An Almanach ende Pronosticatie
The French Bibliotheca Astrologica sended a copy of the Almanach pour l'an M.D.LXVI (the 1566-Almanach-F), written by Nostradamus and published in the Cahiers Michel Nostradamus, and a copy of a booklet, entitled : Almanach ende Pronosticatie vanden Iare M.D.LXVI (1566-Almanach-NL), which carries the name of Nostradamus. The 1566-Almanach-NL is preserved in the library of the Free University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, catalogue number XA 05561.
Transcript of parts of the 1566-Almanach-NL
Transcript of parts of the 1566-Almanach-NL
An * indicates that one or several words could not be deciphered.
ALMANACH : Ende Pronosticatie vanden Iare M.D.LXVI.
[p. 23] De Voorsegginghe oft Pronosticatie vanden Iaere.M.D.LXVI. Gedediciert aen mijn Heren de Princen en Gouverneurs van Vranckrack. Deur M. Michiel Nostradamus / Docteur inder Medicine ende Astrologien / Medicin vanden Coninck.
[p. 24] AEN MYN HEREN DE PRINCEN ende grote Gouverneurs van Vranckrijck, wenscht alle voorspoet ende ghesontheyt Michiel Nostradamus, heurlieder oetmoedich en seer onderdanich Dienaer.
Daer is beschreven / dat de Scepper des Hemels ende vander Eerden / heeft alle dinghen ghemaeckt / ende volmaeckt seer goed ende sijnder oneyndelicke goeth3 behagelick. Waerom seyt van Dastronomyn ende mainteneert / dat de Planete Saturne causeert en influeert hier benede dusent perikclen / duysent verraderien / haet en nijt / valscheden / querelen / ghevanckenziten ende dusent droefheden ? Waeromme brengt de Planete Mars met hem so veel questié / Oorloghen / Brantstichten / Moorden / Rooven ende dusentberande ander miserien ende allenden ? Waeromme brenghet de Planete Mercurius voorts so veel tooverien / bedroch / dieverien / valscheden / valsche listen ende vonden die verboden sijn / Waeromme brengt ende leydet de Sterre ghenaemt het Hooft van Meduse oft van
The transcript, translated in English
ALMANAC : and Prognostication of the year 1566, made by m. Michiel Nostradamus, doctor in the Medicins in Salon de Craux in Provence, physician of the Royal Majesty, dedicated to my Lords the Princes and Governours of France. Printed in Kampen by Berend Petersen, living in Sanct Lucas.
[p. 23] The Prediction or Pronostication of the year 1566. Dedicated to my Lords the Princes and Governours of France. By m. Michiel Nostradamus, doctor in the Medicins and Astrologer / physician of the King.
Printed in Kampen by Berend Petersen, living in Sanct Lucas.
[p. 24] TO MY LORDS THE PRINCES and the great Governours of France, Michiel Nostradamus, their humble and very submissive servant, wishes all prosperity and health.
