Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

1
Dear members of the tarot history forum,

Hello to you all since I am new in this forum and in this field!

After browsing respective websites as e.g. trionfi.com, letarot.it and many others, I am even more fascinated by the images and the tradition of tarot cards, especially in the Renaissance times. There is a lot to learn...

A first question I have to you as a newcomer: do I see it right that there is not one single "truth" in your community w.r.t. the etymology of tarot or tarocchi?

I see a lot of strong hypotheses, e.g. on http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=220&lng=eng, which are all very interesting. However, it is kind of dissatisfying for me that there seems to be not one single "truth" amongst scholars.

Is my perception right? And if not: what is this single "truth"?

May I kindly ask you to help me please?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

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:-) .... welcome,

truth is a difficult word for the action of 10 video cameras, 1 ball and 22 running men, and the responsible referee. Things are not better, if an action happened 500 years ago with no video cameras and only snippets in old books as description. It's natural, that various opinions develop in such circumstances, and that these are not identical.

Ross informed us once (2009) about the writer Bassano Mantovano (it was the first time, that Bassano was mentioned in this forum, so says the local search engine) ...

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=362&p=4931&hilit=bassano#p4931
Re: 1565 Discourse about the Images of Tarot#29
Yes, I think Marco is right. "Tarocchamente" is Piscina's invention. You can't make a truly literal translation - you have to use a substitute.

Piscina has the same understanding of the word "tarocco" that Berni, in his Capitolo della gioco della Primiera (1526) had:
...che altro non vuol dir Tarocco che ignocco, sciocco, Balocco... (... that the only signification of this word Tarocco is stupid, foolish, simple... (trans. Kaplan I, p. 28))
It is the same as used by the macaronic poet Bassano Mantovano:

"Tarochus/Tarocus. The late 15th century macaronic Italian poet Bassano Mantovano uses the word “tarochus” to mean “idiot” or “imbecile” in one of his poems (c. 1495)

"Erat mecum mea socrus unde putana
Quod foret una sibi pensebat ille tarochus
Et cito ni solvam mihi menazare comenzat"

Maccheronea del Bassano, ll. 34-36 (various editions)
(Cordié's 1977 edition spells the word "tarocus"; for the meaning "imbecille", see there the Glossario sub "Tarocus" of Carlo Cordié, ed. "Opere di Teofilo Folengo" vol. I (Milano, Ricciano Ricciardi) p. 1029).
From my own compilation, formerly on a Geocities webpage, now removed

A clever translation would have to find a matching English concept where a nominal form exists, in both the singular and plural, but an adverbial form does not.

Like "A wanker has wankerly spoken of Wankers." But, of course, we have to find a term matching the apparent meaning of tarocco as well, stupid, imbecile, etc. It would be best if it were also the name of a game, in the plural (like "Skittles" or something).

Ross
There and then existed a world before 2009 and in this world existed people, who already had answered to the question of the etymology of Tarot or Tarocchi. If these explanations were correct or not correct, that is a matter of the taste of the reader. The same law exist for the theories after 2009.
Image
http://www.lucinacaravaggi.it/territori/fornovo-di-taro
maccheronea f (plural maccheronee) ... means macaronic composition
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/maccheronea
Macaronic language
Macaronic language uses a mixture of languages,[1] particularly bilingual puns or situations in which the languages are otherwise used in the same context (rather than simply discrete segments of a text being in different languages). Hybrid words are effectively "internally macaronic". In spoken language, code-switching is using more than one language or dialect within the same conversation.[2]
Macaronic Latin in particular is a jumbled jargon made up of vernacular words given Latin endings, or of Latin words mixed with the vernacular in a pastiche (compare dog Latin).
The word macaronic comes from the New Latin macaronicus which is from the Italian maccarone ("dumpling", regarded as coarse peasant fare). It is generally derogatory, and used when the mixing of languages has a humorous or satirical intent or effect, but is sometimes applied to more serious mixed-language literature.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaronic_language

I have there a word, and it is not Latin: Taro
It means a river near Fornovo
Macaronic composition (with Latin): Tarocus. Meaning, if it is used for a human, as it appears to be the case in the Bassano poem: somehow somebody, who has something to do with Taro. Perhaps somebody else has a clever opinion, what this might be.
Piscina (1560s) and Berni (1520s) were too long after 1495 to understand the joke.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

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Dear Huck,

Thank you very much for your warm welcome and thanks a lot for all your explanations!

Thanks a lot also for clarifying that “truth” is not the right category for your field of knowledge (sorry for that, I am from a kind of mathematical background), it is more about –if I understood correctly—well-founded opinions which make sense to other readers (to quote your nice quasi-Shakespearian “correct or not correct, that is a matter of the taste of the reader”).

I do find your Macaronic composition “Tarocus” quite interesting – “Taro meaning a river near Fornovo” – however, I did not fully understand the connection of “somehow somebody who has something to do with Taro” with the poem of Bassano Mantovano – and why “Piscina (1560s) and Berni (1520s) were too long after 1495 to understand the joke.”

Could you please elaborate on this a little bit more?

And if you allow, I throw in my humble two cents to the etymology, which is perhaps not even a well-founded opinion as yours is, but rather an hypothesis (I am not at all as scholared as you and others are in this form). What might perhaps please you -and other members of the forum--, is, that it is also a kind of Macaronic construction:

I asked in this forum about the etymology because I came across –or stumbled over -- about a new etymological meaning of “tarocchi” –“new” to my best knowledge after scanning intensively the Internet and reading your articles. This hypothesis is based on the little Italian I know, and it is so clear and obvious to me that either this is already known in the literature --and I just couldn’t find it-- or it is even straightforwardly wrong.

May I kindly ask you and the other members of the forum to check carefully the hypotheses you find below – I will formulate them all as hypotheses since I have no proofs in a mathematical sense. And either the hypotheses are wrong, known in the literature, or --by chance and luck—new.

The idea which struck me is that it does not make sense that a name of a game does not make sense to the players in their time: no one wants to play something, especially in times of great change, with not a sure meaning.

