NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
RESEARCH RESULTS
Research results: Nostradamus and his contemporaries (Roussat, Videl, humanism)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie 

 

THE END OF THE WORLD (NOSTRADAMUS VERSUS ROUSSAT) 

 

Preface to Cesar
...these predictions run from today until the year 3797 - maybe some will frown their foreheads if they see this long time span...

Epistle to Henry II
...So, by this calculation I have made, collected from the holy writings, there are about four thousand one hundred seventy three years and eight months, more or less...

In the first decades of the sixteenth century, numerous predictions about the approaching end of the world circulated in France, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire. [1] Many astrologers tried to calculate the date on which this would happen. There are calculations known, made by contemporaries of Nostradamus such as d’Ailly, De Cuse, Turrel, Morin and Lauret.[2]
In 1550, the French astrologer and canon Richard Roussat published Livre de l'estat et de mutation des temps. By means of four astrological models, he tried to demonstrate that the end of time was near:

The first model
In this model, the existence of the world is divided in four periods of 1750 years. Originally, this model was described by amongst others Francois de Macedonne. The periods are connected with the cardinal signs of the Zodiac:

  • First period: Creation – Deluge: Aries. Rulers: Mars and the Sun.

  • Second period: Deluge – drowning of Pharaoh’s army during the Exodus: Cancer. Rulers: the Moon and Jupiter.

  • Third period: Exodus – Diaspora: Libra. Rulers: Venus and Saturn.

  • Fourth period: Diaspora – end of the world: Capricorn. Rulers: Saturn and Mars.

The second model
In this model, the existence of the world is divided in series of seven periods of 354 years and 4 months, each period ruled by a planet. The first period of 354 years and 4 months is ruled by Saturn, the second by Venus, the third by Jupiter, the fourth by Mercury, the fifth by Mars, the sixth by the Moon, the seventh by the Sun. Then a new series of periods begins,of which the first is ruled by Saturn, etc. Roussat took this model from Liber Rationum, written in the 12th century by Abraham Ibn Ezra.

The third model
In this model, the existence of the world is divided in periods of about 240 years. The time span of 240 years is based on the change of astrological element (fire, earth, air, water) in which the successive conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn take place. Roussat took this model from Libro de magnis coniunctionibus, written in the 9th century by the Arabian astrologer Albumasar (Abu Ma'Shar).

The fourth model
In this model, the existence of the world is divided in periods of about 300 years. The time span of 300 years is based on ten rotations of Saturn. Roussat also took this model from Libro de magnis coniunctionibus.

Roussat dates the creation of the world in 5199, which is 5200 BC.This assumption is based on calculations by Eusebius of Cesarea, a 4th century bishop, known as the “father of Church history”.[3] Roussat also presents a chart of the creation of the world. He does not mention the date of the chart, the time or the altitude.[4] 

Richard Roussat
LIVRE DE L'ESTAT ET MUTATION DES TEMPS.
ISBN 2.7144.1405.2

The assumptions by Roussat
In the first model, the number of years of existence of the world is 7.000. The existence begins with the Creation, as described in Genesis. According to Roussat, at the end of the 7.000 years the Last Judgment will take place, as described in Revelations 20. This is shown by the fact that he quotes the last line of the catholic Credo: et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam ventori saeculi.[5] One day in the seventh millennium, all the planets will reach the point from which they started moving at the time of the Creation. Then the moving stops, i.e. the world will come to an end.[6]

Each period of 1750 years is ruled by the planet which rules the involved cardinal sign, and the planet which is in exaltation in that sign. Saturn and Mars rule the fourth period of 1750 years. Because both these planets are malefics, Roussat expects the Antichrist to come in this period.[7]
Roussat does not give a precise date on which the world will end. He mentions the years around 1789, because a big, splendid conjunction will occur, together with the fulfilment of a ten-rotation cycle of Saturn. The period around 1814 is another possibility, because according to Roussat the fourth period of 1750 years will end around that year. Roussat adds that only God knows the duration of existence of the world.
[8]
Both years match with his statement that the end of the world is near, i.e. close to his lifetime.[9]

Roussat finished his book in 1549. According to the second model, this is in the period of 354 years and 4 months which is ruled by the Moon and runs from 1533 until 1887. The next period (1887 – 2242) is ruled by the Sun. Next, there is a period, ruled by Saturn, provided, Roussat writes, that around that time the world still exists.[10] Again, he does not give the date of the end of the world. It is possible that he assumes that there will be three complete series of seven periods of 354 years and 4 months and that Saturn will not begin a fourth series. This could mean that the world will end in 2242. Roussat does not discuss this at all.

