Andrea Vitali's Historical Essays on Tarot

The Sun

 

Essay by Andrea Vitali, 1993

 

Translation revised by Michael S. Howard, August 2018

 

"Then they go to the Sun, and tell of its dignity, power, multitude of effects, its consistent movement, calling it the eye of the world, the joy of the day, the virtue of  dawning things, the beginning of light, the King of nature, the splendour of Olympus, the director of the world, the perfection of the stars, the moderator of  the firmament and the universal lord of all the planets" (1).



                                                        Sole e Luna
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                    Sun and Moon
                   Tower of Ceparano, X century, on the border between Modigliana and Brisighella (Romagna-Italy)
      

 

In the hand-painted card of the Triumphs of Francesco Sforza (figure 1 - Pierpont Morgan Library, New York) the Sun is shown as a small boy with wings, who holds the shining luminary in his hand. Daniela Pagliai of the University of Rome associates him with the Genius of the Sun, as he appears in the Iliaco card in the “E Series” of the Mantegna Tarot (figure 2). The boy on the Sforza card, however, is nearly naked, and on his neck he wears a necklace of red coral. Pagliai suggests that this is “perhaps a reference to the ‘sanguine’ temperament” and thus “connected, according to the theory of humors, to the dry heat of the Sun” (2). In Medieval and Renaissance art, identical necklaces can be found on the necks or wrists of children as talismans against plague (3), power over which in ancient times had been attributed to Apollo (4), and from whose effects he could also spare those who favored him. In Christianity, red was the color of Christ’s blood, so that wearing red coral would protect against the Devil. Paintings of the Christ child before 1500 often showed him wearing a coral necklace, presaging his crucifixion, which is a victory over the Devil. As for his nakedness, gods and demigods were typically shown nude, as in ancient Greece and Rome, thus evoking, in art of the 15th century, that setting,

 

In that same Mantegna Tarot, its card of the Sun leads us to the mythological episode of the fall of Phaeton (figure 3), who had obtained from his father Helios permission to drive the Chariot of the Sun for a day. Not knowing how to govern the fiery horses, he swerved away from the course, setting fire to heaven and earth. Zeus punished the overbold charioteer by striking him with a lightning bolt and casting him into the Eridanus, the river which appears on the lower part of the card.

 

In the card of the Tarot of Charles VI (figure 4 - From the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris), as in one from a 16th century Italian Tarot (figure 5 - From the “Rothschild Sheet”, in the same library, probably from Bologna), the Sun shines high, lighting up a girl who is spinning. Here the reference is to the Fates (in Greek Moire, Latin Parche), who oversaw the spinning and unraveling of the thread of human life and whose myth is closely linked to the sun, as they performed the same function, dispensing life and distributing it to all beings until their death. The Three Moire, Clotho, Lachesrs and Atropos, turn the spindle that produces the thread of destiny for every human being, which takes place and at the end is cut or unraveled. Different classical writers assigned the job of spinning, which we see on the card, to one or another or all three.

 

The card of the Tarot of Ercole I d’Este (figure 6 - At Yale University) depicts the Cynic philosopher Diogenes seated in his barrel while talking with Alexander the Great. While the legend has various versions, that of Diogenes Laertes relates: «While Alexander was taking the sun in Craneo, Alexander the Great stood before him and said, “Ask of me any boon you like". Diogenes the other replied, “Stand out of my light"» (5). Thus Diogenes indicates his disregard for anything that Alexander could offer, as well as for any reprisal for his frank speech. There is also the suggestion that Alexander’s solicitude actually opposes life lived in accord with nature and the light of reason. In the sentence immediately before this anecdote, Diogenes Laertius says of the philosopher, “He claimed that to fortune he could oppose courage, to convention nature, to passion reason.” 

 

In a Christian context the image also refers to the Biblical teaching mentioned in the Book of Ecclesiastes (2:15-17), that is, everything that happens under the Sun is vanity, even the thoughts of the wise. 


The same teaching is to be found in the card of the Sun of the Parisian Tarot of an anonymous author of the 17th century, where a woman looks at a mirror held by a monkey's hand (figure 7 - Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris). When there is no consciousness that obsession with one’s physical attractiveness is vain, human nature descends to the same level as the animals. Men should remember that “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again” (Ecclesiastes 3:20, King James Version).

