It Might Explain Nostradamus


Nostradamus: The Illustrated Prophecies, edited by Peter Lemesurier – As you may recall, I did a bit of online research on Nostradamus for a post about two months ago, and I came across quite a few pages by Lemesurier. He’s a linguist who translated all of Nostradamus’ prophetic verses into English, maintaining the same basic rhyme scheme. Lemesurier’s interpretations of the verses are largely based on the idea that, a lot of the time, the so-called seer was actually describing the PAST. You could argue that it’s pretty easy to predict things that have already happened, but Nostradamus’ technique was to use astrology to determine when they would happen again, as per the position of the planets. You know, because history repeats itself. That’s why no one wants to talk to History at parties. Anyway, it seems that a major source for the prophet was something called the Mirabilis Liber, a popular collection of predictions. Many of these, as well as Nostradamus’ own prophecies, reinterpreted the book of Revelation in a manner more suited to the time. A main recurring theme was that a huge Islamic invasion force would attack Europe and lay waste to Rome, but a great European king would arise to beat back the Muslims, invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity. The Antichrist also appears fairly prominently, with his being a descendant of the tribe of Dan because they aren’t mentioned in Revelation (this idea apparently dates back to the third century), and another source within Mirabilis Liber saying that he is from the “Land of Leo.” I’m not sure where that is, but the first page of Google results seems to mostly bring up Leonardo DiCaprio fan pages. Make of that what you will. Getting back to Nostradamus, I guess he wasn’t a bad poet, but I don’t find his work particularly memorable. Maybe it’s better in French. Speaking of which, I noticed a tendency in his quatrains to use the word “saturnin” for Jews, which I wondered about. Apparently there’s an old tradition linking Jews with Saturn, possibly because the Sabbath is on Saturday. As for whether his prophecies have any truth to them, most of them are so vague, oddly organized, and focused on odd details that there usually isn’t any way to tell. I have to say I remain unconvinced.

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