Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

Mediaeval playing cards
"Der Ludus cartularum moralisatus des Johannes von Rheinfelden", in: Schweizer Spielkarten 1: Die Anfänge im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert. Schaffhausen 1998, pp. 135–147.

"Card-playing as a Mirror of Society – On Johannes of Rheinfelden's Ludus cartularum moralisatus", in: Ferm, Olle och Volker Honemann (eds.), Chess and Allegory in the Middle Ages (Sällskapet Runica et Mediævalia, Münster, Stockholm and Uppsala Universities), Stockholm 2005, pp. 359–372.

Editio princeps av Johannes von Rheinfelden, Ludus cartularum. Work in progress
He is called professor emeritus then ... the last entry on this page is from 2012.

Ove Torgny should have been once a member of IPCS. Somewhere I saw a birth date (?) ... possibly he's about 85. Perhaps he knows something. He was active once (2003) with a Swedish playing card magazine "Kartofilen".

From IPCS 2003 ...

Perhaps somebody has this Swedish magazine Kartofilen (2003) with the English translation. Perhaps somebody has an address of Ove Torgny.

Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

Johannes von Rheinfelden

Extant manuscripts -

Basel, F IV 43 (1429) ... _0043.html
Basel, Universitätsbibliothek, F IV 43 : Johannes von Rheinfelden, Tractatus de moribus et disciplina humanae conversationis: id est ludus cartularum moralisatus

Utrecht, Hs 225
Search UU Hs 225 folios 51r-185r ... g/mode/1up

British Library
Egerton 2419 (1472) ... Start=2419

ONB 4143 folios 88r-165r ... 3&offset=0 ... AC13943458

Click on the image of the manuscript at the top left.

1377 in Freiburg .... John of Rheinfelden


Dominikanerkloster Freiburg
Ortsbezüge: Freiburg im Breisgau ... location
Baujahr/Gründung: 1235 ... founded
Zerstörung/Aufhebung: 1793 ... finished ... r+Freiburg

Interesting details:
Albertus Magnus was lector in 1236-38
"1375 wird die Zahl der Konventsmitglieder mit 80 angegeben, andere Belege nennen acht bis 20 Klosterinsassen."
("In 1375 the number of convent members is given with 80, other sources spoke of 8-20 members.")
Pope JOHN XXIII shall have been in the cloister in 1415 ... he fled from the council at 20th of March, was 5 weeks in Freiburg and was then captured at 29th of April. He got the help of Fredrick IV, youngest son of Leopold III of Habsburg (both owned Freiburg since 1368), who lost for some time all his property (also Freiburg). ... of_Austria ... egenpapst)
Emperor Friedrich III was here as guest ...
Emperor Maximilian was here as guest ...


First half of 18th century

Sickinger plan of 1589
Image ... _Breisgau)

Image ... ier_kl.pdf

Questions .... Kopp to JvR 1973, 1976 and 1977


This link contains a few articles about Swiss playing cards. ... 0::142#145

Vorwort: Alte Schweizer Spielkarten ..... page 129
Artikel: Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz ..... page 130
Artikel: Spielkarten des 16. Jahrhunderts im Schweizerischen Landesmuseum ..... page 146
Artikel: Basel und die Spielkarten im 19. Jahrhundert 162
Artikel: Spielkarten und Spielkartensteuer in der Helvetischen Republik 1798-1803 ..... page 169
Artikel: Zur Geschichte der Spielkarten im Raume Schaffhausen ..... page 185
Buchbesprechung: Buchbesprechungen ..... page 205
.... one can download all articles

The first article "Die frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz" was written by Peter F. Kopp in 1973. I've copied the part, which deals with the JvR-text.


The article of Kopp was attacked by Rosenfeld in 1975: "Rosenfeld, Hellmut: Zu den frühesten Spielkarten in der Schweiz. Eine Entgegnung. In: Zeitschrift für schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte 32 (1975), 179-180." I don't have this one. The text is short, only 2 pages.
Kopp replied in 1976. This text is also short, another 2 pages. Only a small part of the text is related to JvR:

Image ... :77::48#47
Artikel: Basler Spielkartenfunde : Nachlese der Sommerausstellung 1976 im Kirschgarten-Pavillon ..... by Peter F. Kopp (1977) .... Page 37-44
I've selected only the part, which is of interest for JvR.

I've marked with red lines, what is of special interest. It seems, that Johannes claimed to have invented the 60-cards-deck. This was something, which I didn't see in the text of Jönsson and didn't see in the Roger Tilley translation to German.
But it also appears in the Bond text from 1878.


I underlined a few things: Albertus Magnus was once a lector in Fteiburg in 1236-38 in theDominican order. Then there is blue zone and this text is comparable to the red zone of the Kopp text before. Here also the text might be interpreted in the way, as if Johannes made the 60 cards deck.
Then there is a red zone, in which 2 location names appear, one is "Rinveld" and that's naturally today the location "Rheinfelden" and the name "Burgheim" might be today "Burkheim", which is today a humble location at the river Rhein with about 20 km distance to Freiburg. The author makes a few notes about a boat, which they shall leave in Burkheim and can enter again in Rheinfelden, probably cause the Rhine river between Burkheim and Rheinfelden is too dangerous. The nature of this danger isn't clear by the text.
Possibly the danger has something to do with the city Basel.