Another feature of the approach of Roussat is that none of the four models is based upon a progression system. The predictions of Roussat are based on two transit cycles (actual zodiacal longitudes of planets which occur around the time of fulfilment) and two systems of periods (the fourfold series of 1750 years and the series of periods of 354 years and 4 months). 

Evaluation
Roussat presents four models in order to prove his point, mentioned in the subtitle of Livre de l'estat...: Prouuant par authoriteZ de l’Escripture Saincte, & par raisons astrologales, la fin du Monde estre prochaine. It looks as if he expects the end of the world in 1789 or 1814. But only the year 1789 matches with the time span of 7.000 years, covered by the model of De Macedonne. In terms of “Anno Mundi”, the year 1789 is the 6988th year. The year 1814 is off, because this year is the 7013th year. It is also possible that Roussat counts with three complete series of seven periods of 354 years and 4 months, which means that the world will end in 2241, but this does not match with his statement that the end of the world is close to his lifetime. 

Roussat might have reservations mentioning the date on which the world will end, because in the fifth Lateran council (1512) it was forbidden for clergymen to mention data regarding the coming of the Antichrist or the end of the world. He might also have reservations because, according to Matthew 24,36, only God knows about this. In that case, however, the attempt of Roussat to prove his point by means of astrology is superfluous.

The four models do not point to the same year. If the four periods of 1750 years cannot be exceeded, the world was supposed to end on probably April 9, 1801, Gregorian calendar.[11] On January 1, 1801, Saturn retrograde was located on 23 Leo, i.e. not on 21 Aquarius, his position in the chart of the creation of the world from which he started to rotate. In 1801, Saturn was only halfway his rotation, which means he does not complete a series of ten. On January 1, 1801, Jupiter retrograde was located on 2 Leo. A conjunction with Saturn did not occur in 1801, but on July 17, 1802, on the 6th degree of Virgo. This was indeed a change of element; the conjunctions of 1742, 1762 and 1782 took place in fire signs. But the conjunction in Virgo took place after the end of the first model. As for the periods of 354 years and 4 months, 1801 was ruled by the Moon, but replacement of rulership by the Sun would occur much later, in 1887. There is no connection between the third model and the first model, i.e. there is no trigger in the first model that puts the third model to an end or vice versa. And the question is if Ibn Ezra has stated that the world will exists during three complete series of seven periods of 354 years and 4 months.

Roussat has reservations to mention a date on which the world ends. The four models he presents, do not point to a common date on which this will happen. This leads to the conclusion that Roussat has not enough been able to make it reasonable that the end of the world is near. 

Nostradamus: the millennium model
The millennium model as developed by Nostradamus, is based on biblical time data, recorded in Genesis, Exodus, 1 Kings and Revelations. He mentions in his letters to Cesar and Henry II the sixth, seventh and eighth millennium. Since he does not mention a ninth millennium, the basic assumption is that he counts with eight millennia, 8.000 years, for the existence of the world from the beginning until the end. 

The beginning of the first millennium is derived from the Epistle to Henry II. There it reads that the Old Testament (from Creation until the birth of Jesus) covers a time span of 4173 years and 8 months. This means that the birth of Jesus is the turning point in history. His birth is celebrated on Christmas, December 25. In the investigation on which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, his date of birth is mathematically defined as December 25, 1 BC. In order to calculate the beginning of the first millennium, i.e. the date of creation of the world, one has to subtract 4173 years and 8 months from December 25, 1 BC. This results in April 25, 4174 BC. This means that the ending date of each millennium is April 25. The eighth millennium ends on April 25, 3827. 
The transition of one millennium into another is most of the times not marked by important events. Exceptions are the beginning of the first millennium (the creation of the world), the beginning of the eighth millennium (the beginning of the kingdom of one thousand years) and the end of the eighth millennium (the Last Judgment and the end of the world). 
Nostradamus writes in his letters to Cesar and Henry II about the returning rulership of Saturn. In contrast with Roussat, he makes no reservation about this return. In the millennium model, Saturn rules twice: the first and the last millennium. The other planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter) each rule one millennium. This could be a variation on the model of planetary rulerships as developed by Ibn Ezra.
According to the millennium model, the world will end on April 25, 3827.