H0: I am considering the time span ca. 1450 to 1494, admittedly a time span where “tarocchi” do not appear in the literature, however I do think that first there is the spoken word –and the oral history which goes with it--, before you can find it in a written text.

And since Renaissance is not so far away in time, even we should understand it today. And furthermore this name should come from the gameplay as the “trionfi” in the “naibi di trionfi” name of the game (triumphing over the others at one trick). My hypothesis follows this rule: it stems from the gameplay and it even says in actual Italian what we could straightforwardly understand today

H1: Etymology is: tarocchi = tar‘occhi = tarh‘ occhi or tara/tari occhi = tara eyes or tare eyes
[I propose this also in light of the earlier spelling version “tarochi”, which is “only” a question of spelling in these times in this region with the respective dialects – if “only” is appropriate here]

The novelty of the hypothesis is therefore mainly the “eyes” not so much the “tara(re)”: “Tarare” stems from the Arabic Tarh’ or Tárah, which is already known in the Tarot context, see for instance the article of Andrea Vitali on the etymology of “tarocchi” on [http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=220&lng=eng]

“One of the etymologies that had more credit, even in etymological dictionaries of other European languages (as the cards for the game of tarot made their appearance in Italy, the corresponding word in English, French, German, etc, is almost always derived from Italian) (17) is one that leads the tarot, as cards, back to the Italian word Tara, whose origin seems now established in the Arab Tárah, colloquial form of Tarh “detraction,deduction”, thing which has been put on the sidelines, which has been taken away; then also "defect, imperfection". This derives from the Arabic verb Taraha, meaning "remove, subtract", from which the Italian verb tarare (most likely the opponent's cards or points in the game) (18).” The endnote (18) points to the fact, that also this etymological possibility was seen in 2006 by Jess Karlin.

The same question on “Tara” is discussed even in this very forum:
[search.php?keywords=tara&terms=all&auth ... mit=Search]
e.g., the contribution of mikeh referring to Depaulis: [viewtopic.php?f=12&t=849&p=20454&hilit=tara#p20454]

Based on the above opinions, my (perhaps) new hypothesis w.r.t. the Tarh-part of the word is that tarare is close to but not exactly meant as “most likely the opponent's cards or points in the game”, but first in its original meaning:

H2: The Tarh-Part of “tar’occhi” follows the original meaning of tarare of a pair of balances: it means to detract or to deduce the weight of packaging from the weight of the good plus packaging, such that you get the weight of the good -- what really counts at the end, if you are a merchant. [see H5 for further details]

And wasn’t the situation in the cities of Northern Italy in the respective (early) Renaissance times a merchant situation, in which the Italian merchants even borrowed the term Tarh or Tárah from their Arabic counterparts for taring their respective pair of balances? And doesn’t it make sense that they transferred this foreign word to a card game in light of the first deck of cards coming from the other culture, materializing in every deck being composed of batons, swords, cups, and coins?

This leads to

H3: The tar‘occhi stems from the scoring of points ---perhaps implicitly in, but certainly after the game for determining the winner. There eyes have to be tared, as is formulated in

H4: The points were called „eyes“ as the „eyes“ on a dice. The games present in Nothern Italy before the cards arrived were mainly chess, tables (backgammon) and dices. People were used to count points when playing with dices and transferred the counting of „eyes“ of dices to counting of „eyes“ of tarocchi.
[Side remark: there are dices present on the table of the bagatella of later decks as the Budapest deck, see e.g. [https://cards.old.no/t/] ]

The points of dices are still called „eyes“ in German („Augen eines Würfels“) and Italian („occhi di un dado“).

Hence: eyes had to be tared for determining the winner:

H5: The name denotes the new element in the gameplay and hence makes sense as a signifier: a balance has to be tared w.r.t. eyes:

The new element –new w.r.t. naibi trionfi-- in the gameplay is that some cards have a higher value, especially the court cards and some trump cards. This leads to a scoring at the end of the game, where still each trick counts 1 point (as in naibi di trionfi, if I am right) but other cards count additionally points:[https://www.tarocchigratuiti.it/approfo ... rocchi.php]

Thereby the value of all additional points from special cards is in sum 52 points. If only two players played, the additional value of all tricks is 35 points (following the 5 x 14 cards deck and the respective theory [http://trionfi.com/0/f/] –in this case Lo angelo –I use the Steele manuscript’s names-- is the highest card having a value of 4 points-- or 39 points (if already played with the 78 cards deck). The more players, the less the value of all tricks; e.g. for four players: 17 points or 19 points, depending on the respective deck.

Hence, what had real weight at the end were the additional points of the special cards -- and the points from the tricks had not a real significance (since only by winning tricks a player had the respective special cards at the end. This led to the actual counting of points which raised the values of the special cards by one point: “Common card values” in [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games]). For determining the winner, all players had to strip off the special cards with higher value of their „packaging“ of the respective tricks, and the winner was determined by balancing out the points of all players: the one with the highest weight of points from the special cards was the winner.

H6: the name represents what it even means today (“taring eyes”) – it stems from the gameplay as „trionfi“ did (which for the latter indicates the triumph of one card over the others at one trick)

H7: the name of the game “tarh’occhi” follows in a Macaronican way the scheme of „naibi di trionfi“: arab word plus italian word, in order to denote the foreign origin (mamluk cards)

H8: The origin is thus the plural tarocchi, since points in plural had to be tared. The singular tarocco is a resingularization. The Sizilian orange „Tarocco“ has its name from the cards: you tare the eye (of the orange which is like the eye of the sun) by taking of the packaging of the peel. The italian name „Taroch“ for a fool or foolish [http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=220&lng=eng] stems from the card game, since the fool played such an important role in it (hence etymologically it is the other way round). Also the parrot “Tarochino” given as a reason at the same website has its name from the Taroch: the parrot Tarochino is dumb/foolish by just repeating the words you say or speaking whenever it is inappropriate.

H9: The transition in the name of the game from naibi di trionfi to tarocchi marks the transition from a pure trick-taking game to a point-trick-taking game.

