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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
the inspiration for Bernardino's "Diabolic Liturgy", becomes recombined with the latter in the 16th century with the knowledge of Plato (through Ficino's translation), and voilà, the Devil who invented cards (because he invented alea) is known by name - Theuth-Mercury....

(this is incidentally proven by the fact that the attribution of the invention of cards to Mercury in the 16th century depends upon the inclusion of cards in the category of "alea" - games of chance, and Ficino's phrase "alearum ludos" tranlates Plato's "petteias" or "kubeias" (the first being draughts, the second cubical dice) here).


Ross
But the conflation of mercury/hermes/trismegistus/thoth and the relation of such to hieroglyphics and as inventor of dice was known in Latin speaking west way before then of course, for example:

"Among the Egyptians the priests have one kind of letters, the common people another, the priestly letters are called hieras, the popular pandemos. (Isidore Etymologiae 1.3.5).

"Mercury has three different names expressive of different cultures and functions... As the Roman "Mercury," he represents conversation, or eloquence, sermo... "Mercury is called so, as if running between, or in the middle, because conversation runs in the middle between men"... And ... because conversation takes place between sellers and buyers, he governs commerce....Hence he also has wings because words run quickly...

"His Greek name Hermes means messenger which in Latin means intermediary. He is said to be a messenger... because through speech all thought is announced... He is the teacher or master of thieves or robberies..., that is because eloquence decieves the minds of the listeners...He holds a caduceus, on which snakes wriggle, or with which he forces apart snakes, that is, poison. From Servius comes the notion that those who are at war or at variance with each other are appeased by the speeches of ambassadors (go-betweens), as snakes are separated by a rod... For armies and dissidents are calmed by the speech of intermediaries, and Isidore adds that, according to Livy, envoys for peace are called caduceatores, bearers of Hermes's caduceus, that is, the flaf of truce...

"On account of his excellence and knowledge of many arts," Mercury bears yet a third name, again Greek, "Trismegistus,"... and means "thrice greatest." As the Egyptian god of wisdom, ibis-headed Thoth served as divine scribe at the judgement of the dead and, like Mercury (Hermes), was linked with writing and therefore knowledge: he transmitted to Isidore ancient Egyptian knowledge of hieroglyphs...

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3...8-I8#PPA155,M1

Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims attributes to the devil through Mercury "the invention of dice-playing: sicut isti qui de denariis quasi jocari dicuntur, quod omnino diabolicum est, et, sicut legimus, primum diabolus hoc per Mercurium prodidit, unde et Mercurius inventor illius dicitur..."

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=W...wPsutUUlwdTV6c

Also here:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=d...-1&output=html

quote:
Déjà Hincmar de Reims (+882) nous apprend que Mercure a inventé ce jeu à l'instigation du diable : « Sicut isti qui de denariis « quasi jocari dicuntur, quod omnino diabolicum est, et, sicut le- .. gimus, primum diabolus hoc per Mercurium prodidit , unde et « Mercurius inventer illius dicitur. «(Hincm., Opp. I, 656.) Un poète lyrique allemand du XIIIe siècle, Reinmar von Zweter, nous donne même l'explication des points que le diable grava sur le dé : l'as signifie Dieu tout-puissant qui tient dans sa main le ciel et la terre exprimés par le nombre deux; le trois représente les trois noms de la Divinité; le quatre, les quatre évangélistes ; le cinq, les cinq sens de l'homme; le six, les six semaines de carême pendant lesquelles le diable gagne tant d'âmes par le jeu (voy. von der Hagen, minnes., I, 656). 11 y a plus : le dé a été personnifié et est devenu un démon sous le nom de Decivs.

Google translation:
"Already Hincmar Reims (+882) teaches us that Mercury has invented this game at the instigation of the devil « Sicut isti qui de denariis « quasi jocari dicuntur, quod omnino diabolicum est, et, sicut le- .. gimus, primum diabolus hoc per Mercurium prodidit , unde et « Mercurius inventer illius dicitur. «(Hincm., Opp. I, 656.) A German poet of the thirteenth century, Reinmar von Zweter even gives us an explanation of the points that the devil engraved on the die: the ace Mean God Almighty who holds in his hand the heavens and the earth expressed by the number two; the three represents the three names of Divinity, and the four, the four Evangelists; the five, the five senses of Man; the six, the six weeks of Lent, during which the devil wins many souls by the game (see von der Hagen, minnes., I, 656). There is more: the die has been personified and became a demon by the name of Decivs."

On Hincmar of Reims (born 806, died 882):
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07356b.htm

Kwaw
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