How many pairs?

kwaw

December from the calendar in Chronography of 354

Chronography_december.png


With the tower like dice shaker one is tempted to form an analogy between the two falling figures of the tower card with falling dice.

21 being the number of combinations of a pair of dice, could the relationship with dice be related to the prevalence of 'pairs' in the TdM sequence: how many cards with pairs would you agree there are:

Pair of cardinals/columbs in Pope
Pair of women in Lovers
Pair of horses/wheels in Chariot
Pair of scales in Justice
Pair of tree trunks in Hanged Man
Pair of cups/wings in Temperance
Pair of acolytes in Devil
Pair of falling figures in House of God
Pair of vases/trees (and in some versions birds) in Star
Pair of dogs/towers in Moon
Pair of twins in Sun
Pair of sticks held by figure (in some versions of ) in World

Humanlike:
Cardinals, woman, acolytes, falling figures, twins

Animals:
Horses, dogs

Props:

Scales, tree trunks, cups, vases, sticks, wings, columbs, wheels, towers.

Any more? Or any of the above you disagree with as too much of a stretch? Rosanne has pointed out to pairs of hands and heads in death, which take me to 13 cards with pairs, which is a bugger, I was hoping for a nice round figure like 12 :)

Kwaw
 

Rosanne

I was thinking about this question Kwaw. I rmebered looking through Kaplan and wondering about the term 'Juggler'. Then I found this in Robert Place's Book
... One easily recognisable pair of objects found on the Magician's Table in the Tarot of Marseilles is a pair of dice. The dice are not always recognizable in all of the Marseilles decks but they are in many examples, including the popular Grimaud version. We can also see dice on the Magicians table in one of the oldest printed Tarot decks from Italy. Fig. 24 is the author's rendering of this image. This card is part of an uncut sheet of Tarot woodcuts that now resides in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. It is dated circa 1500 and is possibly the oldest existing woodcut of the magician. This card demonstrates that the dice on the Magician's table are not late additions but something that was associated with the Magician from an early date- they are likely to have been a part of his character since the fifteenth century. As dice were used for gambling their presence would confirm that the Magician was a gambler and a rogue.....
Would it not rather confirm that Le Bateleur was about Saturnalia and connected to that wonderful calendar you scanned on this thread? Also it brings to mind that Carlo Dellarocco Cobbler- downing his tools and raising his glass, meaning exactly the same thing? ~Rosanne
~Rosanne
Edited because I mean that these look like advertisements or reasons why you have the rest of the cards. See the bishop looking over the shoulder of the 'Magician' in the Place rendering of the early sheet.
 

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Rosanne

As to your comment about 13 pairs- maybe death is unnumbered so you do not count the body parts in the dice count :D ~Rosanne
 

Ross G Caldwell

Bruce McLennan used the Saturnalia figure as the basis for his magician card in the "Pythagorean Tarot" -
http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/PT/M1.html

He also gives several other versions of it, and a great discussion.

I live very much playing with the idea of the dice-shaker "Tower" (Pyrgos - Pyrgus) being connected with the actual Tower card.

Saturnalia became the Christmas season, a festive time when playing games was encouraged (not much else to do but have fun anyway).

Ross
 

Melanchollic

It would not be a totally unreasonable idea that the 21 possible throws of two dice were given specific names, and perhaps divinatory meanings. They even resemble the geomantic figures. Has there been any research in this area?

Melanchollic
 

Rosanne

It would not be a totally unreasonable idea that the 21 possible throws of two dice were given specific names..
Apparently the game that is now called Craps, it was once called Arabic azzar, then Hazard- the lowest bet/score was folcrabbe- became crabs- then craps. It was a foolhardy bet.
Old French fol hardi where fol meant "fool" and hardi, "bold, daring", a word that started out as the past participle of hardir "to harden". This Old French word was borrowed from a Germanic language, for hard is Germanic all the way. Kor-t-, the root underlying hard, underwent metathesis in Greek, resulting in kratos "strength, power", a root that turns up in democrat and democracy "people power, power by the people". The same simple root (kor-) appears with the suffix -k in karkinos "crab, cancer", two things that are hard to live with. In Latin the same word turns up as cancer "crab, cancer".
Howsat for a link? I know of no study on this- but I bet Kwaw knows some stuff.
~Rosanne
 

Rosanne

I should have added the folcrabbe was the two's in the dice throw.~Rosanne
 

kwaw

Ita vita est hominum quasi quum ludas tesseris.

