Andrea Vitali's Historical Essays on the Tarot

Essays

 

WARNING: All the essays are protected by copyright. None of them may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording, or storage, without written permission of the Le Tarot Association. 

 

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Some iconological discoveries made by Professor Andrea Vitali concerning  the Hanged Man and Tower cards were introduced by him in 1987 on the occasion of the exposition, Cards of the Court: Tarot, Games and Magic in the Estense Court, a large exhibition about the tarot on an international level held in Ferrara at the Estense Castle. In 1994 he introduced other discoveries, on Temperance, the Star, the Moon, the Sun, and the World, in the circumstance of the exposition Tarot: Art and Magic, at the Civic Archeological Museum of Bologna. Both were exhibitions for which Prof. Vitali curated the historical-scientific project and the selection of documents. Along with the iconological essays presented here concerning all 22 Triumphs, are essays on history, literature, the game of tarot from the 15th to 19th centuries, and articles on topics of a symbolic nature. The Host Essays section presents essays written by members of the Association and other leading experts. Currently some essays are only in Italian. 


The English translations in the sections Andrea Vitali’s Historical Essays on the Tarot were revised in February 2012 by tarot researcher Michael S. Howard, who also translated many essays for the first time.  To him we extend our heartfelt thanks.

 

Many historical essays by Andrea Vitali have not yet been translated into English. Currently there are 99 essays in English versions and 180 in Italian ones. Regarding the essays not yet translated into English, we have, however, reported the English translation of the titles present in the Italian version.

 

The Iconological Essays by Andrea Vitali on the Triumphs have all been translated into English. At the moment, 6 of the 22 essays are visible. All essays will be soon available in print and digital edition. 

 

As for the guest essays, of the 66 in Italian, at the moment 14 essays have been translated.

 

Below are the titles of Andrea Vitali's Historical Essays based on the topics covered. In relation to the contents, some essays have been included under different themes.

 

To access to the translated essays click on the titles in the list on your left or on the titles here. The designation in brackets “In Italian only” defines the essays not yet translated into English but at present only in Italian.

 

History of the Tarot


The Prince, Inventor of the Ludus Triumphorum

In Bologna of the first years of the 15th century

 

The History of the Tarot
From its origin to the present day


Bologna and the Invention of the Triumphs
Triumphs, tarots and tarocchini in Bologna of the 15th to 20th century

 

Tarot: History, Art, Magic

A selection of images from the catalogue

 

The Mystical Staircase
The mystical journey toward Knowledge

 

The Mystical Staircase in the “Sermo de Ludo

An example of the concept Ludendo Intelligo (Playing and Learning)


The Order of the Triumphs
In the earliest tarots  and in 16th century documents

 

Triumphs, Trionfini and Trionfetti
Between game and literature

 

Tarotica - 1584    
The quaternary of the tarot between mysticism and game

 

The Origin of Aces
A suggestive hypothesis about the origin of the suits with numeral cards

 

El Bagatella Which is the Symbol of Sin 
Regarding the Bagatto as the first card of the Triumphs

 

Bagatelli Priests in the 16th and 17th Centuries 

Between fraudulence and heresy

(In Italian only: Preti bagatelli nel Cinque e Seicento.

Fra fraudolenza ed eresia)

 

On Heretics Accused of Bagatella Sins 

In the Venetian city of Cittadella

(In Italian only: Di eretici accusati di peccati bagatella

Nella città veneta di Cittadella)

 

Folly and “Melancholia
Sensible and senseless folly in the procession of the Triumphs

 

From “Barocchi” to “Tarocchi

The evolution of the term “Barocco” into “Tarocco”

 

A Bagatello Mouse

Three documents of the 16th century on “bagatello”

(In Italian only: Un topolino bagatello – 1596

Tre documenti cinquecenteschi sul ‘bagatello’)

 

Sigismondo Malatesta and the Triumphs

A golden world 

 

Tarot “Of New Invention” - 1585

In the “Universal Plaza” of Tomaso Garzoni da Bagnacavallo

 

The Sola Busca Tarot

Alchemical or otherwise? Comparative hypotheses

 

The Visconti di Modrone Tarot

One of three surviving hand-painted tarots with Visconti heraldic features

 

'Le Monde Primitif' by Antoine Court De Gébelin

Fons et origo (source) of the esoteric doctrine of the Tarot

(In Italian only: 'Le Monde Primitif' di Antoine Court De Gébelin

Fons et origo della dottrina esoterica dei Tarocchi.

