One of the most crucial elements in the study of Nostradamus' texts is the answer to the 400-year old question: How were Nostradamus' originals printed?
The first mistake made by most students of Nostradamus' originals is to search for the complete edition, the real edition, the correct edition, of these texts. There are no such things. All original editions published under the guidance of Nostradamus are equally important.
This bold statement could not have been made had some of Nostradamus' originals not been offered in facsimile form to 20th century readers by the Lyon-based Les Amis de Nostradamus (starting in 1984) and later (starting in 1993) by Les Éditions Michel Chomarat, in Lyon. Prior to this, only the privileged few who knew where to look could research some private or public libraries holding these precious books.
To date, there are no less than four (4) known original editions of Nostradamus' Prophecies, each of which teaches us something about them, none of which can be termed the complete edition, or the real edition, or the correct edition.
The second mistake made by students of Nostradamus' originals is an attempt to prioritize these now known four (4) original editions. To avoid doing this, one is advised to consider them as if they were in four different colours. As there are no colours better than, or superior to, others, one is left with the realization that there are different original editions, none being more important than the three others.
The third and most frequent mistake made by students of Nostradamus' originals is to decide how they ought to have been printed, and to proceed to 'correct' them. This widespread practice has unfortunately resulted in the printing of hundreds of corrupt editions of Nostradamus' Prophecies. In fact, I dare say that all editions of the Prophecies posterior to those published under the guidance of Nostradamus are corrupt editions.
Which brings us to the best and most logical solution to this literary mess: Have a look at the originals, the whole originals, nothing but the originals! Where are they? Fortunately for us, many of Nostradamus' originals have found a home in cyberspace, where they can be consulted, thanks to Mario Gregorio and his unique website.
Although I do not vouch for anything found on this site other than the digitalized images of these originals, I urge my readers to get acquainted with the site, so as to familiarize themselves with 16th century printing.
The site can be found at this address.
As to Nostradamus' four original editions of his Prophecies, they can be found at the following four addresses: for the so-called Vienna copy of the Bonhomme 1555 edition; for the Utrecht University copy of the so-called September 1557 Du Rosne edition; for the facsimile copy of the so-called November 1557 Du Rosne edition, and finally for a mutilated copy of the so-called 1568 Benoist Rigaud edition, an edition published in my view under the guidance of Nostradamus in June 1558, not 1568.
Careful readers of these four books will notice therein hundreds of printing oddities. Many of these oddities have been listed by Nostradamus' three best bibliographers, Daniel Ruzo, Michel Chomarat and Robert Benazra. Others have just recently been noticed, as they became evident only through a comparison of these four editions, side by side.
For questions, comments and suggestions to Mario Gregorio, here is his e-mail address
January 25, 2004.
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Copyright Claude LATRÉMOUILLE © 2004, tous droits réservés, reproduction interdite
Last updated on 2004-02-26
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