Re: Petrarca Trionfi poem motifs in early Trionfi decks

Now for Time. Besides the differences already pointed out, The Robertet-following quatrains have "Temporibus" instead of "Tempore". Also, 1717 has "inclita" as "inclyta", a variant spelling, I think, and leaves out "evo", a copyist's error. Molinet has just enough enough of the others' quatrain to show that it is not independent of them.

For Fame, I notice is that in 12424 instead of "cetera" we see "Ceptra," a scribal error, which in 1717 is "Caetera," an alternative spelling, as is "praemit" there. 1717 also has "facmus" instead of "facimus," a scribal error, and "inclyta," a spelling seen also in the quatrain for time.

Re: Petrarca Trionfi poem motifs in early Trionfi decks

For Chastity and Love, we have a manuscript version of Molinet's quatrain, copied 1523-25 according to a catalog clipping reproduced on Gallica attached to their reproductions, as well as Dupire's printed transcriptions of the 1930s. For both, I will put the Modena by itself first, then the two Molinet versions, then the rest, as indicated in the file names below the images.

For Chastity, I notice that Molinet, 5065, and 12423 have chosen the usual Latin spelling, uniformly used in the Italian manuscripts, of "pudicitie" or "pudicitae" instead of the "pudicicia" and "pudicicie" of the others, including that in the Modena ms. Perhaps the two later ones with "pudicitie" were following Molinet's example, or else that of the Italian mss. that had come to France in greater numbers. Another thing is the first word of the second line, Hic or Hunc in Molinet, 12423, and the Modena, but "Et" everywhere else. There are also the variants "Cipro" and "Cypro", and "Ida" vs. "Yda" which seems to me of no significance, nor "Theti" vs. "Thety." "Ththy" is strange, probably a scribal error. Perhaps there is some significance in "mollis" vs. "molli/moli," I don't know. This is another one where Molinet seems to have kept only one word of the original, this time confined to the last two lines and with different word-endings (for "cipr-" and "amor-").
Finally, Love. Besides "sceptra," we see "septra," "ceptra," and "scaeptra". I doubt if there's any significance. It may be scribal preferences. I don't see anything else to add. Maybe someone else will, here and elsewhere.

Re: Petrarca Trionfi poem motifs in early Trionfi decks

mikeh wrote: 13 Nov 2023, 12:59 I still don't understand how someone can miscopy or "correct" "Et/et" as "Nec/nec". Were copyists that confused?
The confusion arose from the meter of the verses, as I explained before. With "Et/et", the line would have looked like it violated the meter, but in fact it does not, if it is read with a (perfectly natural) hiatus before the second "et". (If you don't understand what a hiatus is, have another look at that webpage that explains elegiac couplets.)

If the "Et/et" is replaced with "Nec/nec", the meter becomes conventional, but at the cost of destroying the sense. It is understandable that a copyist might do this, because those two verses would have been somewhat hard to understand, relying as they do on an unconventional metonymic meaning of Ceres, and an equally unconventional and rather contrived symbolic interpretation of the objects Chastity is holding in her hands. In other words, I think that the copyist didn't properly understand what the author was trying to say, and made this "correction" thinking that then at least the meter would be correct, and maybe the verses would make more sense that way. But of course they do not.

Correcting apparent violations of the meter was normal practice for copyists. As you know, we have another example in the last line of the Death quatrain, where one of the French writers appears to have inserted sed between Ecce/Esse and heu. In that case, there unquestionably was a genuine mistake in the text, no doubt caused by an earlier copyist accidentally leaving out a small word in that position. Sed could well have been the small word that was left out, as it works perfectly, both metrically and semantically. So in that instance, the correction was entirely justified.
I have been looking at Italian mss. taken to France during the Italian wars, to make sure our quatrains haven't been missed in any of them.
It was not a bad idea to look for the quatrains in those other manuscripts, but it would have been very surprising if you had found them. As I said before, there is nothing in the various French copies to suggest that the French writers ever saw any more than one Italian manuscript containing these verses: a comparison of the Modena text with the French variations strongly suggests that all the French variations are derived from just one Italian copy that was extremely similar to the Modena copy—so similar that I initially thought the latter could have been copied from the former, until I found the tenet/tenent difference. Such closeness in wording can really only be explained by both the Modena copy and Robertet's Italian manuscript being copied from exactly the same predecessor.

