Nostradamus Prophecies with Famous Examples

Introduction of Nostradamus
Nostradamus Famous Prophecies
All Prophecies of Nostradamus

Preliminary notes

1. Format - The original French Prophecies are written in vers commun – i.e. rhymed decasyllables, with a caesura (or hiatus) after the fourth syllable of each line. Ideally, any English translation should reflect this. In the present case, however, a more literalistic approach is followed for the benefit of those who prefer to get as close as possible to the original wording. It needs to be remembered, though, that French words do not mean English words, and that the meaning of a text (especially a poetic one) goes well beyond its mere surface lexicon.

2. Spellings - Nostradamus’s handwriting was notoriously difficult to read. Consequently the assistant who dictated the text to the compositor (as was normal practice at the time) often misidentified his words. Since there was no established system of spelling at the time, the compositor then spelt them in the best way that he could, even in the case of proper names with which he was totally unfamiliar. He also committed all the usual typesetting errors of the time, such as substituting ‘f’ for ‘?’ (long ‘s’), ‘n’ for ‘u’ and vice versa. As a result, the printed spellings are unreliable, and the sounds of the words are often more revealing than their actual letters. A good example is provided by the first line of quatrain VI.17 (see below), where the dictating assistant has read livres (‘books’) as limes (‘files, rasps’), and the compositor has set assignés (‘indicted’) as asiniers (‘ass-drivers’).

3. Punctuation - The evidence of the Orus Apollo manuscript suggests that Nostradamus, not unusually for the time, didn’t punctuate his verses. The punctuation must therefore be regarded as the printer’s copyright, not Nostradamus’s. Since it is evident from the spellings (see above) that the compositor had little idea of the meaning of much of what he was setting, his punctuation should therefore be regarded as purely formal, rather than as having much to do with the sense of the text.

4. Grammar - Nostradamus routinely uses the simple infinitive as a future tense. He also frequently omits both pronouns and prepositions, on the supposed model of the Latin of the Roman poet Virgil, who was regarded at the time as the ‘Prince of Poets’. Meanwhile his verbal and adjectival agreements are often based on proximity, rather than on sense as modern practice insists.

5. ‘False Friends’ In the approved manner of the day, Nostradamus usually prefers to use his French words in their original Latin senses. In addition, many French words and phrases have changed their meanings since Nostradamus’s day. Thus, in the original, the word siècle corresponds to ‘cycle’ or ‘age’, not ‘century’; plusieurs to ‘many’, not ‘several’; insulte to ‘attack’, not ‘insult’; seur to ‘sure’; combien que to ‘although’; ciel (like its Latin original) sometimes to ‘region’ instead of ‘sky’; pour and par are virtually interchangeable; devant can stand for avant; ains corresponds to ‘but’ after a negative; un grand (in the absence of a following noun) is ‘a noble’ or ‘a lord’; and the sign ‘&’ seems to represent a squiggle in Nostradamus’s manuscript that can stand both for ‘and’ and for ‘or’ (and possibly for other small particles as well, such as ‘but’ and ‘of’).

6. Editions - Successive editions of the Prophecies are known to have become markedly more corrupt as time went on. The following translations are therefore based on the original ones

7. This translation - In the following translations, the verse-numbering reflects that of the original 1555 edition, as reproduced in the relevant online facsimiles. Thus, the Century-numbers (i.e. Book-numbers) are indicated by Roman numerals, the quatrain-numbers by Arabic figures. However, for ease of reference, each Century (or Book) is headed in modern style. In addition, given that it has been increasingly recognized ever since the 18th century that most of Nostradamus’s Prophecies are based on historical antecedents – on the basis of the contemporary conviction that ‘what goes around comes around’ – a note of each quatrain’s likely origin is inserted where known (adjusted in the light of the latest research), since this can help to establish the true context (and thus the intended meaning) of the words. Prime among such sources are the anonymous Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3, the 1549/50 Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps by Richard Roussat, the fourth-century Julius Obsequens’s On Omens, the writings of the classical historians Suetonius and Livy (to say nothing of Plutarch) and, in matters of style and imagery, the Roman poet Virgil and the almost contemporary German Poet Laureate Ulrich von Hutten (see woodcut).

Throughout, square brackets indicate alternative readings and/or editorial comments.