 

Educational Tarot in Sicily - 1737

The practice of educating young people through the use of the playing cards

(In Italian only: Tarocchi Istruttivi in Sicilia.

L’usanza di educare i giovani attraverso un mazzo di carte)

 

About the Meaning of Tarocco (Tarot)

 

The Meaning of the Word “Tarocco”

The name of the game with the Triumphs, taken from the card without number

 

 About the Etymology of Tarocco

The meaning of the word Tarocco in the Renaissance and in modern interpretations

 

Taroch: Vulgar Latin
Zanitonella by Folengo and the vulgar Tuscan

 

Taroch: Nulla Latina Ratione
With Barbarian rite, without relationship to the Latin, now they call it taroch

 

Taroch - 1494
The “Frotula de le dòne” by Giovan Giorgio Alione

 

Rochi and Tarochi
A fascinating hypothesis regarding the etymology of the word Tarocchi


Tharocus Bacchus Est                   
From the myth of the god of orgies, the origin of the word Tarocchi

 

Theroco Wind
The wind that leads to madness (16th century)

 

A “Cavaleyro” Taroco - 13th Century

A vain and foolish cavalier in a cantiga of Pedr'Amigo de Sivilha 

 

Tarocco Means Fool

Literary documents from our essays

(In Italian only: Tarocco sta per Matto

Documenti letterari tratti da nostri saggi)

 

A Tarocco from Morocco in the Form of a Jester
As described in a work by Tommaso Buoni in 1605

(In Italian only: Un tarocco dal Marocco a guisa di Mattacino

Così come descritto in un opera di Tommaso Buoni del 1605)

 

L’Epuloni” by Frugoni - 1675
Whoever does not have the Moon, the Sun and the World is a Tarocco

(In Italian only: “L’Epuloni” del Frugoni - 1675

Chi non ha il Sole, la Luna o il Mondo in mano resta un Tarocco)

 

Ascanio Errante - 1640

The crazy reasoning of a dog with the surname Tarocco

(In Italian only:  Ascanio Errante – 1640

Il ragionamento matto di un cane di nome Tarocco)

 

Satyr Taroco - 1605

The attribute of false in a pagan temple

(In Italian only: Taroco Satiro - 1605

L’attributo di falso a un tempio pagano)

 

A King of Tarochi

A king without sense in the italian vernacular languages of the 16th century 

 

Matto as a False and Insignificant Person

From dictionaires and pages of literature 

 

The Jewish Fake Count, a 16th Century “Giudiata

Another document where Tarocco means mad

 

"Now I with two tarocchi (idiots)" - 17th century

On a Bernesque [a type of satire] sonnet by Ottavio Masserini

(In Italian only: "Or io con due tarocchi (idioti)" - Sec. XVII

Su un sonetto bernesco di Ottavio Masserini)

 

On a old man tarocco (foolish) in love

A sonnet by Pierantonio carrara - 17th century

(In Italian only: "Di un vecchio tarocco (sciocco) innamorato.

Un sonetto di Pierantonio Carrara - sec. XVII)

 

On the reason for the presence of the Bagatto (Magician) as the first card of the Triumphs

 

El Bagatella Which is the Symbol of Sin 

Regarding the Bagatto as the first card of the Triumphs

 

The Bagattino Between History and Literature

The coin of little value from which the word Bagatella derived

(In Italian only: Il Bagattino fra storia e letteratura

La moneta di scarso valore dalla quale derivò la parola Bagatella)

 

Bagatelli Priests in the 16th and 17th Centuries 

Between fraudulence and heresy

(In Italian only: Preti bagatelli nel Cinque e Seicento

Fra fraudelenza ed eresia)

 

On Heretics Accused of Bagatella Sins 

In the Venetian city of Cittadella

(In Italian only: Di eretici accusati di peccati bagatella

Nella città veneta di Cittadella)

 

The Word “Bagatella” in the Works of Ferrando Pallavicini

Life and works of a great writer condemned by the Inquisition      

(In Italian only: La parola ‘Bagatella’ nelle opere di Ferrando Pallavicini

Vita e opere di un grande scrittore condannato dall’Inquisizione)

                                                                                                                                        

Minchiate Between Game and Literature  


Minchiate in Literature  
From the 15th to the 19th century

 

Farsa Satyra Morale
“Sminchiata” means stuff for fools

 

Treatise on the Game of Minchiate
A document on the game of Minchiate dated to 1716

 

On Minchione
Where we talk about stupid, mad and time-wasting men

(In Italian  only: Del Minchione

Dove si tratta di uomini stupidi, balordi e perditempo)