Another reason why it is unlikely that the French had more than one Italian copy of these verses is because there probably weren't ever all that many Italian copies of them. A study of illustrated manuscripts from the Low Countries (mainly the Burgundian Netherlands) from 1400 to 1550 found that 20% appear to have survived (see Hanno Wijsman, Luxury Bound: Illustrated Manuscript Production and Noble and Princely Book Ownership in the Burgundian Netherlands (1400-1550), Turnhout: Brepols, 2010). The figure for Italy in that period is probably roughly comparable, as the Italian market for manuscripts was similar to the Dutch/Flemish market at that time; both regions were relatively highly urbanized, literate, and prosperous in that era. Italy was relatively less literate and less prosperous in the centuries that followed, so maybe the loss rates in Italy were somewhat higher, but not greatly so, I would think. So if one copy of an illustrated manuscript survives, there are, on average, about four copies that have been lost. In this instance, we have no surviving Italian copies of the illustrated text at all, so it is quite possible that less than five were ever made. Even if this particular text was a statistical fluke, it is still very unlikely that the number produced ever reached double figures.

As I have said earlier in this discussion, we can be reasonably certain that at least three illustrated copies of the text were made in Italy: the manuscript that Robertet saw, the predecessor of it (which was almost certainly also the immediate predecessor of the Modena manuscript), and an earlier predecessor that did not contain the Esse heu error or the Nec-nec problem. But it is entirely possible that there were never any more than those three.

There probably were several more unillustrated copies (like the Modena manuscript) that have since been lost. The average survival rate for unillustrated Italian manuscripts in the 15th century must be well below 10%. The best estimate I have seen for 15th century is a survival rate of about 6% for manuscripts in total, including both illustrated and unillustrated (see Eltjo Buringh, Medieval Manuscript Production in the Latin West: Explorations with a Global Database, Leiden: Brill, 2011, p. 251). So in all likelihood, there would have been a few more unillustrated Italian copies of the quatrains, but still a relatively small number, given that only one is known to survive. The chance of one of them making its way to France still seems fairly low.

So statistical probability gives us no reason to doubt the impression that we get from comparing the various French texts, namely that there was never more than one Italian copy seen by anyone in France.

Re: Petrarca Trionfi poem motifs in early Trionfi decks

Nathaniel wrote,
Correcting apparent violations of the meter was normal practice for copyists. As you know, we have another example in the last line of the Death quatrain, where one of the French writers appears to have inserted sed between Ecce/Esse and heu. In that case, there unquestionably was a genuine mistake in the text, no doubt caused by an earlier copyist accidentally leaving out a small word in that position. Sed could well have been the small word that was left out, as it works perfectly, both metrically and semantically. So in that instance, the correction was entirely justified.
Assuming that Robertet's ms. said the same thing as the Modena, the "sed" wouldn't have been added simply by a copyist, but by the educated French poet, Robertet, very attuned to matters of meter and sense. The "but" (as "mais") is also in his French translation. Here are Robertet's verses for Death, followed by my attempt at a translation of his French version:
Celibis abscindunt nervos et fila sorores
Nec durât fragilli vita pudica solo
Sanior hac longa poterit valitudine celebs
Ecce, sed heu tandem singula morte cadunt

Les seurs fatalles par leur loy auctentique
Tranchent les nerfz et filletz de la vie;^
A ce la Mort tous les vivans convie.
Le chaste au fort plus sainement peult vivre,
Qui ce treuve de grans vices délivré,
Mais en la fin il n'y a roy ne pape,
Grant ne petit qui de ses las eschappe.
The fatal sisters by their authentic law
Cut the nerves and fibers of life;
To this Death invites all the living.
The chaste to [and?] the strong can live more healthily,
Who this proves [finds?: "proof" per Google] of great vices delivered,
But in the end there is neither king nor pope,
Great nor small, who from them escapes.