8. Sequence - Despite continual efforts by enthusiasts to sequence the Prophecies, their order appears to be entirely random. Certainly they are largely undated. However, Nostradamus does seem to have been influenced by whatever published work he happened to be studying at the time, and this results in a certain amount of thematic ‘clumping’. This is insufficient, though, to justify any effort at sequencing here.

9. Source frequency analysis Analysis of the presentation below suggests that Nostradamus may have used his various sources (whether or not via intermediaries such as Crinitus) with the following frequencies:

Mirabilis Liber    139
Julius Obsequens’s On Omens   38
Livy’s History of Rome 18
Plutarch’s Parallel Lives  14
Froissart’s Chroniques   17
Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps   13
Von Hutten’s Epigrams   13
Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars and Divus Claudius  11
Virgil’s Aeneid and Georgics   5
Others   387
Unidentified 287

Century 1


[evocation of the Delphic Oracle, after Iamblichus’s De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum]

Being seated by night in secret study,
alone resting on the bronze stool,
a slight flame emerging from solitude
makes utter what it is not vain to believe.


[evocation of the Branchidic Oracle, after Iamblichus’s De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum]

Wand placed in hand in the central place [shrine] of Branchis,
with the water he wets both hem and foot.
Vapour, and voices thrill through his sleeves.
Divine splendour. The divine[r] sits down nearby.


[after Julius Obsequens’s On Omens for 152 BC, or possibly Augustin de Zarate]

When the litter is overturned by the whirlwind,
and faces shall be covered by their cloaks,
the state shall be upset by new people.
Then whites and reds [the judges] shall judge contrarily.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

Throughout the world one Monarch shall be appointed
who shall not long be at peace or [even] alive.
Then the Bark of the Fisherman [the Church] shall be lost.
It shall be ruled to its greatest detriment.


[after the 9th-century Annals of Aniane and Chronicle of Moissac, recording the 8th-century Saracen invasions of southwestern France]

They shall be driven away without putting up a long fight.
They shall be harried more strongly through the countryside.
Town and city shall put up stronger resistance:
Carcassonne and Narbonne shall have their courage put to the test.


[source unidentified]

The eye [ruler] of Ravenna shall be removed from office,
when wings shall fail his [speeding] feet:
the two [leaders] from Bresse shall have established
Turin and Vercelli, which the Gauls shall trample.


[after the De Orbo Novo of 1533 by Peter Martyr]

Arrived late, the execution done,
the wind contrary [against the odds], letters seized en route.
The conspirators, fourteen of one sect:
news of the project bruited via the Redhead [reed].


[source unidentified]

How many times captured, solar city [Rome?],
you shall change the Barbarian laws and vain:
Your doom approaches: you shall pay even more tribute.
Great Adria [Venice] shall re-open your veins.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

From the Orient shall come Punic hearts
to vex Adria [Venice] and the heirs of Romulus,
accompanied by the Libyan fleet.
Malta shall quake; and the nearby isles [shall be] deserted.


[after the Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris and Philippe de Commynes]

Serpents [Sergeants] introduced into the iron cage
where the seven children of the King are taken:
the old and fathers shall emerge from the depths of hell,
only to see the death and screams of their offspring.


[source unidentified]

The movement of minds, hearts, feet and hands
shall be in accord. In Naples, Leon, Sicily
swords, explosions, waters, then the Roman nobles
submerged, killed, dead through brainless idiocy.


[after the history of the 13th-century Veronan tyrant Ezzelino da Romano]

Shortly, it shall be said, a false, frail brute
shall be quickly elevated from low to high,
then in an instant disloyal and vacillating,
who shall have the government of Verona.


[source unidentified]

The exiles through anger and inner hatred
shall mount a great conspiracy against the King:
secretly they shall send in enemies through saps [tunnels],
and stir up sedition against his old retainers.


[after the contemporary rise of Protestantism]

From the enslaved people songs, chants and supplications,
taken captive by princes and lords in the prisons.
In the future by headless idiots
they shall be accepted as divine prayers.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

Mars threatens us with his warlike force.
Seventy times shall he cause blood to be spilt:
the clergy shall rise and fall,
and even more so those who shall want to hear nothing from them.


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50]

Scythe [Saturn] conjoined with Tin [Jupiter] near Sagittarius
at the highest point of its exaltation,
Plague, famine, death by military might:
the age approaches its renewal.


