Significance of the year 1471? (Jodo-Camoin TdM deck) / Earliest cards

Rusty Neon

Significance of the year 1471? (Jodo-Camoin TdM deck)

I've been wondering a while already. I've noticed that the 2 of Coins card in the Camoin-Jodorowsky Tarot de Marseille deck shows the years 1471 and 1997. What event in the year 1471 do Camoin and Jodorowsky have in mind?



Date of earliest appearance of playing cards? (in Europe)

I've come across several different dates on the web, and on this site.

Catboxer writes, " "....neither tarot cards nor playing cards of any kind were known in Europe prior to 1375 ..."

Huck pushes the date back 10 years earlier to to an edict banning the use of playing cards in Bern in 1367

The Camoin website pushes the date 30 years further back: to a mention in the statues of the Abby Saint Victor in Marseilles, in the year 1337.

So? Which is it? The Marseilles date certainly sounds like it makes the most sense, being the closest to the centers of dissemination from the Arab world.

(Or as the website says from "the Orient")

Rusty Neon

Alain ... Thanks for the link. I see that Camoin and Jodorowsky put 1471 as the date on their Tarot de Marseille Two of Swords as it is the earliest "historical" date (corresponding to Italian sources), yet in the article Camoin suggests that tarot existed in the South of France well before that date.


This is an "esoteric" tradition in France : the Ur TdM .




... it is unclear to me, to which sort of document Camoin refers as earliest Tarot in Italy.

As an estimation for the earliest deck with 22 trumps that wouldn't be bad ....


The date 1337 is very far from the other dates, so it is the most isolated - and from this ...

There was a time, when the earliest accepted "sure" date was 1377. Documents written in Latin with a perhaps not easy to read hand often leave a great doubt about their real content. Occasionally the data is not "original", but later rewritten by somebody, so open to interpolation. An isolated entry from 1337 has bad cards in this question of "great importance", dates like "use of Trionfi" in Ferrara 1442 - 1463 are much more sure, as you've 20 of them and with that background you can state, it must be a card deck and it must be similar to Tarot. As from other side the existence of Tarot-similar decks is proven (fragments of the decks exist), the interpretation Trionfi = early Tarot becomes rather likely.

1377 is sure, cause you've prohibitions en masse in 1379, 1380 etc.
1337 is unlikely, cause there are no accompanying documents. This doesn't say, that it can't be true .... but it has the problem to be just a few words written in a manuscript.


Is this true that there are no accompanying documents? What of the charters of the Abbey Saint Victor, mentioned on that site. Namadev, perhaps you can clarify?


1337 Abbaye of St Victor of Marseilles : paginae


This discussion is on LTarot since a little while ...

The lexicographer Du Cange is the source for the 1337 entry of the Abbey de St Victor of Marseilles. He gives some of the interdictions made to the monks.

« Quod nulla persona audeat nec praesumat ludere ad taxillos nec ad paginas nec ad eyssychum »

« Que personne n'ose, ni n'entreprenne de jouer aux
dés, ni aux pages, ni aux échecs ». Du Cange explique le mot «
paginas » par jeu de cartes : Folia lusoria ni fa lor « Ludos ad
paginas nostris ». Ce « jeu aux pages » semble bien être notre jeu de cartes"
[quote from :]

Camoin writes on this subject that :
"Au quatorzième siècle, à Marseille, à l'Abbaye de Saint-Victor, il
était interdit aux moines de se livrer au jeu de cartes dans son
enclos en raison de l'engouement frénétique des moines et des nobles
pour le jeu de cartes. En 1337, également, il est fait mention de
l'interdiction dans les statuts de l'Abbaye de St Victor de jouer
au "paginae" (en latin : parchemin, page, papier). Ce mot pourrait
s'appliquer au jeu de cartes car, en 1408, les mots "papier pour
jouer" et "carte" sont utilisés dans la même phrase pour désigner le
même jeu. Cela s'expliquerait par le fait que le mot naip qui, en
espagnol était utilisé pour désigner les cartes pourrait provenir du
mot flamand "knaep" qui veut dire papier. En effet, les Espagnols et
les Flamands étaient à l'époque en relation commerciale. Le mot
primitif pour cartes à jouer aurait donc pu être "papier pour jouer"
abrégé parfois en "papier". C'est l'hypothèse du si célèbre
spécialiste des cartes à jouer Henri-René D'Allemagne ..."

***This 1337 Marseilles entry would be the most ancient reference to something similar to cards (not trionfi).
I debated a few years ago this entry with Bob O'Neill : he considered at that time that "paginas" wasnt unambiguous and didn't necessaraly refer to cards : it was an ambiguous and contingent entry.
Now, I discussed recently this topic with Ross Caldwell on LTarot : he considers that even if Dummett or Kaplan diidn't mention the entry, or if O'Neill didn't accept this entry because of his "litteral" translation : "papers for playing", Du Cange was nevertheless a serious reference :
"The lexicographer Du Cange, the source for the 1337 Abbey de Saint Victor Marseille entry, has entries on this word. Du Cange is quite categorical about it "Paginae. Folia lusoria, ni falior. "Ludus ad Paginas", our "Jeu de cartes" (game of cards or deck of cards). Statutes of the year 1337, ex. Tabular St. Victor,Marseille." (Ross Caldwell)

This entry has always seems to me as "plausible".
It would be the most ancient known reference to "cards" in Europe.


Nota bene
Now , as for the 1471 reference, I would like to think that Camoin and Jodorowsky have had a pertinent appreciation of the possible datation of the 22+56 structure of Tarot.


Thank you Alain!!