H10: Tarocchi is the fathermother of all point-trick-taking games due to its inner point logic and its history.

A possible verification of the hypothesis tarocchi = tar’occhi is perhaps given when reading [http://trionfi.com/trumps-trionfi-tarots]
and considering Section 7. Fabriano law on card games – 1507, the table contains

2) ad ludum derectum chiamato chi fa più iochi.

H11: “chi fa più iochi” stands for “chi fa più occhi” [at least I read it like that knowing that correct spelling in these times was quite fluent. And from the little French I know, “les yeux” start with the same sound as “iochi”].

H12: “ludum derectum chiamato chi fa più iochi” might even be tarocchi under a different name, since tarocchi do not appear in the list and in 1507 tarocchi is already very present. Tarocchi are directly played as it is pointed out for diritta in [http://trionfi.com/diritta-pilucchino]

[Ok, H11 and H12 are a little bit dared. What do you think?]

H13: The etymology of “tar’occhi” was fastly forgotten –at least already in 1550 (“Lollio, in his famous Invettiva (3) defines in this way his beloved and hated hobby “quel nome bizzarro / Di tarocco, senza ethimologia,”, 3 - Flavio Alberto Lollio, Invettiva di F. Alberto Lollio accademico Philareto contra il giuoco del tarocco, ms. 257, cc. 30, 1550, Ferrara, Ariostea Library.), see again http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=220&lng=eng —due to its Macaronic combination of an Arab word with an Italian word. Hence it could not easily be deciphered.

What do you think about it?

I would be very glad to receive an answer and if possible to stipulate a discussion amongst members of this forum.

In this sense I humbly ask you for advise. Thanks a lot.

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

4
Thanks for your idea and also for resurrecting my old post at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=502&p=19407&hilit=tara#p19407, reproducing Depaulis, whose idea deserves consideration.

In reply to your suggestion, I do not know the expression "taring the eyes" in existing games. Please explain.

It does not seem to me that the score has mainly to do just with certain "counting cards", i.e. the court cards and two or three of the trumps. Given that there can be wide differences among the number of tricks won by the various players, those points also play a significant role. On the other hand, it seems to me that in the scoring of points, the way it is done is that the number of points scored by each player is arrived at by subtracting the lowest score from that of each player. That method of scoring involves a "deduction", in the sense of a tare, from the raw score. In that sense, your suggestion makes sense. However that is not much of a rule change, just a change in the way the score is kept.

It seems to me that other possibilities also deserve to be on the table. One is that the word "tarocco", in some spelling, was then in common enough use to mean "fool", so that applying the word to the game would give it the sense of "game of the fool." The derivation in this case might be from the Latin "taraxia" meaning mental confusion or disturbance, or the Greek "tarache" and "tarochos" with the same meaning (see Wiktionary for "taraxia"). It is either a macaronic invention, from the Latin or Greek, or simply an existing Italian word not in much use. The word "sirocco" for the crazy-making wind, is similar, spelled "therocco" sometimes (see Andrea's essay on that wind), just as the Greek "tarache" sometimes was spelled with theta, "th". At http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=317 , section A2, I have reproduced the corresponding entry (with a t, tarachos) in a c. 1500 Greek-Latin lexicon published in Venice, showing that the Greek word was at least known at that time.

There is then a precedent for calling the game by that word for "fool". A similar game with a larger deck was called "minchiate", documented at least from 1466 (letter from Luigi Pulci to Lorenzo de' Medici). That word is similar to "minchione", meaning "fool", and "minchionare", meaning "to make a fool of" (see online Wiktionary). [Edit next day: I have omitted what I thought was a c. 1440 use of "minchionare". I was mistaken.] When the game of trionfi had to compete with another game with the same name using a regular deck, introduced from Spain, the new name, on this line of argument, simply emulated minchiate by using another word for "fool".

But why that word "tarocco" as opposed to, say, "matto", taken from its most distinctive card, one that perhaps acquired its distinctive use as the "excuse" around this time, c. 1500?

It is here that other reasons play a role, such as the similarity to the Arabic "tarh" (perhaps derived from the same Greek word) in the sense of "deduction".

First let me paraphrase what I think Depaulis is saying: The word became applied to the game because of a rule change that happened around the time that the word came into use for the game, connected to a word for "tare" in the sense of "deduction", from the Arabic "tarh" (hard h, as in "loch"), meaning a rejected part, due to defects, or a deduction from the gross weight of a product to account for the container. In the game what corresponds is that a few cards remain on the table after the deal. According to Depaulis, such an explanation, specifically for the game of tarot, was proposed by the German orientalist Karl Lakotsch in 1967. (I have found it also in Le Grand Robert dictionary of 1986, at least the derivation from "tarh".) As Depaulis expands on Lakotsch, in the rules for the game as played by three persons, the last three cards of the deal remain on the table for the dealer to exchange for relatively worthless cards in his hand, if desired. Since 78 cards divide evenly among three players, there is no reason for this rule to have arisen in this context. But in a game for four it does make sense, because there are two cards that remain undealt after each player gets nineteen. These remaining cards are a kind of deduction, Depaulis says.

I would like to modify (or perhaps clarify) Depaulis's suggestion in the following way. It might not be so much the cards remaining on the table, although a kind of "remainder", that are the "deduction", but rather the cards that the dealer removes (deducts) from his own hand in exchange for those left over from the deal. These would be low-denomination suit cards with little power to win a trick. They are the "rejected" or "defective" cards, analogous to the defective parts of an item whose weight or other value must be removed from the whole of something offered in trade to arrive at the final weight and price.

This sense of "rejected" or "defective" also applies to the meaning of "tarocco" in the sense of "fool", a defective person. So I suggest a confluence of meanings, that is, the word "tarocho" (as it was spelled in 1502 Brescia) had more than one connotation, both as "the game of the fool" and as a term for the cards that the dealer removes from his hand. Or perhaps, as you say, the score as adjusted in some way.

