The Fool in the 5x14 theory

Huck

jmd said:
Looking at the manner in which children (and adults working with new additions to existing games) do play is precisely why I am suggesting the above.

The big difference between, on the one hand, the pips and court cards, and on the other, the atouts, is that there is a 'written on the cards' order with the former, but not with the latter.

If one looks at the Visconti, there is no reason to assume that the Lover(s), for example, 'trumps over' the Pope. In fact, one may suppose that if a value was implied, it would be the reverse, unless the depicted marriage was seen to illustrate 'love' (in which case, as the 'chief amongst [theological] virtues', it would also trump over even the Sun!).

Internal 'logic' suggests that for an early version of the game, the trumps are all equal with regards to play, with play-order determining winning hand.

Later, of course, this is not the case... but by then there is a determinate structure and ordering.

Earlier decks also had their complications. The number cards - as far we know it - hadn't numbers, but things to count. The courts had to be identified. Perhaps the whole card pictures developed for people who couldn't read numbers or any descriptions or at least not all of the people could do so. Johannes knew a deck, which had professions for the number cards
The Michelino deck had a sequence, Martiano da Tortona reported that. It's the first, from which know of. It's unlikely, that the trumps were all equal some years later.

Naturally also games existed, in which the sequence didn't play a role, but this doesn't say, that sequence games didn't exist. Johannes of Rheinfelden (1377) did know a sequence too and he found it a wonderful idea, cause he loved a hierarchy in the world.
 

le pendu

Huck said:
I don't understand. Which Emperors? Which Triumphs?
I shouldn't have brought this up, I was only pointing out that I never said that Cary-Yale was a 5X14. There is an old post of mine about this, I can point it to you later if you are interested.


Huck said:
It's proven for the deck of Master PW, it's made likely by the existence of other decks with similar 5th suit, it's made almost probable with a 70-cards-note from Ferrara, it's made apparent with as long fight against the blind assumption, that Trionfi cards naturally had 22 special cards.

All of this only proves that there was experimentation. It does not prove the dependance of one on the other. And no new theory is needed to arrive at the conclusion that there was experimentation... just the Cary-Yale alone proves this.

Adding in the Biordo, Sola Busca, and other early decks only offers additional proof that there were many variations. But none of these decks are "traditional" tarot decks, they are relatives. It is possible that they predate the 22, and it is possible that they don't. Just because they existed, doesn't prove that the 22 didn't, and you have not proved, to me at least, that the 22 developed from them. In addition, the other decks all have an internal system of logic to them that your definition of the Sforza-Visconti as a 14, in my opinon, lacks.

Huck said:
A PROOF of non-existence is impossible. It's definitely clear, that one painter painted 5x14 cards, if we look about the fact, that 2 cards are lost in the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo deck. It's definitely clear from the 1457-document, that another painter painted 70 cards. It's also clear, that Sagramoro was paid for 14 figure at 1.1.1441. It's also definitely clear, that we've no evidence for a 22 in the whole matter, as far early cards before 1468 are considered (if you've other informations, I would like to hear about it).
I don't know, which of this points you would like to call "conjecture".
Regarding the Sforza-Visconti, what we know is that 14 trumps by the same hand remain, but we do not know that that is what was originally painted.

It is possible that that original artist painted 14, 20, 22, 28, 40, or any other number. We DO know that, at some point, it appears "someone" felt that the other cards SHOULD be there, and had another artist paint cards (as most scholars suggest... to replace the lost or missing cards). This other artist may have only painted 6, or they may have painted 8. We don't know.

It is also possible, but I agree totally unlikey, that the other painter was the original, and Bembo was hired to paint additional cards. That's silly.. I am only pointing out that all of it is assumption. It's is just as likely in my mind that the Sforza-Visconti had 22 as any other number. Just because 14 is remains from one artists hand does not mean that was the original set. ALL of the Visconti decks are missing cards. If you apply the same logic, then we would have 2 Trump decks, 4 Trump decks.. etc.

Huck said:
Well, it should be difficult to argue with me. We've worked hard for getting these points all together. We spend a lot
of time for it. Why should it be easy to tell us we overlooked something?

