Huck wrote:I try to understand, what you wished to argument about an invention in Bologna in 1439.
From Piscina 1565 in Piemont we know for the first time of the 4 Papi rule ... the same rule is found (later ?) in Bologna. You conclude, that there is "far distance" and "no historic near political connection" recognizable, and you conclude, ergo it must have been an old rule. Part of the argument is the position of the Angel as high trump.
The "two popes" and "two emperors" (the papi) guide you back to the date of 1439, when a second pope Felix is elected and one could somehow talk of "2 popes" and "2 emperors" at the same time.
This is quite an impressive jump-back-argument, stretching about 126 years from "first sure evidence" to assumed context of origin - naturally a little bit insecure. But as far rules are concerned, we cannot overlook, that not very much is known in the early time and that it is hardly imaginable, that they played without rules, so your attempt is justified.
Remember that my argument for the date
of "within 5 years of 1442" is based on sound inference from the plotting of the data, not theory or circumstantial evidence.
My attempt to get a more precise date takes me into theory. Then I look for circumstantial evidence to support an interpretation of the iconography.
I don't look for interesting social events and then say that tarot would look good there. First I look for a date, the closest I feel comfortable saying is rational and reasonable inference from the facts - then I let myself look more closely at the situation right on the ground, to see if I can go any further in the dark. I ended up in the situation of 1437 and onward for a few years, of which you know at least the outline of the players and the events.
If I had gone the other way and wanted really two Emperors and two Popes, 1410 would be better, since there really were 3 Popes at this time and two German kings, if not exactly Emperors, when Sigmund and Wenceslas had joint rule. But I cannot accept 1410 as a date for carte da trionfi
, so I have to pass on it.
For the rule, Piscina is the first one to state it explicitly. Of course, we don't have any description of Tarot rules that are actually dated until 1637, and these are French rules. Before that is only inference from fragments, and the undated "ancient" rules alluded to by Pedini
and Pisarri. The earliest "rule" we might have is Trotti, who says Triumphs is best played in two pairs, two against two. The Borromeo fresco shows that the direction of play was counterclockwise, as it still is in most Tarot games. Marcello unfortunately gives no hint of counting rules or order of play - he assumes Isabelle will figure it out. It must have been obvious it was a trick taking game, but things like "combinations" and "sequences", let alone subtle rules like equal papi or Bagato as a wild card, would not be easy to invent.
Inference can be strong, however. There is no reason to reject the Bolognese rules being original and ancient, since Bologna's iconography is highly resistant to change and the Pedini
rules are still preserved at the core of the modern Bolognese game of Ottocento. More than that, Piedmont has many Bolognese features.
This is important, because Piedmont was already importing French (Avignon) cards in 1505 - it is our earliest reference to "taraux". They were importing cards, but likely not rules. Why not? Because they persisted to play with a high Angel and equal Papi EVEN WHEN playing with cards numbered with the Tarot de Marseille numbers! This has to indicate that Piedmont had the game for enough time before importing French cards, that the change in card style didn't affect them very much. Was Avignon making Bolognese style cards then? Or did the Piedmontese have such a deep attachment to their by-then traditional style of play, with those Bolognese characteristics, that a very different kind of iconography and order didn't affect their play much. I think the latter of course.
The upshot is that to become so widespread and traditional in PIedmont by 1505, means several decades at least. So we have *indirect* evidence of the equal-papi rule in the late 15th century, if not the mid-15th century. The only way out of this conclusion is to say that the PIemontese invented these rules at some time, and Bologna adopted it, but that seems a priori
out of the question, given Bologna's conservatism, not to mention the fact that there is no evidence of a PIedmontese influence on Bologna that could account for it.
Let's observe the phenomenon from another perspective. The term Tarocchino ...
"The oldest note of Tarocchino is a manuscript mentioned by Pissarri and Vincenzo Maria Pedini. These two men report a document (and called it "ancient") that probably is from the beginning of the XVI century. Nobody has found this manuscript.