It is written that the Creator of Heavens and Earth made all things, and perfect, very good and pleasant to his unending goodness. Why does astrology maintain that down here the Planet Saturn causes and influences a thousand adventures, a thousand betrayals, hate and envy, quarrels, imprisonment and a thousand sadnesses ? Why does the Planet Mars bring with him so many problems, wars, fires, murders, robberies and thousand other planned miseries and distress? Why does the Planet Mercury brings so many sorceries, deceit, thefts, viciousness, evil tricks and things which are forbidden Why brings and leads the Star named the Head of Medusa or
[p. 25] Gorgo who is that evil, joined with the Planet Mars / Juno inclinat non tamen astringse / the new born to a shameful, violent and public death, and that the sweet stars Jupiter and Venus are not against this ? Why does Mars also causes the new born to suffer from some big and ugly wounds in the face, unless he is situated In duo domicilio Arietis cum Ascendentas. For answering and solving of all these things. Everyone knows well that the Earth produces, feeds and maintains Herbs, Fruits, Waters and animals, which are so alarming and ready to do evil, that many times the Ghost is forced to leave the Body, unless he is alert. Should one therefore say that the great, yes the greatest Lord made them to destroy the most noble and the Masters of all creatures ? One has to believe in a catholic way that he made them for whatever good purpose, and that they are good and profitable for the good and the one who wants to use them in the right way. Like this, I say that the Influences of the heavenly bodies are good and evil
[p. 26] good and sweet for the ones who are good and share the goodness, mercy and providence of the one who is complete good, merciful and provident: But evil are they - and such as we have described - those who put themselves under evil and commit themselves to do evil, because they do not want to obey reason, providence or their good Spirit, which has the power to suppress such influences and evil inclinations: the Wine, the Water, the Beer and the material Bread which hinders the Human body if one uses too much, and the heavenly Bread hinders the Spirit, if it is eaten unworthy. I also say that most * are healthy and good if they are used in a moderate way and in urgency. The same goes for the Heavenly Bodies: Why did one not and should one know that the Planet Saturn, excessive sadness, the long run, the great carefulness and the regret of Man, nor the foolish loves (Venus), nor the false evils (Mercury), nor the unattached audaciousness (Mars) : But
[p. 27] our complexity, our food and the carelessness of our parents. Shall one the burning of the Churches * / the corruption of the sheriff and the destruction of the water, the demolition of the stone, the imprisonment, the chains and the criminal executions by Justice, the Executioner or the sheriff ? Such and must also the evil impacts of the Bodies which are subject the evil disposition attributed to the stars and the influences of Heaven, but more our evil state, degenerated by our sensuousness, and is that evil and persecution come in the world, whether in general or in particular, therefore one shall not (as teaches us Plato in his Philosophy) accuse the heavenly nature, but humanity who is unjustly arranging and conducting her life. See, therefore it is that the highest Lord threatens us In the Book Deuteronomium in the 20th chapter, that he will give us a copper Heaven and an Earth made of Iron, saying like this: Erunt tibe Coeili suy Caput tuum asrei et te..ua quat sub ce est ferica: and that he will send us signs and amazing heavenly
[p. 28] signs which are very horrible, if we abandon virtue, reason and his holy commandments, which we have to accept with all our heart, and with all our thoughts, and receive and keep in the depths of our hearts, to obtain with a steady, ardent faith, the grace and mercy of our only God, by Christ Jesus his only Son, our Lord, Master and Redeemer. So let us conclude that the Influence of the Heavenly Bodies is good and favourable for the good and the friends of God and very evil and cruel for the evil and the enemies of Gods goodness.
Seicher de faim et peste grande
Enfeucite grand trouble nus
Combat cruel mort prelature
Sur trois Cites feront leurs Cris
[p. 29] The miraculous predictions for the twelve months of this future year thousand fivehundred sixty-six. And first.
Prediction of January
Full Moon will be the fifth day of January at nine o’clock seven minutes after noon in the sign of Cancer, watery and from its nature of water, which might turn them to great humidity and cold, and winds, causing huge storms on the sea, with snow, ice, and great fog, which will be the cause of generating many and manifold diseases from which the merciful Lord will keep us away and protect us.
The Last Quarter will be the thirteenth day of the same month at seven o’clock twenty minutes before noon in the sign of Scorpio, waterlike, cold and humid by nature, which will cause bad weather such as rain, huge winds,
[p. 30] floods, snow and * and other humid weather, causing great loss.
New Moon shall be the twenty-first day of the same month at ten o’clock eight minutes before noon in the sign of Aquarius warm and humid by nature. The weather will remain a bit beautiful and moderate, however there will be rain and severe frost in many places, because of the humidity of the signs.
The First Quarter shall be the twenty-eighth day of the foresaid month at four o’clock twenty minutes after noon In the sign of Taurus cold and dry by nature in which it certainly will blow, freeze, snow, great hail storms and hail, and fog, causing many damages to lands and houses, which will be in greater misery. Let us pray to God that He will save us from what the Stars are planning.
