I 45 BESTE EN THEATRE
1555 Lyon Bonhomme
Secteur de sectes grand preme au delateur:
Beste en theatre, dressé le ieu scenique:
Du faict antique ennobli l’enuenteur,
Par sectes monde confus & scismatique.
The active proponent of a sect denounced by the paid informer:
Beasts in the arena, the spectacular game is prepared:
Because the ancients ennobled the founder,
The world is confused and schismatized by these sects.
OF ‘secteur’ is a partisan member, an active proponent of a sect. It kicks-off a trio of inner rhymes. As with –er and –or in English, OF uses -eur to suggest the doer or operator of something, for example OF ‘delateur’ is an informer or denouncer and OF ‘enventeur’ means whosoever creates something new or else takes the initiative, for better or worse.
OF ‘preme’ may look like premie or premier but it meant rewarded. After the Bonhomme first edition it became substuituted by ‘peine’. (Strictly-speaking that word is pertinent to a penitentiary and relates to pain only insofar as it is inflicted as a punishment, like the active OF meaning of ‘ire’.)
There is something quite immediate about this quatrain, especially in its final comment, and yet it is set across a range of Jesus worships, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and the gamut of alternative Christian bodies in their eras.
It looks like this Nostradamus Quatrain I 45 at first describes Jesus of Nazareth (who never uttered a truly doctrinal statement) greatly punished after his denouncement of and by the ruling priesthood, plus the later Roman persecution of Christianity which by self-sacrificial behaviours such as unswerving public loyalty to Jesus and noble pacifism caused growing numbers to believe in its verity. The Hebraic Tanakh bible was taken up as the Old Testament to imbue the legal authority of the ancients into the Good News of the New Testament as set in stone by Irenaeus of Lyons. Yet Jesus, like all the Prophets of old, wanted to get folks away from strict legalism, the head ruling the heart, and back to the love of God and humanity. (Of course, change is inevitable and yet rather random doctrinal inventions back near the beginning of the religion have become set rigid like blocks of ice. A metaphorical flamethrower is required to effect any real change and innocents burn into the bargain as schismatic religious battles ensue.)
Line 2 is undoubtedly the spectacle of the Roman Games or some future version of them.
The figure around whom sects form is perhaps a holy man pushed into that position by others who really want that sect to happen but do not want to put themselves forward as the number one ‘in the firing line’. That leadership postholder may have fine characteristics and views that get smudged or ignored by subsequent doctrines issued dishonestly by majorly manipulative followers. The ‘enventeur’ mentioned in Line 3 could be either the declared founder or the initially corruptive co-founder of all that. (Saul, as referenced in Line 1?)
Line 4 opines that there should not be any sectarianism or at the least implies that we would be better off without divisive religious doctrines altogether. Even so, Roman Catholic Christianity has ever centered upon the crucified Jesus being, in some inexplicable way, the personification of the Created Universe, the personage at the centre whose existence explains every question. It’s a pity they have to vainglorify the whole thing in a worldly way, almost an act of snobbery, by adding a word, Christ, the Greek version of the literary legend Messiah, representing that pre-existing Judaic doctrine involving a coming Warrior Priest King who personifies physical invincibility.
This Centuries quatrain I 45 is, as usual, open to interpretation and we should always bear in mind that any Nostradamus Quatrain is possibly unfulfilled as yet or may be fulfilled more than once and in more than one way.
Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012