NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
RESEARCH RESULTS
The 1941-Vreede-translation (NL) and the 1558-Lyon-edition 
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
 

H. Houwens Post (W.L. Vreede) in "Introduction to the Prophecies"

...In 1558 a second edition was published, in which was printed successively: the Letter to Cesar, the Centuries I - VII, the Letter to King Henry II and the Centuries VIII - X...

...In this book, the reader will find a complete, Dutch translation, in the same order, of the edition of 1558, mentioned above...

The 1558-Lyon-edition
From bibliographical data, it can be derived that the Prophecies of Nostradamus were published in parts. The publication of the first 353 quatrains and the Letter to Cesar by the Lyonese publisher Macé Bonhomme carries the year 1555 and is entitled Les propheties de m. Michel Nostradamus. Two editions by Antoine du Rosne, also living in Lyon, carry the year 1557 and are entitled: Les propheties de m. Michel Nostradamus. Dont il en y à trois cents qui n'ont encore iamais esté imprimées. Original copies of these editions have been preserved. The 1555-Bonhomme-edition contains the Letter to Cesar and the quatrains 01-01 to 04-53. One of the 1557-Du Rosne editions, printed in September 1557 and preserved in the University Library in Utrecht, NL, contains the Letter to Cesar, the quatrains 01-01 to 06-99, a quatrain without a serial number, containing (in Latin language) a "warning against inept critics" and the quatrains 07-01 to 07-42. The other one, printed in November 1557 and preserved in Budapest, Hungary, contains the Letter to Cesar, the quatrains 01-01 to 06-99 and the quatrains 07-01 to 07-40, three quatrains less.
The eighth, ninth and tenth Century are accompanied by a letter from Nostradamus to Henry II. This letter is dated on June 27, 1558. This date rises the thought that this letter and these three Centuries were published in 1558. However, never a copy of such an edition has been found. The Bibliographie Nostradamus mentions a 1558-Lyon-edition, published by Jean de Tournes, entitled: Les Prophéties de M. Michel Nostradamus. Centuries VIII, IX et X. Qui n'ont encore iamais esté imprimées. However, the existence of this edition is only known by references to it in other editions such as the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, where it reads on the title page: Reveües & corrigées suyvant les premieres Editions imprimées en Avignon en l'an 1556 & à Lyon en l'an 1558 & autres.[1]
 
According to some Century-scholars, there are indications that the eighth, ninth and tenth century were known in 1560. Brind'Amour for example mentions a letter from Michaelo Soriano, ambassador of Venice at the French court. This letter is dated on November 20, 1560. Soriano described the illness of Francis II, born on January 18, 1544. He points to an astrological prediction that the king will not pass his eighteenth birthday. Francis II died at the age of sixteen, on December 5, 1560. In his letter, Soriano seems to refer to quatrain 10-39:

Quatrain 10-39 (2000-Chomarat-facsimile)
Premier fils vefue malheur eux mariage,
Sans nuls enfans deux Isles en discord,
Auant dishuict incompetant eage,
De l'autre pres plus bas sera l'accord.

Translation (Van Berkel, 2002)
First son of the widow, unhappy their mariage,
Without any children two islands in discord,
Before eighteen incompetent age,
For the other the betrothal will take place while much younger.

According to some Century-scholars, this quatrain fits close to what happened to Francis II. The first line. Francis II was the eldest son of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici. Henry II died on July 10, 1559, at the time of the illness of Francis II, Catherine de' Medici was widow. The second line. Francis II got married with the Scottish queen Mary Stuart on April 24, 1558. They would have no offspring. Scotland was in conflict with England. The third line contains the reference to the age of eighteen. The fourth line could be connected with a marriage arrangement in 1560 between Charles IX (at that time 10 years old) and princess Anne of Austria.[2]
The most early complete edition of the Prophecies which has been preserved, carries the year 1568 as the year of publishing. It contains the Letter to Cesar, the quatrains 01-01 to 06-99, the Latin "warming", the quatrains 07-01 to 07-42, the Epistle to Henry II and the quatrains 08-01 to 10-100. In 2000, this book was published in facsimile by Michel Chomarat.
No copy of a 1558-Lyon-edition is preserved, not in the form of the eighth, ninth and tenth century, accompanied by the Epistle to Henry II, not in the form of a complete edition (the ten centuries, the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II). Because of this, experts like Benazra and Chomarat consider this edition as "hypothetic".