Image ... 78_map.jpg
The yellow parts are probably Habsburg territory.

The Fastnacht in Basel 1376 became known as "böse Fastnacht" (evil Fastnacht), it was a bloody event with a lot of victims. The city Basel was punished and lost its freedom for 10 years.öse_Fasnachtöse_Fasnacht
A riot on 26 February 1376, known as Böse Fasnacht, led to the killing of a number of men of Leopold III, Duke of Austria. This was seen as a serious breach of the peace, and the city council blamed "foreign ruffians" for this and executed twelve alleged perpetrators. Leopold nevertheless had the city placed under imperial ban, and in a treaty of 9 July, Basel was given a heavy fine and was placed under Habsburg control. To free itself from Habsburg hegemony, Basel joined the Swabian League of Cities in 1385, and many knights of the pro-Habsburg faction, along with duke Leopold himself, were killed in the Battle of Sempach the following year. A formal treaty with Habsburg was made in 1393.
The Battle of Sempach was fought on 9 July 1386, between Leopold III, Duke of Austria and the Old Swiss Confederacy. The battle was a decisive Swiss victory in which Duke Leopold and numerous Austrian nobles died. The victory helped turn the loosely allied Swiss Confederation into a more unified nation and is seen as a turning point in the growth of Switzerland.
Duke Leopold III of Habsburg became later the grandfather of Fredrick III, emperor and ancestor of a long row of more Habsburg emperors.

Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

Very interesting context of 1376 and following years. Thanks.

I wish they would get that text out. They must have it transcribed, and at least roughly translated. This is a big work. If it's too big, Jönsson should give it to others. It is too important to wait so long.

Others can do it, of course. There are only four manuscripts, and three are online. But it is difficult for amateurs, there are people who can read this text like a newspaper.

Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

Thank you very much, Huck, for pointing out the significance of the Evil Carneval (Böse Fasnacht) in Basel in 1368 – in my eyes to be considered for the further development of the evolution of the cards (a situation where a Prince –in this case a Duke- is nearly overwhelmed by simple people from the under-class of society in medieval thinking. In other words: a situation which is against the divinely-ordained order of society (“gottgewollte Ständeordnung”), hence chaotic, all things are inverse (“all ding verkert”); a situation in which people from the under-class kill noble men (“der minder sticht den merern”).

Very interesting in this very thread is that as well the translation of Kopp (1977) and the one of Bond (1878) can be read in the sense, that JvR invented the game with 60 cards when sitting around and considering the proximity of the world and the cards.

In this context, when thinking further about this possibility, I propose to consider the following elements from scientific literature: (1) there is probability that the original treatise contained only the first part; (2) the structural and content-wise proximity to the chess classic of de Cessolis; (3) possibility of plural dating of the elements and several authors.

(1) Original treatise contained only the first part: Already Jönsson opens the possibility in his article “Card playing as a mirror of society” (2005) in footnote 1 on page 359, that in 1377 only Part 1 of the treatise is written. He does so by referring to Quietif:

I checked the entry in the source, and I have found it in Part 2, in which the to-be-added-and-inserted authors appear: ... 1&size=125

In the right column, it is Johannes Teuto.
Pag. 729 post F.Johannes de Taurino, Addendus:


F. JOHANNES TEUTO; & hic provinciae Teutoniae alumnus, sed cuius nec patria nec domus professionis proferuntur. Scripsit librum hoc titulo:

Tractatus de moribus & disciplina humanis conversationis chartarum lusum moraliter sex capitulum exponens

Extat codex MS in Caesarea.

[Add on page 729 after F.Johannes de Taurino


F. JOHANNES TEUTO; & former member of this German Province, however of which neither the origin nor his profession were brought out [found out]. He wrote the book with this title:

A treatise on morals and the discipline of human behavior, on card-game morally played, explained in six chapters

Exists as codex MS in the library of Caesarea [which was the central library of Dominicans collecting all books of the order]]
[This Johannes Teuto is not to be identified with the other Johannes Teuto, also named Joannes Lector. This one is in the first Part of the Quietif/Echard, he died in 1314: ... &skin=2021

This was the one carrying the books on his back, as the entry says.]

[Furthermore, on the page of the entry of JvR-Johannes Teuto, we find another well-known author: Ingoldus Teuto, Meister Ingold. A historical critical edition of his „Goldenes Spiel“ can be found here: ... -0033/View

The Quietif-entry of the JvR-Johannes Teuto tells us, that the JvR-tractatus consists out of six chapters – these are exactly the six chapters of Part 1, as already Jönsson (2005) proposes. This can be identified by the fact that the Part 1 of the treatise contains the information about 1377 – and in the Quietif-entry on JvR it is said that he should be added on page 729 after F.Johannes de Taurino under Sec. MIV [see right top corner of the page: Sec. MIV means somewhere between 1301 and 1400, latin encoding of centuries]: ... skin=2021

Hence, Jönsson’s proposition in 2005 that --based on Quietif-- the first version written in 1377 had only 6 chapters of Part I, is correct.