The investigation on which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, showed that he used two progression systems in order to predict the future of the world until its end. Both systems are based on the motion of the Caput Draconis, but each of them has its own time enlargement factor.
For the quatrains, Nostradamus uses the CD4-system. In this system, one degree motion of the Caput Draconis equals 4 years of fulfilment in the period March 1, 1555 until April 25, 3827. Nostradamus seems to have applied this system also in the predictions in his Preface to Cesar and in the first set of predictions in his Epistle to Henry II.
For the second set of predictions in his Epistle to Henry II, Nostradamus uses the CD100-system. In this system, one degree motion of the Caput Draconis equals 100 years of fulfilment in the period January 1, 1606 until April 25, 3827.
The CD4- and CD100-system have only the Caput Draconis in common. It is remarkable that Nostradamus predicts the advancing time with a factor, the Caput Draconis, which moves backwards with a constant speed. Although both systems are based on astrology, only the CD100-system is only based on astrology, which means that Nostradamus describes the nature of his predictions, the fulfilment time and the fulfilment place by means of astrology. In the case of the CD4-system, only the fulfilment time and the fulfilment place are described by means of astrology. The nature of the predictions is described by the visions Nostradamus claims to have received from God.

Nostradamus gives from both systems the end date of the progressive period. The progression period of the CD4-system ends on February 27, 1554. The progression period of the CD100-system ends on February 24, 1607. Both these dates correspond with April 25, 3827, the day on which, according to Nostradamus, the world will end.  

Nostradamus versus Roussat
A comparison between Livre de l'estat... and the millennium model shows that there are no correspondences between Roussat and Nostradamus, but only differences:

The number of years of existence of the world
Roussat: around 7.000 years. No mentioning of the kingdom of 1.000 years.
Nostradamus: exactly 8.000 years, including the kingdom of 1.000 years.

The applied number of astrological models
Roussat: four astrological models.
Nostradamus: one astrological model.

The date of the beginning of the world
Roussat: 5200 BC, no date, a chart without date, time or altitude.
Nostradamus: April 25, 4174 BC. No chart.

The date of the end of the world
Roussat: unclear: some day in 1789, 1814 or perhaps 2241.
Nostradamus: April 25, 3827.

The applied systems of predictions
Roussat: two time frames (1750 years and 354 years & 4 months), in which two transit cycles occur (conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn and tenfold rotations of Saturn).
Nostradamus: one time frame (the millennium model) and two progression systems, based on the motion of the Caput Draconis. The quatrains: CD4-system (one degree motion of Caput Draconis equals 4 years). The second set of predictions in the Epistle to Henri II:CD100-system (one degree motion of Caput Draconis equals 100 years). In both systems, the date of the end of the world is April 25, 3827.

Conclusions
Nostradamus' millennium model is lucid and provides precise data of the beginning and end of the world. From an arithmetic point of view, it is a solid model.
The Epistle to Henry II shows that Nostradamus dissociated himself from historical works, written by Marcus Terentius Varro and Eusebius of Cesarea.  In the investigation on which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, it has been concluded that Nostradamus also dissociated himself from his contemporaries regarding his ideas about the existence of the world. 
Nostradamus writes to Cesar that the quatrains have a time span until 3797 and that a number of people will frown their foreheads because of this. The most obvious reason to have objections against such a time span, is that it is a time span of more than 2200 years. Contemporaries of Nostradamus had another reason to object his ideas. The predictions of Nostradamus go far beyond 1801, the year in which the world was supposed to end. 