The prediction of February
The Full Moon will be the fourth day
The authenticity of the 1566-AlmPro-NL
The 1566-Almanach-F ends with the warning that each copy of an Almanach for 1566, which does not contain a handwritten print of the Epistle, dedicated to Honorat de Savoye, is a false or a forged copy. In this context, there are references to such copies, printed in e.g. Avignon, Paris, Troyes and Toulouse.
The Epistle in the 1566-AlmPro-NL is not dedicated to Honorat de Savoye, but to the princes and governors of France. According to the warning in the 1566-Almanach-F, this means that the 1566-AlmPro-NL is not written by Nostradamus.
In the following table, the contents of the 1566-AlmPro-NL and the 1566-Almanach-F are listed.
The full title of the 1566-Almanach-F reads :
ALMANACH POUR L'AN M.D.LXVI. avec ses amples significations & explications, cóposé par Maistre Michel de Nostradame Docteur en medecine, Conseiller & Medecin ordinaire du Roy, de Salon de Craux en Provence.
In Dutch, this title reads :
ALMANACH VOOR HET JAAR M.D.LXVI. met zijn gedetailleerde betekenissen & verklaringen, gemaakt door meester Michel de Nostradame Doctor in de medicijnen, adviseur en arts van de Koning, van Salon de Craux in Provence.
The full Dutch title of the 1566-AlmPro-NL reads :
ALMANACH : Ende Pronosticatie vanden Iare M.D.LXVI. Ghemaect deur . M. Michiel Nostradamus, Docteur Inder Medicine van Salon vâ Craux in Provence, Medicin van de Conincliche Maiesteys, ghediciert aen myn Heeren de Princé, ende Gouverneurs van Vrancrijk.
The title of the 1566-AlmPro-NL containt the word Pronosticatie (French : pronostication). The title of the 1566-Almanach-F does not contain this word. Nostradamus wrote an Almanach as well as a Pronostication for the years 1555, 1557, 1558, 1559, 1560, 1562 and 1564. The astrological character of the Almanachs is less prominent than the astrological character of the Pronostications. The Pronostications do not contain quatrains. Beginning in 1565, Nostradamus only wrote Almanachs, which also contained those predictions which otherwise would have been published in Pronostications. These books carried the title Almanach ; the word Pronostication was no longer included in the title.
The title of the 1566-AlmPro-NL does not contain the word adviseur (counselor). On p.23, the word astrologer is given, but this word does not occur in the title of the 1566-Almanach-F.
The title of the 1566-AlmPro-NL points to princes and governors of France. To them, the Epistle is dedicated, printed on p.23-28. This kind of reference does not occur in the titles of Almanachs en Pronostications, written by Nostradamus. In two titles of books which were attributed to him, but written by others, such references do occur: the Pronostication 1567, dedicated to mgr. François Hertog van Alençon, written by Mi. de Nostradamus, and the Almanach pour 1570, dedicated to the Duke of Anjou, son of the King and brother of king Charles IX, written by Florent de Crox.1
The picture on the frontispiece
The picture on the frontispiece of the 1566-AlmPro-NL contains the same elements as the one on the frontispiece of the 1566-Almanach-F: the Sun, the Moon, a number of stars, a hand on the left side, holding an astronomical instrument, and a hand on the right sight, holding a globe on which the Zodiac is depicted.
The picture on the frontispiece of the 1566-AlmPro-NL is not a copy of the one of the 1566-Almanach-F.
The printer / publisher Berend Petersen
Berend Petersen, according to bibliographical data the printer/publisher of the 1566-AlmPro-NL, was the son of Peter Warners, owner of the printing office/publishing house Inden Witten Valck, located close to the town hall in the city of Kampen, NL. In 1553, Warnersz bought the house In den S. Lucas, located on the north side of the "Witten Valck" . Before 1566, Petersen moved in.
Petersen worked in Kampen, Emmerich and Bremen. At the end of the 16th century, he was succeeded by his son Willem Berentsz.2
In the library catalogue of the Free University Library of Amsterdam, it is written that the 1566-AlmPro-NL is printed in 1565. This would have been in the beginning of Petersen's career in the St. Lucas House. Neither the frontispiece, nor the beginning of the Epistle (p.23) give the year of print.
The 1566-Almanach-F contains two sets of calendars for each month. The first set contains the days of the week, the saint days, the zodiacal sign of the Moon at noon for each day, brief predictions and lunar phase data. Each calendar opens with a quatrain. The second set differs from the first because of the different predictions and the lack of saint days.
The 1566-AlmPro-NL contains one set of calendars. In the headline of each calendar, the Latin and the Dutch name of the month is given. Next comes a French quatrain, written for the month. These quatrains are not copied from the 1566-Almanach-F. Each quatrain in the 1566-AlmPro-NL contains the name of the month, which is not the case in the quatrains, Nostradamus wrote in his Almanachs.
The calendars in de 1566-AlmPro-NL contain a number of saint days. They also contain an Evangeliarium. For each Sunday, the verses are given of the Epistle-lecture and the Gospel-lecture in the Holy Mass.
For each day, the noon sign and degree positions of the Moon are given. The times of the lunar phases are also given, counting from noon. Next, the day is given on which the Sun changes from zodiacal sign (without the time moment).
The calendars in the 1566-AlmPro-NL are not copied from the 1566-Almanach-F. The quatrains are also not copied from the 1566-Almanach-F.
It is not clear why the quatrains in the 1566-AlmPro-NL are not translated into Dutch.
The creation of the world
In the Declaratie van de Dagen, ende veranderende Heylich daghen in the 1566-AlmPro-NL, it reads that, counting from the creation of the world, the year 1566 is the year 6765. According to the counting from the birth of Jesus, it is the year 1566. If we subtract 1566 from 6765, the result is 5199, i.e. 5200 BC, the year in which the world was supposed to be created. This matches with calculations by Richard Rousat in Livre de l'estat...3
The 1566-Almanach-F contains a chronology of events in the Old Testament, from the creation of the world to the birth of Jesus. The total of this chronology is 4056 years. According to this total, the year 1566 AD would be the 5622nd year of the world's existence. The 1566-Almanach-F contains however a different number, not clearly readable : *532. The backgrounds of the biblical chronology in the 1566-Almanach-F are beyond the reach of this essay.
The Epistle to the princes and governors of France
The Epistle in the 1566-AlmPro-NL is dedicated to the princes and governors of France. It is not clear who they are. In 1565-1566, Charles IX was king of France. His marriage had no offspring. He had an extramarital son, Charles d'Angoulême. Henry III, the brother of Charles IX, was Duke of Anjou. The Connétable Anne de Montmorency was the supreme commander of the French army. It is possible that the Epistle is dedicated to some of them.
Some elements in the Epistle point to the fact that the author is a catholic. On p.25, there is a catholic warning: God created everything for a good purpose and whoever uses it in the right way, will have profit by it. On p.26, the Heavenly Bread is mentioned, a reference to the Communio, the catholic celebration of the Last Supper. On p.27, religious persecutions are mentioned. The context shows that this is a reference to persecutions of catholics by protestants. In 1565-1566, France was entangled in religious wars, and protestants burned churches and persecuted catholics. In the Netherlands, no such persecution occurred in that time. This means that the 1566-AlmPro-NL is translated from the French.
The text on p.27 is damaged. This is due to the old-Dutch text. One might derive that the author does not blame the stars or the local authorities for the religious persecutions, but human nature in general.
