The Epistle to Henry II,
which precedes the centuries 8, 9 and 10, contains the date March 14,
1557. In this article, the functions and backgrounds of this date are
to Henry II
esperant de laisser par escrit les ans, villes, citez, regions
où la plus part aduiendra, mesmes de l'annee 1585. et de
l'annee 1606. acommençant depuis le temps present, qui est le
14. de Mars, 1557. & passant outre bien loing iusques à
l'aduenement qui sera apres au commencement du septiesme
millenaire profondement supputé...
hoping by means of writing to mention the years, cities, locations and
regions where the most part will take place, even for the year 1585
and the year 1606 to start from the present time which is the 14th of
March, 1557, until far away until the event which will take place
close to the thoroughly calculated beginning of the seventh millenary...
ideas about the function of the date March 14, 1557
In the next
lines, a number of ideas about the function of the date March 14, 1557
The beginning of the time span of a series of predictions
astrologie en de Bijbel, it is supposed that the date March 14,
1557, marks the beginning of the time span of the predictions which are
related to the first biblical chronology in the Epistle to Henry II.
These predictions run until the beginning of the seventh millenary, a
moment which in Nostradamus, astrologie en de Bijbel is
interpreted as the beginning of the seventh millennium in 1827 AD.
In Une influence de la Kabbale dans l'oeuvre de
Nostradamus? (2002), the French Century-scholar Robert
Benazra wrote that the date March 14, 1557 coincides with a lunar phase
in the sign of Aries in the year 5317 (Jewish calendar), and that it
marks the beginning of the time span of the Centuries. Between
the year 1557 and the year 3797, mentioned in the Preface to Cesar, are
2240 years. According to Benazra, this number of years refers to the
year 2240 AD, which is corresponding with the year 6000 in the Jewish
calendar, the beginning of the seventh millennium, mentioned in the
above given lines in the Epistle to Henry II.
A reference to a writing date
According to the Century-scholars
Edgar Leoni (1961) and prof. Pierre Rodrigue Brind'Amour (1993), Nostradamus referred to a
writing date while mentioning the date March 14, 1557. Leoni supposes
that on March 14, 1557, Nostradamus started to write the Epistle to
Henry II, and that he finished the Epistle around 15 months later, on
June 27, 1558.
Brind'Amour supposes that Nostradamus wrote the first part of the Epistle to
Henry II on March 14, 1557 and the second part on June 27, 1558.
The idea that the mentioning of the date March 14, 1557 is
a reference to a writing date, is quite reasonable. References to a
writing date are also present in a.o. The
prognostication of maister Michael Nostredamus, Doctour in Phisick. In
Province for the yeare of our Lorde, 1559. With the predictions and
presages of every moneth, an English translation/version of an Almanach/Pronostication
by Nostradamus, published in Antwerp. Apparently, the prediction for the
Last Quarter on January 30, 1559 for example is written on May 23, 1558: And
therefore this daie the 23.of May 1558.making suppotation of this
The difference between the references in The prognostication of maister
Michael Nostredamus... and the date March 14, 1557 in the Epistle
to Henry II is that the context of the Epistle does not show whether or
not this is a writing date.
Whether or not an
author, referring to a writing date, told the truth or on a certain
moment chose that particular date in order to raise the impression or to
emphasize that the lines in question were written on that particular
date, is something which is impossible to verify. Sometimes, there are
also other unclarities. The end of The prognostication of maister
Michael Nostredamus... for example, next to the closing lines of the
predictions for December 1559, reads as follows:
Salon of Craux in Provence, the 27.of Aprill. 1558.
Faciebat Michael Nostradamus Solonae petreae Provinciae. 27 Aprilis.
does not make sense that April 27, the achievement date, is prior to May
23, 1558, the date upon which the prediction for the Last Quarter on
January 30, 1559, seems to be written.
In connection with the contents of the Centuries, it reads in
the Epistle to Henry II:
qui ie viendrois consacrer ces trois Centuries du restant de mes
Propheties, paracheuant la miliade... 
line, preceding the date March 14, 1557, indicates that three centuries
are at stake which complete the miliade, a word with which apparently
a number of 1.000 quatrains is meant. The line implies that on March 14, 1557, 700 quatrains were
Chronologique Nostradamique 1545-1989 (1990), Benazra supposed that
the 1.000 quatrains to which is referred in the Epistle to Henry II,
consist of the 640 quatrains in the copy of the 1557-Du Rosne-edition,
dated on November 3, 1557, the 300 quatrains of the centuries 8, 9 and
10 and the 12 quatrains in the Pronostications of 1555, 1556, 1557,
1558 and 1559. In Répertoire
Chronologique Nostradamique, Benazra also paid attention to the
ideas of the Peruvian Century-scholar Daniel Ruzo about the
number of 300 new quatrains, mentioned in the subtitle of the copy of
the 1557-Du Rosne-edition, dated on November 3, 1557. Ruzo supposed that
Nostradamus in this subtitle referred to the quatrains 04-54 to 07-40,
i.e. 287 quatrains, and the 13 quatrains in the 1556-Almanach.
