Despite that Nostradamus Quatrains like IV 2 and IV 70 mention crossing the Pyrenees, they don’t fit exactly to Wellington’s campaign against Napoleon Bonaparte in the Iberian peninsula. The Peninsular Wars,1808 to 1814, marked a monstrous collision of national armies – France versus Spain with big Britain and little Portugal also engaged – yet was the first to spell out the formidable power of an independent people fired-up with religion and patriotism and given to the ‘little wars within big wars’ of guerilla tactics.

However, the jumbled letters of the following names for famous offences/defences are contained within the wording of the Nostradamus Quatrain I 19:

Bailen, Girona, Isla de León, Maya, Talavera and Torres Vedras let alone the banner title ‘Guerres des Péninsule’ plus France, Espagne, Portuguese and these are available without any letter duplications whatsoever. After allowing a duplication of letters the following additions become available;

Albuera,  Astorga, Benavente, Bera, Bussaco, Cacabelos, Cardadeu, Ciudad Rodrigo,  Cordoba, Corunna, El Bruc, Espinosa, Fuengirola, Fuentes de Oñoro, Gerona, Granada, Málaga, Medina del Rio Seco, Monteleón, Nivelle, Pancorbo, Porto, Puente Sanpayo, Roncesvalles, Sahagun, Salamanca, San Marcial, Seville, Somosierra, Sorauren, Tudela, Valencia, Valls, Valmaseda, Vimeiro and Vitoria.

We can also find gems like ‘Brittanique’, ‘Guérilleros Catalans’, ‘Capture de Rosily Escadron’, ‘L’Armée de l’Espagne’ and ‘Grande Armee’ – the major French forces – and not only the Spanish name for all of this,Guerra de la Independencia Española’, but also ‘Guerra del Francès’ and the Portuguese equivalent ‘Invasões Francesas’.

Apart from battle names beginning with or including W, J and Z most all are here. In fact, if we should take an ‘i’ for a ‘j’ (Iaén for Jaén) and an ‘s’ for a ‘z’ (Saragossa for Zaragoza, Badaios for Badajoz) it will be virtually complete.

I 19

1555 Lyon Bonhomme

Lors que serpens viendront circuir l’arc,
Le sang Troien vexé par les Hespaignes
Par eux grand nombre en sera faicte tare,
Chief, fuyct cache aux mares dans les saignes.

Line 1, OF ‘serpens’ is a reptile, snake, dragon or the devil incarnate. Draco also comes to mind. OF ‘circuir’ is to circle or enclose, go around or else strive with all means available. Or a comet that moves in skips. OF ‘arc’ means arc or curve, a part of a circle, a rainbow, an archer’s bow, a trajectory, an arch or the celestial Arc-en-ciel. Vulcanists talk in terms of volcanic arcs and subduction zones. In modern astronomy ‘arcs’ are parts of a degree of angle like microtones in music. In old astrology they were Solar angles approximating to the age of the subject and added across the chart, bringing a natal chart firmly into play whenever all the solar arc planets-points made aspects to the natal positions.

In fact, Line 1 is a very good war-map description of the most common military manouevre, that of circuitous ‘pincers’ and serpentine ‘envelopement’ as doubly employed by Napoleon Bonaparte at his devastating first battle inside Spain. Yet despite his opening show of might he eventually lost this war of grand folly.

Line 2, OF ‘Troien’ are Trojans from the city-state of Troy. Or perhaps people of Troyes near Paris, France. ‘Trojan blood’ might even refer to the royal blood of France. Fancifully, there is a linear descent from Francus a son of King Priam of Troy. There’s a similar legend that one Brutus the founder of New Troy (London) and great grandson of Aeneas – a Trojan hero and reputed first settler of Rome – was made king in Brittannia long ago. (It struck Sir Moses Finley and erudite others that Homer’s Trojan Wars seemed to have the placenames coherently confused, that Homeric Greece was a geographical blind, which is much how the Nostradamus Quatrains strike me sometimes.) A tropaion, on the other hand, is a Greco-Roman trophy monument giving thanks for victory and bearing a tree with outstretched branches upon which the defeated foe or their armour was hung.

If ‘sang Troien’ in Line 2 is Emperor Napoleon and the great soldiery of France then they did indeed meet with shocking and bloody reversals.

Line 3, OF ‘tare’ was market-speak for undersold or loss and damage sustained. Or any constriction, decrease, contraction. Or ryegrass. OF ‘faicte tare’ could then mean ‘ripped up grass’.

This Line 3, which noticeably incorporates the jumbled letters of ‘Espagne’ and ‘France’, describes the ripping of tares perhaps in contrast with a regimented mowing in disciplined lines. Or else this is the French foraging for food where miserably undervalued British foreign auxiliaries lay in wait to pike them through.

Line 4, OF ‘Chief’ not only means the head, literally or figuratively, or the fixed dues to the local lord but also the initial or else the terminal round in a series of conflicts. OF ‘fuir’ means to flee (fugitive, ‘fuyard’) or experience a leakage. OF ‘saigner’ is bloodletting or losing blood or a bloodbath.

The final Line 4 points up that the Peninsular wars were a bloodbath, killing upwards of half a million. Arthur Wellesley (Wellington) made his way into France from Spain, marking the British exit from the Wars of the Peninsular and the start of his new campaign of 1814 in pursuit of Emperor Napoleon, and was to fight at Orthez and Toulouse. The former straddles the Gave de Pau river, the latter spreads over the rivers Garonne, Hers-Mort and Touch, the Canal du Midi and the Brienne Canal. OF ‘Chief’ is difficult to translate here. Perhaps it is intended to mean ‘main’ or ‘most’ as in English.

When the serpent comes to make a circle of arcs,
‘Le sang Troien’ unnerved by the Spanish,
For a great number of them will be torn like tares,
Mostly leaking into enveloping ponds of blood.

On the other hand, there could be hidden Astrology here (Line 4, OF ‘saignes’ = OF ‘signes’?) giving us a timing for what would then appear to be an ancient conflict and if the Hespaignes are the same folk as the Hesperiques, which is not clear but not impossible, then this Nostradamus Quatrain may be connected with X 81 (1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud) sub-titled GUARDED TREASURE in the Article MARBLE TOMBS AND TREASURE. “A source of myths close to home was the Basque mountain region. The old god Sugaar was associated with a serpent. But there are few recorded details of Basque legends to draw on.” Does the crawling creature in Line 4 of X 81 link to the ‘serpent’ in Line 1 of Quatrain I 19?

Other Nostradamus Quatrains that feature geographical Spain include I 73 (León, Seville, Barcelona) III 38 (Barcelona), VI 19 (Seville), V 55 (Granada) VIII 26 (Barcelona) and VIII 51 (Cordoba). (Further quatrains name Spanish places to identify a leader abroad.)

The problem with Michel’s quatrain I 19 is whether this is a prophecy, with each line painting a separate vision of the same subject, or a singular retro-vision. It’s certainly possible that Homer’s Trojan Wars really took place on mainland Europe as they mention cremated funereal ashes which was a feature of the ancient Urn cultures and not of Asia Minor. But on balance, I feel here that Trojan blood must mean the French under the Emperor and that we are in the bloodbath of the Nineteenth Century’s Peninsular Wars.

                                                  Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012