We don't mind, that people make their own judgment, actually we're interested that they do. The great scandal about the earlier state in Tarot research was, that some "experts", which didn't had the care to listen to outsider opinions, something we know by own experience, had made their judgment and blinded a lot of others with nothing else than only "authority" ... who had then often enough nothing better to do, then to defend the experts, all in the opinion, that an expert is an expert and should be right.
Well, we worked hard to make this process of ever returning stupidity difficult. We dont claim to be experts, occasionally we know about things and occasionally not.
And in this case we now what blunder was and what not. And the statement about he standardization around 1450 was a blunder.

Well, you have collected a lot of data. And it is fabulous, and I don't want to seem as if I am unappreciative of the work at Trionfi, I admire and respect many of the contributers. But it is the interpretation of that data where we disagree. I am not unfamiliar with your work. When I joined the Ltarot list a couple of years ago, I read every post in the archive. I am still a subscriber, and read the digest every day. I would visit Trionfi.com more often, but I have problems with the use of frames in my browser and find it hard to navigate the site.

Huck said:
It exists as one of the earliest "Tarots", Giotto's 14 paintings in the Arena-Chapel. So the concept existed very early and likely much earlier than Giotto.
And Niobe had 14 children, too, 7 sons and 7 girls. And in old Jewish world concepts they had 7 earths and 7 heavens. A very old structure. If somebody made something like this on playing cards, doesn't change very much ... it stays, we've no evidence. But at least we've de spaera, another 7+7 concept. And Rosselli .. hadn't he also a Virtue and Vices game in 1528?

And the I-Ching, of course, knows the structure.
I bring it up only to suggest that I think a system like the Virtues and Vices would be more likely for a 5X14 deck than something as disordered as I find the "14 Bembo" as a set, and more in keeping with the "relative" decks I mentioned earlier.


Huck said:
We're not very interested to convince. It's enough, when people start to think. To reach this we engage to make the documents accessible.
I'm very thankful of all of the documents made available by your research. I've admire the work of Trionfi because I am interested to see what develops. My objection is that, even though you don't mean to convince, it sometimes appears that your conjectures and guesses are presented as facts... such as the Fool =11. I'm pleased to know that you too realize that there are many interpretations of the meaning of the data you have collected, and that conclusions you present on Trionfi of that data are just one way to interpret them.

best,
robert
 

Ross G Caldwell

The strongest points in favour of the (or any) "5x14" theory are:

(1) The logic of an added suit having the same number of cards as the rest of the suits.

(2) Bembo's cards have that number, taken as they are.

(3) The earliest mention of how many cards any kind of trionfi pack has, says they have "70 cards". 5 x 14 = 70.

(4) No surviving pack that can be dated before c. 1475 (extra cards in V-S) has more than 14 remaining trumps.

(5) No text before c. 1470 (Boiardo)

(6) The 14 pictures painted for Bianca Maria Visconti and the Este girls to "have fun with" during the holidays ("Feast of the Circumcision" January 1, 1441) are painted on card stock. This is before any mention of trionfi cards, involves the artist of the earliest mentioned trionfi packs (Sagramoro), and one of the important people in early tarot history (Bianca Maria).

Does all this add up to a strong argument?

The logic of the same number of cards for trumps as there are suit cards, is not very strong. The earliest trionfi-like pack known, Marziano, had 16 "Trumps". But it only had one "King" in each suit. Does anybody believe it had 15 pips in each suit? Does anybody believe it had 10 pips and 5 court cards (with only King mentioned?). I don't know of anybody who does.

So there doesn't seem to be a strong correlation between the number of trumps and the number of suited cards. The trumps have their own logic. In decks that have an extra suit like the PW, with a 5x14 structure, the extra suit is just an extra suit - not a suit of trumps. All the trump decks known - Tarot and its shortened versions, Minchiate, and the shortened form in Lucca (12 trumps, Fool, and 14 suited cards), have a different number of trumps than suit cards.

This makes the seeming logic of suit-number=trump-number appear weak. It is never proven in any actual instance, and the 14 surviving Bembo trumps from one deck is better regarded as an accident.

The number "70 cards" in a Ferrara account from 1457 is more serious, in my opinion. It is the earliest time anybody mentions the number of cards in a trionfi deck. The deck is called "Carte grande da trionfi" - Big Triumph Cards. This makes the idea of a shortened pack (missing some pips, for instance, but having 22 trumps) seem difficult to hold. The shortened pack in Bologna is called "Tarocchini" - little tarocchi. Why would a "Big Tarot" be a shortened pack? And a 70 card shortened pack is otherwise unknown; so by this argument, one unknown deck (5x14 tarot) is traded for another ((12x4)x22 tarot). If one is untenable, so is the other by the same principles.

