Winged Knights

MardiGras

wow angels in the battlefield.

men with wings that's really cool. wouldn't want them coming after me though
 

DoctorArcanus

venicebard said:
Marco, I notice a striking difference in these two images: in the Crowley image the wings are part of a generally triumphal feel the image has, but in the Sola Busca (created by deeper thinkers, methinks) it looks as if the knight leaves the Cup or Grail (of peace) on the ground and takes up his helm for combat.

Yes, the two images are very different. Still it is a strange coincidence that they are both knight of cups. I think there are ancient images of the Egyptian king and magician Nectanebo, illuminations of different versions of the Alexander Romance. But I don't think he is usually winged.

venicebard said:
Indeed one can take wings alchemically, as representing mercury's volatility (tendency of its vapors to leap into the 'air', meaning the upper part of the vessel). In Crowley's take on it, then, this volatility is being harnessed seemingly for its transcendent power, whereas in the Sola Busca it is as if to say: "Man, God hath given you wings, yet you fly to war."

Alchemy is an interesting suggestion. It was an explicit theme for Crowley, and it is likely that it also had an influence on Sola Busca.
The last sentence can be made even stronger: "Man, God hath given you wings, but instead of flying, you ride to war." Those wings look useless, indeed.

Huck said:
... :) The horses are winged, too, in this examples .. so the contradiction horse/wings is solved.

I am glad you appreciate this detail. It is a way out of the contradiction...even more contradictory from the logical point of view. If the horse is winged, why is the knight winged too? ;)
Moreover, I did not know that Pegasus had made it to Christian iconography!!!

The winged hussars are beautiful! In particular, I like this image:
http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~koby/political/chapter_11/1103hussar.jpg

I read here:

Above the disciplined ranks of thundering iron figures flutter enormous standards bearing images of a white eagle on a blood red field and others showing the winged Archangel, Michael.​

So it seems that once again the model is Michael...

I am curious to see if we can find more winged knights to compare...

Marco
 

kwaw

DoctorArcanus said:
Above the disciplined ranks of thundering iron figures flutter enormous standards bearing images of a white eagle on a blood red field and others showing the winged Archangel, Michael.[/indent]

So it seems that once again the model is Michael...

Marco

Picture here showing banner of 1649 of the Polish winged Hussars showing archangel Michael:

http://www.jasinski.co.uk/wojna/develop/dev06.htm

Kwaw
 

SittingIdiot

Natanabo

The Sola Busca Knight also includes the inscription, "Natanabo". We all share the frustartion of wondering without any surety, who are these persona in the Sola Busca (esp. the Trumps). Off hand, I'm not aware of any "Nathans" of the late Republic (of which the Sola Busca depicts). While unlikely, could the Renaissance Italians be referring to the Hebrew prophet, Nathan, counsel to the Judean King David? If so, his wings might then be (?) symbols of divine message, transcendental contact? [Armored and helmet in hand, he then takes on even more likeness to angel Michael, the Left Hand of God.]
 

DoctorArcanus

SittingIdiot said:
The Sola Busca Knight also includes the inscription, "Natanabo". We all share the frustartion of wondering without any surety, who are these persona in the Sola Busca (esp. the Trumps).

I am rather sure that Natabo represents pharaoh Nectanebo II. You can read some more about this theory on this tarotpedia page.

There are two reasons that seem sound to me:

1. Nectanebo appears in the Alexander Romance. According to that legend, he was the true father of Alexander the Great. Many of the figures in the deck are connected to the Alexander Romance (Alexander, Olympias, Philippus, Hammon, Apollo).

2. The XIV Century Italian poem "Dittamondo" refers to Nectanebo as "Natanabo". See the quote from BOOK IV - Chapter I on the same tarotpedia page.

SittingIdiot said:
While unlikely, could the Renaissance Italians be referring to the Hebrew prophet, Nathan, counsel to the Judean King David? If so, his wings might then be (?) symbols of divine message, transcendental contact?

I like this idea! In the Alexander Romance, Nectanebo is a magician. The suggestion of wings as "symbols of divine message, transcendental contact" seems very good to me. But I don't know of other images of winged magicians that could help confirm this hypothesis...