Rosanne said:
I should have added the folcrabbe was the two's in the dice throw.~Rosanne

The Italian Granchio also means both fool and crab.

It is possible some of the iconography, as well in numerical structure, is based upon dicing terminology.

Also note:
Thomas Elyot, The Dictionary of Sir Thomas Elyot (1538)

Canicula, a lyttell dogge or bytche. Also a sterre, wherof canicular or dogge days be named Dies caniculares.

John Withals, A Short Dictionary for Young Beginners (1556)

Canicula, culę, is the littell blacke title in the dice, wherby the chaunce is knowen, as sise, sinke , catre, treye, dewse, ase.

Kwaw
The life of Man is like a game of Dice...
 

Rosanne

It is interesting all this. I found that in the game of Senet (original backgammon) the House of Rebirth, a position in the game, is square 15. The House of Water is apparently square 17 or Sothis. Once more the rising of the Star and the flooding of the Nile. ~Rosanne
 

kwaw

Examples of medieval astrological games:

Quote:
“Los Escaques Called "Zodiac" in some modern books on the history of games
F96V: Seven men playing this game
David Parlett in his "Oxford history of Board Games" points out that this is misleadingly listed under the title "Los Escaques" (Chess) in the MS. However, it appears to be a gambling game known as "al-falakiya" in Arabic, or "Kawakib" (stars) in Iranian. Each player represents a planet, and move with the rolls of a 7-sided die. Payments are made to the other players based on the astronomical relationships formed with each move. The starting position of each player's piece -his planet, is in the favorite 'house' of this planet: Saturn starts in Aquarius, Jupiter in Sagittarius, Mars in Scorpio, the sun in Leo, venus in Taurus, mercury in Virgo and luna, or the Moon in Cancer. Every planet starts in it's sign,or house in the left most square. “

“If the sign the planet enters, is at a Sextil to another sign, with another planet in it, the player whose move it is gets 2 counters from each player whose planet is in the said signs. A Sextil is a 60 degree distance, or the second sign before and after the sign the player is in.
- The player gets 3 counters from every planet at a Trigon from it, i.e. 120 degrees, or the fourth sign before and after the current sign of the player.
- The player has to give 3 counters to every planet at a Quadratur from him (90 degr., 3rd before and after).
- He equally gives 6 counters to every planet in Opposition to him (i.e. directly opposite the sign).
- He gives 12 counters to every planet in Conjunction to him, i.e. in the same sign as he is.
In short: You enter a sign. You get 2 conters from the 2nd before and after, you pay 3 to the 3rd, you get 3 from the 4th and you pay 6 to the one opposite and to the one in the same sign as you have entered. “


http://games.rengeekcentral.com/F96V.html


- If the sign the planet enters, is at a Sextil to another sign, with another planet in it, the player whose move it is gets 2 counters from each player whose planet is in the said signs. A Sextil is a 60 degree distance, or the second sign before and after the sign the player is in.
- The player gets 3 counters from every planet at a Trigon from it, i.e. 120 degrees, or the fourth sign before and after the current sign of the player.
- The player has to give 3 counters to every planet at a Quadratur from him (90 degr., 3rd before and after).
- He equally gives 6 counters to every planet in Opposition to him (i.e. directly opposite the sign).
- He gives 12 counters to every planet in Conjunction to him, i.e. in the same sign as he is.
In short: You enter a sign. You get 2 conters from the 2nd before and after, you pay 3 to the 3rd, you get 3 from the 4th and you pay 6 to the one opposite and to the one in the same sign as you have entered.

Seven player astrological backgammon:
http://games.rengeekcentral.com/F97V.html

The above are all from Alphonso X Book of Games :
http://games.rengeekcentral.com/tc4.html

English translation of which can be found here:
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~smusser/ljtranslation.html

Game index:
http://www.larsdatter.com/games.htm

A list of links to Renaissance and Medieval game sites here:
http://jducoeur.org/game-hist/

Kwaw