mmfilesi wrote:Well... continued ^^
Summary of last post
Remote Background: chess as an allegory.
Case for example: Cessolis
Case for example: Lex Exchecs
Deck and chess
Ingold: 8 wins, probable structure of chess
Michelino: 16 wins, probable structure of chess.
>>Pos a: 1 army
>>Pos b: two armies with possible influence of geomantic structure
Possibly there are other chess allegories in 14th century, though some of them might be for the moment still not discussed or generally not discovered.
1. Trionfi by Petrarca, also Chaucer's first work
The Trionfi card series developed since 1440 and they were called "Trionfi" - as a poem of maybe 70 years before. An accompanying feature it is, that the typical Trionfi poem motifs develop parallel to the Trionfi cards (also since 1440), probably related to an increased admiration for this poem. Trionfi poem motifs entered the iconography of the Trionfi cards - that's obviously. Trionfi cards - as the analyzes give reasons to assume - were influenced by chess.
Taking it all together, the question is simply given, if Petrarca already intended to present a chess allegory with his pooem, or if the poem had been later identified or interpretad as a chess allegory.
Love - first figure of Petrarca ... appears in the chess as a Queen, which appears in this form not in the imported chess variants from Asia. European chess interpretation in 14th/15th century is strongly influenced by Love and marriage interpretation, one example is "eschecs amoureux", but also the Cessoli text was incorporated in collection, whose major theme was "good behavior during marriage".
Chastity ... is regarded as "accompanied by the virtues". In the Cary-Yale Interpretation the pawns are filled with virtues, more or less also in the Charles VI.
Death ... appears as a motif in the Tarot cards. In the Tarot iconography chess appears usually on a horse ... as a knight. In one example (PMB) it appears with bow and arrows - The archer was connected to the bishop figure in some regions.
Fama ... appears as a motif in the Tarot card sequence (Cary-Yale, Charles VI). Cause its trumpet it seems to be connected to the older figure of the Alfil (elephant), generally it seems, that in the chess Tarot interpretation the trumpet was associated to the Tower (rook), likely cause the trumpet was used by trumpeter on towers.
Time ... appears as a motif in the Tarot card sequence as the hermit or Father Time. He seems to play the role of the adviser (= bishop), which appears in the Cessolis tradition.
Eternity ... appears to some degree in the later interpretation of the card "world". But, on the level of 14th century chess reflection, it would refer to the Chess King, in the later Trionfi card reflection to the Emperor.
So it works ... a handicap of this idea is the circumstance, that Petrarca seems to have been astonishingly silent about chess. In Petrarca's text Fortune and the 4 passions (written ca. 1360, in a time, when he already worked on the Trionfi poem) Petrarca talks about games, but astonishingly either with intention or accidental doesn't mention chess (or, other possibility, I haven't found the passage about it).
If Petrarca didn't talk in his life full of many writings about chess, it's indeed curious - Chess is called a major topic in 14th century lterature and Petrarca simply left it out?
Trionfi was his latest work and he died about it, the text a little bit unfinished. If we consider this circumstance, then it might be, that he intended to declare it as a work about the "great chess of life" - somehow perhaps in contrast to the usual game of chess .... title, introductions and final words, which influence the whole view of an article or a literary work, are usually written in the finishing part. But Petrarca didn't finish, so this possibly was missing.
Interesting is the aspect, that Chaucer started his first work with a chess allegory. In this early period as an active writer - it's not proven with 100% security - Chaucer possibly visited Milan/Pavia for a marriage between an English prince and a Viscoti daughter (1468) and at this opportunity he possibly talked with Petrarca.
2. Neuf preux / neuf preuse (nine worthies)
A second object of greater interest for hidden chess allegories are the 9 heroes, which appeared to our knowledge first in a poem 1312, made probably for the new Emperor Henry VII of Luxemburg (reigned 1308 - 1313), father of John the blind, king of Bohemia, and grand-father of Charles IV, long and successful emperor from 1346 - 1378 ... in other words the playing card emperor. The poem was moved to greater fame in 1340's by Baldouin of Luxemburg, who did a lot to promote Charles IV as new emperor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VII, ... an_Emperor
The early spreading of the neuf preux prove their existence in regions dominated or influenced by Charles IV. Cologne, Flemish region with Luxembourg, Northern France. As a theme it was adapted by the French king Charles VI and his brother Louis of Orleans, husband to Valentina Visconti. The first appearance in art are figures in the Cologne City Council together with Charles IV.