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50, citing the Venerable Bede]

For forty years the rainbow shall not appear:
[then] for forty years it shall be seen each day.
The parched earth shall become even drier,
and [then there shall be] great floods when it appears.


[after events accompanying François I’s surprise alliance with the Ottomans of 1543]

Through Gallic discord and negligence
passage shall be opened to Mahomet:
the land and sea of Siena soaked in blood,
the Phocaean port [Marseille] covered with sails and ships.


[after Julius Obsequens’s On Omens for 105 BC and Plutarch’s Parallel Lives on the Roman Consul Marius]

When serpents shall circle the altar,
the Trojan [French royal] blood shall be harassed by the Spaniards:
by them a great number shall be lost,
the chief, fleeing, hidden in ponds and swamps.


[possibly after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

Tours, Orleans, Blois, Angers, Reims and Nantes,
cities vexed by sudden change [disaster]:
by foreign tongues tents shall be pitched,
rivers, darts at Rennes [sandy rivers], land and sea shall quake.


[after contemporary excavations of the nearby Gallo-Roman oppidum of Constantine]

Deep white clay nourishes the rock,
which from an abyss shall come forth milky.
Needlessly troubled, they shall not dare touch it,
unaware that deep down is clayey soil.


[source unidentified, but probably a contemporary ‘omen’]

That which shall live without having any sense,
shall fatally injure its artifice[r]:
to Autun, Chalon, Langres and the two Sens,
hail and ice shall cause great damage .


[after Gasparus Peucerus’s Teratoscopia of 1553, describing the omens of 1534]

In the third month, the Sun rising,
the Boar and Leopard on the field of Mars to fight.
The Leopard, worn out, raises its eye to the heavens.
It sees an Eagle frolicking about the Sun.


[after Livy’s History of Rome and the omens surrounding the advent of King Tarquin]

At the new city, thinking of condemnation,
the bird of prey comes to offer itself in the sky.
After victory he shall pardon the captives.
Cremona and Mantua shall have suffered great evils.

click for Benefits of Parad Shivling


[after the 9th-century discovery by a shepherd of the alleged tomb of St James at Compostela]

Lost, found, hidden for so long an age,
the shepherd shall be honoured as a demigod:
but before the Moon finishes its full period
he shall be dishonoured by other desires.


[after Julius Obsequens’s On Omens for 130 BC]

The great one falls to lightning during daylight hours.
Evil is predicted by the gods’ messenger of protestations:
according to the prediction he falls in the night-time.
Conflict at Reims, London; Tuscany plagued.


[after the account by Strabo et al. of the theft in 106 BC of the fabled gold of Toulouse]

Under the mistled oak [of Guienne] struck from the sky,
not far from there is the treasure hidden
which for long ages had been stolen.
Once found, he shall perish, his eye put out by a spring.


[after contemporary raids on the Mediterranean coast]

The Tour de Bouc the Barbarian galley shall gain
once, then, long after, the Hesperian [Spanish] bark:
cattle, people, chattels, both shall suffer great devastation.
Under Taurus and Libra what a deadly attack!


[after an unidentified contemporary omen]

When the fish terrestrial and aquatic
shall be washed up on the beach by a strong wave,
its form strange, smooth and horrible,
by sea the enemies [shall be] very soon at the walls.


[after Columbus’s log entry for 26th May 1494, reported in Grynaeus and Huttich’s Novus Orbis Regionum ac Insularum Veteribus Incognitarum of 1532]

The foreign ship through stormy seas
shall approach the unknown port,
notwithstanding palm-branch signs.
Afterwards death, pillage: good sense [shall] come late.


[after the contemporary activities of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V as King of Spain and the Latin Epigrams of the Emperor's Poet Laureate Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523)]

So many years the wars in Gaul shall last,
beyond the ambit of the Castilian monarch:
uncertain victory shall crown three lords.
Eagle, Cock, Moon, Lion, Sun [shall all be] in evidence.


[after the transfer of papal power from Rome to Avignon between 1378 and 1417]

The great empire shall soon be transferred
to a little place that shall very soon grow:
a very lowly place in a tiny county
in the middle of which he shall plant his sceptre.


[source unidentified]

Near a great bridge on a spacious plain,
the great lion with Imperial might
shall mount an assault outside a determined city.
Because of fear the gates shall be opened to him.


