Readers who should come across this thread without knowing concurrent discussion in other threads should know that this thread is introduced in relationship to a rather lengthy and complex discussion on the "Chariot" thread in "Bianca's Garden", initiated by Nathaniel., p. 4 at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=390&start=40
. I hope readers will see it in that context.
Despite the "Worlds" of the title, Phaeded's post is mainly about the Chariot card, and in particular that of the PMB. What Phaeded says is basically what he has said several times before, but with some new elements. Here I will address only the PMB Chariot, as I agree with what he says about the CY Chariot. I also agree that there is nothing particular Fame-ish about the PMB World card (as opposed to the CY's).
But, you protest, the PMB has an illogical two Pegasuses. To that let me introduce the “smoking gun”: Caterina Sforza-Riario, countess of Forli, issued a medal after her husband was killed (so c. 1488-90) that has a reverse of Winged Victory in girdled tunic driving to the right, a cart drawn by two prancing winged horses. She holds in her right hand a palm-branch. On the side of the cart there is a shield with the Sforza biscione. Lest there be any confusion of the meaning here, the reverse states: VICTORIAM FAMA SEQVETVR / 'Fame will follow Victory.
The relevance of the medal to the PMB card is, among other things, that Caterina Sforza grew up in Bianca Maria's household and would have known the interpretations of the PMB. So let us look at the medal and its motto. There are three elements: "Fame", "will follow", and "Victory". How does the medal express the motto? Well, on the face of it, we have the lady "following" the horses. So I would guess, without more information, that the winged lady is Fama, and the horses represent Victory. That is similar to other allegorical depictions of animal-drawn chariots, in the Petrarch illustrations and elsewhere, that they represent triumph, i.e. victory. The only difference is that these horses are winged, like the lady. Well, Fame travels fast, so naturally either her horses or their grooms will be equipped with wings, even if the lady alone is sufficient. But that does not yet make the horses "fama". "Fama" is the lady behind them. I do not know why she has a palm branch. In the Petrarch illustrations, that is an attribute of Pudicitia. So I wonder if this medal is not an adaptation of a previous image of Pudicitia.
On the PMB card, the lady has no wings; it is not she who is Fama, Phaeded says, but the horses. She is Duchess Bianca Maria. Yet if winged horses do not imply that they are fama in the medal, surely they do not imply that in a card without a winged lady. But of course Phaeded is not arguing from the medal alone.
In favor of the horses being "fama", Phaeded has several arguments, one of which I find has some merit, which I will get to later.. One that needs more work, I think, is the reference to Fulgentius, who has Pegasus as allegorically the Fama that results from overcoming terror. I will give the passage, in an old translation, probably inaccurate in some places, https://www.theoi.com/Text/FulgentiusMy ... s1.html#21
. First he recounts the myth in general terms, then his allegorization, which he attributes to the Greeks:
But let me explain what the Greeks, inclined as they are to embroider, would signify by this finely spun fabrication. They intended three Gorgons, that is, the three kinds of terror: the first terror is indeed that which weakens the mind; the second, that which fills the mind with terror; the third, that which not only enforces its purpose upon the mind but also its gloom upon the face. From this notion the three Gorgons took their names: first, Sthenno, for stenno is the Greek for weakening, whence we call astenian sickness; second, Euryale, that is, broad extent, whence Homer said: “Troy with its broad streets”; then Medusa, for meidusam, because one cannot look upon her. Thus Perseus with the help of Minerva, that is, manliness aided by wisdom, destroyed these terrors. He flew away with face averted because manliness never considers terror. He is also said to carry a mirror, because all terror is reflected not only in the heart but also in the outward appearance. From her blood Pegasus is said to have been born, shaped in the form of renown; whereby Pegasus is said to have wings, because fame is winged. Therefore also Tiberianus says: “Pegasus neighing thus across the upper air.”
But indeed there is only one Pegasus even here, as Phaeded grants is the case elsewhere in modern references to the myth. Two is very rare (can he cite even one clear case?). Why should Fulgentius have been dragged in, since he, too, only has one, as opposed to "Winged Victory" and other winged gods and demigods? To be winged is mainly to be aloft, like a bird, or else to pass quickly, like Time (and yes, Fama: well, I am not denying that Fama needs winged horses; but do other people on chariots?).
In favor of the particular relevance of Fama there is Phaeded's parenthetical citation of Filelfo's Odes, of which Phaeded says:
Usually it is the Muses (especially Clio, muse of history) that spread a hero/prince’s fame (consider Filelfo’s Odes for instance, each encomiastic section named for a Muse; the Ambrosian Republic is instead painted as a gorgon, slaughtered by Sforza from which Pegasus could rise, per Ode 3.4, describing Sforza’s ingresso; but also see Ode III.1.10).
