Hola, Thoth - and welcome to TKO!
I'm afraid I am ill equiped to give you adequate information for your first question. I know things, but I don't know sources! It's a problem, really
As per your second question, I know for a fact Tarot didn't come around 'til long after at least 1100A.D.
, I found this ::
Oldest Tarot Cards
The Milanese Duke Filippo Maria Visconti commissioned before 1425 a manuscript and a playing card deck from Marziano da Tortona and Michelino da Besozzo. Jacopo Antonio Marcello got book and deck in 1449 and called it a new kind of Ludus Triumphorum.
Also, at http://astrospeak.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2564893.cms
, there is this section that actually speaks of it being believed that early Tarot images originated from ancient Egyptian artwork, but it soon afterwords drops the subject and moves onto the more Roman aspect of it (e.g. Da Vinci).
Origin Of Tarot Cards
Dr Deepak & Pinky Vaide
the origin of the tarot cards -- which are actually cards with attractive pictures -- continues to remain vague despite considerable research. according to conservative estimates, they are at least 500 years old. some scholars, however, place them in the 1st century after christ. others aver that they originated from the religious rituals and symbols of the ancient egyptians. the earliest documented set of tarot cards is rooted in the second half of the fifteenth century and was painted in italy. the renaissance had already adopted the greek gods and the greek philosophy, which is why it is greek mythology, moral, spiritual and mystical elements which form the backbone of tarot cards. the images and imagery portrayed on the cards reveals hidden things which would not be discoverable through purely ‘rational’ means. the tarot cards have much to tell you. the tarot pack is set of cards which may be used either for divination, or as a philosophical machine for answering almost any kind of question put to it through a medium or someone familiar with its powerful symbolism. the images on the tarot, and the interest in predicting events through symbols, dates back to ancient egypt and even older civilizations, right across the world. tarot may have travelled to europe from the middle east at the time of the crusades, in the 12th century. the earliest surviving tarot deck, however, comes from 14th century italy, where an italian nobleman had a deck hand-painted as a present for his daughters' marriage. tarot cards show the major themes of life, and what we can learn about ourselves. each card is called arcanum, which means 'mystery'. the pack consists of two quite different, though not totally unrelated, groups of cards, totalling 78 in number. in addition to 22 major cards known as the major arcana, there are four suits of cards -the suit of cups (symbolizing water), the suit of wands (symbolizing fire), the suit of swords (symbolizing air ) & the suit of pentacles (symbolizing earth) -- which form the minor arcana.
In short, Tarot was invented around 1400A.D. Most of its images and workings were based around the Catholic base of good vs. evil; God vs. the Devil. Over time, however, as Tarot spread and popularity grew, outside influences such as eastern philosophy and findings of ancient artifacts (such as ancient Egypt) have added to the collection of Tarot.
It's just a silly game for people who believe in a god, but are too naive to admit it because they want to be rebellious, and original. Overall, they turn out being crazy old cat ladies believing they are gypsies with the spirit of a chinese philosopher.
...At least that describes my mother