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The Predictions and Almanachs of Michel Nostradamus
by Robert Benazra

-- translation Matyas Becvarov --

Note by P.G.: This text by the author of the "Répertoire Chronologique Nostradamique" (Paris, Trédaniel et La Grande Conjonction, 1990) could be supplemented and if necessary amended by the studies of the section "Almanachs & Pronostications" of the Corpus Nostradamus. Thanks to Matyas for his translation.

      The present study attempts to provide an overview of the astrological publications of Nostradamus, in so far as the present state of our knowledge allows it. It was most probably in 1549 after his return from Italy that Nostradamus began publishing his famous almanachs and predictions in verse and prose. Unfortunately, none of these earlier pamphlets published before 1554 has survived to the present day. One finds, however, a number of excerpts from them in the first chapter of the manuscript entitled Recueil des présages prosaïques de M. Michel de Nostredame, compiled by Jean-Aimé de Chavigny in 1589 and recently published by Bernard Chevignard, as well as in three other printed works by Nostradamus: La première face du Janus François of 1594, the Commentaires sur les Centuries of 1596, and Les Pléiades of 1603. Nostradamus usually composed his predictions in the spring of the year preceeding their publication. Regarding the printing privileges, they were often granted in the autumn and came only shortly before publication. Booksellers often took advantage of the traditional Lyon trade fair to get these booklets out onto the market.

      No copy of Nostradamus' first Prognostication pour l'an 1550 has come down to us, but excerpts from it have happily been preserved by Chavigny. [1]

      We do not know if Nostradamus published a Prognostication pour l'an 1551[2]  In this case, as well, not even Chavigny was able to lay hands on a copy of such a work. [3]

      In the Recueil des présages prosaïques and the Janus François Chavigny cites passages excerpted from the Présages pour l'an 1552[4]  Bernard Chevignard has shown that several predictions by Nostradamus are found again, with slight variations, in the Vraye prognostication nouvelle, composée par maistre Claude Fabri ... pour l'an 1552. This case is certainly not isolated. We cannot say, however, who copied the other predictions. [5]

    Given the success of these pamphlets and of those who imitated them, it seems that Nostradamus began in 1552 to write two predictions for the coming year:

      1/ Prognostics pour l'an 1553. Although no complete copy exists today, numerous excerpts have been preserved by Chavigny in his Receuil des présages prosaïques, the Janus François and his Commentaires, as well as in his work Vaticination manuscrite[6]

      2/ In his Déclaration des abus, Laurens Videl cites an "almanac from the year 1553," the monthly predictions of which do not appear in the excerpts transmitted by Chavigny. [7]

      What is more, Baudrier cites an Almanach & prognostication pour l'an 1553, ostensibly published in Lyon by François and Benoît Chaussard. [8]  Nothing, however, indicates that this Lyonnaise prediction, cited on the basis of a unique copy belonging to a certain M. Jubin, is actually from the pen of Nostradamus.

      Nostradamus' Prognostication pour l'an 1554 was published in Lyon by Master Bertot, called La Bourgogne. [9]  We know that Nostradamus sent the manuscript to Master Bertot via a courier who traveled on foot, but the copies that Bertot produced were so mutilated that Nostradamus empowered Antoine de Royer, called Lizerot and also a printer in Lyon, to take over the work given first to Bertot. Nostradamus gave Royer the mandate of printing the text of the Prognostication according to the terms upon which they had agreed, and he also authorized Royer to collect from Bertot his Ephémérides in French, if the latter had not yet delivered them to a merchant in Salon, Jaumes Paul, whom Nostradamus had charged with the mission of retrieving them. The legal document, dated 11 November 1553, was signed in the office of M. Hozier, notary in Salon. [10]

    So, unfortunately, there are no extant copies of the predictions for the years between 1550 and 1554.

      It was in November 1554 that Nostradamus published his Prognostication nouvelle et prédiction portenteuse pour l'an M.D.LV, which he had published in Lyon by Jean Brotot, [11]  at least one copy of which has survived through the centuries to the present day. This work, dated 27 January 1554, is dedicated to "Monseigneur the Reverend Prelate Monsignor Joseph des Panisses," [12]  Prevost of Cavaillon. This is the first Prognostication, according to Jean-Aimé de Chavigny, to contain prophetic verse. This work was also the first to include "sooth-sayings," or versified oracles, composed for the year as a whole and for each of the twelve months, i.e. thirteen prophetic quatrains that became the hallmark of the almanacs of Nostradamus. Without doubt it was writing this series that inspired the author to undertake a collection of larger scope, the Prophéties or Centuries, the first three of which appeared in the spring of 1555, together with the beginning of the fourth. [13]  In his Recueil des présages prosaïques Chavigny divides this prognostication into two series of prophecies. Chevignard believes that Nostradamus' secretary wanted to maintain the separate condition of his master's two original texts before they became fused into a single unit by the printer Jean Brotot.

