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Momus The God of Mockery

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Very early pictures of Momus are rare. This is one ... from Luca Signorelli, the "education of Pan". Lost during WWII.


http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27%C3%89ducation_de_Pan

Large:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._distrutto.jpg

And there's the old man with stick again, already shown at the Heemskerk picture above:



Momus appears possibly twice ... (see the figure left of Pan at the Signorelli picture)
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.... and that's possibly the prototype ...



The beggar, Mantegna Tarocchi No. 01

Leon Battista Alberti died 20 April 1472 in Rome.

In contrast to other theories about the "so-called" Mantegna Tarocchi (dated usually c. 1465) Trionfi.com takes the position, that it was produced c.1474/75 in Rome, so relative short after Alberti's death.
Alberti's "Momus" was then likely known only by insider cycle's.
The Mantegna Tarocchi beggar is accompanied by dogs, later an attribute for the Fool card. Dogs were a general attribute of Diogenes, the founder of Cynicism. Lucian had a general favor for this philosophy.



Diogenes made it to become a Trionfi card motif in the 1470s ...


http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=131

Later Diogenes' lantern ...



... merged with the hour glass of the Hermit ...


http://expositions.bnf.fr/renais/arret/3/

... to a lantern with Hermit.



Ironically, very much later, he found the dog again, now with 3 heads.


http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ci...de/tarot09.htm

It's not so sure, if somebody remembered Lucian, Momus, Alberti or Diogenes in this case.

Alberti (possibly) wrote another anonymous work, "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili", at least some believe, that it was Alberti, who wrote it.
http://books.google.de/books?id=ocUH...DMYPro7Aw&hl=e
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Quote:
It is not certain when exactly Lucianís works appeared in Europe. Several options are taken into consideration. One of*them indicates that Giovanni Aurispa, during his trip to Constantinopole in 1425, brought 238 Greek manuscripts, including the texts of Lucian. Other sources say that Gurino Guarini brought the manu-script about 1408, and soon published several of the works in Latin translation. Nonetheless, another source indicates that in 1397 Manuel Chrysoloras brought to Florence a manuscript with the writings of Lucian to teach his student Greek. Disagreement involves also the time of the edition princeps. Reported dates are: 1496 and 1525, but at least the place of the 1st edition is not a subject of dispute and is commonly accepted to be Florence.
So I am not sure when Alberti first loved 'Lucien of Samosata' works.

I am tackling it back to front.
It is assumed that the Visconti Fool is related to the Tdm Fool.
Why? they are as different as the Tdm Fool to the RWS Fool in image.
The Tdm Fool looks like every-mans version of a Cynic (old philosophy)
A Cynic (the forerunner to Stoic) is this........
The classical Greek and Roman Cynic regarded virtue as the only necessity for happiness, and saw virtue as entirely sufficient for attaining happiness. The ideal Cynic would evangelize; as the watchdog of humanity, it was their job to hound people about the error of their ways. The example of the Cynic's life (and the use of the Cynic's biting satire) would dig-up and expose the pretensions which lay at the root of everyday conventions.

So (taking a leap here) if the Tdm type was associated with the Visconti type- then the card makers saw the connection as well. By the Fool alone, the deck showed satire.
So if this connection is there- the Visconti type deck is also satire.
It seems to me Alberti in his writings (even Canis) later in life were 'cynical' (not as it is known to day)
To take a play like 'Momus' with it's Mount Olympus cast of Gods- and reflect it down here on Earth, Northern Italy is the human Olympus, where vanity, greed, fame and fortune + Virtue, are just like Momus's cast of characters.
Indeed the rumour that the Pope is like Jupiter, The Empress like Venus, The Emperor is Mars has some validity.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne View Post
So I am not sure when Alberti first loved 'Lucien of Samosata' works.
Well, that's the point I spoke about. Me thought earlier, that Alberti learned about Lucian by Guarino, from whom he got some texts.
But then I detected Lepidus, foe to the trick-artist Alexander and an Epicurean in the Alexander text, and then I thought, that Alberti might have taken this pseudonym for his Philodoxus. Then he would have known something about Lucian already in 1424.


