Missing Knight Orders in Italy
Our list has actual no great importance in the research of knight orders - no good quality, it should be researched better (the below given both links are better). From our point of view - playing card research - it was important to understand a little bit of the knight orders to get insights in some movements, which appear in our Tarot history and which have puzzled us during our research. For instance:
- It's of great interest, that there are nearly no knights orders in Italy ... they've condottieri, just another militarical system. Knight orders in great numbers are found in France and in Germany. Condottieri fought for money, the honour to be part of "knight order" seems to have not too much attraction. Italy hadn't a French king or a German Emperor, they had partly republics and big cities. Kings and Emperors could win sympathies by building knight orders and giving honours ... republics and cities couldn't do this as well.
- Also we're interested in juist tournaments ... as they seemed to have had a sort of Trionfo-function (Trionfi as "festivity"), at least the character of a celebration (which for Italians was somehow "Trionfi", a form, who was not in the same way popular elsewhere, as it seems). "Juist tournaments" should combine with knights and naturally with knight orders. NNo knight orders, no tournaments?
- In the 70's Galeazzo Maria Sforza organized a series of juist tournaments and participated himself in his early reignment. Later he was interested in tennis (as one can observe: the fashion could change). In 1466 the tournament in Padova took place, which Lazzarelli described ... and he got a poetus laureatus diplom for it from the Emperor three years later (an Emperor from Germany, who naturally had more sense for tournaments than the usual Italian; in the course of time Lazzarelli became unusual popular in Germany). At the same time the young Medici have had something comparable in Florence. A little earlier (1461) we perceive, that Luigi Pulci in Florence started to write about the Charlemain-theme and Orlando (a theme which naturally establishes "knightly ideas"), and we see that the theme is taken by Boiardo and transported to Ariost in early 16th century and all three write welcomed and much honoured poetry, and their works are called "best literature of their time". Tournaments in the time before were not totally unknown in Italy, but it seems, as if there were an Italian fashion and its name was "tournaments", just in the 60's and they do combine with the general exciting development of "more festivities in Italy" (which depended on the natural condition "more peace, more wealth", which made all this glamour in the high renaissance in Italy - second half of 15th centuryx - possible).
Perhaps it were the 30 years of war in Italy, which had made it impossible to engage too much in this form of hobby. They had real wars, so there were no need to engage in costly training exercises.
We found the theme of the knight orders, as we followed the way of life of some persons, which concrete are involved in Tarot history.
Late Involvements (Tarot)
- Renee d'Anjou founded the knight order of the Crescent in 1448/49
- involved in the story around the Michelino deck
- Giovanni Cossa, messenger from Marcello to Isabelle de Lorraine, was member Nr. 3 in this order
- involved in the story around the Michelino deck
- Jacopo Antonio Marcello, joined the order of Rene
- involved in the story around the Michelino deck and in contact to Mantegna, indirect contact to Lazzarelli
- Ludovico Foscarini organised a tournament, worked for Venice in diplomatic missions as Marcello
- engaged Ludovico Lazzarelli to write a tournament book
- Francesco Sforza, joined the order of Rene
- involved in the story around the Michelino deck, the Cary-Yale, the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo and naturally in te Milanese production of Trionfi cards
- Roberto Sanseverino joined later the order of Rene
- as it seems, possibly involved in the late story of Tarot and in close contact to Luigi Pulci.