Op p.27, there is a reference to Deuteronomium 20. This reference is wrong. The threat that God will give a copper heaven and an iron earth, is in Deuteronomium 28,23.4 It is not clear from which Bible the Latin text on p.27 (Erunt tibi...) is copied. This text is not given in the Vulgate, a Latin Bible which was current in the 16th century. It also did not become clear which Bible verse served as a source for the amazing, horrible heavenly signs.
The Epistle is closed with a French quatrain. This quatrain is not copied from the 1566-Almanach-F. It is not clear why this quatrain is not translated in Dutch.
The predictions for each month
The predictions for each month in the 1566-Almanach-F are based upon the astrological aspects of the planets as they occur in 1566, the lunar phases in 1566 and the quartercharts (the charts, calculated for the moment of the Solar ingress in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn). The predictions deal with political and economic circumstances, weather circumstances and the climate.
De predictions for each month in the 1566-AlmPro-NL are not a translation from those in the 1566-Almanach-F. They are completely different, only based upon the lunar phases and only dealing with weather circumstances.
The next table contains the lunar phase data of the 1566-AlmPro-NL, compared with software data, calculated for True Local Time Paris, with the assumption that an ephemeris was used, calculated for the meridian of Paris (all times converted into counting from midnight). The days and the sign positions of the Moon during the lunar phases correspond with software data. The times of the lunar phases in the calendars and the pronostications differ from the times of the software data. Nevertheless, it can be said that good astrological data have been used.
The 1566-AlmPro-NL is not a a translation of the 1566-Almanach-F. It is not written by Nostradamus. It has become clear that it is a translation of a French booklet. The original author was a catholic.
Some parts of the 1566-AlmPro-NL occur as such in the 1566-Almanach-F: de picture on the frontispiece, calendars with quatrains, an Epistle and predictions for each month. A comparison with the contents of the 1566-Almanach-F shows that the text of the 1566-AlmPro-NL is completely different. No astrological data from the 1566-Almanach-F have been copied.
The astrological data in de 1566-AlmPro-NL have a good quality and are handled in the right way, as far as one can see. Remarkable is the correct conversion of 1566 AD in the year 6765, counting from the creation of the world. In the 1566-Almanach-F, the result of such a conversion raises questions.
The reference in the 1566-AlmPro-NL to Deuteronomium 20 is not correct. The quoted Bible verse is in Deuteronomium 28. The Latin text of this verse in the 1566-AlmPro-NL is not in the Vulgate. Other references to Bible verses could not be traced to their original source.
Compared with the 1566-Almanach-F, the astrological quality of the 1566-AlmPro-NL is very low. The predictions in the 1566-Almanach-F are very brief and deal only with weather circumstances.
The 1566-AlmPro-NL is not a translation of an Almanach van Nostradamus. It is a translation from a French book, written under the name of Nostradamus. The author used parts of the concept of Nostradamus. In this case, it is not difficult to distinguish the true from the false.
T. W. M. van Berkel
De Meern, December 28, 2003
- Dr. J. Halbronn (Bibliotheca Astrologica), for sending copies of the 1566-AlmPro-NL and the 1566-Almanach-F.
- R. Hoekstra (municipal archive of the city of Kampen, NL), for sending information about the publisher of the 1566-AlmPro-NL.
- Robert Benazra : Repertoire Chronologique Nostradamique, Paris, 1990.
- Krans : Kamper Almanak.
- Michel Nostradamus : Almanach pour l’an M.D.LXVI, published in Cahiers Michel Nostradamus.
- Pseudo-Nostradamus : Almanach ende Pronosticatie vanden Iare M.D.LXVI, Kampen, 1565.
- Richard Roussat : Livre de l’estat et de mutation des temps, Paris, 1981 (1550).
1 Benazra, pp. 78 and 91. Retour
2 Krans, pp. 183 - 184. Retour
3 Roussat, p. 68. Retour
4 Deuteronomium 8,9 also contains the words copper and iron. In this verse, God promises that the land will be rich in iron and the mountains will be rich in copper. Retour
Tous droits réservés © 2003 T. W. M. van Berkel