created since 2003       

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, "Glossarium germanicum medii aevi", 1781 Straburg, after which in the Ration. Leining in the year following sentence was noted: "Item 13 pf. umb ein geissel und 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 existing 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 same words 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 included prohibition against dices, boules, dancing or other games, do not mention playing cards.
3 exceptions with playing card prohibitions are: