Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

Thanks to both of you. Sorry for my late reply. Phaeded, every time I read something by you I am getting an education in art history and sometimes military history. I hope you will continue challenging me

My main reason for positing Hope-Faith-Charity was that I was using Minchiate as my only guide. After that, there was the question, where would such an unexpected order have been found, and by whom? That has bearing on where the order Hope-Faith-Charity originated. If there was nothing in Florence, but was in Milan or Ferrara, that would tell me something. But there was (in Florence), and by an artist whom some have considered a card maker (Belosi, Fiorini), or at least worthy of being considered a card maker (the editors of the Dal Ponte book, who attribute the Rothschild Knight to him with a question mark). If you know of the order Hope-Faith-Charity appearing in Milan or Ferrara, please tell me, so I don't keep putting my foot in my mouth. The Scheggia piece was interesting, because it, too, might be Hope-Faith-Charity, but going from right to left. It might depend on how the cardinals are arranged there. He is a known card producer.

It isn't crucial that the theologicals in the CY have been in one order rather than another. But I had to put something, since in other respects the order is crucial. All I really wanted to suggest in relation to the order, as part of my hypothesis, is that the three celestials replaced the three theologicals, for whatever reason. In this regard there are visual similarities between CY Hope and PMB Star, CY Faith and PMB Moon, and CY Charity and PMB Sun, Also, Minchiate has the order Hope-Faith-Charity. Moreover, the A order Star card strongly suggests the Star of Bethlehem, which would fit the theme of Hope better than the other two. The Moon suggests Faith, in a world in which nothing is clear to the senses. The Sun suggests God's charity, just as the Sun gives us light and warmth. The monument with Hope-Faith-Charity is only to show that before 1440 the order in I Corinthians and in Aquinas wasn't dogmatically adhered to in visual representations of this virtue. In fact even Aquinas has Hope prior in some regards, as I quoted the Summa. I will rewrite my phrase "Lacking anything better", and perhaps other phrases, as it does appear that I am using Aquinas and Dal Ponte as my basis. I did not intend that.

As far as Charity not having a vice under her, it makes sense aesthetically if she is raised up. What you needed to show me is an example where the cardinal virtues are trampling vices but the theologicals aren't, or vice versa, and there is no aesthetic reason to omit them for one group or the other, for example, they are on two sides with maybe one virtue in a central position perhaps not trampling one (Charity, Faith, or Prudence, I would guess).

And many thanks for your work on Karnoffel, Huck. But I don't understand how Lazy Fritz is one of the four, since he does not beat a king. I was only talking about the king-beaters. That is relevant because in tarot all the trumps can beat the kings. What evidence is there before 1546? And thanks for the quote about the four empires: I can use that.


Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

A problem about my presentation from the very beginning, i.e., starting with Marziano's game, is that I hadn't considered the issue of how the game would be scored, even though that was an important theme in the discussion, in particular between Ross and Ludophone in the thread "How do you play Marziano's game?" and then in another thread, the "tractatus" thread over in the East Library. I am posting this on a different thread because I am not especially intrested in Marziano, but rather what that game might imply for the other game, with the images we are more familiar with.

In particular, I didn't consider something very obvious (as it was to Ross) in relation to Marzianp, namely, the role of combinations in scoring the game. He wrote, after first broaching the subject in his preceding post, (viewtopic.php?p=20655#p20655):
The "combination" thought seems to makes some sense - it is the first time it occurred to me, actually. While we're speculating...

In classic Tarot, most of the trumps are "empty" - that is, they don't count for individual points. Only three or four (in Bologna) count. The purpose of the trumps is mostly to win the court cards, which all count for points.

But in Marziano's game, there are only four court cards, the Kings. That doesn't add up to much of an interesting game, if the trumps are mostly empty. So it seems worthwhile to imagine that assembling combinations of trumps also counted for points, and the easiest combinations to imagine, based on the text, are the four moral themes.
That was really well said. Ross develops this some more in the "Tractatus" thread, in post 15 (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1426&hilit=224&start=10#p21043):
Marziano only tells us that there is no ranking of suits (implying the existence of card games where this was the practice), and that the pips are ranked in reverse order in two suits, which is like archetypal Tarot. Finally, of course, the suit of gods is ranked in strict hierachy, from Jupiter highest to Cupid lowest.

Those three statements are the only actual rules we have. From inference, we can take it that the fourfold division into moral categories played some role in the rules. Marziano also sometimes gives a rationale for placing gods where they are, such as explaining that Mercury is 9th, "the fairly middle place", because he is a mediator among the gods. Perhaps we can take that as authorization to create sequences of gods as one object of the game. Finally, he apologizes for adding Cupid, but says that the game demands it. What rule can we infer "demands" Cupid? This is where I begin to think of an excuse or a wild card that helps build sequences.

We can assume other basic point-trick rules like following suit, since Visconti issued a decree approving only of such games that followed this "correct and ancient method." So if we are Marcello, we are basically taking over Tarot into Marziano, with the differences caused by fewer court cards and fewer Trumps being the only constraints.

For point values we are therefore left to the analogy of Tarot, with the basic rule that kings count the same as at least four of the Trumps. I say four Trumps on the assumption of Bolognese rules being the closest to the original, and also on the fact of the fourfold structure of Marizano's game. On that basis, I'd give the two highest and two lowest gods the same value as kings: Jupiter and Juno, and Daphne and Cupid. Let's say 5 points for these 8 cards.

The other 12 gods are empty. A trick counts for a point.

So, for the basic game, if we assume 56 cards dealt out to four players, that is 14 cards with no discard, 40 card points, plus 14 points for tricks gives 54 points up for grabs in a hand. If we give 2 additional points for winning the last trick, we get 56 points, which is the same as the number of cards, a neat coincidence. We can assume a fixed partnership form, who can strategize together (signals, some words?) and combine their points.

