1555 Lyon Bonhomme

Las qu’on verra grand peuple tormenté
Et la loy saincte en totale ruine
Par aultres loyx toute Chrestienté,
Quand d’or d’argent trouue nouuelle mine.

Translation 1:
Alas we will see a great nation sorely troubled
And holy law in utter ruin
All Christendom by other laws,
When alluring gold is the new money.

Translation 2:
Alack when the great people will be tormented
And Church Law in complete ruin
All of Christianity under the yoke of other laws
When a new mine for gold and silver is found.

Translation 1 strongly implies the invention of fiat currency and then its demise (the usual lifespan of a currency is about 70 years, by the way) whereas Translation 2 sees a new social system displace the old with the Catholic Christian way of life being the biggest casualty. Whilst the former is foreseeable the latter has already happened in France.*

The first word of the Quatrain Line 1, OF ‘las’, is an adjective indicating tired of, worn out or exhausted by. It can also mean to feel beaten and defeated or may express sorrow or supplication.

The last word of the Quatrain Line 4, OF ‘mine’, has half-a-dozen meanings including an alluring appearance, an underground excavation either to undermine enemy defences or to extract valued minerals, a piece of earth that contains minerals, a sixth of a half pint of grain, minium-minio, ‘red lead’ and a currency type of ancient Rome (with distinct variations such as demi-mine’, a half measure, or ‘lait de mine’, a residue floating upon molten metal).

It would seem that the ‘use-by date’ of money may expire. Possibly this would be the major fiat currencies being eclipsed by physical precious metals or else a new source of wealth is discovered so upsetting the applecart as had already happened by Nostredame’s time with Spain risen to prominence because of their ‘mining’ of the Americas. (In a sense it’s a pointless question and off-theme but nevertheless I’ll ask where would the Roman Church be now if gold-soaked Spain had turned to Protestantism? And where would Western Europe and the World be now if the US dollar had remained anchored to the gold standard?)

Mention of the Church and Christendom could also suggest the analogy of an attractive new commonwealth displacing the old religion. Or could our property-laden religions and political-value monies be contemporaneously replaced because of some linking mechanism? When the gold forward rate regularly exceeds the day’s interbank rate (as is happening right now though we presume it to be a spasm) will the two biggest business birds, Reserve Currency and Roman Catholicism, be struck down by one golden bullet?

Michel Nostredame writes of this unbalancing in dour terms as if it were an invasion or loss of sovereignty, a deeply displeasing experience for many. A new tyranny with its own universal religion and a singular form of currency.



Footnote: much has happened in Europe since 2013. The pre-destined Islamic State Caliphate – stepping-stone to a global domination at which point it would likely have become Israel’s pre-destined fundament instead – has demanded that the fall of Constantinople be repeated as the fall of Rome. After all, everything will become possible should our physical currencies be replaced with a global computer program out of our control – unrestrained, unashamed delineation of personal and regional wealth by  unseen operators.    

Translation 3:
(Sigh) when the great people will be tortured
And Holy Christian Law in complete ruin
All of Christianity under other laws
When wealth is mined in a new manner.