Re: The 14 + 8 theory

31
Image
Once (2012) I wrote ...
I start the "collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)", cause I feel myself incompetent in this question, but I for my myself wish to know precisely, if one could safely assume, that the poem "Trionfi" short before 1440 and short later after 1440 became rather popular and got more attention as before. That's partly proven by the letter exchange Piero de Medici with Matteo de Pazzi in 1440/41 about the production of an edition with Trionfi pictures and through the many Trionfi pictures at Florentine Cassioni and in book productions. But my overview is not good enough in my opinion.

I would wish to know also about the general development of the perception of Petrarca ... I think, that the Trionfi work "arrived late" in the public attention. But I don#t know this for sure.

I would enjoy, if some could help in this enterprise.
viewtopic.php?p=12386#p12386

.... we had searched for it ...
2008 ...
https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.p ... ost1323343
2012 ...
viewtopic.php?p=12388#p12388

.... Ross once found it ...
viewtopic.php?p=12397#p123971

This was in July 2012. Franco Pratesi had just found a lot of Florentine playing card documents in the the first half of this year.

Michael J. Hurst once presented this opinion (in the second post of the thread):
The universal influence of Petrarch's Trionfi came after Tarot's invention, and the popularity of Tarot paralleled the larger popularity of Trionfi as a mode of allegory and a form of homage.
This big popularity of the invented Tarot (a name, which didn't exist in this early time) got his climax in a handful of documents for the first 10 years, not very convincing, that just this medium playing card should have started the Petrarca poem presentations ...
Michael J. Hurst:
The private works took many forms, notably including cassoni (chests), deschi da parto (birth trays), maiolica (ceramic bowls, plates, ewers, etc.), spalliera panels (wainscoting), tapestries, restelli (mirrors), and so on. Many of these decorated works depicted trionfi, some historical or legendary and others allegorical. Examples of all these are available online. Triumphs of one sort or another are a natural choice of subject matter, and Petrarch is always in the background as a seminal work.
Michael J. Hurst had started a large collection of Trionfi motives at Wikipedia ...
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:I_Trionfi
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

32
I am ready to comment on Nathaniel's hypothesis, now that I think I understand it. Your theory overlaps with what I have been promoting in several ways, in that it postulates three basic components, namely the game of imperatori, the most important virtues, and Petrarch's Trionfi, as well as the transformation of the theologicals into the celestials. The main difference is in how much of the various components - specific cards and their order - of each and when.

Your original sequence, ur-tarot, is Love, Chastity (in a chariot), Death, Fame (in a chariot), Time, First Eternity (Angel), Second Eternity (World), Temperance, Justice, Fortitude (with Prudence somewhere among these cardinal virtues), Faith, Hope, Charity.

You say this is hard to remember, compared to what comes later. It seems to me that Petrarch's sequence is quite easy to remember. It is not even necessary to have read the poem: it can be explained in one sentence. Likewise the four cardinals, from Aquinas's teachings (if Prudence is high), again explained briefly, as he did (Summa Theologiae II.II. q. 123, art. 12, ans.). Surely priests would have based sermons on it. For Fortitude above Justice, Aquinas himself cites Ambrose, who puts Fortitude high because of "a certain general utility." There is also Wis. Sol. 8:7. All good texts for sermons. The three theologicals everyone would remember, from I Cor. 13:13 (talk about luck!). It is harder to remember the sequences as later known. In minchiate Hope is before Faith, with Prudence in between. Fame and Time are both before Death.

The order of Angel and World is something that is there in your ur-tarot, so I will discuss it next. Nathaniel wrote, about the hypothesized change in Ferrara and Milan from Angel last to World last:
But it seems very unlikely that such an unintuitive deviation would spread to two cities, if it was not part of the original order. The best and easiest way to explain the existence of this "unintuitive" order, and especially its dominance in two of the three early centers of tarot, is through the Petrarchan interpretation I have outlined above: If the World was in fact originally a representation of everlasting life in Heaven after the Last Judgment, then placing it at the top of the trump order makes perfect sense, and even more so if the Sun, Moon, and Star were not present in the deck at the time.
You say that putting the Angel last is counter-intuitive, because heaven comes after the Judgment. But Christ looking down on the world, as in Pesellino, is the world in time looked at from the perspective of eternity. That comes before the Last Judgment, from which Christ and the Saints already in Heaven are spared. They are working from above in this world to help sinners find the way. The lady on the Charles VI World card has a similar function. She exactly fits the description of the narrator's guide in Amorosa Visione (I.35-42), guiding the narrator in this world so that he will win Glory in the next.

I grant you two cards for Eternity. But if one of them shows our world on the bottom of the card, in time, I think it naturally precedes one that shows the beginning of the end of time. The A/B World card is our world, in time, in which some have risen to, or never lost, eternal glory. The PMB World card, on the other hand, does not show our world, but rather the New Jerusalem, perhaps also heaven, since it is on top of the card. In that case, yes, it can intuitively be after the Angel card. There has been a switch. Likewise for the French version, with the four evangelists and Jesus, presumably in heaven. And the Ferrara order, with World last, seems influenced by that of Sforza Milan, even if its cards follow the A order designs. Perhaps the d'Este deck was made in Florence, as the recent Issy catalog contends, and the Metropolitan/Budapest followed the same conception. If any order is counter-intuitive, it is that of Ferrara, with an A order this-worldly design on its World cards, nonetheless last in the order.

Then there are the two chariots. You justify your two "original" cards with chariots by saying that it appears as both Fame and Chastity in the early decks of Milan. But these are different decks. Where do two chariots occur in the same deck? They are so similar that indeed they would be easy to confuse: one has a sword and four attendants, the other a stick, and in the right vs. left hands, while both hold out golden orbs with the other hand. The red vs. whitish horses suggest the same Platonic allegory as the rearing vs. calm horse of the Cary-Yale, which in Plato was surely for Chastity rather than Fame (as you say, the Issy could be Chastity). But the Issy's sword, orb, and chariot correspond to Boccaccio's description of Worldly Fame in Amorosa Visione (VI.65-72). The Catania, without attendants and with similar horses clearly corresponds to Fame, as does the Charles VI, Rosenwald, and Bolognese. But these are details in cards that are still too similar.

It seems to me that the card must have been called "Chariot" from the beginning, because otherwise there wouldn't have been the variations in portrayal. I defy you to find any suggestion of deck with two chariot cards. It is one subject, Chariot, portrayed with different Petrarchans in mind in different decks.

I think that the reason for changing the card from Pudicizia/Chastity to Fame was that there were already Temperance and Fortitude, which were close enough in meaning to Pudicizia that the latter would be overkill. So the cardinal virtues go where Pudicizia was, allowing the Chariot to be reinterpreted as Worldly Fame, sooner or later with a male on top, except in Minchiate, where the lady, naked except for a banner, clearly is not Chastity, but might still be derived from her.

Which was first? It requires some thought to realize that you don't need a special card to represent Petrarch's Chastity, a reason for the Chariot to have been originally Chastity and the World originally Fame. But the original designer might have already thought beyond Petrarch, and decided to put first Fame and then Time before instead of after Death, Fame now being the Chariot. So I am dividing your step 1 into two parts, a and b. 1a has the Petrarchans in Petrarch's order, 1b is the same but with Death moved to second to the end, and two cards for Eternity, one Eternity in Time (Providence, guidance, lessons), the other the beginning of of the end of Time. There are still 6 Petrarchan cards, but one of Petrarch's 6 is no longer represented, and one is represented by two cards. Whether 1a is a real deck or just the first draft is unknown. If there was a 1a, it had a very restricted run It need not have been in the same city as 1ab. If there aren't 7 Petrarchans, of course, there is no symmetry to be had with 7 virtues. That could be one reason for adding the Wheel, precisely so as to make 7. That might have been the first real deck, too, starting from 1a. Call it 1ac, or, if using the 1b order, 1bc.

In step 2 you add the 8 Imperatori. I wish to challenge that, to say that the tarot might have borrowed fewer than 8 at first, as part of step 1, and added more later.