Ganellini seu Gallerini
The game of Minchiate in Genoa, Rome and Palermo (17th and 18th centuries)

 

On “Minchionare” and “Minchionaggine

Stories of cunning and stupidity

(In Italian only: Del Minchionare e della Minchionaggine

Storie di furbizie e dabbenaggine)

 

May Cancer Come to Goffo and Tarocco

New documents between history and literature from the 16th to the 19th century

 

A Warlike Game of Triumphs – 16th Century

Two compositions by Giovanni Petrei

(In Italian only: Una guerresca partita a Trionfi  - sec. XVI

Due composizioni di Giovanni Petrei)

 

Diogenes' Dog - 1687 

A satirical-literary work by Francesco Fulvio Frugoni

(In Italian only: Il cane di Diogene – 1687

Un’opera satirico-letteraria di Francesco Fulvio Frugoni)

 

 On the Education of a Prince' s Son - 1542

The three games to teach young dauphins: chess, sbaraglino, and tarot

(In Italian only: De lo istituire il figlio d'un Principe – 1542

I tre giochi da insegnare ai giovani delfini: scacchi, sbaraglino e tarocchi) 

 

Allegorical Notes on the Game of Minchiate

In a treatise by Francesco Saverio Brunetti - 1747 

 

Triumphs and Carnival Songs in Florence - 15th century

Lorenzo's 'Canto di Berriquocolai' and Ottonaio's 'Canto de Giucatori'

(In Italian only: Trionfi e Canti di Carnevale a Firenze - sec. XV.

Il "Canto dei Berriquocolai" di Lorenzo e il "Canto de Giucatori" dell'Ottonario)

(Canto dei Berriquocolai = Song of the Biscuit Sellers / Canto de Giucatori = Song of the Players)

 

The Vachero conspiracy and the Column of Infamy - 1628

Tarot in Alessandro Zilioli's 'Memorable Histories' 

(In Italian only: La congiura del Vachero e la Colonna Infame - 1628.

I Tarocchi nelle 'Historie Memorabili di Alessandro Zilioli)

 

Tarot and playing cards in Literature

Tarot in Literature I
The most important documents (partly in Italian only)

 

Tarot in Literature II
The most important documents

 

Tarot in Literature III
The most important documents


Tarot in Literature IV
Texts and reports of famous authors 

 

La Cassaria” by Ariosto [Cassaria = The story of a box]
The game of tarot in the comedy La Cassaria by Ludovico Ariosto

 

Tasso and the Tarot 

Now I’m tired and I want to play tarot

 

Symbolic Suits
The meaning of the suits in Renaissance playing cards

 

Triumphs, Trionfini and Trionfetti
Between game and literature

 

Il Malmantile Racquistato [The City of Malmantile Regained]
A general who loved tarot too much

 

Giordano Bruno and the Tarot
At this cursed game I cannot win, because I have a terrible memory

 

My Heart Has Become a Taroch
The order of the Triumphs in a villanelle of the 16th century

 

Taroch: Vulgar Latin
The “Zanitonella” by Folengo and the vulgar Tuscan

 

Taroch: Nulla Latina Ratione
With barbarian rite, whithout relationship to the Latin, now they call it taroch

 

Taroch - 1494
The “Frotula de le dòne” by Giovan Giorgio Alione

 

Writing and Quarreling
The verb Taroccare from Giulio Cesare Croce to Giosuè Carducci

 

Giulio Cesare Croce and the Tarot
The Magician never comes to me, nor the World, nor even the Fool


Ruzante, the Peasant
Bagatelles, traitors and triumphs in card games in the works of Angelo Beolco

 

The Game of Malcontento  – 1547
Tarot in a Capriccio by Luigi Tansillo

(In Italian only: Il Malcontento - 1547

I Tarocchi in un Capriccio di Luigi Tansillo)

 

Sorian Days
The invention of a noble holiday in chess, billiards and tarot

 

Taroch in Milan  in the 16th Century 
On a Cheribizo and a manufacturer of playing cards

 

The  Sermons of  Giusti
Giovan Batista Giusti and  the prince of the tarot

The Game of Final Bagatt
In praise of the delightful game vulgarly called Bagattultimo

 

Odi et Amo [I hate and I love]
Of love and hate of the game of tarot

 

People who Tarocca [Swear]
Swearing and yelling in literature

(In Italian only: Gente che tarocca

L’inveire e l’imprecare in letteratura)