Quote:
I am tackling it back to front.
It is assumed that the Visconti Fool is related to the Tdm Fool.
Why? they are as different as the Tdm Fool to the RWS Fool in image.
The Tdm Fool looks like every-mans version of a Cynic (old philosophy)
A Cynic (the forerunner to Stoic) is this........
The classical Greek and Roman Cynic regarded virtue as the only necessity for happiness, and saw virtue as entirely sufficient for attaining happiness. The ideal Cynic would evangelize; as the watchdog of humanity, it was their job to hound people about the error of their ways. The example of the Cynic's life (and the use of the Cynic's biting satire) would dig-up and expose the pretensions which lay at the root of everyday conventions.

So (taking a leap here) if the Tdm type was associated with the Visconti type- then the card makers saw the connection as well. By the Fool alone, the deck showed satire.
So if this connection is there- the Visconti type deck is also satire.
It seems to me Alberti in his writings (even Canis) later in life were 'cynical' (not as it is known to day)
To take a play like 'Momus' with it's Mount Olympus cast of Gods- and reflect it down here on Earth, Northern Italy is the human Olympus, where vanity, greed, fame and fortune + Virtue, are just like Momus's cast of characters.
Indeed the rumour that the Pope is like Jupiter, The Empress like Venus, The Emperor is Mars has some validity.
... :-) ... your mind is strangled by Tarot questions.

Alberti influenced the general spirit of his time, and the time produced tarot on a long way, which possibly took some decades. Some of the steps of this long way might have taken influences from Alberti.
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Quote:
... :-) ... your mind is strangled by Tarot questions.
Aye!

Quote:
Alberti influenced the general spirit of his time, and the time produced tarot on a long way, which possibly took some decades. Some of the steps of this long way might have taken influences from Alberti.
I might believe that if there was NOT a Michelino deck. Or for that matter a Sola Busca complete deck. Or Playing cards complete at inception. I am not talking about 22 + 56.
I am saying 5 x 14 all at once. Like you counted the groups in Philodoxious, how about counting the cast of Momus?
Oh some writers say Momus 1430 others say 1450- that is a twenty year space.

~Rosanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne View Post
Aye!



I might believe that if there was NOT a Michelino deck. Or for that matter a Sola Busca complete deck. Or Playing cards complete at inception. I am not talking about 22 + 56.
I am saying 5 x 14 all at once. Like you counted the groups in Philodoxious, how about counting the cast of Momus?
Oh some writers say Momus 1430 others say 1450- that is a twenty year space.

~Rosanne
I would give it a try, if I had a complete text with translation.

But Alberti wasn't a man, who repeated himself too often. If he played a specific literary trick in the theater play, he possibly wouldn't use it elsewhere. Somebody called Alberti a chameleon cause his many variations in style.
http://www.academia.edu/1051172/Flir...lberti_on_Love
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Huck I did not mean to say 'count the cast' in such a rude way. Sorry.

I have counted 15 Gods so far in Momus- but on the Grasin Ceiling roundel you posted there appears to be 18 characters.
I have a Latin 'Momus' coming to me, as well as the Sarah Knight Book+ translation. It will take a few days.
So in 'Momus' you have 'Fortune' who rivals 'Virtue'. "Virtue has 3 daughters- Praise/Trophy/Triumph. Jupiter has the contest 'to make' things, Momus gives 'nothing' and is scolded and promptly gives a plague of bugs and biting things etc. There is also 'Fate' and 'Chronus', along with the likes of Juno/Mercury/Mars/Apollo/Mischief and a Suitor Heracles who rapes 'Praise' and 'Rumour' is born of Momus and 'Praise'. There is the God/soldier 'Thersites'
of whom it is said ""Fool, who in sack of towns lays temples waste, and tombs, the sanctuaries of the dead! He, sowing desolation, reaps destruction." and is depicted as a armored soldier been beaten with a club for telling the truth.

