Title page of the 1558? edition of the Prophecies

The following slightly revised article was first published in alt.prophecies.nostradamus as

Subject: Anagrams in Nostradamus' Titles
Message-ID: [FxyD9w.Er0.0.queen@torfree.net]
Keywords: Nostradamus, Anagrams, Title
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 16:17:56 GMT
The Benoist Rigaud edition of Nostradamus' Prophecies has always been undoubtedly the best known of the 16th century editions. Perhaps because it had received a number of different reprints during a period of about 30 years, it can be found in a number of European public libraries. Even Anatole Le Pelletier, who published in 1867 the best commentary ever on Nostradamus' Prophecies, had it in his possession.

Problem: this edition bears the date 1568 on its front page, and Nostradamus died in 1566. Everyone until today was therefore entitled to view it as the very first posthumous edition of Nostradamus' Prophecies. For this reason, perhaps, although it was all along a well-known edition, it has not received the scrutiny it deserves. And even the best of commentators cannot be blamed for not having paid enough attention to it.

Now that Les Éditions Michel Chomarat in Lyon have finally (in year 2000!) decided to make a facsimile reproduction of it, more and more people will be able to see exactly what it contains.

It is a very weird book. It has two 'front' pages, its pages are numbered consecutively up to a point; and then, the page numbers start with yet another page 1, as if the book was two books. And, to top the cake, the word F I N. (meaning: END) appears twice in the same book.

This so-called 1568 edition contains the Letter to Henry and the last batch of 300 quatrains already announced by Nostradamus on the cover page of his November 1557 edition. The Letter to Henry is dated June 27, 1558. King Henry II died on July 10, 1559. So, the only thing standing in the way of the logical conclusion that this book was published in 1558 and not in 1568 is... this darn first page!

Let's have a look at it:

01.------------------------- L E S
02.------------------- P R O P H E T I E S
03.------------------ D E  M.  M I C H E L
04.----------------- N O S T R A D A M V S.
---------------------- [flowery ornament]
05.-------------- Dont il y en a trois cens qui
06.---------------- n'ont encores iamais esté
07.----------------------- imprimées.
08.---------------- Adioustées de nouueau par
09.--------------------- ledict Autheur.
-------------------------- [vignette]
10.----------------------- A  L Y O N,
11.----------- P A R  B E N O I S T  R I G A V D.
12.------------------------ I 5 6 8.
13.--------------------- Auec permission.

Having now recently posted all of the original title pages of Nostradamus' Prophecies, it is the more amusing to see how Nostradamus constructed in anagrams the convoluted titles to his books. Part of the title may remain as is, and then, the sub-title becomes a hidden follow-up to the sentence already begun in the title proper.

And the anagrams from the original November 1557 edition have taught us a 'new' trick by Nostradamus: a letter for number substitution, which he uses once again here. Let's now see this front page in its decyphered form:

01.------------------------- L E S
02.------------------- P R O P H E T I E S
03.------------------ D E  M.  M I C H E L
04.----------------- N O S T R A D A M V S
---------------------- [flowery ornament]
05.---------------- Qui disent icy mon Oracle
06.---------------- annonçant le gros missile
07.---------------------- mis à Paris
08.------------- par le Grand U S qui ose tuer
09.-------------------- la rude Chine et
-------------------------- [vignette]
10.----------------------- N Y E  L A
11.----------- S I  V R A Y E  P R O S E  T A N T
12.------------------------ H A Y E
13.------------------- de mon Beau Paris !

In English: The Prophecies of M. Michel Nostradamvs which state here my Oracle announcing the big missile placed in Paris by the Great U S who dares kill the rude China and denyes the so true prose much hated by my Beautiful Paris!

The digits I-5-6-8 have become the corresponding letters of the alphabet A-E-F-H.

This time, the announcement made by Nostradamus in his so-called third original edition (November 1557) becomes reality: for the first time, his last 300 quatrains are published. And in this fourth original edition also, Centurie VII contains 42 quatrains, just as it did in his so-called second original edition of September 1557.

The only prophecies 'newly added by the said Author' in this edition are the 300 quatrains of Centurie VIII, IX and X.

And for Nostradamus to have added them, he had to be alive. In June 1558 he was, in 1568 he was not. Which seems to be the best argument for concluding from its title that this so-called 1568 edition is the so-called long-lost 1558 edition published by Nostradamus himself, as his other three editions were.

There are a few more reasons leading to the same conclusion.

Having announced in November 1557 that 300 of his prophecies had never been printed in Lyon by Antoine du Rosne (that's what the title page says, verbatim), had he not published them the very next year, Nostradamus would have had to explain to all and sundry and for the remainder of his life why he had not published them. There is no evidence that he was asked that question ever, between 1557 and 1566, the year of his death.

And for Nostradamus not to have published his Letter to Henry as early as June 1558 (the date of the Letter) would have raised the question: why publish a letter to a very dead King? Henry II having died in 1559, publishing the Letter in 1558 made perfect sense.

There is still of course this business of hiding his terrible secret everywhere, even in the very titles to his four original editions of the Prophecies.

Is it possible to devise a statistical test which could conclude that Nostradamus did construct his sometimes very misleading titles in a manner conducive to hiding his prophetic secret?

If not, then let's nevertheless admire the genius of this man who has allowed these four titles to hide his secret. To be also found there, this secret had to have been already discovered elsewhere. It had been, a few years before. And he knew that it would be and by whom.

Clever, eh, this Nostradamus?!

Claude Latrémouille
Le 19 juillet 2000

The original page can be consulted on Mario Gregorio's website at the following address.

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Copyright Claude LATRÉMOUILLE © 2004, tous droits réservés, reproduction interdite

Last updated on 2005-11-17
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