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

5
In work

Vh0610 wrote ...
I do find your Macaronic composition “Tarocus” quite interesting – “Taro meaning a river near Fornovo” – however, I did not fully understand the connection of “somehow somebody who has something to do with Taro” with the poem of Bassano Mantovano – and why “Piscina (1560s) and Berni (1520s) were too long after 1495 to understand the joke.”

Could you please elaborate on this a little bit more?
The Bassano text has on its center a bridge over a river with a bridge keeper and the poet with his mother on the other side. The bridge should lead above the river Sesia with a length of 138 km, the city behind the bridge should be the city Vercelli. The river Sessia is the natural frontier between Piedmont and Lombardy

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.3259141 ... 384!8i8192

That's the start of the text:
Ad magnifiais dominus Gasparus Vescontus ( mort en 1499 ), de una vellania que fuit mihi Bassanus de Mantua ab uno Botigliano Savoyno apud uncellis, et de una piacevoleza que ego Bassanus fecivi sibi Botigliano.

Unam volo tibi, Gaspar, cuntare novellam
Que te forte magno faciet pisare de risu.
Quidam Vercellis stat a la porta Botigliano
Omnes qui Sessiam facit pagare passantes ;
In Vercelli were important peace negotiations in the year 1495 between Milan and France, finished at 10th of October ... after the battle at the river Taro at 6th of July.
http://www.regesta-imperii.de/regesten/ ... 4ecb#rinav

Where and when the poet Bassano felt motivated to make some mockery words about Vercelli, before the battle at the Taro river or after the battle? Likely, when it was clear, that Vercelli became the place of negotiations.

Once I found this report ... (in a time, when the negotiations in Vercelli didn't proceed, a few thousand French soldiers in Novara were still in a dramatic situation)
"The siege of Novara, where the Duke of Orleans had been beleagured since the middle of June [1495], was now the centre of interest in Lombardy. Immediately after Fornovo, the Count of Caiazzo's cavalry had joined his brother Galeazzo's force before Novara, and on the 19th of July the Marquis of Mantua encamped under the walls with the Venetian army. The garrison of the besieged city was six or seven thousand strong, and well provided with arms and ammunition, but already supplies of food were scarce, and men and horses were dying of sickness and hunger. "

.... some time was spend by negotiations, the soldiers still in Novara

"The evacuation of Novara, however, was unanimously agreed upon, and on the 26th of September, Orleans and his garrison marched out with the honours of war, and were escorted by Messer Galeaz and the Marquis of Mantua to the French outposts. More than two thousand men had already died of sickness and starvation. Almost all their horses had been eaten, and the survivors were in a miserable plight. Many perished by the roadside, and Commines found fifty troopers in a fainting condition in a garden at Cameriano, and saved their lives by feeding them with soup. Even then one man died on the spot, and four others never reached the camp. Three hundred more died at Vercelli, some of sickness, others from over-eating themselves after the prolonged starvation which they had endured, and the dung-hills of the town were strewn with dead corpses.
Yet still Orleans, who, as Commines remarks, had caused all this mischief, was eager for war, and entreated the king to make no terms with Signor Lodovico. "
https://books.google.de/books?id=EbrHDw ... e"&f=false
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

6
Thank you very much mikeh and also Huck for your ample answers and elaborations (and sorry for responding late, I am simply overcharged by my job).

I find your arguments very helpful and very interesting. SInce I don't know how to integrate your remarks in this very text (I am a first time user of such an forum), I give my humble comments directly:


@mikeh:


You asked me to give an explanation for "taring the eyes" in existing games. If I have unconsciously alluded to the fact that I know existing games with this kind of notion, I have to apologize, since I do not know any. All I know is that in dice games, "eyes" are "counted" - at least in German (I am of German origin: Augen werden gezählt - the points on dices are called Augen in German). Perhaps I went too far in seeing the counting of eyes close to taring eyes in the sense that at least eyes are compared or balanced out for determining the winner and then -after having read the rules of tarot games in the internet, and perhaps I am misled- I saw that at the end of a tarot game, the tricks are not more than a kind of packaging for the decisive points (or eyes) of the special cards.

SInce I do not undestand your argument with respect to exactly this point: was my argument not clearly enough written in the following passage cited from my post (then sorry for this):

"The new element –new w.r.t. naibi trionfi-- in the gameplay is that some cards have a higher value, especially the court cards and some trump cards. This leads to a scoring at the end of the game, where still each trick counts 1 point (as in naibi di trionfi, if I am right) but other cards count additionally points:[https://www.tarocchigratuiti.it/approfo ... rocchi.php]

Thereby the value of all additional points from special cards is in sum 52 points. If only two players played, the additional value of all tricks is 35 points (following the 5 x 14 cards deck and the respective theory [http://trionfi.com/0/f/] –in this case Lo angelo –I use the Steele manuscript’s names-- is the highest card having a value of 4 points-- or 39 points (if already played with the 78 cards deck). The more players, the less the value of all tricks; e.g. for four players: 17 points or 19 points, depending on the respective deck.

Hence, what had real weight at the end were the additional points of the special cards -- and the points from the tricks had not a real significance (since only by winning tricks a player had the respective special cards at the end. This led to the actual counting of points which raised the values of the special cards by one point: “Common card values” in [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games]). For determining the winner, all players had to strip off the special cards with higher value of their „packaging“ of the respective tricks, and the winner was determined by balancing out the points of all players: the one with the highest weight of points from the special cards was the winner."

You said that "Given that there can be wide differences among the number of tricks won by the various players, those points also play a significant role. ". However, I still don't see it like that since otherwise - and I quote it again- it would not have happened that "This led to the actual counting of points which raised the values of the special cards by one point: “Common card values” in [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games])." I am from a mathematical background and perhaps I am mistaken, but combinatorically I cannot see your argument "those points also play a significant role".

Hence I humbly ask you to tell me where my math error is? Could you please check that again?