 

The card of the Sun in the Vieville Tarot (figure 8 - Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris) shows a man on horseback holding a banner. The horse, among its different attributes is considereda solar animal: the chariot of the Sun is drawn by horses consecrated to it. In Christianity, the white horse becomes a symbol of majesty and is ridden by Christ, the one who is called “Faithful and True” (Rev. 19:11). In this sense, Christ appears upon a white horse in a fresco at Auxerre Cathedral holding a baton in his hand as a royal sceptre, symbol of his power over all nations. The red and black colors of the banner have no symbolic value, since they are colours that recur throughout the figures of the whole pack.

 

In the Cary Sheet (figure 9 - Now at Yale University) of the beginning of the 16th century,. the card of the Sun, lacking the left half, shows a child in a pose that, although not clearly decipherable with confidence, could suggest a variant to be placed between the Sforza and Vieville cards. Compared with the existing iconography of the time, the idea seems intriguing that it could be a boy waving a banner while riding a hobby horse under a central high sun from which solar drops fall (figure 10 - Composition created by Marco Ponzi on Tarot History Forum). The source of this reconstruction is to be found in a 16th century German astrological engraving in which the planetary deities are depicted intent on observing from above an arena the child on earth (figure 11 - Paris, National Library, Allemand 106, fol 198v in a section dating from 1490, according to notes in French on one of the initial blank pages of the book). 

 

The figure who is between the Sun and Venus, with a cross behind him and reading a book (probably the Gospels) is St. Michael, according to the writing below the image, which Lothar Teikemeier has partially translated for us. One of the lines reads, once the spelling is modernized, "Wan die 7 Planeten alle zusamen kument in ein Huß, so (?) laufen (?) zu Kinder zu Sankt Michel, Der helfft uns mit allen Engelen unser armen Selen", i.e. "When the 7 Planets all come together in one House, then the Children run (?) to Saint Michael, who with all his angels helps us poor souls". Elsewhere in the writing the words "coniunctio planeten", "futur", and "contrarii", or something similar, appear. The reference is probably to the Apocalypse, as a time when all the planets come together, and in which St. Michael and his angels fight the Devil and his legions.

 

The picture of the child, apart from the reference to "our poor souls", could then be seen as an invocation to children to entrust themselves to Saint Michael and all the angels for the protection of their souls. But in the context of the deciphered sentence of the text, it would also serve to remind everyone, of whatever age, that our souls, to be saved, must be purified of all pretension, leaving them like those of small children. We might think here of Christ's saying at Matthew 18:2-4: «And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, / And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. /  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.» (King James Version)

 

In the Cary Sheet, the planets are reduced to one, the Sun, while the child is the humbled soul, now ever-young, as the ancients in fact characterized that celestial body, as we shall see later. Such an interpretation might also have been applied by some to the Visconti-Sforza card, which is one of the six painted in a later style than those of the main body of that deck. In that way the Cary Sheet card would be a variation on the Visconti-Sforza hand-painted image. In both the Sforza and Cary Sheet cards, the child could be seen as the soul reduced to the status of a little child When the soul is so transformed, however, it is then, paradoxically, triumphant in heaven, and the child may grasp the fullness of the Light (the Sun) or fly a victory flag. By the same token, such a vision implies a way of seeing little children, as uncorrupted by the world, unfamiliar with its difficulties, and still filled with the spirit of that realm from which they recently came. The card can be seen as reflecting such a child, still receiving rays from on high. 

 

In the card of Viéville, done over one hundred years later, the hobby horse has been transformed into a real horse, while the boy has been replaced by an adult man. Since the horse and rider are depicted moving from right to left, according to the diurnal mode of the path of the sun, the person on the horse now probably represents Christ in the second coming rather than the purified soul. It is Christ as the rising sun, who overcomes the darkness of the Apocalypse and heralds the Last Judgment, which is indeed the next card in the Milanese order. In that case, someone might have seen the Cary Sheet image and, not influenced by the 16th century tradition, decided to turn it into a vision of Christ. 

 

This perspective also leads us to the Neoplatonist myth concerning the generation and return of souls, to which we have referred in regard to the cards of the Star and the Moon. The soul experiences two deaths, Plutarch says "While the goddess here [Demeter, earth-goddess] dissociates the soul from the body swiftly and violently, Phersephonê [Plutarch' moon goddess] gently and by slow degrees detaches the mind from the soul and has therefore been called 'single-born' because the best part of man is 'born single' when separated off by her" (6). With the phrase "born single", Plutarch is characterizing the separation from soul as a birth as well as a death, in the sense that what remains when soul is removed from mind newly existing by itselfafter its victorious separation from soul, readyto ascend to the sun, where it will experience yet a third death.