The number does not seem to be a mistake. The two different men who transcribed the manuscript, Campori in 1874 and Franceschini in 1993, both transcribe it "70". So the text securely says 70. One way to explain it is to say it is the original 1457 author's mistake. This is certainly a weak argument, but possibly the best way out for the ((4x14)x22) apologist.

One other point could be made about this difference in terminology. If "Big Triumph Cards" are a different sort of pack, then the same argument could apply to the first record as well, which is called "Carteselle da trionfi" - little triumph cards. In the card-mentioning documents of this period, "carteselle" are often mentioned alongside "carte", as if they are different things. Or "carteselle" is paired with "naibi", as if they are different things. If "Big Cards" are a different kind of tarot pack, then "little cards" could be as well, and the first four packs of triumph cards mentioned in history might not be tarot as we know it.

The second mention, Marchione Burdochio's pack, is however simply "carte da trionfi".

So - how much weight should we put on these differences in terminology? The problem is with the number 70, and the 5x14 theory answers it by saying "14 trumps". The 22 trump person has to say - it is a mistake (weak) or - it is a shortened pack (weaker, in my opinion).

The final three points (4-6), are "absence of evidence" arguments, and assume that not many trionfi packs were in circulation, and that a big change in one place (Milan 1468 in autorbis' theory) would affect all the others equally.

For me this is the hardest part of the argument to accept. The game was known in Milan, Ferrara, Florence, Bologna and (as far as) Rimini and France (Isabelle's deck from Marcello) before 1468. How could Galeazzo Maria Sforza adding 6 or 8 trumps affect all those places, where the game was already known? And there must be many places elsewhere that are not yet known. The record is far from exhausted. Clearly we don't know how many decks there were, we don't know if Isabelle's deck made any impression - but we know Florence allowed it, so it was popular enough to get mentioned. It wasn't one or two packs.

Finally, the Bianca Maria playthings, we don't know what they were. I can't imagine them as tarocchi cards - with Death, a Hanged Man especially, for young girls. But that could be argued. I think of them as virtues and vices at the simplest, or something else entirely. I don't know, and neither does anybody else. But they were meant to be fun.

Ross
 

Huck

A little bit in contrary to Ross I've the opinion, that the strongest argument for the 5x14-theory is the fragment of the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarocchi itself.
Not cause any argumentation about iconographical details, which Robert thinks as an disappointing part of the theory, if I understood him correctly, just cause a specific relationship between the 14 Bembo-trumps and the later appearing order of the Marseille Tarot (which likely was a Milanese order).

This order sums up to the following binary number:

1111111111101100000010

as a result of the comparition. 1 stands for "exists in the 14 Bembo cards", 0 stands for "exist not in the 14 Bembo cards". The Order of the binary number should be understood as representation of the row of the Marseille order ... the "1 at first place" means: "Fool is in the 14 Bembo cards" and the "0 at last place" means: "World is not in the 14 Bembo cards.

My point is, that correct analyzes of this number leads to the unavoidable recognition, that it is very unlikely, that the appearance of this number was caused by an accidently loss of some cards. The unlikeliness can be expressed by numbers: "1:100 would be very high worth for the probability (my opinion), more correct seems "about 1:1000" or even "1:10000".

This alone without any further evidence of outside informations like 70-cards-note in Ferrara 1457 etc.
This other arguments are just the apples, which one (logically) finds, when one knows, where the tree is, from which they are fallen.

And that could have been known from beginning on ... that's just a matter of analyses.
I know somebody, who has lost some his ability to see in a higher degree. He describes the sensation of his nowadays ways to see: "I see it, when I know, it is there ..." what tells his mind intelligently reconstructs things around the real given ability of his senses. And this appears also in this: Actually optic gives us pictures with things turned upside-down. Our mind constructs "normal sight" out of it.
Well, the mechanism usually works well and healthy and has its good effects. But that's not the only feature.
Another is, that people learn from each other and another is that people are used to believe in authority-judgments and authority-informations. So their mind is used to reconstruct reality around specific "statements from above" ... on the political level this has dangerous aspects, as experiences from the 20th centuriy tell us, and this movie hasn't really stopped in 21th.

Errors in Tarot history, caused by a similar condition, are relatively harmless in comparition. But nonetheless they're errors around collective blind spots.

So it needs people, who simply look, before they believe. People, who've really an own thinking. All what the experience says, this is a rare cartegory.