What I do have to admit, is, that I do not really know how "naibi di trionfi" was played and scored. Does anyone in this forum knows about this? I assumed that it was played as a trick-taking game where simply each trick counts one point (I came to this assumption since there is this difference in card playing games between trick-taking games and point-trick-taking games, cf. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick-taking_game]). And I did read somewhere (I can find it out with more time and especially energy than tonight) that initially, when the cards came to Europe, the game was a trick taking game. Hence, there must be a transition from a pure trick-taking game to the point-trick-taking game of tarocchi - and I hypothesised that exactly the name of tarocchi indicates this change from a trick-taking game to a point-trick-taking game.

For me, it makes sense since I assume that by introducing trumps, they first serve as "trick-winners" without changing the relative value of cards to each other. This still holds true --or can hold true- when you have a full 5x14 deck of trionfi (I follow the beautiful 5x14 theory [http://trionfi.com/0/f/], as I indicated). As for tarocchi in difference to trionfi all we know --all I know-- is that you have more trumps (@ triofni.com now the quest is open for the 14->22 transition, see [http://trionfi.com/0/g/ ] ) and that then the question of values of cards appears since you are out of the order (or kind of symmetry) of x times 14 cards; x being 4 or 5.

In tarocchi, there is some imbalance in number of trumps to the rest of the order in the four colours, including the court cards. And hence it makes sense, at least to me, that this is exactly the point where the transition from a pure trick-taking game to a point-trick-taking game happens, since the points of the "special cards" (three trumps and the court cards) rebalance in a certain sense the higher number of trumps in tarocchi. And since in old tarot scoring, see again [https://www.tarocchigratuiti.it/approfo ... rocchi.php] (if the italian is not easily understandable, I can translate it if necessary), the tricks still count one point -even if this means hard counting work at the end which leads in modern times to a different kind of counting, as indicated [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games].

In short: I see tarocchi exactly the game where the transition is, since there are both elements: trick-taking and point-trick-taking. Ok, it is only a hypothesis, but it seems logic to me since my argument would show an evolution (most cultural changes are evolutions) - and the new name would fit to it.

Furthermore, I fully agree with "It seems to me that other possibilities also deserve to be on the table." - certainly, since there is not a single truth and the beauty of the discussion is the different opinions. And I do find your argument also very convincing, no doubt about that. Especially I find interesting:

"I would like to modify (or perhaps clarify) Depaulis's suggestion in the following way. It might not be so much the cards remaining on the table, although a kind of "remainder", that are the "deduction", but rather the cards that the dealer removes (deducts) from his own hand in exchange for those left over from the deal. These would be low-denomination suit cards with little power to win a trick. They are the "rejected" or "defective" cards, analogous to the defective parts of an item whose weight or other value must be removed from the whole of something offered in trade to arrive at the final weight and price.

This sense of "rejected" or "defective" also applies to the meaning of "tarocco" in the sense of "fool", a defective person. So I suggest a confluence of meanings, that is, the word "tarocho" (as it was spelled in 1502 Brescia) had more than one connotation, both as "the game of the fool" and as a term for the cards that the dealer removes from his hand. Or perhaps, as you say, the score as adjusted in some way."

I do admit that I have to think about your argument far more deeply before commenting on it - I will do it in the upcoming days - as well as answering to Huck, since now it got late and there is not much energy left after a long week of work.

Thanks again for your very interesting responses, mikeh and Huck, I do cherish this discussion!

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

7
I find your arguments very helpful and very interesting. SInce I don't know how to integrate your remarks in this very text (I am a first time user of such an forum), I give my humble comments directly:
I've transported this text with ...
1. I used the mouse to select this text (I arranged the text in a dark modus).
2. I pressed ctrl or strg (depending on the keyboard) and the letter C together (the letter C for the command "Copy").
3. I go with the mouse to the place, where I want, that the text appears.
4. I press the letter V (which is right behind the letter C). The text then was moved to the place, where I want it to be.
5. Since I want that the text gets a vertical line at the left border (used to signal, that the text was quoted), I use the mouse to make the text look dark again and press "Quote" in the B i u Quote ... line (below the text field in the edit modus).
6. I'm ready.

.... .-) ...
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

8
In work

The following builds an argument about the visit of emperor Charles IV in Lucca in the year 1369.

Iglau c. 250

Image


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1064&p=16333&hilit=iglau#p16333

Geschichte Oesterreich's: seiner Völker und Länder und der Entwickelung seines Staatenvereines von den ältesten bis auf die neuesten Zeiten, Volume 2
Hermann Meynert
C. A. Hartleben, 1844 - Austria
https://books.google.de/books?id=yG4xAQ ... navlinks_s

Comment: The case with the "Triumphatores" was nonsense. It belongs to the errors about Iglau c. 1250. Found in 2015.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1064&p=16335&hilit=iglau#p16335
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1064&p=16336&hilit=iglau#p16337

Germany 1300, Meister Ingold 1432
Bey dem ist uns ze merken das kartenspil, dar mit spilt die arm und unweis unküschayt, und ir sicht zů und betrachtet die lauter rainikayt und küschhayt. Nun ist das spil vol untrü, und als ich gelessen han, so ist es komen in tüsche land des ersten do man zalt von Cristus geburt tusend drühundert jar, und das spil bedüt die untrü der betrogen lieb und unküschhayt, die uns der veind von der hell für setzt an den weg, die schönen frawenbild wol gezierd von dem haupt bis auf die fieß.
http://www.fh-augsburg.de/~harsch/germa ... _sp40.html

Well known statement from Meister Ingold about the Kartenspil, not taken serious by playing card researchers.