El Bagatella Which is the Symbol of Sin
Regarding the Bagatto as the first card of the Triumphs


De Rege Scaccorum, de Imperatore Tarocorum [On the King in Chess and the Emperor in tarot]
Playing cards and tarot if useful for scholars and courtiers to pass the time

 

May Cancer Come to Goffo and Tarocco

New documents between history and literature from the 16th to the 19th century

 

Aretino's Letters 

The letters of Aretino to “Padovano, manufacturer of playing cards in Florence”

(In Italian only: Lettere Aretiniane

Le Lettere dell’Aretino al “Padovan’ cartaro in Fiorenza”

 

In Praise of Knavery – 1538

Tarot scoundrels in a work by Iacopo Bonfadio

(In Italian only: Delle lodi alla Furfanteria - 1538

Tarocchi furfanti in un’opera di Iacopo Bonfadio

 

Triompho of the Noble Women of Cesena – 16th Century

Together with a love poem for the tarot (from the Vatican Apostolic Library)

(In Italian only: Trionpho delle nobili donne dei Cesena – sec. XVI

Unitamente a una poesia d’amore per i tarocchi (dalla B.A.V.)

 

Like the “Fool of the Tarot” of Carducci

Or, Italy is not awake

 

Tarocchi [Mad] Devils and Other Stories 

Tarot in the pages of literati from the 17th to the 19th century

(In Italian only: Diavoli tarocchi e altre storie

I tarocchi in pagine di letterati dal Seicento al Novecento)

 

A Sonnet in Modenese Dialect of the 16Ith Century

In olden times good children did not play tarot 

 

On Tuscan Eloquence

If you play tarot, you do not deserve laurels  

(In Italian only: Della Toscana Eloquenza

Se si gioca a tarocchi non si meritano gli allori)

 

Grotesque Tarot - 1587

Tarot in the “De' Grotteschi” by Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo

(In Italian only: Tarocchi Grotteschi – 1587

I Tarocchi nel “De Grotteschi” di Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo

 

Against the Tarot

Invectives and abandonments

(In Italian only: Contro i tarocchi

Invettive e abbandoni)

 

The Madness of the Wise  - 1641

Tarot in “Il Lambertaccio” by Bartolomeo Bocchini

(In Italian only: La Pazzia de’ Savi -1641

I Tarocchi ne “Il Lambertaccio” di Bartolomeo Bocchini)

 

The Parisian Virgin - 1661

A literary work by Francesco Fulvio Frugoni

(In Italian only: La Vergine Parigina – 1661

Opera letteraria di Francesco Fulvio Frugoni)

 

The Bravura of Captain Spavento - 1607 

Playing Primiera with Time, Fortune and Death

(In Italian only: Le Bravure del Capitano Spavento - 1607

Giocando a Primiera con il Tempo, la Fortuna e la Morte)

 

On Luck and Fortune – 1573

In the “Annotations of various Stories” by Antonino Danti

(In Italian only: Di Fortuna, Et Sorte – 1573

Nelle “Annotationi di diverse Historie” di Antonino Danti)

 

Guido Casoni's Game of Fortune  - 1622

Playing Tarot with Fortune

(In Italian only: Il Giuoco di Fortuna di Guido Casoni – 1622

Giocare a tarocchi con la fortuna)

 

The Sonnet ”Tarocco” by Giovanni Prati 

A hymn to the savior Poetry                     

(In Italian only: Il sonetto “Tarocco” di Giovanni Prati

Un inno alla Poesia salvatrice)

 

The "Macheronic Crown" by B. Bocchini - 17th century

A poem with the Triumphs of the Bolognese tarot

(In Italian only: La "Corona Macheronica" di B. Bocchini - sec. XVII

Un componimento poetico con i Trionfi dei tarocchi bolognesi)

 

"The Magic of Characters" by G. Maria Muti - 1682

The extraordinary accaunt of an amorous card game with Triumphs

(In Italian only: "La Magia dei Caratteri" di G. Maria Muti - 1682.

Lo straordinario resoconto di un'amorosa partita a carte con i Trionfi)

 

Tarot in the Works of G.G. Ricci - 17th Century

"The Marrying of the Muses", "Pleasures of Parnassus", "Poetry Married"

(Only in Italian: I Tarocchi nelle opere di G.G.Ricci - sec. XVII.