      In 1555 Nostradamus, whose prophetic quatrains were already famous, judged it unnecessary to include predictive verse in his Pronostication pour l'an 1556[14]

      In 1556 came the publication of the Almanach pour l'an 1557. Composé par Maistre Michel Nostradamus, Docteur en Medicine de Salon de Craux en Provence ... This almanac was dedicated on 13 January 1556 "to the Most Christian and Serene" Catherine de Médicis. The publication had the unique feature of bearing on its title page this expression: "Contre ceulx qui tant de foys m'ont fait mort. Immortalis ero vivus, moriensque magisque Post mortem nomen vivet in orbe meum." [15]  As soon as he had the work in hand, Laurens Videl composed his Déclaration des abus et séditions de Michel Nostradamus, which appeared in 1558. Nostradamus entrusted the Parisian publisher Jacques Kerver with the publication of his almanac containing twelve predictions in verse. [16]  The printing privilege, granted to Jacques Kerver in Paris and to Jean Brotot in Lyon, is dated 14 October 1556. The work may have been on sale by November of the same year.

    The same publisher issued two other works by Nostradamus, the Présages merveilleux pour l'an 1557, and the Grand' Pronostication pour l'an 1557. Moreover, it appears that the writing of the Présages merveilleux pour l'an 1557, of which the dedicatory letter to Henri II is dated 13 January 1556 and which was published most probably toward the end of 1556 or at the very beginning of 1557, antedates the writing of the Almanach pour l'an 1557. On 21 March 1556 Nostradamus dedicated his Grand Pronostication pour l'an 1557 to the "King of Navarre," Antoine de Vendôme. Nostradamus, on the strength of his success at the French court, obviously wanted to issue the maximum possible number of publications: the Présages and the Almanach that he finished in January of 1556 and the Pronostication that he wrote in March of 1556. These three works were granted a single privilege, dated 14 October 1556: the extract at the beginning of the Almanach pour l'an 1557 in fact mentions together "the Almanachs, Presages & Pronostications."

Nostradamus, Prognostication nouvelle pour l'an 1555: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Pronostication Nouvelle pour l'an 1557: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Pronostication nouvelle pour l'an 1558: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Les Significations de l'Eclipse du 16 Septembre 1559: click to enlarge

      The success of the Almanach pour l'an 1557 was certain, since an Italian translation appeared, entitled: Pronostico e tacoyno francese, fatto per Maestro Michel Nostradamus ... Tradutto de lingua Francesa, in lingua Italiana. It was published in Milan by Innocentio Cicognera. [17]

    As we noted above, at the beginning of 1557 the Parisian bookseller Jacques Kerver published in rapid succession two predictions by Nostradamus, but without any prophetic quatrains:

      1/ Présages Merveilleux pour l'an 1557. Dédiés au Roy treschrestien, Henri deuxiesme de ce nom. Composez par maistre Michel Nostradamus, Docteur en médicine de Salon de Craux en Provence ...[18]  As we pointed out earlier, the term "présage" [= omen] would continue to be used from the beginning of the 17th century to the present day to describe predictions in verse or quatrains published annually in the almanacs of Nostradamus. The dedication addressed to Henri II is dated 13 January 1556.

      2/ La Grand Pronostication Nouvelle avec Portenteuse prédiction, pour l'an M.D.LVII. Composée par Maistre Michel de nostre Dame, Docteur en Médicine de Salon de Craux en Provence ...[19]  The dedicatory epistle to the "King of Navarre, Antoine de Vandosme" is signed "From Salon, this 21st of March M.D.L.VI."

      In 1557 Nostradamus published his Almanach pour l'an 1558. No copy has survived to the present day. [20]  On 16 November 1557 Jacopo Maria Sala, vice-legate of the Pope at Avignon, to whom Nostradamus one year later was to dedicate his Significations de l'Eclipse de 1559, sent to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, his superior, a copy of that prediction. [21]

      In the spring of 1557 Nostradamus wrote his Prognostication nouvelle pour l'an mil cinq cens cinquante et huict, composée par Maistre Michel de nostre Dame, de Salon de Craux en Provence, Docteur en Médicine ..., which he had published in Lyon by Jean Brotot and Antoine [or Jean [22] ] Volant and in Paris by Guillaume le Noir. [23]  The dedicatory letter, on the verso of the title page and dated in Salon on 1 May 1557, is addressed as follows: "To the very virtuous ... Guillaume de Guadagne, Seigneur of Sainct-Victor, Baron of Lunel, Bailiff of Mascon, Seneschal of Lyon, & Gentleman of the King's Chamber ..." It should be noted that his person was Nostradamus' host in Lyon during the author's last voyage in 1555, as can be seen in the text: "My lord, in remembrance of the fine welcome which Your Excellency gave me in your house in Lyon, when I was en route to the Court ..." The Lyon aristocrat Guillaume de Guadagne was the son of the rich Florentine merchant Thomaso Guadagni, who established himself in Lyon at the end of the 15th century and had the hospital of St. Laurent reconstructed for the use of plague victims. [24]  On the verso of the last leaf of the Lyon prediction is found the permission for printing, dated Lyon, 5 July 1557 and granted to Jean Brotot and Antoine Volant, printers and booksellers in Lyon. The Paris publication includes the privilege granted to "Guillaume le Noir, bookseller and bookbinder, a graduate of the University of Paris ... Made this Monday, 20th day of September, One thousand five hundred and fifty-seven. Signed Goyer."

