A long time ago, we drew
attention to quatrain VII-24 and its last line: Grand
de Lorraine par le Marquis du Pont, in which the claims of the House
of Lorraine in 1593-1594 to the French throne are described.
26, 1593, the League convocated the Etats Generaux to
decide who would become the new French king or queen.
There were numerous candidates: Claire-Isabelle of Spain (1566-1633), Charles-Emmanuel I de Savoie,
duke of Savoie, Charles
III de Lorraine, duke of Lorraine and two members of the catholic House
of Bourbon. In the end, Henri de Navarre, who on May 17, 1593, announced
his conversion to Catholicism, managed to put an end to this manoeuvre.
Charles III de Lorraine, born in 1543, was also Marquis of Pont (à
Mousson), a fact from which quatrain VII-24 resulted. He pretended
to be entitled to the French throne and ordered the Arch Diacre of Toul, François
de Rosières, to publish the Stemmata, which would show a Carolingians
ancestry. Actually, Charles III should have called himself
Charles II, if one would leave out Charles I of Lorraine Minor, who
deceased in 991. We note that in 1559, Charles III married with Claude,
a daughter of Henry II.
In 1593 the Satyre
Ménippée ironized the matter like this: Prouvez-y par voz romans, Que
venez des Carlomans / Les bonnes gens après boire, Quelque chose en
pourront croire. The Carlomans are the Carolingians,
descendants of Charlemagne. This satire, well known in those days, first
circulated as a handwritten piece before it was taken into print, which
according to us has also been the course of things in the Centuries,
which originally had a substantial different form than the one we know
today, taking into account the many changes and additions such as the
indication Chastres, which was changed into Chartres (see
than twenty years ago, Chantal Liaroutzos, in her study of the Guide
des Voyages (1553) by Charles Estienne, showed that this travel
guide was used many times, which made it possible to restore the
original state of a number of quatrains.
Quatrain IV-86, a quatrain of the part, added to century IV, i.e.
next to quatrain IV-53, deserves every attention:
que Saturne en eau sera conjoinct,
Auecques Sol,le Roy fort & puissant
A Reims & Aix sera receu & oingt,
Apres conquestes meurtrira innocent.
Without any doubt, Aix,
given the "Carolingian" claims of the duke, is
Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen); Reims is the city where the French kings were
crowned and "anointed", hence the word oingt at the end
of the third verse of quatrain IV-86. Until 1531, all German emperors were
crowned in Aix-la-Chapelle, Charles V in 1520. In this quatrain, the
dream of the French kings to become the emperor of Germany is described.
Because of his intermediary position between France and Germany, Charles
III might have the idea to realize this possibility.
Recently, we connected this quatrain with another one:
bourg lareyne parviendront droit à Chartres
Et seront pres du pont Anthoni pause
Sept pour la paix cauteleux comme Martres
Feront entree d'armée à Paris clause
This quatrain, quatrain IX-86,
refers to the coronation in the beginning of 1594 of Henri de Navarre,
which took place not in Reims, but in Chartres, which in quatrain IX-86
resulted in a change of the toponym Chastres into Chartres. As
far as the word Martres is concerned, Jean Guernon objects that
it cannot correspond with Montmartre, where
Henri IV was installed during the 1590-siege of Paris, because
Nostradamus (sic) by no means could have split the toponym Montmartre in
two parts. The
problem is that this quatrain was not written by Nostradamus and that a
toponym can be perverted.
Remarkably enough, this quatrain is the 86th quatrain of the ninth
century! A striking symmetry appears with these two quatrains "86", one
of them being part of the first volume of the Centuries; the
other one being part of the second volume. We remind that in the first
centuries, according to us, the interests of the League were
defended and in the last centuries, the interests of the reformed
In two quatrains, a coronation is mentioned. One might think that once
quatrain IV-86 preceded quatrain IX-86, like the warning to Rome in
quatrain X-65 (O vaste
Rome, ta ruyne s'approche) corresponds with the warning to Tours in
quatrain IV-46 (Garde toy, Tours, de ta
proche ruyne). We remind that the quatrains at the end of century IV
are older than the ones at the beginning of this century.
One objects that quatrain IV-46 precedes quatrain IV-53, but elsewhere
we explained that in 1588 an edition of the Centuries was
published in Rouen, which consisted of four centuries, but which did not
include this quatrain.
The formation of century IV had three phases:
- phase 1: without quatrain 46 (a total of 49 quatrains, without the
quatrains 44 to 47)
- phase 2: including quatrain 46 (a total of 53 quatrains)
- phase 3: including quatrain 86 (a total of 100 quatrains)
The 1557-DuRosne-editions contain quatrain IV-86 in the same form as the
1568-editions (and probably, the forged 1558-edition, lost) contained quatrain
IX-86. From 1588, quatrain IV-86 was part of the Parisian editions. At
the end of the 1580's, the duke of Lorraine subjugated himself to the League.
It looks as if quatrains, in favour of the duke, which first have been
published independently, later were included in the centuries, or that
quatrains were compiled with the intention to let them be a part of the Centuries.
Anyway, there are strong indications to situate the "final
wording" of the centuries VIII to X in the years 1588-1593, which
make them contemporary publications of the Ianus
Gallicus, a comment in which the comment upon quatrains of shortly
published editions was integrated with the Présages. Regarding
the first volume of seven centuries, we only know the
1590-Antwerp-edition, for which the title has been already used by the
Rouen-editions, but in which century VII consists of only 35 quatrains.