The later versions adapted Part I accordingly and added Part II and Part III. This can be seen also by some inconsistencies/contradictions in the text, as we will discuss below. In medieval times, integrity of a body of text –and even individual authorship-- was not as highly considered as nowadays – many texts were largely enlarged and rewritten. The best example for this we have when following the Appendix of Depaulis’ „Early Italian Lists of Tarot Trumps“ (The Playing Card, 36 (1), p. 39-50): the Steele Sermon is a massive enlargement and adaptation to a sermon by St. James of the Marches.

(2) The structural proximity to the chess classic of de Cessolis:

Rosenfeld – I propose to carefully check his arguments-- hinted two times at the structural proximity of the JvR treatise to de Cessolis book:

(a) In “Zur Datierbarkeit früher Spielkarten in Europa und im nahen Orient” (Gutenberg Jahrbuch, (1975), pp. 353 – 371), on page 363:
Wenn Johannes im erhaltenen Text versichert, er wisse nicht, wann, durch wen und wo das Kartenspiel erfunden wurde („Quo tempore autem ludus cartularum factus sit, per quem et ubi penitus ignoro“), so folgt er in der Fragestellung seinem Vorbild, der Schachallegorie des Jacobus de Cessolis, deren erste beide Kapitel überschrieben sind „Sub quo ludus est inventus“ und „Quis ludum invenerit“

[If Johannes secures in the text, that he does not know, when, by whom and how the card game was invented („Quo tempore autem ludus cartularum factus sit, per quem et ubi penitus ignoro“), he follows for his questions his model, which is the chess allegory of Jacobus de Cessolis, of which the first two chapters bear the titles „Sub quo ludus est inventus“ und „Quis ludum invenerit“]
(b) In his entry “Johannes von Rheinfelden” in the still actual Verfasser-Datenbank (De Gruyter, 2012), a dictionary of all German authors:
Im 2. Teil (38r-116v) will J. die Moral der Vornehmen stärken. Er hält sich dabei (mit kleiner Änderung der Reihenfolge) genau an die 5 Kapitel der Schachallegorie, indem er König, Königin, Principalis princeps, Principales und Principales miliciae behandelt.

Im 3. Teil (117r- 183r) will J. die populares in tugendlichem Handeln unterrichten, hat aber statt der 8 Fenden-Kapitel der Schachallegorie 12 Kapitel verwandt. Nach 2 allgemeinen Kapiteln über die mechanici [artes mechanicae; vh0610] und die Frage, warum es sie noch nicht im Paradies gegeben habe, handelt er (unter Anlehnung an die Reihe der Eigenkünste [erneut 7 artes mechanicae gegenüber den 7 artes liberales; vh0610]) im 3. [Kapitel] […; es folgt eine Aufzählung von 10 Berufsgruppen], so daß die Welt als geordneter Kosmos erscheint, in dem jeder weltliche Beruf eine wichtige Funktion hat. Die geistlichen Stände läßt er aus.

[In the 2nd part (38r-116v) J. wants to strengthen the moral of the nobles. Thereby, he follows (with a slight change of the sequence) exactly the 5 chapters of the chess allegory, by dealing with king, queen, principalis princeps, principales and principales miliciae.

In the 3rd part (117r- 183r) J. wants to teach the populares in virtuous action, but instead of the 8 chapters of the Fenden [the pawns; vh0610] in the chess allegory, he uses 12 chapters. After 2 general chapters on the mechanici [artes mechanicae; vh0610] and the question, why they were not already there in paradise, he treats (in dependence on the Eigenkünste [again: 7 artes mechanicae opposed to 7 artes liberales; vh0610]) in the 3. [chapter] […; it follows a list of 10 groups of professions], so that the world appears as an ordered cosmos, in which every mundane profession has an important function. He leaves out the clerical stands/ranks.]
This analysis of Rosenfeld is confirmed by the structure and titles of chapters within the respective parts Jönsson reports for the JvR-tractatus, see Jönsson (2005), pp. 364-365.

This yields a basis for the invention/extension of JvR’s-tractatus: De Cessolis gives the form and content, as well for Part 2 and also Part 3:

First, note that the five chapters in Part 2 relate to five figure cards [I owe this hint to Huck, thanks Huck!], and the 10 groups of professions relate to the 10 pip cards, pip cards representing multitudes [originally multitude of army elements, now multitude of professions]. Hence, we get 5 + 10 = 15 cards of one colour of the deck.

Second, --since two introductory general chapters of Part 3 are strange [why two and not one??]-- I propose to note that 5 [chapters of Part 2] times 12 [chapters of Part 3] = 60, the number of all cards in the JvR-preferred deck.

In other words: Part 2 and Part 3 follow the de Cessolis structure (there: 5 chapters for the nobles and 8 chapters for the pawns) and adapt from chess to cards – and Part 1 is adapted accordingly.

However, there are two remarkable differences as a result of this adaptation: first –and this is the minor one- maids of honours serving the queen are not officiers or principals in any sense. The German, the English and the Latin description of the content of the second tractatus of de Cessolis do not speak after the chapters on the King and the Queen of female servants of honours (as far as I can read it): ... 0558/?sp=9 ... 9?page=6,7 ... pdfseitex=

They speak of elders/judges (bishops), knights, and legates, which is no wonder since chess is basically a war game.