1303 , Brieg, possibly in context of Boleslaw III., young ruler in Brieg
"Anno 1303 wurden zum Brieg in einem Hause am Ringe, drey Karten-Spieler vom Donner erschlagen/ wie sie die Blätter ausgetheilet hatten."
Three card players died 1303 in Brieg in a house "am Ringe" (a sort of address, likely street name) by a lightning, after they had dealt the cards.
"Brieg" should be "Brzeg" nowadays
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brzeg

from: "Neue Laußnitz- Böhm- und Schlesische Chronica/ Oder Allerhand Denck- und Merckwürdiger Unglücks- und Trauer-Fälle/ so sich in dem Marggraffthum Lausitz/ dessen angräntzenden benachbartem Königreiche Böhmen/ und Fürstenthümern Schlesien/ in den nechsten dreyhundert und Sechs und Achtzig Jahren begeben und zugetragen : Theils aus gelehrter Leute Schrifften/ theils aus guter Freunde communicirten Manu-Scriptis, theils auch aus eigenen Collectaneis, in eine richtige Jahrgängige Landschaffts-Ordnung gebracht und auffgesetzet / Von Heinrico Roch, I.C. & Reip. Pat. Senatore" (in the year 1687)
http://digitale.bibliothek.uni-halle.de ... ure/444886 ... at page 121
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=528&p=7325&hilit=brieg#p7325

Together with a note about 7 dice players killed by a lightning in Kostnitz (= Cottbus) this both notes appeared variously in works of 17th century.
Image
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

9
Thanks, Huck, for as well your kind introduction how to create quotes (I'm such a fool, sorry) and the new material (which I find very interesting, especially the part where dices where used in order to decide about a juridical case) - I have to admit that I do not understand why you put the table with Nebuchadnedor in it at the end of your post :
Huck wrote:
Image


- could you please elaborate on it?
[I do even realize now that there is a nice "Quote Huck" button at the lower left corner of your post which helps at lot..]

Since I am back after two days: when reading what I wrote
vh0610 wrote:
SInce I do not undestand your argument with respect to exactly this point: was my argument not clearly enough written in the following passage cited from my post (then sorry for this):

"The new element –new w.r.t. naibi trionfi-- in the gameplay is that some cards have a higher value, especially the court cards and some trump cards. This leads to a scoring at the end of the game, where still each trick counts 1 point (as in naibi di trionfi, if I am right) but other cards count additionally points:[https://www.tarocchigratuiti.it/approfo ... rocchi.php]

Thereby the value of all additional points from special cards is in sum 52 points. If only two players played, the additional value of all tricks is 35 points (following the 5 x 14 cards deck and the respective theory [http://trionfi.com/0/f/] –in this case Lo angelo –I use the Steele manuscript’s names-- is the highest card having a value of 4 points-- or 39 points (if already played with the 78 cards deck). The more players, the less the value of all tricks; e.g. for four players: 17 points or 19 points, depending on the respective deck.

Hence, what had real weight at the end were the additional points of the special cards -- and the points from the tricks had not a real significance (since only by winning tricks a player had the respective special cards at the end. This led to the actual counting of points which raised the values of the special cards by one point: “Common card values” in [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games]). For determining the winner, all players had to strip off the special cards with higher value of their „packaging“ of the respective tricks, and the winner was determined by balancing out the points of all players: the one with the highest weight of points from the special cards was the winner."

You said that "Given that there can be wide differences among the number of tricks won by the various players, those points also play a significant role. ". However, I still don't see it like that since otherwise - and I quote it again- it would not have happened that "This led to the actual counting of points which raised the values of the special cards by one point: “Common card values” in [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games])." I am from a mathematical background and perhaps I am mistaken, but combinatorically I cannot see your argument "those points also play a significant role".

Hence I humbly ask you to tell me where my math error is? Could you please check that again?
I realize that I should have given some examples on the maths in order to make it more clearly. Hence, I provide them now:

Following the italian link [https://www.tarocchigratuiti.it/approfo ... rocchi.php] dealing with how the tarocchi was played in ancient times, the values of the cards where [my translation]:

1 point for each trick
4 points if one has won il mondo (highest trump).
4 points if one has won il mago (lowest trump).
4 points for il matto (which had a very special function and stayed always with the player to whom it was dealt).
4 points for every won king.
3 points for every won dame.
2 points for every won knight.
1 point for every won knave.

All other cards don't value no point at all.

So we have 52 points for the special cards above. Let's assume 4 players playing and let's look at the two extremes, first that all special cards with points are altogether in the respective tricks, second that they are all dispersed in the tricks:

1) all special cards with points are altogether in the respective tricks:

we have 19 cards with special value. Since there are four players, they are in this case altogether assembled in 5 tricks when considering 4 players. There value is 52, the five respective tricks count one point each: hence 57 points of value are assembled in these five tricks. The 58 resting cards form 14 tricks, hence 14 points. It's 57 points against 14 points. Please not that this case 1) is very unlikely to appear, combinatorically it is more seldom than winning in a standard European lotto (6 of 49).

2) all special cards with points are dispersed in the respective tricks:

we have again 19 cards with special value in 19 tricks for four players. In each trick, you have a special card in this case. Hence you can simply raise the special card's value by one point. Combinatorically seen, case 2) appears quite often.

Case 1) and Case 2) form the extremes of a continuum which gets more and more probable --combinatorically seen- when approaching case 2). Hence, it becomes really a hazzle at the end of the game to count as well tricks with one point and the values of the special cards. The closer you are to case 2) the more you could simply raise the special cards value by one point - and that's what they did in the transition to modern times since all results appearing where statistically quite close to case 2) - I quote [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games]:

Common card values

The aim in almost all card games of the Tarot family is to make as many points as possible from the cards taken in tricks, the cards having different point values. Those cards which have little or no point value are called various names – Skartins, Ladons or cartes basses depending on the region – but may be referred to as low cards. Cards which have a higher point value may be called counting cards or counters; they usually include the Fool (Excuse or Sküs), the I (Pagat Petit or Bagatto) and the XXI (Mond) plus all the court cards. In such a case, the low cards are the remaining tarots (II to XX) and all the pip cards. Not all games follow this precisely; in some games, other cards are included among the counters. However, the division of counters and low cards described is the most common and is often accompanied by the following 'standard' card values:[16]

Oudlers or Trull cards - Trumps I, XXI and the Fool: 5 points
Kings: 5 points
Queens: 4 points
Cavaliers or Knights: 3 points
Knaves, Valets or Jacks: 2 points
Low cards: 1 point

Tarot scoring

The system by which players work out their scores in almost all Tarot games may appear "eccentric and puzzling", but the rationale to it is that, originally, the cards were each valued at one less point than that shown above (e.g. Kings were worth 4 points and low cards had no point value), but every trick taken scored one point. Dummett argues that the tedious work of counting tricks card points separately, led players to fuse the two processes into a single operation. There are several practical methods, but all are designed to achieve the same aim: a quick and relatively simple way of calculating the score.[16]

Referring to the last sentences starting with "Dummett": this is exactly the point why I make the hypothesis of "taring eyes" - the eyes or points of the cards had to be deduced from their packaging of tricks.

