Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

mikeh wrote:Huck referred us to
What book is that? What was I supposed to learn from it? All I could tell was that the relevant games were forbidden, or something, in 1470 something.
I gave a "viewtopic.address" to a thread ... there you find:
Bibliofilia; recull d'estudis, observacions, comentaris y noticies sobre llibres en general y sobre qüestions de llengua y literatura catalanes en particular. Publicat per R. Miquel y Planas
Also you find it, if you simply go to the begin of the book. ... 7/mode/2up
Also you find it at the top of the given page. It was made in Barcelona1915-20.

The language should be Catalan. One can read a good part of it with the general mix of languages, that we already are accustomed to, naturally not with 100% security.

Here a part of the text:


The snippets contains roman numbers, and these should contain the years (1313-1322), further they contain another number after a "cartes" and this should contain the reference to an unknown source, where one can find the handwritten note.
The often noted word "Tafuraria" is explained here:
"DuCange, Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis (1883-7)
TAFURIA, Tafuraria, Species tributi, aut pensitationis, apud Catalanos. Petrus II. Rex Aragon. in Charta ann. 1283. pro Libertatibus Catalaniae: Statuimus, quod Tafuraria tollatur perpetuo, et eam revocamus. In titulo Capituli scribitur Tafuria. Fori Arag. lib. 1. tit. Privilegium generale Regni Arag.: Aquello mesmo de las Tafurerias, que sian deffeytas (show full text)

show full text leads to:
DuCange, Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis (1883-7): TAFURIA

TAFURIA, Tafuraria, Species tributi, aut pensitationis, apud Catalanos. Petrus II. Rex Aragon. in Charta ann. 1283. pro Libertatibus Catalaniae: Statuimus, quod Tafuraria tollatur perpetuo, et eam revocamus. In titulo Capituli scribitur Tafuria. Fori Arag. lib. 1. tit. Privilegium generale Regni Arag.: Aquello mesmo de las Tafurerias, que sian deffeytas a todos tiempos. Exstat aliud Statutum Ferdinandi I. Regis, quo eadem Tafureria exstinguitur et aufertur. Sebastianus Cobarruvias: Tahur, el que continua mucho el juego; que si se repite Tahur, Tahur, dize hurtar, porque muchos de Tahures dan en ladrones, quando non tienen que jugar. La Ley 6. tit. 14. part. 7. dize assi en confirmacion desto: E a todo home deue asmar, que los Tahures, e los bellacos usando la trahirfreria, por fuerça, conviene que sean ladrones, e homes de mala vita. La Ley 8. tit. 16. part. 3. llama a estos Tafures, y los cuenta entre los infames y sera bien que se vea. La Ley final tit. 5. part. 2. donde se afea mucho el juego que passa de conversacion y entreteniemento, y como particularmente deven huyr deste vicio los Principes y grandes Senores. Lusitanis Tafularia, est alea: quomodo etiam Tafureria apud Raymundum Montanerium cap. 237. et in Foris Aragonensibus, apud Michaëlem del Molino in Repertorio Fororum Aragon. V. Ludus. Rursum Hispanis Tafuria, vel Tafurea, est navis hippegus, para passar los cavallos, ut habet Antonius Nebrissensis.
A sort of law collection to games, it seems. Likely the mentioned "unknown source".

What I wanted to show: There are a lot of Grescha and Riffa documents, not only one, and these have indeed a very old date.

The oldest, that I see at this place, is:


The name Grescha and Riffa are written as Graescha and Rifa in 1304, beside some other game names.
Huck wrote,
Rosenfeld and others discarded grescha and riffa as dice games, not as cards.
Can you say on what grounds they discarded grescha as a card game? I cannot sight-read the German, and it isn't in OCR format to run through Google Translate. (So far, for me, there aren't enough hours in the day to do all the translating I need to do.)
My comments and descriptions in red:



Bidev seems to have been a man, who offered alternative possibilities. Kopp wrote, that Bidev had not only one theory about the origin of the cards, but various. Rosenfeld is often rather fixed on the idea to crash the theory and arguments of others. His arguments are in this case "too short and too simple", I would say. Nonetheless, Spanish researches took a draw-back from the older speculation, possibly cause of good and better reasons. I remember to have read from a document from 1327, in which it more or less was clear, that Gresca and Riffa were indeed dice games. I don't remember the place of this information.