      In the archives of the Seneschal of Lyon are found four copies of the privileges granted to two of Nostradamus' printers, Jean Brotot and Antoine Volant, all of which have essentially the same formula: "Ordinance for the printing of Almanacs, Revolutions and Predictions of Mr. Michel Nostradamus." [25]

      No copy of the Almanach pour 1559 has survived to the present day, but we do have the 13 predictive quatrains for 1559, preserved by Chavigny. [26]

There exist, however, two English translations of this particular almanach:

      1/ An Almanacke for the yeare of oure Lorde God, 1559. Composed by Mayster Mychael Nostradamus, Doctour of Phisike ... printed on 20 February 1559 in London by Henry Sutton for Lucas Harryson. [27]

      2/ An almanac made by the Noble and Worthy Clerke Michel Nostradamus ..., printed by W. Copland for N. Englande & J. Kingston in 1559. [28]

      An additional translation was entitled: The Prognostication of maister Michael Nostradamus, Doctour in Phisick. In Province for the yeare of oure Lorde, 1559. With the predictions and presages of every moneth. This translation was printed in "Antwerpiae." [29]

In addition, Nostradamus doubtlessly published two prognostications in 1559, of which no copies are extant:

      1/ Prognostication pour 1559, some predictions of which have been preserved by Chavigny. [30]

      2/ A work published in Lyon by Jean Brotot: La grand pronostication nouvelle avecques la déclaration ample de MDLIX, composée par Michel Nostradamus, avecques figures de quatre temps sur les climats 47, 48, 49 et 50.[31]

      On 14 August 1558, a few days after finishing the writing of the Almanach pour 1559 as Nostradamus tells us, he dedicated to Jacques Marie Sala (Jacopo Maria Sala), vicar to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, an addendum, written in reponse to his detractors. The piece is entitled: Les Significations de l'Eclipse, qui sera le 16. Septembre 1559. laquelle fera sa maligne extension inclusivement, jusques à l'an 1560. diligemment observées par maistre Michel Nostradamus, docteur en médicine de Salon de Craux en Provence. Avec une sommaire responce à ses détracteurs, printed in Paris by Guillaume le Noir. [32]

      On 7 February 1559 Nostradamus finished the writing of his Almanach pour 1560. Composé par Maistre Michel Nostradamus, Docteur en Médicine, de Salon de Craux, en Provence ... It was published in Paris by Guillaume le Noir. [33]  Nostradamus dedicated this piece on 10 March 1559 to his old friend Claude de Savoie, Count of Tende and Governor of Provence.

      We should also point out a collection of excerpts by Nostradamus, including remarks of an astrological nature mingled with Latin phrases and entitled: Prognosticon Michaelis Nostradami ad Annum 1560. Diß ist ein kurtze Practica, welche anzeigt von dem. 60. Jahr biß in das 67, Was sich in der zeyt verlauffen und zutragen soll ... [34]

      Nostradamus published another prognostication entitled: La Grand' pronostication nouvelle pour l'An Mil cinq cens soixante, avecques les figures cellestes des quatre temps. Calculée par maistre Michel Nostradamus, Docteur en Médicine, de Salon de Craux, en Provence, printed in Lyon by Jean Brotot and Antoine Volant. [35]  The permission for printing is dated Lyon, 13 October 1559 and was granted by Jean d'Albon to Jean Brotot, merchant-printer. On the verso of the title page one reads: "To Monseigneur de Savigni, Lieutenant General to the King for the Region of Lyon in the absence of Monseigneur the Mareschal of S. André ..."

Nostradamus, Presages Merveilleux pour l'an 1557: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Almanach pour l'an 1557: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Almanach pour l'an 1561: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Almanach pour l'an 1562: click to enlarge

      In 1560 Nostradamus published his Almanach pour l'an 1561. Composé par Maistre Nostradamus Docteur en Medicine, de Salon de Craux en Prouence ..., which was written in February 1560. In April the Salon astrophile was still occupied with the composition of his prognostication. He had it printed in Paris by Guillaume le Noir. [36]  Only a few fragments of two or three copies of this almanac exist today. [37]  Fortunately, Chavigny preserved eight of the thirteen predictive quatrains. Thanks to the publisher of the Centuries of 1561, [38]  several subsequent editions of which appeared between 1588 and 1589, [39]  four of the predictions for 1561 not transcribed by Chavigny have been preserved; the predictions in question are those for February, September, November and December. [40]  Only the quatrain for January 1561 has come down to us as a fragment, until the publication by Bernard Chevignard of the Recueil de Présages prosaïques. The dedicatory letter of this piece is addressed to Marguerite, Duchess of Savoie. It is signed Salon, but the date has been lost; it was probably from the beginning of October 1560. As for the printing privilege, it is dated 24 October 1560.

      We also have an apocryphal almanac, which does not contain any prophetic verse: Almanach pour l'an Mil cinq cens soixante & un. Composé par Maistre Nostradamus Docteur en Medicine, de Salon de Craux, en Prouence ..., printed in Lyon by the widow Barbe Regnault. [41]  The dedication is addressed to "A Tres Illustre, Heroïque & Magnanime Seigneur, Monseigneur le Duc d'Operta, grand Gouverneur de la Mer de Leuant."

