Michel Nostradamus on the death of kings, locusts and the life-saving role of France in world history «It is absolutely obvious that most of the events of a general nature go back to heaven as their cause».
Claudius Ptolemy, 2nd century AD, «Tetrabiblos», astrologytractate, Book One, introduction.
A Dangerous profession
«Damn this Gauric and his prophecies!» — exclaimed Count Gabriel Montgomery, in horror and disgust, having accidentally pierced King Henry II of France in the eye with his spear. It was July 1, 1559; a mock knight tournament did not presage anybody’s death. Ten days later the King died, without even seeing his heart-felt mistress, Diane de Poitiers, for the last time. Who is this Gauric and what on earth does this tragic event have to do with Nostradamus and the Côte d’Azur?
The Reverend Luca Gaurico (called «Gauric» by the Scottish Count Montgomery) was Bishop of Civita-Ducale in the Kingdom of Naples, a brilliant mathematician, an astronomer and, to his misfortune, an astrologer. He was a friend of Goethe and the royal families of Italy and France. Unlike his colleague Nostradamus, however, he was careless in his prophecies. He started well with promising the papal throne to Alessandro Farnesi (who was elected leader of the Roman Church in 1534 and became famous as Paul III). He predicted the fate of the Queen of France to the young Catherine de Medici. It would have been better for him if he had calmed down after that, but the Reverend just couldn’t stop. According to his next prophecy, Bentivolio, the ruler of Bologna, was to make peace with Pope Julius II or else the Vatican would raze his palace to the ground. That’s how the poor fellow finished up in the torture chambers of a snake-infested Bologna prison.
Michel Nostradamus was sensing all these events happening in Italy and fearing the same fate for himself. He had already had an experience of being summoned to be questioned by the Inquisition in Agen due to his alleged insults with respect to the Virgin Mary statue. He therefore decided to be smarter and more cautious than poor Luca. Up until 1555, he kept his understanding of the fate of the world in the strictest secrecy. He was actually secretive by nature from his childhood, ever since he learned his family history. His ancestors, Sephardic Jews, fled from religious persecution and settled down in France, hastily converting to Catholicism. Michel was born on December 14, 1503 in the town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, in the Maritime Alps region. In 1519, after unsuccessful attempts to find a cure for the plague that erupted in Avignon, the young Nostradamus went on an 8-year travel campaign to «learn the secret properties of plants». Following in the footsteps of his grandfathers (both healers), Michel enrolled with the medical faculty of Montpellier University. In 1534 he successfully graduated, and his surname Nostredame was transformed into Latin «Nostradamus», a common practice for doctors back in those times.
Nostradamus undertook his first attempts to predict fortune back when he was a young man. Once on a visit to a wealthy merchant, he said that a white pig from the owner’s estate would be eaten by a wolf, and a black one would be served for lunch. The host, wishing to put the young oracle to shame, ordered for the white pig to be cooked. An hour later, to everyone’s surprise, a black pig was served. Just that morning the wolf had taken the white one away. Forty years passed between that first prophecy and Nostradamus being appointed a royal physician and astrologer. Michel spent the last twenty years of his life in the small town of Salon-de-Provence (about 170 km away from Monaco). He moved there straight after having fought the plague in the southeast of France in 1546 and being awarded a lifelong pension from the Aix-de-Provence parliament. In November 1547, Nostradamus got married to Anne Posard Gemelier and had six children with her. He dedicated his immortal «Centuries», secret prophecies for future generations, to his elder son César.
The Mysterious Centuries
His famous prophecies (The Centuries), first published in Lyons in 1555, are made in such obscure quatrains that they still remain a mystery. They are written in a mixture of Old French, Latin and local dialects, and some parts of speech are missing. Some proper names get substituted by different animals or birds, and other coding is also used. Here is a preface addressed by Nostradamus to his eldest son, César, who was named after Dr. Scaliger, a friend of Michel who later became his irreconcilable enemy:
«I would not entrust the most precious things with paper, time will destroy these old letters. The hereditary word of secret prophecies will go with me to my grave. <…> People are free in their actions and the future of the human race is still shaky and unclear. <…> Not willing to badly affect the present, or still less, the future, I don’t wish to make my prophecies public. <…> If I had revealed what the future had in store, the great and mighty of these kingdoms, sects and religions would find this future so unsuitable that they would curse it for many centuries on. These are things that can not be avoided, only understandable for the generations to come. <…> And yet, Iwould have to step aside from this rule. I would use mysterious and puzzling expressions to report on the most important changes in the destinies of mankind. <…> This is more of a secret language than any other prophet ever used».
Monaco and the Côte d’Azur in his prophecies
The prophecies of Nostradamus dwell on the events that were to happen in France, Italy and neighboring countries. Their timeframe extends as far as 3797. Some researchers, however, believe that all his prophecies have already been fulfilled. In any case, this figure should be interpreted in the same vein as his mysterious quatrains. Time and astrological periods also have a fractal structure. It is therefore possible for the past events to happen again in the future following the same scenario, with the same number of participants and under similar circumstances.
From Monaco to near Sicily
The entire coast will remain desolated:
There will remain there no suburb, city or town
Not pillaged and robbed by the Barbarians.
(Century 2, quatrain 4)
I weep for Nice, Monaco, Pisa, Genoa,
Savona, Siena, Capua, Modena, Malta:
For the above blood and sword for a New Year’s gift,
Fire, the earth will tremble, water an unhappy reluctance.
(Century 10, quatrain 60)
The sack approaches, fire and great bloodshed.
Po the great rivers, the enterprise for the clowns;
after a long wait from Genoa and Nice,
Fossano, Turin the capture at Savigliano.
(Century 7, quatrain 30)
What enemy is he talking about? Here he is mentioned:
A Great King will come to take port near Nice,
Thus the death of the great empire will be completed:
In Antibes will he place his heifer,
The plunder by sea all will vanish.
(Century 10, quatrain 87)
Whether Nostradamus suggests the Turkish attack on Nice in 1543 or predicts the destruction of the Nice castle by Louis XIV in 1705 is the question. Here is something to clarify it:
Fréjus, Antibes, towns around Nice,
They will be thoroughly devastated by sea and by land:
The locusts by land and by sea the wind propitious,
Captured, dead, bound, pillaged without law of war.
(Century 3, quatrain 82)
«Locusts» are importantly mentioned in the third line. This is not just an allegory of enemy troops, but a prophecy of the insect invasion on the French Riviera in 1613 and 1749.
And what if the French Riviera grants the absolution of sins? Maybe it does. This is what Nostradamus says:
Upon the palace at the balcony of the windows,
The two little royal ones will be carried off:
To pass Orléans, Paris, abbey of Saint-Denis,
Nun, wicked ones to swallow green pits.
(Century 9, quatrain 24).
A new pure epoch (a Nun) will offer a salvation (the return of the two «royal» offsprings — the Fate and the Law) teaching freedom from suffering and disease, the fruit of human errors and sins (green pits). And the role of France will not be the least (through Orleans and Paris). Well, we wait and see.
By the way, Nostradamus predicted the tragic death of Henry II in the same way as Luca Gauric did:
The young lion will overcome the older one,
in a field of combat in single fight:
He will pierce his eyes in their golden cage;
two wounds in one, then he dies a cruel death.
(Century 1, quatrain 35).