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Jinx
01-06-2007, 08:06 AM
Well, we know what a King and a Queen is, but what is a Jack? A prince? A servant? A nobleman? A peasant? Who is it? - Jinx

What Exit?
01-06-2007, 08:14 AM
This might help (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_(playing_card))
As early as the mid-1500s the jack was called the knave. A knave is a male servant of royalty in this instance. The card came to be known as the jack during the middle of the 19th century, when card manufacturers began to label playing cards to indicate their value with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Kn, Q, K, A. The obvious confusion between "Kn" and "K" led to the renaming of the knave, being out-ranked by the king. However, books of card games published in the third quarter of the 19th century evidently still referred to the "knave".

In the standard English playing card deck, the jack and the other face cards represent no one in particular - this is in contrast to French decks, where each court card represents a named person. The jacks in a French deck are as follows:

Jack of Spades: Ogier the Dane (fictional hero of the chansons de geste)
Jack of Hearts: La Hire (French warrior)
Jack of Diamonds: Hector (mythological hero of the Iliad)
Jack of Clubs: Lancelot (fictional hero of the Arthurian legend)
Confusion often arises because the suits in an English deck came from the French deck as well.

Jinx
01-06-2007, 08:19 AM
Ok, who are the Kings and Queens in a French deck?

Dr. Lao
01-06-2007, 08:57 AM
Following are the personages represented by the Queens in the French deck:

* Queen of Spades: Joan of Arc
* Queen of Hearts: Judith (Biblical figure)
* Queen of Diamonds: Rachel (Biblical figure)
* Queen of Clubs: Argine (an anagram of Regina which is Latin for Queen)
In the French deck, the kings have traditionally been assigned personalities, though this tradition arose after their design. The most common modern ones are as follows:

* King of Spades: David (a biblical king)
* King of Hearts: Charlemagne (Holy Roman Emperor)
* King of Diamonds: Julius Caesar (dictator of the Roman Republic)
* King of Clubs: Alexander the Great (king of Macedon)
Both from wikipedia.

daffyduck
01-06-2007, 09:38 AM
You may find it interesting to note that in the society of the time, a knave was actually pretty high up in the food chain. Definitely way above a peasant. As agents of the lord and lady of the manor, they could speak for them in dealings with lesser individuals and so wielded a lot of power.

BobT
01-06-2007, 11:39 AM
And the knaves spent all their time bossing around the 10s.

Except in the kingdom of Pinochle.

chowder
01-06-2007, 12:11 PM
You may find it interesting to note that in the society of the time, a knave was actually pretty high up in the food chain. Definitely way above a peasant. As agents of the lord and lady of the manor, they could speak for them in dealings with lesser individuals and so wielded a lot of power.
What, even scurvy knaves?

yabob
01-06-2007, 02:03 PM
Note that in tarot decks there are 4 court cards - King, Queen, Knight and Page in the most common ones. Early playing card decks did not have the same set of court cards as modern decks, and they varied, although 3 court cards per suit was standard. Wiki on the tarot deck, which was originally used for game playing, rather than divination:
Whilst the exact origins of tarot are not entirely known, the earliest reliable information suggests that tarot originated as a game in 15th century Italy by the addition of 21 trump cards, a fool and four queens to a normal deck of cards. Some early tarot decks of Northern Italian origin, which date from the early to mid-15th century, have survived. These were called carte da trionfi, or "triumph cards." About a century later, the cards came to be known as tarocchi.
King, Knight and Page would probably have been a common set of court cards in early playing card decks. Later evolution standardized on King, Queen and Knave or Jack.

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