      If one believes Michel Chomarat, Nostradamus also published a prediction: La prédiction nouvelle et merveilleuse de l'an 1561, which he had printed in Lyon. [42]

      Chomarat also indicates an English edition entitled: An Almanac for the year 1561, published by T. Hackett. [43]

      In 1561 Nostradamus published his Almanach nouveau pour 1562. Composé par Maistre Michel Nostradamus, Docteur en Médicine, de Salon de Craux, en Provence ... He had it printed in Paris by Guillaume le Noir and Jehans Bonfons. [44]  This almanac is dedicated, bearing the date 17 March 1561, to "Pie III Pontifice Max." [45]  Nostradamus handed over a fragmentary text to the publishers, no doubt because of civil disturbances and the absence from Salon imposed on him in April, May and June of 1561. [46]  The dedication to Pius IV [47]  shows, however, that Nostradamus had powerful protectors among the high clergy.

      Nostradamus composed his Prognostication nouvelle pour l'an MDLXII. Composée par maistre Michel Nostradamus, Docteur en Medicine, de Salon de Craux en Provence, which he had printed in Lyon by Antoine Volant and Pierre Brotot. [48]  The dedicatory letter by Nostradamus is addressed to Jean de Vauzelles.

      There is also an apocryphal edition of the Pronostication nouvelle pour l'an mil cinq cens soixante deux. Composée par Maistre Michel Nostradamus Docteur en Médicine, de Salon de Craux en Provence, printed in Paris by the widow Barbe Regnault. [49]

      From the 16th century we have a manuscript that transmits in French several autograph passages from Nostradamus' Les Praedictions de l'almanach de l'an 1562, 1563 et 1564 par M. Michel de Nostre dame Docteur en medicine. Faciebat M. Nostradamus. Salonae petreae provinciae. XX Aprilis 1561[50]  This manuscript copy of 222 pages has never been published. The Prédictions are dedicated to Pope Pius IV in a letter dated "Salon de Craux en Prouence, ce XX avril 1561." Despite its title, the work principally concerns the year 1562, with some indications for the other years mentioned. It does not appear that this manuscript was sent to the pope for whom it was intended. One finds in the text a number of blank spaces, which prove that Nostradamus had not completely revised his text. We also know for certain that Nostradamus' secretary left blank spaces to be filled in later when he could not manage to read the original text. The disturbances of spring 1561 in Salon and Nostradamus' flight to Avignon no doubt explain these anomalies. [51]

      Once back again in Salon, Nostradamus forged ahead with the writing of his Almanach pour l'an M.D.LXIII. avec les présages, calculé, & expliqué par M. Michel Nostradamus, Docteur en médicine Astrophile de Salon de Craux en Provence ... Begun in March of 1562, the manuscript was finished on 7 May. It was printed in Avignon by Pierre Roux. [52]  This work is described by Buget, [53]  who considered it a "bloody satire on astrology!" The problem may lie with the fact that the publisher also issued pirated copies of virulent pamphlets against Nostradamus! The dedicatory epistle, dated 20 July 1562, is addressed in Italian to seigneur Françoys Fabrice de Serbellon. [54]  On the last page is found the Latin epigram signed "Io. Chevignaei Belnensis."

      Speaking of pirated copies, here is an apocryphal edition: Almanach pour l'an 1563. Composé par M. Michel Nostradamus docteur en Medicine, de Salon de Craux en Provence ... printed in Paris by Barbe Regnault. [55]  This edition was perhaps done in Paris in 1562, but everything is wrong in this almanac, as we have shown in the RCN. Especially noteworthy, the quatrain of the frontispiece, which should be the one for the year, is in fact quatrain III.34. The twelve predictive quatrains that we find in this almanac are not those for the year 1563. They are, in fact, quatrains taken from previous almanacs (1555, 1557 and 1562), and what is more, the order of their verses has been changed, sometimes a word or two has been changed, always the same strategy to hide the fraud. The dedication of this pirated work is addressed "A tres-Noble et Tres-Puissant Seigneur, Monseigneur Françoys de Lorraine, duc de Guise ..." This dedicatory epistle is a pastiche of Nostradamus' style, where one can see traces of borrowings from the Excellent et Moult utile Opuscule, the Epître à César, even the Epitre à Henri II, yet another proof of the existence before 1568 of this famous preface to the King of France, evidence supplied thanks to our plagiarist.

      There was an English translation or adaptation of this counterfeit almanac for 1563: An Almanack for the year. M.D.LXIII. Composed by M. Michael Nostradamus Doctour in Phisicke of Salon of Craux in Province.[56]  There exists also another prognostication in English, with a different typography, printed on a single sheet. [57]

      Again in English, we have an apocryphal edition entitled: An Almanach For The Yere M.D.LXII, made by maister Michael Nostradamus Doctour of phisike, of salon of Craux in Provence 1562.[58]  This almanac does not contain the predictions for 1562, but rather those for 1555. Nonetheless, the phases of the moon, the eclipses and the date of Easter are correct for the year 1562.