Notes

  1. Crouzet, p.5. [text]

  2. The comments of J.P. Brach in Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et de mutation des temps. [text]

  3. Roussat, p.68. According to Eusebius, there were 2242 years between the Creation and the deluge, 1017 years between the deluge and Abraham, 430 years between Abraham and the Exodus, 480 years between the Exodus and the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, 442 years between the building of the Temple in Jerusalem and its destruction, and 589 years between this destruction and the birth of Jesus.  [text]

  4. Roussat, p.75. The MC is located on 1 Aries, the Ascendant on 1 Cancer. This implies a 0-degree latitude. The Sun is located on 19 Aries, which implies a time of 1h16m before culminating and the date March 30 (leaving calendar corrections aside). The cusps of the other houses are not according to the Regiomontanus or Campanus systems of house division. One wonders who had the astrological means in those days to erect this chart. The chart does not show retrogradation. Retrogradation of Mercury or Venus cannot be derived from a chart. Mars is located on 28 Scorpio. Because of its distance from the Sun, Mars is retrograde (but not discussed by Roussat as being retrograde). Jupiter and Saturn are direct, because of their distance from the Sun. Saturn is located on 21 Aquarius. [text]

  5. Roussat, p.83. He does not discuss the beginning or the end of the biblical kingdom of 1.000 years. [text]

  6. Roussat, p.139-140. See also Brind’Amour, p.35-36, note 85. [text]

  7. Roussat, p.63. [text] 

  8. Roussat, p.162 and the comments of Brach. The time spans in the third and fourth period are average time spans. Present-day astrological software shows that these calculations are off. In the chart of creation of the world, Saturn was located on 21 Aquarius. Around mid-February 1787, Saturn was again located on 21 Aquarius, completing its rotation. In 1789, Saturn was moving from 7 Pisces to 19 Pisces and Jupiter was moving from Cancer to Virgo. There was no magnificent conjunction in 1789. Jupiter and Saturn were conjunct in November 1782 on 28 Sagittarius. So one wonders which chart served Albumasar in the 9th century to predict “the great troubles for the exact date in 1789” as Brach writes in his comments in Livre de l’estat…
    As for the year 1814: if the world is supposed to be created in 5200 BC and the existence is 7.000 years, the end will take place some day in 1801, not in 1814. [
    text]

  9. Roussat, p.139-140. [text]

  10. Roussat, p.95. [text]

  11. If the assumption is correct that the date of the chart of creation of the world is March 30, 5200 BC, the end is on March 30, 1801, according to the Julian calendar. To this date, ten days must be added in order to get the Gregorian date of April 9, 1801. [text]

Related publication: The millennium model versus the Trithemian cycle

CRITICIZED BY COLLEAGUES (NOSTRADAMUS VERSUS VIDEL)  

 

Judicial warning against inept critics
Let those who read these verses, consider them profoundly
Let the profane and ignorant herd keep away
And far away all Astrologers, Idiots and Barbarians
May he who does otherwise be subject to the sacred rite.

Preface to Cesar
...these predictions run from today until the year 3797 - maybe some will frown their foreheads if they see this long time span...

During his life, Nostradamus was criticized and attacked because of his practice of astrology. He was not only attacked by the Ministry of Justice. Some of his colleagues criticized him also. In 1558, his colleague Laurens Videl published a book, entitled Declaration des abus, ignorances et seditions de Michel Nostradamus. In this book, he criticized in full detail almost the complete oeuvre of Nostradamus.
Videl discusses a number of topics, such as: 

  • In the Pronostications, Nostradamus uses wrong positions of the Sun while explaining quartercharts.

  • In the Pronostications, Nostradamus specifies time moments on which planetary positions occur, in a strange way.

  • In the Pronostications and Almanachs,  Nostradamus lists wrong positions of Sun and Moon in the case of lunar phases. 

  • In the Pronostications, Nostradamus makes mistakes in determining extraordinary astrological circumstances, e.g. "combust".

  • Nostradamus makes mistakes when determining astrological aspects.

  • In the Prophecies, Nostradamus writes about the end of the world, about which he simply can not know anything at all.

  • In the Prophecies, the claim of Nostradamus that he has received the gift of prophecy, is unjust.