It took only 2 weeks once, when the 5x14-theory was detected and postulated. And that it was stated: it's less than 1:100 for the 22-standard-theory. Although the detecting author before had another opinion about Tarot before, actually had practical reasons to be preoccupied in this matter "for the contrary".
So it's not that difficult.

1111111111101100000010

There's the number, which is better than any other evidence for the 5x14-theory. Lucky fight.
 

Ross G Caldwell

Huck, I'm not sure how this is relevant. Do you mean how unlikely it would be to have six in a row missing, or to have so many of the first half present? How can you know what the chances of something surviving are, when you don't have an adequate test sample?

The data sample is probably too small to be so secure. And there is no security is was the "Milanese" order, taken to be identical to the Tarot de Marseille later.

There is no reason to think the TdM order was *exactly* the order used in Milan in the 16th, much less the 15th, century.

The earliest known orders for Lombardy are Alciato's (1543) and Susio's (1570 - specifically in Pavia and Milan). They slightly disagree (disagreements with asterisk * (conventional names)), only Justice and Chariot and Popess and Empress have different places:


Placing Bembo's cards on these two orders:

Alciato: 1111111101111100000010
Susio: 1111111110111100000010

Maybe insignificant.

But what if the data sample is too small?

How likely is the Brambilla series:

0000100000100000000000?

The Cary-Yale:

0001101110000100000011?

And others...

From so few samples, how can you judge if the result is significant?
 

Huck

Ross G Caldwell said:
Huck, I'm not sure how this is relevant. Do you mean how unlikely it would be to have six in a row missing, or to have so many of the first half present? How can you know what the chances of something surviving are, when you don't have an adequate test sample?

any composition of "0's" and "1's" exists in theory - so you can think about them, as if really belonging to the problem. When you've a hand with 5 cards and four of them are Aces in a game with 52 cards after dealing , you've a probability of 48 / all possible hands with 5 cards (which should be 52x51x50x49x48 / 1x2x3x4x5). This calculation is enough to tell you, that is a rather rare composition, roughly calculated ca 1:65.000

The data sample is probably too small to be so secure.

The problem has about about 2^22 = about ca. 4 000 000 possibilities ... that is not a small number.

And there is no security is was the "Milanese" order, taken to be identical to the Tarot de Marseille later.

If you can make the relevant argument, that there were 10 chances to meet an unusual combination (four instance in the 4-Aces-in-5-cards-problem, you've a factor of 1/10 to multifly the end result with.

There is no reason to think the TdM order was *exactly* the order used in Milan in the 16th, much less the 15th, century.

That's not a problem, as 1111111111101100000010 can have variations, for instance a papessa-empress wouldn't change anything at the binary number.
The earliest known orders for Lombardy are Alciato's (1543) and Susio's (1570 - specifically in Pavia and Milan). They slightly disagree (disagreements with asterisk * (conventional names)), only Justice and Chariot and Popess and Empress have different places:


Placing Bembo's cards on these two orders:

Alciato: 1111111101111100000010
Susio: 1111111110111100000010

Maybe insignificant.

### It would be significant.

The complete group

011111111111100000010
101111111111100000010
110111111111100000010
etc. or also
011111111111100000100

would be significant and mind should strike alarm, when seeing it, and tell you, here you should research .... . It's a group with 8x14= 112 elements and each one of them should signal
You may divide 4 000 000 with 112 and, if all 112 would have the same ranking, you would be now by about 1:40.000, so near to 4 Aces after the first deal. But the 112 combinations do not have all the same ranking, cause the given problem 11111111111101100000010 is completely senseful explainable and has the "100 point's-argument.
 

Ross G Caldwell

Huck said:
any composition of "0's" and "1's" exists in theory - so you can think about them, as if really belonging to the problem. When you've a hand with 5 cards and four of them are Aces in a game with 52 cards after dealing , you've a probability of 48 / all possible hands with 5 cards (which should be 52x51x50x49x48 / 1x2x3x4x5). This calculation is enough to tell you, that is a rather rare composition, roughly calculated ca 1:65.000

What are you saying? That this particular spread of 14 surviving cards out of 22 is this unlikely? But since there is only one to compare it to - the only surviving one - any other is equally unlikely. Probability depends upon not just WHAT HAPPENS (since something has to happen), but HOW MANY TIMES IT HAPPENS out of the possible times it COULD HAPPEN. Since there is only one - the 14 Bembo cards - how can you use the latter condition. Only one condition of the equation is fulfilled.