A full round is four deals, rotating counterclockwise, for a total of 224 card points in play. Here is where we have to get really creative, and assume that some other number was fixed upon, for which we have to create other points for sequences of trumps, or combinations like three and four kings, or a set of gods, according to moral category, for instance, e.g. all of the Virtues: Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, and Hercules. The combinations are where we can get really creative, for instance giving the Dii Consentes pairings some point value, or references to some mythological event that involves specific gods.

So this is how I mean to be creative in coming up with rules, a plausible reconstruction, but not one I'd offer as an historical argument.

Would anybody be up for trying to make games for the Marziano deck?
And Ludophone's answer, in post 37 (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1426&hilit=224&start=30:
There are two categories of tarot games that use combinations. The first is what Dummett called classical tarot and likely originated in Milan in the 15th century. Depaulis found it was played all over France during the 1580s. In this type, combinations are made before play. The purpose of this is to let players get a partial glimpse into each other's hand to create strategies. Players that reveal their special cards are compensated with points for the risk they took.

The second type is associated with the Bolognese and Florentine games in which combinations are made before and after play. McLeod notes that no other card games had this during "that period", which I assume to be around 1500 to 1800. I must point out that the most conservative Sicilian tarot games have faint, vestigial traces of combinations before and after play which may be why Villabianca called the game "little Gallerini". The spirit of these games is to make and break sequences as that is where the real points lie.A sorely overlooked game is the one invented by Pier Antonio Viti of Urbino during the 1490s. Viti's game is often ignored as it does not adhere to tarot rules closely and is poorly thought out. Yet Viti did not invent his game in a vacuum, he clearly played tarot and borrowed much of the general structure from the rules popular in Urbino. When all cards are dealt, the players expose them to each other; this is very likely inspired by combinations but Viti doesn't do anything clever with this nor does he award players with points. At the end of the hand, players try to form the longest sequence to win. This appears to be proof that Bolognese-Florentine style gameplay goes back to the 15th century.

As for Marziano's pack I recommend the following combinations (which may overlap):

Three or four kings

Three or four trumps of the same morals

A sequence of the top four trumps plus any consecutive trumps

The same with the bottom four trumps

The top two and bottom two trumps

Ten or more trumps

Entire hand consists of consecutive trumps

I am curious as to why your pack has 56 cards. Do you believe kings take the place of 10s? Without a discard, it is much harder to trump a king or make combinations. With a discard, honours can only be discarded to create an entire hand of consecutive trumps. There should also be a bonus for winning all tricks.

The Bolognese games are the only tarot games that have combinations and signalling together but not all of them do as there are many two-handed forms. I've compiled a list of games that have signalling from Dummett-McLeod volume 1, its supplement, and I haven't found any in volume 2 so far but I haven't finished it.
Switzerland: 5.1-5, 5.8 (supplement)
Piedmont-Savoy: 8.11-12, 8.40-42,
Bologna: 11.1-4, 11.6, 11.13-18 with appendix
Sicily: 14.1, 14.6, 14
This goes on for another four posts, fairly short, so I will continue. Ross replies to Ludophone's question:
Yes, kings replace 10s in a 56-card version. My only historical justification is that Fernando de la Torre's Spanish pack already suppressed the 10s in 1450. It was a common feature of German packs from early, too. So I can't see why it couldn't be 1420 as well. Additionally, 56 points (giving the bonus of last trick) coincides with 56 cards, although that is a circular argument if invoked as proof. Of course extra game points could make 60 as well if kings are the 11th card in a suit.
Ross adds in the next quote:
I am not sure why it should be hard to trump a king if there is no discard. If you get rid of your lower pips fast, and conserve any of the trumps, a trump can be used to take a king, like in normal Tarot. The main difference between the ratio of Trumps to court cards between to the two games seems to be that the trumps are far more useful in Tarot, since there are so many more points to be won in the tricks. It makes me believe that Marziano didn't think his game completely through, that it did not have time to evolve.
Then Ludophone:
If the king is the only counting card in its suit, there is no incentive to preserve it. You would want to play it immediately the first chance you get. Kings would be out of the game after the first few tricks. With a discard, a player can void their short suit(s) making capture of a king more likely.
And Ross:

Since the kings in play would seem to count for little, I wonder if Marziano did not intend for most of the trumps to be empty. I mean, the value of a spread of trumps is to be able to capture as many court cards as possible. In Marziano's structure, that can not be their primary purpose.

But in the games that make combinations and sequences, the trumps can result in many more points. So maybe Marziano didn't think of the court-capture function, as later Tarot would, but only thought of combinations and sequences as the main point-makers.

What do you think of the king reflecting a possible "banner" (=10) in German style packs that might have been around? Viewed that way, the trumps do, in the static structure of the pack, effectively replace the four court cards in some Italian standard packs of the time (Bernardino mentions the four standard courts in 1423, king, queen, upper soldier, lower soldier, those last two again suggesting German usage, at least as we know it from later).
I cannot find any more than this, but it's enough.

Now I want to add my two cents' worth. There are a couple more things we know, with some probability, about the situation. Marziano is Filippo's tutor, Filippo is the duke of Milan, perhaps newly installed, but we don' know for sure. We also know that it is supposed to be a recreation that emphasizes the importance of virtue over vice. So there is the "education of princes" theme, with emphasis on virtues and the position of being a near-absolute, and also somewhat paranoid (given his brother's death) monarch. Tying these with the four moral categories, two "good" and two "bad", yes, those four as combinations, for sure. As to how many cards in a category to score points, let us say three or four, with more points for four. That is how it works later in Bologna.

