The 16th century French doctor Michel Nostradamus (de Notredame) is widely considered to be the greatest prophet of all time, though Christians balk at the claim (dogma rules that the Bible is foremost). Nostradamus began to discover his prophetic abilities in 1547:
His predictions "extend from now to the year 3797". Nostradamus first wrote his quatrains in plain Old French, and he included names and dates. Then he rewrote them in a complex code of acronyms, anagrams, apocopes, synechdoches, ellipses, hyperbations and metatheses, syncopes, aphereses, epentheses, metonyms, and other exotic grammars and syntaxes. Nostradamus burned (or possibly buried) the original, explicit prose prophecies, because he did not want to complicate unduly humanity’s problem of free choice, or to encourage a fatalism that might deter us from making our best efforts to correct ourselves. Nor did he wish to interfere with the fulfillment of his prophecies by stating them too clearly in advance. And, he had no desire to incur the wrath of the Holy Inquisition:
Shortly after the publication of The True Centuries, Nostradamus became famous as some of his prophecies found fulfillment in the death of King Henry II. In the ensuing centuries, about half of his predictions have been fulfilled with acceptable (and sometimes startling) accuracy. Following is a partial list of historical events foreseen by the prophet according to a consensus of some of his commentators’ interpretations:
prophecies have gone through many editions, some of which are
counterfeit. Most are riddled with typographic and other editorial
errors. The definitive study is Edgar Leoni’s Nostradamus
and His Prophecies, which represents the authentic spelling
and style of the first edition. That work was used as the
primary reference in this study. Most other modern translations are
travesties, and the interpretations based on them are mere fantasy.
This quatrain can apply to the Israeli siege of the PLO in Beirut. "The device of flying fire" is Nostradamus’ term for jets or missiles, phosphorus bombs and artillery which were used "to trouble the great besieged Chief", Yasser Arafat. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was triggered by the attempted assassination of Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambassador in London, by a PLO splinter group ("sedition within"). Line 4 is confusing until "profligate" is understood in its obsolete meaning: beaten and dispersed! Thus, "profligate" certainly applies to the PLO besieged in Beirut. Their circumstance and its resolution (the UN-supervised evacuation of the PLO army) are unique in history, and Nostradamus can be credited with having predicted it accurately. The situation in Iran also caught Nostradamus’ attention:
This quatrain foretells famine in Iran (Persia). "The faith too great" is the Islamic religion; the betrayed monarch was the deposed Shah Pahlavi. "The end began in Gaul" (France), where Ayatollah Khomeini was exiled until he returned to Iran after the revolution there. The last line may be private advice to some fated person who was expected to read his prophecies some day.
Lines 1 and 2 predict the return of the Jews to establish Israel. Lines 3 and 4 foretell the decline of Moslem power; the crescent moon is a Moslem symbol. A lunar cycle is about 28 days, but a larger-scale cycle of 28 years may be meant here.
This is a prediction of the Israeli kibbutz program, which has taken "at pleasure" and occupied the desert, a "place then uninhabitable", turned it into meadows, and rendered "extensive acreage arable".
This quatrain has several possible translations and interpretations. The first line suggests that demi-gods (or mere extraterrestrial aliens) will put on a display of their power for our edification. Samuel Browning wrote: "The Gods are those who either have money or don’t need it" -- the super-rich few who control the planet insofar as they can, including financing wars. Nostradamus might be telling us that the next great war will be "religious", such as a Moslem Jihad versus Christianity. Line 4 suggests that left-handed people will be afflicted (just kidding!). Just as likely, God will produce astonishing natural phenomena such as predicted in the Fatima prophecy and others.
"Those of the arctic pole" are the Russians. According to line 2, the East (possibly meaning the Mideast, i.e., Israel), will live in "great terror and fear". Line 3 is almost uncanny in that it suggests that the newly-elected George Bush will sustain "great trembling" --- the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. There will be fighting at Rhodes and Eski Eregli (Byzantium). The "Barbarian blood" is that of the Moslems.
The Pont Euxine is the Black Sea, and Tartary is in Central Asia, whence came Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane. Alane is the area between the Don, the Volga, and the Caucasus, occupied by the Alans. The king will be distinguished by "his rod" (a scepter or weapon), with which he will whack about:
The leader of the Moslems will rule Iraq (Mesopotamia): Saddam Hussein, or his successor. "The adulterine lady" may be the harlot of "Mystery Babylon" in the biblical Revelation of St. John, or it may symbolize American diplomacy. The land will be razed.