Why in step 1? Karnöffel and Imperatori were, besides, Marziano's game, the earliest games with trumps, perhaps even earlier than Marziano, although we don't know. There is the probable playing of Karnöffel in Milan of 1420, then the record of VIII Imperatori in 1423 Ferrara, ordered from Florence, and Imperatori again in 1434.

In Karnöffel one was the Emperor, another the Pope, etc. How far back that goes back we don't know; these names may be imports from other games, such as tarocchi. Yet an Emperor is the most natural candidate for an imperatore, followed by an empress, because emperors and empresses rule over kings. So do Popes, in the Guelf universe. The virtues and Petrarchans rule over them.

I have suggested that Imperatori differed from Karnöffel in that Imperatori had permanent trumps, as opposed to a designated suit by the luck of the draw. In that way it doesn't turn the world upside down, making low ranking cards high ranking, thus avoiding Filippo's prohibition. It may well be that in Imperatori none of the cards were actually emperors. By analogy to emperors, these cards, presumably, rule over kings and below. Of course if the Rothschild cards are from an Imperatori deck, then at least one was. But we don't know that. It may be that the word "imperatori" functioned in the same way as "trumps," i.e. cards that were superior to kings and below. Yet an Emperor is the most natural candidate for an imperatore, followed by an empress, because emperors and empresses rule over kings. So do Popes, in the Guelf universe. The virtues and Petrarchans rule over them, the one as obligations, the other as life situations.

Nathaniel wrote,
The highest ranked of these special cards (called the Karnöffel) was able to beat all the other cards in the deck; one or two others could beat all the numeral cards, and the others had only restricted trump powers: some were able to beat only numeral cards, while some could beat one or two of the lower court cards as well, but not the kings.
This is not quite right. Dummett in 1980 surveyed a great many variations, the earlier ones in obscure language, and came to this conclusion:
But, in the earlier form, there are just three cards of one suit, the Karnöffel (Unter), Pope (6) and Kaiser (Deuce), lifted out of their natural order to become fully-fledged trumps, three more, the 3, 4 and 5, which serve as partial trumps, and one, the Devil (7), which plays a special role. (p. 190, at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1175)
The special role for the 7 was that it beat any other card, or perhaps any other card except one or two (Karnöffel, Pope). So we have four Königstrechers, as they were called. A later version had one more, a Sow.

I am inclined to agree with your intuition about Imperatori, that some of the cards besides the 4 papi were inspired by that game or by Karnöffel. One of my thoughts about them, which I have kept to myself up to now, is that there would have been 4 "good" imperatori and 4 "bad" (just as there are three "good" Petrarchans and 3 "bad"). So in Karnoffel there is the Devil, and the Fool could be the tarocchi counterpart of the Karnöffel, the insensitive, dimwitted lout, but reduced to his appropriate level of power. Then we have a con man (bagatella) and a traitor, so four that fit the bill. The Ferrara court would have liked such a game. Half of 8 is 4, so two could have a special relationship to each suit, just as rows of gods had special relationship to suits in Marziano's game (even if how that special relationship was reflected in the rules is not said in so many words). The two were perhaps one good and one bad, or maybe the "bad" ones attached to two of the suits and the "good" ones to two of the other (as seems to be implied by Marziano).

But would all 8 have been added at once, in your step 2? I see no particular reason why, and several reasons why not. One reason for thinking that it was 4 imperatori at first (in the tarocchi), the "good" ones, is my principle that in general, the more variation there is in the placement of a subject in the order, the more likely it is to be early rather than late, the only exceptions being those at the divide between the sections that seem to have been respected (as Dummett discovered), i.e. the Pope as the highest of the 4 imperatori, and Death as the dividing line between the here and now and the far away, in space or time. The Popess, Emperor, and Empress, are in all sorts of variations. But the Fool, the Bagatella, the Hanged Man, and the Devil are always in the same place (or lack of place, in the case of the Fool). So these "bad" imperatori would be later, the "good" ones earlier.

Another reason for thinking the "bad" ones wouldn't have been there at first is that in a sense making them trumps does put them above the rest of society, except for the Devil. So a card maker who made them trumps is at least risking the wrath of the ruler, especially Filippo, and also is giving the legislative body, in the case of Florence, a reason to withhold legal status for the game, which it did not do for tarot until 1450 there. Having a Devil card at all is suspect, too, because people could use it in black magic, and its high position suggests a lot of power. Legality is good for sales. Once the game is legal, however, having such cards would be good for sales.

Literally speaking, there was only 1 imperatore, or 2 if the masculine plural is taken to include both the Empress and Emperor, so a deck like the Cary-Yale could have gotten away with just them. But there is good allegorical reason for adding the Pope, to assert his authority over both. There are also good allegorical interpretations of 4 imperatori. One is pope, antipope, emperor or emperor-elect approved by the pope, excommunicated emperor. Another is Pope plus Emperor in Rome, Patriarch plus Emperor in Constantinople. Another reason is the division into 4s and pairs already discussed.

Allegorically speaking, the best candidate for the first of these interpretations is Bologna, where it was in fact made later. And it is a good explanation for the "equal papi" rule (in my view the East/West interpretation is not, because religion was put higher than secular authority, and by the end of the council the pope was highest of all). Bologna is also a good candidate for the second, as Bologna was the pope's originally favored site for the unity council (Ross has done some good research on that.) But of course Ferrara and Florence were also favored, later.

I do not agree with your discounting of Bologna as a place of origin. There is an early and long-standing tradition that the game began there, with no one, there or elsewhere, disagreeing. It was known for its playing cards at an early date, even if triumphs aren't mentioned in Bernardino's published sermon. He might well have done so in person, but changed it to "and so on" (as in the published version), to avoid giving a vile new game free publicity. That there is no evidence is not persuasive, because you have to consider the places where early evidence has been found. Mainly, it is arrest records in Florence (none before 1443, despite Franco's diligent search) and ruling family records in Ferrara. There do not seem to have been ordinances against card games in Bologna, just taxes on the decks (I seem to remember reading somewhere). The ruling family's palace was burned and demolished in 1506-1507; it seems unlikely that the fleeing Bentivoglios would have taken the pains to save their purchase records from 60 years earlier. That Giusti's diary was saved, and then copied a long time afterward, with one of the copies containing the mention of triumph cards (and the archaic language used suggesting that it was not a later addition), is a fluke.

With 4 imperatori, there is the possibility of a nice symmetry, with 4 virtues. Added to 6 Petrarchans, we have our desired number of 14. There is also room for flexibility. A deck with one imperatore is fine, and so are two and three, depending on how many are needed to add up to the desired number, whatever it is. From what we know, we cannot deduce that the principle governing the whole was a particular ratio of trumps to regular suits, whether 1:1 or 3:2. There may have been more than one principle. One of them might have been to have the same number of trumps as Marziano, who after all may well not have had 4 court cards per suit, since he only mentions Kings.

For just the 4 cardinal virtues at first, one argument is that they go with 4 suits and 4 imperatori (the 4 virtues take the place of the 4 "bads"). The attributes for the cardinals have distinctive correspondences to the four suit-signs: cups for Temperance, swords for Justice, sticks and stick-like columns for Fortitude, and round objects, mirrors, for Coins. Such correspondences are found in two sources that Moakley found: a funeral oration for Giangaleazzo Visconti and a "game of the king" devised by Innocenzio Ringhieri. In that way there is a correspondence between trump and suit, somewhat similar to Marziano's correspondences between god and suit.

Another argument is again my criterion of greater disarray meaning earlier, except for natural dividing points between Dummett's three sections. The theological virtues do not seem to have been involved in any such drastic rearrangements, if indeed they changed into celestials, because the celestials are all together everywhere, as are the theologicals in minchiate (that prudence is with them can be explained by a desire to put the different cards of that deck all together, flanked on both sides by those the two decks have in common.

This is probably a good place to talk about the Cary-Yale (Modrone, CY, Visconti). You say 22, and it just happens that the missing cards are precisely the six imperatori and nothing else. That seems implausible to me.