  • In the Prophecies, Nostradamus uses incorrect the rulership of Mars over the period 1179-1533 according to the astrological time model of Ibn Ezra.

The remarks of Videl will be discussed step by step.

Laurent Videl
DECLARATION DES ABUS IGNORANCES ET SEDITIONS DE MICHEL NOSTRADAMUS

Quartercharts
Quartercharts (ingresscharts) are charts, erected for the entrance (ingress) of the Sun in one of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn). Usually, also in Nostradamus' time, these charts are erected for the exact moment on which the Sun is located on 0:00:00 in one of these signs. According to Nostradamus, in these quartercharts the Sun is further in the first degree. Videl thinks that Nostradamus copied the zodiacal longitudes of the Sun from ephemeredes, calculated for Venice, 12:00 local time. [1] The true local time for Salon-de-Provence for a solar ingress can not be copied from ephemeris data. An astrologer always has to calculate such time moments by himself. Videl doubts if Nostradamus knows how to do this.
In our era, most ephemeredes are calculated for midnight G.M.T. (Greenwich Mean Time). This means that the local time of the chart has to be converted to G.M.T., in order to calculate the Mean Sidereal Time and the zodiacal longitude of the planets and the Mean Lunar Node. 
In Nostradamus' lifetime, there were ephemeredes calculated for 12:00:00 true local time for e.g. Paris and Venice. The eastern longitude coordinate of Salon-de-Provence is 5:06:00. The eastern longitude of Paris is 2:20:00. The true local time difference between Salon-de-Provence and Paris is 0:08:45. When local time in Paris is 12:00:00, local time in Salon-de-Provence is 12:08:45. The eastern longitude coordinate of Venice is 12:21:00. This means that the true local time difference between Salon-de-Provence and Venice is 0:29:00. When local time Venice is 12:00:00, local time in Salon-de-Provence is 11:31:00. 
It is this phenomenon which is discussed by Videl. If one erects a horoscope for Salon-de-Provence with ephemeris data based on Venice, without converting true local time of Salon-de-Provence to true local time of Venice, the result is wrong. The house cusps will have a negative deviation in zodiacal longitude of about 7:30:00 and the Moon will have a negative deviation of averagely 0:14:30.

In the investigation on which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, the quartercharts were recalculated. This showed that the quartercharts indeed were calculated for 12:00:00 true local time, Salon-de-Provence. The recalculations did not show which ephemeris Nostradamus used, because Nostradamus does not mention the zodiacal longitude of the house cusps. If these longitudes were known, one could easily derive the coordinates of the city that is involved. 

A comparison has been made between the zodiacal longitude of Sun and Moon, given by Nostradamus, calculated for Salon-de-Provence, and the ones, calculated with present-day software for Venice (all longitudes for 12:00:00 true local time). [2] In the case of June 12 and September 14, 1557, the zodiacal longitude of the Sun, calculated by Nostradamus, is less than the zodiacal longitude, calculated for Venice. In the case of the Moon, a lesser zodiacal longitude is shown for June 12 and December 12, and in the latter case this difference is 0:15:02. One can see that the deviation between zodiacal longitudes, given by Nostradamus, and zodiacal longitudes, calculated with present-day software, does not reveal anything about which ephemeris Nostradamus used. 
Videl most likely compared the zodiacal longitudes, given by Nostradamus, with noon zodiacal longitudes, as listed in various ephemeredes. His conclusion was crystal clear and his criticism is justified.


1557

Sun
(Nostradamus)

Sun 
(software)

Moon
(Nostradamus) 

Moon 
(software)