Moslems throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa will be drafted into the jihad, which will be led by a murderous young man:
Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 injured its national and religious spirit, rendering it "sterile" in the sense of line 1. This sentiment was expressed in June 1983, when Shlomo Argov (the Israeli ambassador whose attempted assassination triggered the war) made his first public statement about war. Argov denounced the politicians and especially the,
Lines 1 and 2 also can be understood to prophecy the return of the Jews to Israel in 1948. Line 4 suggests that Israel ("The synagogue" and "The daughter of the persecuted of Babylon" --- a reference to the Jewish captivity) will be conquered by Iraq.
Turkey and Rhodes will resist the invasion, and Austria-Hungary (Pannonois) will be attacked by way of Trieste.
"The Blue Turban" Moslem militants (or, the United Nations army) will overthrow the "White Turban" Turkish ruler of C.5:47. Foix is in southwest France, which will be invaded. The new Moslem empire will last less than 30 years, the period of an orbit of Saturn around the sun. The conjunction of Mars, Mercury, and the Sun in Aquarius last occurred in January 1994.
The Moslem alliance will last about 13 years; it will test the Christian spirit ("The Bark and its cope" -- the Catholic Church and the Pope).
War will return to Greece and Albania. The astrological configurations of Mars in Leo, and Saturn in Aquarius, occurred between February 1991 and January 1994. This prophecy probably was fulfilled by the Balkan War of the 1990s.
Line 1 is inexplicable; it might be a reference to diplomacy or the UN. According to a related quatrain, a new biological warfare agent ("an unknown evil") will ravage the Balkan Peninsula:
The Cyclades are Greek islands southeast of Athens; Perenthus was near the eastern tip of Thrace, and Larissa was the chief city of Thessaly in northern Greece. Sparta is on the Peloponnesian Peninsula.
Moslem forces will occupy Trabzun (formerly Trebizand) in the northeast corner of Asia Minor on the Black Sea. Pharos is an island forming part of the harbor of Alexandria, Egypt, and Myteline is the island of Lesbos off the northeast coast of Asia Minor; both will be attacked. Many will die in the Adriatic Sea.
Nostradamus has predicted a great naval battle in the Adriatic Sea. Line two indicates a geological catastrophe. Egypt is threatened, as prophesied also in line 3 of C.5:27 ("to tremble Pharos") and in the following quatrain. Line 4 suggests that a new prophet will arise, or that a diplomat will be held hostage.
Mars, Sol and Venus conjoined in Leo in 1987 and 1989, but the Moslems resisted the opportunity to invade Europe at that time. It may have been rescheduled for fulfillment in the first decade of the 21st century.
The ancient Carthaginian conqueror Hannibal will reincarnate and attack Rome again. Carthage in North Africa was founded by the Phoenicians. This suggests that Libya (Carthage) will attack Italy first. Babel (line 4) is now Iraq-Iran; apparently Libya and Iraq will be allied.
The first two lines of this quatrain are self-explanatory, but cannot be dated. The alliance of line 4 may have been established on September 9, 1982, when Col. Khadafy visited Poland and signed a friendship treaty with that country’s leaders.
Khadafy will interfere with French-Arabic diplomacy. Khadafy is "learned in letters" insofar as he is the author of a 3-volume "green book"; he argues for his "third universal theory" and holy war, which he insists should be Islam’s sixth basic obligation.
Another quatrain also mentions his "letters":
The "Solar City" probably is Rome, since it is mentioned in relation to "the great Adria" (Adriatic Sea). Perhaps this prophecy is related to C.1:69 and C.8:16 (above), which mention a great deluge. Otherwise, the prophet may be suggesting an invasion of Venice by Moslems.
"The Punic heart" refers to the Carthaginian Hannibal of C.2:30, attacking Italy ("the heirs of Romulus") with the Libyan fleet in the Adriatic Sea. Italy will be invaded by sea (C. 2: 43).
The islands of the Mediterranean Sea will be pillaged:
The Iranians, et al., will invade southwest Spain (Olchades). The Cyclades are islands in the Aegean Sea. Parthia and Media were located in what is now Iran. "The Ionian port" is either Venice or Trieste.
These quatrains are reasonably clear, spelling doom for the inhabitants of the Mediterranean coast of Europe. A ruler or military commander will be captured and put in a cage.
Arabia Felix is the area between Yemen and Aden. Here Nostradamus seems to be predicting yet another Moslem leader besides the Iranian and the Libyan. Liguria is now Genoa, Italy.
Saturn and Mars will be conjunct in Leo from June-July 2006. The "secret fire" is the atomic bomb, which is top secret in many respects. This prophecy may have been fulfilled in May 1986 when Halley’s Comet passed and the disaster occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. Perhaps Nostradamus’ astrological dating was in error. We will find out in 2006.
The Celtic river is the Rhine, which will change its course. The astrological configuration of line 4 will occur in 2006, at which time Europe will be in chaos.