[after the standard Roman doctrine of omens]

The bird of prey flying to the left
before the conflict: the event appears to the French.
One shall take it for good, another for ambiguous or sinister.
The weak party shall take it as a good omen.


[after Marcus Frytschius’s Chronicle of Omens and Portents, reporting a cloud-omen seen over Switzerland in 1547 (see woodcut below), and possibly also Villehardouin’s account in his 13th-century Conquest of Constantinople of the deposing of the Emperor Isaac II Angelus]

The young lion shall overcome the old
on a battlefield in a single duel.
In a cage of gold he shall put out his eyes:
Two armies joined, then he shall die a cruel death.


[source unidentified]

Too late the monarch shall repent him
of not having put his adversary to death:
but he shall consent to something much greater,
namely having all his relations put to death.


[after Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars, II.17, concerning the battle of Actium of 31 BC]

Shortly before the sun sets,
battle given, a great people in doubt.
Destroyed, the marine port makes no reply.
Bridge [funeral] and burial in two foreign places.


[source unidentified]

The Sun and the Eagle shall appear to the victor:
the vanquished is reassured with a vain reply.
With a hue and cry the armed men shall not cease their
revenge, if a timely peace is achieved through death.


[after Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars, I.81, concerning the assassination of Julius Caesar, reapplied to the over-the long reign of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V]

By night in bed the supreme [leader] strangled
for having tarried too long, the blond one [once] elected.
The Empire, claimed by three, worn out,
he shall be put to death, the paper and packet unread.


[after Louis IX’s 1263 reform of the currency after returning from captivity in Egypt]

The false trumpet [of Discord] concealing madness
shall bring about a change of regime in Byzantium:
from Egypt there shall emerge one who wishes
edicts debasing monetary alloys to be undone.


[source unidentified]

City besieged, and assaulted by night,
few escapees: conflict not far from the sea:
a woman fainting with joy on the return of a son,
poison and letters hidden in the envelope.


[after Psellus’s De daemonibus, reprinted in Petrus Crinitus’s De honesta disciplina, of 1504, reprinted in turn by Gryphius of Lyon in 1552]

The tenth of the Calends of April by Gothic reckoning [the Gnostic practice]
revived again by wicked folk:
the light put out, a diabolical assembly
seeking out the filth of [described by] Adamantius [Origen] and Psellus.


[after Socrates Scholasticus’s (or Eusebius’s) account of Constantine’s victory at the battle of Saxa Rubra (‘red rock’) at the Milvian Bridge in AD 312, and its subsequent memorialisation]

Before the change of Empire arrives,
there shall occur a most marvellous event:
the [battle]field disturbed, the pillar of porphyry
placed, transferred onto the rust-coloured rock.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3, assimilated to contemporary religious wars]

In short, the [classical pagan] sacrifices shall return,
transgressors shall be put to martyrdom.
No longer shall there be monks, abbots or novices:
honey shall be much dearer than wax.


[after the contemporary Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris, describing the events of 1530, plus the ennoblement by King Henri II of the poet Étienne Jodelle in 1553, and the sacrifice of a goat, following a performance of his ground-breaking classical verse-tragedy Cléopâtre captive]

The sect-finder shall greatly reward the accuser.
Beast in the theatre, the play set up on stage.
For the ancient act the inventor ennobled.
The world confused and schismatic because of sects.


[after Julius Obsequens’s On Omens for 147 BC, transferred to the French context]

Very near Auch, Lectoure and Mirande
great fire for three nights shall fall from the sky.
A very stupendous and marvellous thing shall occur.
Not long afterwards the earth shall quake.


[after the contemporary activities of Jean Calvin]

Of Lake Geneva the sermons shall annoy.
Days shall turn into weeks,
then months, then years, then all shall faint.
The Magistrates shall condemn their empty laws.


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50]

Twenty years of the reign of the Moon [have] passed,
[after] seven thousand years another shall hold its monarchy.
When the Sun shall take its exhausted days [up again]
then shall my prophecy be accomplished and finished.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

Long, long before such events,
those of the East by virtue of the Moon
in the year 1700 shall cause nobles to be carried off,
subjugating almost [the whole of] the northern sector.


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50]

From the aquatic triplicity [Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces] there shall be born
one who shall make Thursday his feast-day:
his fame, praise, rule and power shall grow,
by land and sea storming the East.