Cfr: L. Cuppi, Tarocchino Bolognese: due nuovi manoscritti scoperti e alcune osservazioni, The playing card, 30, 2001-2002, pag.84"
private note of Andrea Vitali
Cuppi believes Pedini
's source should be mid-16th century (not early, that I know of), but otherwise right. Dummett and McLeod say that to be conservative, they are going to date it "late 16th century" (hardly a difference, but whatever). In any case, it is earlier than the French Tarot rules.
... is from a time near to Piscina 1565. "Tarocchino" (small Tarocchi) expresses, that the Tarot is reduced in its cards, only 62 are used. All 2-3-4-5 cards don't exist.
This is not exactly true. The Bolognese Primiera
cards are exactly the same "pattern" (usually determined by the court cards) as the Bolognese Tarocchino
cards, and Primiera has pips 1-7, and three court cards. So these pips still existed, and persist, in another local game. The same makers just bundled cards differently for two different local games. Bolognese Tarot players just didn't see the need for all those pips, and the shortened game gained in favour so much that it eclipsed the 78 card version. But those pips stayed in Bologna, in the same pattern (it is unique to Bologna, like so many regional patterns in Italy) as the pips in the tarocchino pack (Primiera and Tarocchino share three court cards and the Aces, 6s and 7s, so they can be compared easily).
And the trumps No.s 2-3-4-5 jump from the usual hierarchy, now being all of the same rank.
So we've twice the sequence 2-3-4-5 appearing in this deck structure and its rules and we may ask if this is an accident. Probably not, somehow this should be related. "Either these special features appeared at the same time by one inventor, or one feature dragged the other to appear also", seems to be plausible alternatives. If there was
only one inventor, your theory gets trouble, if Tarocchino was mentioned rather late for the first time. The other possibilities allow, that there was something earlier about the Papi, which later was friendly adapted to a system with missing small arcana.
There is something earlier about the 2-3-4-5 in other rules and it seems, that you overlooked it.
I don't really follow this reasoning - I just see Tarocchino as a shortened tarot game, like many others. I don't see why the symbolism of the pip numbers in any sense had to play a part. Why did Primiera get rid of the 8, 9 and 10?
It's a very fanciful connection - or rather, I'd say it is fanciful to connect this apparent coincidence. The traditional Piedmont game uses 78 cards still, all the pips are there - if the equal papi rule was invented when the pips were removed, why didn't Piedmont follow suit? This line of reasoning would actually support the antiquity of the equal-Papi rule - at least in place when 78 card tarot was still played in Bologna.
Ross wrote:I think Karnöffel is relevant - I think, if it is the "Emperor's game" it may have suggested the idea of permanent trumps to Filippo Maria at least, and also why not to other people? It was being made in Florence in the early 1420s, perhaps as a kind of German suited cards, maybe the 5x13, or maybe just a four-suited pack for playing the "Emperor" (German)'s game.
Yes, Karnöffel. The trumps 2-3-4-5 are not "Papi", but Kaiser (Emperor). These 4 Kaiser have a hierarchy in the rules (each can trump in specific regions of the other cards, but are bounded to the suits) so it's different than the Bolognese-Piemont.
This rule is clear with 1537, but somehow present in the indications around 1490, obscure in the poem of Meisner ca. 1450 and in 1426 we've the note, that Karnöffel exists - in a time, when also the Imperatori cards exist. But we don't know the rules of this time.
But we are before 1439 in 1426.
Again, my dating is working inward from a date deduced from solid evidence, all the facts plotted. I'm not looking for conceptual cognates or symbolism to fix a date for the possible invention of tarot. Of course it could have happened at nearly any time after the introduction of cards in Europe. I'm looking for a good jumping off point for starting to make conjectures, and "after 1437" is something I'm relying on.
Look at the chart of the evidence, and put a dot where you think it might have been invented. The further you get from the late 1430s, the more isolated it looks. That's fine, except there is *no good reason* for it to be so isolated. There is as much archival, chronicles, and other documentary material, and paper remains, from the 1420s and 1430s as there are from the 1440s and 1450s - why do we only get information from the 1440s and 1450s (and onward)?