 

From the sun the processrepeats in reverse. The sun generates a new individual's intellect, the part that is "single born which it sends to the moon, to which the moon adds soul for the second birth; then the moon sends that combination to be born in a body on earth. Plutarch writes: “Then when the sun with his vital force has again sown mind in her [the moon], she receives it and produces new souls, and earth in the third place furnishes body" (7). In that sense the boy might represent the mind of a new soul, ready to be added to soul on the moon.

 

Plutarch relates his three stages of Sun. Moon, and Earth, each with its own type of death and birth, to the three Fates of Greco-Roman mythology (8). He says: "Of the three Fates too Atropos enthroned in the sun initiates generation, Clotho in motion on the moon mingles and binds together, and finally upon the earth Lachesis too puts her hand to the task, she who has the largest share in fate” (9). Here the power in the middle is Clotho, who in the myth was the Fate with the distaff, receiving Intellect from the Sun and mingling it with Soul from the Moon. Clotho also separates, for souls coming from the earth, soul from intellect, returning soul to the Moon and readying Intellect for its return to the Sun. That central role of Clotho the spinner, going down and going up, couldperhaps be why the Charles VI and Rothschild Sun cards feature ladies with distaffs under a shining sun. This is not to exclude, however, that she might be there simply to represent the same life- force, the thread of life, that the sun represents.

 

It is necessary to emphasize the function of divine trasmission that the solar drops, already present in the Cary Sheet, have always had for Christianity, and which are amply documented in hagiographic iconography. We can find a significant example in a woodcut in the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493, illustrating the conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle on the road to Damascus: the future saint, on horseback, is struck from heaven by celestial drops, for the divine purpose of enlightening hearts and minds to faith in Christ (figure 12).

 

Regarding the concept of the "ever young Sun", which was a feature of the thought of the ancients, they depicted Apollo and Bacchus together as youths, emblems of the Sun and its youthfulness. Bacchus, in fact, was considered to be “il medesimo, che il Sole” (the same as the Sun), as Cartari says. He continues: “The ancients depicted him as a beardless young man. Thus Alciati, when he wanted to symbolize youthfulness in his Emblems, depicts Apollo and Bacchus, as if those two, more than any of the other gods, were forever young. As Tibullus said, “Only Bacchus and Phoebus possess eternal youth, and both are blessed with long glorious hair.” (Questo [il Sole)] fecero gli antichi giovine in viso senza barba, onde volendo l'Alciato ne suoi Emblemi porre la Giovinezza, dipinse Apollo, e Bacco, come che à questi due più, che à gli altri, sia tocco di essere giovani sempre, onde Tibullo così disse

 

“Che Bacco solo, e Febo sono eternamente

Giovani sono, & hanno il capo ornato

Ambi di bella chioma risplendente”) (10)

 

The illustration (figure 13) of Alciati’s emblem 99, “In Iuventam” [On Youth] shows two youths and says, “Both youths are the children of Jupiter, one and the other are soft and beardless, one [Apollo] sprung from Latona and the other [Bacchus] from Semele. Good health to you, and may you flower together in eternal youth, and may mine last me a long time by your divine will.” (Natus uterque Iovis tener atque imberbis uterque, quem Latona tulit, quem tulit et Semele, salvete, aeterna simul et florete iuventa, numine sit vestro quae diuturna mihi) (11).

 

I have also come across this concept of the youthfulness of the sun several times in the work Antiquae Tabulae Marmoreae Solis Effige Effige [Antique Marble Slabs with  Effigies of the Sun] by Hieronimo Aleandro (12), from which I quote a few lines: “O Sun, ever youthful since as you set - as Fulgentius says in the first book of his Mythology - and rise again, you are always young; or better, because it never lessens its efficacy […] on the other hand, the Mythologists say nothing in a more certain manner than the fact that Apollo is one and the same as the Sun, and for this reason they maintained that he was usually represented as a youth. In fact, the Sun - as Isidore says in Book VII of his Origins - rises every day born with new light" (Sol semper juvenis [...] quia occidendo (inquit Fulgentius primo Mythol.) et renascendo semper est iunior, sive quod nunquam in sua virtute deficiat [...] at nihil facilius Mythologi affirmant, quam unum, enodunque, cum Sole esse Apollinem, quem ideo adolescentulum fingi solitum dixerunt, quod Sol (inquit Isidor. VII Orig.) quotidie oriatur et nova luce nascatur).