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50]

Jupiter and Saturn at the Point of Aries.
Eternal God, what upheavals!
Then for a long age his evil Time returns.
In Gaul and Italy, what stirrings!


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50]

The two evil ones [Mars and Saturn] conjoined in Scorpio,
the great Lord murdered in his hall.
Plague visited on the Church by the new King
in southern and northern Europe.


[after the Mirabilis Liber and Spain’s recent access to treasure from the New World]

Alas! We shall see a great people tormented
and Holy Law in utter ruin.
To other laws all Christendom [shall succumb],
once a new source of gold and silver is found.


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50]

Two revolutions made by the evil scythe-bearer [Saturn],
bring about a change of reign and age:
the movable sign intervenes in its place,
to the two equal in inclination.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

In the region/latitude next to the Babylonian
great shall be the Bloodshed.
For land and sea, air and sky it shall be deleterious.
For sects, famine; for realms, plagues, confusion.


[after Richard Roussat’s Livre de l’estat et mutation des temps of 1549/50]

You shall see great change happen sooner or later,
extreme horrors and vengeances.
For, as the Moon is conducted by its angel,
heaven is nearing [the end of] its Trepidation [cycle].


[after Petrus Crinitus’s De honesta disciplina 1504, citing Petronius’s Satiricon]

In great discord the trumpet shall blare,
concord broken, lifting its head to heaven:
the bloody mouth shall swim in the blood,
on the ground the face anointed with milk and honey.


[after an omen reported for 1544, later to be collected by Lycosthenes (1557)]

The belly sliced, it shall be born with two heads
and four arms: for some [whole] years it shall live intact.
On the day when Aquileia shall celebrate its festival,
Fossano, Turin, shall follow the leader of Ferrara.


[after Victor Vitensis’s Historia Persecutionis Provinciae Africanae (5th century) and/or Procopius’s De bello Vandalico (6th century)]

The exiles transported to the isles
upon the change to a crueller monarch
shall be murdered and burnt in the flames,
who had not been sparing with their speech.


[after an unidentified account of the life of the 13th-century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II von Hohenstaufen, who was born in Sicily]

An Emperor shall be born near Italy,
who shall cost the Empire very dear:
they shall mock the people with whom he allies himself
and find him less a prince than a butcher.


[after the formal enactment by the city council of Geneva of Jean Calvin’s Ecclesiastical Ordinances in 1541]

The miserable unhappy republic
shall be devastated by the new magistrate:
their great multitude, returned from wicked exile,
shall make the Suevi [Swabians] tear up their great contract.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

What a great loss shall letters suffer, alas,
before the cycle of Latona [the Moon] is finished!
Fire, a great deluge, more through ignorant rulers,
than shall be seen again for a long age.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

The woes once past, the world [population] grows smaller.
For a long time peace, the lands [re]populated.
They’ll walk through the region safely by land, sea and water,
then the wars [shall be] stirred up anew.


[after Julius Obsequens’s On Omens for 166 BC and 104 BC]

At night they shall think they have seen the Sun
when they shall see the half-human pig:
alarums, songs, battles, fighting seen in the sky,
and brute beasts shall be heard to speak.


[after contemporary omen reports, and notably one reported for 1548 in Marcus Frytschius’s De meteoris of 1555]

Child without hands: never was so great a thunderbolt seen:
the royal child wounded while playing tennis.
Broken at the well; lightning-strikes while going there to mill:
three trussed up with chains around their waists.


[source known]

He who then shall bear the news,
shall shortly afterwards regain his breath.
Viviers, Tournon, Montferrand and Pradelles,
hail and storms shall make them sigh.


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

The great famine that I feel approaching,
shall often return, then become universal,
so great and long that they shall tear up
roots from the woods, and babes from the breast.


[source unidentified]

Oh, what a horrible and miserable torment,
three innocents who shall be delivered up!
Poison suspected, lack of care, betrayal:
delivered to horror by drunken executioners.


[after the famous prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar described in the book of Daniel, with the measurement apparently taken from Josephus’s description of King Herod’s fortress of Masada]

The great mountain seven stadia around,
after peace, war, famine, flood,
shall roll far, ruining great countries,
even ancient ones, and of mighty foundation.


[source unidentified]

Rain, famine, ceaseless war in Persia;
over-confidence shall betray the monarch.
[What is] finished there, [shall have been] begun in Gaul:
A secret omen for someone to be moderate.


