This is a sort of "new research", as far I see it, running since 6th December 2011. So it's not really "very old".
This is about various Chaos-topics, which in the recent past dominated the discussions and which somehow relate to the Tarot topic. Mainly there are three developments, but I just take them as TRIPERUNO, which just means "Three-for-one" and for this I have my personal smiling reasons.
Chaos of Minchiate Francesi
A focus had been recently at the deck of Francois Poilly
: "Minchiate Francesi". This deck is dated usually c. 1730, but I contradict and assume for some good reasons a dating of c. 1660. This is - in my opinion - a very interesting topic, specifically cause of the "Chaos at begin".
Involved in this theme are Stefano della Bella, who made a Greek mythology deck in usual 52-cards structure 1644 for the young French king Louis XIV. and engravings collector Marolles, who once wrote the first French Tarot rules (1637/1655) and a playing card ballett with participation of Tarot cards (1657).
Further the cartomancy developer Etteilla, who also had as first card the Chaos.
From the Poilly
Minchiate exist 3 versions, though the pictures seem to have been always the same. One version had 42 special cards, another 41 and a third had 22, all added with usual 56 cards, which had as suits 4 continents.
Discussion at ...
Chaos in Poilly
Indirectly related to the Poilly
discussion is the Petit Oracle des Dames (c. 1800), which is a mix of Etteilla Tarot cards motifs and influences from common Cartomancy decks (under suspicion is a 66 cards deck of c. 1790, which we only know by short description).
Etteilla's Chaos looked this way:
... and it also (as in the Poilly
version II and in Ovid presentation by Marolles) was connected to card 1 or "begin". Etteilla connected it to the "Questionnaire".
In a similar form it reappeared in the Petit Oracle des Dames, then parted in Consultant and Consultante as card Nr. 22:
Well, it lost the Nr. 1, but the Etteilla Tarot had turned to a good part the numbers of the Tarot, so that begin (more or less) had become the end, and the end had become the begin. So actually this No. 22 actually means No. 1 before.
"Chaos" appeared first time in a few lines of Hesiod's god genealogies:
(ll. 116-138) Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all (4) the deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros (Love), fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men within them. From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but of Night were born Aether (5) and Day, whom she conceived and bare from union in love with Erebus. And Earth first bare starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought forth long Hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs who dwell amongst the glens of the hills. She bare also the fruitless deep with his raging swell, Pontus, without sweet union of love. But afterwards she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire.
(later ... ll. 211-225) And Night bare hateful Doom and black Fate and Death, and she bare Sleep and the tribe of Dreams. And again the goddess murky Night, though she lay with none, bare Blame [= Momus] and painful Woe, and the Hesperides who guard the rich, golden apples and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Ocean. Also she bare the Destinies and ruthless avenging Fates, Clotho and Lachesis and Atropos (10), who give men at their birth both evil and good to have, and they pursue the transgressions of men and of gods: and these goddesses never cease from their dread anger until they punish the sinner with a sore penalty. Also deadly Night bare Nemesis (Indignation) to afflict mortal men, and after her, Deceit and Friendship and hateful Age and hard-hearted Strife.
This picture (I don't know, how old it is) shows Chaos, Nyx = Night and Erebos, brother and husband of Night.
I followed with the last assumption the given web page, but Ross corrected me in this statement:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
Point of correction:
There is no "Chaos" nor "Erebos" in this Christian icon. It shows "Esaias" (ΗϹΑΙΑϹ, the biblical prophet Isaiah) between Nyx, night (correct) and Orthros, dawn (liturgical).
"This magnificent miniature showing the prophet Isaiah at prayer, between Nyx, the night and Orthros, the young day, belongs to the world-famous book of psalms known as the Paris Psalter. It is a tenth century manuscript from Byzantium, from the metropolis Constantinople and was brought to Paris only in 1557/9 by the ambassador Jean Hurault de Boistaillé."
I agree with Ross in this point. A representation shows originally Nyx, but NOT Chaos and Erebos.
Finish of "LATER ADDED"
Here we have Temperance (Petit Oracle des Dames) mixed with Nuit (= Night = Nyx)
Here we have night and day in Etteilla versions:
Erebos is given at the picture with a torch.
Erebos is in myths NOT identical with Hymenaios, but Hymenaios also was signified with a torch
Festival book 1475 for the marriage between Camilla Aragon and Costanzo Sforza.
And Hymenaios, who was a rather important mythological figures for weddings, often accompanied triumphal processions at the opportunities of weddings. For such opportunities occasionally were "trionfi decks" were produced, the forerunners of the Tarot cards.
And a Hymenaios appears in the Petit Oracle des Dames:
Another figure of Chaos-group in Hesiod's text, is the son of Nyx, Momus. He appears in the Poilly
Minchiate in all 3 versions. Twice he has an "unnumbered state" and once he has the number "29".
and in the 42 card version he gets the 29:
Momus had been already part of the early discussions in 15th century, when Trionfi cards were invented. Leon Battista Alberti wrote a Momus version in 1443-150, possibly reacting on the happy life in Ferrara, where h had oce before, where he became acquainted with the text of the satiric writer Lucian, and Lucian also wrote about Momus. Momus became part of a sort of triumhal celebration by Renee d'Anjou 1462 in Provence and then influenced forms of early French carnival. Momus is likely also the background for this early beggar ...
.. and this late beggar called Miseria:
.. both Tarocchi cards (Mantegna Tarocchi and Taracco Sicilano.
More to this at ...