      Here is a prediction in Italian: Pronosticon del l'anno 1563 coposto et calculato par M. Michele Nostradamo dottore in medicina di Salon di Craux in Provenza[59]  This work is dedicated to Pope Pius IV with privilege and control of the Grand Inquisitor.

      We have no extant copy of the Almanach or of the Pronostication pour 1564[60]  However, Chavigny reproduced the thirteen predictive quatrains. [61]

      We also possess a copy of an English almanac, of which the frontispiece, the beginning of the almanac and the end of the prognostication are lacking: A prognostication for the yeare of our Lorde God. 1564 ...[62]

      We also have an Italian prognostication: Pronostico et Lunario de l'Eccellentiss. Filosofo, Medico et Astrologo M. Michele Nostrodamo ... printed in Padua in 1563. [63]

Nostradamus, Pronostication nouvelle pour l'an 1562: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Almanach pour l'an 1563: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Almanach pour l'an 1565: click to enlarge Nostradamus, Almanach pour l'an 1566: click to enlarge

      In the spring of 1564 Nostradamus wrote his Almanach pour l'an M.D.LXV avecqves Ses tresamples significations & presages d'un chacun moys, composé par M. Michel Nostradame, Docteur en médicine, Medicin du Roy, & Astrophile à Salon de Craux en Prouence, printed in Lyon by Benoit Odo. [64]  The dedicatory epistle, dated 14 April 1564, is addressed "A Treschrestien Roy Charles IX. de ce nom." On the occasion of the famous visit of Catherine de Médicis to Salon in October of 1564, the young king, pleased with the prophet, subsequently sent him "patent letters as Counselor and Physician Ordinary" of the royal person, together with the appointments, "securities, prerogatives & honors" attendant upon such a charge. The Almanach pour l'an 1565, already dedicated to Charles IX in April of 1564 by a happy chance of circumstances and bearing a printing authorization dated 15 October, already gave testament to the fact. [65]

      A sale catalogue cites another Almanach pour l'an 1565, par Michel de Nostradamus, printed in Paris by Thibault Berger. [66]  We have been unable to locate any details about this booklet.

      There exist several editions of an Italian almanach entitled: Li presagi et pronostici di M. Michele Nostradamo Francese ... Diligentemente estratti dalli Originali francesi; nella nostra Italiana lingua. Michel Nostradamo Medico di Salon di Craux in prouenza. Alla S. di. Papa Pio IIII. di questonome Composto.[67]

      Next we have the Almanach pour l'an M.D.LCVI. avec ses amples significations & explications, composé par Maistre Michel de Nostredame Docteur en médicine, Conseiller et Médicin ordinaire du Roy, de Salon de Craux en Provence, printed in Lyon by Anthoine Volant and Pierre Brotot. [68]  This almanac in verse carries a dedicated dated 16 October 1565 to "Monseigneur Messire Honorat de Savoye Comte de Tande." [69]  The printing privilege is dated Lyon, 13 November 1565. It is the only almanac that furnishes us with a chronology, the third of the fictive Biblical chronologies, different from the two others appearing in the Lettre à Henry Second.

      Finally we have the publication of the last of Nostradamus' almanacs: Almanach pour l'an M.D.LXVII, Composé par feu Maistre Michel de Nostredame Docteur en medicine, Conseillet & medicin ordinaire du Roy ...[70]  No copy of this almanac appears to have survived intact to the present day, but happily Abbé Rigaux owned a copy of it, [71]  because Henri Douchet made a typescript copy in 1904. [72]

      The astrophile of Salon published his first prediction, then, in 1549 and subsequently published booklets of the same type every year until his death, a span of seventeen years. The ravages of time, however, have prevented all but a small number of these almanacs from reaching us intact, the earliest being the Pronostication pour l'an 1555. From that year forward, for each month of his almanac, one finds a quatrain purporting to announce some important event. The majority of these quatrains was later compiled and grouped into what we know as the Présages. We owe a debt of gratitude to Jean-Aimé de Chavigny for the transmission of almost all these predictive quatrains. The almanacs and prognostications of Nostradamus had so great a success that Nostradamus published more copies each year, which even then led to the printing of many pirated works.

      These astrological booklets of Nostradamus were the works of his that made the deepest impression on his contemporaries, as one can see quite easily by reading the pamphlets of his principal adversaries. It was only long after his death, and entirely through the motive agency of the faithful Jean-Aimé Chavigny, that the Prophéties or Centuries came to be considered more important -- since nothing intrinsically led them to be considered in that way, not even in Nostradamus' own eyes, since quite simply they consist entirely of quatrains nearly incomprehensible to the ordinary mortal of the 16th century. This shift in importance led to the setting aside of what was, in point of fact, the most essential part of his literary production.


