How Man Ranks in a Tarot deck

Looking at some of the oldest decks in history, man has a interesting place contained within it.

In some additional figures seem to have been added, but most had the 4 elements, the 12 astrological signs as well as the virtues in them.

Michael Dummett was the original author pointing this out to people.

Here are representative examples of the ordering of the lowest-ranking trumps.

Mankind: From Highest Prince to Lowest Scoundrel
Western Decks Eastern Decks Southern Decks
TdM Susio Steel MS Metropolitan Charles VI Rosenwald
Fool Fool Fool Fool Fool Fool
Bateleur-1 Bagatella Bagatella-1 Bagatella-1 (Bagatella-1) Bagatella-1
Popess-2 Empress Empress-2 Empress-2 (Empress-2) Popess-2
Empress-3 Popess Emperor-3 Popess-3 (Emperor-3) Empress-3
Emperor-4 Emperor Popess-4 Emperor-4 Pope-4 Emperor-4
Pope-5 Pope Pope-5 Pope-5 Pope-5
1. Bagatella or Bagatto was the most commonly used name for what is today called the Magician. Bagatelle can be found in any dictionary, and the name suggests someone who entertains with frivolous things.
2. It seems likely that there was no Popess in the Charles VI. All decks in the Southern tradition revised the lowest trumps, in various arbitrary ways, to mitigate or remove this inherently ambiguous and potentially offensive figure. However, the Charles VI deck might have had an unnumbered additional card, like Poverty in the Sicilian deck, to maintain the total of 22 trumps.

“Death from Lübeck” was a 30 meter painting, showing Death in a long chain-dance with 24 humans – painted life-size – from all classes of society, from pope to infant. Death dances around in the procession, calling people to the dance, but most of the dancers-to-be try to decline. Pictures and text are combined so we have what may be one of the world’s first and greatest comic strips.

see the link below for the full site: http://www.dodedans.com/Eindex.htm

Table taken from: http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.co.za/search?updated-min=2007-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2008-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=25

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