Otherwise, all I can see a good argument for is the four kings, as a scoring combination.. But I see no reason to stop with the kings. Kings, and other rulers need subordinates. So the next three cards down can do for forming sequences, just as court cards do in the Bolognese game, and for Piscina (where he talks about the Fool substituting in combinations for the Queen, Knight, or Page, except that we have no Fool yet). I say three cards after the King because we are dealing with sets of four. So the kings increase in importance. In Phoenices and Doves, it would be King, Ace, Two, Three. In Eagles and Turtledoves, it is King, Ten, Nine, Eight. That's why there wouldn't be any court cards besides Kings: for the sake of the allegory.

Conceivably there could be something similar for the four top gods. But I'm not sure Filippo, even if he was Jupiter, would think it advantageous to have Juno and Venus as his generals, so to speak, even if he is the latter's Christian descendant. Even more so Daphne and Cupid. (The problem with Venus and Cupid, and gods in general, is not that they are not formidable, but that they are unreliable.) In other words, there is no analogy between sequences with kings and sequences with gods. Birds can be trained.

In addition, there may be bonuses for certain types of capture. At the moment all I can think of is Cupid capturing Jupiter, because Marziano mentions it. In my view it is not because Cupid is a wild card - I don't see how he can be, since he is part of a moral category and the hierarchy - but because of a rule that gods in the moral category corresponding to the suit led get priority over other gods in the trick. In other words, if Doves are led and someone out of Doves plays Jupiter, someone can capture both the card led and Jupiter by playing Cupid, as long as there isn't another person in the game who plays Venus, Bacchus, or Ceres.

Finally, the total number of cards is between 10x4 + 16 = 56 and 14x4 + 16 = 72. The idea of a dealer's discard seems a bit advanced at this point. So I favor 11x4 + 16 = 60, because then any number can play between 2 and 6. It seems to me that there will be occasions when it is just Filippo and one other, or two others, etc., based on his selectivity, and I expect unpredictability, in the company he keeps. We know that 5 played in the Borromeo fresco, which of course was a different time and a different deck, but still, Marcello sees the Marziano as a triumph deck.

Another thing is that Marziano did not specify any of this. Perhaps, indeed he hadn't thought it out. But also it is a matter of what makes for a good game and what doesn't. It is trial and error. He's only played it with himself, drawing on cheap paper. That's not enough. What is necessary is that the rules are comprehensive, i.e. dealing with all situations, and agreed upon ahead of time. Either that or while there is some fluidity, the details have already been specified in other games of this type, of which Marziano's is just the one we happen to know about, because of him, Filippo and Michelino, a matter of noteworthy people by definition doing noteworthy things. I recall nothing in Decembrio (I can't at the moment locate Ross's little book) to suggest that Marziano's game was unique of its type.

So I have to differ from Ross about the game likely being a partnership of 2 vs. 2; there is reason to think was not true in games Filippo would want to play, owing to his selectivity, and I expect unpredictability, in the company he keeps. That is connected with another thing lurking in the wings: the idea that the game would have a fixed number of points earned from play. Unlike many people, starting with Dummett, I do not find this a very interesting question, since combinations count for so much more, and it is not at all determined how many players there are. If none of the cards in isolation is a counting card, all we have is the number of points per trick and the number of tricks. Why not 1 point per card won? That is easy to count up. The total number of points won in play, apart from bonuses, is then the same as the total number of cards, no matter what the other scoring principles are or how many players there are. Yes, I am trying to trivialize the question. In the prince-game, individual initiative counts for something: that is what the ranking of the cards and the tricks are for. But in the end what is decisive,is the resources you manage to capture or otherwise attract. Having the right virtues in proportion to vices and the right subordinates is what is critical.

I hope people reading this will come out with their objections. If not, I will go on.

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

The most simple way to explain the Martiano text is to assume 60 cards (4 Kings, 16 gods as trumps, 40 number cards). In the case, that it had really 60 cards, then we have structural similarity to the 60 cards deck as described by John of Rheinfelden. Jönsson wrote to this deck . . .


Kings count 15 points, Queens 14, Obers 13, Maids 12, Unters 11. This seems to indicate, that 10s had 10 points, 9s had 9 points etc. ... This should mean, that each suit had 120 points and 4 suits 480.
In practical play that means too much counting. It's hard to believe that such a construction had once much future.

So, let's assume, that there was 15-14-13-12-11 without 10-9-8-7-6-6-4-3-2-1 ... still this makes 260 points for the full game. Interestingly this arrangement has the effect, that 3 Kings (3x15 = 45 points) have only 1 point more than 4 Unters (4x11 = 44 points). If we compare this with the more common use of 5-4-3-2-1, then we have, that 1 King (= 5 points) has 1 point more than 4 Unters (4x1 = 4 points).

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

It is simpler if each card counts for one, and the rest of the score is bonus points for combinations. Since Bernardino in his sermon didn't report Maids, perhaps they were optional. So in Batons and Swords, King, 10, 9, 8, optional 7, and in Coins and Cups, King, 1, 2, 3, optional 4. With the King as 4 or 5 points, the next one point less, and so on. In a game with children, you want plenty of rewards, so a "sequence" is at least three of these in the same suit, even if not precisely in sequence, but with a bonus if some are in precise sequence, 1 point for two, 2 for three or more. And maybe the same for the combinations of cards in the same moral category, with kings as the fifth card.

You have a Jönson piece in German. What are you quoting from? I don't recall seeing it before.