I like what Alberti says of the work...
"I have decided to write this story down, so it might cause us to lead a rational life."

It also might have made a rational game.
~Rosanne
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Here is an excerpt from a critique of 'Momus' and the Sarah Knight translation. It is just a broad brush of the theme - but interesting. It does not really give any cast numbers.

Quote:
The plot of the story is so absurdly intricate as to preclude a full summary here, but in broadest terms: Momus flees from heaven on the eve of his trial for treason for criticizing the creations of various gods, and especially Jupiter's shortsightedness in creating mortals with such grandeur that they engendered the envy of the gods, necessitating as an afterthought his afflicting them with all manner of hardships. In exile on earth, Momus undermines mortals' appreciation of the gods, but then, for his encouraging women to make votive offerings to enhance their beauty, he is recalled to heaven, where he is determined to survive now by simulation in the divine court. Eventually the humans' offerings and demands become so nettlesome, as Momus intended, that Jupiter decides that he needs to re-create the world, with all the courtier gods giving advice on his ambitious scheme. Momus offers up a notebook of precepts from philosophers, a rare authentic act to help, which Jupiter ignores, preferring to make his own journey down to earth. Eventually Jupiter decides that he does not need to re-fashion the world because he realizes that mortals cherish the gods after all, and that Momus has libeled them. Momus, who earlier had been castrated by Juno and other goddesses for his contemptuous attitude toward women--a reflection of Alberti's own misogyny in evidence throughout the story--is now chained to a rock in the sea. Jupiter, after losing control of the divine sphere and scrapping his plans to re-construct the mortal one, eventually reads the notebook of philosophical advice for princes that Momus assembled for him.
The story in broadest terms depicts the hard-won education of Jupiter as a bumbling prince who foolishly honored Momus when he was most dissembling and ignored him when he was most earnest. But the targets of Alberti's satire extend well beyond the foibles of princes, popes, and courtiers. The various visitations to earth by those from above (Momus and Jupiter) as well as those from below (Charon) offer many opportunities to criticize various worldly pursuits and archetypes: professions including the military life, kingship, and commerce are dismissed in ironic preference to the life of the beggar after Lucian's*The Parasite; philosophers are lampooned for theorizing about nature, moral duty, and happiness but having no appreciation for the natural world, meager capacity for charity, and little hope for happiness (owing to their poverty); the clergy or theologians are presumably indicted in Alberti's depiction of those who "would use the fear of the gods to fortify and render impregnable their arms, their camps and their empires" (p. 155); and, finally, humanity in general is implicated in one story that explains how mortals' masks are at last removed upon their arrival at Acheron. As the editors suggest, this last theme, that of hypocrisy, reinforced by the frequency in the text of the words "simulation" and "dissimulation," is a major one in the work and perhaps appropriately so in an epic featuring the god of candor (pp. xxi-xxii). At times, however, it appears that Alberti might himself be using the mask of classical mythology to offer up his own pessimistic challenge to a divine scheme that has gods (God) visit hardships upon mortals as a perverse afterthought. At an even more personal level, a cynical intellectual who makes similar theological complaints in book 2 also charges that "the gods hate ingenious and active people" ("sollertes agentesque oderint," pp. 166-167).*
~Rosanne
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Just going through the not complete introduction I get ...

Momus and Mischief
Jupiter
Virtue
Praise-Trophy-Triumph

Roles of Momus: sister of Thersites, craftman, soldier, king, beggar, Blame

Fortune
Rumor
Hercules

Pallas + Minerva
Juno

Bacchus-Venus-Folly

Plato Diogenes Democritos

Mercury

Socrates

Apollo

Saturn - Cybele - Neptun

Charon Gelastis Pirate-king camp-follower pirates

Cupid Hope Night

Aeolos ... winds

A gang of pimps

Megalophos Peniplusius

************

Who is not there (from Filippo Maria's 16 gods): Diana/Luna - Vesta - Daphne (the virgins)

Vulcanos is not present in both

************

Anyway, there's more than just 15 or 18
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