 

Vreede 1941
1941-Vreede-translation,
Servire publishers, The Hague

 

The 1941-Vreede-translation
In the investigation on which  Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, several editions of the Centuries have been used, among which a Dutch translation, published in 1941 by Servire publishers, The Hague. This edition contains the Letter to Cesar, the quatrains 01-01 to 06-100, the Latin "warning", the quatrains 07-01 to 07-44, the Epistle to Henry II and the quatrains 08-01 to 10-100.
H. Houwens Post, the translator, using the name Vreede as alias, wrote that his French source text of the Prophecies was a complete edition, published in Lyon in 1558. This edition contained the Letter to Cesar, the first seven centuries, the Epistle to Henry II and the eighth, ninth and tenth century.
[3]
On the dust jacket of the 1941-Vreede-translation, the title was printed within a frame, copied from the cover of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition Les vrayes centuries et prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus. 
The 1941-Vreede-translation was not reprinted until 1979. In 1979, Schors publishers Amsterdam, re-issued this translation by means of facsimile. In 1998, Jan Vandervoort revised the 1941-Vreede-translation. His revision was entitled Nostradamus De grootste ziener aller tijden.
The 1941-Vreede-translation does not contain a bibliography of used literature. On the back cover of the facsimile edition, Schors publishers Amsterdam copied the remark by Houwens Post that the contents of his translation was a complete Dutch translation of a (French) edition, published in 1558.
If the information from Houwens Post is true, it means that the 1558-Lyon-edition, considered to be lost, is available in Dutch. In this article, the truth of this information is verified.

 

The title of the 1558-Lyon-edition
Houwens Post does not mention the title of the 1558-Lyon-edition he used. J. Vandervoort, who edited in the 90's the 1941-Vreede-translation, writes that this edition was entitled Les vrayes centuries et prophéties de maister Micheld Nostradamus à Lyon 1558.[4] 
Both the title of the book and the title of Nostradamus raise questions. According to the Bibliographie Nostradamus, the title Les vrayes centuries et prophéties was used for the first time in the 1650-Leiden-edition and for the last time in the 1710-Rouen-edition and the 1710-Paris-edition. These editions do not contain the Letter to Cesar, but they do contain the added Centuries, the Présages and the Sixains.
[5] The title "maister" (or "mayster") only occurs in three cases: the English Almanachs for 1559 and 1562.[6] The letter -d- in the word d "Micheld" might point to the name "Michel de Nostredame", but is never used together with the latinized form "Nostradamus".
The title of the source text, mentioned by Vandervoort, and the title of Nostradamus, do not mean that Houwens Post used a 1558-Lyon-edition as a source text. These titles date from the 17th and 18th century.

 

The contents of the 1941-Vreede-translation
The 1941-Vreede-translation contains more than what was available in 1558. The extras date from the 17th century. Houwens Post included the quatrains 06-100, 07-43 and 07-44. These quatrains were published for the first time in the 17th century, long after the decease of Nostradamus in 1566. The Latin "warning", in the 1568-Lyon-edition a not-numbered quatrain, following quatrain 06-99, is in the 1941-Vreede-translation a not-numbered quatrain, located between the sixth and the seventh Century.
The 1941-Vreede-translation also contains a biography about Nostradamus. Houwens Post copied large parts of this biography from the biography in the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, a biography which is in his turn largely copied from the biography, written by De Chavigny in La Première Face du Ianus François (1594).

 

Nostradamus engraving Vreede 1941
Engraving Nostradamus, 
1941-Vreede-translation

Anagrams and illustrations
Houwens Post gives two examples of anagrams, used by Nostradamus.[7] One of them is the word EIOVAS (Savoye). This anagram only occurs once: in quatrain 12-69, which was published for the first time in the 17th century. Houwens Post seriously doubts the authenticity of the 11th and the 12th Century.[8] Considering this, it is incomprehensible why he chose an example from the 12th Century, whereas an anagram like CHYREN (Henryc) occurs a couple of times in the first ten Centuries, such as in quatrain 04-34.
The 1941-Vreede-translation contains the frontispiece of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition and a page from the first Century, which contains the text of the quatrains 01-54 to 01-62. In reversed order, these pages were, by means of photocopy, included in  Le Secret de Nostradamus et de ses célèbres prophéties du xvie siècle, written in 1927 by P.V. Piobb. In 1927, Piobb also compiled a photocopy of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, entitled Texte intégral de Nostradamus réproduction agrandie en phototypie de l'édition d'Amsterdam 1668, précédée de la réimpression de la Lettre à César, son fils, d'après l'édition de Lyon, 1558, to which Houwens Post refers a couple of times.
[9]
Houwens Post probably copied the pictures of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition from the 1983-Piobb-copy. The cut-out on the dust jacket of his translation is most likely a copy of the cover of the 1938-Piobb-copy, the original French title Les vrayes Centuries et Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus being replaced by the Dutch title De Profetieën van Nostradamus. Because of this, his statement that he used a 1558-Lyon-edition, is less credible.
The 1941-Vreede-translation also contains an engraving of Nostradamus, seated at a writing desk, with a four-line verse underneath the picture. This engraving, made by Jean Sauvé, is not the one in the 1668-Amsterdam-edition. It resembles the engraving, included in Balthasar Guynaud's La Concordance des propheties de Nostradamus avec l’histoire depuis Henry II jusqu’a Louis le GrandLa Vie et l'Apologie de cet Auteur. Ensemble quelques essais d'explications sur plusieurs de ses autres Prédictions, tant sur le present que sur l'avenir (Paris, 1693, 1709 and 1712). This engraving indicates that a 1558-Lyon-edition of the Centuries was not at Houwens Posts disposal.