11-03-1557

00:53:00 Ar

00:31:03 Ar

not given

16:03:40 Le

12-06-1557

00:25:09 Cn

00:26:18 Cn

05:18:00 Ca

05:23:00 Ca

14-09-1557

00:55:00 Li

00:57:47 Li

15:17:00 Ge

15:03:21 Ge

12-12-1557

00:44:00 Ca

00:27:27 Ca

25:43:00 Vi

25:58:02 Vi

Specifying hours and minutes
In Nostradamus' lifetime, it was usual to specify time moments in A.M. and P.M. (before and after 12:00:00). In his lifetime, the ephemeredes were calculated for 12:00:00 true local time. This means that a day in the ephemeris runs from 12:00:00 until 12:00:00. 
Videl criticizes the fact that Nostradamus for example specifies March 1, 1557, 03:47:00, as February 28, 1557, 15:47:00.
[3] This kind of specification is strange at first sight, unless one realizes that this might serve as a means of aid for correct interpolation. The zodiacal longitudes are given per 24 hours. The way Nostradamus specifies time moments, means that he relates them to 12:00:00. In the case of this example, there are 15 hours and 47 minutes gone by, counting from February 28, 1557, 12:00:00.

Erroneous zodiacal longitudes
Videl strongly doubts the mathematical skills of Nostradamus. Zodiacal longitudes are not always correct. This was also seen in the recalculations. This is a serious point. If astrological explanations are based on wrong calculations or mistakes in the chart, the explanation is irrevocably wrong.
The possibility of printer's errors should always be kept in mind. One of the most peculiar printer's errors can be found in the introduction to the predictions for spring 1558. In the first line it reads that on March 11, 1558, the date of the quarterchart for spring 1558, the zodiacal longitude of the Moon is 16:40 Leo. Software data show that the Moon's zodiacal longitude is 24:56 Sagittarius. The given zodiacal longitude of the Moon in Leo occurred on March 11, 1557, the date of the quarterchart for spring 1557. (recalculations showed that this longitude was 16:20:01 Leo for 12:00:00 true local time, Salon-de-Provence). A possible explanation for this error might be that Jean Brotot, a Lyonese publisher, announced in September 1557 that from the two received Pronostications he wanted to print one completely, while adding material from the other one. In his letter, he did not mention which Pronostications were at stake. They could have been the ones from 1557 and 1558.
[4]

The meaning of "combust"
Videl criticizes the remark of Nostradamus that in the summer of 1557, Saturn in Taurus is "combust" while the Sun is in Cancer.
[5] In fact, in two quartercharts, for the summer and winter of 1557, Nostradamus mentions that Saturn is combust. [6] 
The word "combust" means that a planet, with the exception of the Moon, is within 3 - 8 degrees from the Sun. If the distance is less than 3 degrees of arc, such a conjunction is called a "cazimi" conjunction. Videl seems to have a point here. Recalculations however show that according to Nostradamus, the word "combust" means that a planet and the Caput Draconis (North Lunar Node) are in the same sign. In the recalculated quartercharts for summer and winter of 1557, both Saturn and the Caput Draconis are located in Taurus.

The word "combust" shows also up in quatrain 04-67:

Quatrain 04-67
The year in which Saturn and Mars are combust equally,
The air very dry parched long meteor:
By secret fires a great place blazing from burning heat,
Little rain, warm wind, wars, incursions.

The use of the word "combust" means that Saturn, Mars and the Caput Draconis are in the same zodiacal sign. In the period in which Nostradamus was supposed to have visions, this occurred only once: around February 8, 1546. On that date, Mars, Saturn and the Caput Draconis were conjunct on the 24th degree of Sagittarius. According to the CD4-system, this quatrain will be fulfilled around February 12, 3204. [7]

The determination of aspects
Videl mentions an opposition between Taurus and Libra as an example of determining aspects wrongly.
[8] Recalculation did not show which opposition was at stake. Theoretically, this could be an opposition between the last degrees of Libra and the first degrees of Taurus.

Nostradamus as a prophet
Videl sharply criticizes  the Prophecies, as far as they were published in his time.
[9] He criticizes the mentioning of the year 3797, because even the angels don't know anything about the end of times. [10] Videl uses a number of Bible verses in order to demonstrate that Nostradamus is not a prophet in biblical sense, but an imposter:

  • 1 Samuel 9,9: the one who is called prophet nowadays, was called voyant in earlier days.

  • 1 Kings 22,14: the prophet Michajehu, who only says what God wants him to say. Videl writes that Nostradamus belongs to the 400 prophets who do not obey God.

  • 2 Kings 5,8: Elisa is called: the Man of God.

  • Matthew 7,15: Videl writes that Jesus warns against false prophets such as Nostradamus.