The first editions known today containing the centuries VIII-X - apart
from the forged 1568-Rigaud-editions - did not appear before the last
decade of the 16th century. The first edition with this group might have
been published by Jacques Rousseau in Cahors, a city in the South West
of France, not specially known for its publishing activity. Afterwards,
the Lyon Rigaud-family seems to have obtained the monopoly of the X
century editions, Lyon, where was also published, in 594, the Ianus
Gallicus which includes commentaries on quatrains from the ten
centuries. The publication of the ten centuries illustrated symbolically
an intention of national reconciliation, under Henry IV which lead in
1598 to the Edit de Nantes.
Paris, September 14,
Jacques Halbronn, D.Litt
As Theo van
Berkel noted, the beginning of quatrain IV-86 might very well
deal with the year 1593 which in the eyes of the League would be
the year of a new coronation, in which they would have been right, were
it not that Henri de Navarre had cut the other
candidates off by means of his conversion.
Quatrain IV-86 begins like this:
que Saturne en eau sera conjoinct
Avecques Sol, le Roi fort & puissant
Saturn entered the zodiacal sign of Cancer, one of the water signs. Annually, the Sun conjuncts
Saturn, which means that in itself this
conjunction is not that significant. Therefore, the second line
indicates a lack of knowledge with the astronomic reality. However, it
is every ten years that Saturn is running through a water sign, because
of the fact that the water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) are in
triangle with each other, which is the basis of the great Jupiter-Saturn
Van Berkel's remark, which is an addition to our study of the two
quatrains "86", might mean a fatal and may-be decisive blow to
the suppositions about the age of quatrain IV-86 and confirms that the
1557-DuRosne-editions or the 1568-B.Rigaud-editions which respectively
would include quatrain IV-86 and the quatrains IV-86 and IX-86, can not
be dated before the years immediately preceding 1593, if one supposes that
quatrain IV-86 (and possibly quatrain IX-86) precede shortly before the
coronation in Chartres, which sounds highly probable to us.
These quatrains, which correspond with each other and which emanate from
opposite camps, are a remarkable illustration of the way the main
parties used the Centuries , whose publishers preferred to edit the quatrains
rather than to comment existing quatrains, as in the Ianus Gallicus.
In the period 1588-1594, we see two exegetic directions: one which does
not give an "external" comment but changes a centuric text or
adds something to it; and another direction which - a way which
eventually would become dominant - freezes the text and proposes to read
it in one's own way, which puts an end to the practice of changing the
text. It is important to establish that the antedated editions of the Centuries,
among which the 1555-Macé Bonhomme-edition which contains notably
quatrain IV-46 which deals with the reign in Tours of Henri de Navarre,
cannot be dated before the period 1588-1593. This does not mean that
there were no handwritten editions - that is a different debate - but
they are not the editions we now discuss. Certainly, the quatrains might
have been extracted from old historic sources, chronicles or travel guides, but it
is important to understand that from an archaeological point of view -
as it were - ,
the first layer was covered with a new one, which most notably resulted
in the change of Chastres, mentioned in the Guide des Voyages
by Estienne, into Chartres, the city of the dreamt and eventually
happened coronation of Henri IV, whereas the coronation in Reims and Aix-la-Chapelle, announced in quatrain IV-68, did not take place but clearly
was foreseen by the Lorraine supporters, against who a number of
quatrains were directed by either the anagram Norlaris (VIII-60,
IX-50) or by the name Lorraine (X-18). In the areas, controlled by the League,
the centuries VIII-X were forbidden. This clearly shows that the House
of Bourbon-Vendôme (Mendosus) took the claims of the Lorraines
very seriously and that it had to be absolutely imperative to establish that Nostradamus
clearly disapproved this camp.
True, as Adrien Delcour noted in the short article Le ranc
lorrain fera place à Vendosme... quinze ans avant la Ligue, the
rivalry between the Guises and the Vendômes dates from earlier years,
it found its expression after the decease of Henry II and was described in
a certain non-nostradamic publication, but to be precisely, but it was
the time of the League that the Vendômes placed it under the
banner of the Centuries; the editors of the fighting parties
largely drew from an already existing whole, which would imply literally
that it is not
sufficient to date the quatrains on the basis of this whole, which means
in a number of cases that quite a lot of quatrains should be dated in a
period, preceding the years 1550, i.e.... in the sixteenth century.
J. Halbronn, D.Litt.
The titles, places and
year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.
note: Halbronn refers to his 1996-Sorbonne-lecture Les
Prophéties et la Ligue. See: Halbronn: Les Centuries et le
débat sur la loi salique, sous Henri III.
note: Halbronn refers to page 93 of the 1553-edition
of the Guide des Chemins de France (page 92 of the
in which in the paragraph Etampes the toponym Chastres
soubz Montlehery is listed. On this page, the toponyms
Le bourg la Royne (quatrain IX-86: bourg lareyne) and Le
pont Antony (quatrain IX-86: pont Anthoni) are also listed.
According to Halbronn, Chastres
soubz Montlehery is the old name of Arpajon in the department
Essonne and in an antedated edition, dated on 1568, the toponym Chastres
was changed into Chartres.
Translator's note: Jean Guernon: French Century-scholar,
webmaster of http://michelnostradamus.org.