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A 16th century interpretation of the Popesse.

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A 16th century interpretation of the Popesse.


In one anonymous 16th century Italian tarocchi appropriati sonnet not only is the Papesse or Holy Spouse and Mother (signora Mama) as empty space identified with the evil of nothingness (following the line of St. Augustine), if I interpret it right there is a suggestion she is spouse to a mad God!?

Our poet represents her as the firmament of heaven (cielo ~ heaven, firmament, skies) whose beauty it seems is hated by all those who covet to live assembled together in her haughty visage (such as the sun, moon, star, angel and the world). Everything in the vast countenance of her face is so humbled, that it can but appear proud, haughty and high-minded in comparison:

"Par che l'angel, la stella, il sol, la luna
Col mondo, et chi con lui di viver brama,
Odiano la beltà, che il cielo aduna
Nel viso altier de la signora Mama.


Maybe they hate her because she is but empty space with nothing of value that they can love; perhaps even because neither death nor the waterways of fortune can recall her from her fixed course:

Forsi per esser tra le Dee queste una
Che lor spogli del ben, che 'l valor ama,
O pur, per che ne morte, o ria fortuna
Dal fermo suo voler maj la richiama:

Surely belief in the wickedness of this woman's spirit is affirmed by all those who place only the dice man (baratinno) beneath her, and by her being able to say "The good/best tarot (card) shall be for myself, it is my play, and I draw out this one called Matto or the brain divine."

però dee creder fermamente ognuno
Ch'un spirtito malvagio habbia costej
Supposta solamente al Barattino
Per poter dire i buoni tarocchi mej
Saran, s'avien ch'io giuochi, et questi uno
Vo trare il Matto ch'è cervel divino.


Kwaw
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My Italian is rather poor, and perhaps I am missing something obvious, but why are you interpreting this as the Papesse?

If it is due to the title of the sonnet (here missing?), then it may be of course obvious in context.

In terms of the 'holy spouse and mother', the implication is not that of expected motherhood, but the equivalent, I would have thought, of 'mother superior' (as in nun), who is indeed 'holy spouse' in the context.

This is indeed a potentially interesting sonnet, and would certainly like to see more of the context and translation!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmd
My Italian is rather poor, and perhaps I am missing something obvious, but why are you interpreting this as the Papesse?

If it is due to the title of the sonnet (here missing?), then it may be of course obvious in context.

In terms of the 'holy spouse and mother', the implication is not that of expected motherhood, but the equivalent, I would have thought, of 'mother superior' (as in nun), who is indeed 'holy spouse' in the context.

This is indeed a potentially interesting sonnet, and would certainly like to see more of the context and translation!
I would love to see a proper translation JMD as I am sure my own attempt is full of possibly serious errors (any Italian speaking members wish to have a go?). Vitalli as I relate in thread here:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...&postcount=261

gives bagatinno for baratinno, who is the only one beneath her, ie, as is order I bagatella, II papesse. There is no word meaning holy in original only signora Mama or Mrs. Mother if you like, but there is Dee ~ goddesses, is she among them or not? Don't know, I have assumed she like them is a goddess. So there is only one card beneath her, so depending on order it could be empress too I suppose?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmd
This is indeed a potentially interesting sonnet, and would certainly like to see more of the context and translation!
Here is another go at translation, with an interlinear text so anyone can see my reasoning and hopefully anyone with a better understanding of Italian may offer some suggestions for correction:

Original text:

"Par che l'angel, la stella, il sol, la luna
Col mondo, et chi con lui di viver brama,
Odiano la beltà, che il cielo aduna
Nel viso altier de la signora Mama.
Forsi per esser tra le Dee queste una
Che lor spogli del ben, che 'l valor ama,
O pur, per che ne morte, o ria fortuna
Dal fermo suo voler maj la richiama:
però dee creder fermamente ognuno
Ch'un spirtito malvagio habbia costej
Supposta solamente al Barattino
Per poter dire i buoni tarocchi mej
Saran, s'avien ch'io giuochi, et questi uno
Vo trare il Matto ch'è cervel divino.