- Mantegna / Girolamo da Cremona, painters who (likely) made miniatures for a St. Maurice manuscript, which were produced for the knight order of Rene
- (possibly) involved in the development of the Mantegna Tarocchi
- Luigi Pulci (Florence) engaged in a knight poem with humorous character, "Morgante"
- (possibly) involved in the production of the Minchiate, involved in the production of a tournament text, later secretary of Sanseverino
- Ludovico Lazzarelli, poet, who made a tournament book in 1466
- involved in the development of the Mantegna Tarocchi, close contact to Foscarini who had close contact to Marcello
- Count Matteo Maria Boiardo, poet, who prolonged and updated the Orlando theme of Pulci
- involved in the production of the Boiardo Tarocchi
- Ercole d'Este, member of the Order of garter
- (possibly) involved in the late development of Tarot, friend and master of Boiardo, developed at his court an early form of theatre with strong influence of a poet-knight, Niccolo da Correggio
- Lorenzo de Medici had some tournaments in his youth
- possibly involved in the production of the Minchiate, possibly influenced the 20-cards-version of the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo-deck
- Galeazzo Maria Sforza loved juist tournaments, wanted to be a knight like his father, searched a knightly duell with Colleoni
- (very likely) strongly involved in the production of the first deck with 22 special cards, played cards (occasionally, but actually
prefered to bet on tennis
Early Involvements (playing cards)
- Froissart, poet and chronicler, engaged in his Chroniques for the knightly life, for tournament descriptions, commented fighting and war, manifested the ideals of the knights by poetry
- Duke Wencelas of Luxembourg and Brabant, half-brother of the Emperor Charles IV, sponsored Froissart and was himself a poet
- produced in the very early time of playing card history a few luxury decks (1379 - 1383)
- Charles VI, French king, founded a knight order "Order of the Broom-Pod" (Ordre de la Cosse de GenÍt), ca. 1388
- had games and playing cards at his court
- Duke Louis d'Orleans, brother of Charles VI, and husband of Valentina Visconti, founded the Order of the Porcupine (Ordre de la Cosse de GenÍt in 1394)
- was known as notorious player with gambling debts
- Well, this is the page of male contibutions to the Tarot history, but at least she should be mentioned:
Christine de Pizan founded a sort of female order, perhaps more as an ideal, and somehow she opened the fight for the rights of women. Around her were the French queen Isabelle of Bavaria, and Valentina Visconti, wife of Louis d'Orleans
- it's possible, that a specific figure, the Justice with a knight on horse horse with sword in the background go back to her influence.
- Sigismondo, King of Hungary, founded the Order of the Dragon in 1408 and became then German Emperor in 1411. He organised a successful council, which abdicted 3 popes and elected a new one. He had a 2 years journey to Italy (1431 - 1433), which possibly gave an impulse of "knightly ideas" in Italy
- it's possible, that the council played a keyrole for the Italian playing card development
- it's possible, that Sigismondo's journey to Italy (1431 - 1433) brought German production methodes of playing cards to Italy
- Filippo Maria Visconti didn't found a knights order, but had many condottieri, which were paid with good money.
- commissioned the Michelino deck; commissioned the Cary-Yale Tarocchi and the Brera Brambilla, had relative tolerant playing card laws in the Milanese regions, loved personally playing cards, played cards with his prisoner Alfonso of Aragon
- Filippo Maria Visconti became Italian trendsetter for triumphal festivities in 1425
- Alfonso of Aragon also didn't found a knights order, but the house of Aragon did it earlier and there were some long living Spanish orders, which might have been presented enough tradition. Alfonso's son, Ferrante, founded a knigth order in 1465 in Naples, the Order of the Ermine (ended 1494/1501 with Naples conquered twice) after a Breton Order of the Ermine already existed for the since 1388 till 1522.
- according to a biography of Bisticci Alfonso stopped card-playing, when he was 18 years old. Indeed it seems possible, that he suppressed it at the court of Naples till his death (1458), at least there are surprizing few notes about Tarocchi an playing cards. His wife is noted as commissioner in Spanish documents (it seems that most Spanish documents are from Barcelona or at least from Aragon, not from Castile) and it is said, that he played cards with Filippo Maria Visconti in 1435, when he was prisoner in Milan after a lost sea battle against Genova.
- Alfonso became important for the tradition of Trionfi as triumphal processions in Italy (one festivity in 1423 is noted in cooperation with Queen Giovanni II. of Naples and a second in old Roman style after he conquered Naples in 1442 in the year 1443). Later, since 1451 (Trionfi-festivities became very popular then) the event cwas commemorated with a gigantical triumphal arc, whose construction endured till 1466 (long after Alfonso's death).
- The last great knights order in 15th century was the order of St. Michel, founded by the French king Louis XI. After it's foundation a major change occured and knights order changed their character (the third phase, as this website analysed. Ironically the political line of Louis XI. is given in history as "weakening the nobility" (somehow the knights) and strengthening the cities, that is "the normal citizen" and this is likely correct analysed.
- Louis XI. somehow also was involved in the Playing Card and Tarot production, but his contribution is a great riddle and it must be solved to see its specific influence.