‘Il Maritaggio delle Muse’, i ‘Diporti di Parnaso’, ‘La Poesia Maritata’)

 

Gasparo Gozzi and Card Games - 18th century

A game between 'Interest' and 'Love' and other works in prose

(Only in Italian: Gasparo Gozzi e il gioco delle carte - sec. XVIII

Una partita between 'Interest' and 'Love' and other prose)

 

Tarot Players on the Moon - 1764

The “Summer Entertainment” by Ciro Mario Canicola Lapolitano

(In Italian only: Giocatori di tarocchi sulla Luna - 1764

Gli “Intertenimenti Estivi” di Ciro Mario Canicola Lapolitano)

 

The Witty Motto "On the Fool of the Tarot"

And other sonnets by Francesco Morelli - late 18th century

(In Italian only: La Freddura Poetica "Sovra il Matto de' Tarocchi"

E altri sonetti di Francesco Morelli - fine sec. XVIII)

 

A Trap for Carlo Emanuele I - 17th century

The war between Carlo Emanuele I and the Gonzagas described by a card game

(In Italian only: Una Trappola per Carlo Emanuele I - sec. XVII

La guerra fra Carlo Emanuele I e i Gonzaga descritta da un gioco di carte)

 

Tarocchi and Tarocchini between Game and Literature 


Tarot in Literature I (partly in Italian only)
The most important documents

God doesn't Mind Tarocchino
A Game for the relief of poor humanity and a game of fashion

 

Tarocchini in the 17th Century

In literary Texts, Essays and Satires

(In Italian only: I Tarocchini nel Settecento

In testi letterari, saggi e satire)
 

Pleasant Dialogues - 1539

Nicolò Franco, adversary of Aretino and friend of the same

 

Tarocchino in Rhymes, Satires, and a Holy Life

In winter at the fire, a game of tarocchino

(In Italian only: Il Tarocchino in rime, satire e in una vita santa

D’inverno presso il fuoco, una partita a tarocchino)

 

Nihil in Hoc Mundo Mutat - 1589  [Nothing in this world changes]

Nobles play the fool in triumphing as in the game of tarot

(In Italian only: Nihil in hoc mundo mutat – 1589

I nobili danno di matto nel trionfare come nel gioco dei tarocchi)

 

17th Century Miscellany

Marchelli - Ricci - Sarpi - Banchieri – Gherardi

(In Italian only: Miscellanea Seicentesca

Marchelli – Ricci – Sarpi – Banchieri – Gherardi)

 

"The Magic of Characters" by G. Maria Muti - 1682

The extraordinary account of an amorous card game with Triumphs

(In Italian only. Original title: "La Magia dei Caratteri" di G. Maria Muti - 1682.

Lo straordinario resoconto di un'amorosa partita a carte con i Trionfi)

 

Tarot and Madness/Folly


The Hospital of Incurable Madmen
Tarot and madness

 

Mundus Alter et Idem – 1605
Tarot and utopia

 

The Theatre of Brains – 1585
Playing cards and gambling

 

Wise Madness, Pleasant Madness - 1607
The order of the Triumphs in a work about madness 

 

Folly and “Melancholia
Sensible and senseless folly in the procession of the Triumphs

 

The Paradoxes of Lando - 1543

An accolade to the inventor of the tarot 

(In Italian only: I Paradossi del Lando – 1543

Una lode all’inventore dei tarocchi)

 

Vanity and Folly

Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity

(In Italian only: Vanità e Follia

Vanitas vanitatis et omnia vanitas)

 

Tarot  and Gambling

Playing Cards and Gambling
Genera ludorum fortunae a dyabolo inventa sum [The kinds of games of luck were invented by the Devil]

 

Saint Bernardino and the Cards
Regular cards and Triumphs in the chronicles about the life of the Saint

 

Allowed Triumphs, Forbidden Triumphs - 15th Century
Two new documents


Laudables et Vituperables  - 15th Century
Praiseworthy and blameworthy games in the sermons of Roberto da Lecce

 

Triumphs in the Bonfire of the Vanities – 1497
Girolamo Savonarola and the Piagnoni in Florence


Remedy of Game-Players
Three sorts of forbidden games at the beginning of the 16th century

 

The Tarocchini in the 18th Century
In literary texts, essays and satires 

(In Italian only: I Tarocchini nel Settecento

In testi letterari, saggi e satire)

 

Folly and “Melancholia”
Sensible and senseless folly in the procession of the Triumphs

 

De Rege Scaccorum, de Imperatore Tarocorum [On the King in Chess and the Emperor in Tarot]
Playing cards and tarot if useful for scholars and courtiers to pass the time

 