[1] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre I, pp. 5-6 (pp. 193-194 in the edition of Chevignard), and Les Pléiades, p. 75. « Text

[2] Cf. Du Verdier, 1584, p. 881; Brunet, t. IV, col. 106, and RCN, p. 3. « Text

[3] Chavigny confesses: "I am desirous of procuring the prediction of the Author for the year 1551." See the Chevignard edition, p. 194. « Text

[4] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre I, pp. 6-9 (pp. 194-197 in the edition of Chevignard); Chavigny, 1594, pp. 220-222, and RCN, p. 3. It should be noted that in 1558 the pamphleteer Laurens Videl based a part of his critique on references to the prognostication for 1552 (f§ C2), of which no extant copy remains. « Text

[5] Cf. the Chevignard edition, pp. 33-35 and 197. « Text

[6] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre I, pp. 9-13 (pp. 198-203 in the Chevignard edition); Chavigny, 1594, pp. 96, 134 and 164; Chavigny, 1596, fo. 34 v§ & 35 v§; Vaticination, pp. 32-33, and RCN, p. 3. « Text

[7] Cf. Videl, fol. C2v-C4. « Text

[8] Cf. Baudrier, t. XI, p. 73-73, and Chomarat, p. 11, note 1. « Text

[9] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre I, pp. 13-26 (pp. 203-218 in the Chevignard edition); Chavigny, 1594, p. 146; Chavigny, 1596, fol. 39 r§, and RCN, p. 4. No copy exists of this prognostication. However, several excerpts are found in the Janus François, the Vaticination manuscript and in the Pléiades.« Text

[10] Cf. "Les actes du notaire d'Hozier, année 1553," f§ 569, given in Louis Gimon, Chronique de la ville de Salon, 1882, p. 199-200, note 1. « Text

[11] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre I, pp. 27-54 (pp. 218-251 in the Chevignard edition); Supplément Brunet, t. II, col. 36; Delpy, p. 116, no. 1817; RCN, pp. 5-8, and Chomarat, p. 10 (photo 1), pp. 11 and 13, notice 3. The Lyon printer Jean Brotot is mentioned by Baudrier (t. I, p. 69). The only known copy is that of Daniel Ruzo. There are excerpts of this prognostication printed in the works of the abbot Torné-Chavigny, Lettres du Grand Prophète, 1870, pp. 286-287, Nostradamus et l'astrologie, 1872, pp. 19-20 and in Gabriel Simeoni, Inteprétation Grecque, Latine, Tuscane & Françoise du Monstre, ou Enigme d'Italie, Lyon, Antoine Volant, pp. 15 and 79. Laurens Videl also cites excerpts of this prognostication (f§ C2v§ & f§ C4). « Text

[12] This person was a very active member of the Catholic partisans in 1562. For more about the powerful Avignon family of the Panisses, cf. César de Nostredame, pp. 445B-446D. « Text

[13] Cf. RCN, pp. 9-11. « Text

[14] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre II, pp. 55-68 (pp. 252-267 in the Chevignard edition), and RCN, pp. 8-9. No known copy of this prognostication exists, which Chavigny divided into two series of predictions. Laurens Videl cites certain predictions from the first series (f§ D2). In the dedication of his prognostication entitled Les présages merveilleux pour l'an 1557, dated 13 January 1556 and addressed to Henri II, Nostradamus himself remarks in the text that he composed a prognostication for 1556: "Being returned from your Court, O most serene and invincible King (...) and because last year the ether was not so serene nor the stars so well disposed, it was not possible for me to specify so amply the future facts and predictions for the year 1556 ..." This declaration permits us to fix the date of Nostradamus' visit to the French Court as having been in 1555, not in 1556, as some authors assert. « Text

[15] "Immortal I shall be, living and dying, and even more so after my death my name will live in the universe." This saying is inspired by Ovid, as is shown in Le monstre d'abus, f§ B1 v§. Cf. Brind'Amour, p. 64. Here we have an example of at least one prediction that has come true! « Text

[16] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre II, pp. 68-79 (pp. 268-262 in the Chevignard edition); RCN, pp. 14-16, and Chomarat, p. 16, notice 9. In his Monstre d'abus Jean de la Daguenière also cites excerpts from this Almanach pour 1557.« Text

[17] Cf. RCN. p. 17. « Text

[18] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre II, pp. 79-81 (pp. 283-286 in the Chevignard edition), and RCN, p. 21. Having been unable to procure a copy of the Présages Merveilleux, Chavigny took for his compilation the citations given by Jean de la Daguenière in his Monstre d'abus (1558). The title page is reproduced by Chomarat (p. 21), from the excellent copy belonging to Ruzo, so Brind'Amour informs us. Now, according to Ruzo himself (p. 269), who reproduced this title page as a plate in his own book, this copy is the one from the Bibliothèque Arbaud in Aix-la-Provence! The first page of the dedicatory epistle to Henri II is also reproduced as a plate by Daniel Ruzo in his Testament de Nostradamus. « Text

[19] Cf. RCN, pp. 21-22, and Chomarat, pp. 19-20, notice 14. It is reproduced in facsimile by Chevignard (pp. 393-417), on the basis of the copy preserved at the Musée Paul Arbaud in Aix-la-Provence (no. D 2954). « Text

