1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud

Du hault du mont Auentin voix ouye,
Vuydez vuydez de tous les deux costez,
Du sang des rouges sera l’ire assomye,
D’Arimin Praco, Columna deborez.

A voice is heard from the heights of Aventine Hill,
Out! Out! All of both sides:
The ire will be fully filled by the blood of the reds,
From ‘Arimin Praco’, Colonna suffers a reversal.

Line 1. Actually the Aventine cols in Rome are not so high but this name and its detached voice have quite a significant ring here. OF ‘hault/haut’ means important (great) or vertically elevated (high) or both. Also it can mean above, afar, consequential, intensive, Northerly, overdue, up the scale, of rank. OF ‘ouye/ouïr’ is auditory; to listen to/to pay one’s attention to/ to hear somebody. Also to follow an instruction, understand, witness, receive, fulfill, attend.

Line 2, OF ‘vuydez/vuidez’ means make empty or quit the place.

Line 3, OF ‘assomye’ could be from the Walloon ‘assommer’ to sap somebody into sleep or to bring to completion or ‘assommir’, here meaning fully filled or killed. Or it is a form of ‘assouvir’ to sate, satisfy, to have brought to completion. OF ‘ire’ has a similar meaning to OE ire, although come to action. The ‘reds’ are Pope’s men.

Line 4. Although ‘Arimin Praco’ may be translated as ‘Rimini and Paco’ the preceding D’ makes this less likely and both Arimin (or Armin) and Paco are people names to be found around continental Europe. Proper noun ‘Columna’ = Colonna one of the greatest dynasties of Italy. OF ‘deborez’ could be from ‘devorer’, to devour greedily or to shred – by analogy, to have killed. Otherwise this is probably a ‘dis’ or ‘de’ term such as the OF ‘desboire/déboire’, distressed by gout, or Occitan ‘debur/deburar’ which could equate loosely with ‘renverser’, to reverse.

Cardinal Egidio Colonna, a student of Thomas Aquinas, died in Papal Avignon, 1314. Later, Oddone Colonna (Pope Martin V, d.1431) was excommunicated by Pope Gregory XII for allying hisself with the anti-Pope John XXII whom he later helped depose (Fr. ‘déchu’). At that time, Popes struggled to rule Rome let alone some territory elsewhere. Petty vicariates were held by local lordly families. Oddone Colonna was elected Pope at the Council of Constance in 1417, ending the Schism, and he entered Rome in 1420. Prospero Colonna (d.1463) was his cardinal/nephew who would be excommunicated for rebelling against Pope Eugene IV, Martin V’s successor.  In 1447 Prospero was frontrunner and almost elected to the papacy.

Others in history with the name Prospero Colonna include the family member and condottieri (mercenary leader) for the papacy who lost the famous Battle of Marignano whilst leading the previously invincible Swiss pikemen against youthful Francis I of France (a country ‘Prosper’ favoured throughout his political life). The slaughter lasted 28 hours (allowing for joint nighttime slumbers as neither side could see their way back to their starting positions) with both sides devastated. He died in 1523.

This Nostradamus Quatrain IX 2 is not absolutely clear but it is possible that it’s about the landmark (literal Gaulish, ‘borne’) defeat of the Swiss pike troop under papal mercenary leader Colonna at Marignano. Equally possibly, this is an unfulfilled prediction. The noble Colonna family still prospers, sometimes known by their older surname, Carbognano, or a later alternative, Barberini.

                                                 Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012