[after the three captures of Marseille and the Tour St-Jean that guards its harbour by the Saracens in 735, by Charles d’Anjou in 1252, and by Alphonso V of Aragon in 1423]

The maritime tower three times taken and retaken
by Spaniards, Barbarians, Ligurians:
Marseille and Aix, Arles by those of Pisa
Laid waste by fire, sword; Avignon pillaged by [those from] Turin.


[possibly after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

Marseille completely changed [for the worse],
flight and pursuit of its inhabitants as far as the area of Lyon.
Narbonne, Toulouse violated by Bordeaux:
Killed and captured nearly a million.


[partly after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

France assailed on five sides through negligence,
Tunis, Algiers stirred up by Persians.
Leon, Seville, Barcelona, bankrupt,
shall not have the fleet through the Venetians.


[after the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa’s siege of Antioch in 1097 during the first Crusade]

After tarrying they shall sail to Epirus:
The great relief shall approach Antioch.
Black Frizzy Beard shall tend strongly towards the Empire:
Barbarossa shall roast him on a spit.


[after Livy’s History of Rome (xxviii, 46), describing the Carthaginian invasion of northern Italy in 205 BC]

The tyrant of Siena shall occupy Savona:
The fort won, he shall hold the fleet:
The two armies [shall pass] through the March of Ancona.
Out of fright the chief examines his conscience about it.


[after the thirteenth-century Guillaume Le Breton’s Philippiad, a poem in praise of the French King Philip Augustus, which incorporates the story of King Richard Coeur de Lion of England]

By a fierce name he shall be described
whose name the three sisters [the Fates] shall have predicted:
then he shall lead a great throng by word and deed.
More than any other shall he have fame and renown.


[after the celebrated 11th-12th century Chanson de Roland]

Between two seas he shall mount a great attack
who shall then die by the bite of a horse.
His admiral shall furl the black sail
near Gibraltar, and the army near Rocheval [Roncevaux].


[after Suetonius’s Twelve Caesars and Divus Claudius]

Weak-headed, he shall be born of an old chief,
degenerate in knowledge and in arms.
The lord of France feared by its sister [Britain]:
fields divided, granted to the troops.


[after Étienne Dolet’s 1528 accusation of idolatry directed at Toulouse]

Bazas, Lectoure, Condom, Auch and Agen
stirred up by laws, plot[s] and monopoly[ies]:
He shall ruin Carcassonne, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Bayonne,
wishing to renew their bull-sacrifice.


[after contemporary reports of ‘monster’ omens]

From the sixth bright celestial splendour [Jupiter]
it shall thunder so fiercely in Burgundy.
Then a monster shall be born from a most hideous beast.
March, April, May, June, great schisms and disputes.


[after the celebrated Templar trials of 1310]

Of the human flock nine shall be set apart,
from judgement and counsel removed:
Their fate shall be determined on departure.
Kappa, Thita, Lambda [by gematria 9 + 20 + 30 = 59], dead, banished, scattered.


[after the Ottomans’ invasions of Europe, and their siege of Vienna in 1526]

When the columns of wood [masts] with a great trembling,
[shall be] driven by the south wind, covered with red ochre,
it [they] shall pour out such a great throng.
Vienna and the land of Austria shall quake.


[after Plutarch’s Parallel Lives (‘Pyrrhus’), describing the original ‘Pyrrhic victory’ of 279 BC]

The foreign nation shall divide [up the] spoils:
Saturn on Mars [turns] his furious gaze.
Horrible slaughter of the Tuscans and Latins
[by] Greeks, who shall be [all too] anxious to strike.


[in part after the Epigrams (119.13) of the influential German poet laureate Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523) describing a lunar eclipse in the course of a 1516 prophecy for Pope Leo X]

The Moon hidden in deep shadows,
her brother passes [pale] with rusty colour.
The lord concealed for a long time in his hiding place,
the sword shall cool [he shall hold] in the bloody wound.


[probably after the rejection in 1549 by Lady Mary Tudor (later Queen Mary of England) of Edward VI’s attempts to force her to abjure Roman Catholicism]

By the lady’s reply, the King troubled:
ambassadors shall set their lives at nought.
The lord shall doubly swindle his brothers:
they shall both die through anger, hatred and envy.