It is two-thirds of the total surviving amount. That is considerable. It will have to be grouped in some way, even if the result is by sheer chance.

But I think the analogy is wrong. It is not pure chance that saved the PMB/V-S cards. Their preservation in history is not a random result. It is a result of their value and beauty. They are more likely to have been preserved than the millions of cheap mass-produced decks - and they were. Therefore a pure statistical method isn't the correct methodology - we have to use "historical" methods to understand them - the six points I raised.


The problem has about about 2^22 = about ca. 4 000 000 possibilities ... that is not a small number.

But it is a *meaningless* number. It doesn't do anything except graphically describe two sets of variables, which may not even be related (TdM order/Bembo cards). We don't know why the variables should be compared, and there is no context in which they are compared.

It is statistically meaningless. Without a reasonable sample of contemporary decks, it is simply useless to put up a number like that.

Historical methods are better than mathematical ones to understand this. When it comes to probability, we have to ascertain how other similar things, testable things, behaved first.

The question should be - of all the decks that have survived, what are the average cards that survived? That is a statistically meaningful question. I tried to provide a result in the last post, but the sample is too small (Visconti and Sforza cards of the first two or three generations).


If you can make the relevant argument, that there were 10 chances to meet an unusual combination (four instance in the 4-Aces-in-5-cards-problem, you've a factor of 1/10 to multifly the end result with.

Of course, we don't *have* 10 chances. We have a few fragmentary decks spread out over a period of about 35 years (taking Cary-Yale to Este and the new PMB cards as the hand-painted ones). All of these decks taken together show all of the cards in the traditional 22 row. None of them are in themselves complete.

The chronological method in history has limits - in what we know, in what can be known, in probability of what we don't know. But we can't connect every dot with a straight line through the black spots.

By what standard do you measure the improbability of these particular Bembo cards having survived?


That's not a problem, as 1111111111101100000010 can have variations, for instance a papessa-empress wouldn't change anything at the binary number.


### It would be significant.

The complete group

011111111111100000010
101111111111100000010
110111111111100000010
etc. or also
011111111111100000100

would be significant and mind should strike alarm, when seeing it, and tell you, here you should research .... . It's a group with 8x14= 112 elements and each one of them should signal
You may divide 4 000 000 with 112 and, if all 112 would have the same ranking, you would be now by about 1:40.000, so near to 4 Aces after the first deal. But the 112 combinations do not have all the same ranking, cause the given problem 11111111111101100000010 is completely senseful explainable and has the "100 point's-argument.

But there are breaks in the "complete group" in the Bembo cards. Only one virtue - Justice. Where in other serial artworks is only one virtue shown? Usually four virtues are grouped - it is seen in so much renaissance artwork in Italy this way. The "missing" virtue Prudence causes the problem.

And it is far from proven that the 16th century order of Lombardy cards was the same as the 15th century order. A big event happened in between - a French invasion, and the French were making a lot of Tarot cards, of their own style.

Before the invasion, it could have been very different. If the A order had prevailed, as I believe, Bembo's cards would look like -

1111111101011110000001 -

is that more or less likely than yours? Where would you expect the 8 zeros to go, to make it more look like chance?
 

Huck

Ross G Caldwell said:
What are you saying? That this particular spread of 14 surviving cards out of 22 is this unlikely? ?

Yes, that's what I say, this specific spread is very unlikely. Actually more unlikely even then 1111111111111100000000

But since there is only one to compare it to - the only surviving one - any other is equally unlikely. Probability depends upon not just WHAT HAPPENS (since something has to happen), but HOW MANY TIMES IT HAPPENS out of the possible times it COULD HAPPEN. Since there is only one - the 14 Bembo cards - how can you use the latter condition. Only one condition of the equation is fulfilled.

Probability calculation could exist for situations, which haven't happened at all.

It is two-thirds of the total surviving amount. That is considerable.

Yes, in about 350.000 of ca. 4.000 000 cases. So roughly, said 1:11. That's not very unusual alone. But there are additional specialities

For instance:
1111111111111100000000
has another "excellence" than
1001011111101110011010 for instance.

although of course both have the same probability (1 against 4 Millions). Your mind would analyse another condition of the deck in both cases.

It will have to be grouped in some way, even if the result is by sheer chance.

