Triompho di Fortuna

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Also the Crucifixion appears in some of Fanti's answers.

The Triumph of Fortune (Triompho di Fortuna) by Sigismondo Fanti from Ferrara was published in Venice in 1526. The title describes the Triumph as “discussing the accidents of the world on the basis of natural science as well as astrology, faithfully exposed by Mercurio Vannullo from Rome. A most useful and playful work”. The book answers to 72 pre-defined questions. The answers are found on the basis of the hour in which the question was asked or by throwing two dice. Each of the answers includes three complementary elements:

1.An astrological chart 2.A small engraving 3.Four verses (often explicitly relating to the astrological chart)


At the end of the list of questions, appears an explanation of how the “figures”, i.e. the answers, should be read (“Della Significazione delle Figure”). Some specific instructions are given, in particular, the number of swords in the figure corresponds to the number of wounds or of dangerous situations that a soldier will have to face; the number of nightly birds in an answer about the length of life corresponds to the number of serious illnesses.

The book presents about 1.500 different answer, and includes many hundreds of different small engravings. The following is a selection of some images that have some resemblance with tarot trumps.

Images and Verses

Fanti 00fool.jpg

p.248

Many men always use to simulate,

they are at the bottom but show to be high,

they want to sting heaven with their pointed tongue

believing to temper their evil saying so.


Fanti 01bagat.jpg

p.169

The beautiful Venus and the celestial signs

appearing in the western sky,

the white Taurus that never fails,

all seem to announce great riches for you.


Fanti 04emperor.jpg

p.192

That gentle, cunning and wise prince

is kind and generous as much as needed.

Do not try to bring shame or damage on him

following a bad omen or a bad dream.


Fanti 05pope.jpg

p.227

If you will receive rightful and good news

of the great shepherd, here Jove indicates

that everyone will follow the deign religion

free from the errors of credulity.


Fanti 06lovers.jpg

p.168

The goddess from Cyprus is in the seventh house,

in a positive aspect [trine] with Jove:

this indicates that your beloved is not deceiving you

and that she is perfect and pure.


Fanti 08justice.jpg

p.167

If you are righteous and measure the hours

doing good deeds and rejecting evil,

I can already see wings on your shoulders:

your end will be honourable.


Fanti 09oldman.jpg

p.195

The Alcoccoden and the Hyleg show good fortune

and say you are going to reach the age of eighty-five.

You will incur in two illnesses that will trouble you

and that will seriously affect your body.


Fanti 10wheel.jpg

p.198

The highest goodness that helps all mortals

will not allow that the world dies

before the high sphere of the eight circle,

to which we must run, begins to move.


Fanti 11strength.jpg

p.209

Jove, being high above Mercury,

shows that victory will go to him

who received two unfavourable sentences:

at the end, one will decree his right.


Fanti 12hanged.jpg

p.159

If you are inhuman or treacherous

to your Lords or to your relatives, in deeds or words,

without reason and without any respect,

I foresee that you will end you hours in the air.


Fanti 15devil.jpg

p.224

I see that, in the deepest hell,

more pains, more punishments, more torments

are being prepared for those that unjustly made war,

caring more of their appetites than of reason.


Fanti 16tower.jpg

p.184

The more I look the more clearly I see

that the lightnings of Jove are being prepared

to strike in a marvellous way those

that let the seat of Mohamed become greater.


Fanti 17stelle.jpg

p.243

Let the eclipse and the comet appear in Cancer

if you want to see Venice in a great danger,

the son of one of the greatest Kings die

and then his father, if heaven does not forbid that.


Fanti 18moon.jpg

p.167

If both of you are of a cold or a hot nature,

if you are as the ice of winter or as fire,

nature will not be able to work in you

because it does not find the right proportion.


Fanti 19sun.jpg

p.211

If you want to measure anything

that is unreachable without the help

of an instrument, and you have it,

this science does not want to be hidden.


Fanti 20judgement.jpg

p.219

When you will see that those souls

that have left their frail and heavy corpses

a thousand years ago are coming back to life,

what is held in the sky will be undone.


Fanti 21world.jpg

p.239

You are not going to refrain from learning

the proportions of the heavenly circles,

both according to discrete quantities

and to the continuous and non-discrete.