 

Concerning this matter, Cartari writes “That youthfulness [of the Sun] helps us to understand the Sun’s strength, and that heat which brings life to created things--it is always the same, never growing old and thus becoming weak" (La cui giovinezza [del sole] ci dà ad intendere, che la virtù sua, e quel calore, che dà vita alle cose create, è sempre il medesimo, & non invecchia mai, si che divenga debole) (13).

 

The same way of representing the energy of the sun, always the same and youthful,  is to be found in the depiction of the god Mithras. The geographer Strabo, in a work first printed in Latin around 1469, stated that the Persians worshiped the sun under the name Mithras (14); in late Persian, the word Mihr actually meant the Sun. Mithras, demiurge and father of generation, appears at times as kosmokrator, that is, lord and guiding force of the cosmos. In the Avestan hymn to Mithras, white horses draw the god’s chariot, which has a golden wheel, a symbol of the Chariot of the Sun. A relief made on a rock, dating back to the time of the Sassanid sovereign Ardashir II in the 4th century AD, shows Mithras with a halo of rays.

 

In his Annotationi alle Immagini del Cartari [Notes on the Images of Cartari] Lorenzo Pignoria tells how in 1606, he saw in Rome, on the Capitoline Hill, a piece of marble depicting Mithras with the words “Deo Sol invict... Mitrhe” and how, among other things, “there were two figures made of stone, one on each side, but in ruin” (15). The two figures were Cautes and Cautopates, the two youthful torchbearers who can be found in complete representations of the god. One of these,  quite well known, is in the Mithraic cave under the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome.

 

Pseudo-Dionysius “the Areopagite” (thought to be the “Dionysius the Areopatite” referred to by the Apostle Paul), in fact, speaks of the Mithras of the “Magi” (i.e. the Persians) as “Triplasios” (16), that is, of triple form. This is an affirmation of the substantial identity of the god and the two torch bearers as representations of the Sun rising, at midday, and setting. Cautes, the youth to the left of the god, is shown with a raised torch, representing the rising of the Sun. Mithras, the midday Sun, is shown slaying a bull (a representation of the victory of the spirit over the terrestrial essence). The youth to the right of the god, Cautopates, holds a lowered torch, signifying the setting of the luminary (figure 14 - Mitra Triplasios, Civic Museum, Bologna).

 

Sometimes, next to Cautes, a cock appears. Cartari, citing Pausanias, explains that the Greeks “[...] paid homage to the cock as Apollo’s bird, for its crowing heralds the Sun’s return in the morning" ([...] riverivano il Gallo come uccello di Apollo, perché cantando annuncia la mattina il ritorno del Sole) (17). Cautopates sometimes appears near an owl, a bird which in fact shows itself after sunset. Cautes and Cautopates, respectively, became a representation of Lucifer, the star which appears in the morning, and of Hesperus, the star of the evening. The image of Mithras as shining and triume Sun is represented well in a Roman sarcophagus in the Palazzo Piccolomini at Pienza, with the Sun placed in the center and the two torchbearers on the left and right (figure 15).

 

In the Tarot of Marseille, solar drops fall from the luminary onto two people, initially male and female adults (figure 16 - Noblet tarot, c. 1660 Paris), changing to two males (figure 17 - Conver Tarot, 1760 Marseille), in a posture associated with the zodiacal sign of Gemini, which was sometimes a male and a female (18) and sometimes both male (19). In Conver’s 1760 Tarot of Marseille the two personagess are depicted as children. In this sense it is possible to hypothesize that the draftsman may have been inspired by the cult of Mithras, representing the God as a central high sun and the two children as Caute and Cautopate or the rising and setting sun.

 

Another astrological connection is by way of the “Children of the planets” illustrations that were popular in the 15th-17th centuries. Under each planet were various activities and professions associated with that planet (figure 18). Physical activities such as wrestling were included beneath the picture of Sol, including two boys fighting, in a pose much like that in the zodiacal sign with two boys and the18th century French cards of the Tarot of Marseille.