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

mikeh wrote: 05 Jun 2021, 00:26 It is simpler if each card counts for one, and the rest of the score is bonus points for combinations. Since Bernardino in his sermon didn't report Maids, perhaps they were optional. So in Batons and Swords, King, 10, 9, 8, optional 7, and in Coins and Cups, King, 1, 2, 3, optional 4. With the King as 4 or 5 points, the next one point less, and so on. In a game with children, you want plenty of rewards, so a "sequence" is at least three of these in the same suit, even if not precisely in sequence, but with a bonus if some are in precise sequence, 1 point for two, 2 for three or more. And maybe the same for the combinations of cards in the same moral category, with kings as the fifth card.

You have a Jönson piece in German. What are you quoting from? I don't recall seeing it before.
See here ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1094&p=16904&hilit ... ion#p16817
An early contribution (2003) to the JvR theme was ...
... based on the article of Arne Jönssen in Schweizer Spielkarten (1998), Die Anfänge im 14. und 15. Jahrhundert ... UQ6AEIQjAE
The 60-card-deck of Johannes was definitely a luxury deck, and the Michelino deck with probably also 60 cards was also a luxury deck. For the Rheinfelden deck we have the strong suspicion, that it was produced at the emperor court in Prague (there are professions for number cards in this deck, and there are professions in the Hofämterspiel, which was produced for the Bohemian king Ladislaus postumus). Professions were also part of the Cessolis chess interpretation, and there is evidence for the Czech interest in Cessolis at the court of king Wenzel.
Bohemia (Rheinfelden deck) and Milan (Michelino deck) met in the year 1395 in the persons of King Wenzel and a Milanese delegation, which offered a lot of money for a duke title for Giangaleazzo Visconti. It took a longer time to get the title, Pier Candid Decembrio's father Uberto ....

Uberto was there as secretary of Peter Filargis of Candia, who later became Pope as Alexander V (1409-1410). "3 years" are a long time, enough to learn about a local card playing culture. Pier Candid Decembrio, who later wrote, that Filippo Maria (*1392) had playing cards in his youth, was born in 1399 and he got the "Candid" in his name from Peter of Candia, demonstrating, that Uberto and Peter were close to each other.
My guess is, that the both brought some Bohemian playing cards to the Milanese court. 60-cards decks are only known from Johannes and from the Michelino deck.

Added later: I was wrong with the last sentence. There was a 5x12 deck around 1460 in Germany (Meister der Spielkarten, Master E.S.). This also had 60 cards.

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

Well, I will continue from where I left off, hypothesizing, as Ross and Ludophone did, a major source of scoring points coming from combinations the four moral categories, to which I add the kings of the suits corresponding to those categories.

Marziano’s 4x5 grid seems made to order for other educational games, probably for parents and children to play together, aimed to "arouse the player to virtue". In particular, the four cardinal virtues seem to have had a traditional correlation with the four suit-symbols: mirrors (round hand mirrors) and coins with Prudence; swords with Justice; columns and sticks with Batons; and food/drink and cups with Temperance. My examples are the 1404 funeral oration for Gian Galeazzo Visconti (Moakley 1966, p. 41 n. 1) and the "Game of the King" devised by Innocenzo Ringhierei in Cento Giuochi liberali et d'ingegnio, 1551 Bologna, p. 132, in Google Books). A 4 by something grid enables them to be correlated with other cards, applying the virtues to the life-concerns that Boccaccio and especially Petrarch articulated, the former in Amorosa Visione and the latter in his Trionfi. The Petrarch Trionfi illustrations of the 1440s, done right at the time when the game was gaining in popularity in Florence even while technically illegal, are a useful guide to what images correspond to what cards there.

In Florence and Bologna (as elsewhere) later accounts give only three virtue cards, and there they are all in a row, only marginally associated with the Petrarchans. That there were originally four seems indicated by the presence of four suits and, at least in Bologna, four dignitaries. Also, the Cary-Yale, since it has four out of seven principal virtues of the Church, probably originally had seven, as Dummett reasoned in Game of Tarot. All seven are also in Minchiate, a game that seems to have gone back at least to 1466 and also seems referenced in a c. 1440 poem by Burchioni (for which search that keyword on THF). 6 Petrarchans with 4 dignitaries and 4 virtues equals 14 total, a number that corresponds to the "14 figures" of Ferrara 1440 and the 70 card decks of Ferrara 1457, as well as being equal to the number of cards in an ordinary suit, at least by 1425 when San Bernardino preached his sermon against gambling in Bologna.

Moreover of the other nine triumphs, five are always found in exactly the same order, unlike my chosen 14, which vary from place to place and time to time. This suggests that they were added during a time of peace and cooperation among regions, as opposed to isolation and individual self-assertion of city-states, which was the case until the Peace of Lodi in 1453 or a little earlier. Three of the four others are not part of the three other obvious categories and also are always in the same place in the orders as they appear later: the Bagattello always first, the Fool always a wild card, and the Hanged Man always just before Death (even if in the Rosenwald that position is not entirely clear). The Wheel is a special case.

That the Hanged Man substituted for Prudence at some point is suggested by Imperiali's poem, which describes the Hanged Man as the image between Death and the Old Man but does not include that title, but instead uses the word Prudence. It is prudent not to betray one's Lord, of course. It may have been a situation in which a d'Este ruler thought that, as protection against plots, having a card of the Hanged Man would be more effective propaganda than a lady holding a mirror. Leonello in particular, as an illegitimate son, was threatened by plots from his legitimate younger brothers, enough so that Niccolo did not even name him his heir until on his deathbed.