I think Cary-Yale was likely 2 + 7 + 7, and yes, there is a symmetry between virtues and "Petrarchans", as well as a 1:1 correspondence of trumps to cards per suit. But in this case there is the Wheel as a kind of extra "Petrarchan", known from the Brera-Brambilla. The Visconti had a large fresco of one in their palace on Lake Maggiore. That makes the Cary-Yale a step 1ac" or step 1bc, as I previously defined them. In other words, a possible "original deck." But 16 cards per suit was unusual, a bit much. When there are 14 cards per suit, 3 imperatori + 4 virtues + 7 "Petrarchans" also works, for the triumphs. That is my hypothesized structure for the Brera-Brambilla. So might I have no longer just one candidate for an ur-tarot, depending on whether the theologicals were there, and how many trumps, 14, like the number of suit cards, or 16, like Marziano? Well, it is possible.

I have one more argument for 4 virtues, which involves going to a later stage, when the Bagatella and Hanged Man have been added. and then inferring what was likely there earlier. I think that the Bagatella was added in Ferrara, because only the spelling "bagatella" has the precise double meaning needed, between "trifle" and "prestidigitator". There is also the incredible awkwardness, grammatically, of the Steele Sermon's "El Bagatella." Elsewhere the card was called by a word ending in -o.

I observe the residue of a pattern in the Ferrara order, assuming only the Bagatella and Hanged Man added:

B order: Temperance, Love, Chariot, Fortitude, Wheel, Time, Hanged Man, Death, Angel, Justice, World.

The pattern would seem to start out every third card a virtue. But then there are five cards until the next one. If the Hanged Man were replaced by Prudence, the pattern would have repeated twice. That may well be the way it was. Not only that, but if Love is trump 6, the Hanged Man will be 12, the number associated with him in the gospels and by Pope John XXII in his shame painting against Muzio Attendola Sforza. That the Hanged Man substituted for Prudence is also suggested by Imperiali's Risponsa to Lollio's Invettiva.

In the C order, the pattern is without the Wheel, every 2nd card a virtue:

C order: Love, Justice, , Chariot, Fortitude, Time, Hanged Man, Death, Temperance.

Again, the hole is where the Hanged Man is. For testimony we have Piscina's Discorso, which associates both it and the Old Man (and only them) with Prudence. If the Wheel were there, its place would cause an exception to the rule in that one space, but again the Hanged Man would be 12. Since the Wheel certainly was in Milan by the time of the Brera-Brambilla, the pattern without it either existed earlier, or else for some good reason the Wheel needed to be added in Milan in the first place. Elsewhere I have suggested that the reason might have been to satisfy the requirements of a Marziano-style grid, when the theological virtues are absent.

What these patterns tell me is that in the popular deck of Ferrara, there were no more cards between Death and Angel, and there were 16 trumps in all by the time of the Hanged Man and Bagatella. Indeed, the five from Devil to Sun are always in exactly the same order everywhere. That does not have to be true in either C or A, however. So one or more of them (including theologicals) may have existed in one of those places, before all 5 were put in a row everywhere.

It also tells me that the order of the virtues was decided in each place at an early stage 1, 1+, or 2 (meaning a change in the order from that elsewhere, or the addition of cards other than the cards from Devil to Sun in all the cities). This fits the general preference of players not to change the cards' order relative to one another very much.

If so, the question is, how did the theological virtues get changed into celestials, if they weren't even in the deck before the celestials' appearance?

Well, it's just a theory that the celestials replaced the theologicals. But I think it's a good theory. My answer is that there were two types of deck in Milan, one with and one without the theologicals, and the same in .

In Florence 7 virtues plus 4 imperatori plus 6 Petrarchans equals 17, 1 too many for a 16 triumph deck, 3 too many for 14. So either there was just 1 imperatore, for 14, or there were 3, on the principle of having the same number as Marziano had, or the practice started in Milan, in a deck with 16 cards per suit, i.e. the Cary-Yale. Which came first I can't say: each has good points.

There are a few scenarios. One is that the game with 4 virtues and 4 imperatori is first, in either the C or A region, from which it goes to the other. In Milan Filippo gives it its characteristic spacing of virtues, adding the Wheel and dropping one imperator, perhaps to fit a Marziano-style grid with virtues corresponding to suits. In that form it goes to Ferrara, which gives the sequence a more consistent spacing of the virtues (although if my spacing idea is wrong, it could have used Florence's 14, with 4 imperatori and no Wheel). The Wheel is then added in Florence. The three theological virtues are added there, while in others, or in Bologna, it is the celestials instead (or the theologicals are changed to celestials). In the former decks, the celestials are put after the theologicals, with Prudence among them after it is removed from the tarocchi. Before or after Florence, Filippo adds the theologicals in Milan, later changed to celestials, Milan emulating Florence or vice versa. Meanwhile other cards have been added in Ferrara and/or Bologna, emulated in the others.

I think that the theologicals were more likely included in Florence before Milan, because the Star in Milan resembles Hope, and the Moon resembles Faith. That suggests the order Hope first, then Faith, which is also their order in minchiate. This is counter-intuitive, because it is not St. Paul's order. Yet it is the order seen on a tomb painting in Florence thought to have been painted by dal Ponte (I have uploaded a picture of it somewhere on THF), whose workshop has long been associated with the Rothschild cards, recently reaffirmed in the Issy catalog. So likely dal Ponte is the source.

Another scenario, similar to Nathaniel's, would have all 7 virtues to start with and 1 imperatore (in that regard different from Nathaniel), in either Milan or Florence, more probably Florence (where our Spaniard would get the idea), then going to the other and Ferrara, each acquiring its characteristic placement of virtues, before or after acquiring the Wheel. This is followed by more or all of the rest of the 8 imperatori, some perhaps in Ferrara, changing Prudence to the Hanged Man, and the theologicals changed to celestials, except that some people in Florence like having those removed cards in the deck and leave them where they were, but moving Prudence so as to keep the order otherwise the same in the two decks.

I don't like this latter scenario as much as the former, because either it doesn't observe the special characteristics of the cardinal as opposed to theological virtues (the spacing in Milan and Ferrara, the repeating 4s of virtue, imperatori, and suits, etc.), or delays spacing the cardinals until the theologicals have been removed, where the game has already been played for a while. To get around that problem one can postulate two milieus for the game, early elite and late popular, as Nathaniel does. This can work with the Cary-Yale, I think (as I postulated when assuming the former Beinecke order and suit assignments for that deck), because of its special composition and his extreme isolation, but not otherwise, because there is nothing special otherwise about the deck early as opposed to late, and because in Ferrara, Bologna, and Florence, there wasn't nearly the separation of elite vs. popular as in Visconti Milan.

There remains the question of the Tower, and perhaps the addition of the Devil. I have many theories about those two cards. As for Nathaniel, for me the Tower is a bridge. To the theologicals, they are the antidote to the Devil and God's lightning. To the celestials, Piscina supposed that the two cards represent the spheres of air and fire, as the two Platonic means between earth and the heavens. Lightning is fire from the sphere of fire, and it strikes towers before other structures. There is the Divine Comedy, which had the Devil's Hell and the purging fires of Purgatory before the celestial spheres, the Mountain of Purgatory as a kind of tower. There is the Apocalypse narrative, with its devils, lightning-toppled steeples (in the medieval illustrations), hailstones, and fireballs, before the woman clothed with the sun, etc., appears. Another possibility is the geography of Bologna, with the Devil and Star in its Bolognini Chapel (Magi and Hell frescoes), and the famous towers, leftovers of an earlier age, outside. There are also a few Platonic allegories that might have provided bits of imagery, Plato's allegory of the cave, with its increasing light, or in Plutarch a Hades between the earth and the moon, lightning that hurls people downward, and Clotho with her distaff governing either the moon or the sun, depending on which work you read, "On the Genius of Socrates" or "On the Face that appears in the Orb of the Moon".

