1555 Lyon Bonhomme

Du grand Prophete les letres seront prinses
Entre les mains du tyrant deuiendront:
Frauder son roy seront ses entreprinses,
Mais ses rapines bien tost le troubleront

The scholars of the great Prophet will be princes,
The laws of the great Prophet will be seized,
In the hands of the tyrant becoming turned:
To betray his king will be his business,
Although his brigands soon muddy matters.

Line 1, OF ‘letres’ means either scholastic standing or acquired knowledge or it is from ‘lettrer’, lettering, typographic characters. OF ‘prinses’ as a noun is prince, as a verb it could be from ‘prendre’, to seize or take.

Line 4. OF ‘rapines’ = executors of violent crimes and misappropriations under the tented assumption of knowing what is best for the well-being of others. Or else perpetrators of ‘rapinage’, snatching and abducting. Similar to OF ‘brigandage’ which I substitute for its immediate clarity. There should, of course, be a world of difference between a ‘brigadier’ and a ‘brigand’. Or does it all depend upon which side we take? “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” said UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson. OF ‘bien tost’ = bientôt = soon

When speaking of prophets we should remember that Mohamet (PBUH) announced that he was the last prophet. Nostredame has not directly argued with this but nevertheless saw Islam in the usual Medeval European way as an inferior threat to the Western cultures. We make a similar mistake today, confusing Islam with a Greater Arabia sort of regionalism with a feared cultural imperialism. Islam is not so monolithic as non-Muslims presume. It’s pervasive in daily life but rather academic and precedent-referential at heart, like the Common Law of England (which was sourced from the Norman Crusaders who had, in turn, brought the notion of ‘case precedence’ back with them from the Middle East).

There is a possible source of weakness, a delicate drop in potential, between the dictation of Allah (God) to the Great Prophet (PBUH) in the Q’ran and the observations of his ways and other interpretations that have filtered down. These are expressed by scholars (letres) and if the Prophet is viewed as having been a terrestrial king (roy) then Hadith scholars may become represented by or seem like they were territorial princes (prinses) who have carried forward the Islamic inheritance. This quatrain speaks of one who will be a tyrant and who will seek fraudulently to turn this spiritual inheritance to his own ends. But a ton of bricks will come down upon his head as a result of some recklessness or fecklessness by his recruits.

It would be typical Nostradamus fare if we were left wondering who’s who in this religiously-inspired stew revolving around a disguised turncoat with a hidden agenda and a wide following of devotees.

Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian millionaire from the large Binladen family that is accepted socially by Saudi Royals and served well by a US presidential family, had a terrestrial king in addition to the Prophet. This quatrain chimes with a fall-out between Osama and the Saud King over housing US troops followed by the fatal Jihad, declared by Osama (Usama) Bin Laden before New York 9/11, and the eventual assault on 2nd May 2011 by a group of US SEAL commandoes which officially killed him off. (Ist May Washington time, 2nd May Abbottabad time.)

Of course, OBL may not be the subject of this particular prediction. Iran is typical of the modern balancing act between presidential and religious joint-heads of an Islamic nation-state, both equally powerful. And then again it was Ayotollah Khomeini who finally brought about the fall of the Shah of Persia. But OBL  comes closest to fitting the second couple of lines. Even so was he or Khomeini a genuine tyrant, as some may claim the Shah was?

All the Abrahamic faiths have strong geographical elements. They are bound to clash one with another, hopefully only in outlook but sometimes territorially too. The Western colonial powers made a bad job of carving up and exploiting the Middle East, the British using straight-edge border lines on flat maps that would divide groups and tribes arbitrarily.

Heaven forfend that this is actually an unfulfilled prophecy based on an anagram of ‘grand Prophete’. Or a word from out the lettering of the first couplet such as Usama/Osama or Tim Osman/Ossman/Osmen (first used as his name on an official-style tour to the US) or Soudan (where a Bin Laden-owned factory was later destroyed by the US) or Pashtoun or Hindou. In fact Bin Laden is available from the letters of the second couplet as are the words (bassin de) l’Indus and Sindh and Talibanne and Abbottabad and Arabie Saoudite. The letters of the venerable name Afghanistan are in the quatrain as a whole. But not P-A-K-I-stan which is a modern acronym nor ‘quaeda’ which was just an everyday Arab word of account before becoming propaganda engrandized into the world-famous proper noun. (Propagandized or Propergrandized?)

(see NOSTRADAMUS QUATRAINS IV 28 & IV 33  NEPTUNE VEILED, Abbottabad,  2nd May 2011)

                                                     Nigel Raymond Offord © 2011