So if we start with 4 suits, 4 papi, 4 virtues, 6 Petrarchans we get:

Ur-Tarot, 14 triumphs
Row 4: 14 Eternity, 12 Fame, 8 Justice, 4 Papa, King of Swords
Row 3: 13 Time, 11 Death, 7 Prudence, 3 Papa, King of Coins
Row 2:---------------, 10 Pudicizia, 6 Fortitude, 2 Papa, King of Batons
Row 1:------------------9 Love, 5 Temperance, 1 Papa, King of Cups

In labeling this configuration as an “Ur-Tarocchi” I do not mean to say that it is one that actually was used; it is merely the source of the rest. Even then, the ordering of the virtues is somewhat flexible. As far as actual practice, the order of some of the Petrarchans among themselves is flexible, too, because there were different orders of virtues and different ways of understanding Petrarch's categories. One of them, Pudicizia, was a virtue similar to Temperance and could simply be removed and replaced by the virtues, to get the order seen in Florence. So while the Chariot card seems to be Pudicizia in the Cary-Yale, owing to the jousting shield, it seems related to Fama elsewhere, either as a lady on a chariot holding a sword in one hand and a golden globe in the other as Boccaccio had described "the fame of Worldly folk," (Amorosa Visione VI.75) or as a male military leader in a triumphal parade (thanks to Nathaniel and Phaeded for straightening me out on this point). As such, Fame could be before rather than after Death.

Now it is just a matter of running the three main orders through the grid, emphasizing the horizontal connections between virtues and Petrarchans. This is something I have already done in previous posts and on my blog “From Marziano to the Ludus Triumphorum”; nothing has changed except that now the horizontal rows are scoring combinations that have to be learned in order to play the game. Previously I had presented them as triumphs that took priority in tricks over other triumphs if they were in the same row as the suit led. Also, I had not thought to include the Kings with the rest.

In the 1440s-1450s Florentine Petrarch illuminations, we see Time depicted as an old man, in accord with the ancient equation Chronos = Cronos. This is not Petrarch’s cosmic time, but that of an individual life. As such, he belongs before Death but later than the triumphator. Finally, the horizontal association between Justice and Eternity suggests the image of the Angel of the Last Judgment, an image of the victory of Eternity over time. with which he himself ended his poem. The result, except perhaps in Milan (where the Cary-Yale World card suggests Fame, the lady holding a trumpet) is two images for Eternity, one of a being transcending Time, such as Christ, as in the Petrarch illuminations, and the other as the Angel (as Nathaniel has argued). So we get, at least as one alternative:

Type A, Florence, 14 cards
Row 4: 14 Angel, 12 Death, 8 Justice, 4 Pope, King of Swords
Row 3: 13 World, 11 Old Man, 7 Fortitude, 3 Emperor, King of Batons
Row 2: --------, 10 Chariot, 6 Temperance, 2 Popess, King of Cups
Row 1: --------, 9 Prudence, 5 Love, 1 Empress, King of Coins

To learn the point-getting combinations of the game, is also to learn the associations between virtues and life concerns as given in the horizontal associations: Old Age and the attainment of Eternal Glory with Christ will require Fortitude, and military victors should exercise moderation and self-control. Love, besides being moderated by Temperance, also is controlled by Prudence.

The above would be the original order for Florence, more or less, with Aquinas's order of virtues. In Bologna the positions of Fortitude and Prudence would be swapped, for the order of Wis. Sol. 8:7. I am not prejudging which of Florence and Bologna would have come first. That in Bologna the Chariot was originally above the virtues, as in Florence, is suggested by the earliest attestation of its order, that of Croce in 1602 (Lotto festevole, fatto in villa), and also by the Chariot's presence among the two sheets in Paris, with 11 cards of the last 12 of the Bolognese order. If in fact the Chariot was before the virtues from the beginning, and Croce’s composition represents a later innovation that didn’t catch on, all that changes is that Prudence would be one or two cards after Justice. The Chariot as lust for power is in just as much need of tempering by the virtues as the other appetites.

In Bologna the four dignitaries all have the same rank, just as in the case of the four kings. I think that was probably true from the beginning but for our purposes this, too, doesn’t matter. In Florence this may have been true as well, but if so it was soon a hierarchy. That there was an Empress in Florence is suggested by its presence in the Alessandro Sforza deck (for which search "Palermo" here). We don't actually know if there was ever was a fourth dignitary in Florence. If not, it makes no difference to the grid, except perhaps for a change in the order of virtues, if it is desired to keep Justice paired with the Angel. If there is one, I put Popess with Cups and Temperance because Cups associate to the communion cup, while Empresses typically brought with them a substantial dowry.

In Milan there is an innovation, probably to enhance the educational value in the eyes of Filippo Maria Visconti. The original order did well by having Love governed by Temperance, but what matters for Filippo, is that it be governed by Justice, that is to say, the terms of the marriage contract and the mutual obligations of husband and wife; hence the handshake, seen on both the Cary-Yale and PMB cards. The Lombard placement of Justice is then a kind of tacit justification for Filippo's execution of his wife for adultery.

As for Temperance, it is good advice to an Old Man, to forestall an early death. So to further enhance the educational potential, he alternates virtues in the vertical direction. To do so, however, will mess up the rows, as he will then have two virtues in one row.

Lombard order, 14 cards of Florence/Bologna (not adopted)
Row 4: 14 Angel, 12 Justice, 8 Fortitude, Love, 4 Kings of Swords and Batons
Row 3: 13 World, 11 Death, 7 Chariot, 3 Pope, King of ?
Row 2: ---------10 Prudence, 6 Temperance, 2 Emperor, Kings of Coins and Cups
Row 1: --------9 Old Man, 5 Love, 1 Popess, King of ?