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

33
mikeh wrote: 18 Mar 2022, 22:48 Your original sequence, ur-tarot, is Love, Chastity (in a chariot), Death, Fame (in a chariot), Time, First Eternity (Angel), Second Eternity (World), Temperance, Justice, Fortitude (with Prudence somewhere among these cardinal virtues), Faith, Hope, Charity.
I very much prefer the way you wrote it here (except for Prudence): viewtopic.php?p=24614#p24614
You say this is hard to remember, compared to what comes later.
Yes, I do think that the 14-trump Petrarchan sequence would have been much harder for uneducated people to remember, compared with the standard sequence of 22.

I think most of the earliest 22-trump sequence would have been fairly easy for them. The Wheel goes in the middle, with 10 trumps above and 10 below. Each of those 10 divide easily into sets of five: Below the Wheel there is the Bagatella (naturally lowest of all) with the four papal and imperial cards, then Love and Chariot bookending the three virtues. Above the Wheel, there is the Last Judgment (naturally last of all) and the four cosmological cards, then the remaining five. Most of the ranking would have seemed fairly understandable to most people, I think, regardless of education: Empress-Emperor-Popess-Pope, naturally all conquered by Love; the three virtues all subordinate to the victorious triumphator on his Chariot, who has presumably achieved his victory because he possesses those virtues; then the Wheel of Fortune, making a mockery of his brief victory; Time (or "wise Old Man") immune to the vagaries of Fortune; then the Traitor inevitably at position 13 because he was associated with Judas, followed just as inevitably by his punishments of Death and the Devil; then God's wrathful Lightning Bolt as the bridge to Star-Moon-Sun-World, and finally the Last Judgment. The least intuitive part of it is the three virtues followed by the Chariot, and not surprisingly, those four cards were moved around relatively often in the years that followed.

It is still a very strange assemblage of subjects. It's not a sequence anyone would have dreamt up from scratch. But nevertheless it was modified and crafted so that it would have appeared fairly understandable and intuitive to even the less educated people. But the earlier Petrarchan Triumph cards would have been quite mystifying to them. It's evident from the naming of the "Old Man" card that most people in the 15th century weren't even very familiar with the allegory of Time,[1] let alone Chastity or Eternity. They would not have recognized the latter two at all, let alone known how to rank them. Even Fame may not have been immediately recognizable to many, especially before the newfound popularity of Petrarch's Triumph cycle later in the 1440s.

As for the virtues, they evidently had no natural, intuitive order for the vast majority of people. As you pointed out yourself, the creators of the Minchiate deck didn't even place the three theological virtues together, let alone in the order given by Saint Paul. So 1 Corinthians 13:13 can't be cited to argue that the order of those three would have been immediately obvious or intuitive to uneducated people, unless you believe that the people who created Minchiate in the 16th century—the era of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and of accessible printed books—were significantly less familiar with religious texts than the rather less literate population of the 15th century.

The writings of Thomas Aquinas on the cardinal virtues, for their part, were much more obscure than anything in the bible. There cannot have been many laymen even of Filippo Maria's social class who were conversant with the finer details of the Summa Theologiae, let alone the uneducated classes. I don't have the expertise to comment on the topics of popular Italian vernacular sermons in the 15th century, but I very much doubt they had much recourse to such a complex philosophical text. But ultimately, the relatively frequent alteration in the ranking of the three virtues in the tarot trump order is itself perfectly adequate evidence that most Italians in the 15th and 16th centuries had no idea exactly how the cardinal virtues should be ranked. The Sun, Moon, and Star were always ranked in the same order; the Pope was always ranked above the Emperor; the Empress and Popess were always lower than the Emperor and Pope—these subjects clearly had definite rankings that were immediately obvious to all. But just as clearly, the cardinal virtues had no such immediately obvious ranking, and for a great many people, the theological virtues evidently didn't either, despite St. Paul.

In other words, less educated people would have found three or four of the Petrarchan Triumph cards hard even to understand, and would have found most of those and the seven virtues very hard to rank. The 14-trump game would have therefore held little appeal for them, partly because several of its subjects weren't compellingly meaningful to them, and partly because of the difficulty of remembering its trump order. No game like that could ever have had much of a chance of mass popularity.

Moving on to the issue of the ranking of Angel and World: I find your thoughts here somewhat hard to follow, but I will address them as best I can.
You say that putting the Angel last is counter-intuitive, because heaven comes after the Judgment.
You appear to misunderstand what I meant here: I actually said that having World as the highest trump would seem unintuitive. It is the Last Judgment—the Angel—which would obviously seem more intuitive as the last card, to anyone who did not understand that the World card was designed to represent the next world of Eternity, rather than this mortal world.

You also seem to be confused about what the world image represented in those 15th century images of Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity, such as Pesellino's painting. You seem to be saying that it represented our own mortal world in some way, rather than the immortal "new world" of heavenly Eternity described by Petrarch in his poem. I do not know why you would think this. Those paintings were intended as illustrations of Petrarch's Trionfi poems, as you must know. You are making me wonder if you have actually read the Eternity poem! In case you haven't, there is a very useful English translation here and the Italian original is available on the same website. The "new world" in the poem, and therefore also in images such as Pesellino's, is quite clearly the "new world" of divine Eternity which follows after the Last Judgment, at the end of time.

There really isn't any way to interpret the poem so that the Last Judgment could follow after the "new world." That is completely contrary to the sense of it. As an additional demonstration of this, the only illustration known to me of Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity which shows both the Last Judgment and the "new world" (other than in a tarot deck) naturally places the Last Judgment before the new world:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b60007856

So, for those people who saw these two cards as jointly representing Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity, I don't think there can be any question about the order in which they would have ranked them: The World had to be the last and highest card, with the Last Judgment before it. The only people who could have placed the Last Judgment last are those who did not understand that these two cards were intended as an illustration of Petrarch's Eternity poem, and who saw the World as our earthly world rather than the next world—an interpretation which is confirmed by the insertion of the Sun, Moon, and Star immediately below it.

Regarding the Chariots: As I have said, the main reason I think that both Chastity and Fame in the hypothetical 14-trump Petrarchan deck would have been shown on chariots [2] is because the earliest Chariot cards we have contain elements strongly suggesting both Chastity and Fame, and those cards vary greatly in how much they have of the one or the other: from the Visconti di Modrone at one extreme, clearly depicting Chastity, to the Issy at the other extreme, which is an almost perfect image of Fame, and the others somewhere in between the two. As I said in Part Four, I think the reason for these "variations in portrayal" must be because this single Chariot card was preceded by two chariot cards, Chastity and Fame, and the various designers of the Chariot cards drew on both of those predecessors for their imagery. This is a much simpler and, I think, more believable explanation than the one you propose.

The only other point I would make in this regard is that it is only the Issy Chariot which presents us with anything like an identifiable allegory of Fame. The Chariot cards of Catania, Charles VI, etc. really do not look like Fame at all, and could not have been generally recognizable as such according to the iconography of Fame in mid-15th century Italy (the figure was always female, for one thing, as its name suggested). Those other Chariot cards look very much more like a simple representation of a triumphator on his "Triumphal Chariot," which, as you know, was the name that everyone in Italy seems to have given to the card from the second half of the 15th century onward. There is really no good reason to interpret those cards as having any other meaning. Fame is simply not there in those cards, no matter how hard you might try to see her.
The highest ranked of these special cards (called the Karnöffel) was able to beat all the other cards in the deck; one or two others could beat all the numeral cards, and the others had only restricted trump powers: some were able to beat only numeral cards, while some could beat one or two of the lower court cards as well, but not the kings.

This is not quite right.
I know :)
The version of my post that you quote there contained a mistake, which I corrected after about a day (you must have copied that sentence quite early!). The first lines now read "The highest ranked of these special cards (called the Karnöffel) was able to beat all the other cards in the deck; one or two others could beat all the numeral cards and court cards." That was what I originally meant to write.