An English overview (with nice links to web sources) ... t/cessolis

The second section is divided into five chapters describing, respectively, the five different chess pieces in the first row: (1) king, (2) queen, (3) alphinus (judge), (4) knight, and (5) rook (legate). Each piece is described in terms of its clothing, its symbols of power, the moral significance of those symbols, and—most important—the way a represented by the piece must behave in society. Jacopo narrates several exempla to illustrate the kind of behavior he has in mind for each person.
The English translation on ... _away=true

confirms this for the second part
The second part of The Book of Chess begins here. It concerns the form of the noble pieces, describing each of the thirteen figures. It is divided into five chapters. The first tells about the form of the king, his character and matters that pertain to him; the second, about the form and character of the queen; the third, the form and character of the elders; the fourth, the character and duties of the knights; and the fifth, the character and duties of the rooks.
Note that the book speaks about 13 [sic!] figures -- interestingly, the “It concerns the form of the noble pieces, describing each of the thirteen figures.” is not in the de Cessolis original, as far as I can tell from the sources given above, see e.g. ... page=12,13

Note that five noble chess figures plus eight pawns result in 13 figures, hence I propose to read this “describing each of the thirteen figures” in the sense of “noble pieces describing each of them as part of the thirteen figures in total”. Note furthermore that 13 is a number we know from the initial card deck with king plus two marschalli only. [I will get back to this below.]

Second, and in my eyes more important, is that JvR does not (!) follow the de Cessolis structure entirely: JvR’s version as of 1429 and later has three parts, Cessolis has four parts: The titles of the four treatises can be easily found in the German Wikipedia, I translate directly in English]:

[First a short introduction, that the four treatises contain material from sermons, cf. the Italian Wikipedia]
1. On the reason for the invention of the chess game (Tractatus primus de causa inventionis ludi sacaccorum)
2. On the officer [noble] chess figures (Tractatus secundus de formis scaccorum nobilium)
3. On the pawn [popular] chess figures and their obligatiotions and professions (Tractatus tertius des formis et officiis popularium)
4. On the rules of the game (Tractatus quartus de motu et progressu eorum)
It is clear that Part 2 and Part 3 of as well JvR and Cessolis coincide by content, respectively, adapted to cards by JvR.

Now the question arises: if JvR would have taken Cessolis as the model right from the start in 1377, why did he not simply follow the de Cessolis structure with four parts? And why did JvR call his work “tractatus” in 1377 whereas Cessolis wrote a book with 4 tractati? Considering the length of JvR’s work as of 1429, it is rather a book than a tractatus, whereas the first part in itself can be considered as a tractatus.

Hence, taking into consideration that a first version of 1377 had only 6 chapters of part 1, I propose to conclude that Part 2 and Part 3 are certainly added after this first version. [A possible support for this is the strange appearance of Lucretia in the JvRs tractatus in the Queen chapter of Part 2 –see Jönsson (2005), p. 366, who emphasizes that suicide is non-christian and hence strange in a theological contex. Lucrezia can also be found already in de Cessolis: ... -Fashion/5]

It seems to be that JvR in a certain sense copied large parts of de Cessolis – this can only be confirmed after close inspection of both books.

(3) Possibility of plural dating and several authors:

All given above lead to the conclusion that we have an original version 1377 written by JvR containing only Part 1, and a later version written either by him or someone else containing all three parts with adapted Part 1.

Note that JvR-text as of 1429 tells us in the first part „f. 2r: ludus cartarum hoc anno adnos pervenit” for the year 1377 -- the year is confirmed by Jönsson (2005) by close reading of the historical content of Part 1 and by comparing the four versions known to us. Then JvR speaks about the normal form in which the game first [!] came “to us” (f. 3r) communis forma, sicut primo pervenit, which is the form with 13 cards in each colour (two positive signs, two negative signs), containing the king, two marschalli and 10 pip cards. Then --using the latin word postea, which clearly means “timely after” — 5 further variants appear in the Rhine valley including the one with 60 cards (containing queens and maids of honours).

I propose to read the „postea“ as an insertion of the second version of the text: the original 1377 version dealt only with the 52 cards deck (a war game, possibly stemming from the naibi), the other versions including the 60 card version (a court game including a description of the world) were inserted –postea—later. (Rosenfeld pointed many times to this postea, see op. cit.)

Note that already Jönsson in his early article in German (“Der Ludus cartularum moralisatus des Johannes des Rheinfelden”, Schweizer Spielkarten, 1998) points on p. 138 to the necessity of an archetype younger than 1377 on which the four survived versions rely on:
[…] müssen sie dem Wortlaut des Archetyps, der gemeinsamen Vorlage der vier Manuskripte, entsprechen. Der Archetyp ist zwar kaum identisch mit Johannes‘ Original, denn dieses muss Abbildungen von Karten enthalten haben, die offensichtlich nicht in den Archetyp übernommen wurden

[[…] they must be identical with the wording of the archetype, which is the model of the four manuscripts. The archetype is, however, hardly identical with the original of Johannes, since this one must have had depictions of cards, which clearly were not transferred to the archetype]
The archetype can be the 1429 version or an older version, as Jönsson proposes.