But I think the analogy is wrong. It is not pure chance that saved the PMB/V-S cards. Their preservation in history is not a random result. It is a result of their value and beauty. They are more likely to have been preserved than the millions of cheap mass-produced decks - and they were. Therefore a pure statistical method isn't the correct methodology - we have to use "historical" methods to understand them - the six points I raised.

Well, we talk about the conditions "accidently lost" and "replaced".

But it is a *meaningless* number. It doesn't do anything except graphically describe two sets of variables, which may not even be related (TdM order/Bembo cards). We don't know why the variables should be compared, and there is no context in which they are compared.

Anybody can compare two groups of numbers, when he likes so ... When the result is not typical, he can decide, if this is meaningful or not. In health research one combines various factor statistically to get results, which factors correlate significantly. Occasionally this leads to plausible answers.

In the case of row of Marseille and as "accidently lost" defined cards the comparition makes sense. These both objects are enough to each other, that one is allowed to try. And the text, which you yourself translated already knew a row of trumps.

Is the answer "normal distributed", the idea of "accidently lost" has added to its "likely right"-state. But it isn't normally distributed.
So the matter turns. It is not an "accidently-lost"- case, with some probability. The worth of this probability is the interesting number. 1:10 would be rather meaningless, 1:100 leaves this state, 1:1000 is not and 1:10000 is very much not.

It is statistically meaningless. Without a reasonable sample of contemporary decks, it is simply useless to put up a number like that.

We have lots of examples of incomplete decks in the history of mankind. Likely a real card collector as Alexander could tell a story about it. Likely the number of decks with few lost cards or complete decks is higher than statistical expectable and likely the number of decks with few cards only is higher than usual - cause specific conditions (normally you lose only few cards; these few cards have chances to be found). However, the longer the time, the more normal is the not complete deck.
"14 of 22" so should be a rare condition - which I do not claim, that it is, cause I'm not interested to complicate matters. It's good enough to just take a normal distribution between "lost" and "still extant" cards.

Historical methods are better than mathematical ones to understand this. When it comes to probability, we have to ascertain how other similar things, testable things, behaved first.

The question should be - of all the decks that have survived, what are the average cards that survived? That is a statistically meaningful question. I tried to provide a result in the last post, but the sample is too small (Visconti and Sforza cards of the first two or three generations).

Of course, we don't *have* 10 chances. We have a few fragmentary decks spread out over a period of about 35 years (taking Cary-Yale to Este and the new PMB cards as the hand-painted ones). All of these decks taken together show all of the cards in the traditional 22 row. None of them are in themselves complete.

The chronological method in history has limits - in what we know, in what can be known, in probability of what we don't know. But we can't connect every dot with a straight line through the black spots.

By what standard do you measure the improbability of these particular Bembo cards having survived?


We don't have only Tarot cards, which are lost. There are million others. And it's quite normal to get information from the state of the incomplete deck. When you see a deck with 4 hearts missing, you're likely near to the condition, that a trick in a game with 4 person went to the ground during the game. When 4 Aces are missing, you should learn something about the other player ...

In the case, that you're accidently a researcher of playing cards and meets
a deck status with 14 trumps only, but in its smaller Arcana state nearly complete .... and you know already, that the story that Tarot was at the beginning and was reduced to 56, 52, 48 or whatever, is a legend ... and when you logically knows, that the matrix-deck 4x12, x13, x14, x16 or 5x12, x13, x14, x16 was the beginning ... and as researcher you search the jump in the development, from the matrix-deck to the not-matrix-deck of Tarot .... when you see now, that there are 14 trumps only in a suits-system with 14 cards per suit, and when your mind doen't make a jump and starts to think ... then you're a sort of researcher, who has forgotten, what he was searching for.
Or to speak in the language of the fairy-tale: you can't see, that the emperor is naked and without clothes. You're so fixed, that the aim of the research is so high and so difficult, cause there is such a big mystery expected and nobody has seen it beofre you, although it's open to everybodies eyes ... it's so difficult to see the humble truth: it isn't that difficult. There had just been a blind spot. An unbelievable blind spot.

That's the basic condition. From beginning on it's relatively clear, that the development "once had been". When you look at the conditions now: there are the 14-cards and you take a nearer research and realise a nearly unbroken line in relation to a traditional row ... and a "rare result", then the doubts are gone to the state of a minimal rest, which will never disappear in historical research. You've found, what you searched. Naturally you've to control, if there are any real counter-arguments, especially as all the world tells you, that you're wrong and perhaps better, an idiot ... but, as you know, there are none contradictions ..... so what we're talking here about?