On the other hand, we don't see anything corresponding to "Ecce" in the translation. So that might be a copyist's error, like writing "sit" instead of "scit," although it is a harder error to make. It might just be that Robertet couldn't fit the "behold" into his huitaine. Instead, we have "il n'y a ... ne" (there is neither) with "eschappe" (escape), which looks to me like a paraphrase of "poterit . . . esse" (will be able to be") with "cadunt" (fall, i.e. not escape). That uses the "esse" and not the "ecce", so the "ecce" could be Robertet's copyist's error. Or else Robertet thought that "ecce" was an error.

It is also possible that both "sed" and "Ecce" were in his copy, and the error - at least for "sed" - was with the Modena copyist. I can believe leaving out a word: I see it in the Barcelona tapestry. Also misreading a word or misspelling something more complicated or ambiguous than "nec," or which was similar to a word used previously, like "Ecce".

In any case, it seems to me that you are justifying the obscure by means of the equally obscure. Perhaps it is only obscure to me; I have no training in Latin. But I think I can understand when something is explained sufficiently. So I need more examples, where we can actually trace a mistake of the type you propose (adding a word for the sake of the meter) entering in from one manuscript to a later one, and where the copyist isn't a poet himself or herself.

Returning to the Chastity quatrain, I don't see that "Nec/nec" destroys the sense: it just makes it something you have to work on to get the sense. A lot of poetry is like that. No one later, except possibly Molinet, had a problem with "nec/nec."

I think Robertet preserves the "Nec" in his translation, rendering it as "Ne" and "ne . . . pas".
Car es delices de Cypre l’opulente,
Ne es fleurs souefves d'Yde Amour n'est pas lente;
Mais par Seres et Tethis refrenee
Est folle Amour et challeur forcenee.

For the delights of opulent Cyprus,
Nor the flowers of Ida, Love is not slow,
But by Ceres and Thetis restrained
Is crazy Love and frenzied heat.

In other words:

for neither the delights of opulent Cyprus nor the flowers of Ida is Love slow.

On the other hand, it is clearly a copyist's error when in the next line "Thetis" is spelled "Tethis", because it was "Thetis" in the Latin just above. (And unlike "Nec . . . nec", both this error and the one with "sic" were caught by a reader of 5066 and not repeated by others.)

Whatever "ne" means (I think it is like the modern French "ni"), I don't think it means "and." But I am not an expert on French, whether modern or medieval. I will yield to those who are.

To summarize: based on later versions of the quatrains and two translations (Robertet and Molinet), "sic" and "Tethis" are scribal errors. For "nec . . . nec" only Molinet speaks against it, and that ambiguously, since he replaces the whole line and the one following. "Ecce" and the omission of"sed" remain quite unclear, as the responses are rather evenly spread on both sides.

While I am asking for things, I need to ask why you think that Robertet's copy must have had the images, at least with their important details. (I mean, he might have seen the images in Italy and drawn rough sketches of the main elements. But even that is not necessary.) Why couldn't the similarities to the tarot versions that you highlight have been based on the artist's having such cards? Of course, the chances of that go up after 1494 and again starting in 1502, which is why it makes a difference whether 24461 was done before or after then.

Re: Petrarca Trionfi poem motifs in early Trionfi decks

mikeh wrote: 20 Nov 2023, 23:04 While I am asking for things, I need to ask why you think that Robertet's copy must have had the images, at least with their important details.
Unfortunately, we're now at the stage where I can't reply without simply repeating things I've already said. I've already addressed this point and all your other points in what I've already written in this thread. I do not have the inclination to repeat myself. Eventually I will present the entire matter again in full detail, but that (as I have said before) is going to take quite a long time. I am increasingly thinking that it will have to be in the form of a book, because there is simply too much involved for anything shorter than that.