[20] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre III, pp. 83-106 (pp. 287-313 in the Chevignard edition). The work is cited in two notes in the catalogue of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; the almanac was supposedly published in Anvers (8§ Astr. P. 96 p) and in Lyon ( 8§ Astr. P. 96 q). Cf. Chomarat, p. 24, notices 23 and 24 bis. These references are probably mistaken, and in any case unuseable. They only serve to show us, a posteriori, the necessity for minute attention to details. Abbé Rigaux had a copy of this book, because we possess a handwritten transcription of two predictions in verse, the other quatrains being transmitted to the present day by Chavigny. « Text

[21] Cf. Archivio di Stato di Parma, fons Carteggio Farnese, Francia 10/15. The reference is given by Marc Venard, L'Eglise d'Avignon au XVIe siècle, 1980, t. II, p. 590 and t. V, p. 179, note 91. Cf. Brind'Amour, p. 33. « Text

[22] For information on this Jean Vollant [Volant], cf. Baudrier, t. V, pp. 492-493. « Text

[23] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre III, pp. 106-115 (pp. 313-325 in the Chevignard edition); the Archives du Bibliophile de Claudin, 1892, no. 253; RCN, pp. 19-21; Brind'Amour, pp. 478-479, and Chomarat, p. 20, notice 16. Chomarat (p. 20, notice 17) cites another prognostication for 1558, with gives no place of publication. The title was undoubtedly badly recorded by our predecessors, as was too often the case (especially Graesse, IV: 698 -- according to the catalogue Filheul n§ 728). There is a reproduction in facsimile of the Paris copy by Chevignard (pp. 418-442), from the only known copy held by the Royal Library in The Hague (Netherlands). « Text

[24] Cf. Brind'Amour, p. 478. « Text

[25] The first privilege is dated 5 July 1557 and is found in the Archives Departamentaux du Rhône (no. BP 443 f§ 97r§). Cf. RCN, p. 21 « Text

[26] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre IV, pp. 116-147 (pp. 326-360 in the Chevignard edition), and RCN, pp. 27-29. I doubt, however, that this almanac is the one cited by Chomarat (p. 26, notice 25 bis), which was supposedly published in Anvers. « Text

[27] Cf. RCN, pp. 29-30, and Chomarat, p. 30, notice 34. This English translation kept only the predictions and the calendar for each month from the Almanach pour l'an 1559. Despite its lacunae and mistakes it remains an important source because the French original has disappeared. Chevignard reproduces the quatrains (pp. 461-463). « Text

[28] Cf. Chomarat, p. 30, note 35. « Text

[29] Cf. RCN, p. 30. The latest internal date in this prognostication is 23 May 1558. This "pirated edition" was published in London, not in Anvers, as the address indicates. A facsimile edition of this small work, The Prognostication for the Yeare 1559, based on the original in the British Library, was published in Amsterdam/New York by Da Capo Press in 1969. « Text

[30] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, pp. 147-160 (pp. 360-376 in the Chevignard edition). « Text

[31] Cf. Catalogue De Selle (Paris, 1761), n§ 840, and RCN, p. 27. « Text

[32] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre IV, pp. 161-166 (pp. 376-383 in the Chevignard edition), and RCN, p. 30. See also Chomarat, p. 31, plate no. 9 and p. 32, notice 37. We should also mention the facsimile reprint of 1904 by Henri Douchet in Méricourt-l'Abbé (Somme) and that of Chevignard (pp. 443-460). « Text

[33] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre V, pp. 167-198, and RCN, pp. 38-41 and 38-39, and Chomarat, p. 29, notice 33. The only known copy is in the private collection of Daniel Ruzo. « Text

[34] Cf. Chomarat, p. 33, note 43. « Text

[35] Cf. RCN, p. 41. Here it may possibly be a question of the prognostication described by Chavigny in his Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre V, pp. 167-198. « Text

[36] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre VI, pp. 212-244, and RCN, pp. 42-44. « Text

[37] Cf. B. Ste Geneviève (PARIS): Z 4§ 1711 Inv. 1721 Res. (pièce 10). The 29 fragments were discovered in 1984 in the Bibliothèque Genevieve de Paris during the restoration of a Latin sacramentarium of 1576. This text was reconstituted and reproduced in photocopy by Catherine Amadou in L'Astrologie de Nostradamus, 1992. « Text

[38] Cf. RCN, pp. 51-52. « Text

[39] Cf. RCN, pp. 118-125. « Text

[40] With, however, an inversion of lines 1-2 and 2-4 in the predictions for February, November and December. « Text

[41] Cf. RCN, p. 44. « Text

[42] Cf. Chomarat, p. 33, notice 42. Perhaps it is a question here of the Pronostication pour l'an 1561 given by Chavigny in his Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre VI, pp. 244-268. « Text

[43] Chomarat, p. 32, note 40. « Text

[44] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre VII, pp. 269-318; RCN, pp. 47-50, and Chomarat, pp. 35-36, note 48. A copy is preserved in the Royal Archives in Brussels (no. LP 1921). « Text

[45] The printing privilege is dated 1 February 1560 (1561, new style). « Text

[46] Cf. Les Praedictions pour 1562, 1563 et 1564.« Text

[47] A fragment of the almanac for 1561 (which was written in the spring of 1560) reveals that Nostradamus already celebrates the new Pope enthroned on Epiphany Sunday, 6 January 1560. For more information on the relations between Nostradamus and Pius IV, see the article by Jacques Halbronn, Une attaque réformée oubliée contre Nostradamus.« Text