 

We must not forget, in fact, that throughout the Renaissance, the images of the ancient gods awoke among those who observed them memories of the classical myths, to which a great ethical and moral value was attributed, and that the treatises on these topics were used as reference material in order to illustrate allegories and symbolism of a Christian nature and later of an esoteric nature as well.

 

It necessary to observe that Apollo, understood as Sun-Apollo, was considered in a few influential sources the tutelary god of the Gemini. Regarding this, we must refer to the Greek pantheon of triumping divinities in triumph of the Palazzo Schifanoia (20).

 

In that fresco series, the month of May, with the sign of Gemini indicated by the two naked little boys at the bottom center (figure 19 - Fresco by Francesco del Cossa, c. 1468-70), with Apollo as the ruling deity. The correlations between months, gods, and zodiacal signs are the assignments made by the first century astrologer Manilius, in his Astronomica. The sequence starts with March (21):

 

Pallas Athena protects the Ram [Aries], Venus the Bull,

Apollo the handsome Twins; you, Mercury, rule the Crab;

And you, Jupiter, the Lion, with the Mother of the Gods;

The Maid with her sheaf of corn be longs to Ceres; the Balance

Is Vulcan's; the warlikc Scorpion clings to Mars;

Diana cherishes the Hunter - a man, but partly a horse –

And Vesta the cramped stars of the Goat;

Opposite Jupiter is Juno's sign, the Water Bearer,

And Neptune in the deep acknowledges his Fishes.

 

(Lanigerum Pallas, Taurum Cytherea tuetur,

famosos Phoebus Geminos; Cyllenie, Cancrum,Iuppiter, et cum matre deum regis ipse Leonem,

spicifera est Virgo Cereris fabricataque Libra

Vulcani; pugnax Mavorti Scorpios haeret;

venantem Diana virum, sed partis equinae,

atque angusta fovet Capricorni sidera Vesta;

et Iovis adverso Iunonis Aquarius astrum est.

agnoscitque suos Neptunus in aethere pisces)

 

As can be seen, the assignments are not in accord with customary astrological practice. Nonetheless, because of its use at the Schifanoia, this remains a possible influence on the Tarot of Marseille card.

 

Macrobius, on the Gate of Cancer through which souls go down to generation, affirms that it must be identified with that zodiacal sign, as a point of intersection between the Milky Way and the Zodiac (22). To bear out the thesis that in the card the Gemini may have been put there in relation to the descent of souls to generation, it is necessary to consider an extension of the myth, since the Portal of Cancer is connected to the Moon and not the Sun (23).

 

But if we consider that the Gemini might have been put on the card independently of astrological considerations, the presence of the two boys in the late Tarot of Marseille should be placed in relation to the concept of the “forever young sun” that the ancients had or as an emblem of young souls, as expressed above.

 

It is evident, after various iconographical analyses, that some representations of Triumphs have meaning through symbolic polysemies (from the Greek polýsêmos, “with many meanings”, composed by polýs = many and sêma = sign, i.e. meaning) due to the confluence of many traditions: a child could mean the ever-young energy of the sun and also Christ. If two children, they could mean the three forms of Mithra, a Trinitarian vision of the God, the zodiacal sign of the Twins or the children of the sun, as we have shown..

 

Notes

 

1 - Thomaso Garzoni da Bagnacavallo, De’ Cervelloni universali, & ingegnosi [Of Ingenious and All-Encompassing Brains] - Discorso XXXIIII, in "Il Theatro de’ vari e diversi cervelli mondani" [The Theater of various and diverse worldly brains], Reggio, 1585, p. 158.

2 - Daniela Pagliai, Il Sole, in Le Carte di Corte, ed. Giordano Berti and Andrea Vitali, Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1987. p. 179. Pagliai refers to the sanguine temperament as being associated particularly with adolescence. While true, the association can be with any period of youth, including that depicted on the Sforza card. 

3 - For various uses of coral against plague see Marsilio Ficino, Contro alla Peste (Against Plague), Giunti, 1576, p. 18. Originally written in Latin, 1481.

4 - Most famously, at the beginning of Homer’s Iliad (Book I, lines 8-12) Apollo sends plague to the Greeks because of the dishonor shown by Agamemnon to Apollo’s priest  Chrysis.