 

Errors
The 1941-Vreede-translation shows that Houwens Post reached into researches of at least three Century-scholars (among which Piobb and De Fontbrune), in the history of the Prophecies and the compilation of the various editions. Some of his remarks can be improved.
According to Houwens Post, the first edition of the Prophecies (Lyon, 1555) contained the Letter to Cesar and the first seven Centuries. He described the editions, which were published between 1555 and 1558, as reprints from the described 1555-Lyon-edition.
[10] This is not correct. The 1555-Bonhomme-edition, the first edition of the Prophecies, contains the Letter to Cesar and the quatrains 01-01 to 04-53. In 1557, an enlarged edition was published by Antoine du Rosne. This edition (in fact: two different editions) contained the Letter to Cesar and the first seven Centuries.
Houwens Post writes that the 1668-Amsterdam-edition contains all texts of Nostradamus, both the authentic and the non-authentic ones.
[11] This also is not correct; the 1668-Amsterdam-edition does not include the Letter to Cesar. In the 1938-Piobb-copy, this Letter, which printed version was dated in 1558, was added to the copied pages of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition.

 

Amsterdam 1668
1668-Amsterdam-edition

Quatrains in old-French
Houwens Post does not give a complete French source text of the quatrains and letters. In his book, the text in old-French of 35 quatrains is given; he could not give a complete translation of 29 of them.[12] It is remarkable that these texts do not contain interpunctions, except for a closing point at the end of the fourth line of every quatrains and points, used in abbreviations.
The old-French texts of the quatrains 01-03, -47 en -95, 02-63, 03-89 and the quatrains 04-26 and -44 in the 1941-Vreede-translation are compared with the 1996-Brind'Amour-discussion, the 2000-Chomarat-facsimile and the 1668-Amsterdam-edition. The old-French in the 1941-Vreede-translation differs from the texts in the 1996-Brind'Amour-discussion and the 2000-Chomarat-facsimile. The old-French texts of these quatrains correspond with the texts in the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, with the exception of a couple of transcript errors.
The old-French texts of the quatrains 04-63, 05-15, -20, -45 and -56, the quatrains 08-30 and -88, the quatrains 09-20, -21, -24, -27, -31, -34, -48, -57, -95 and the quatrains 10-07, -08, -33, -36, -41, -50, -52, -60 and -79 in the 1941-Vreede-translation are compared with the 2000-Chomarat-facsimile and the 1668-Amsterdam-edition. The old-French in the 1941-Vreede-translation differs from the texts in the 2000-Chomarat-facsimile. The old-French texts of these quatrains correspond with the texts in the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, with the exception of a couple of transcript errors.
These findings show that the source text of the quatrains is not the 1558-Lyon-edition, but the 1668-Amsterdam-edition. Benazra, to whom in spring 2003 the results were submitted which were obtained thus far, concluded that Houwens Post used the 1938-Piobb-copy. In this investigation, this conclusion was taken over.

 

The Epistle to Henry II
The 1938-Piobb-copy is not the one and only source text, used by Houwens Post. In the Epistle to Henry II in this edition, the beginning date of the fulfilment of the first set of predictions is March 14, 1547, while in the translation by Houwens Post this date is March 14, 1557, the date which is given in general. Further, there are four important differences in the text of the second biblical chronology between the 1941-Vreede-translation and the 1938-Piobb-copy.

Table 1. Second biblical chronology
1941-Vreede-translation and 1938-Piobb-copy

Second biblical chronology
1941-Vreede-translation

Second biblical chronology
1938-Piobb-copy

Period Noach-Ark
En aan het einde van deze 600 jaren betrad Noach de ark...
[13]

Period Noah-Arch
Et à la fin d'iceux six ans, Noe entra dans l'arcke...
[14]

Period Jacob-Egypt
...vanaf zijn [Jakobs] geboorte-uur tot aan zijn intrede in Egypte 130 jaren. 

Period Jacob-Egypt
Dès l'heure qu'il [Jacob] entra dans Egypte, jusques à l'issuë d'iceluy passerent cent trente ans.

Period Exodus-Temple
...vanaf den uittocht uit Egypte tot aan den bouw van den Tempel, die door Salomo werd opgericht in het 4e. jaar van zijn regeering, gingen 480 of 490 jaren voorbij. 

Period Exodus-Temple
Et depuis l'issuë d'Egypte jusques à l'edification du temple faicte par Salomon au quatriesme an de son regne, passerent quatre cens octante ou quatre vingt ans.

Period Temple-Jesus
...vanaf den bouw van den Tempel tot aan Jezus Christus verstreken volgens de berekeningen van de schriftkundigen 1020 jaren.

Period Temple-Jesus
Et depuis l'edification du temple jusques à Iesus Christ selon la supputation des hierographes passerent quatre cens nonante ans.