If we accept this evolution of the treatise (first part 1 by JvR in 1377, then adapted part 1 plus part 2 and part 3 based on Cessolis), several inconsistencies/contradictions in the text become explicable:

Jönsson (1998) p. 142 tells us, that in part 2 and part 3 of the tractatus deal especially with the moral value of a court, including Queen, Maid of Honour and all the other professions – hence a court game is described as in the Hofämterspiel. However, in Part 1 (see p. 145 und especially p. 146) the card game is described by JvR as an example from which one can learn how to behave well in war (p. 146):
Wenn diese Bedingungen erfüllt sind, kann man erfolgreich kämpfen und den Sieg gewinnen. […] Hier findet man die Teilnehmer, den König und seine Anführer, die Marschälle. Die gewöhnlichen Soldaten sind selbstverständlich durch die Zahlenkarten vertreten, die vom König befehligt werden.

[If these conditions are fulfilled, one can fight succesfully and win the victory. […] Here are the participants, the king and his leaders, the marshals. The common soldiers are evidently represented by the number cards, which are under the command of the king].
Note that this is a war game, in which there are no queens and no maiden of honours. Hence there is a contradiction between the justification for the cards in Part 1 as a war game, and the description of a court game and the ordered world in Part 2 and Part 3.

In this light, one realizes that for the queen there is an overemphasizing for her necessity on p. 139:
[…] wie Johannes sagt, der Zweck der Karten ist es, den Hof des Königs in seiner Ganzheit zu symbolisieren, und dieser Hof würde ohne Königin und Magd unvollständig sein. Kein König kann sein Leben ohne Gemahlin führen und zwar aus zwei Gründen: Er muss Kinder haben, und es gehört sich auch so des Anstands wegen. […] Der König ist also unbedingt auf eine Königin angewiesen, und deshalb ist das Spiel zu 60 Karten mit Königin und Magd unbedingt demjenigen zu 52 Karten ohne die beiden vorzuziehen.

[[…] as Johannes says, the purpose of the cards is to symbolize the court of the king in its wholeness, and this court would be incomplete without queen and maid. No king can lead a life without wife, out of two reasons: he needs to have children, and it follows the rule of decency. […] The king needs in all cases a Queen, and thus the game with 60 cards with Queen and Maid is clearly to be preferred over the game with 52 cards without them [Queen and Maid].]
Note that the author has to convince the reader –and himself, in my eyes—why he prefers the game of 60 cards over the one of 52 cards, making a transition from a war game to a court game. He does so by taking de Cessolis book as a model for Part 2 and Part 3 – and the number 13 of the number of cards of the original deck (king, 2 marschalli, 10 pip cards) being equivalent with the number of the different chess figures in Cessolis book (5 plus 8) builds him the bridge for this adaptation.

I propose that the initial remark of this very post that
“as well the translation of Kopp (1977) and the one of Bond (1878) can be read in the sense, that JvR invented the game with 60 cards/figures when sitting around and considering the proximity of the world and the cards.”
becomes significant at this stage:

After the first version of 1377 with 52 cards, there is some event some times later which makes him (or the other author of the archetype) to rethink the format and inventing the 60 cards-version. In this context, w.r.t. the “some times later”, reconsider the argument of R. Decker in “Brother Johannes and the year 1377”, The Playing Card 18 (1989), p. 46-47 (cited after Jönsson (2005), p. 363):
If playing-cards had only just arrived in the neighborhood of Basel in 1377, we would expect one form, not the range of mutations cited, …[for] a new game can travel quickly whereas new forms of a game evolve slowly.
One possible event making JvR rethink the situation and his first version of the tractatus can simply be that he gets into contact with a 4 * 14 deck containing already the queen – a northern Italian one for example.

For this, my proposition is that the queen is introduced into the northern Italian decks in view of the different situation there: the question of surviving of the dukes in early Renaissance times is not only to win the respective wars, but also to stay at power in their lifetime within the dukedom and to prolong their reign over the generations in a far more unstable environment in comparison to North of the Alps. In other words: the question of survival is not only a question of winning wars, but of reigning courts and their dukedom in an acceptable way -- see the “Il Principe” by Machiavelli which exactly takes this problem into consideration; note furthermore that Jakob Burckhard already gives an account on that in his famous book “Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860), ... e_in_Italy.

This leads to a different view on the role of women at courts in Renaissance: women at courts were seen as of same value as men, at court daughters were taught the same new Renaissance culture as sons. Jakob Burckhardt (1860) elaborates on this in ... 1860?p=401
[p 391] Zum Verſtändniß der höhern Geſelligkeit der Renaiſſance iſt endlich weſentlich zu wiſſen, daß das Weib dem Manne gleich geachtet wurde.

[For understanding the higher society of the Renaissance it is decisive to know that women were respected as being equivalent to men.]
[p 392] Vor Allem iſt die Bildung des Weibes in den höchſten Ständen weſentlich dieſelbe wie beim Manne. Es erregt den Italienern der Renaiſſance nicht das geringſte Bedenken, den literariſchen und ſelbſt den philologiſchen Unterricht auf Töchter und Söhne gleichmäßig wirken zu laſſen (S. 215); da man ja in dieſer neuantiken Cultur den höchſten Beſitz des Lebens erblickte, ſo gönnte man ſie gerne auch den Mädchen.