Huck wrote,
So this would be a second reference to playing cards in Barcelona 1310, independent of the other note.
What other note?

In the research thread, a Spanish wikipedia entry with a "1310" had the importance to raise my curiosity. This was the first note .

Also, in the Playing Card article you refer to (reproduced by Ross at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=648&p=9651&hilit=weberpals#p9674), the reference to the man who died in 1310 seems to be in the same book that makes Maimonides talk about cards. If so, it is indeed "too anachronistic", as Ross puts it, to be trusted. If he gave a quote in Hebrew, with a reference to a particular Risponsa, that would have been more believable. However it is still useful as another example of what someone thought, coincidentally close to Bidev's 1322.[/quote]

Well, this might be, that this is just another case of interpolation. But another Marotte of general playing card research it is to take everything, what leads to older times than 1377 as "wrong per se", although the existence of the John of Rheinfelden text in 1377 (you yourself after some examination of the facts noted how thin this argument about 1429 is) clearly makes it necessary to think of a production of cards long before this date, naturally in much smaller dimensions than "after 1377", but nonetheless a historical "must have been somewhere".

Thanks for dredging up the domino card of 1493. I didn't have time or patience to look for it. The top part of the card looks like something straight out of the Nuremberg Chronicle. Maybe it is.
"Il Castello di Tarocchi" reproduced 5 pictures of the deck fragment (as I was told, there are 15 or 20 cards of it) at p. 38-39. In the Forum here the finding was discussed variously, keywords "Schedel", "Weltchronik", "world chronicle", "1493 etc."

"Dice results" (somehow a clear relative to Domino) naturally belonged to the repertoire of the lot books. And we haven't a really good overview about all those lot books, which once had been.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

mikeh wrote:What about the etymology of "naib" and "malik", Steve, according to your books?
Naib probably a borrowing from the Arabic. Malik possibly too, though there is a semantic shift from ruler/chief/king/leader to one of ownership (possibly via slavery? a slave's chief=owner?) There are numerous variations of spelling and pronunciation of Tuman/10,000 across regions, I don't think the undotted T precludes it meaning 10,000, the distinction in pronunciation between the dotted and undotted t doesn't exist in Turkish or its phonetic spelling - its Turkic roots go back to Mongolia and possibly to old chinese.

Re: Tuman as pants, baggy trousers, belongs to the Urum/Graeco-Tatar dialect, that is from Turkish speaking Greeks in the Crimea and Georgia, who were Greek Orthodox rather than Muslim.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

Thanks to both of you. Very helpful. Especially Huck, for his spoon-feeding of the German text.

In the book with the reference to 1310, all I was balking at, Huck, was the idea of card-playing going back to Maimonides. He died in 1204. That's pretty far from 1377. 1310 I can buy, but before 1200? That's even before the Mamluks. And I find it quite dubious that the Unger card goes anywhere near that early. Ettinghousen put that as the lower limit, with "late 13th century" as the most probable, perhaps even 14th century.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

Adding to Franco's article on Bohemia, especially to the section of Hübsch:

Once I wrote on an article to Hübsch and captured a few snippets from various sources, which I found, mainly announcements of his earlier publications in newspapers from Prag. I lost this article in the Abyss of my computers and some of its material. I found some of these old snippets, without references, where I got them. From these it comes out, that F.L. Hübsch was with full name Friedrich Ludwig Hübsch.

Image ... ch&f=false

The Encyclopedia had a curious production story, as far one got it from the announcements. The texts appeared in parts. These texts appeared in the early 1840s.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

mikeh wrote:Another thing is your extensive quotation for what "tafuria" means. I am not sure I understood. If "a species of tribute, or of precious things", does that mean a tax, as opposed to a prohibition?