In structure this was a 3x3 system with 9 figures, somehow reflecting the Nine-Men-Morris game with 3 Pagan, 3 Jewish and 3 Christian kings. A specific detail, the 9th king is Gottfried of Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, gives reason to assume, that the major aim of the system is to show that 8 old famous kings (or emperors) honor the ninth, the most contemporary.
3. Pagan: Alexander - Caesar
* o Hector
o Alexander the Great
o Julius Caesar
o Judas Maccabeus
o King Arthur
o Godfrey of Bouillon
So, understanding this idea, one might suspect, that 8 Kings were used for the chess board and that the 9th was the player.
"Godfrey of Bouillon was born around 1060 in either Boulogne-sur-Mer in France or Baisy, a city in the region of Brabant (part of present-day Belgium). During Godfrey's lifetime this region was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Godfrey was the second son of Count Eustace II of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine."
Jacques de Longuyon (the poet) presented the neuf preux in his poem "Voeux du Paon". Longuyon is a location near the Southern border of Luxembourg. The commissioner had been Thibaut de Bar, bishop of Liège ... that's near Luxembourg. The promoting person was Baldouin of Luxembourg and the person, which most profited from it, had been Charles IV. (of Luxembourg naturally). And Godfrey of Bouillon was born and determined also from the region "near Luxembourg". So the whole had been a "local cult", which by clever promotion and lucky political and economical constellations received international acceptance. Burgundy was ascending in its importance in this time.
The neuf preux found in a later development to neuf preuse, 9 female heroes in more variating constellations. Also the 9 heroes could be changed, partly or totally, for instance in this version:
... in 9 pictures with 3 poets, 3 women, 3 local Florentine heroes by Castagno ca. 1450 (Cycle of Famous Men and Women, Detached fresco. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy).
Also it was possibly to add a 10th and so we find it in Boiardo Tarocchi poem (with 10 preuse) and similar in 10 pairs of heroes in the Sola Busca Tarocchi.
Another card influence appeared in the fixation of some of the 9 heroes in the French court card definitions (which also had its changes):
kings: ALEXANDRE CHARLES DAVID CESAR
queens: ARGINE JUDITH PALLAS RACHEL
jacks: LANCELOT LA HIRE HOGIER HECTOR
... which by the appearance of La Hire and Hogier should have descended from the time of the French king Charles VII.
So ... a general influence of the neuf preux at the playing card development is general natural.
3. Geomanty ... as already discussed, but there might be others.
Well, as nobody says anything, I continued ^^. It is the turn of the Yaly Cary deck's.
In the hypotesis of Trionfi.com, really interesting, says its possible relationship with chess. The basis of this hypothesis is that the deck originally had 16 triunfos.
We think that the deck had:
a) 14 triumphs
b) 16 triumphs
c) X triumphs
Reasons for 16:
a) The favorite number of Filippo its 16 Filippo (for his geomantic beliefs and because it was his lucky day).
b) Michelino deck have 16.
c) In this way, Trionfi.com thesis of 40-24-16 its correct. (And for probability, I think its correct).
Did I leave any?
Reasons for 14 :
I dont know.
we are all acording with 16?
The general card game structure (as far it is known) has a preference, for 4x13, but also appearances 4x11, 4x12, 4x14 and 4x15 are known, and also y interpretation of Trionfi.com a ...x16 - structure. 5 suits appear occasionally (also other number of suits) and they get also more attention by Trionfi.com's focus on 5x14.
The reason for "14" should be mainly, that 4x14 had been an early traditional scheme.
The Charles V'I Tarot is also identified as Chess Tarot and precisely 16 special cards are still existent ... probably complete.
Generally it must be assumed, that if one could double or multiply the "real findings" of playing cards to a higher number, that more "game variants" would appear.