By the way, I deliberately expressed myself vaguely in that description, because we don't know the exact rules of the earliest forms of Karnöffel. There were a lot of variations in the later rules (even by the first half of the 16th century) so we can't be sure exactly what it was like in Meissner's time or before. Dummett's observation, which you cited, was based on the sources from the 16th century and later.
Having a Devil card at all is suspect, too, because people could use it in black magic, and its high position suggests a lot of power.
This idea that people in mid-15th century Italy might have had a problem with the Devil being in the deck is a common misconception which I feel needs to be addressed. It is completely incorrect. No one in any position of authority in the 15th or 16th centuries cared about the presence of the Devil in a card game. Quite the contrary: It was the holy figures that were controversial. If you look at the Steele Sermon, it is the presence of the pope, popess, the angels and God which the preacher condemned; he even had a problem with the emperor, the planets and the cardinal virtues. The man was clearly hard to please. Yet he had no difficulty with the Devil card. In Mallorca in 1588, a Spanish Inquisitor similarly condemned the importation of tarot cards "printed in France" because they showed the pope, the popess, the angel of the Last Judgment, and the four evangelists, but made no mention of the devil.

The fact that it was the holy figures which were considered suspect or worse, and not the unholy ones is further confirmed by the widespread suppression of those holy figures in tarot decks later in the 15th and 16th centuries. Many regions removed the popess, starting with Florence in the 15th century; later, during the Counter-Reformation, several regions removed the pope as well, and Florence even went so far as to change the angels on the Angel and World cards so that they became Fame and Cupid respectively. The devils, however, remained untouched in Florence and everywhere else in Italy too, until the 18th century.

The reason for all this is because playing-cards were viewed as thoroughly profane things, widely and frequently condemned because of their use in gambling. At best they were seen as frivolous vanities; often they were accused of being intruments of sin and a path to damnation. So to portray any personage on a playing-card could be seen as inherently disrespectful to that personage. Portraying the Devil on a card, therefore, was not a concern—especially to people like the author of the Steele Sermon, who denounced the cards as creations of the Devil in any case; no doubt he thought the presence of the Devil on a card was appropriate, and possibly even a useful reinforcement of his argument.

Similarly, no one in any position of authority seems to have been at all worried about any magical use of playing-cards. The concern was very clearly always and only about their use for gambling. So even the German preachers who talked about Karnöffel in the 16th century seem unperturbed by the presence of the Devil in the game, even though Germany was the country that gave us the insane devil-fearing paranoia of the Malleus Maleficarum and Europe's worst witch hunts. The most extreme persecution of witches—always driven by a maniacal fear of the Devil—occurred in that period in the southern regions of Germany, exactly where Karnöffel appears to have originated, and where it continued to enjoy enormous popularity throughout the 16th century. If even those people had no problem with the Devil being in a card game, it's not surprising that the Italians didn't either.
One reason for thinking that it was 4 imperatori at first (in the tarocchi), the "good" ones, is my principle that in general, the more variation there is in the placement of a subject in the order, the more likely it is to be early rather than late, the only exceptions being those at the divide between the sections that seem to have been respected (as Dummett discovered), i.e. the Pope as the highest of the 4 imperatori, and Death as the dividing line between the here and now and the far away, in space or time. The Popess, Emperor, and Empress, are in all sorts of variations.
No: The papal and imperial cards hardly vary in their placement at all. They always occupy the ranks immediately above the Bagatella, the Pope is always the highest, and the Empress and Popess are always lower than their male counterparts. This is remarkably consistent, even more so than the position of the Chariot, for example. The only variation in the four whatsoever is the rank of the Popess. So your assumption could perhaps lead you to argue that the Popess was a later addition, but it gives you no good reason to think that the other three were added any later than the Fool, Bagatella, Traitor, and Devil.
But would all 8 have been added at once, in your step 2? I see no particular reason why
The obvious and entirely sufficent reason is, of course, because the aim of this merger was presumably to increase the number of trumps in the Trionfi deck. As Dummett established in The Game of Tarot, tarot players throughout the history of the game always liked increasing the number of the trump cards relative to the number of non-trump cards. So if there were eight trumps that could be added, of course they would have added them all.

On top of that, there is the crux of my theory: 14 plus 8 equals 22. It gives us a nice explanation of why there were 22 trumps in the standard sequence.

Really, the question to ask is not why would they have added all eight, but rather why would anyone not have added all eight. As demonstrated above, the only Imperatori cards which could have caused controversy were the pope and popess, which you believe were among the first ones added. And even the popess does not seem to have been controversial enough to warrant her suppression until at least a couple of decades after she would have been added to the deck.

There is just no remotely convincing argument to explain why anyone would have left out some of the eight. It made the game more enjoyable to add them all, it would have been the natural thing to do, and there would simply have been no good reason not to.
This is probably a good place to talk about the Cary-Yale (Modrone, CY, Visconti). You say 22, and it just happens that the missing cards are precisely the six imperatori and nothing else.
No, I didn't say that. For one thing, there are only 11 surviving trumps from that deck, so obviously there must be more than just six missing if I think there were originally 22. But what I actually said was, in my hypothesis, the Visconti di Modrone deck (the Cary-Yale) would have been created shortly after Filippo Maria adopted the new version of Trionfi with its expanded set of trumps, and that Filippo Maria appears to have modified the standard sequence of 22 to make it more like the earlier 14-trump Petrarchan deck. In my last post in this thread, I explicity said "it's entirely possible that the Tower was in the Visconti di Modrone deck as well as Prudence (meaning the total number of trumps would have been more than 22). Fame might have been restored to it as well." Thinking about it further, it's also possible that the Sun, Moon, and Star were in there too: He may have simply kept the standard 22 (modifying the Chariot and World so they looked like the earlier Chastity and Eternity cards) and added the four missing virtues and Fame, for a total of 27. Ultimately my hypothesis allows many different possibilities for the trump sequence in this deck; it requires there to have been at least 22 trumps but there could well have been more. I am not prepared to speculate on its exact trump sequence any further than that.
But in this case there is the Wheel as a kind of extra "Petrarchan", known from the Brera-Brambilla.
You use the term "Petrarchan" in a strange way. There is nothing Petrarchan about the Wheel of Fortune, at least in terms of Petrarch's Trionfi cycle. To me, the presence of that card is a clear indication that the Brera Brambilla deck could not have been based purely on Petrarch's Trionfi cycle, but rather must have incorporated other elements, which I think are explained better by my hypothesis than by any other explanation so far proposed. According to my hypothesis, the Brera Brambilla must date from after the creation of the standard 22-trump sequence, because of the presence of the Emperor and the Wheel, neither of which are "Petrarchan" cards.
What these patterns tell me is that in the popular deck of Ferrara, there were no more cards between Death and Angel, and there were 16 trumps in all by the time of the Hanged Man and Bagatella.
The main problem I have with the rest of your post is that it is all speculation based for the most part on virtually no real evidence, other than your interpretation of the meanings of the trumps, which are either purely your own notions or are based on evidence that cannot be directly connected to the creation of the tarot deck, such as Piscina's Discorso, written around 125 years later.

For instance, the only thing that could prompt anyone to think there was a ever a tarot deck with 16 trumps is the four non-trump suits of the Visconti di Modrone deck, which had 16 cards each. But those suits are completely unique. There is absolutely no hint anywhere of any other deck with 16 cards per suit, not even at the Visconti court itself, because the Brera deck evidently had only 14, the same as all other known tarot decks. So it very much looks like the 16-card suits of the Modrone were an extremely short-lived and unusual experiment. They certainly cannot be seen as any indication of the length of the trump suit in any other deck; indeed, they are not even a persuasive indication of the length of the trump suit in the Modrone deck.

Most of your other speculations there have even less evidence to support them. Such unfounded speculation is simply unnecessary—I think I have demonstrated that it is possible to create a comprehensive hypothesis without straying so very far from the observed facts.

The other problem I have with that part of your post is that the hypothetical scenarios you describe are very complicated and convoluted, which makes them inherently less believable to me than the more straightforward process of my own theory, which starts with an elegant, coherent 14-trump structure, to which the 8 imperatori are added, followed by a small number of simple changes. Admittedly the last part of my hypothesis, "Step 4", is a little messy, but that seems unavoidable; if someone can come up with an alternative idea which is less messy and just as believable, I would welcome it. But I don't see that in anything you have proposed so far.