The copy of the 1557-Du Rosne-edition of the Centuries, dated on
November 3, 1557, contains the quatrains 01-01 to 06-99 and the
quatrains 07-01 to 07-40. The total number of quatrains in this copy is
not 640, but 639. Meanwhile, a copy of a 1557-Du Rosne-edition, dated on
September 6, 1557, has been discovered. This copy contains 642
quatrains: the quatrains 01-01 to 06-99, the Legis
Cautio and the quatrains 07-01 to 07-42. Neither the total of 639
quatrains, nor the total of 642 quatrains are suited to construct a miliade.
Moreover, it makes no sense that annual quatrains (in 1557, one set, the
one for 1559, was not even prepared) are part of what in the Epistle to
Henry II is called Propheties, a series of one thousand quatrains
which covers hundreds of years.
Easter calendar (style de Pâques)
In the ideas, described
above, about the function of the date March 14, 1557, it has been
assumed silently that this date is a date, according to the Julian
calendar, in which the year runs from January 1 to December 31. Until
the second half of the sixteenth century, various calendars were used in
Europe, quite often next to each other. In France, not only the Julian
calendar was used, but also the Easter calendar ( style de Pâques
pascal). In this calendar, the year runs from Easter to Easter. For
every year, the date of Easter is calculated according to the
instructions, phrased at the time of the Council of Nicea (325 AD): the
first Sunday which coincides with or comes next to the first Full Moon
after the beginning of spring on March 21. Therefore, a new Easter year
begins and ends about three or four months later than a new year
according to the Julian calendar, which is the cause of the fact that in
the first three or four months in the Julian calendar, the year of the Julian calendar exceeds 1
year, compared with the Easter
The date June 27, 1558 at the end of the Epistle to Henry II, is a date
upon which the Julian calendar and the Easter calendar run
simultaneously. The Epistle to Henry II contains no indication that this
date is according to the Julian calendar of the Easter calendar, but for
the date itself, this is no problem. The lacking of such an indication in the
lines of the Epistle to Henry II in which the date March 14, 1557 is
given, does raise problems. In the Easter calendar, the year 1557 runs
from April 18, 1557 to April 9, 1558.
If the date March 14, 1557 is a date, according to the Easter calendar,
this date is, when converted to the Julian calendar, March 14, 1558, a
date upon which, according to Astroscoop Plus, there was a square
between Jupiter on 5.27.59 Aquarius and Saturn on 6.58.52 Taurus, both
in direct motion.
Some years ago, the French Century-scholar dr. Jacques
Halbronn supposed that the date March 1, 1555, which closed the Preface
to Cesar, was not a date according to the Julian calendar, but a date,
according to the Easter calendar. Benazra refuted this, arguing that
according to the 1555-Bonhomme-edition, its printing was
achieved on May 4, 1555, a date which undoubtedly was a date, according
to the Julian calendar.
The Epistle to Henry II contains not one clue which shows if the date
March 14, 1557 is a date, according to the Julian calendar or the Easter
calendar. Until today, no 1555- or 1556-editions of the Centuries
are discovered which consist of seven centuries.
If the date March 14, 1557 is a date, according to the Julian calendar,
and if until then there were only Century-editions which
contained the quatrains 01-01 to 04-53, this date indirectly refers to
about 300 quatrains (the remaining quatrains of century 4 and the
quatrains of the centuries 5, 6 and 7) which at that time not yet were
handed over to the printer. If so, it is highly improbable that the date
March 14, 1557 is a date, according to the Julian calendar.
If on the other hand the date March 14, 1557 is a date, according to the
Easter calendar and therefore corresponding with March 14, 1558 in the
Julian calendar, one could suppose that the Epistle to Henry II was
written between March 14 and June 27, 1558, in a time span of about
three and a half months. In that case, the words le restant de mes Propheties
might be a reference to a 1557-Du Rosne-edition of the Centuries.
In that case, the question is why in the Epistle to Henry II the Easter
calendar has been used and in the Preface to Cesar the Julian calendar.
