Explaining the Tarot

Two Italian Renaissance Essay on the Meaning of the Tarot Pack


Edited, translated and commented by Ross Sinclair Caldwell, Thierry Depaulis, Marco Ponzi
Two Italian Renaissance Essays on the Meaning of the Tarot Pack

Maproon Publications, Oxford (UK), 2010
cm. 14, 5 X 21 - 72 pp
Original texts in Italian and English; introductions, notes and comments in English
Editorial paperback cover
ISBN 978-0-9562370-1-9

The book can be purchased direcly from Maproon Publications:
The symbolism of Tarot cards has intrigued people for five centuries. In this volume, two Italian authors of the 16th century, one known, the other anonymous, interpret the meaning of the Tarot trumps and the suit cards from a variety of interesting perspectives. Drawing from philosophy, religion, poetry, contemporary science, and the rules of the game itself, while at the same time offering examples from history and current events, the authors describe a series of images that for them is more than a game. They find that the symbolism of the cards, and their order, offer moral lessons and a wholesome guide to the ultimate purpose of life, which is to seek God. Their two discourses on the symbolism of the Tarot cards, here edited and translated into English for the first time, are the earliest ever written, and offer a rare glimpse into the other side of the game of Tarot in its first centuries – the meanings people saw in the pictures on the cards.



A short  introduction to Francesco Piscina’s Discorso

Francesco Piscina, Discorso sopra l’ordine delle figure dei Tarocchi / Discourse on the order of the figures of Tarot (Italian / English)

Notes and  comments to Piscina

Introduction to the anonymous Discorso

Discorso perché fosse trovato il giuoco et particolarmente quello del Tarocco
/ A discourse on why game-playing, and Tarot in particular, was invented (Italian / English)

Notes and comments to the anonymous Discorso


On Ross Gregory Caldwell and Thierry Depaulis, both members of  Le Tarot Association, see at links: