Saturday, 3 December 2011

"Tarocco bolognese" (Dal negro) - introduction

The Tarocco bolognese or "tarocchino"  is the idosyncratic tarot deck, used in Bologna.
 It gets it's other name , tarocchino, ( little tarot) , from the fact that whilst a normal deck of tarot cards has 78 cards, this deck has only 62 cards. so what happened to the other 16 cards?

The reason for this is the absence of the number cards of 2-5 in each of the four suits , probably to make the game more interesting by eliminating useless lower ranks. This is especially telling, when you consider the games played with this deck place a heavy emphasis on scoring combinations of cards.

Another unusual feature of this deck is that the trumps 2,3,4 and 5 have been replaced by four Moors. why was this so? . Well, if you consider the fact that in the normal tarot, the aforesaid ranks are the popess, empress, emperor and pope,  you will not e surprised to hear that the depiction of these ranks greatly angered the papal authorities when they came to  hear of this. therefore, as a compromise, the makers printed the offending ranks as moors.

This also tells us something about the games played with the deck back then. If the fope, popess, emperor and empress were replaced with four [almost] identical subjects, We can infer that whatever game played with the deck treated the aforementioned series treated them as equal.
part I ---

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