Of course, a printer's error might have been at stake and the text
should have read March 14, 1558 (Julian calendar) instead of March 14,
There is another possibility: the possibility, advocated by Halbronn,
that the Epistle to Henry II is an antedated piece of writing. In that
case, as far as I can see, it has been tried to insert an extra detail,
in order to emphasize that this writing has its origin in the period in which Henry II reigned France, by using a
date, according to the Easter calendar, a calendar which was in use in
the era in which Henry II was the king of France. In my eyes, the
investigation of this possibility deserves every attention, especially
since the Epistle to Henry II contains two time structures, one of 7.000
years, in which world history ends in 2242 AD in an astrological
context, and one of 8.000 years, in which world history ends in 3827 AD
in a biblical context. This kind of contradiction frequently indicates
that more than several authors are involved, who did not fit their
It will not be the first time that too much perfection is
at stake in a forgery.
14, 1557 and the emperorship of Ferdinand I
In the preceding
lines, the possibility is discussed that March 14, 1557 is a date,
according to the Easter calendar. In the Julian calendar, this date
equals March 14, 1558. On that date, there was a square aspect,
according to Astroscoop Plus, between Jupiter on 5.27.59 Aquarius
and Saturn on 6.58.52 Taurus. Whether or not this configuration was
reason to mention this date in the Epistle to Henry II is something
which can only be guessed.
Another possible background, to which also only can be guessed, is the
approval by the German Electors on March 14, 1558 (Julian calendar) of the emperorship of
Ferdinand I, who in September 1556 got the imperial dignities upon the Holy
Roman Empire from Charles V, who in 1555 had abdicated.
Perhaps quatrain 10-31, the only quatrain in which is written about
"the holy empire" which comes to Germany, contains an allusion
to this event.
saint empire viendra en Germanie,
Ismaeites trouueront lieux ouuerts.
Anes vouldront aussi la Carmanie,
Les soustenens de terre tous couuerts.
If the election of Ferdinand I is the background of the (Easter
calendar) date March 14, 1557 in the Epistle to Henry II, this implies that the text of the Epistle dates from later than March 14,
1558, Julian calendar.
The aim of the
articles in the section Debate platform is to give those who do
research on the life and work of Nostradamus, the possibility to react,
on this site, to findings and hypotheses, presented in the articles
which are included in this section. Like this, a public debate might be
developed, which the readers of this site can follow.
I am eager to know the results of your investigation of the function and the
background of the date March 14, 1557. Contributions in English are
preferable. Since this site is also in Dutch, your contribution will not only be
published in English, but also translated in Dutch and published on the
Dutch part of this site.
Contributions can be send by using the page Questions/remarks.
Meern,the Netherlands, August 23, 2009
T.W.M. van Berkel
last updated on August 30, 2009
The titles, places and
year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.
version of the Epistle to Henry II in the 1668-Amsterdam and -Ribou
editions of the Centuries does not contain the date March 14,
1557, but the date March 14, 1547. In these editions, the Epistle to
Henry II precedes century 1. In this article, the date March 14,
1557 is the starting point. [text]
Berkel-2002, p.98. See also: Van Berkel: The
Epistle to Henry II: elements of the biblical chronologies. [text]
Une influence de
la Kabbale dans l'oeuvre de Nostradamus?. Benazra did not
specify the lunar phase. According to Astroscoop
Plus, there was a Full Moon on March 15, 1557 at 02:53 GMT (Moon
on 4.07.33 Libra; Sun on 4.07.33 Aries). [text]
1993a, p.171. [text]
for the yeare of our Lorde 1559 and the Recueil des présages
In either 1563 or 1564, the French king Charles IX issued a decree in which he ordered the use of the Julian calendar (French: style de Circoncision;
on January 1, the catholic Church celebrates the circumcision of
On page 180 of the 1981-re-edition of Roussat's Livre
de l'estat et mutation des temps (Lyon,1550) it reads that the
text was achieved on February 15, 1548. This is a date, according to
the Easter calendar. In terms of the Julian calendar, this is
February 15, 1549. [text]
Une réflexion sur la Lettre à César. Both the Albi-copy and the Vienna-copy
of the 1555-Bonhomme-edition contain the date May 4, 1555. The date
April 30, 1555, the date of the privilege (monopoly), granted to
Bonhomme to print and publish Les
Propheties de Michel Nostradamus for a period of two years, is
also a date upon which the Julian calendar and the Easter calendar run simultaneously. [text]
Preface to Cesar is dated on March 1, 1555; the printing of the
1555-Bonhomme-edition was achieved about two months later, on May 4,
1555. The application of such a time span to the printing of the
copy of the 1557-Du Rosne edition which is dated on September 6,
1557, implies that the text of this edition might have been handed
over to the publisher around July 1557. [text]
The Epistle to Henry II: elements
of the biblical chronologies. [text]
Wiki: Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Brainy