Le Dominicain Giffré de Réchac (1604-1660) et la naissance de la critique nostradamique, 
au XVIIe siècle
(May 26, 2007)
- J. Halbronn D.Litt-

Nederlandse versie

J. Halbronn  D.LittOn October 20, 2007, Jacques Halbronn D.Litt. defended a post-doctoral dissertation at the Sorbonne University in Paris, entitled Le Dominicain Giffré de Réchac (1604-1660) et la naissance de la critique nostradamique, au XVIIe siècle, in which he discusses the history of nostradamic critics. Giffré de Réchac is the real author of Eclaircissement des Véritables Quatrains, published anonymously in 1656 and 1657, generally attributed to a certain Estienne Jaubert.
In his Letter on Nostradamus (July 17, 2003), Halbronn explained to the readers of the nature of his research on Nostradamus and the Centuries and some of his findings, as described in e.g. his thesis Le texte prophétique en France. Formation et fortune and his articles on Espace Nostradamus
On May 26, 2007, invited by, Halbronn has written a contribution in which he presents a brief summary of his post-doctoral dissertation. In this contribution, he discusses the developments and findings during the past years in his research on Nostradamus and the Centuries.
The articles on Nostradamus and the Centuries which Halbronn has written in the period 2001-2004, are published on Robert Benazra's Espace Nostradamus. The section Nostradamica of the website CURA by dr. Patrice Guinard also contains contributions by Halbronn. From 2005, Halbronn publishes his articles in the section Estudes Nostradamiennes in his own site Grande Conjonction.  

T.W.M. van Berkel

On the eve of the defence at the Sorbonne University of a post-doctoral dissertation about the history of nostradamic critic, entitled getiteld "Le Dominicain Giffré de Réchac et la naissance de la critique nostradamique au XVIIe siècle", Theo van Berkel asked me to describe the present state of affairs of my research. 

In my thesis "Le texte Prophetique en France. Formation et Fortune", which dates from 1999, I emphasized the peculiar fact that the quatrains which are part of the fifth, the sixth and the seventh Century are not present at Antoine Crespin's "Prophéties" which include material that can also be found in the other Centuries. In 2002, this was confirmed by Robert Benazra, who published my "Documents inexploités sur le phénoméne Nostradamus".
Between 2002 and 2007, my ideas have substantially developed and I reached to the conclusion that in "Prophéties dédiées à la puissance divine & à la nation française" (1572), Crespin did not use at all Centuries, but that, while compiling the Centuries, people used texts, written by Crespin. This was a new point of view which I have called the neonostradamism as the most important driving force behind the "corpus centurique". I have mentioned that the verse "Roy de Bloys en Avignon régner" (appearing in two different quatrains) was taken from another pamphlet by Crespin (see my study Roy de Bloys en Avignon regner - The Centuries and the Avignon context of the years 1560-1570).
When recently I clarified the place which has to be granted to pseudo-nostradamism in the arrangement of antedated editions of the Centuries, another difficulty was rounded. The forgers blended authentic and false Almanachs and Pronostications by Nostradamus from the period 1550-1560 and - accidentally - decorated their editions of the Centuries with vignettes, taken from false Almanachs. It is true that these vignettes resemble each other since they are imitations.
Further, I think that Nostradamus not only is not the author of the quatrains in the Centuries, but also is not even the author of the quatrains in his Almanachs. The versification of predictions by someone else was a daily practice. It therefore is also again by mistake that people believed they were able to imitate Nostradamus by producing quatrains under his name.

In order to illustrate the case of the nostradamic "vignettes", I will show you some examples. According to me, the vignettes, published in 1555 in an edition of a French translation by the French publisher L'Angelier of Virgil's  "Bucoliques" (figure 1) most certainly served as a model for the vignette of Nostradamus' Pronostications from the 1550's (figure 2). A beard was added to the original figure and stars were drawn in the window. The 1560-forgers - in the circles of Barbe Regnault -  erased the writing board on which this figure worked (figure 3) and it is the version without writing board which in the 1590's by accident was chosen to produce the antedated 1555-Bonhomme- and 1557-DuRosne-editions of the Centuries (figure 4). One can see that a part of the manuscript document where the author writes is still partly blank in Virgil's edition's vignette while it is wrongly entirely written in the two Nostradamus vignettes, which shows that the false vignette was taken from the authentic and not from a common source. Originally, the Virgil's vignettes are derived from vignettes from the "Shepherd's Kalendar".

Figure 1
Cut-out cover Virgil-1555
Pronostication 1558 Le Noir
Figure 2
Cut-out cover Pronostication 1558 - Le Noir
Pronostication - Regnault-1562
Figure 3
Cut-out cover Pronostication 1562 - Regnault
Prophéties - DuRosne-1557
Figure 4 
Cut-out cover Prophéties -  DuRosne-1557

To which conclusions did I come? I think that the Centuries were published in the course of the 1580's, probably around 1584, and that in the course of the years they were developed tremendously, especially Century 07, which is profoundly marked by the troubles in the era of the Ligue. I especially think about quatrain 07-24, which contains the name "Marquis du Pont", i.e. the son of the Duke of Lorraine, who completely anachronistically can be found in the antedated 1557-editions.

Neither the research by Patrice Guinard (Corpus Nostradamus, site CURA), nor the recent selling of the Ruzo-collection have been able to contest my conclusions about the the importance of all kinds of forgeries in the field of nostradamism and the Centuries. It cannot be denied that the forgers had libraries at their disposal and archives from several decades ago, but while they got lost in the labyrinth of nostradamic, pseudo-nostradamic, neo-nostradamic and even anti-nostradamic production, they did not make a clever use of it. In many cases, the forgeries are well-documented, but they fitted them with contents which were completely different. Moreover, authentic and proving texts were touched up, by which scholars who are focused too much upon "validating" the "corpus nostradamique" can be led astray.

About the research on the sources of several quatrains, done by Peter Lemesurier, Pierre Brind'Amour, Patrice Guinard, Roger Prevost or Adrien Delcour, can be said that it especially showed that the contents of the Century-texts is not prophetic but the result of forgery, starting from diverging texts, and from the beginning did not have a prophetic character at all, as was brilliantly shown by Chantal Liaroutzos, more than twenty years ago, in the case of the use of guide-books. In this way, texts of various authors were plagiarized in order to compile a false Nostradamus-publication, while quatrains were imitated which he even not wrote himself. This method is well-known and lead to several publications like in the last years of the XIXth century, the "Protocoles des Sages de Sion", where a pamphlet, written by Maurice Joly - without reference to the Jews - and published at the time of Napoleon III, was revised and transposed in a totally new context  (cf. my "Le sionisme et ses avatars au tournant du XXe siècle, Ramkat, 2002, published by Robert Benazra next to my "Documents inexploités sur le phénoméne Nostradamus).
In any case, the Centuries appear as a collective creation, on many decades, and not as the work of one single person.


Paris, May 26, 2007
Dr. Jacques Halbronn



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