[48] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre VII, pp. 319-332; RCN, p. 50, and Chomarat, pp. 36-37, notice 49. The privilege is dated 13 October 1561. « Text

[49] Cf. RCN, p. 51. « Text

[50] Cf. Bibliothèque d'un Humaniste, Manuscrits, Livres, Objets d'art, Etude de Me Etienne Ader -- Paris, Georges Blaizot, Lucien Scheler, 1966, pp. 68-70, no. 143, and RCN, pp. 52-54. « Text

[51] One finds in this prognostication eight autograph passages that tend to show that he fabricated falsified editions even while Nostradamus was still alive. See the letter dated 15 December 1561 addressed to him by Jean Rosemberger. « Text

[52] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre VIII, pp. 333-404. Chavigny transmits to us the thirteen predictive quatrains. See RCN, pp. 55-58, and Chomarat, pp. 37-38, note 53. A copy is preserved in the Musée Paul Arbaud in Aix-la-Provence (no. S 385). A reprint edition was done by Abbé Rigaux in 1905. Cf. RCN, p. 449. « Text

[53] Cf. Bulletin du Bibliophile, December 1861, pp. 661-677. Buget possessed a copy of this almanac, which then passed into the hands of the curé of Argoeuvres, the abbot Hector Rigaux, and was reproduced in 1905 by Henri Douchet in a facsimile edition. « Text

[54] We should note that Fabrice de Serbelloni, a cousin of Pope Pius IV, had been sent by the Pope to Provence at the head of pontifical troops to support Catholics in their struggle against the Protestants. « Text

[55] Cf. RCN, pp. 58-59. « Text

[56] Cf. Chomarat, pp. 38 & 40, notice 56. Quite notably, we find in this translation of the almanac pirated by Barbe Regnault a report of the prognostication concerning the four seasons of the year at the end, together with a list of English feast days. « Text

[57] Cf. Chomarat, p. 40, note 57. This printing is by William Powell of London. We have, then, at least two editions of the same work. « Text

[58] Cf. RCN, p. 51. « Text

[59] Cf. Catalogue Succession Abbé Rigaux, 1931, no. 49, and Chomarat, p. 40, note 58. « Text

[60] Cf. RCN, pp. 60-62. « Text

[61] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre IX, pp. 405-461 and pp. 461-482. « Text

[62] Cf. Chomarat, p. 41, note 60. A copy is preserved at the University of Illinois in the United States (no. 492.11). The quatrains of this Pronostication do not correspond to those for 1564, nor to any of the other predictions. The commentaries on the themes of the equinoxes and the solstices fit the year 1556, which leads one to believe that several passages of this pirated edition, including the prophetic quatrains, were copied from the almanac for that year. « Text

[63] Cf. RCN, p. 62. « Text

[64] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre X, pp. 483-572; RCN, pp. 65-67, and Chomarat, p. 44, note 64. The only known copy is preserved in the Biblioteca Communale Augusta of Perugia (Italy). The prophetic quatrains reproduced by Chavigny present important variants to the ones contained in the Perugia copy. One may legitimately ask if Chavigny was reading from another edition of the same almanac. « Text

[65] If these titles were granted on the spot to Nostradamus, the patent letters were longer in coming. That perhaps explains why the Almanach pour 1565 gives these titles somewhat ineptly, as "Docteur en medicine, Medicin du Roy & Astrophile," the word "Conseiller" going unmentioned. In the almanac for the following year (1566), the titles are more consonant with the reality: "Docteur en medicine, Conseiller Et Medicin ordinaire du Roy." The same is true for the Almanach pour 1567 (RCN, p. 74, and Chomarat, no. 69). These same titles are to be found in Nostradamus' correspondance and in the text of his will. « Text

[66] Cf. Chomarat, p. 45, note 65. « Text

[67] Cf. RCN, pp. 57-68. « Text

[68] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre XI, pp. 573-646; RCN, pp. 69-71, and Chomarat, p. 45, notice 66. We know of two copies, one in Italy in the Biblioteca Victor-Emmanuele in Naples, the other in Canada at McGill University in Montreal (Osler Medical Library : 3509). The second mentioned has been reproduced in facsimile in the Cahiers Michel Nostradamus, nos. 5-6 (1987-1988), pp. 69-104. « Text

[69] Count of Tende and of Sommerive, governor of Provence, succeeding his father. « Text

[70] Cf. Recueil des présages prosaïques, Livre XII, pp. 647-718; RCN, pp. 74-77, and Chomarat, p. 48, note 70. An Italian translation of this almanac is found in Poland in the Biblioteka Jagiellonska of the Universita Jagiellonska in Kraków. See RCN, p. 77, and Chomarat, p. 53, note 84. This translation only gives twelve of the fourteen quatrains of the original (the quatrain of the year and those for February and December). « Text

[71] The title page of this booklet is reproduced in the book by M.J. de Mericourt, Gesta dei per Francos (1937), between pages 63 and 64. « Text

[72] Cf. RCN, p. 448. « Text

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