The Illicit Skill of Cheaters

The world of cheaters in real-life stories and tricks of the trade

 

Officium Lusorum

Mass of the gamblers

 

Cursed Be Thou, Old She-Wolf

Avarice: players’, prostitutes’ and moneylenders’ sin of greed

(In Italian only: Maladetta sie tu, antica lupa

Avarizia: il peccato di avidità di giocatori, prostitute e usurai)

 

Of the Passion of Gambling
Character and portrait of the gambler in France and Italy of the 19th century 

 

The Island of Games

From “Little works in verse and prose” by Filandro Cretense

(In Italian only: L’isola del giuoco

Dagli “Opuscoli in verso e in prosa” di Filandro Cretense)

 

Tarot and Games


Ludere ad Triumphos [To Play at Triumphs]
Cum Deo et in Ecclesia [With God and in church]

 

Symbolic Suits
The meaning of the suits in Renaissance playing cards

 

Taroch in Milan in the 16th Century 
On a Cheribizo and a manufacturer of playing cards

 

De Ludo in Statutis  [of games in statutes]
A collation of statutes on games

(In Italian only: De Ludo in Statutis

Collazione di Statuti sul gioco)

 

Games and Magic in Ferrara
On a manufacturer of tarot cards, on games and repressive laws, on witches and magic


Tarocchini in the 18th Century
In literary texts, essays and satires 

(In Italian only: I Tarocchini nel Settecento

In testi letterari, saggi e satire)

 

De Rege Scaccorum, de Imperatore Tarocorum [On the King in Chess and the Emperor in Tarot]
Playing cards and tarot if useful for scholars and courtiers to pass the time

 

The Illicit Skill of Cheaters

The world of cheaters in real-life stories and tricks of the trade

 

May Cancer Come to Goffo and Tarocco

New documents between history and literature from the16th to the 19th century

 

Pastimes of the Country Villa – Pastimes of the Courts

Between tarot and chess, games in Adriano Banchieri and in the Courts

(In Italian only: Trastulli della villa - Trastulli di Corte

Fra tarocchi e scacchi, il gioco in Adriano Banchieri e nelle Corti) 

 

Tarocchini out of the Monasteries!

When nuns gambled all their possessions at cards

(In Italian only: Fuori i Tarocchini dai monasteri!

Quando le monache si giocavano tutti i propri averi a carte)

 

De Viribus Quantitatis [On Quantitative Forces]

Triumph cards in a mathematical guess by Luca Pacioli

(In Italian only: De viribus quantitatis

Le carte dei Trionfi in un indovinello matematico di Luca Pacioli)

 

The Game of Tarot: a Symbol of Human Life

Francesco Fulvio Frugoni - 1669

(In Italian only: Il Giuoco dei Tarocchi: un simbolo dell’Humana vita

Francesco Fulvio Frugoni - 1669

 

Better the Tarot than the Breviary

The concupiscence of priests for the tarot in the 19th century

(In Italian only: Meglio i Tarocchi del Breviario

La concupiscenza dei preti per i tarocchi nell’Ottocento)

 

Tarot between  Magic and Inquisition 


The Conjuration of the Tarrocco
A magic ritual in sixteenth century Venice

 

Tarot and Inquisitors
In the Serenissima and Trentino, between “witches” and “diabolical priests”

 

Games and Magic in Ferrara
On a manufacturer of tarot cards, on games and repressive laws, on witches and magic

 

El Bagatella Which is the Symbol of Sin
Regarding the Bagatto as the first card of the Triumphs

 

A Clownish Sermon - 1529

Instead of the sacred mysteries, talk from the pulpit on how to play Triumphs

 

Carnival and Tarot


Matti de Trionfi  [Fools of the Triumphs]
Carnival and Folly

 

Tarot and symbolic world


The Mystical Staircase
The mystical journey toward Knowledge

 

Symbolic Suits
The meaning of the suits in Renaissance playing cards

 

Castel del Monte
The number eight and Christian mysticism

 

Nativitas
The Feast of Sol Invictus

 

The Aristotelian Telescope
Wit, symbols and the tarot

 

Emperor Moon and Pope Sun
The thesis of the Church on the superiority of the Pope

 

Tarotica - 1584
The quaternary of the tarot between mysticism and game

 

El Bagatella Which is the Symbol of Sin 
Regarding the Bagatto as the first card of the Triumphs

 

Folly and “Melancholia”  
Sensible and senseless folly in the procession of the Triumphs

 

Christ, the Great Gambler
A cantata “For the birth of Our Lord” in Baroque Naples