This quatrain repeats the schedule of C.4:67 above. "The strange nation" (the new Moslem empire) will pillage and slaughter the Italians and Greeks, who will continue to resist the invaders. The French too will be attacked by the Moslems. Nostradamus repeatedly warned the French navy not to overextend itself in the Mediterranean Sea, but the advice will be ignored:
In this quatrain, a Moslem naval commander who hails from Hyrcania (now part of Iran) will attack Marseilles ("Tyrren Phocaean"). These quatrains may have been fulfilled in 1655, when the French fleet was sunk in the Gulf of Lyon, or in 1940 when the British navy destroyed the French fleet off the coast of Algiers.
"The Phoenician port" is Marseilles, where the Moslems will enter France, which will be weakened by civil disorder and unable to repel the invaders. The Senois (line 3) are the Senons, an ancient Gallic tribe. Venice will will captured.
According to the apparent interpretation of these clear visions, the Moslems will penetrate deep into France. Nearly a million persons will be killed or captured as they flee or fight. See also C.1:92.
Agde is in the southwest France; the Moslems will attack there with biological weapons. Or, an epidemic will break out in the aftermath of the fighting. This and several related quatrains focus on an unidentified bridge as the scene of a great battle in which millions of people will be killed and captured.
The Po is in southern France, where the Moslems will enter the country. "The maritime Lion" is the British navy. Line 4 suggests that a quarter million people will be captured.
This quatrain is self-explanatory, though the last line is confusing.
As the war continues, famine follows:
Here Nostradamus seems to be predicting that Lyon and Malta will be attacked with nuclear weapons. Line 4 suggests a fake betrayal of the French, perhaps as a strategic deception. Geneva at London indicates that the Swiss government and the (United Nations) will be in exile there.
Lyon is at 45 degrees latitude, but it is not a "great new city". Many modern exegetes of Nostradamus agree that New York City may be meant here. It is obvious that that terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 can be inferred from this line, or else a future missile attack. The Normans are the French, but the meaning of line 4 remains unclear. If 45 degrees is a longitude, then this quatrain could be warning an attack from Russia.
The "burning torch in heaven" might be a comet, or a nuclear missile. If a missile attack is intended here, Nostradamus may be warning us that the targets will be the source and mouth of the Rhone River, which originates at the foot of Furka Pass and runs 505 miles to the Mediterranean Sea west of Marseilles.
The Rhine River begins within 100 yards of the Rhone, and runs 820 miles to the North Sea. The Danube River begins only 15 miles away from the Rhine and Rhone, and it flows 1776 miles to the Black Sea. Famine will devour the people as the delivery of relief supplies is delayed. The Iranians (Persia) will invade Greece (Macedonia), according to line 4, which reiterates several other quatrains. The Moslem invasion will include Switzerland, whose neutrality will not be respected (C. 5: 85, C. 6: 81, C. 2:74, C. 9: 44):
The inhabitants of Geneva will be wise to flee when the economy (Saturn) turns from banking (gold) to war (iron) against "RAYPOZ". This is Nostradamus’ transposed spelling for Zopyra, who delivered Babylon into the hands of Darius. Another possible meaning suggest that a positive ray (ion beam) weapon will be used. The event will be portended by celestial omens.
Germany also will be visited by the Moslem Jihad:
"The holy empire" is that of the Moslem religion. The Ishmaelites are the Arabs, who claim descendance from Ishmael, son of Abraham. According to the apparent meaning of line 4, the defenders will be slaughtered. See also C. 4:68.
The Moslem invaders (the "great Camel") will penetrate Austria and Germany. They will be defeated by the French ("the Cock") near the Alps:
The European Christians ("the crusaders") will gather their armies near the Rhone River, which will flood and drown many people. The astrological configuration of line 3 passed without incident in February 1996.
A drought will occur in the area covered by the cities listed in line 1. The Moslem invades ("the strange tongue") will devastate the land.
The cities listed in line 1 are in southwest France, Spain and northern Italy. Line 3 seems to describe biological warfare delivered by missile.
Paris will be destroyed:
The Moslem advance will be halted at "Tricast", which might be the French city of Troyes, or St. Paul-Trois-Chateaux. Nostradamus wrote several quatrains that prophesy great tribulations for the British people, who will rally against the Moslems:
Aquitane is a large province in southwest France, where the British, et al, will land and attack the Moslems. In line 4, "Selyn" (from the Greek selene, moon) symbolizes the Moslem crescent moon logo. Or, it may indicate an attack on Genoa, Italy.
Mortara (in northern Italy near Milan) will be struck by an earthquake at Easter. England is Cassiterides, the Tin Islands; St. George is the patron saint of England. The island will half-sink in a geological catastrophe.