  • Romans 12,6: gifts are given; if you have received the gift of prophecy, use it according to your faith.

  • Ephesians 4,11-12: God gave gifts [among which the gift of prophecy] in order to fit out the saints for their service and in order to build the "body of Christ".

Videl is opposing the Prophecies for several reasons. One of them is that no star or planet wants humanity to invent a new kind of astrology, based on drunken fury. [11] Another reason seems to be that Nostradamus, because of the nature of his Prophecies, passes beyond the limits of astrology. [12]
It is understandable why Videl fulminates against the prophetic dimensions of Nostradamus. In the investigation on which Nostradamus astrology and the Bible is based, it became clear that the many quotations in the Preface to Cesar from a section in the Mirabilis Liber which contains the Compendium Revelationum by Savonarola, form a theory about how revelations happen.

Nostradamus and the astrological time model of Ibn Ezra
Videl does not criticize astrological remarks in the quatrains. He criticizes a fragment in the Preface to Cesar, in which Nostradamus writes about Mars, in the light of other fragments which deal with rulerships of the Moon, the Sun and Saturn:

Preface to Cesar
...This will occur short before the last conflagration, for although the planet Mars will finish its cycle, at the end of its last period, it will start again...

...While we are now lead by the Moon [...] the Sun will come and then Saturn. For according to the signs in the heavens, the reign of Saturn will return...

According to an astrological time model of Abraham Ibn Ezra, Mars ruled from 1179 until 1533, and the Moon from 1533 until 1887. Next, there would be a rulership of the Sun until 2241, next there might be a rulership of Saturn. It the Preface to Cesar, the French text reads ...Mars parachève son siècle, et à la fin de son dernier période, si le reprendra il... Videl interpreted this as a reference to the rulership of Mars over the period 1179-1533. Due to this interpretation, he rejected the suggestion that Mars immediately would renew his rulership, especially since Nostradamus stated that humanity now (i.e. March 1, 1555, the date of his Preface to Cesar) is ruled by the Moon and since he writes about the Sun and Saturn as successive rulers. Videl concludes that Nostradamus does not understand anything about the astrological model of Ibn Ezra.
In the investigation on which Nostradamus astrology and the Bible is based, the first quotation, in which Nostradamus discusses Mars, was interpreted differently. The words "last conflagration" were interpreted as "last conjunction of a planet with the Sun", which is usually named "combust". Hence, the "cycle" of Mars is not a rulership, but a rotation in the Zodiac. Nostradamus describes a situation in which Mars is in Pisces, the last sign of the Zodiac, heading for Aries, i.e. not being retrograde. There is a conflagration, i.e. a conjunction of a planet with the Sun. This conflagration is the last conflagration, which means that there are no planets between the Sun and the last degree of Pisces. This all took place on February 27, 1554, with the Caput Draconis on 18 Cancer, Jupiter on 2 Libra retrograde, the Moon on 26 Capricorn, Mercury on 23 Aquarius, Venus on 29 Aquarius, Mars on 16 Pisces and Saturn and the Sun on 19 Pisces. The words "last conflagration" point to a Sun/Saturn conjunction in Pisces, the last sign of the Zodiac, after which there will not be another conflagration in Pisces. 
The words "last conflagration" were also related to the Last Judgment and the death by fire as described in Revelations 20,15. This death by fire is the last death of that kind in the Bible. Next, in Revelations 21,1, the new heaven and new earth are described.
With the words "last conflagration", Nostradamus points to a burning in astrological and biblical sense. In astrological sense, there is an end date of an astrological model he uses, which corresponds with the date on which the world will come to an end. This means that he uses a progression system.
The Preface to Cesar shows that Nostradamus counts with eight millennia and that the quatrains cover a time span until 3797. But a date on which the world has been created or will come to an end, is not given in the Preface to Cesar. The date on which the world has been created, according to Nostradamus, can be derived from the Epistle to Henry II: 4173 years and 8 months before the birth of Jesus Christ, i.e. April 25, 4174 BC. Adding 8000 years results in April 25, 3827, being the date on which the world will come to an end, according to Nostradamus. But at the time Videl published his Déclaration d'abus... the Epistle to Henry II was not yet published.
[13]

Conclusion
Videl writes, whether or not sneering, about the "new astrology" Nostradamus would hold in favour. His technical criticism is most of the time justified. From a religious point of view, one can understand his resentments against and doubts about the prophetic dimension of the Prophecies. However, it is also clear that Nostradamus indeed develops his own kind of astrology, sometimes diametrically opposed to current ideas, and, in the case of Videl, overlooked or misunderstood.