The solution is to add one more Triumph of the Petrarchan variety, namely Fortune, which in Boccaccio's version was in fact the major triumphator. To do so, however, and still have the same number of cards in this suit as in the others, i.e. 14, he will have to remove a Triumph, at one end or the other of the sequence. The obvious one to remove is the Popess. So now we have:

Type C, Lombardy, 14 triumphs: Brera-Brambilla
Row 4: 14 Angel, 12 Temperance, 8 Wheel, 4 Love, King of Cups
Row 3: 13 World, 11 Death, 7 Fortitude, 3 Pope, King of Batons
Row 2: ---------, 10 Prudence, 6 Chariot, 2 Emperor, King of Coins
Row 1: ---------, 9 Old Man, 5 Justice, 1 Empress, King of Swords

The first three rows have good didactic associations. Temperance is still a virtue governing Love, as well as now a remedy against the vicissitudes of fortune and the necessary preparation, in the form of the Eucharist, for the Angel of Judgment. The World card can now be Fame of a worldly sort, and Fortitude is necessary in meeting Death. Prudence is a virtue governing the Victory Chariot and Emperors. Old men, as the most experienced, should be in charge of justice in the state. If desired, the final two can be assigned rows 3 and 2: then the Angel will be associated with Death as that which triumphs over it, and the World as the reward for Prudence.

Milan also has a version with the three theological virtues. If one card of the previous deck is removed, there will be 16, a full 4x4. If two more cards are added to each of the regular suits, they will have the same as in the suit of triumphs. We get:

Type C: Cary-Yale, 16 triumphs
16 Angel, 12 Hope, 8 Old Man, 4 Justice, King of Swords
15 Fame, 11 Temperance, 7 Wheel, 3 Love, King of Cups
14 Charity, 10, Death, 6 Fortitude, 2 Emperor, King of Batons
13 Faith, 9 Prudence, 5 Chariot, 1 Empress, King of Coins

This order also nicely fits Huck's chess analogy (

I turn to the B order. In it there are two spaces separating all the virtues, as opposed to just two. Also, World comes after Judgment, with the principle used in the Judgment, justice, in between. Justice will have to be in the bottom row, as it works out, in order to have a virtue in each row. The result is:

Type B: Ferrara-Venice, 14 triumphs
Row 4: --------, 12 Angel, 8 Wheel, 4 Temperance, King of Cups
Row 3: 14 World, 11 Death, 7 Fortitude, 3 Pope, King of Batons
Row 2: --------, 10 Prudence, 6 Chariot, 2 Emperor, King of Coins
Row 1: 13 Justice, 9 Old Man, 5 Love, 1 Empress, King of Swords

The association of Justice, Love, and the Empress would satisfy Niccolo III in Ferrara as much as Filippo in Milan: it serves to remind women not to go outside the bounds of marriage for love, even if their husbands do. Both rulers executed their wives for adultery. Since it is also in a poem with the B order that Imperiali inserted the term Prudence, I suspect that Ferrara is where the change happened. Why is more speculative: I have suggested a concern about plots, a Hanged Man being a more vivid reminder of the consequences than a lady with a mirror.

There is also something else that would make the replacement especially appropriate, if the Hanged Man had the number 12, traditionally associated with Judas, making Death 13, the same as the seat of the "siege perilous" of the Arthurian romances, the death seat mentioned in particular in one manuscript, called the Perceval, currently preserved in Modena, an Estense city (Hopper, Medieval number symbolism, p. 132). To accomplish this act of numerology, all that has to happen is to include a Popess and one more card. The addition causes the least disturbance if it is at the beginning, and a sleight of hand artist, called by the name of his trade, bagatella, will also remind people that he is the "lowest of all" in the hierarchy, as the Sermo de Ludo called him. In life, too, he is a rather scurrilous character, who cheats people in the piazzas with his tricks and the worthless tonics. This term, with the odd feminine ending, is seen only in Ferrara. In Florence and Milan it was bagattello, which seems like a deliberate change, as with an -o the double meaning is lost, or at least more remote. A bagattello otherwise was an open carriage (Grande Dizionario della lingua italiano, online).

Type B, Ferrara-Venice, 16 triumphs
Row 4: 16 World, 12 Hanged Man/Prudence, 8 Chariot, 4 Popess , King of Coins
Row 3: 15 Justice, 11Old Man, 7 Amore, 3 Emperor, King of Swords
Row 2: 14 Angel, 10 Ruota, 6 Temperance, 2 Empress, King of Cups
Row 1: 13 Morte, 9 Fortezza, 5 Papa, 1 Bagatella, King of Batons

So now there are 16. As in the Cary-Yale, every place in the grid is taken. We may imagine the same substitution of Hanged Man for Prudence now happening in Milan, since its Prudence is right before Death, too. It is easy enough in Florence and Bologna to put him in the same place.

However, the report of 70 card decks in Ferrara is in 1457, rather late to suppose that they had no Bagatella. But the boys may have preferred a deck from their past. On the other hand, there could have been a version without any virtue cards at all, but with the addition of Fame, as Huck has suggested. The suits themselves can be identified with the four virtues. To remind people what suit Fame goes with, the card is simply Justice with a young man on a white horse in the background, as we see in the PMB “first artist” cards, of which there are precisely 14:

Type B, 14 cards of PMB “first artist”
Row 4: 13 Angel, 9 Old Man (Time), 5 Pope, King of Cups
Row 3: 12 Fame (former Justice), 8 Wheel, 4 Popess, King of Swords
Row 2: 11 Death, 7 Chariot, 3 Emperor, King of Batons
Row 1: 10 Hanged Man (former Prudence), 6 Love, 2 Empress, King of Coins
Below 1: 0 Fool, 1 Bagatella

Time is overcome by the Angel, who brings Just Glory despite the vicissitudes of Fortune. The Emperor’s worldly triumphs are triumphed over by Death. And those who love an Empress need to think before they act. In this game the King functions as the virtue card. The Fool can either be the lowest Triumph or serve as a wild card in combinations.