My translation:

"It appears that the angel, star, sun, and moon
With the world, whom all covet to live with her,
Hate the beauty that the firmament assembles
In the haughty visage of Lady Mother.
Maybe to be one among these Goddesses
She is stripped of the good, of things to love,
Or because neither death nor guilty fortune
From her own firm will can ever recall her:
Everybody must firmly believe this
Woman, above only the Bagatella,
Has to possess a spirit of wickedness;
One able to say "the good tarot card shall be
for myself, to play as I please, and I draw
this one, the Matto or brain of the divine."

Interlinear:

"Par che l'angel, la stella, il sol, la luna
It seems that the angel, the star, the sun, the moon

Col mondo, et chi con lui di viver brama,
With the world, and who with it to live covets,

Odiano la beltà, che il cielo aduna
Hate the beauty, that the skies gather

Nel viso altier de la signora Mama.
In the face proud of Mrs. Mother.

Forsi per esser tra le Dee queste una
Maybe among to be between Goddesses these one

Che lor spogli del ben, che 'l valor ama,
That they strip of the good, of the values to love

O pur, per che ne morte, o ria fortuna
Or perhaps, because neither death, nor perditious fortune

Dal fermo suo voler maj la richiama:
Can from her fixed will recall her:

però dee creder fermamente ognuno
but so must believe firmly everyone

Ch'un spirtito malvagio habbia costej
that a spirit wicked has this woman

Supposta solamente al Barattino
above only the Bagattino

Per poter dire i buoni tarocchi mej
so able to say the good tarot for myself

Saran, s'avien ch'io giuochi, et questi uno
shall be, my pleasere to play, and this one

Vo trare il Matto ch'è cervel divino.
I draw the Matto (also called) brain divine.

Kwaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
I would love to see a proper translation JMD as I am sure my own attempt is full of possibly serious errors (any Italian speaking members wish to have a go?). Vitalli as I relate in thread here:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...&postcount=261

gives bagatinno for baratinno, who is the only one beneath her, ie, as is order I bagatella, II papesse. ...it could be empress too I suppose?
Given that it is probably not only from the same period but the same court that has the following order in a related example of tarocchi appropriati:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...93&postcount=3

Then it is most likely the Empress as trump II that is being referred to.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
Given that it is probably not only from the same period but the same court that has the following order in a related example of tarocchi appropriati:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...93&postcount=3

Then it is most likely the Empress as trump II that is being referred to.

Kwaw
There again it is clearly stated the card she takes for herself is the Matto? And in the other related tarocchi appropriati text Mama Riminaldi is also identified witht the Matto.

Can the line:

Supposta solamente al Barattino

be read not 'beneath her only the Baratinno' ', but 'underfoot of even the Barattino' (the smallest sum)?

(supposta = underfoot, solamente = only, but only that, that reads to me as only the Baratinno is beneath her).

from suppost to set under, also a disciple or follower, as in un suppost du divell - a limb of the devil; so perhaps it can be read as disciple or follower alone, or only follower, of the sweet talker so able to say etc.,

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
Supposta solamente al Barattino
The following is from the first couple of paragraphs of the Steele Sermon, it is my own translation and as my Latin is very poor I cannot assure accuracy so please be careful of quoting as it probably contains many errors:


Who invented the game? About whom do we complain and on what evidence? I answer upon the origins of three games of chance: dice, cards and triumphs. All these St. Thomas and many others agree were invented by the devil and explain it in this manner. For in the early church the Bishop of a community formed parish churches and chapels, so that each community had its bishop and parish priests and chaplains and collected holy relics of the Saints and consecrated the altars and the chalices and the hosts. And all the faithful congregated together at the churches in large numbers to celebrated Christ’s birth. And of such magnitude was their divine praise, that by their songs and organs the air and the whole universe was filled with praises. And from thence the spirits fled to the lower regions where the great Lucifer asked them why so many had fled the light. Thereupon a demon named Azarus arose and explained why they had fled. “But”, he added, “if you have the strength to obey me, I shall overturn them to forswear God and love yourself.”
“And what will you do?' asked Lucifer.
“I shall set up”, Azarus replied, “in the towns, the encampments and the villages the bishopric of the gambling house, and the bookie will be the true bishop. On the night of the Nativity more people will come to our church than to God’s. Our parish church will be the tavern, the tavern keeper our priest, the wine cellar our chapel, the cellarman our chaplain. The house bank will be our sacristy, dice made of animal bones our holy relics, the cards our images, the bench our altar, the game board our holy paten, the goblet of wine our chalice, a gold coin our host, the dice will be the Missal, whose pages are the cards and triumphs.” Each of the 21 points of the dice consecrates you to the devil. These 21 points are the steps to hell. Every dice has six faces, six rooms where are these steps, and they signify 21 games of chance named after demons.


The words I have emboldened above, gambling house and bookie, are in the original latin “Constituam,” ait, 'in civitatibus ET castris ET villis episcopatum seu baratariam, ET episcopum baraterium verum.

Possibly related to the title of 'Barattino' given to the bagatelle in the Italian tarocchi appropriati poem above?

In relation to names of games of fortune being the names of demons, the demons name Azarus for example is based upon the gambling dice game Azar (hazard)

Kwaw
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Romantic poems


I argued (in 1998 and occasionally since then) that our cards were used for a particular form of verse-making memory game known as the joc partits in medieval Provence, and later because it became the rage in all the relevant courts of Europe, simply as the 'joc' or 'giuoco' etc.

This quotation an excellent confirmation (as I believe it is) that the 'tokens' and 'papers' and 'letters' mentioned in accounts of these games included arcana major pictures by the names we still call them.

Anyone wanting to read how these romantic poetry-composition games went, and how they required one to assume a pose of being totally ravished by the beauty of one's assigned partner in play should try to get hold of a book entitled

Social Customs of 16thC Italy, and their influence on the Literature of Europe.

(sorry, I'm repeating the title from memory, but I think that's right.)

I quote another important example of this prevalent recreation, - the Alphabet game - in an article which I have (still?) posted at world of playing cards website.

Thanks Kwaw.
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Barratry


Fraudent practices by a master mariner in respect to the owners of his ship.

of lawyers: deliberately stirring up quarrels or law suits

of ecclesiastics: fraudelently selling off offices of the church

of ministers and servants of government: ditto, offices of the state.

I think, Kwaw, you will already see the appropriateness of this word barratry. But others may like to know that the memory cards were intended to represent the 'arca' or ship/library of memory, and we have records of at least one lawyer carrying images to assist his memory of current briefs.

Again, a cleric says that the pack of cards is like the daily 'brief' or breviary to be recited.

I don't think that you can translate the term to give 'bookie' and 'gambling' Better 'con-artist' and 'fraud' I should say.
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Thanks for the references Diane, I am aware of course that you have done some original research in regards to the relation of cards to verbal games that I am sure many here would be very interested in.

This particular example of the Tarocchi Appropriati as I have referenced in another thread in this forum was first published in:

Berti and Vitali 1987. "Le carte di corte. I tarocchi" p.107-108.

Vitalli and others discuss it over at TarotL in thread linked to in post above.

Ross Caldwell has produced a chronological list of Tarocchi appropriati sources here:

http://trionfi.com/0/p/28/

In the Exploring the Cary sheet thread in the Marseille section mention is also made upon the meaning of iugler / ioungler not only to jugglers and sleight of hand conjurors but as rhymers, poets or 'verbal tricksters' too that might be of interest.

Kwaw
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