The desultory notes published previously provide some measure of context for the following article by Paul Marteau, the existence of which has gone unnoticed in the Tarot literature, with one equally obscure exception, and which gives great insight into Marteau’s work, with one caveat.
In effect, the notion that the Tarot originated, or, as in some iterations of the myth, developed initially, in France, and more precisely in Provence or Marseilles, has grown beyond mere parochialism. Various historical events and figures have been invoked in support of this historically-unfounded theory; the Cathars, the Troubadours, Mary Magdalene, Abbot Suger, and, as we shall see, the Phocæan Greek colony of Massalia, modern-day Marseilles. This notion, hinted at by Eugène Caslant in his preliminary exposé to Marteau’s book, is not to be found in Caslant’s earlier article for Le Voile d’Isis in 1928, and he merely attributes it to “the occult tradition,” whatever that may be, without providing any further indications.
Why Marteau chose not to include these prefatory remarks in his 1949 work is unknown; perhaps the documents and letters held in the Bibliothèque nationale or Marteau’s unpublished diaries contain the answer.