Also, in your last post, about Huebsch:
These texts appeared in the early 1440
Dis you mean, 1840s?
1840s of course.
As I said, I don't really understand Catalan, I just try to get some logic in the words. Pedro II of Barcelona should be Pedro III of Aragon ...
-- also called Pedro the Great
There's the passage ...
Later domestic unrest

Peter was dealing with domestic unrest at the time when the French were preparing an invasion of Aragon. He took Albarracín from the rebellious noble Juan Núñez de Lara, he renewed the alliance with Sancho IV of Castile, and he attacked Tudela in an attempt to prevent Philip I, the king of Navarre and the son of the French king Philip III the Bold, from invading on that front. Peter held meetings of the cortes at Tarragona and Zaragoza in 1283. He was forced to grant the Privilegio General to the newly formed Union of Aragon.
Also in 1283, Peter's brother James II of Majorca joined the French and recognised their suzerainty over Montpellier. This gave the French free passage into Catalonia through Roussillon as well as access to the Balearic Islands. In October, Peter began preparing the defences of Catalonia. In 1284, Pope Martin IV granted the Kingdom of Aragon to Charles, Count of Valois, another son of the French king and great-nephew of Charles of Anjou. Papal sanction was given to a war — crusade — to conquer Aragon on behalf of Charles of Valois.

The crusade against Aragon became a disaster for the attackers in 1284. But Pedro himself died 1285.

I interpret, that this terminus Tafureria has something to do with this Privilegio General in 1283. I found a good description of this in German wiki, the Spanish explanation has less text. ... rag%C3%B3n
Die 31 Artikel des Privilegio General können in sechs Themenbereiche eingeteilt werden: 1. Die Angelegenheiten des Adels und die Beziehungen zwischen den Ständen, 2. die zentrale und die örtliche Verwaltung, 3. das Wirtschaftssystem, 4. die Finanzverwaltung, 5. das Gerichtswesen, 6. die politische Verfassung.[3]

Aus moderner Sicht wird bei den Rechten des Privilegio General unterschieden in die individuellen Rechte, die Rechte der Stände und die Rechte der Nation.

According this there were 31 articles, which can be parted in 6 themes. I guess, that the term Tafuria or Tafureria appeared in the 5th group, which was related to the Gerichtswesen (just "Justice", I would translate).

I think, that Peter was able to resist 1283 his momentary opponents by organizing an Aragonese successful resistance against an invasion, but he had to give his helpers guarantees and rights. Somehow this helped to create with the time a book or a series of texts, which contained documents about Gresca and Riffa and generally about games. The reference text in the snippets ("cartes" and a number) is always in the same structure, so I assume this background.

Anyway, we've the nature of solid documents, which prove the existence of specific games at the given times ... well, that's the part, which interests us.
Possibly the article gives a better explanation about the source ... somewhere.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

3 Czech texts contain the word combination "taxillorum alearum cartarumque lusores" (as in the document of "Prague 1353", an object in Franco Pratesi's Bohemia article), see ... ... ue+lusores
... all are rather similar and short.

One of the originals:
Na zajímavou okolnost v souvislosti se zákazem karetních her upozorňuje Michaela Hájková (Hájková 1997, 119 a násl.). Jedná se o rukopis III. G 16 pražské Národní knihovny a sice fol. 98 z tohoto rukopisu který
začíná slovy: „Statuta brevia Arnesti Archiepiscopis Pragensis“, kde jsou kněží nabádáni k vystříhání se různých činností, skutků, a mimo jiné slibuje přísný trest všem „taxillorum alearum cartarumque lusores“. Tento výnos datovaný na den blahoslaveného Lukáše evangelisty roku 1353 by tedy měl být nejstarší Evropskou zmínkou o kartách. Měl, kdyby se nejednalo o opis z 15. století. Celý edikt je opsán dosti nedbale a existuje podezření, že písař celý záznam aktualizoval.
Google translation
On an interesting circumstance in connection with the ban on card games warns Michael
Hájková (Hájková 1997, 119 ff.). This is a manuscript III. G 16 Prague National
While libraries and fol. 98 of this manuscript, which begins with the words: "Statute Brevia Arnesti
Archiepiscopis Pragensis "where priests are encouraged to vystíhání with various activities
among other deeds and promises severe punishment for all "taxillorum alearum cartarumque lusores".
This decree dated on the day of Blessed Luke the Evangelist in 1353 should therefore
be the oldest European mention of cards. He was, if not a copy of the 15th century.
The entire edict is circumscribed quite casually and it is suspected that the scribe entire record updated.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

As usual, you think to do the search that the rest of us, or at least I, don't think to do.

The key sentence is at the end,
Celý edikt je opsán dosti nedbale a existuje podezření, že písař celý záznam aktualizoval.
For which Google translate has:
The entire edict is circumscribed quite casually and it is suspected that the scribe entire record updated.
In other words, it is suspected that the scribe updated a reference originally to dice only, to include cards. In other words, this writer comes to the same conclusion as Franco, but with a specific reason that Franco did not give: the entire edict was copied quite casually. In other words, there is reason elsewhere in the document to suspect it of inaccuracy. It would be of interest to know what those other inaccurate passages are. Perhaps the writer goes on to say.

It might be of interest also to know what the other sources say about the passage.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

I understood it that way, copied in 15th century, possibly adding cartarum ... if this document would stand alone, it would be a natural explanation, if other documents had similar errors (which they had, occasionally proven). But the document doesn't stand alone.
Hübsch adds further "insecure notes", the German knights others. A lot of "insecure notes" increase the probability, that there was something. And it wouldn't really surprise, as cards existed in China and the way to China was open, as the Mongols had opened it. If you give each "insecure note" the average value of 5% probability (1:20), then 10 independent insecure notes might have reached the probability value of 50% for the basic fact, that playing cards were "somehow" (small number of decks, small number of persons, who knew playing cards, little higher number of persons, who have heard about them, very small number of local productions) present in Europe.
And actually game developments need their time and their infrastructure. Go for instance had reached the state, that it was known and played as a game since around 1880 (first Go rules book), but already Breitkopf (1784) has noted it and earlier a Jesuit in 17th century. But it took decades to get some presence, and it developed only in Germany and Austria. At the European championships (1960s) participated only players from just Germany and Austria, other European countries reached that level in the 1970s, but not all European countries, most followed later. Now with internet it explodes, though everything needs its time and the development follows logical steps, especially cause its a very complex game, that isn't studied sufficiently in few days or few months and rarely in a few years. Go (by far better, modern infrastructure) did need such a long time, playing cards (easier to play, but much less advanced European infrastructure in late medieval time) must have had also its steps and its special problems (prohibitions and contradicting religious ideas).
The situation of 1377 and especially the John of Rheinfelden document needed a longer time before, let's say 20 years as a minimum. Somewhere a sort of small mass production technology MUST have been developed, the region Nuremberg/Prague was ideal, cause there was an emperor with high interest in trade and other peaceful developments, buildings, universities, art, city enlargement ... well, that all with the big handicap of repeating plagues.
We have various insecure documents, which, however, just tell that, what anyway is rather logical. The theory of the explosive invasion of the playing cards around 1377 alone isn't really logical.

Re: Pratesi 2016 series, Playing cards in Europe before 1377

No one questions that playing cards were in Europe before 1377. There are even good documents suggesting, with reasonable probability, but not certainty, 1371 Barcelona. The problem is in tracing the route or routes into Europe, from Africa or Asia, and if they ultimately came from outside Europe at all. You suggest 90%, at most, as a reasonable probability that someone might have added "and cards" to "and dice" in statues or other prescriptions (such as by the archbishop) after the fact. But how do you know that it isn't 99%, or even 99.9%? What evidence would show the reasonableness of one probability estimate rather than another? I can't see how "common sense" can make such distinctions, between 90% and 99%. It seems to me that we would have to look at a large number of whole documents and see if any known anachronisms or other verifiable errors not likely to have been in the original have been introduced. Or else find the originals and make the comparison. And if 99 times out of 100, or even 100 out of 100, we find such discrepancies, what do we make of documents where we cannot find them? Are the chances that they are there, but unverifiable, 99 or 100%? That is another problem, one that in part depends on the degree of similarity to the circumstances of the ones we've already made an accurate determination of. Until such a study has been done, with the circumstances noted in each case, so we can generalize to the one we want to evaluate, it seems to me that we have to evaluate each document separately, on its own terms. That's why it's important to see if the Czech historian gave any.examples of other errors that would suggest a hasty job.