In the meantime, if you want to ignore what I've tried to point out to you, that is a choice you are free to make. I have tried to stop you and others from wasting your time on what I am now certain are vain speculations that will lead nowhere, but at this point I cannot do more than I already have. The rest is up to you.

Clotho etc .... Petrarca Trionfi poem motifs

Munich, from Bologna 1414
MikeH found this ... at viewtopic.php?p=26287#p26287 at 17 Oct 2023
12. Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS. Barb. lat. 3943, fol. 170v; Samek Ludovici, I, pp. 118-9; II, PI. XIII; A. C. de la Mare, 'Script and Manuscripts in Milan under the Sforza', in Milano nell'età di Ludovico il Moro. Atti del Convegno internazionale, Milan, 1983, p. 399.
13. Trionfo della Morte, I, ll. 73-81.
14. Trionfo delta Morte, I, ll.113-4.
Here is the image:
I uploaded all the images of this ms. (Death at the end) at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=906&p=25903&hilit=3943#p25903. It is perhaps worth noting that for Trapp this ms. is not just ca. 1445 or 1445-1450, but perhaps even 1430s. Cohen, as pointed out already in this thread has it later, 1460s.

It was nice that Trapp shows how the illustration relates to the poem. I had not noticed the hair plucked from Laura's head ( ... e=III-I.en):
And then from her blond head the hand of Death
Plucked forth a single sacred golden strand; ...
Petrarch mentions the pope and emperor, but for him they stand naked around Death, as opposed to being in full regalia but supine, as we see in the tarot cards and most Triumphs of Death.
Here now were they who were called fortunate,
Popes, emperors, and others who had ruled;
Now are they naked, poor, of all bereft.

At the same place MikeH showed also this picture ...

There are also ideas for Tarot cards, Clotho at the sun card motif. ... eville.jpg

.... which somehow suggests the idea, that also Lachesis and Atropos might be related to the Moon and Star cards.


I had done some researches about Boccaccio ....
Amorosa visione (1342, revised c. 1365) is a narrative poem by Boccaccio, full of echoes of the Divine Comedy and consisting of 50 canti in terza rima. It tells of a dream in which the poet sees, in sequence, the triumphs of Wisdom, Earthly Glory, Wealth, Love, all-destroying Fortune (and her servant Death), and thereby becomes worthy of the now heavenly love of Fiammetta. The triumphs include mythological, classical and contemporary medieval figures. Their moral, cultural and historical architecture was without precedent, and led Petrarch to create his own Trionfi on the same model.
Petrarca clearly has differences in his Trionfi. Naturally there is some relationship, if Boccaccio speaks about 5 Trionfi and Petrarca later from 6. But the Liber 1 of the Genealogy of Boccaccio offers 6 Trionfi, which are more or less identical to those of Petrarca ... in the case, that one understands them. At least, this is my opinion.
I've done a limited study of Boccaccio's mythological work, I researched only parts of Liber 1. There are 15 books about mythology totally. I can only judge a little bit of this book 1.

We have this part of the index of Liber 1 of the Genealogy of Boccaccio. This part is my object for the moment, not Tarot or something else, what happened later.

2 CHAPTER I. On Eternity
3 CHAPTER II. Of Chaos.
4 CHAPTER III. On the dispute with the first son of Demogorgon.
5 CHAPTER IV. Of Pane, the second son of Demogorgon.
6 CHAPTER V. Of Clotho, Lachesi, and Atropus, daughters of Demogorgon.
7 CHAPTER 6. Of Polo, the sixth son of Demogorgon.
8 CHAPTER VII. Of Phyton, the seventh son of Demogorgon.
9 CHAPTER VIII. Of Terra, the eighth of the sons of Demogorgon
10 CHAPTER 9 On the night of the first daughter of Earth.
11 CHAPTER X. De Fama, the second of the sons of Terre.
12 CHAPTER XI. Of Tartarus III, son of Terre.
13 CHAPTER XII. Of Tagetes III, the son of Terre.
14 CHAPTER XIII Of Antheus Vo Terre son.
15 CHAPTER XIV. Of Herebus VIII, the son of Demogorgon, who had twenty-one sons.