- 1100: St. John
- 1119: Templars, dissolution 1312
- 1143: Avis (Spain)
- 1156: Alcantara (Spain)
- 1158: Calatrava (Spain)
- 1164: Santiago (Spain)
- 1175: Mountjoy known as Holy Redeemer, merged with Calatrava in 1221
- 1190: Teutonic Knights
- 1192: the sword, founded by Guy de Lusignan, king of Cyprus (till 1571)
- 1197: Sword-Brethren, merged with Teutonic order in 1237
- 12th - 15th cent.: St. Catherine of Mount-Sinai
- 1201: Sant Jordi d'Alfama, founded by king of Aragon (merged with Montesa in 1399)
- 1209: Our Lady of the Rosary, founded by the archbishop in Toledo, ended soon
- 1228: St. Thomas of Acre, founded by Peter de Roches, Bishop of Westminster
- 1233: Our Lady of Mercy, Aragon, became religious in in 14th century
- ca. 1240: Concord, founded by Ferdinand III. of Castile, disappeared after his death 1252
- 1254: St John and St. Thomas
- 1275: St. James of the sword, Portugal
- 13th cent.: St. Blasius of Armenia (- 15. cent.)
- 1318: Order of Christ (Portugal, ex-Templars)
- 1319: Order of Montesa (Spain), ex-Templars
More (and better) information on Knight orders is at (there is also info about the 3rd phase of the knight orders):
- 1325/26: Saint George, founded by Charles I of Hungary, till ca. 1395 (?)
- 1330: Sash or Band (- 1474 ?)
- ca. 1335: St Catherine, founded by Humbert, Dauphin du Viennois
- 1344: Order of the garter, founded by the English king Edward III (still exists)
- 1350 Black Swan, created by 3 princes and 11 knights in Savoy in 1350
- 1351 Order of the Star, as reaction on the English garter (- 1364?)
- 1352: Knot, Naples (- 1362)
- 1362: Collar or Annunziata in Savoy (still exists)
- 1365: Tress, Austria (- 1395?)
- 1367: Golden Shield, founded by louis of Bourbon (- 1410?
- Between 1377 - 1384: Order of the Tiercelet (a falcon), founded by the vicomte de Thouars and 17 barons in Poitou
- 1381: Breton Order of Ermine (- 1522)
- 1381: Order of the ship, Naples (- 1386?)
- 1384: St. Anthony, founded by Albrecht I of Bavaria (perhaps not knightly)
- ca. 1388: Order of the Broom-Pod, founded by Charles VI of France
- 1390: Order of the Salamander, Austria (- 1463?)
- 1390: Order of the Dove, Castile
- 1394: Pomme d'Or, founded by 14 knights in Auvergne
- 1394: Order of the Porcupine, founded by Louis d'Orléan
- 1399: Enterprise of the Green Shield with white lady, founded in 1399 by Jean le Maingre dit Boucicout and 12 knights for 5 years
- 1403: Order of the Jar (- 1516)
- 1408: Society of the Dragon (- 1493), founded by the king of Hungary, Sigismondo (soon later Emperor - 1411)
- 1414: The Golden Shield (1414), founded by the Jean of Bourbon
- ca. 1414: The Dragon, founded by the Count of Foix for 1 year
- 1415: The Prisoner's Chain, founded by Jean of Bourbon and 16 knights for 2 years
- 1416: Alliance du Levrier, founded by 44 knights for 5 years, transfered to order of St. Hubertus in 1422
- 1430: Order of the Golden Fleece, founded by Philip the Good of Burgundy (still exists)
- ca. 1430: Order of the Scale, Castile,
- 1433: Society of the Eagle, founded by Albrecht von Habsburg
- 1434: Order of Lazarus and St. Maurice, founded by Amadeus of Savoyen
- 1440: Society of Our Lady or Order of the Swan, founded by Friedrich II of Brandenburg,
- 1444: St. Hubertus, founded in 1444 by Gerhard V of Jülich and Berg,
- 1448: Order of the Crescent, founded by René d'Anjou
- 1450: Society of St. Jerome, founded in 1450 by Friedrich II of Wettin, Elector of Saxony
- 1457?: Order of the Elephant, Denmark, Norway and Sweden (till 1523? later revived)
- 1465: Order of the Ermine, Naples (- 1494)
- 1469: Order of Saint Michel, founded by Louis XI.
- 15th cent.: Holy Sepulchre, knights who made the pilgrimage