The phrasing of "the end of the 600 years" in the 1941-Vreede-translation is correct. In the 1938-Piobb-copy, the word six (six) is given, the word cens (hundred) is not given.
The phrasing of the period Jacob-Egypt in the 1941-Vreede-translation corresponds with Genesis 47,9. In the 1938-Piobb-copy, this period is phrased wrongly.
In the 1938-Piobb-copy, the number of years of the period Exodus-Temple corresponds with 1 Kings 6,1. In this edition, the number 480 is written in two ways: quatre cens octancte, ou quatre vingt ans. In the 1941-Vreede-translation, the number 480 is not mentioned twice. Instead, the lines contain the numbers 480 and 490.
Regarding the period Temple-Jesus: the number 1020 in the 1941-Vreede-translation does not occur in the 1938-Piobb-copy. In that edition, the number 490 is given, which can be read in the previous line in the 1941-Vreede-edition, being a second estimation of the length of the period Exodus-Temple.

In both editions, the period Creation-Noach lasts 1506 years. This is due to a printer's error. In the Old Testament, the length is 1056 years. The words mil cinquante & six (1056) are printed as mil cinq cens & six (1506). After correcting this error and while counting 480 years for the length of the period Exodus-Temple, the total of the second biblical chronology in the 1941-Vreede-translation is 4172 years and 2 months. This is one year and 6 months less than the total of 4173 years and 8 months, given by Nostradamus.[15] Correcting this printer's error in the 1938-Piobb-copy results in a total of about 3684 years, which is about 525 years less than the 4173 years and 8 months.

The investigation upon which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, shows that the total of 4173 years and 8 months can be founded on an arithmetical fundament by means of the numbers, given in the 1941-Vreede-translation (although there is still a shortage of 1 year and 6 months). This is important, since the total of 4173 years and 8 months leads to the millennium model, the model Nostradamus used to calculate the number of years of existence of the world. He counts with eight millennia. The first millennium starts on April 25, 4174 BC; the last millennium ends on April 25, 3827 AD.

From the moment in 1986 on which the printer's error 1506/1056 was discovered, it was assumed in the investigation that the translation of the second biblical chronology by Houwens Post was based upon the 1558-Lyon-edition. The difference in phrasing of the end of the period Noah-Arch and the period Jacob-Egypt might be due to a silent correction by Houwens Post. The text of the second biblical chronology in the 1938-Piobb-copy was supposed to be the resulted of a failed attempt to correct the total of 4622/4632 years in the 1558-Lyon-edition. In order to correct, the number 1020 (period Temple-Jesus) would be replaced by the number 490. This would change the total of the second biblical chronology into 4092 years, which is 80 years less than the the total, given by Nostradamus. The printer's error 1506/1056 would be overlooked as well as the fact that the period Temple-End Babylon exile is, according to the Old Testament, 502 years. If the Bible was consulted, the revision would have been different. In Thesaurus Temporum, J.J. Scaliger counts 1014 years for the period Temple-Jesus.[16] In the 1566-Almanach-F, Nostradamus counts 1087 years. 

 

Wöllner 1926
"Das Mysterium des Nostradamus"

The German source text of the Epistle to Henry II in the 1941-Vreede-translation
L'astrologie de Nostradamus - dossier is a collection of essays and books and contains among others the book Das Mysterium des Nostradamus (1926), written by dr. Christian Wöllner. 
Wöllner also discussed the biblical chronologies in the Epistle to Henry II.
[17] He also saw the printer's error 1506/1056. He also saw that the period Jacob-Egypt was phrased wrongly. He also saw that a length of 490 years of the period Temple-Jesus was against all biblical knowledge. 
According to Wöllner, something went wrong in the print of quatre cens octante, ou quatre vingts ans for the period Exodus-Temple. Nostradamus used the synonym huictante for the word octante, but not the words quatre vingts. In the case of the number 70, he used the word septante, not the words soixante dix. In the case of the number 90, he used the word nonante, not the words quatre vingt dix.
According to Wöllner, the total of 4173 years and 8 months can be calculated perfectly with the data, given in the second biblical chronology. Wöllner counts with 601 years for the period Noach-Arch (Epistle: 600 years) and with 480 years and 6 months for the period Exodus-Temple (Epistle: 480 years). He bases these differences upon interpretations of Genesis 7,11 and 1 Kings 6,1 and 6,38, combined with his ideas that from the original phrasing mil vingts (1020), the word mil got lost and that originally the words quatre cens nonante did not refer to the length of the period Temple-Jesus, but were meant as a second estimation of the length of the period Exodus-Temple.

The next table contains the text of the second biblical chronology, as phrased by Wöllner and translated by Houwens Post.