[after Livy, History of Rome, II.13; Valerius Maximus, Memorable deeds and Sayings, III,2,2; Plutarch, Life of Poplicola, 19, and On the Virtue of Women, chapter 52; and Françoys de Billon, Le fort inexpugnable de l’honneur du sexe feminin, Paris, 1555]

The mighty Queen, when she shall see herself defeated,
shall show an excess of masculine courage:
on horseback, she shall cross the river completely naked,
pursued by the sword: it shall be an outrage to her given word.


[after the Annales Cassini’s description of the first known lava eruption in 1036 of Mount Vesuvius overlooking Naples (Greek Neapolis = ‘New City’), when the Lombards of Capua and the Byzantine dukes of Naples were at war over the city]

Earth-shaking fire from the centre of the earth
shall cause earthquakes around the New City.
Two lords shall long wage a fruitless war,
Then Arethusa [the nymph of springs] shall redden a new river [of lava].


[possibly after the life and death of Julius Caesar]

The divine sickness [apoplexy] shall surprise the great prince
a little before he shall have married a woman.
His support and credit shall suddenly become thin.
The Consul shall perish through the shaven head [priest?].


[after the contemporary wars between France, England and the Spanish Netherlands]

All those from Lerida shall be by the Moselle,
putting to death all those from the Loire and Seine:
seaborne aid shall approach under full sail
when the Spaniards shall open every vein.


[after the salt-tax revolt of 1548, and the ominous birth of a deformed child at Sénas in 1554]

Bordeaux, Poitiers, at the sound of the tocsin
with a great force shall go as far as Langon.
Their north wind shall be against the Gauls
when a hideous monster shall be born near Orgon.


[after Julius Obsequens’s On Omens for 44 BC]

The gods shall make it clear to humans
that they [the gods?] shall be the authors of great conflict:
before the sky is seen to be calm, sword and lance [shall be wielded],
so that there shall be greater affliction to the left [north].


[after the Mirabilis Liber of 1522/3]

Under one [Great Monarch], peace shall be everywhere proclaimed
but, not long [after], pillage and rebellion
started by town, land and sea through [his] rejection:
[of] dead and captives the third of a million.


[source unidentified, but with the imagery presumably based on the Latin Epigrams of Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523]

The Italian land shall tremble near the mountains,
Lion and Cock not too much in league:
in place of fear they shall help each other,
only Spain and the Celts moderate.


[after Diodorus Siculus’s Bibliotheca historica (III, xiii, 17) – tr. Poggio 1515 – describing the Carthaginian invasion of Selinus in Sicily in 409 BC]

At Port Selinus the tyrant put to death,
liberty nevertheless not recovered:
[by] the new Mars, through vengeance and remorse,
the Lady honoured by the power of fear.


[possibly after the story of Calvin’s successor in Geneva, Théodore de Bèze]

Before the monastery a twin child found
of ancient and heroic blood by a monk:
his fame, renown and power through sect and tongue shall sound
such that people shall account the surviving premature twin well raised.


[after the activities of a contemporary ‘sect-finder’]

He who shall have charge of destroying
temples and sects [shall be] changed through fantasy:
he shall do more harm to rocks than to the living,
his ears seized by flowery speech.


[after current political and military activities, particularly those of Michel de l’Hospital]

What fire and sword did not manage to accomplish,
the smooth tongue in council shall achieve:
through rest and dreams he shall cause the King to imagine
the enemy still under fire and more soldiers’ blood shed.


[source unidentified]

The chief who shall have led a numberless throng
far from their own region, of foreign customs and tongue:
five thousand finished [shall have finished up] in Crete and Thessaly.
The chief, fleeing, saved in a naval warehouse.


[source unidentified]

The great monarch who shall make company
with two kings [shall be] united by friendship:
oh, what a sigh shall the great company make,
children around Narbonne, what pity!


[after Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars (I.81), describing the omens surrounding Julius Caesar’s death]

For a long time shall be seen in the sky a grey bird
near Dole and the land of Tuscany,
holding in its beak a green branch:
soon a great one shall die and the war shall end.


Century 1
Century 2
Century 3
Century 4
Century 5
Century 6
Century 7
Century 8
Century 9
Century 10
Introduction of Nostradamus
Nostradamus Famous Prophecies
'Nostradamus, Bibliomancer' by Peter Lemesurier
Translations and notes Copyright © Peter Lemesurier 2009
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