Guidelines for Nostradamus research
- J. Halbronn D.Litt. -

Nederlandse versie

J. Halbronn D.Litt.In 2003, 2007 and 2008, J. Halbronn D.Litt., being invited by, wrote several articles in which he explained his approach to Nostradamus and the Centuries, his findings and his suppositions.[1]  
Halbronn originally wrote the article which you are about to read, as a preparation for an interview which he gave to the National Geographic. In this article, he clearly and comprehensively describes the present state of affairs of his research on Nostradamus and the Centuries and presents a survey of his main findings.
For further articles and backgrounds, the interested reader is referred to the section Estudes Nostradamiennes of Halbronn's website Grande Conjonction.


Dear readers,

I would like to summarize the most important points regarding Nostradamus as a result of my last years of research.

  1. A certain Preface to Cesar has actually  been published during the lifetime of Nostradamus as an Epistle of Nostradamus to King Henry II (Présages Merveilleux, 1557). Those documents have been used to forge false addresses.
    The Preface to Cesar refers to a "memoir"  that Nostradamus will leave for after  his death. The 1555 document was not supposed to have been printed at this moment but was only written as a sort of will. It opens the edition of the Centuries and confirms their  posthumous character. There is no doubt, however, that an Epistle to Cesar was published in 1555, but not introducing centuries and not having a posthumous tone (see Antoine Couillard's commentary of 1556).

  2. Certain quatrains have been made from manuscript notes left by Nostradamus as "touristic" quatrains due to Nostradamus travels, and deprived originally of any prophetical character whatsoever.

  3. The title Prophéties used for many editions of the Centuries was used by Nostradamus for a certain type of publication, that has not been preserved but which is mentioned in archives of book keepers. We know, on the other hand, that imitators of Nostradamus did publish predictions covering several years at the same time. It was probably what Nostradamus called his Prophéties, quite a different genre as the Centuries. As a matter of fact, in 1672, the first English version is entitled Prophecies or Prognostications of Michel Nostradamus, showing that "prophecies" may just be synonymic for "prognostications".

  4. The Centuries appeared first as a posthumous work, made of documents showing different dates when Nostradamus did or was supposed to have written (but not published them). In a later stage, the dates of those manuscript documents were used to forge editions as 1555 for instance. This posthumous edition has not been preserved but 1568 seems to be a good guess since many editions were later connected with 1568, which is two years after Nostradamus 's death.

  5. From this lost first posthumous edition, appeared in the 1580's, new editions with quatrains changed and adapted to the political situation, connected with the death of the Duke of Alençon (1584), the death of Henry III (1589), the civil war between "Paris" and "Tours", the attempt to elect a new king of France by both sides, the abjuration of Protestantism by Henry IV (1593) and his coronation in Chartres (1594).

  6. One important document is the 1588's edition of only four "centuries", in Rouen, This book belongs to the Ruzo-collection and has been described by Benazra, although no copy circulates for the time being. This edition does not include quatrain 04-46, connected with Tours. In 1589, this quatrain appeared in another Rouen edition. Some say it has disappeared for some reason, and then reappeared. We believe that such quatrains (04-44 to 04-47) did not exist before and that the first group of quatrains did not include 353 quatrains but only 349 quatrains, the last century having less than 50 quatrains, in the same way that century 07 does not pass the line of 50 quatrains.

  7. The Guide des Chemins de France of Charles Estienne - a sort of travel guide of the 1550's - is one important source of some quatrains, which affords to identify additions to the original text, especially in quatrain 09-86 in which Chartres is mentioned. This travel guide is also the source of the famous "Varennes" quatrain, which is connected with Louis XVI. Such a content reveals that the notes and elements used had nothing to do with prophecy and were made prophetical later on.

  8. The iconography of the title pages of the Prophéties shows that the source of the forgery came from false editions (not of the Centuries of course but of Almanachs), published even before the death of Nostradamus. The woodcut used is clearly different from the official editions of the Prognostications. The forgeries were made possible by the conservation of all sorts of documents (manuscripts and prints) which were combined to create them. As a matter of fact, such a collection included false and authentic documents but the forgers were unable to distinguish between them, so they used false elements to produce antedated editions of the Centuries. They neglected the fact that already in the 1560's, when Nostradamus was still alive, false Almanachs were published under his name with a special type of woodcut which was not the one used in the authentic Prognostications of Nostradamus.

  9. The first (posthumous) "edition" of the Centuries has probably been a manuscript and reserved to "happy few". As late as 1570, Jean de Chevigny was offering one of those quatrains to Larcher, which would not make sense if the book had been in circulation (in print). In 1572, Antoine Crespin gave extracts of the quatrains in his Prophéties dédiées à la Puissance Divine and other publications, which leads us in the same direction. The expression "not yet printed" which appears in the title of additions to the first centuries, confirms the fact that at first, only manuscripts circulated.

  10. The first seven centuries were manipulated by the Catholic Camp while the last three were used by the camp of Henry IV. One will find attacks, in the lost four quatrains (absent from the 1588-Rouen- edition of four centuries but present in the 1589-Rouen-edition), against Tours, the capital of Henry IV (IV, 46), a quatrain in favour of the Marquis du Pont, catholic candidate to the throne of France (VII, 24). The use of the Guide des Chemins de France is limited to the last three centuries. The last three centuries were never published in Paris or Rouen in 1588-1589 since they were announcing the victory of the Bourbons (Vendome, Mendosus) against the Guise - Lorraines (Norlaris).

  11. The antedated editions include elements which were added in the 1580's-1590's or which are corrupted as the Preface to Cesar. We have versions of the first versions of the Preface to Cesar which do not show such corruption (see the first sentences of the said Preface) and which were published only in the second half of the 17th century (see the English translation and Antoine Besson's French edition). In the Besson-edition (1690's), the Preface is announced as addressée à son filz Cesar Nostradamus pour luy donner une idée des Centuries de ses Propheties, that is: "to give him an idea of the Centuries of his Prophecies", and it became at a later period, according to us, Preface de M. Michel Nostradamus à ses Propheties, which is the canonical formula.


Paris, November 16, 2009
J. Halbronn D.Litt.



  1. See on this website:
    - Letter on Nostradamus (July 17, 2003);
    - Le Dominicain Giffré de Réchac et la naissance de la critique nostradamique au XVIIème siècle (May 26, 2007);
    - Les deux quatrains "86" du couronnement (September 14, 2008). [text]


Home (EN)
New articles
Updated articles
Research results
Analysis quatrains
World War II 
Debate platform
French research
Web links
Free newsletter
Privacy / cookies


© T.W.M. van Berkel, De Meern, NL
alle rechten voorbehouden / all rights reserved