Table 2. Second biblical chronology
1926-Wöllner-translation/revision and 1941-Vreede-translation

Second biblical chronology
Wöllner, p. 13-14
in: Amadou, p.316-317

Second biblical chronology
1941-Vreede-translation, p.147

Immerhin sind von der Schöpfung des Menschen bis Noah 1056 Jahre und von Noahs Geburt bis zur Vollendung der Arche vor den Sintflut 600 Jahre (ob die Jahre Sonnen- oder Mondjahre waren oder Mischungen von besagten, so halte ich dafür, dass die Heilige Schrift Sonnenjahre meint). Und am Ende dieser 600 Jahre ging Noah in die Arche, um aus der Flut gerettet zu werden; es dauerte diese über die ganze Erde verbreitete Flut 1 Jahr und 2 Monate. Und von da ab bis zur Geburt Abrahams vergingen 295 Jahre. Von da bis Isaac 100; von Isaac bis Jacob 60 Jahre; von da bis zu seinem Einzug in Ägypten vergingen 130 Jarhre. Und seit dem Eingang in Ägypten bis zum Ausgang 430 Jahre. Und vom Ausgang aus Ägypten bis zum Tempelbau Salomos in 4. Jahr seiner Regiering 480 oder 490 Jahre. Und von Tempelbau bis Jesus Christus vergingen nach Rechnung der Hierographen 1020 Jahre. Und so sind nach dieser der Heiligen Schrift entnommenen Rechnung ungefähr 4173 Jahre und 8 Monate paullo plus vel minus vergangen.

Wanneer ik evenwel de jaren tel vanaf de schepping der wereld tot aan de geboorte van Noach, dan zijn er in dien tijd 1506 jaren verstreken; en vanaf de geboorte van Noach tot aan den volledigen afbouw van de ark (toen de algemene zondvloed naderde) gingen 600 jaren voorbij (de vraag rijst, of het zonne- of maanjaren waren, of een mengeling van beide, doch ik neem aan, dat de Heilige Schrift zonnejaren aangeeft). En aan het einde van deze 600 jaren betrad Noach de ark om van den zondvloed gered te worden. En deze algemeene zondvloed kwam over de aarde en duurde 1 jaar en 2 maanden. En vanaf het einde van den zondvloed tot aan de geboorte van Abraham verstreken 295 jaren; en vanaf de geboorte van Abraham tot aan de geboorte van Isaac gingen 100 jaren voorbij; en vanaf die van Isaac tot aan die van Jacob 60 jaren; en vanaf zijn geboorte-uur tot aan zijn intrede in Egypte 130 jaren; en vanaf Jacobs intrede in Egypte tot aan zijn uittocht verstreken 430 jaren; en vanaf den uittocht uit Egypte tot aan de bouw van den Tempel, die door Salomo werd opgericht in het 4e. jaar van zijn regeering, gingen 480 of 490 jaren voorbij; en vanaf den bouw van den Tempel tot aan Jezus Christus verstreken volgens de berekeningen van de schriftkundigen 1020 jaren.
En aldus zijn er volgens de door mij gemaakte berekening, ontleend aan de Heilige Schrift, ongeveer 4173 jaar en 8 maanden verstreken, welk getal iets kleiner of iets groter kan zijn.

For the translation of the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II, Wöllner used a Benoist Rigaud edition, which he did not specify by the year of publishing. In the source text of the Epistle to Henry II, the length of the period Noach-Arch is 6 years, which has to be 600. Wöllner does not discuss this error, but corrects it silently. In the 1568-Lyon-edition, the length of this period is given correctly, 600 years.
In the 1941-Vreede-translation, the period Creation-Noach lasts 1506 years instead of 1056. However, Houwens Post, like Wöllner in his revision, correctly phrased the end of the period Noah-Arch and the period Jacob-Egypt, gave a second estimation of the length of the period Exodus-Temple (490 years) and gave a length of 1020 years for the period Temple-Jesus.
From this, it can be concluded that Houwens Post used Wöllner's translation of the Epistle to Henry II. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the location of the brackets in the line 

(de vraag rijst, of het zonne- of maanjaren waren, of een mengeling van beide, doch ik neem aan, dat de Heilige Schrift zonnejaren aangeeft).

is identical with the location of the brackets in the translation by Wöllner 

(ob die Jahre Sonnen- oder Mondjahre waren oder Mischungen von besagten, so halte ich dafür, dass die Heilige Schrift Sonnenjahre meint). (see table 2). 

The location, used by Wöllner, differs from the source text he used 

(Si les ans estoyêt Solaires ou Lunaires, ou des dix mixtions) ie tiens ce que les sacrees escriptures tiennent qu'ils estoyent Solaires.

and is therefore characteristic for Wöllner's translation (see tables 2 and 3 and the paragraph: References to the 1558-Lyon-edition). 