I simplify this list

0 Eternity
0 Chaos
1 Demogorgon
2 Litigius (= dispute)
3 Pan
4-5-6 Clotho, Lachesi, Atropos
7 Polo or Polus
8 Phyton or Phanes (= Eros)
9 Terra
children 1 Nox .................... or 0-0 Nox
............. 2-3 Fama .............. or 1 Fama
............. 0-0 Tartarus .......... or 2-3 Tartarus
............. 4-5-6 Tagetes, a child or man found in Earth
............. 7-8-9 Antheus, a giant, which dies in Air

I found this picture ....

.... called "Demogorgon in the cave of Eternity"
This picture gave the impression, that both belonged to a representation of the six Trionfi of Petrarca

6. Eternity
5. Demogorgon as old man (Time)


It was easy to identify Clotho, Lachesis and Atropas as Death ...

6 Eternity
5 Demorgorgon
4. .... ? .... it wasn't easy, but it was possible to realize, that Litigius and Pan presented Fame. Litigius means Strife, Eris means Strife. Eris has wings, Litigius can fly.
3. Death
2. Chastity has no children, cause Chastity means Chatisty .... that is simple logic
1. Love has children, cause Love means also copulation .... also simple logic

I've communicated the following with a German speaker, it partly is the same as above, but it expands the conclusions.
(Ruhm) ... r_pto=wapp

Das ist Buch 1 (Liber 1) automatisch auf deutsch übersetzt. Da entstehen schon mal Übersetzungsschwächen und Fehler.
Das Rätsel, wie das mit Petrarcas "Trionfi" übereinstimmt, kann mit Kapitel 21- Kapitel 15 gelöst werden.

2 KAPITEL I. Über die Ewigkeit
3 KAPITEL II. Vom Chaos.
4 KAPITEL III. Zum Streit mit dem ersten Sohn Demogorgons.
5 KAPITEL IV. Von Pane, dem zweiten Sohn von Demogorgon.
6 KAPITEL V. Von Klotho, Lachesi und Atropus, Töchtern von Demogorgon.
7 KAPITEL 6. Von Polo, dem sechsten Sohn Demogorgons.
8 KAPITEL VII. Von Phyton, dem siebten Sohn Demogorgons.
9 KAPITEL VIII. Von Terra, der achte der Söhne Demogorgons
10 KAPITEL 9 In der Nacht der ersten Tochter der Erde.
11 KAPITEL X. De Fama, der zweite der Söhne von Terre.
12 KAPITEL XI. Von Tartarus III., Sohn von Terre.
13 KAPITEL XII. Von Tagetes III., dem Sohn von Terre.
14 KAPITEL XIII Von Antheus Vo Terre Sohn.
15 KAPITEL XIV. Von Herebus VIII., dem Sohn Demogorgons, der einundzwanzig Söhne hatte.

Boccaccio Genealogie .... die Zahlen entsprechen der Reihenfolge siehe oben
Petrarca's Trionfi sind (von oben nach unten) 1 Ewigkeit - 2 Zeit - 3 Fama (Ruhm) - 4 Tod - 5 Keuschheit - 6 Liebe
Boccaccio, 5 Kinder von Terra .... Reihenfolge von Kapitel 9-XIII (es kann sein, dass auch diese Reihe absichtlich an die andere Boccaccio/Petrarca-Reihe angepasst ist)