 

Slut Fortune: Fortune from Dante to Cellini

In addition to a rhyme on the Wheel of Fortune in18th century Milanese dialect

(In Italian only: Porca Fortuna: La Fortuna da Dante al Cellini

In aggiunta a una rima sulla Ruota di Fortuna in dialetto milanese del ‘700)

 

The Legend of Popess Joan
Because there is the Pope, there must also be the Popess

 (In Italian only: La favola della Papessa Giovanna

Perché vi è il papa vi debbe anco essere la papessa)

 

Tarot and Neoplatonism


The Astral Origin of the Soul
A Neoplatonic myth in the iconography of a few cards of the Triumphs


Tarot Between Music and Musicians


Christ, the Great Gambler
A cantata “For the birth of Our Lord” in Baroque Naples

Mozart’s Salzburg Days

I won. Played Tarot

 

Pastimes of the Country Villa – Pastimes of the Courts

Between tarot and chess, games in Adriano Banchieri and in the courts

(In Italian only: Trastulli della villa - Trastulli di Corte

Fra tarocchi e scacchi, il gioco in Adriano Banchieri e nelle corti) 

 

Taroccare” in 18h Century Opera Librettos

Games in dramas, intermezzi, comedies, dramatic actions and farces

(In Italian only: ‘Taroccare’ nei libretti d’opera del Settecento

Drammi giocosi, Intermezzi, commedie, azioni drammatiche e farsette)

 

“Taroccare” in 19th Century Opera Librettos

Games in heroic-comic, semi-serious and comic dramas, melodramas, comedies and farces  

(In Italian only: ‘Taroccare’ nei libretti d’opera dell’Ottocento

Drammi giocosi, eroicomici, semi-seri, buffi; melodrammi, commedie e farse)

 

Triumphs and Carnival Songs in Florence - 15th century

Lorenzo's 'Canto di Berriquocolai' and Ottonaio's 'Canto de Giucatori'

(In Italian only: Trionfi e Canti di Carnevale a Firenze - sec. XV.

Il "Canto dei Berriquocolai" di Lorenzo e il "Canto de Giucatori" dell'Ottonario)

(Canto dei Berriquocolai = Song of the Biscuit Sellers / Canto de Giucatori = Song of the Players)

 

Tarot Manufacture and Manufacturers


Making Cards in the 18th Century
Art and technology in the manifacture of playing cards

(In Italian only: Far carte nel Settecento

Arte e tecnica nella fabbricazione delle carte)

 

Taroch in Milan in the 16th Century
On a Cheribizo and a manufacturer of playing cards


Tarot and Cartomancy 

The Castle of Malpaga
Game of Triumphs or cartomancy with Triumphs?

 

Il Torracchione Desolato  [The great desolate tower]

A card-reading sorceress in a poem of the 18th century

 

An Enigma in ”Orlando Furioso

From a verse in a poem, an hypothesis on the existence of cartomancy in the 15th century

 

Predicting the Future with the Tarot

Significance and potential of tarot cards as divinatory symbols

 

Satires and Paradoxes


The Paradoxes of Lando - 1543
An accolade to the inventor of the tarot

(In Italian only: I Paradossi del Lando – 1543

Una lode all’inventore dei Tarocchi)

 

Men Against Women 
The tarot in the 17th century between Satire and Antisatire


Tarot and Stories of Lives Lived

A Poor Artist of the 16th Century
A painter become decorator of tarot

 

The Twelve Words of Truth
A soldier who goes to Mass with a deck of cards in the pocket of his trousers

The Renunciation of ”Tarrocchi
In the Resolutions for the Spiritual Exercises of Benedetto Ludovico Giacobini (1676)


God Doesn't Mind Tarocchino
A game for the relief of poor humanity and a game of fashion

 

El Bagatella Which is the Symbol of Sin 
Regarding the Bagatto as the first card of the Triumphs

 

Playing Tarot in Delight - 1554
Laura Dianti in the game of tarot at the Delight of the Verginese

 

Winckelmann and Tarocchino
Winckelmann's compliments to the “Society of the Tarocchino” of Dresden

 

The Illicit Skill of Cheaters

The world of cheaters in real-life stories and tricks of the trade

 

May Cancer Come to Goffo and to Tarocco

New documents between history and literature from the 16th to the 19th century

 

A Clownish Sermon (1529)    

Instead of the sacred mysteries, talk from the pulpit on how to play Triumphs 

 

Leonardo and the Cards

The world of card players between persevering and redeemed (15th-19th century)