Another indication that Houwens Post used Wöllner's Das Mysterium des Nostradamus instead of the 1938-Piobb-copy, is the fact that Wöllner's  source text does not contain the date March 14, 1547, but the date March 14, 1557, which is also contained in the 1941-Vreede-translation.[18]  
Another fact which points to the silent inclusion of material from the book by Wöllner, is the summing up, presented by Houwens Post, regarding the editions of the Prophecies. This summing up is almost identical with the summing up by Wöllner. The editions, mentioned by Wöllner: Lyon-1555, Avignon-1556, Lyon-1556, Leiden-1558, -1566 and -1568, Amsterdam-1668, Paris-1669, Cologne-1689 and Lyon-1698. The editions, mentioned by Houwens Post: Lyon-1555, Avignon-1556, Lyon-1558, Leiden-1558, -1566, -1568 and 1611, Amsterdam-1668, Paris-1669, Cologne-1689 and Lyon-1698.[19] 

 

References to the 1558-Lyon-edition
The investigation, described in this article, showed that Houwens Post did not use a 1558-Lyon-edition, but a photocopy of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, while silently adding material from Wöllner's Das Mysterium des Nostradamus. His references to a 1558-Lyon-edition are false.
In the investigation upon which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, it was assumed until recently that the differences between the 1941-Vreede-translation and the 1938-Piobb-copy regarding the second biblical chronology, would point to the existence of a 1558-Lyon-edition. The recent investigation showed that Houwens Post translated Wöllner's German translation of the Epistle to Henry II, which contains a revised second biblical chronology.
The second biblical chronology as revised by Wöllner, does not point to the existence of a 1558-Lyon-edition. The revised second biblical chronology is the result of Wöllner's own investigation of the Epistle to Henri II. His source text was an undated "edition Benoist Rigaud".
Benoist Rigaud published the 1568-Lyon-edition. The source text of the second biblical chronology, used by Wöllner, differs from the text in the 2000-Chomarat-facsimile of this edition, as is shown in table 3.

Table 3. Second biblical chronology
Wöllner, "Benoist Rigaud"-edition and 2000-Chomarat-facsimile

Second biblical chronology
 "Benoist Rigaud"-

Second biblical chronology
2000-Chomarat-facsimile
in: Chomarat, p.166-167

(74) Toutefois comptans, les ans depuis la creation du monde, iusques à la naissance de Noë, sont 
(75) passez mil cinq cens & six ans, - & depuis la naissance de Noë iusques à la parfaicte fabrication de l'arche, approchant de l'vniuerselle inondation, passerent six ans. (Si les ans estoyêt Solaires ou Lunaires, ou des dix mixtions) ie tiens ce que les sacrees escriptures tiennent qu'ils estoyent Solaires. Et à la fin d'iceux six cens ans Noë entra dans l'arche pour estre sauué du deluge: 
(76) - & fut iceluy deluge vniuersel sur la terre, 
(77) & dura vn an & deux mois. - Et depuis la fin du deluge iusques à la natiuité d'Abraham passa le nombre des ans de deux cens nonâte cinq. 
(78) - Et depuis la natiuité d'Abraham iusques à la 
(79) natiuité d'Isaac passerent cens ans. - Et depuis 
(80) Isaac iusques à Jacob, soixante ans. - dès l'heure qu'il entra en Egypte iusques à l'yssue d'iceluy 
(81) passerent cent trête ans. - Et depuis l'entrée de Jacob, en Egypte iusques à l'yssue d'iceluy passe-
(82) rent quatre cens trente ans. - Et depuis l'yssue d'Egypte iusques à l'edification du Temple faicte par Salomon au quatriesme an de son regne, passerent quatre cens octâte ou quatre vingts ans. 
(83) - Et depuis l'edification de temple iusques à par ceste supputation que i'ay faicte, colligee par Jesus Christ selon la suppuation des hierographes, 
(84) passerent quatre cens nonante ans. - Et ainsi par ceste supputation que i'ay faicte, colligee par les sacrées lettres, sont enuiron quatre mille cent septante trois ans & huict mois, peu ou moins.

Toutesfois comptans les ans depuis la creation du monde, iusques à la naissance de Noë, sont passez mille cinq cens & six ans, & depuis la naissance de Noë iusques à la parfaicte fabrication de l'arche, approchêt de l'vniuerselle inondation passerent six cens ans si les dons estoyent solaires ou lunaires, ou de dix mixtions. Ie tiens ce que les sacrees escriptures tiennent qu'estoyent Solaires. Et à la fin d'iceux six cens ans Noë entra dans l'arche pour estre sauué du deluge, & fut iceluy deluge vniuersel sus la terre, & dura vn an & deux mois. Et depuis la fin du deluge iusques à la natiuité d'Abraham, passa le nombre des ans de deux cens nonante cinq. Et depuis la natiuité d'Abraham iusques à la natiuité d'Isaac, passerent cens ans. Et depuis Isaac iusques à Iacob, soixante ans, dés l'heure qu'il entra dans Egypte, iusques en l'yssue d'iceluy passerent cent trente ans. Et depuis l'entree de Iacob en Egypte iusques à l'yssue d'iceluy passerent quatre cens trente ans. Et depuis l'yssue d'Egypte iusques à la edification de temple faicte par Salomon au quatriesme an de son regne, passerent quatre cens octante ou quatre vingts ans. Et depuis l'edification du temple iusques à Jesus Christ selô la supputation des hierographes, passerent quatre cens nonante ans.
Et ainsi par cette supputation que i'ay faicte colligee par les sacrees lettres sont enuiron quatre mille cent septante trois ans , & huict moys peu ou moins.

