I fully agree: the practice must surely have started in Bologna because the Bolognese had given all four cards equal rank, meaning that they would have often talked about them as a single group, and would therefore have needed a quick and easy way of referring to them.mikeh wrote: 24 Apr 2021, 08:28 So it seems reasonable to me that when Minchiate changed, the Bolognese tarocchi would have changed as well, although which would have come first is not yet settled.
But changing from four names to calling the four all by the same name makes more sense if they all had equal power from the start. So, at least from this perspective, it is more likely that the practice started with the Bolognese 78 card deck, and then spread to Minchiate in Florence, than the reverse, as well as continuing in Bologna with the 62 card deck, whenever it was instituted.
But I think it is actually settled that this happened in Bolognese tarocchino before it happened in Minchiate. We have definite evidence that the Bolognese were calling those four trumps "Papi" in Tarocchino before the end of the 16th century, which is some time before the earliest indications of the similar practice in Minchiate. The evidence comes in a poem first brought to our attention by Andrea Vitali in his essay "Taroch è diventato lo mio core". The poem is a villanelle, a type of short song that originated in Naples. It includes the lines "La Temperanza Papi e Bagatino / Circondano d'intorno à sto mio core".
Vitali's source appears to have been Bianca Maria Galante's book Le Villanelle alla Napolitana (Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1954, p. 76). Galante, in turn, took the song from an edition published by Pandolfo Malatesta in Milan. However, there seems to have been an earlier edition, by Malatesta's partner Gratiadio Ferioli in 1594; Malatesta seems to have been active for many years after Ferioli, so the edition Galante was using was probably a later edition. The Ferioli edition of 1594 can be read on Google Books: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Vi ... =diventato As we can see from that 1594 edition, the author was "Il Sivello," which was the stage name of Giovanni Gabrielli, a commedia dell'arte actor. He was famous far and wide, but he lived and worked mainly in Bologna. So even though the song was evidently written for an audience in a Type B region (most likely in the neighbouring city of Ferrara), it contains a number of trump names that are distinctly Bolognese.
The later, Malatesta edition corrected some errors of punctuation and orthography in the 1594 edition, but nevertheless introduced a couple of new alterations: Taroch in the first line instead of Tarochi and, more importantly, gionto instead of giusta in the third line. The song in the 1594 edition reads as follows:
Villanella sopra il Giocho de Tarochi.
Tarochi è diuentato lo mio core
Matto và per il mondo ai sorte fella
Con giusta Angelo, Sole, Luna, et stella.
Errando fugge l'infiammata casa
Il Diauolo disprezza, è morte chiama
Ch'apicato finir la vita brama.
Il gobbo li fà luce acciò la Ruota
Per forza lo conduca in man d'amore
Che il char' solo trionfa à tutte l'hore.
La temperanza Papi è bagatino.
Circondano d'intorno à sto mio core
Si che Tarochi è fatto per tuo amore.
The change of giusta to gionto had caused some confusion previously, because it had caused Justice to be missing from the trump sequence. The 1594 edition makes it clear that Justice was definitely there originally, and if we insert a comma after giusta, the line makes perfect sense: "with Justice, Angel, Sun, Moon, and Star." It seems that the Milanese publishers, being unfamiliar with the tarot terminology of both Bologna and Ferrara, made what they thought were "corrections" to the original manuscript: Not only did giusta end up being changed to gionto in the second edition, but they must have also changed the song's first word as well, in both editions. In Bologna and Ferrara, the tarot game was known as tarocco (which in Bologna was later modified to tarocchino to refer to games using the shorter 62-card deck), but in Milan it was always in the plural form tarocchi. As a result of the publishers' miscorrection, we have plural "Tarochi" in the first and last lines together with a verb and past participle in the singular form, which is grammatically incorrect ("Tarochi è diuentato" / "Tarochi è fatto" = tarots has become / tarots is made ). Making it plural also messed up the pun: Il Sivello was obviously playing on the two meanings of tarocco, both "tarot" and "foolish."
To get back to the topic at hand, we can see that the song contains several trump names that were typical of Bologna: Giusta, Forza, Bagatino, and Papi. Il Sivello did take his audience into consideration: He used the names Casa and Gobbo for the Tower and the Old Man respectively, terms that were standard in Ferrara but are not known from Bologna, and his Gobbo seems to be carrying a lantern, which the Old Man in Bologna definitely wasn't. It's possible that all the trump names in the song were also used in Ferrara at least sometimes—we know the Ferrarese sometimes used the names Forza and Bagatino, so maybe they might have used Giusta and Papi occasionally too—but I think it's nevertheless pretty clear that Il Sivello must have been using those names primarily because he was familiar with them from Bologna. So we can safely conclude that the Bolognese were already using the term "Papi" for the Emperor, Empress, and the papal pair (whatever their genders may have been at this stage) several years before Croce wrote his poem, and decades before the first sign of the term "Papi" being used by Minchiate players.