Hopefully I could explain it now in better detail and in a clearer way.

Could you please comment on it?

When rereading
vh0610 wrote: What I do have to admit, is, that I do not really know how "naibi di trionfi" was played and scored. Does anyone in this forum knows about this? I assumed that it was played as a trick-taking game where simply each trick counts one point (I came to this assumption since there is this difference in card playing games between trick-taking games and point-trick-taking games, cf. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick-taking_game]). And I did read somewhere (I can find it out with more time and especially energy than tonight) that initially, when the cards came to Europe, the game was a trick taking game. Hence, there must be a transition from a pure trick-taking game to the point-trick-taking game of tarocchi - and I hypothesised that exactly the name of tarocchi indicates this change from a trick-taking game to a point-trick-taking game.

For me, it makes sense since I assume that by introducing trumps, they first serve as "trick-winners" without changing the relative value of cards to each other. This still holds true --or can hold true- when you have a full 5x14 deck of trionfi (I follow the beautiful 5x14 theory [http://trionfi.com/0/f/], as I indicated). As for tarocchi in difference to trionfi all we know --all I know-- is that you have more trumps (@ triofni.com now the quest is open for the 14->22 transition, see [http://trionfi.com/0/g/ ] ) and that then the question of values of cards appears since you are out of the order (or kind of symmetry) of x times 14 cards; x being 4 or 5.

In tarocchi, there is some imbalance in number of trumps to the rest of the order in the four colours, including the court cards. And hence it makes sense, at least to me, that this is exactly the point where the transition from a pure trick-taking game to a point-trick-taking game happens, since the points of the "special cards" (three trumps and the court cards) rebalance in a certain sense the higher number of trumps in tarocchi. And since in old tarot scoring, see again [https://www.tarocchigratuiti.it/approfo ... rocchi.php] (if the italian is not easily understandable, I can translate it if necessary), the tricks still count one point -even if this means hard counting work at the end which leads in modern times to a different kind of counting, as indicated [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games].

In short: I see tarocchi exactly the game where the transition is, since there are both elements: trick-taking and point-trick-taking. Ok, it is only a hypothesis, but it seems logic to me since my argument would show an evolution (most cultural changes are evolutions) - and the new name would fit to it.
I realized that I did change my hypothesis by focusing on the transition from 14 trumps to 22 trumps seeing the imbalance of the symmetry. I restate:

H: "Tarocchi" marks the transition from trick-taking trionfi to point-trick-taking tarocchi, and hence goes along with the transition from 14 trumps to 22 trumps.

Perhaps this helps at some point the 14->22 transition quest, see [http://trionfi.com/0/g/ ]. However, I first have to find out whether trionfi was a pure trick-taking game or not: can anyone help me with this?

Now I do want to comment on the interesting point of mikeh:
mikeh wrote: I would like to modify (or perhaps clarify) Depaulis's suggestion in the following way. It might not be so much the cards remaining on the table, although a kind of "remainder", that are the "deduction", but rather the cards that the dealer removes (deducts) from his own hand in exchange for those left over from the deal. These would be low-denomination suit cards with little power to win a trick. They are the "rejected" or "defective" cards, analogous to the defective parts of an item whose weight or other value must be removed from the whole of something offered in trade to arrive at the final weight and price.

This sense of "rejected" or "defective" also applies to the meaning of "tarocco" in the sense of "fool", a defective person. So I suggest a confluence of meanings, that is, the word "tarocho" (as it was spelled in 1502 Brescia) had more than one connotation, both as "the game of the fool" and as a term for the cards that the dealer removes from his hand. Or perhaps, as you say, the score as adjusted in some way.
What I do like of your opinion, is, that this opinion has to do with the gameplay. A new signifiyer for a new object should somehow reflect the novelty of that new object in difference to the former object it evolved from. For games, it is sound to me first looking at the gameplay - and only thereafter at other meanings (which might then merge and form a confluence of meanings, as you indicated). I do follow your explanation on the removal/deduction of the dealer of the cards for the exchange. What I do not fully understand is the "tarh"-side of the pair of balances ("or a deduction from the gross weight of a product to account for the container" to quote Depaulis), but perhaps there I am too primed by my own thoughts - could you please explain that again for me how you bring the "tara"-side together with this kind of removal/deduction? Is it the low value (or no value following the point lists given above) if the removed cards which also form a kind of packaging with no value?

To quote mikeh further:
mikeh wrote: It seems to me that other possibilities also deserve to be on the table. One is that the word "tarocco", in some spelling, was then in common enough use to mean "fool", so that applying the word to the game would give it the sense of "game of the fool." The derivation in this case might be from the Latin "taraxia" meaning mental confusion or disturbance, or the Greek "tarache" and "tarochos" with the same meaning (see Wiktionary for "taraxia"). It is either a macaronic invention, from the Latin or Greek, or simply an existing Italian word not in much use. The word "sirocco" for the crazy-making wind, is similar, spelled "therocco" sometimes (see Andrea's essay on that wind), just as the Greek "tarache" sometimes was spelled with theta, "th". At http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=317 , section A2, I have reproduced the corresponding entry (with a t, tarachos) in a c. 1500 Greek-Latin lexicon published in Venice, showing that the Greek word was at least known at that time.

There is then a precedent for calling the game by that word for "fool". A similar game with a larger deck was called "minchiate", documented at least from 1466 (letter from Luigi Pulci to Lorenzo de' Medici). That word is similar to "minchione", meaning "fool", and "minchionare", meaning "to make a fool of" (see online Wiktionary). [Edit next day: I have omitted what I thought was a c. 1440 use of "minchionare". I was mistaken.] When the game of trionfi had to compete with another game with the same name using a regular deck, introduced from Spain, the new name, on this line of argument, simply emulated minchiate by using another word for "fool".