A number of words differ from each other, such as in line 74 the word Toutefois versus Toutesfois in the 1568-Lyon-edition. The blue marked line in Wöllner's source text in line 83 does not belong there. Its appearance is due to a printer's error in the German book. This line occurs also in line 84, where it belongs.
The most important differences are in line 75 in Wöllner's source text. In this line, the length of the period Noah-Arch is 6 years. In the 1568-Lyon-edition, this length is 600 years. The discussion of the dilemma regarding the use of solar or lunar years, is in Wöllner's source text partly put between brackets; the words Solaires and Lunaires begin with a capital letter. In the 1568-Lyon-edition, this discussion is not put between brackets and the words solaires and lunaires begin with a small letter. In the 1941-Vreede-translation, the discussion of the dilemma regarding the use of solar or lunar years, is also put between brackets.
The location of the brackets in Wöllner's translation differs from the location in the source text he used. If he would have copied correctly, the phrase so halte Ich dafür, dass die Heilige Schrift Sonnenjahren meint (the translation of ie tiens ce que les sacrees escriptures tiennent qu'ils estoyent Solaires), would not be between brackets (see tables 2 and 3). However, this phrase is between brackets and in the case of the 1941-Vreede-translation, the location of the brackets is identical with the location in Wöllner's translation (see table 2).
In the same line, Wöllner's source text contains the word ans, whereas in the 1568-Lyon-edition it reads dons.
It is clear that the text of the Epistle to Henry II in the 1568-Lyon-edition is not the source text, used by Wöllner. Benazra, who was asked for advice, wrote that it is difficult to determine precisely which source text has been used by Wöllner. He points to the fact that on p.119 of a 1566-Pierre Rigaud edition and in a number of non-dated editions, published by this Pierre Rigaud, the dilemma regarding the use of solar or lunar years has been put between brackets in the same way as in Wöllner's source text, while the words Solaires and Lunaires also begin with a capital letter. However, in the line Et à la fin d'iceux six cens ans Noë entra..., the word cens is omitted in the 1566-Pierre Rigaud-edition.
[20]
While discussing quatrain 10-74, Wöllner also referred to Pierre Rigaud.[21] He also mentioned Anatole Le Pelletier, from whose Les oracles de Michel de Nostredame (1867) he borrowed the numbering of the lines in the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II.[22]
Les Oracles de Michel de Nostredame contains an apocryphal edition, which publishing is attributed to Pierre Rigaud and falsely dated in 1558-1566, completed with variants from another apocryphal edition, which publishing is attributed to Benoist Rigaud and falsely dated in 1568. In reality, these editions were printed by François-Joseph Demergue in Avignon in the beginning of the 18th century.[23]
The conclusion, based upon the available texts, is that Wöllner used the source texts of the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II in Le Pelletier's Les oracles de Michel de Nostredame.[24]

 

Conclusions
The findings in the investigation of the 1941-Vreede-translation show that Houwens Post did not possess a 1558-Lyon-edition which contains the Letter to Cesar, the quatrains 01-01 to 06-100, the Latin "warning", the quatrains 07-01 to 07-44, the Epistle to Henry II and the quatrains 08-01 to 10-100. A 1558-Lyon-edition as described by Houwens Post, would have contained more than what could possibly be in print by 1558.
The number of elements in the 1941-Vreede-translation which also occur in the 1668-Amsterdam-edition is that many, that one can suppose in fairness that this edition, in the form of the 1938-Piobb-copy, was one of the source texts, used by Houwens Post. He used this copy as a source text for the translation of the quatrains. He also borrowed parts of the Nostradamus-biography and probably copied illustrations.
Regarding the translation of the Epistle to Henry II, the thesis is that Houwens Post used the German translation of this Epistle, made by Wöllner in Das Mysterium des Nostradamus, and thus included the second biblical chronology, as revised by Wöllner. Regarding the source text of the Letter to Cesar, nothing can be said at this moment, because of the lack of text in the reprint of Das Mysterium des Nostradamus in L'astrologie de Nostradamus - dossier.
Wöllner also did not use a 1558-Lyon-edition. Regarding the source texts of the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II, he refers to a "Benoist Rigaud edition" without further details. The investigation shows that the source text of the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II is the false 1566 Pierre Rigaud edition (with additions from the also false 1568 Benoist Rigaud) as included in Le Pelletier's Les Oracles de Michel de Nostredame (1867), which editions in reality were printed in Avignon, in the beginning of the 18th century.
Houwens Post and Wöllner seem to refer to their source texts in the same way. The reference by Houwens Post to the use of a 1558-Lyon-edition seems to be based upon the references to it in the title of the 1938-Piobb-copy. Wöllner's reference to the use of a Benoist Rigaud edition is based upon the reference to that edition by Le Pelletier. This way of referring may lead into disorder and is sometimes incomplete, as these two translations show. In the 1941-Vreede-translation, the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II are not translated from a source text, published in 1558, but from a German translation of a source text, published in the 18th century, whereas it is dated in 1566/1568 by the German author.