[1] : Especially when holding an hourglass. This seems to have been a primary distinguishing attribute of Time in the tarot deck from the very beginning, based on all the cards which survive to us, but it was apparently otherwise unknown in depictions of this allegory before about 1450. See viewtopic.php?p=12444#p12444

[2] : There is also another, lesser reason to think that these two Triumphs would both have been depicted on chariots, namely the fact that it seems unlikely that only one Triumph other than Love would have been depicted on a chariot. Indeed, I imagine that the 14-trump deck must have originally portrayed not only Chastity and Fame on chariots, but also Love, as it is in all the other known illustrations of Petrarch's Trionfi cycle. Then Love lost his chariot later when someone had the idea of using that card to honor a married couple. So all the first three Triumphs in the deck were probably on chariots originally. Death seems to have been given a horse to ride instead, which was a common depiction of that allegorical figure (based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse); the Triumph of Eternity was not normally depicted on a chariot in any illustrations of the cycle; and Time was probably not given a chariot because it was decided to depict him as an old man walking slowly on a crutch, as seen in the Visconti Sforza card (he appears with one or two crutches in many later versions too, in multiple regions; wings, on the other hand, only seem to have been added at some later stage in the Florentine lineage of tarot design).

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

34
Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Nathaniel. Sorry for being so late. I had to focus on something else. I may have to again.

You raise several interesting issues worth more discussion. Maybe I can address a couple in this post, others later, once we've discussed these.

First, about which being easier to remember, 7 virtues followed by 7 Petrarchans vs. the 22 in any of the later orders, I still think the former is easier. Although I think more people, among the initial players (radiating out from the courts to the educated) were more familiar with Aquinas than you give them credit - at least they would know the order in which the virtues were discussed by him - and also of Petrarch - at least the order of his sequence - that does not matter to the comparison, because they have to remember an order in either case. It is simply that it is easier to remember a sequence of virtues plus a sequence of allegorical triumphs as separate groups - and even easier if they follow an established order - one after the other than when they are mixed together and departing from any canon. And also, for those who do not know the canonical order, more instructive as to what that order is.

Then you address the World card in terms of Pesellino's painting.
You also seem to be confused about what the world image represented in those 15th century images of Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity, such as Pesellino's painting. You seem to be saying that it represented our own mortal world in some way, rather than the immortal "new world" of heavenly Eternity described by Petrarch in his poem. I do not know why you would think this. Those paintings were intended as illustrations of Petrarch's Trionfi poems, as you must know. You are making me wonder if you have actually read the Eternity poem! In case you haven't, there is a very useful English translation here and the Italian original is available on the same website. The "new world" in the poem, and therefore also in images such as Pesellino's, is quite clearly the "new world" of divine Eternity which follows after the Last Judgment, at the end of time.

There really isn't any way to interpret the poem so that the Last Judgment could follow after the "new world." That is completely contrary to the sense of it. As an additional demonstration of this, the only illustration known to me of Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity which shows both the Last Judgment and the "new world" (other than in a tarot deck) naturally places the Last Judgment before the new world:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b60007856

So, for those people who saw these two cards as jointly representing Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity, I don't think there can be any question about the order in which they would have ranked them: The World had to be the last and highest card, with the Last Judgment before it. The only people who could have placed the Last Judgment last are those who did not understand that these two cards were intended as an illustration of Petrarch's Eternity poem, and who saw the World as our earthly world rather than the next world—an interpretation which is confirmed by the insertion of the Sun, Moon, and Star immediately below it.
What is the "World" on the card? Pesellino has Christ and the angels above and what I would guess is the World below (https://www.gardnermuseum.org/experienc ... tion/10787). There are ships on a sea. It looks like a world in time to me. How can a ship travel except in time as well as space? Eternity is the top part, with Christ and the saints. It is similar on the World cards. Are there castles on hills in the "new world"? Are the four elements in the "new world"? I don't recall Petrarch talking about any of that.

Here is what Petrarch says (https://petrarch.petersadlon.com/read_t ... ge=VI-I.en):
Five of these Triumphs on the earth below
We have beheld, and at the end, the sixth,
God willing, we shall see in heaven above.
So Eternity is the part above,which Pesellino follows. He continues:
And those who merited illustrious fame
That Time had quenched, and countenances fair
Made pale and wan by Time and bitter Death,
Becoming still more beauteous than before
Will leave to raging Death and thieving Time
Oblivion, and aspects dark and sad.
In the full flower of youth they shall possess
Immortal beauty and eternal fame.
This part is after the Last Judgment, and is what is illustrated in the French manuscript you referred to, c. 1500-1505 (https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b ... /f365.item). These people might include, besides of course his beloved, also the man on the Cary-Yale World card, although not as he is there, which is before the Judgment.

I do not find these people among those in the heaven depicted by Pesellino. His look more like Christ, Mary, and the angels, with maybe a saint thrown in. They are in heaven before the end of Time. But as already eternal they hold out the promise to those who will come at the Last Judgment. They will come to this heaven in the sky, too.

There immediately follows:
Before them all, who go to be made new,
Is she for whom the world is weeping still,...
By "the world" Petrarch means the world in time. So the poem ends:
If he was blest who saw her here on earth,
What then will it be to see her again in heaven
It is the same on the cards: in all the A and B cards, we see an angel or divine triumphator standing on top of a world; but he himself or herself is not of that world. The Steele Sermon said "The World, that is, God the Father." I think that was his interpretation of the top figure (in a card like that of the Budapest/Metropolitan), who is in heaven, as in the Pesellino. If the scene below has fortified castles on hilltops, it is not heaven. If it has the four elements (I assume you see them in some of the cards), it is not heaven: they are the stuff of what is below, the world of flux.

Admittedly, in the Charles VI the allegory is not entirely clear, because the orb rests on clouds, as though it was above the earth. Well, I don't know; it's odd. Maybe it is to suggest the ascent, like the flying lion (symbol of St. Mark) in Pesellino, in between heaven and earth. There are no clouds in Pesellino or other A and B cards. The ascent is something that starts on earth and ends in heaven. It starts when you see your life "sub specie aeternitatis" and act accordingly. In that sense the card could be in either place, last or second to the last, depending on what you choose to focus on, the means or the end. But "world" in these cards refers to the means, this world where eternally glorious acts take place.

The PMB second artist card is different, and it reflects a later design: there the city in a bubble is at the top of the card and can be said to be the New Jerusalem, although the fortifications are a leftover from the old conception, perhaps so as to also suggest the New Milan, Sforzinda. According to the Issy catalog, that card was made in Venice for the Venetian family that had the rest of the deck. If so, the design (as opposed, perhaps, to its implicit order at the end of the sequence) didn't make much of an impression there, as opposed to in Milan and France, and I suspect that whoever painted it, the design came from Lombardy. The later C cards get rid of those fortifications and leave us with just the welcoming figure, a denizen of heaven, with the four evangelists as our guides, who are suggested by Pesellino as well.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

35
mikeh wrote: 11 Apr 2022, 22:04 First, about which being easier to remember, 7 virtues followed by 7 Petrarchans vs. the 22 in any of the later orders
You seem to persist in this odd misconception that my hypothetical trump order for the 14-trump Petrarchan deck placed the seven virtues first, followed by the seven Petrarchan cards. In our earlier discussion here, I already clarified that I don't see it that way. For one thing, it is inconceivable that a trump sequence based on Petrarch's Trionfi poems could have Love triumphing over all the virtues, or indeed over any of them: Petrarch's Triumph of Chastity quite explicitly describes Love being defeated by Chastity's army of virtues. So, on the basis of that and my reconstruction of later developments in the trump order, I hypothesized a 14-trump sequence as follows, from lowest to highest: Love, the four cardinal virtues (with Fortitude highest), Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, Faith, Hope, Charity, Eternity 1 (Last Judgment), Eternity 2 (New World).
When I said the 14-trump set was symmetrical, I was referring only to its content, not its sequence. You definitely understood this at one stage but you appear to have forgotten. (I already tried to draw your attention to this at the start of my last post here, but maybe you overlooked that.)