Ausonia (near Naples) will become a center of resistance against the Moslems. The sinking of England (or the flooding of East Anglia at least) may be caused by a great earthquake, possibly caused by the impact of a comet:
A stade is a measure varying from about 607 to 739 feet; seven stades equals about 4250-5150 feet. A conservative interpretation of line 1 suggests that Mt. Vesuvius, which is about that high, will erupt with extreme violence. However, it is just as likely that this is a warning that a comet will strike Earth. Several other prophets also predicted a cometary impact (i.e., Revelation 8: 8-11.)
Jason is the mythological character of Golden Fleece fame; Greece is indicated here. "Fesulan" is one of Nostradamus’ many unsolved linguistic barbarisms, but probably derives from Fesulae (now Fiesole) in central Italy, which certainly would suffer also if such an enormous catastrophe were to befall Greece.
The retreating armies of the European allies will regroup in what is left of England ("the submerged isle"). Their fleet will deal a crippling blow to the Moslem navy. "The navel of the world" probably indicates the Kaaba at Mecca, the center of the world according to the Muslims. Other possibilities include Iraq-Iran, Israel, Egypt, Rome, or even Delphi, Greece. "Another voice substituted" may be that of a new leader, or a prophet.
Allied European forces will defeat the Moslems at the places listed in lines 1 and 3. The "celestial lightning fire" of line 2 may be that of nuclear weapons used by or against the Moslems.
The Moslems will be defeated in a battle in the Jura Mountains of Franche-Comte. It will be a great slaughter (hecatomb; see also C.2:16 above) of the "browns" (African Moslems); a seventh million" is approximately 120,000. Line 4 is obscure, but Lyons certainly is in France, and Ulm is in Germany. "Mansol" is believed to be St. Paul-de-Mausol near St.-Remy, Nostradamus’ birthplace.
Auch, Lectoure and Mirand are neighboring towns in the department of Gers in southwest France. Apparently there will be three nights (and days?) of bombing. The "very stupendous event" is not specified, but it will be followed by an earthquake.
Biological warfare will ravage humans and animals. The conjunction of Mercury, Mars and Jupiter last occurred in March 1998 without notable incident.
The famous quatrain of "the great king of terror", scheduled to appear in 1999, also failed to manifest:
The resuscitation of "the great king of Angolmois" may be a reference to the Angoumois (an early Gallic people who were conquered by the Goths) or the noble French family of Angouleme and the House of Orleans, which produced Charles V, Francis I, and the Valois kings. It seems that the Grand Monarch, if he is indicated here, will be French. Job 17:14 calls Death the King of Terrors, and death is the last enemy. The year 1999 passed without any such incident, but the event may yet occur on another schedule (September 1, 2001?).
"Trojan blood" refers to the royal blood of France, which according to legend descends from Francus, son of King Priam of Troy. The king will rout the Moslems and restore the Catholic Church (See also C. 5: 79, C. 6: 70, C. 5: 6, C. 10: 73, etc.).
The "sceptre" is Jupiter, which will conjoin Mars in Cancer in July 2002. The new king presumably will be the anticipated Grand Monarch.
Allein and Verneques are villages northeast of Salon, Nostradamus’ hometown. The Luberon mountains are on the north side of the Durance River. The Moslems will be defeated there. The Moslem commander will be captured and brought before the Grand Monarch, and the Moslem army will be annihilated:
The Grand Monarch ("the Roman Belgian King") will rout the invaders. Pannonois is Hungary; the Pillars of Hercules are the Straits of Gibraltar. His company will enter Spain and cross the Straits of Gibraltar into Africa in pursuit of the retreating Moslems ("the crescent" and "those of Friday", the Mohammedan day of rest):
The Moslems will retreat into Africa and the Middle East. Ogmios (the Celtic mythic equivalent of Hercules), the commander of the European army, will chase the fleeing Moslems ("The Barbaric league" and "heathen one") all the way to Turkey. The Europeans will be counter-attacked on the beach:
The Araxes River is in Armenia, east of the Black Sea. Media is southeast of Armenia. The war will end there with the total defeat of the remaining Moslem army.
Line 1 is an apt description of infrasound weapons or psychoacoustic projectors, which disrupt the hearing and concentration of the enemy.
The Christian army will reach the Euphrates River:
In this and several other quatrains, Nostradamus described the Moslem commander as having a black, frizzled beard. Chyren (Henry, the European commander) will liberate the captives held by the Moslems ("Selin").
In C.8:77 he distinguishes three antichrists. Napoleon and Hitler probably were the first and second. The Moslem leader of the jihad will be the third:
This too shall pass, with worse to come according to Nostradamus and many other prophets (the invasion of Europe and the MidEast by Russia and China, etc.). But that is another chapter in the history of the future...