Marco
 

venicebard

DoctorArcanus said:
The suggestion of wings as "symbols of divine message, transcendental contact" seems very good to me. But I don't know of other images of winged magicians that could help confirm this hypothesis...
Well, there is certainly the Amerind (shamanic) view of the feathers one wears connecting one, messenger-like, to the Great Spirit, to the celestial, even helping deliver one's 'medicine' on high . . . but I can't off-hand cite you sources (I can try, if this is important). Indeed Keltic, Germanic, and east-European cultures all had certain shamanic elements that helped shape them, but it may have no direct relevance to Renaissance Italy.
 

kwaw

DoctorArcanus said:
In the Alexander Romance, Nectanebo is a magician.

In his Confessio Amantis John Gower (1330-1408) wrote in verse how Nectanabus was an astronomer and great magician who taught Alexander the properties of the stars:

Among the whiche forth withal
Nectanabus in special,
Which was an Astronomien
And ek a gret Magicien,
And undertake hath thilke emprise
To Alisandre in his aprise
As of Magique naturel
To knowe, enformeth him somdel
Of certein sterres what thei mene;
Of whiche, he seith, ther ben fiftene,

Gower lists the 15 together with their properties and the herbs and stones they rule, and then continues:

Of hem that this science write,
On of the ferste which it wrot
After Noah, it was Nenbrot
To his disciple Ychonithon
And made a bok forth therupon
The which Megaster cleped was.
An other Auctor in this cas
Is Arachel, the which men note;
His bok is Abbategnyh hote.
Danz Tholome is noght the leste,
Which makth the bok of Almageste;
And Alfraganus doth the same,
Whos bok is Chatemuz be name.
Gebuz and Alpetragus eke
Of Planisperie, which men seke,
The bokes made: and over this
Ful many a worthi clerc ther is,
That writen upon this clergie
The bokes of Altemetrie,
Planemetrie and ek also,
Whiche as belongen bothe tuo,
So as thei ben naturiens,
Unto these Astronomiens.
Men sein that Habraham was on;
Bot whether that he wrot or non,
That finde I noght; and Moises
Ek was an other: bot Hermes
Above alle othre in this science
He hadde a gret experience;
Thurgh him was many a sterre assised,
Whos bokes yit ben auctorized.
I mai noght knowen alle tho
That writen in the time tho
Of this science; bot I finde,
Of jugement be weie of kinde
That in o point thei alle acorden:
Of sterres whiche thei recorden
That men mai sen upon the hevene,
Ther ben a thousend sterres evene
And tuo and twenty, to the syhte
Whiche aren of hemself so bryhte,
That men mai dieme what thei be,
The nature and the proprete.

Nou hast thou herd, in which a wise
These noble Philosophres wise
Enformeden this yonge king,
And made him have a knowleching
Of thing which ferst to the partie
Belongeth of Philosophie,
Which Theorique cleped is,
As thou tofore hast herd er this.

Kwaw
 

kwaw

kwaw said:
And tuo and twenty, to the syhte
Whiche aren of hemself so bryhte,
That men mai dieme what thei be,
The nature and the proprete.

Kwaw


The 22 stars 'bryhte to the syhte' are the 15 fixed Behenian that Gower names as Aldeboran, Clota or the Pliades, Algol, Alhaiot, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Arial, Ala Corvi, Alaezel, Almareth, Venenas, Alpheta, Cor Scorpionis, Botercadent, Tail of Scorpio; and the 7 wandering [ie, the seven traditional planets].

Kwaw
 

venicebard

DoctorArcanus said:
The suggestion of wings as "symbols of divine message, transcendental contact" seems very good to me. But I don't know of other images of winged magicians that could help confirm this hypothesis...
The Cherubim that guarded or enclosed the Ark (in the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem temple) were winged, and according to Raphael Patai (The Hebrew Goddess, p. 72), 'That gods ride on clouds is an old mythologem, traces of which can be found among many peoples,' and (p. 73) 'Isaiah, in an eschatological vision, sees Yahweh "riding on a swift cloud" on his way to Egypt [Isaiah 19.1]. The cloud as the mount of God is personified as a Cherub: "He rode upon a Cherub, and did fly; yeah, He did swoop down upon the wings of the wind" [Psalm 18.11].' And he quotes Psalms 68 and 104:

Who maketh the clouds Thy chariot
Who walkest upon the wings of the wind,
Who makest winds Thy messengers,
The flaming fire Thy ministers.

The Cherubim in Ezekiel's vision each had four faces, one of which was human. Still, transference of the Cherub's wings to the rider on this account would not seem all that likely. It seems to me the (Michael as St. George?) angel-rider theory has more merit (Cherubim are not your typical angels), but whahduaino.