Boccaccio, Genealogie .................................. Petrarca, Trionfi.................................................. Boccacio, 5 Kinder von Terra
0 Ewigkeit - 0 Chaos ................................... = 1 Ewigkeit (Kapitel I+II) ....................................... 1. Kind, Nox (= Nacht)
1 Demogorgon .............................................= 2 Zeit als alter Mann (erscheint im Prohemium) - 2. Kind, Fama (= Ruhm)
2 Litigius (= Streit) - 3 Pan .......................... = 3 Fama, Ruhm (Kapitel III+IV) ............................. 3. Kind, Tartarus (eine Art Unterwelt)
4-5-6 Clotho-Lachesis-Atropus .................. = 4 Tod (Kapitel V) .................................................. 4. Kind, Tagetes (ein Kind, das in der Erde gefunden wird)
7 Polus, Polo - 8 Python, Phanes .............. = 5 Keuschheit (= keine Kinder) (Kapitel VI+VII) .... 5. Kind, Antheus (ein Gigant, der in der Luft stirbt)
9 Terra (5 Kinder) - 10 Heberos (21 Kinder) = 6 Liebe (= ... haben Kinder) (Kapitel VIII+XV)

Boccaccio spricht von 4 Elementen, ohne dies genau auszuführen. Vermutlich meint er:

Feuer, Licht, Sonne = Ewigkeit
Wasser, Dunkelhet, Mond = Chaos
Luft = Litigius (kann fliegen, Eris, Göttin des Streits, hat Flügel)
Erde = Pan (Pan hat Ziegen- oder Schafsgestalt, er ist quasi ein Tier der Erde)

Allgemeine Elemente-Theorie: Feuer und Wasser bekämpfen einander, die Luft vermittelt im Streit. Alle 3 Elemente zusammen ist das Element Erde. Vermutlich kann man folgern: Luft = Krieg (oder Vermittlung im Krieg) und Erde = Frieden.

Das 5. Element Äther wird bei Boccaccio dem 21. und letztem Kind des Herebus zugeordnet. Dieses wird am Anfang von Liber 2 abgehandelt.


An interesting photostream with a large picture with Fame in the middle and the 3 Fates at bottom ... otostream/
The Triumph of Fame, in the foreground the three Fates, trampled by Fame
The Triumph of Fame, in the foreground the three Fates (Clotho, Lachesis & Atropos), trampled by Fame [ca. 1502–4] Netherlandish

Metmuseum AN 1998.205
Latin inscription above the allegorical figure of "FAME":
[Thus the deeds of the ancients were immortalized by Fame]

Based in part on Petrarch’s poem I Trionfi (The Triumphs), this tapestry belonged to a set of six representing the consecutive triumphs of Love, of Chastity over Love, of Death over Chastity, of Fame over Death, of Time over Fame, and of Religion (or Eternity) over Time. Here Fame reads at a lectern, surrounded by writers whose works immortalized the deeds of the ancients. Triumphant over Death, she tramples the Fates and holds an orb crowned with a cross, locating the subject in a distinctly Christian context. This tapestry, or one identical to it, was purchased by Isabella, Queen of Castile and Aragon in 1504. It remains extraordinary for its condition, color and harmonious composition.
Also at ...

Above the figure of the winged Fame is a man with wings in company with 2 horrible fishes (?). Any idea, who this shall be?


Another Flemish Petrarca Trionfi series ... 1500-1523, Great Watching Chamber, Hampton Court Palace ... f-petrarch

1500-1530 Netherlandish
A team of white elephants pulls a chariot in which the winged figure of Fame rides. Dressed in brocade and ostrich feathers, she sounds a trumpet, heralding the appearance of four famous men: two philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, and two rulers, Alexander the Great, on the far side, and Charlemagne. Alexander bears the golden scepter topped with a hand and other emblems of the kings of France; Charlemagne wears the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor but also the fleur-de-lys of France. Female figures symbolizing Death are trampled underfoot.
The theme derives from The Triumphs (I Trionfi), by the fourteenth-century Italian poet Petrarch. By about 1500, it had been translated into French for King Louis XII and illustrated on royal tapestries.
This example is one of a series from the château de Septmonts, the residence of the bishops of Soissons. Bishop Symphorien de Bullioud, who was familiar with Italian culture from his diplomatic missions to Rome and Milan for Louis XII, probably commissioned the series.
The tapestry has been cut at the top, and the single remaining line of the inscription "By her power as a lady of consequence" relates to the complicated Triumph metaphor.