Well, the third CHAOS
A third Chaos took place between me and mainly MikeH, when we started to discuss the CAOS DEL TRIPERUNO (1527) of Teofilo Folengo in the days of the foolish boy bishop before Christmas 2011 and after Christmas.
This is a brainstorm and by far not ready. We smashed 3 threads full of ideas and not much will understand the procedere. And, as said, we're not finished ...
It's about Teofilo Folengo
Basically there are 5 Tarocchi Sonnets in the heart of that, what we (or at least me) call "chapter 12" of the Triperuno. Actually this chapter 12 is a dialog between Limerno (pseudonym of Teofilo Folengo; this pseudonym wrote the Orlandino, which is a work about the youth of the hero Orlando), and Triperuno (the major figure; another pseudonym of Folengo, and in the course of the Triperuno the figure of Tiperuno has a lot of poems), and into this discussion comes Fulica, well, a third component and again a pseudonym of Theofilo Folengo. Fulica gets not so much text, but stands for the religious perspective (Folengo was a Benedectine monk). Fulica appears, when the Tarocchi sonnets are just finished.
[Last sonnet by Limerno just finished]
Limerno: But what miracle is this that I now see, my [dear] Triperuno?
Limerno: That solemn fool of a Fulica I see coming toward us.
So it's clear, Fulica is the personified Fool (at least in Limerno's opinion), and he naturally appears, when Limerno is ready with his Tarocchi.
Well, another pseudonym of Folengo had been before active, Merlinus Coccai, and Merlinus had his show before Fuilica, and Fulica replaces Merlinus. Merlnus Coccai had written the Baldo, which was a very successful adventure story around a hero called Baldo, and this text was already famous for his satiric attitude. Something like Don Quichotte, or Pulci's Morgante, or Boiardo's Orlando or Ariost's Orlando, but just a little more satiric and a little more complicated as likely all of them. Baldo is called the forerunner of Rabelais "Gargantua", if you understand, what I mean. Folengo is a sort of James Joyce of early 16th century, and - as James Joyce isn't understood, similar Folengo isn't understood and especially the Triperuno has the glamour to be not understood.
All this you might explore, if you follow one these links and all lead into the Caos del Triperuno,
The Baldo has also pictures, here's one ...
... anyway, I think, the mystery of the Triperuno-Tarocchi-sonnets is, that they are of greater importance, as the innocent reader might discover at first moment. And if you don't discover the riddle of the Tarocchi sonnets, you've no real chance to understand the Triperuno work.
And the greater context between Chaos I and Chaos II and Chaos III ...
Folengo wrote the Triperuno 1527, when the Tarocchi game hadn't a big presence in France. Then Rabelais detected the text and published his first Gargantua text 1534. Naturally it took some time till the Gargantua text had arrived a successful state.
Around 1580 the Tarocchi game reached a successful state in France with a height likely c. 1620-1625, in a time, when the Italian king's mother Maria de Medici had still a greater part of her influence. Then the French king and his mother got trouble between each other and the Italian influence went down in France. However, some Tarot interest we can still perceive till around 1660. Then it seems, as if the game became less interesting for some time.
With Copernicus and Galileo we see raising doubts about the geocentric model of the world . Galileo died 1442 as a prisoner. One year later the French king died and the 5 years old Louis became king of France and already in young years he was styled as "Sun-king" or "le Roi-Soleil", which somehow indictes, that at least some persons adapted the heliocentric model. The medieval times were gone and a new time appeared and the phase of the Age of Enlightenment started. Tarot was medieval and beside of this it was in French eyes a game of the Germans and had Empress and Emperor, and this didn't really fit with a world, in which the most mighty person in Europe had been the French king. It's not really a wonder, that Tarot interests in France went down - just then.
deck - likely arranged c. 1660 - drops at the begin of this development, when Louis XIV. just started to reign actively. It also appears, when just the current most influential man in France died, cardinal Mazarin.
Mazarin loved playing cards since his youth (he had a relative humble origin). As a part of his well running career he had organized gambling activities, and by this he gained some of his political influence. In 1443, when the French king and cardinal Richelieu died, Mazarin became very mighty. Mazarin arranged, that the young 5-year-old king got educative playing cards .. and so the 17th century became full of educative playing cards. The commissioned artist Stefano della Bella made also one mythology deck and this project definitely influenced later Poilly
Mazarin by Nicolas Poilly
, brother of Francois Poilly
, the Minchiate engraver
Young Louis XIV with Mazarin picture by Francois Poilly
both pictures at ...
Mazarin had a further favor and this was his love to Merlinus Coccai alias Teofilo Folengo. He, well known for his excellent memory, is said to have quoted longer passages of Folengo by heart. If the Caos of Triperuno belonged to his repertoire and favor, I don't know, but we have the feature, that the Chaos idea entered the Poilly
deck and that this idea wasn't dead, when Etteilla took up his new development with new Tarot cards.
There are doubts, if the Poilly
decks immediately became very important for the French playing card development c. 1660, but this form survived at least about 100 years. And Francois Poilly
the elder got a high-ranked engraver position at the French court in the time of Louis XIV, and his family (between them a series of other engravers) profited from this a very long time.
The usual Tarot wasn't seen as a Tarot deck for cartomancy likely till c. 1850. Etteilla's version was, but if one should decide, if Etteilla's version between 1800-1850 had been more successful than the Petit Oracle des Dames (which also included Tarot cards in Etteilla style), I wouldn't be sure. And the Petit Oracle des Dames had 42 cards, similar to one of the Michiate versions of Poilly