As for the facsimile edition of the 1941-Vreede-translation, published by Schors, Amsterdam, in the ’80’s-‘90’s, the remark on the back cover that this facsimile is a complete Dutch translation of the edition, published in 1558, is not correct.

As for the elaborated edition of the 1941-Vreede-translation by J. Vandervoort, also published by Schors, Amsterdam, Vandervoort’s remark that he saw the 1558-Lyon-edition, entitled Les vrayes centuries et prophéties de maister Micheld Nostradamus à Lyon 1558, with his own eyes, is also not correct. The title points to the title of the 1938-Piobb-copy.

 

Table 4. Source texts of the 1941-Vreede-translation

Quatrains

1938-Piobb-copy (= photocopy of 1668-Amsterdam).

Letter to Cesar 

1938-Piobb-copy (addition, dated in 1558), or 1926-Wöllner-translation (German translation / revision of the Letter. French source text in: Le Pelletier, 1867.
Source text 1867-Le Pelletier: Avignon, beginning 18th century ("1566-Pierre Rigaud/"1568-Benoist Rigaud"). 

Epistle to Henry II

1926-Wöllner-translation (German translation / revision of the Epistle. French source text in: Le Pelletier, 1867.
Source text 1867-Le Pelletier: Avignon, beginning 18th century ("1566-Pierre Rigaud"/"1568-Benoist Rigaud").

 

Other articles about the 1941-Vreede-translation on this website

  • The 1941-Vreede-translation and World War II
    In this article, Houwens Post's motives to translate the Centuries into Dutch are discussed, as well as indications that the 1941-Vreede-translation was meant as a reply to the national-socialist brochure Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?, which in April 1940 was brought into circulation in the Netherlands.

  • Nostradamus de grootste ziener aller tijden (J. Vandervoort, Amsterdam, 1998)
    In this article, J. Vandervoort's revision of the 1941-Vreede-translation is discussed. Much attention is given to his methods, not in the least because he copied, without specification, texts from the national-socialist brochure Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?.

 

Expression of thanks
The author wishes to thank mr. Robert Benazra for his continuous help and decisive advices.

 

De Meern, the Netherlands, March 14, 2004 
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on July 9, 2011

 

Notes
The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. Chomarat/Laroche, p.26. [text]

  2. Brind'Amour in: Chevignard, p.37. However, in quatrain 10-39 there is no evidence for the hypothesis that Nostradamus calculated December 5, 1560, as a fulfilment date of this quatrain. This quatrain also does not talk about death. From a geographical point of view, Scotland and England are not two separate islands. [text]

  3. Prof. dr. mr. H. Houwens Post, professor in Portuguese, was born in 1904 in Surakarta, Indonesia, and died in 1986 in Utrecht, NL. See: Van Berkel: information on prof. dr. mr. Hendrik Houwens Post alias mr. dr. W.L. Vreede. [text]

  4. Vandervoort, p.238. [text]

  5. The Présages are monthly political predictions of Nostradamus for the period 1550-1567. The Sixains are six line verses, which are falsely attributed to Nostradamus. [text]

  6. Chomarat/Laroche, p. 26, 30 and 38. [text]

  7. Vreede, p.19. [text]

  8. Vreede, p.12. [text]

  9. Vreede, p.11 and 14. These books were published in Paris in 1927 and 1938 by Adyar publishers.  [text

  10. Vreede, p.10. [text

  11. Vreede, p.11. [text]

  12. In the introduction, the French text is given of 6 quatrains, translated without any problem. In an appendix, the French text is given of 29 quatrains which caused troubles during translating.  [text]

  13. These and next quotations: Vreede, p.147. [text]

  14. These and next quotations: Nostradamus, 1668. [text]

  15. See Epistle to Henry II: the second biblical chronology.  [text]

  16. Scaliger, section Isagogicorum chronologiae canonum libri tres, second book, section epochae temporis historici. [text]

  17. Wöllner, p.10-16, in: Amadou, p.315-318. Wöllner, an astronomer, studied the Prophecies in the period 1913-1925. His translation of the Letter to Cesar and the Epistle to Henry II was the first German translation of these letters (Wöllner, preface, in: Amadou, p.309).  [text]

  18. Wöllner, p.26, in: Amadou, p.323. [text]

  19. Vreede, p.7, Wöllner, p.1, in: Amadou, p.310. Possibly, Houwens Post replaced the mentioning by Wöllner of a 1556-Lyon-edition by the mentioning of a 1558-Lyon-edition.  [text]

  20. Benazra, private correspondence. In the text of the Epistle in the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, the brackets are used in the same way as in the French source text, used by Wöllner. [text]

  21. Wöllner, p.68, in: Amadou, p.344.  [text]

  22. Wöllner, p.2, in: Amadou, p.311.  [text]

  23. Benazra, p.295-300 and p.416.  [text]

  24. Wöllner had a high respect for the way Le Pelletier published the Centuries, but considered his interpretations untenable (Wöllner, p.133, in: Amadou, p.351).  [text]

 
 

 
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