(In Italian only: Leonardo e le Carte,                                                                          

Il mondo dei giocatori di carte fra perseveranti e redenti (secc. XV-XIX))

 

Of the Passion of Gambling
Character and portrait of the gambler in France and Italy of the 19th century 

 

A Joke of the 16th Century

Which tells of three friends, card games, and a person believed blind

(In Italian only: Una burla del '500:

Dove si narra di tre amici, di giochi di carte e d'un che si credette cieco)

 

Tarots in Exhibition at Milan in 1872

The Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla tarocchi, as well as a sonnet on the Bagatto

 

Tarot Witnesses of a Conspiracy

In defense of Pallavicini Visconti, Bishop of Alexandria

(In Italian only: Tarocchi testimoni di una congiura.

A difesa di Pallavicini Visconti, Vescovo di Alesssandria)

 

Crimes and Tarots

Tarot and Tarocchini in the Criminal Archive of Bologna

 (In Italian only: Crimini e Tarocchi

Tarocchi e Tarocchini nell’Archivio Criminale di Bologna)

 

La Tarocchiera  [wall structure created to play tarot]

A “delight” where tarot is played

(In Italian only: La Tarocchiera

Una delizia dove giocare a Tarocchi)

 

On a Blind Priest who Played Tarot

As well as famous doctors who loved that game

(In Italian only: Di un prete cieco che giocava a Tarocchi

Nonché di celebri medici amanti di quel gioco) 

 

Lorenzo Pignoria and the Tarot - 1614 

An eternal need for knowlige

(In Italian only: Lorenzo Pignoria e i tarocchi - 1614

Un’eterna esigenza di conoscenza)

 

A Murder in Bologna in the 18th Century

For debts in the game of Tarocchini

(In Italian only: Un omicidio a Bologna nel Settecento

Per debiti di gioco ai Tarocchini)

 

Andrea Doria and the Tarot - 1550

When the cannon thundered the admiral played tarot 

(In Italian only: Andrea Doria e i Tarocchi

Quando i cannoni sparavano l’Ammiraglio giocava a tarocchi)

 

Trial of Paolo Orgiano - 1605

Rapist of women and player of tarot

(In Italian only: Processo a Paolo Orgiano – 1605

Rapitore di donne e giocatore di tarocchi)

 

Card Players Against Images of the Virgin 

In the city of Bologna of the 16th century   

(In Italian only: Giocatori di carte contro immagini della Beata Vergine

Nella Bologna del Cinquecento)

 

Cryptography with Tarot in the 16th Century

On the occasion of the attempted assassination of Saint Carlo Borromeo

 (In Italian only: Crittografia con i Tarocchi nel Cinquecento

 In occasione del tentato assassinio di San Carlo Borromeo)

 

 13 in the Tarot and in Popular Superstition

In the Italian tradition

(In Italian only: Il 13 nei tarocchi e nella superstizione popolare.

Nella tradizione italiana)

 

The Vachero conspiracy and the Column of Infamy- 1628

Tarot in Alessandro Zilioli's 'Memorable Histories' 

(In Italian only:  La congiura del Vachero e la Colonna Infame - 1628.

I Tarocchi nelle 'Historie Memorabili di Alessandro Zilioli)

 

A Sleepwalker Playing Tarot - 18th century

As described in the "Discourse  on a Wonderful Sleepwalker"

(In Italian only: Un Sonnambolo che giocava a tarocchi - sec. XVIII

Come descritto nel "Discorso sopra un sonnambolo meraviglioso")

 

Soldiers and Card Games - 16th and 17th centuries

Military warnings about card playing in armies

(In Italian Only: I Soldati e le carte da gioco - sec. XVI e XVII

Avvertimenti militari sul giocare a carte negli eserciti)

 

About the Hanged Man, in the Tarot and Elsewhere (See also the Iconological Essay on this Topic)


The Traitor
Hanging by one foot

 

A Gang of Traitors
On the penalty of the infamous, or the Hanged Man

 

Saint Taraco

About Christian martyrs hanged by one foot or both, upside down

(In Italian only: Santo Taraco

Dei martiri cristiani appesi per un piede o per entrambi a testa in giù)

 

New Comedy - 1545

Cupid, traitor, hanging by one foot  

(In Italian only: Commedia Nuova - 1545

Cupido traditore appeso per un piede)

  

Summaries of Essays Not Yet Translated

 

Summaries of Untranslated Essays by Andrea Vitali

Between March 2018 and January 15, 2019