 

T.W.M. van Berkel

 

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

  1. Videl, section B1. [text]

  2. Chevignard, p.401-411. The present-day software: AstroScoop Plus. [text]

  3. Videl, section B3. [text]

  4. Chevignard, p.426, Dupèbe, p.31. [text]

  5. Videl, section B4. [text]

  6. Chevignard, p.404 and 411. [text]

  7. In my book Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible, the first line of this quatrain was interpreted as a close conjunction of Mars/Saturn on the 27th degree of Aquarius and the Sun on the 16th degree of Pisces on February 25, 1552 (Van Berkel, p.19). At the time of printing, I did not realize the meaning Nostradamus gave to the word "combust". This Mars/Saturn conjunction is almost exact in opposition with the Caput Draconis, but there is no evidence that in such a case Nostradamus would speak of a "combust" situation. [text]

  8. Videl, section B4. [text]

  9. Videl, section D4. Videl finished his book on November 21, 1557. He might have read the 1557-DuRosne-edition, which was printed on November 3, 1557 (Chomarat/Laroche, p.23). He might also have read the 1555-Bonhomme-edition, which was printed in 1555. [text]

  10. Videl, section E1. He refers to Matthew 24,35-36 and/or Marc 13,32. [text]

  11. Videl, section D4. [text]

  12. Videl, section F. [text]

  13. The model of Ibn Ezra is described in the section which deals with Roussat. A description of the progression systems, used by Nostradamus, can be found in the page prediction systems. text]

NOSTRADAMUS AND HUMANISM 

 

Quatrain 01-48
Twenty years of the reign of the Moon have passed
Seven thousand years another will hold his monarchy
When the Sun will reach its tired days
Then my prophecy is accomplished and finished

Preface to Cesar
...and the all-controlling movement, which renders the earth stable and fixed...

The Renaissance is a cultural movement, which originated in the 14th century in Italy. In Nostradamus' lifetime, the Renaissance also flourished in France. 
A number of investigators characterizes Nostradamus as a humanist. In the investigation on which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, his message to humanity has become clear. The nature of this message permits us to have a look at the nature of the ideas of Nostradamus about humanity, God, heaven and earth.
In the investigation, humanism is defined as a movement which supposes that man is the standard of all things. This does not necessarily mean that humanists are atheists. But it means that the main interest of humanism is man, humanity, not something or someone outside. The "memento mori" (remind to die) of the Middle Ages is replaced by a discovery of the values of mankind, with roots in the Classic Greec and Roman era.

The message Nostradamus wants to share with humanity is that between 1555 and 3797, God will execute his judgment over humanity by means of one thousand irrevocable, disastrous events. This is diametrically opposed to the ideas of humanism. His ideas are dualistic and theocratic. This is shown in his letters and in quatrain 01-48. In this quatrain, Nostradamus describes the reign of Satan for 7000 years. During the existence of the world, there is a war going on between God and Satan, according to Nostradamus. A war which at first, at the beginning of the first millennium, develops in favor of Satan (the eternal sin). At the beginning of the eighth millennium, God seizes power by means of the kingdom of one thousand years. During the last 30 years of the eighth millennium, the last war between Satan and the heavenly armies takes place. In that war, Satan gets the worst out of it. Heaven and earth vanish and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

The quotation from the Preface to Cesar is a reference to Psalm 104,5, which reads: "Thou founded the earth on her pillars, immovable, lasting forever". This means that Nostradamus favours the geocentric view, in which the earth is the center of the universe, around which all the planets rotate. There is no evidence in the letters or the quatrains that he sympathized with the heliocentric ideas, as developed by Copernicus.

 
 

 
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