Loosing time for nothing. We've a full desk with other riddles. This was Robert's problem, not ours.

... the "complete group" in the Bembo cards. Only one virtue - Justice.
Where in other serial artworks is only one virtue shown?

More than once, especially Justice. Go to Frankfurt on the market-place. A single Justice. Borso is seen variously with a Justice, other virtues missing. Go in a justice hall.
This is not an argument. And in the special case it likely presents some Christine-de-Pizan stuff. Christine de Pizan was a close friend to Bianca Maria's aunt.

Usually four virtues are grouped - it is seen in so much renaissance artwork in Italy this way. The "missing" virtue Prudence causes the problem.

And it is far from proven that the 16th century order of Lombardy cards was the same as the 15th century order. A big event happened in between - a French invasion, and the French were making a lot of Tarot cards, of their own style.

Before the invasion, it could have been very different. If the A order had prevailed, as I believe, Bembo's cards would look like -
Bembo's cards would look like -

1111111101011110000001 -

is that more or less likely than yours? Where would you expect the 8 zeros to go, to make it more look like chance?

This hadn't be the case.

Naturally there are situations imaginable, in which a problem is not solvable by a successful methode, which did its job in another situation. For instance it's also imaginable, that the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo didn't survive. A totally different problem, of course.
But this deck exists, and it had solvable conditions.

is that more or less likely than yours? Where would you expect the 8 zeros to go, to make it more look like chance?

This is the question about the unlaid egg.

... :) I guess, we've really better things to do ... solved riddles are solved riddles.
 

le pendu

Huck said:
Loosing time for nothing. We've a full desk with other riddles. This was Robert's problem, not ours.

Hi Huck,
Here I was thinking that we were having interesting discussion about the validity of the 5x14 theory, and in some sense, defining what that actually means and the evidence for it... and instead I find that I am causing you to lose time, as apparently really discussing this and explaining what it all means... and what is valid and what is conjecture, is "my problem".

*I* got something out of this thread, a clear explanation from Ross that is easy to understand and evaluate.

And yet, I remain unchanged in my opinion. So perhaps it was a waste of your time after all.

I continue to say that you have proved that there was experimentation of "Trionfi" decks in the 15th century, and that there is a high probabilty that some sort of decks existed with a 5x14 system. I continue to say we have no idea of what the iconography was that composed those decks, and whether they were "Tarot" (as we know it), or a relative like the Sola Busca, Biordo and other decks.

I remain unconvinced that the Visconti-Sforza is an example of a 5x14 deck, nor that the Visconti family had anything to do with the creation of "Tarot". I think it just as likely that they experimented with the novelty of the game, as others seem to have done as well.

Looking at page 45 of Encyclopedia of Tarot, Volume II, we have a table showing the remaining cards of the Visconti decks, ALL of which are "incomplete". I focus on the Trumps:

Visconti Sforza: 20 (14 from one artist's hand)
Cary-Yale: 11
Brera: 2
Lombardy: 15 (different than the Visconti Sfroza 14 from one artist's hand)
Rosenthal: 5
Von Bartseh: 5
Fournier: 2
Victoria Albert: 2
Lombardy II: 2
Bonomi: 2
Guildhall: 1

Based on this, I can only suspect that we are amazingly lucky to have as many cards as we do from the Visconti Sforza, as the trend seems to be that only a few Trump cards exist in these decks.

Of course.. looking at the trend.. maybe a 4x14+2 should be explored as the standard because, overwhelmingly, that seems to be the trend of the numbers? Of course, 4x14+5 seems to be a trend too. Or maybe, what historians have suggested for years might just be the case here.. that cards were lost?

Sincerely, I don't mean to be pig-headed about this; but I resent the assumption that the 5x14 theory is somehow "proven", when to me at least, if I can even define what the 5x14 theory means, it has not.

best,
robert
 

Huck

Robert,

you showed an interest to have your own judgment and you asked for the real background of the 5x14-theory. You got the correct answer.

1111111111101100000010

And then it is "your problem". Without any convincing dance and possible pre-interpretations from my side. It's your problem, as you expressed your desire to understand and to have your own judgment.

As Ross indicated, there are other accompanying informations, and I've expanded them in length in the past at this location. You signaled: I've read them and I'm not convinced by them. No problem, these are not of the same relevance as the above statement.