So in my hypothesis, the virtues and the Petrarchan cards would have been "mixed together" from the beginning. But that is not why I think their order would have been confusing for less-educated people; I have already explained why I think that, and my views have not changed.

The only thing I want to add on this matter is to emphasize a point that Dummett made, which I already quoted in my original posts in this thread: "in a pack of cards what is essential is that each card may be instantly identified; so one does not want a large number of rather similar figures" (The Game of Tarot, p. 388). This point is worth stressing, because I think it may have been one of the main reasons why the seven virtues were reduced to three, and the two chariots were reduced to one. When you're playing cards, you want to not only be able to recognize each card, but also to recognize them instantly. You don't want to have to peer at a card, even for a second or two, before you can be sure which one it is. The seven virtues are very likely to have been unsatisfactory in this respect, and possibly also the two chariots. This, combined with limited familiarity with some of their subjects among less-educated people (especially the Triumph of Chastity, but quite possibly also Fame and some of the virtues) and the lack of an intuitive, commonly understood order for them, suffices to explain why people would have been keen to minimize their presence in the sequence.
What is the "World" on the card? Pesellino has Christ and the angels above and what I would guess is the World below (https://www.gardnermuseum.org/experienc ... tion/10787). There are ships on a sea. It looks like a world in time to me. How can a ship travel except in time as well as space? Eternity is the top part, with Christ and the saints. It is similar on the World cards. Are there castles on hills in the "new world"? Are the four elements in the "new world"? I don't recall Petrarch talking about any of that.
The Italians of the mid-fifteenth century evidently imagined the "new world" that would follow the Apocalypse and the Last Judgment as being basically just like this world, only perfect.

This is supported by the Book of Revelation, chapter 21, which contains the following (verses 1 and 5):
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared
[...]
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
That does make it sound like the new world will essentially be a perfect replacement of the currently existing one.

Petrarch's description in his Triumph of Eternity poem reflects this idea exactly:
veder mi parve un mondo
novo, in etate immobile ed eterna,
e 'l sole e tutto 'l ciel disfar a tondo
con le sue stelle, ancor la terra e 'l mare,
e rifarne un più bello e più giocondo.


I at last beheld
A world made new and changeless and eternal
I saw the sun, the heavens, and the stars
And land and sea unmade, and made again
More beauteous and more joyous than before.

In other words, the new world of Eternity, as promised in Revelation and as described by Petrarch, is simply a new, improved version of this world. It will have all the things of this world: land, sea, sun, heavens, and stars. It would naturally also include ships traveling on that sea, and all the four elements (how could it exist without them?), and castles on hills, and absolutely everything else that already existed, except ugliness, suffering and pain.
(You might be forgiven for wondering why anyone would need castles in a perfect world—after all, there would presumably be no war. Revelation 21:4 says "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." War should therefore also have passed away, and with it all need for fortifications... but even Revelation 21 itself declares that the New Jerusalem will have "a great high wall with twelve gates." So we can hardly blame the Italians of the 15th century if they put castles and armored knights in their divinely remade world.)

Note that it is not only the earth which will be remade, but also the heavens, with the sun and stars and so forth. This explains why the early Florentine illustrations of the Triumph of Eternity usually included the celestial spheres above the earth, sometimes with the sun, moon, planets, and stars visible within them. So you might think that the Sun, Moon, and Star cards in the tarot sequence would have been equally compatible with the World card whether it was seen as the eternal "new world" or as the existing mortal world. Nevertheless, those three cards still suggest that the person who added them was thinking of the world as the mortal world, not the eternal one, for two reasons: First, because the sequence works best (and most intuitively) if the World ranks immediately above the Sun, which means putting the Last Judgment last, and that ordering is fundamentally incompatible with an understanding of the World as the new world of the Triumph of Eternity. More importantly, the addition of the Sun, Moon, and Star very much highlights the cosmological aspect of the World—its aspect as a representation of the physical universe. Its potential religious significance as the divinely remade world of Eternity is sidelined, if present at all. Yet that religious significance would have been all-important to the card's original creators, to whom the cosmological aspect would have been irrelevant. Only someone who did not know or care about the religious significance of the World card could have had the idea of presenting it in that way, merely as the highest member in a simple cosmological sequence.

Another important point to note about Petrarch's presentation of the "mondo novo" in the poem is that it forms the centrepiece of his vision of Eternity. It is the first thing he describes seeing, and the bulk of the poem is taken up with elaborating his description of it—what that perfect remade world will be like, and who will be in it. This is why it was made so prominent in the various early illustrations from the mid-fifteenth century, both on the tarot cards and in the Florentine paintings. In several of those early paintings, including Pesellino's, the "world" part of the image takes up well over half the space, and in one notable example by Florentine illuminator Francesco di Antonio del Chierico (1433–1484), the world is all we see, except for a few spindly angels flying around it:
Image
.

I think it is quite clear that the world in these images cannot possibly represent our mortal world, the world in time—it can only be the new world of divine Eternity. No artist would have created a representation of Eternity dominated by an image of the non-eternal world of time, with God and the other eternal figures relegated to only a third of the image, or less.

As an instructive constrast, there are some later illustrations of the Triumph of Eternity which did depict an image of God in heaven with the world of Time below, and in all cases, we see the world of Time as a vanquished thing, with the allegorical figure of Time laid prostrate on a barren and broken landscape. This is a far cry from the pristine, beautiful world of the earlier Florentine images:
Image
Image
Image
.

To make matters even clearer, I can refer again to the French manuscript which includes the Last Judgment in its representation of the Triumph of Eternity. The full image, across two pages, starts with God in heaven triumphing over the vanquished chariot of Time against a background of the Apocalypse, with the dead rising from their graves at the bottom of the page. Then on the second page, we see the usual heavenly host, including the four evangelical creatures, seated above the pristine landscape of the remade world. There can be no question about this beautiful landscape representing the new world rather than the old world of time, because the latter was already depicted being destroyed in the much grimmer image on the previous page:
Image
.

Finally, you need to consider that if the world shown in all those Triumphs of Eternity was simply our own world, then the resulting image would be a very poor illustration of the poem. It would appear to be nothing more than God presiding in heavenly majesty over our world, which is what God does all the time anyway. Such an image would contain no evident signification of Eternity at all.

That cannot be how the artists intended the images to be interpreted—nor would they have been interpreted that way. It would have been obvious to educated observers familiar with the poem that the world depicted was the pristine new world, divinely remade for all Eternity.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

36
Nathaniel wrote: 08 Mar 2022, 06:52 Step 1:

... The [proto]deck has 14 trump cards with a symmetrical structure: seven represent Petrarch's six Triumphs (with the highest Triumph, Eternity, being honored by two cards) and the other seven are the cardinal and theological virtues. ...

Step 2:

Someone has the idea of taking this Petrarchan Trionfi deck and merging it with the deck used for the game of Imperatori.
I am assuming that Imperatori was closely related to the German game of Karnöffel, and featured eight special cards with names such as Emperor, Pope, and Devil...
Briefly regarding Step 2, why in the world would Imperatori represent 8 unrelated subjects under a rubric that can only be interpreted as "Imperial" or or at least Emperor-related? Of course we know nothing about them, but if you are going to insist in over-emphasizing Petrarch's trionfi as a reason for why the same-named trumps are the same subject, then you need to at least explain why there were 8 subjects that were "Emperors." At least Ross's "Papi" theory tries to explain the four cards in question (when not popes) as ecclesiastical or imperial leaders; there aren't 8 of those.

