Florence: Playing Card Notes
1377 (occasionally given as "1376", cause some misunderstandings about the old Florentian calendar, which started the new year with the 25th of March;
the true, modern date is March 23, 1377):
Oldest Italian entry about playing cards, a prohibition in Florence.
"volentes malis obviare principis , domini priores ... audito quomodo quidam ludus, qui vocatur naibbe,
in istis partibus noviter innolevit ... ordina verunt et deliberaverunt, die XXIII mensis martii anno Domini MCCCLXXVI,
indictione XV, quod in omnibus et per omnia et quo ad omnia eadem pena sit et imponatur omnibus et singulis qui in futurem ludent
in civitate, comitatu vel districtu Florentiae ad dictum ludum, seu qui dictum ludum retinebunt, que, prout et quemadmodum
imponeretur, seu imponi posset vel deberet, de ludo seu pro ludo adcardi."
Source: Schreiber (1937), p. 74. Schreiber refers to Cronache e statuti della city di Viterbo, Florence 1872, p. 39.
Schreiber points to an older Florentian city statute from 1325, which in § 6 handles generally games of luck and only prohibits
"ludum zardi seu zare vel morbioli nec ad alliossos vel guerminellam nec ad ludum qui dicitur coderone".
The date 23rd March 1377 is accompanied by hostilities between Florence and the current pope, Gregorius XI., who ended in January 1377
the papal reignment in Avignon and returned to Rome. After a triumphal entry in Rome followed a bloody fight in the resisting Cesena with 4-5000 victims in February 1377.
The relationship between this pope and Florence must been judged as very critical just in this time,
perhaps it might be assumed, that the playing card law from March 1377 intended to fight against French influence and a French pope.
In context to playing cards history it might be, that we've here a sign, that in France in 1377 playing cards were accepted - more or less.
In the same year playing cards are prohibited in Paris, but only at work days, which seems to mean a very mild form of prohibition in comparition to other forms. (Note of autorbis).
Detailed description of the papal arrival in Rome in German language and short in English
life of Gregorius XI.
See further developments in and around Florence:
Prohibitions around Florence"
Conclusions about Florence
Minchiate - early notes
Florence - informations