5 - Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, R. D. Hicks, trans., Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press,  1925, 6.2.38.  Originally written in Greek, 3rd century c.e.

6 - Plutarch, On The face which appears in the Orb of the Moon, Harold Cherniss, trans., Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1957, section 28 , p. 199. Originally written in Greek, 1st century c.e. The epithet "single-born" was an epithet of Hecate and Persephone, as Cherniss explains in note 336 to the translation; Plutarch is appropriating the term to his own use. Thanks to Michael S. Howard for this paragraph, for the expansion of the next one, and for the paragraph after that.

7Ibid., section 30, p. 219 of translation.

8 - For how the cards from Death to Star fit this process, see Michael S. Howard, "The Astral Journey of the Soul", link at

http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=454&lng=ENG.  That all these cards fit Plutarch's account both in their imagery and in their place in the sequence speaks to the relevance of this text to an appreciation of the tarot's imagery, from the time of the "Charles VI" tarot to the 18th century and probably still today. 

9 - Plutarch, op. cit., section 30, p. 221 of translation.

10 - John Mulryan, trans. and ed., Vincenzo Cartari’s Images of the Gods of the Ancients, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Tempe, AZ, 2012, p. 44.  This is a translation of the 1571 edition of Imagini de gli Dei de gli Antichi, an enlarged version of the first edition of 1556.

11 - Andrea Alciati, A book of emblems: the Emblematum Liber in Latin and English, John F. Moffit, trans., 2004, p. 119. Originally in Latin, 1531.

12 - Hieronimo Aleandro, Antiquae Tabulae Marmoreae Solis Effige…, Romae, Ex Typographia Batholomaei Zanetti, M.D.CXVI. [Rome, from typography of Bartholomeo Zanetti, 1616], pp. 17-18.

13 - John Mulryan, op, cit., p. 44.

14 - Strabo, Geography, trans. H. C. Hamilton, London. George Bell & Sons. 1903. book fifteen, ch. III,  sect, 13.  Originally in Greek, 1st century c.e.

15 - Lorenzo Pignoria, Annotationi  all’ Imagini del Cartari [Notes on the Images of Cartari] addendum to Vincenzo Cartari, Imagini de gli Dei delli Antichi, In Venetia, Presso il Tomasini. M.DC.XLVII.[Venice, printed by Tomasini, 1647], p. 293.

16 - Letters, 7, 2; in Pseudo-Dionysius, Complete Works, trans. Colm Luibheid, New York, Paulist Press, 1987, p. 268. Originally in Greek, late 5th or early 6th century c.e..

17 - Mulryan, op. cit., p. 50.

18 - In this case, from the perspective of Plutarch’s myth, one represents soul (feminine anima) and the other spirit or intellect (masculine intellecto or spirito), the two taking sad leave of each other after their long and successful partnership. On this see:Howard, op. cit.. On this see: Michael S. Howard, The Astral Journey of the Soul, section entitled “Plutarch on the Separation of Mind from Soul as a Precondition for the Journey to the Sun” at link http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=454&lng=ENG

19 - For numerous examples see:

http://ica.themorgan.org/search/search.asp?zoom_sort=0&zoom_query=Gemini&zoom_per_page=10&zoom_and=0; see in particular numbers 3, 6, 9 and 10 of the second ten in that list.[i.e. page 2]). They are all from medieval manuscripts now in the Pierpont Morgan Library of New York.

20 - See Marco Bertozzi, La Tirannia degli Astri. Gli affreschi astrologici di Palazzo Schifanoia [The tyranny of the Stars. The astrological frescoes of the Schifanoia Palace], Livorno, Sillabe, 1999.

21 - Manilius, Astronomica 2.5.439-447. Quoted by Aby Warburg in “Italian Art and International Astrology in the Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara” (1912), in The renewal of pagan antiquity: contributions to the cultural history of the European Renaissance, trans. David Britt, Getty Research Insitute, Los Angeles, 1998, p. 573. Originally in Latin, 1st century c.e.

22 - Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, trans. with an introduction by William H. Stahl, Columbia University Press, New York, 1.12.1-3, pp 133-134. Originally Commentarii in somnium scipionis, 5th century.

23 - For more information regarding Macrobius on this issue, see Michael S. Howard, The Astral Journey of the Soul, op. cit

 

Copyright by Andrea Vitali © All rights reserved 1993