But why that word "tarocco" as opposed to, say, "matto", taken from its most distinctive card, one that perhaps acquired its distinctive use as the "excuse" around this time, c. 1500?
Your last question seems very relevant for me - why such a strange word stemming from Greek in light of the cards being played by ordinary people using their language? "Game of Matto" would be far better, wouldn't it? (In order to stay in the Italian language in a Macaronic way, I proposed "taring eyes" at least as an isomorphy to "naibi di trionfi" indicating the Arab origin of the cards plus the gameplay points "occhi").

Moreover, there is something strange for me with this hypothesis as "game of the fool", which I cannot grasp at the moment and on which I will contemplate further in the next days. Admittedly, the fool plays an important role in the game - but would you like to play a game called a fool's game? Ok, perhaps we all are flirting a little bit with being a fool (me included see above starting line), since it gives you a shorthand freedom feeling - but one second later, no one wants to be a fool. How where these Renaissance times, did people wanted to be fools?? Or playing fool's games? At least the Rosenwald deck does not have a fool, so something does not fully fit for me with this opinion.

And with respect to "minchiate": I quote on the etymology from [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minchiate]:

The word minchiate comes from a dialect word meaning "nonsense" or "trifle", derived from mencla, the vulgar form of mentula, a Latin word for "phallus".[2]

When considering the depiction of el bagatella far later in Tarot de Marseille Jean Noblet's deck [http://www.tarot-history.com/Jean-Noble ... eleur.html], I am not sure, if "minchiate" rather stems from the mencia in a different sense then only being "the game of the fool". Perhaps this is too dared as an argument, I admit.

What do you think?

Finally, quoting Huck
Huck wrote: The Bassano text has on its center a bridge over a river with a bridge keeper and the poet with his mother on the other side. The bridge should lead above the river Sesia with a length of 138 km, the city behind the bridge should be the city Vercelli. The river Sessia is the natural frontier between Piedmont and Lombardy

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.3259141 ... 384!8i8192

That's the start of the text:
Ad magnifiais dominus Gasparus Vescontus ( mort en 1499 ), de una vellania que fuit mihi Bassanus de Mantua ab uno Botigliano Savoyno apud uncellis, et de una piacevoleza que ego Bassanus fecivi sibi Botigliano.

Unam volo tibi, Gaspar, cuntare novellam
Que te forte magno faciet pisare de risu.
Quidam Vercellis stat a la porta Botigliano
Omnes qui Sessiam facit pagare passantes ;
In Vercelli were important peace negotiations in the year 1495 between Milan and France, finished at 10th of October ... after the battle at the river Taro at 6th of July.
http://www.regesta-imperii.de/regesten/ ... 4ecb#rinav

Where and when the poet Bassano felt motivated to make some mockery words about Vercelli, before the battle at the Taro river or after the battle? Likely, when it was clear, that Vercelli became the place of negotiations.

Once I found this report ... (in a time, when the negotiations in Vercelli didn't proceed, a few thousand French soldiers in Novara were still in a dramatic situation)
"The siege of Novara, where the Duke of Orleans had been beleagured since the middle of June [1495], was now the centre of interest in Lombardy. Immediately after Fornovo, the Count of Caiazzo's cavalry had joined his brother Galeazzo's force before Novara, and on the 19th of July the Marquis of Mantua encamped under the walls with the Venetian army. The garrison of the besieged city was six or seven thousand strong, and well provided with arms and ammunition, but already supplies of food were scarce, and men and horses were dying of sickness and hunger. "

.... some time was spend by negotiations, the soldiers still in Novara

"The evacuation of Novara, however, was unanimously agreed upon, and on the 26th of September, Orleans and his garrison marched out with the honours of war, and were escorted by Messer Galeaz and the Marquis of Mantua to the French outposts. More than two thousand men had already died of sickness and starvation. Almost all their horses had been eaten, and the survivors were in a miserable plight. Many perished by the roadside, and Commines found fifty troopers in a fainting condition in a garden at Cameriano, and saved their lives by feeding them with soup. Even then one man died on the spot, and four others never reached the camp. Three hundred more died at Vercelli, some of sickness, others from over-eating themselves after the prolonged starvation which they had endured, and the dung-hills of the town were strewn with dead corpses.
Yet still Orleans, who, as Commines remarks, had caused all this mischief, was eager for war, and entreated the king to make no terms with Signor Lodovico. "
https://books.google.de/books?id=EbrHDw ... e"&f=false


I admit that I again did not fully understand the argument. Is it about a mockery and hence using the river "Taro" plus some Macaronic ending, at the same time playing with words alluding to "fools"?

As it got late now I admit that perhaps it is me simply not seeing your argument and I will look at it again in the upcoming days...

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

10
My argument about the Tarocus of Bassano in Vercelli is, that Tarocus was in 1495 a mockery word about French soldiers, who lost a battle and their booty at the the river Taro near Fornovo. Persons in a very bad condition, possibly inflicted additionally with a new sickness called siphilis later and in 1495 known as "Franzosenkrankheit".
It was imported to Europe by returning Spanish ships from the new continent India, later called America.
Image
Image
It was an expression of an Italian Trionfo about a lost French army in 1495 (hypothetical).

In 1498 the king of the lost army Charles VIII. did run with his head against a wooden construction, got headache and died. There was now the new French king Louis XII., who remembered well the bad time in Novara 1495 and the condition, that there was an old contract, that the heirs of Valentina Visconti should be the rulers of Milan, if the Visconti line died with no male heirs. Bianca Maria, wife of Francesco Sforza, wasn't male. So Louis of Orleans, late son of now French king, felt the right to demand the ownership of Milan. And Louis took Milan twice in 1499 and in 1500 and Italy hadn't reason to speak of Italian Trionfi anymore. The French spoke with Taro-words (at least hypothetical ... :-)).
Image
Huck
http://trionfi.com