Martiano da Tortona (ca. 1370 - 1423/1425)

- wrote the first Tarot book

(also Marziano de’ Rampini da S. Aloisio). Before in activities of the church in Rome and Tortona, he became personal teacher of Filippo Maria Visconti in similar function as later Guarino for Leonello, from 1409 (Filippo Maria 17 years old) till 1412 in Pavia, later in a dominant role (chancellor and secretary) participating in the administration of the Milanese dukedom, since 1418 also in the secret council. Possibly he also had the function of an astrolog, surely he had some unusual knowledge about Greek gods, which is expressed in his text (he had - at least for the time of his educative work - the complete Visconti library in Pavia for his use). He died some time between 1423 - 1425, the real moment of his death is of some importance for the dating of the Michelino deck.

Stuart Kaplan, who offers in Tarot Encyclopedia II a short biography (p. 147/148), in which he refers to a church document, which notes a Stefano Gentile as heir of the late Marziano Rampini (Rampini was the family name of Marziano da Tortona; the Rampinis were of some importance in the late 14th/early 15th century in Tortona). From this Martiano must have been definitely dead at February 1st, 1425. Kaplan concludes, that at least at this time the deck must have been purchased, we see various possibilities, how Filippo paid after Martiano's death to the heirs, in thankfulness to the many services, that Martiano had done.

Martiano was praised as "great scholar". His personal relationship to Filippo Maria stays unclear, but it might be suspected from the general situation (Filippo Maria lost his both parents with 8 and 10 years), that he had partly father function to the young duke. The high (and unbelievable) price of 1500 ducatos for the playing card deck might explain from this vey specific condition as a final gift to a very important personal tutor.

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- related to the Michelino Deck

1424/1425 - Michelino Deck 1447 / ca. 1470 - Decembrio Manuscript 1449 - Marcello's letter Great Condottieri (1424) Great Foes (1424) Filippo Maria's wifes The French Side, the great Context