Huck wrote: 05 Sep 2022, 01:13
From the early Trionfi cards we have no clear evidence for the appearance of decks with 22 special cards. The oldest clear evidence seems to be the Tarocchi poem of Matteo Maria Boiardo. I personally see reasons to date this to January 1487
, so relative near to the Kabbala activities of Giovanni Pico de Mirandola in December 1486, who is presented as the first Christian Kabbalist.
^ excellent example of what I consider "crackpot."
This is so far out as an outlier position it doesn't merit addressing. No one would date the CY, which certainly forms the core of the 22 trumps, and PMB beyond the 1440s and 1450s, besides the various replacement card theories. And whence Giusti's reference to trionfi in 1440? All ignored.
As for Sortes, contrary to you categorizing them simply as a game they were taken seriously and the standard was 16 kings, not 22 (what is the provenance/date for the 22 king variant you posted about?).
The Latin term sortes is used in modern academia to refer to a textual genre which the Western European vernacular languages call “lot book” (German: “Losbuch”; Dutch: “lot boek”) or “book of sorts” (French: “livre de sorts”; Spanish: “libro de (las) suertes”; Italian: “libro delle sorti”); in English, this type of texts is also called “a book of fate” or “a book of fortune”. In medieval times, the terms sortes and sortilegium could be used in this narrow sense, but were also used to refer to all kinds of sortition and cleromancy. In fact, sortes texts are, in their general structure, comparable to other texts on sortileges, like Mantic Alphabets and geomantic tables but, although they share common features, the sortes form a separate genre and belong to a different tradition (Heiles 2018, 89–126; Lemaitre-Provost 2010, 49–56).There are two types of sortes texts: sortes without questions or “colecciones libres”, as Montero Cartelle (Montero Cartelle and Alsonso Guardo 2004, 20–31) calls them, and sortes with questions or “collectiones dirigidas” (Heiles 2018, 39–68; Luijendijk and Klingshirn 2019, 27). Both types provide a number of independent sayings and possess a special layout structure that makes it possible to read only one of these sayings selected through a random process. In its simplest form, a sortes without questions text is divided into 56 paragraphs and the reader is guided by a dice roll. The reader of the Sortes Sanctorum, a Latin sortes text written in late-antique Gaul and transmitted until the fifteenth century, for example, requires the reader to roll three dice and sort them by number. He then needs to look for a paragraph marked with his combination, e. g. 6–6–4. In this lucky case, he would be informed: “C.C.IIII. Deus te adiuvabit de quo cupis. Deum roga, cito perveniens ad quod desid-eras” (Sortes Sanctorum, eds. Montero Cartelle and Alsonso Guardo, 70) / 6–6–4 “God will help you regarding what you desire. Ask God, soon you will achieve what you wish.” While these texts make only unspecific declarations, the sortes with questions provide detailed answers to a given set of questions. The Prenostica Socratis Basilei, a twelfth-century Latin translation of Arabic sortes, for example, give a list of 16 questions. These sortes can tell the reader, inter alia, if it is a good idea to take a wife or not, if a captive will escape, if a pregnant woman will give birth to a boy or a girl, or if lost property will be recovered. Here, the reader must randomly select a number between two and ten (or between one and nine in older versions of the text), by creating a line of points without counting them, by turning a wheel, which will point to a number, or by throwing two dice (if the figure obtained exceeds number nine, this amount is subtracted). The result determines the answer. A table and set of diagrams lead the reader to his answer spoken by one of twelve kings. If the reader wishes to know, whether he should marry, and if his number is 10, the king of the Tatars would give him a clear answer: Caveas tibi ab uxore (Prenostica Socratis Basilei, eds. Montero Car-telle and Alonso Guardo, 234) – “Beware of the wife.” (Heiles, Marco. "Sortes". Prognostication in the Medieval World: A Handbook, edited by Matthias Heiduk, Klaus Herbers and Hans-Christian Lehner, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2020: 978-983, 978).
What is intriguing are the numbers noted above - 56 questions could be related to a 56 card deck. More intriguing, is the 16 questions in the Prenostica Socratis Basilei
, a twelfth-century Latin translation of Arabic sortes and its potential relationship of that to Marziano's work.
What has not been adequately explored, certainly not by M. Azzolini whose work focuses on the Sforza (mainly the latter ones, The Duke and the Stars, 2013), is the cultural borrowing, especially astrological and related "sciences", between the Visconti and German royal houses. Bernabo Visconti's children intermarriage with Germans is somewhat staggering:
(1351 – 28 September 1381), married on 13 October 1364 Stephen III, Duke of Bavaria
, by whom she had three children including Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen consort of King Charles VI of France
(1352 – bef. 11 March 1414), married on 23 February 1365 Leopold III, Duke of Inner Austria
, by whom she had six children.
(November 1353 – 3 January 1382), Lord of Parma in 1364; married in 1367 Elisabeth of Bavaria
, by whom he had one daughter.
(ca. 1354 – 26 March 1405), engaged in 1366 to King Frederick III of Sicily, but he died before the wedding took place; married 27 October 1380 Eberhard III, Count of Württemberg
, by whom she had three sons.
(ca. 1366 – 17 July 1404), married 9 April 1382 Frederick, Duke of Bavaria
, by whom she had five children including Henry XVI of Bavaria.
(1374 – 2 February 1432), married on 26 January 1395 Ernest, Duke of Bavaria
, by whom she had five children including Albert III, Duke of Bavaria.
(ca. 1380 – 14 April 1424), married firstly on 28 June 1399 Frederick of Thuringia (future Elector of Saxony)
but the union was dissolved on grounds of non-consummation shortly after; married secondly on 24 January 1407 Edmund Holland, 4th Earl of Kent. No issue.
That's 7 marriages to German princes/princesses, not to mention their ensuing children who had Visconti blood and ongoing relations.
Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1351 - 1402), was himself married to one of these siblings/offspring of Bernabo, Caterina. What is intriguing about him is his alliance with Wenceslaus (1361 –1419), King of the Romans, Germany and of Bohemia (deposed 1400) and as king assumed the government of the Holy Roman Empire, but never crowned as such, from whom Visconti received the title of Duke of Milan from in 1395 for 100,000 florins. They attempted to help each other with their respective goals of King of Lombardy (Italy even?) and Holy Roman Emperor.
An intriguing illuminated book made in Prague for Wencelaus is Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Cod. 2352, dated to 1392 (3 years before the Duchy of Milan is granted to Visconti), which features the Sortes version Prenostica Socratric Baslilei
and also features a symbolic Rota Fortuna (with the “regno” terms found in tarot) and the additional astrological material of Michael Scot's Liber introductorius
, shifting the focus on fate to things astrological. The Prenostica Socratis Basilei
,to reiterate,, is the Latin translation of Arabic sortes, with the list of 16 questions,
which begs the question as to whether Visconti had a version of this via his ally...and again, did this influence Marziano in any way with his 16 heroum
MS 2352 can be viewed here: https://digital.onb.ac.at/RepViewer/vie ... iew=SINGLE
A few images from it:
The title page for the opening Michael Scots section features an astronomer, but this leaf, featuring the motto of Wencelaus and impresa, precedes the sortes section as a second title page within the codex:
Sol and Luna remain little changed from the earlier use in the Visconti castle frescoes at Angera, right, and this MS - Michael Scot's Liber
provided a fairly stable copybook of astrological images
And the 16th king, followed by the alphabet wheel with lot numbers cast (the preceding folios feature 3 kings per sheet):