[First and foremost, the education of women in the highest ranks is principally the same as for men. Italians of the Renaissance don’t have the least concern to let the literary and even the philological tuition have equally its effects as well on daughters and sons; since one saw in this newantique culture the highest property, one granted it also willingly to the girls.]
[p. 393] Denn mit der Bildung entwickelt ſich auch der Individualismus in den Frauen höherer Stände auf ganz ähnliche Weiſe wie in den Männern […] In Italien haben ſchon während des ganzen XV. Jahrhunderts die Gemahlinnen der Herrſcher und vorzüglich die der Condottieren faſt alle eine beſondere, kenntliche Phyſiognomie, und nehmen an der Notorietät, ja am Ruhme ihren Antheil […] Von einer aparten, bewußten „Emancipation“ iſt gar nicht die Rede, weil ſich die Sache von ſelber verſtand. Die Frau von Stande mußte damals ganz wie der Mann nach einer abgeſchloſſenen, in jeder Hinſicht vollendeten Perſönlichkeit ſtreben.

[Because with the education, also the individualism within women of higher ranks developed in a similar way as within men […] In the whole XI. century, the wifes of the rulers and especially of the dukes [the former condottieri;vh0610] do have nearly all a specific, recognizable physiognomics, and they take part in the notoriety, even in the glory […] There is no notion of a separated, conscious “emancipation”, since the matter was clear in itself. Women of ranks had to strive – in an equal sense as men-- for a completed, in any perspective perfected personality. ]
In this light, the insertion of the queens in the Italian 4 * 14 deck symbolizes the transition from a pure war game to a court game. I propose that this transition took also place at the courts in Northern Italy in view of Ortalli, G. (1996). The Prince and the Playing Cards: The Este Family and the Role of Courts at the Time of the Kartenspiel-Invasion. Ludica, 2, 175-181.

[In the following, I take a constructive approach in order to formulate the hypothesis:]

By the cards being transported to the North, the Renaissance ideas are also transported to the North: This northern-Italian 4 * 14 deck makes JvR (or the author of the archetype) rethink the situation of the world and the cards – and by thinking of the queen, he also thinks of the famous chess game and de Cessolis book, which already contains the above mentioned Renaissance idea in the chapter on the Queen - and the thirteen cards for each colour and the thirteen pieces in the chess game.

He then takes the de Cessolis book as a model, takes the structure from it and adapts it to cards for his rewriting of his tractatus of 1377. For this, he needs one more noble figure – thus he invents the additional maiden of honour, in order not to stay in the war game context, but to transform as clearly as possible into the court game context -- which is what he wants to write about.

As for the dating of the event of JvR being confronted with the 4*14 deck, I propose to reconsider the contradiction also given in Jönsson (1998), p. 137, the well know passage of JvR:
Kartenspielen ist so gewöhnlich geworden, dass die Strassen voller Kinder sind, die auf den Strassen spielen

[Playing cards have become so common, that the streets are full of children playing on the streets]
A newly arrived game in 1377 cannot be at the same time have become so common that kids play it on the streets. Note that cards were certainly not easily available before there was not the necessary infrastructure for it. You have to have an abundance of cards that must be cheap before children can play with them on the streets. Note that the first papermill in Germany was founded in 1390 in Nuremberg, and the next one (geographically closer to Freiburg) in 1392 at Ravensburg.

Hence I propose to see the rewriting of the tractatus in the archetype version later than 1392.

[My personal perspective is that it happens at the council of Constance (1414-1418) or even closely later for it in the 1420ies, since we know of a lot of laws forbidding playing cards in that region around 1397 (including Constance 1379, Ulm 1397), but at the Council cards were the most important game as the Richenthal-Chronik tells us. The Council brought the whole Renaissance culture in a single event to the north of the Alps, Italians being more than half of the participants. And certainly there was an abundance of cards there such that children could play with them in the streets – but this is only my personal perspective.]

Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

This is a very impressive analysis, thank you.

My first impression with the last part, Queen among the court cards, is that I have to agree with you that Italians invented her. I have already thought that a long time. Bernardino of Siena mentions her in his sermon in Siena in 1424, along with the King and two Unters. Siena was not a court city, but a commune, a city state, but they did not necessarily invent this model of cards.

Tarot was invented when this was still the common cards in Italy. But later they rejected her, and had only King, Knight, and Valet. The same in Spain. But France rejected the Knight and kept the Queen. So the English cards took her, and most card games played now have King-Queen-Jack.

Your point from Burckhardt is remarkable; I had overlooked it. But he is right.

I like your view that the early Renaissance was transmitted north during Basel. It is a persuasive argument, that JvR's book was augmented at this time.

We might see a further re-fertilization later, when Filippo Maria Visconti designed the Tarot that had six court cards, where each male had a female equivalent. King-Queen, Male Knight-Female Knight, Male Valet, Female Valet.

The Florentine Tarot was male dominated, like their republican politics. Women had no role at all in the state. But in the courts, in Ferrara and Milan, the ladies were political players. Especially in Milan.

Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

hi, vh0610

Rosenfeld and the opinion of Google

This is a quote of Rosenfeld ...
In his entry “Johannes von Rheinfelden” in the still actual Verfasser-Datenbank (De Gruyter, 2012), a dictionary of all German authors:
Im 2. Teil (38r-116v) will J. die Moral der Vornehmen stärken. Er hält sich dabei (mit kleiner Änderung der Reihenfolge) genau an die 5 Kapitel der Schachallegorie, indem er König, Königin, Principalis princeps, Principales und Principales miliciae behandelt.
This was your translation ...
In the 2nd part (38r-116v) J. wants to strengthen the moral of the nobles. Thereby, he follows (with a slight change of the sequence) exactly the 5 chapters of the chess allegory, by dealing with king, queen, principalis princeps, principales and principales miliciae.
This is the opinion of google on the question ?[ "Principalis princeps" Cessolis ]?
It looks like there aren't many great matches for your search
and then follows a single link as a reply ...
Johannes von Rheinfelden - De Gruyter › vdbo.vlma.2091 › html
Name: Jacobus de Cessolis OP ... Kapitel der Schachallegorie, indem er König, Königin, Principalis princeps, Principales und Principales miliciae behandelt.
... precisely the link which leads to the comment of Rosenfeld and nothing else.

Who is wrong? Google, Cessolis or Rosenfeld? It seems difficult to link Cessolis (the great Master of the Schachallegorie) to the words "principalis princeps", although Rosenfeld had claimed, that this was a terminus, which was taken from the Schachallegory to the text of JvR by Johannes and this was done precisely ("genau").
Same negative result with ?[ "principales miliciae" Cessolis]?
A lot of google results for ?[ principales Cessolis ]?. Cessolis used this word princepales, no doubt. But JvR was creative, he had his own words. Indeed John uses 5 officers as chess has 5 different officers and naturally also the chess allegories. But JvR has two female figures and the chess allegories usually only one.

As I wrote in private communication, there is no precise relation between JvR- and Cessolistext. I think, even the Cessolis-Bearbeitungen on chess have a lot of differences to the original Cessolis text. For instance the work of Konrad of Ammenhausen, which itself was imitated in about 20 versions. ... mmenhausen



... :-) ... This entry can't serve as evidence, that part 2 and part 3 of the JvR-text was written much later than 1377. The publication year is 1719, that is 342 years after 1377 (in the case, that this sentence was really from Jacques Quétif, we have a date between 1652-98). ... :-) ... Master Ingold lost in 1432 his modern believers, cause he wrote, that he has read in a book, that playing cards came to Germany in the year 1300, which is only 132 years difference ... :-). This is a sort of dictionary article, and it is just ONE SENTENCE, not more. And we know, that this sentence appeared in the prolog of the work with 3 parts, from which the first part had 6 chapters.
Here is the "ONE SENTENCE" inside the Bond text ...


Roger Tilley translated this to German: ... "'De Moribus et Disciplina Humane Conversationis.' Denn der erste Teil wird sechs Titel haben."

Do you think, that the dictionary author did read the complete text of JvR to write this one sentence? No, he looked at the beginning (as we look up the impressum and the content), as far the author of this one sentence got this with this text, which has no impressum and no content, then he saw this sentence and thought it was the useful description, which he was looking for.
Not a reason to assume, that JvR worked 20 years or more on the text. JvR wrote in a happy mood, which was possible in 1377. In 1379 laws of the cities had parlty changed and prohibited playing cards. So there is an argument, that JvR wrote quickly.
Wencelas, the brother of emperor Charles IV was still happy with playing cards in 1379. Also the Wittelsbacher ...,_Duke_of_Bavaria
... Albert I (or Albrecht), son of Emperor Louis the Bavarian, was still happy with cards in 1378 ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=761&p=10875&hilit= ... urg#p10875
The daughter of Albert-Albrecht, Joanna * 1962, had married Wenzel * 1361, son of emperor Charles IV, who was crowned as Roman king in Aachen in 1376 in a big festivity and Joanna became Queen then c13 years old.
In 1379 the Wittelsbacher city Regensburg prohibited cards.

Re: Collection John of Rheinfelden

Hi Huck – yes, nice meeting you also in the forum! Hence, we continue our critical-constructive dialogue on the cards here.

In this light: I read your arguments and I have to admit that they do not convince me.

The first argument seems to be a misunderstanding: Jönsson (2005) gives on page 364 an account of the contents of Part II of JvR-Tractatus:
Part II is subdivided in the following chapters:

II.1. de rege […]
II.2. de regina […]
II.3. de principalis principe […]
II.4. de regimine principalis domine […]
II.5 de principie milicie […]

[thereby the omitted […] concern their duties and virtues, respectively]

Hence, Rosenfeld does not point titlewise to de Cessolis, but to JvR. JvR uses the then German structure of the court for the German kingdom as basis of his nomenclature:

principalis principe = the princes of the king in the sense of the feudal system as electoral dukes “Kurfürsten” = elders/judges/bishops; they have the jurisdical power over their princedoms

regimine principalis domine = noble (de)legates, i.e. proxy leaders of the house/court of the king

principe milicie = knights, chiefs of the army of the king

The chapter structure of de Cessolis is [see reference given above in my previous post]

On the King […]
On the Queen […]
On elders/judges (bishops) […]
On knights […]
On (de)legates […]