But without all four virtues, the correlations between triumphs on the one hand and suits and virtues on the other are weakened. We can expect that as the vertical associations take on more of the associations between virtues and Petrarchans, the horizontal associations simply stop being used. Such a situation frees up the sequence to add more cards without any concern about how they fit into a grid.

A problem with stopping at 16 is the sudden jump from Death to the Last Judgment. Petrarch had two steps between the two. The Cary-Yale had the theological virtues, but the tarocchi does not go that way. In the medieval cosmograph, between the earth and the angels came air, fire, and the heavens. Likewise Dante’s journey went from hell to purgatory and then the celestial spheres. There was also the Apocalypse preceding the Judgment, with devils, fire and hail, and the appearance of both the Virgin, symbolized by Diana’s moon at her feet and her crown of stars, and her son, symbolized by the all-seeing sun. All three scenarios can be accommodated by five more cards, inserted before the final two or three. The celestials also serve to put Petrarch's cosmic time back into the series.

Finally, with the loss of the rows of a grid, the point-scoring combinations will occur in a vertical direction, at the beginning and end of the sequence. To make the acquisition of such sequences easier, the Fool can be a wild card, inserted as needed in sequences, and perhaps also the Bagatella, as in the earliest rules of Bologna. From such a role as a substitute in combinations it is easy to make the Fool serve as a substitute in the trick-taking part of the game as well.

There is then is a certain motivation to attain 22 and stop. The text of Origen's mystical explanation of the sacred number 22 had finally reached the West, one of those brought by Bessarion. Before then, the Church’s correlation between books of the Hebrew bible and their 22 letters had been known, sometimes even with an attribution to Origen, but without any indication of the hand of God being involved. At that time, in the second half of the 15th century, moreover, Origen was finally becoming of interest as someone worth studying, e.g. in Pico, 1487 (900 Theses, Oration), even if he had made heretical statements.

If the scoring of horizontal combinations disappears without a trace, the question arises of why postulate such intermediaries between Marziano and the game as later known at all? My answer is that new things do not appear out of nothing, but emerge from new combinations of old things to which more new things are added, and from which over time old things are discarded. Otherwise, the grid can explain why the Wheel of Fortune would have been added to the Petrarchan 6, although not to the exclusion of other explanation. For starting at 14, there are the two references in Ferrara and the number of first artist cards in the PMB. There are the three natural groups of subjects that add up to 14. There is the fact that most of them (excepting only the Pope and Death, which are natural dividing points) do not keep to the same place in the order among the various sources, whereas six of the seven (excepting only the Wheel) are in the same place everywhere. There are also the ways in which the virtues are distributed in the three regions, in a repeating pattern if just those fourteen are in the series. The variations nonetheless make sense in a 4 by something grid defined by the four virtues, expandable to 16 or a few more.. None of this is proof, just grounds for a reasonable hypothesis. Perhaps more evidence will be found, but at least this much is worthy of note.

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum


Martiano gives 4 categories for his 16 figures: Virtues - Riches - Virginities - Pleasures

So the Virtues connect in this system to Jupiter - Apollo - Mercury- Hercules independent of any human critique, that this might be not very good chosen virtues. For Jupiter I recognize a relation to Justice and I see no problem, and brutal Hercules earns the attribute Fortitude without doubts. Apollo and Mercury create more problems (who is Temperance and who is Prudence ?), but in the Apollo column I detect Neptun, Luna and Bacchus and each of them has something to do with liquid stuff, and that could only mean: Temperance with water or wine. So Mercury has to be content with Prudentia. Well, he was always a clever boy.

4 Riches seems to mean 4 Elements, cause we recognize "Eolus = air" and "Neptun = water". Juno shall be earth and Mars = fire, I guess. Well, let's see, where it will lead to.

4 Virgins, no doubt. Minerva-Athena, Diana-Luna-Artemis, Vesta-Hestia who knows how to cook, and Daphne, also called Laura as the erotic idol of Petrarca, is known for her preference for the state the state as a piece of wood against the love of Apollo. The third column knows a viper for Prudentia and the element fire for the wild Mars and the cooking lady Hestia also needs fire. So somehow this is okay.

The last 4 are just for pleasure. Venus, who becomes mother to Amor-Eros by Zeus at least in some versions of mythology, Bacchus, who has something to drink, Demeter-Ceres, who has somthing to eat, and Amor-Eros, who rules, who loves whom and whom not. Demeter once loved Jupiter-Zeus and that resulted in Persephone-Kore, and Persephone was robbed by the hidden one, that is the strange Jupiter-brother Hades alias Death.

So we have in the 3rd column Mercury, who also had the job as Psychopompus (accompanied the soul from life to death) and Mars for Fire and Mars is the god of war and war had always some good relation to Death, and Hestia as a cook knew very well, what living animals might be good for, if one is hungry and Demeter, who also worked in the food business (vegetarian) and whose daughter was captured by Hades. And one shouldn't forget to tell, that Mercury was Prudentia and Prudentia had a viper, and in the great story of the old bible there is a tree with a viper and an apple and the viper was so wise, that she knew, how Adam and Eve and all their descendents might die outside of paradise.
So there is reason to call the 3rd column DEATH.

And the second column one should call WATER cause Apollo-Temperance, Neptun-Ocean, Luna-Moon-ebbe-and-flow and Bacchus-somethink-to-drink all have something to do with WATER.

Then let's look what the 4th column says ....

