of playing it.
And we understand why Bond reports that in Part I, fifth chapter:
[JvR; vh0610] refers to the English wars in France, and to the French people having succeeded in eventually supporting their own sovereign
The reason is that JvR builds a model of the third Estate helping the second Estate – in contrast to the Evil Carneval in Basel in 1376.
We know in our days that JvR was right seeing the potential of a danger of the dam breach after the Evil Carneval in Basel in 1376, since the battle of Sempach followed in 1386 and the conflicts and the uprisings of the commons did not really come to rest in the following years, close to Basel, and all over Europe. [I will discuss this in a following post in the next days, this post is already more than long enough.]
The final hypothesis of today deals with the statements of JvR (Bond 1878)
[…] revolving in my mind one way and another the present state of the world, suddenly occurred to me the game of cards, and I began to think how it might be closely likened to the state of the world. And it seemed to me very possible, and that it had a likeness with the world.
What makes the game of the cards having “a likeness with the world”?
Note that he says “revolving” [in his mind] as you turn a card around, note furthermore that he says “suddenly” [occurred to him] as seeing the sudden outcome of turning a card around.
For this, we have to understand what the novelty of the game of cards is --in contrast to the established chess or dices-- for JvR which makes it “like the world”:
The novelty of the game of cards in the gameplay is --in contrast to chess or dices-- the introduction of the manifested secret, of the materialized hidden in view of the cards having two sides, of which one is only seen by the card holder. This materialized hidden can suddenly revolve and shows its effect in the world – as a dam breach as in the Evil Carneval in Basel in 1376 – or as the dam breach of the River Rhine not far from Basel in very former times.
I propose that we should realize JvR’s mastership in using the then new game of cards as a description of the state of the world in several senses (as described above), using it for moralization and discipline for trying to prevent a further dam breach of peace and of the God-given order of world – and constructing such a well-fitting and complex metaphor for the situation by proposing people to walk from Burgheim, passing the Istein dam breach, passing Basel with its angry commons and reaching the very ambitious Habsburgian home castle in Rheinfelden. Thereby he is a so fine teacher, that he does not address the Evil Carneval directly --since mentioning this would reinforce the structure, i.e. the breach between nobility and commons—; he knows that he has to show his subject indirectly futurebound.
This mastership is even higher if one considers the hypothesis raised in this very thread that the first version of JvR contained only the first five chapters, hence JvR wrote everything from scratch. Let us recapitulate the titles of the first five chapters in order to support this hypothesis, using the translation by Michael Howard (the sixth chapter is then on numerology of the number 60 and stands out of the rest)
C. 3r: (Prima pars huius tractatus erit de materia ludi in se.) Et in capitulo primo erit mencio de materia ludi et de diversitate instrumentorum.
[(The first part of this treatise will be of the matter of the game in itself.) In chapter one will be stated the matter of the game and the diversity of instruments.]
C. 7v: In secundo capitulo declarabitur quod in ludo isto connotantur actus morum virtutum et viciorum.
[In the second chapter will be set forth that in this game there is a moral action of virtues and vices.]
C. l0r: In tertio capitulo declarabitur quod ludus iste valeat pro allevacione et requie laboratorum.
[In the third chapter it will be suggested that it is of service for relief and rest to labor.]
C. 12r: In quarto capitulo demonstrabitur quod ludus iste hominibus ociosis est utilis et quod valeat pro solacio eorum.
[In the fourth chapter it will be shown that it is useful for idle persons, and may be a comfort to them.]
C. 16r: In quinto capitulo ludus iste comparabitur statui mundi currentis quo ad actus nature simul et morum.
[In the fifth will be treated the state of the world, as it is, in respect to morals.]
This makes JvR not at all the “smallest preacher of his order”, but for cards a genius on a par with de Cessolis for chess. This is why his work was copied quite many times: because he wrote the book on stabilizing the instability of the order of the world in the transition time between medieval times and the upcoming Renaissance.
And if we consider –as shown above-- that he used the city of Rheinfelden as the model of how nobility and commons could peacefully live together, that is, in an ordered world in which he wanted to live in, then this genius bears in a certain sense rightfully the name given to him much later:
Johannes von Rheinfelden.
[Thanks for reading.]