Very early German notes
- and synodial notes in 15th century
Ration. Leining 1288
W. L. Schreiber (1937; p. 32) notes a passage from Scherz and Oberlin,
germanicum medii aevi", 1781 Straburg, after which in the Ration.
Leining in the year following sentence was noted: "Item 13 pf. umb ein
zwo KARTEN den Kindern da oben zu spilen." Schreiber couldn't detect
the original document (an account book, which likely had been in the once
Leiningen Westerburgischen Archiv in Oberbronn (lower Alsace))
and generally doubts, that this appearance of the word "Karten" refers
to normal playing cards.
Würzburg 1329 and later German synodes
W. L. Schreiber (1937, p. 31) reports two sources, which give with the
the text of a Würzburger synode in the year 1329 (Steph. Alex.
Würdtwein, Nova subsidia diplomatica, Heidelberg 1783, vol. 2, p. 274, and
Franz Xaver Himmelstein, Synodicon Herbipolense, Würzburg 1855, p.
180). "Ludos alearum, CARTARUM, schacorum, taxillorum, annulorum et
globorum monachis et monialibus prohibemus districte".
According to Schreiber it is said in
the introduction to this passage, that the prohibition is
repeated from another synode edict in 1316. In this text from 1316 it
is read by Schannat und Hartzheim, Concilia Germaniae, Cöln 1759-90, vol
4, p. 260, "Item ludos alearum
COREARUM, scacorum ... prohibemus districta", according to this dancing
is prohibited and not card playing. The passage in this
"first" version is repeated in the year 1446 in other Würzburger
synodal statutes (Schannat und Hartzheim, vol. 5, p. 333), so the expression
"cartarum" in the
state 1329 should explain as a reading error. In further Würzburger
concil statutes of 1407 and 1452 playing card are not noted, Schreiber
mentions a late prohibition for
clerics in the year 1521 for card playing and backgammon ("ad tabulas
vel cartas lusorias"), but only in connecion to money gambling.
15th century German synodial concils
in 1407 Würzburg as above mentioned, 1408 Halberstadt,
1413 Meißen and Münster,
1419 in Brixe, 1420 Salzburg, 1432 Basel, 1435 Strassburg, 1440
Freising, 1446 Breslau , 1447 Eichstädt,
1452 Würzburg (above mentioned), 1456 Breslau, 1463 in Konstanz, 1470
in Passau, 1480 in Freising, 1483 in Konstanz,
1490 in Salzburg, 1492 in Schwerin and 1497 Ermeland, which all
against dices, boules, dancing or other games, do not mention playing
3 exceptions with playing card prohibitions are:
- 1453 Brixen (Nicolaus of Cusa: "Tabernassine necessitate
nequaquam frequentetis. Nullos taxillorum aut CHARTARUM ludos
given by G. Bickell, Synodi Brixinensis seculi XV, Innsbruck 1833, p.
33, likely given in
context to the contemporary activities of St. Capistranus in Germany,
which caused card burning and card prohibitions in various cities)
- in Bamberg 1491 ("ne tabernas in dominibus suis teneant,
taxillorum et CHARTARUM, et his similis in locis publicis, praeserti
inter laicos", as source
Schannat and Hartzheim, vol. 5, p. 604)
- 1492 in Camin ("Benedictus
episopis, interdicit ebrietate su pena duorum Ungaricom, lusu alearum,
CARTARUM, usu digladiandi, lusuque scenicis in vestibus", Schannat and
Hartzheim, vol. 5, p. 604).