13. Hercules is Father TIME, cause he is the astronom, and the astronom is responsible for time (5th value in Petrarca's Trionfi)
14. Eolus is the god of winds and he has cause of this a trumpet and it's FAME, that needs this trumpet (4th value in Petrarca's Trionfi)
15. Daphne is PODICITIA-Chastity (2nd value in Petrarca's Trionfi)
16. Amor-Eros is AMOR (1st value in Petrarca's Trionfi)

Well ...
9-12. DEATH
5-8. WATER ????
1-4. ETERNITY ????


The 14 trumps of the first artist of PMB-TAROCCHI

1. 1st group: Bagatella
2. 2nd group: Papessa
3. 2nd group: Empress
4. 2nd group: Emperor
5. 2nd group: Pope

6. Petrarca-1: Love - AMOR
7. Petrarca-2: Chariot - PUDICITIA
8. Petrarca-4: Justice - FAME
9. Petrarca-5: Hermit - TIME

10. group-2: Fortuna
11. group-2: Fool
12. group-2: Hanged Man

13. Petrarca-3: Death - DEATH
14. Petrarca-6: Judgment - ETERNITY

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

Huck wrote,
The 14 trumps of the first artist of PMB-TAROCCHI

1. 1st group: Bagatella
2. 2nd group: Papessa
3. 2nd group: Empress
4. 2nd group: Emperor
5. 2nd group: Pope

6. Petrarca-1: Love - AMOR
7. Petrarca-2: Chariot - PUDICITIA
8. Petrarca-4: Justice - FAME
9. Petrarca-5: Hermit - TIME

10. group-2: Fortuna
11. group-2: Fool
12. group-2: Hanged Man

13. Petrarca-3: Death - DEATH
14. Petrarca-6: Judgment - ETERNITY

Could you say more? Specifically, what is the difference between "group 2" and "2nd group"? How many groups are there? What defines them? Are the subjects that you have not associated with any group not part of any? Perhaps you have written about these "groups" elsewhere, but if so, I do not remember it. If so, give us a link. Also, it would be good if you gave a link to where you talked about the conversion of Justice to Fame. I want to read it again.

Another problem is in knowing where to put Fame. Above, you put it where Justice would go. But if it is not Justice, why would it go there? In the Cary-Yale, Fame would have been second to last, before the Angel. Why not there? In Ferrara, Justice was second to last. Does that mean that Fame would go last in Ferrara, since the PMB had no World? Or are the 14 in Ferrara different from those in the PMB?

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

mikeh wrote: 14 Jun 2021, 01:22
Could you say more? Specifically, what is the difference between "group 2" and "2nd group"? How many groups are there? What defines them? Are the subjects that you have not associated with any group not part of any? Perhaps you have written about these "groups" elsewhere, but if so, I do not remember it. If so, give us a link. Also, it would be good if you gave a link to where you talked about the conversion of Justice to Fame. I want to read it again.

Another problem is in knowing where to put Fame. Above, you put it where Justice would go. But if it is not Justice, why would it go there? In the Cary-Yale, Fame would have been second to last, before the Angel. Why not there? In Ferrara, Justice was second to last. Does that mean that Fame would go last in Ferrara, since the PMB had no World? Or are the 14 in Ferrara different from those in the PMB?
I discussed this earlier here ...

PMB 2-3-4-5 is clearly a group, different to the 4 others.
Another consideration might be, that 1-2-3-4-5 are a group and 6-7-8-9-10 also.

This is about PMB-1 with 14 special cards. Well, somehow it fits to my new considerations tp the Mivchelino deck.

Taking 1-10-11-12 as a group has the advantage, that the 4 all look gangsters. Fortunatus in the Alberti theatre play is a bad guy, Fool and Bagatello also look like treacherous servants from a theatre play. The traitor makes also a good "bad figure".

Generally I'm working on this list ... (not finished)

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

Thanks. That was a good post that you linked to.

I am still not sure where Fame fits into the sequence. If it is not Justice, it might not be 8th. It could be next to last, the same as Fame in the Cary-Yale.

So Bagat, Popess, Empress, Emperor, Pope, Love, Chariot, Wheel, Old Man, Hanged Man, Death, Fame, Angel.

I have no idea why you put the Fool as number 11. I know that 11 was considered the number of sin. But that is not enough to put him there.

I also am not sure how "groups" should be defined. In the game, all I can think of is scoring combinations. So we have the Fool, the Bagatello, and the Angel as one group, perhaps the four "papi" as another group. In Bologna they counted as a scoring group.

I suppose the ones in the middle could divide 4-3, or 3-4, as well. Or it could go by columns in a grid, but in that case with 14, the end columns would have 4 and the middle ones 3, or else the Bagat and Fool would be wild cards, as in the Bolognese game. But there is no suggestion in Marziano or the later scoring of any of these last groupings.

On the other hand, "groups" might be defined as in Marziano, scoring by rows in a grid. There would be four groups, one for each suit, composed of every fourth card, maybe adding the king of the corresponding suit. One group might be Popess, Love, Hanged Man, Cups. The Love group, or the story of Pope Joan or Manfreda. Another, Empress, Pudicitia, Death, Coins. The Pudicitia group, or the story of Laura. Then Emperor, Wheel, Fame, Swords. The Wheel group, or the fall of Princes. Then Pope, Old Man (Time), Angel, Batons. The Angel group, or the story of salvation. Or some such thing. Bagatella and Fool again as wild cards

Do you see your "groups" in terms of scoring combinations, or just as conceptual schemes in building the sequence? Either way, it still seems to me strained and anachronistic to fit Petrarch to Marziano's demigods and two other columns. That schema fits only part of the PMB and part of Marziano, and in two very different ways, in the first as defining part of a sequences, in the second as defining two of the columns, and the demigods. Marziano emphasized whole rows, and columns not at all.