I would appreciate a quotation from the Odes here, since in Google Books hasn't scanned them All I have is Diane Robin at https://books.google.com/books?id=iC4AB ... sa&f=false
. She doesn't tell me enogh. There has to be some indication that these Odes reference Fulgentius. One does not need Fulgentius to portray the Ambrosian Republic as a gorgon slain by Sforza, with Pegasus as the city's rebirth. If, however, it is portrayed as an object of terror, so that Sforza had to overcome and look away from that terror of the Republic in order to defeat it and bring about the Pegasus of Milan's honorable fama at last, then yes, Fulgentius is a probable source. But we need the passage or passages with these allusions to Fulgentius. I do not see Robin suggesting such a thing, nor in her notes to the Odes (which are in Google Books) does she reference Fulgentius. It still takes quite a bit of imagination to imagine the two horses as Pegasus and thus the worthy Fame of the new Milan springing from the destruction of the old under Bianca Maria's rule. There is nothing to suggest such a context other than the question-begging winged horses. Nothing on the card, or the cards before or after it in the sequence, etc..
Another argument Phaeded gives - a better one, I think -- is to refer to a manuscript "triumph of fame" in which everything but the horses and the chariot are winged. The manuscript is in the BnF; if so, it might formerly have been in the Visconti Library, as well as another that is similar, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Petr ... detail.jpg
, It is said that it was inspired by a Giotto fresco since destroyed. But we don't know how much like the fresco the illumination is, as there is also a manuscript illumination said to reflect it with no wings in sight (rarch's_triumphs#/media/File:Petrarch-triumph-vainglory-padua-1400.jpg). We also don't know when the fresco was destroyed. No matter; I expect there were others, with wings aplenty.
So perhaps wings were associated more with Fame than with Victory, and that even though customarily the wings were on the lady, the grooms, and the trumpets, they could be on the horses instead, as the means by which to spread the news. That is possible. There tend to be lots of wings on depictions of fame. If so, winged horses are not just victory, but famous victory, regardless of whether the lady has wings. I hadn't taken that step before.
But what news is this wing-powered chariot spreading? What is she famous for? Bringing the city back to life, in the early 1450s? If so, that's news to me. Her beauty, grace, devotion to family and heritage, such all-round pudicitia I can believe. That's what we see on the card. No Medusa-shield. She rules in feminine-appropriate ways.
It seems to me that there is another source for understanding the PMB card, although many will resist it, namely, the CY card that is so similar, and still preserved after many travails. Neither card shows the lady with wings. Both have a lady holding a stick. The Cary-Yale's stick is a little fuzzy on top, so possibly suggesting a trimmed palm branch. In any case, if she is Pudicitia in triumph over Libido in the CY, why not, in the PMB, Pudicitia ruling in triumph aloft, while also embodied in Bianca Maria?
Then, for the wings on the horses, I would refer, as well as the meaning of wings in general, to the unwinged but otherwise similar horses in the CY. Besides the wings there are two other differences: the groom with his red ball and the posture of the two horses , one ruly and the other unruly. Here it is the man with the ball as opposed to the woman:: rulership is with him, as Phaeded has observed. A topical literary reference, which I have trotted out often enough, is that those of the CY are the two horses of Plato's male charioteer in the Phaedrus, ruly and unruly, both without wings. In that allegory the ruly horse listens to the charioteer, in this case the groom, while the unruly horse is compelled by the other two to follow their direction. It is the harnessing of the groom's libido by the passion for virtue (the ruly horse) and reason (the groom), who has known the vision of true beauty, At least that seems natural enough to me. Leonardo Bruni's translation of the Phaedrus had been published in 1428 and caused something of a stir. Philippo Visconti, in turn, was a keen follower of Plato. The Republic
had been translated around 1408 by Umberto Decembrio, subsequently hired by Filippo, and who promoted Visconti Milan as akin to Plato's construction (see Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance
vol. 1, New York, Brill, 1990, p. 67)
Then the PMB card is simply more of the same. Except that now the passage being referenced is Phaedrus 254, describing the suddenly remembered vision while still in the heavens of "Beauty, accompanied by Chastity" (Hamilton translation: other translations have "temperance" or "self-control", which are much the same thing), on a chariot propelled by two winged light horses. Since there is only one lady, beauty now includes chastity.
As another contextual consideration there is one more hand-painted card of that era with a lady on top, the Issy. In that case I would point to the horses again, one dark and the other light, with the dark one looking toward the light one. It is the Platonic soul again, this time fully trained, so that the dark horse has learned to curb its unruliness by following the lead of the light horse. The sword and ball are then attributes of rulership.
It is the same in the only 15th century example we have of the popular tarot of that C region, the Cary Sheet. We do not have the colors, but we do have one horse looking toward the other while the other looks at its surroundings. In this case, based on the very similar Marseille version later, the charioteer is presumably male; if so he would represent reason in the Platonic interpretation, and no longer Pudicitia.
However these references are of a scholarly nature and so rather abstruse. It might well be that the "triumph of Fame" tradition with wings is enough to associate the card with Fame. Winged horses are a multivalent symbol, depending on various contextual considerations, and even then sometimes polysemous.
But I do not think it inappropriate that Pudicitia should have attributes associated with Fame, at least in decks that are later in time whose designers may have not noticed the connection to Petrarch. If so, however, it is the fame of a parade rather than a monument or arch, fame in the earthly lifetime of an individual rather than something after death, such as a city or fame in heaven as befits its place in the sequence. There can be two Famas in the deck if desired, each saying something different. Each can be honorable. It is a matter of where, when, and for what it is recognized.