As for Step 1, my own proto or ur-tarot theory acknowledges the seven virtues of the CY (a couple are missing), but I see the seven other cards as cognates or exempli of those virtues (based on Dante's Paradiso, where the seven virtues are matched to the seven planets with each sphere populated with historical exempli). But the Petrarchan theory has been beaten to death and no one has provided any adequate rebuttal to the insurmountable problems with equating. There are any number of threads on this board discussing these problems, but here's an adequate one: http://forum.tarothistory.com/download/file.php?id=1799

These four Petrarchan trionfi cannot be made to fit the trumps:
Chastity: Only the CY Chariot has an attribute of Chastity (the jousting shield) and not only is that never retained in any other chariot but the gender is switched to male in almost every subsequent case. If the meaning were Chastity why are all of its attributes abandoned immediately after the first example? And arguably the only reason there is a jousting shield in the CY is because that is the Duke's daughter Bianca being betrothed to Sforza. Moreover the shield decoration does not have Cupid bound, an ermine, palm or any other symbol of Chastity but a Visconti imprese (the radiant dove), because Bianca is coming with the dowry of Visconti dominions: Cremona and Pontremoli. Besides the bride being indicated as appropriately chaste but about to lose that via her impending wedding (certainly not a feature in Petrarch), there is nothing in the CY that connotes a triumph of chastity and there is nothing in any of the other Chariot trumps that suggest Chasity at all: the convention is an armored male ruler. If the original meaning was Chastity there is no viable reason as to why these changes were made because no one can claim any of the ensuing Chariot cards are remotely related to Chastity. This in itself destroys the Petrarchan triumph theory.

Fame: if you want to decide the winged trumpet makes the "World" card fame, why is there is no recognizably famous person depicted in the landscape below? Petrarch has her attended by Scipio, Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander, Saladin, King Arthur, etc.; and if Petrarch is being honored, why none of these? More importantly, the allegorical figure holds a ruler's orb, which is not an attribute of Fame, therefore the allegorical figure on the CY is a hybrid figure that is not purely fama. And like your Chariot-cum-chastity, the only attribute that makes this card fama is the winged trumpet and it is never seen again - why is any other tarot "World" trump fame when there is a single attribute that would allow anyone to identify it as such?

Time: one can posit the Hermit with the hourglass in the PMB as time, but there is no room for him in a protodeck of 14 based on what we know from the CY and Brambilla. From the CY we know the Empress, Emperor, Chariot, Love Judgement, World (Prudence-fama), Faith, Hope, Charity, and Fortitude. There are three missing cards, two of which we agree are the missing virtues of Temperance and Justice. That leaves one card and we know what that is as well from the Brambilla deck made a just a couple years after the CY: the Wheel, which is Fortuna, not Time or Eternity). If you want to add Time or Eternity you need to jettison two of the known cards.

Judgement is not Eternity: Incredibly you acknowledge Florence productions of Petrarchan trionfi look nothing like the trumps, without acknowledging the fact that earliest evidence for the trionfi the cards is in Florence. Its inconceivable that Petrarch would be represented one way on cassoni or manuscripts, for example, and another way for cards. To the point: there is no Resurrection in Triumph of Eternity made in Florence. The proof that the earliest known Judgement, in the CY deck, is not some form of Eternity is written on the very card itself (and yet you have "Eternity, being honored by two cards"!):
Image
Even in the trumps which seemingly can be related to Petrarchan themes, the reasoning falls apart:
Love: Petrarch describes a litany of the famous felled by love and driven before Cupid's chariot - the only triumph described as a chariot (yet in trumps the only Chariot is oddly "Chastity"); the CY shows a couple embracing love, not driven before Cupid as his slaves (and there is a low matrimonial bed in the tent behind them where they must consummate the marriage to make it legal).

The Petrarch theory should be moribund but instead it keeps resurfacing here despite the inability for anyone to rebut the above.

Phaeded

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

37
Phaeded, I suggest you go back and reread more carefully everything I have written in this thread.
A couple of the points you made are not at all relevant to my arguments, and your other points are all dealt with by what I have already written.
I have neither the time nor the inclination (but especially not the time) to repeat myself.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

38
Hi Nathaniel,
Thanks for your very interesting post. I'm sorry I did not react earlier, simply because I did not see it before. Some two months ago I got a new job in Mauritania and I was totally absorbed by this. There are many extremely interesting things in your posts but at some, at the first quick lecture, I do not adhere at all. I'm afraid I need to digest this very long post and this series of reactions because I it is too much for me to absorb in one reading session. I will have to read and reread to understand everything. So I only have some 'hot' observations:
1. Why do you say the cardinat virtues don't have a fixed order. Since Plato this order did not change: Temperance, Force, Prudence and Justice. Justice was only the combined virtue of all other three virtues, so if you had achieved the virtues Temperance, Force and Prudence, then automatically you had achieved the virtue Justice. This is probably the reason why Prudence disappeared in the Tarot sequence, its presence did not really add something to the virtues.
2. You have to be extremely prudent to state that Florence and Milan had the same order of the highest trumps. In fact, we don't have a single clue about the order in the Visconti Sforza trumps, at least not what concerns the order during the time that Filippo Maria still lived. We simply don't know, at my knowledge there is no document before the Steel's Sermon that deals with the order of the trumps.
3. I strongly disagree with you that the 14 or even 22 trump structure developed in Milan. In 1441 the Duke of Ferrara gave 14 figures to Bianca Maria Visconti, most probable the trumps of a 70 cards Tarot deck and later that year the Visconti di Modrone with, what I believe, 16 trump cards. For the Brera Brambilla deck we have to few trump cards to make any conclusion at all. If we see the court cards that survived, according the statistics, the chance that there were 6 court cards per suit is virtually zero, so probably this deck, once completed, would have only 14 trump cards. Around 1452-1454 the Visconti Sforza deck was created. Of this deck there are only 14 trump cards left. In the same time this was the standard size in Ferrara, we still find in 1457 a entry in the account book of the Ferarese dukes for the pruchase of two complete 70 cards trionfi decks. Bianca Maria Sforza had very good relations with the Este family and it is beyond doubt that she was the driving force behind the creation of the Visconti Sforza deck. Probably this deck had only 30 cards (14v trum and 16 court cards, see my other post from today) but this does not change anything to the trump structure. Because of these strong exchanges I firmly believe that the oldest 14 Visconti-Sforza trump cards were the standard trumps in use in that time, also in Ferrara. No use to look for other trumps, the only interesting thing is how they were ordered. You can read about this on my website, no use to repeat this here.
I hope I will have the time to reread and digest your extremely interesting post, and if possible I will come back to it with an argumented reaction in the coming weeks (in view of my full time job, certainly during a weekend).

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

39
Hi Nathaniel, I went a little bit deeper through your posts and the answers. I really appreciate your opinion and your effort to give new viewpoints there where a lot of uncertainty persists. However, even if I do not agree with everything they said, I think that Huck and Mike expressed at least 90% of what I also believe. So, my comments will not contribute a lot to the discussion. For this reason, I will not give new comments. You can find my argued opinion on my website http://tarotwheel.net in the Tarot Development section under the History menu. Please keep on thinking and arguing about the development of the Tarot, this can only contribute in a positive manner to the discussion.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

40
Iolon wrote: 21 May 2022, 16:37
1. Why do you say the cardinat virtues don't have a fixed order. Since Plato this order did not change: Temperance, Force, Prudence and Justice. Justice was only the combined virtue of all other three virtues, so if you had achieved the virtues Temperance, Force and Prudence, then automatically you had achieved the virtue Justice. This is probably the reason why Prudence disappeared in the Tarot sequence, its presence did not really add something to the virtues.
hi Iolon,
I agree, that a hierarchical row of the 4 cardinal virtues ...
Justice = all three balanced
---------
Prudentia = spirit
Fortitudo = soul
Termperantia = body
... is the most logical arrangement and for this reason the best.

However, the practical real row arrangements of Trionfi sequences don't mirror this "most logical arrangement".

Mantegna Tarocchi
----------------------------
37 Justice
36 Fortitudo !!!
35 Prudentia !!!
34 Temperantia

Minchiate
---------------
17 Prudentia !!!
8 Justice !!!
7 Fortitudo
6 Temperantia

In most rows Prudentia has disappeared.
Huck
http://trionfi.com