[thereby the omitted […] concern their duties and virtues, respectively]

Hence, when comparing both the JvR-structure with the de Cessolis-structure it becomes clear that they are identical with the exception that chapter 4 and chapter 5 are in inverted order. This is exactly what Rosenfeld says “with a slight change of the sequence”:
In the 2nd part (38r-116v) J. wants to strengthen the moral of the nobles. Thereby, he follows (with a slight change of the sequence) exactly the 5 chapters of the chess allegory, by dealing with king, queen, principalis princeps, principales and principales miliciae.
[A personal remark on Rosenfeld: as you, Huck, already know – and I am opening this to the public of this very forum--: I do not like at all the attitude and the style of Rosenfeld in many of his publications. He was a university professor of medieval culture and literature in Munich and has in my eyes the academic style of pre-1968 as a kind of demi-god [perhaps one even has to erase the “demi-”]. He even makes undercomplex comments as the tarots being a child game etc. (in Rosenfeld (1975)) – you find quite some of these bizarre statements in his articles.

However, this does not prevent me from checking his arguments in a scientific way and differentiating his arguments– wherever he makes structural sound points which follow logic and fit to an overall sound narrative, I cannot discard him. His scientific sound arguments don’t go away just because I do not like him. This is especially true for the decisive “postea” w.r.t. the further variants of the game mentioned above in the post.
[Perhaps I am saying this only because I see his academic training and that he was a professor - and I am also a university professor by profession. Hence my point might only be a déformation professionelle, as the French say.]]

Now why JvR makes this “slight change of the sequence”?

Note that quite obviously, the JvR-sequence follows his new order of the figure cards: King, Queen, Ober-Marschall, Maiden of Honour, Under-Marschall.

Note furthermore that the principales / (de)legates of the fourth JvR-chapter don’t really fit to maiden of honour: the (de)legates of the King are responsible for the court/house –and maiden of honour are close to the Court and to the House of the King, since the Queen is at the Court and in the House and maiden serve her, but are not in charge of the Court. Furthermore, (de)legates are, however, clearly male figures (see the latin genus of principalis) with far more competencies and tasks than maiden of honour.

These two points underpin my argument on the adaptation from chess to cards by JvR.

In this light, note that JvR (or the author of the archetype) hints at chess himself in the 1472 version Bond translated (page 88 of the journal, left column): ... us&f=false
But the subject of this treatise may be compared with the game of chess, for in both there are kings, queens, and chief nobles, and common people, so that both games may be treated in a moral sense.
This passage is quite strangely located at the cited place, because directly in front of it you find the famous boat-passage.
[…] return into the boat and proceed onwards as before. But the subject of this treatise may be compared with the game of chess […]
This “But the subject of this treatise may be compared with the game of chess […]” is totally unconnected to the preceding phrase by sense, it is clearly inserted in a later version.

The second argument about Quietif/Echard: I do not agree that they read rapidly until coming to the cited passage and then simply stated it as they did. Quietif was a monk with a lot of time, for him the word of sermons was close to the word of God – he collected sermons and his task was to preserve precisely the Dominican heritage. Note that Quietif died over his task and Echard had to take over from him.

I personally spent some several hours to detect the passages cited in the post – my experience is that they worked very correctly and precisely, giving lots of details where necessary.

For instance, Echard discovered precisely the year 1377 to insert the author at the correct place in the dictionary, see my argument above in the preceding post. You don’t find that year 1377 if you only look for the table of contents, marked with red colour.

Speaking about red colour marks in the manuscripts: I spent several hours trying to read these manuscripts. Red colour is heavily used to mark where a new sentence begins – and red colour (sometimes together with large initials) is also heavilyy used to indicate where chapters begin. If Echard would have been too sloppy –what I do not see at all—he would, having a big book in his hand and not a small tractatus—at least being puzzled and would have looked for the beginning of chapters. A very short glance on the manuscript and its length tells you that there are more parts than one part if the part 2 and parts 3 would have been present – but they were not there, at least not for Echard. I believe his word in view of the precision in the whole dictionary - especially when the book was ordered or visited in Caesatea, the "holy" library of the dominicans.

That only the first chapter was there, there is another argument: please check the table of contents in the JvR-treatise of the four versions we know from 1429 and 1472: it only speaks about the first part, not about the second and third part at the beginning. In this sense, the table of contents only contains the first part and is no table of contents in the full sense. However, by comparing with de Cessolis, which was a very common book in that time: the table of contents of de Cessolis speak about all four treatises right at the beginning. Hence it was best practice to give the full content and not less - otherwise it would not have been a table of contents. Hence we can deduce that there was only the first part at the beginning, since the table of contents only contain the first part.

For me, the issue is clear now, but this is my personal perception. I do not say that the theory I presented is the truth, since no one has or is in the truth. However, the presented theory helps to explain the clear inconsistencies and/or even contradictions in the text of JvR on the basis of scientific literature, mainly of Jönsson (he was a university professor of Latin in Lund) and others – and at least I cannot ignore the inconsistencies and contradictions, I have to deal with them.

I propose that any other theory which might be even more precise and better in any way --I would happily learn from it-- should at least be also able to explain these inconsistencies and contradictions, one by one, perhaps in a totally different way.