1557 Utrech Du Rosne

Le grand pillot par Roy sera mandé,
Laisser la classe à plus hault lieu attaindre
Sept ans apres sera contrebandé,
Barbare armee viendra Venise caindre.

First published in 1557 this quatrain is written in the future case, perhaps to obscure further its information value as some possible solutions are of the author’s era although already in his past.

Line 1. The Ottoman Empire enlisted the piratical ‘Barbarossa’ brothers, who were born in poverty. ‘Hayreddin’ (d.1546) became Admiral of the fleet (often promoted by English-language Nostradamus researchers as the meaning of OF ‘classe’ whereas it was OF-Latin for the social division of citizens in Rome) whilst his elder sibling ‘Baba Oruç’ (d.1518) – the wealthiest man in the Mediterranean, a fierce privateer and gifted seaman – surrendered his own personal state of Algiers out of fealty to the Ottoman Sultan and was duly honoured.

Another candidate is Gaspard de Coligny. This Seigneur de Châtillon was of royal pedigree (including Alfred the Great). In 1544 Gaspard joined to the Italian conflicts and was knighted in the field. He served under the King in the position of admiral in 1552. He was both a military refomer and a brave leader. But despite these best efforts he is remembered more for taking a leading position, with his brother, on the Huguenot side during the French Religious Wars after King Henri II of France had died suddenly in 1559. In 1562 he commanded cavalry in the Civil War and in 1569 he became undisputed leader of the Protestant armies. A keen advocate of peace, he was murdered horribly during the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572 after Simon Vigor (who was awarded the See of Narbonne) had preached ‘if the King ordered the Admiral killed, it would be wicked not to kill him’. An anterior assassination attempt by one Maurevert firing from a house belonging to the duc de Guise had seen the King visit the wounded Coligny (although Catherine de Medicis saw to it that there was no private conversation between them, apparently).

The attack by Sultan Selim upon a territorial holding of Venice could perhaps be construed as a time-marker of Coligny’s life and fate, an inappropriate timely clue, contained in Line 4 of a quatrain that is otherwise about him.

Least but not last on our list (read on for others) by taking this line as being even more arch than usual ‘grand pillot’ and ‘Roy’ could also be translated as pontiff  and emperor producing ‘The Pontiff will be mandated by the Holy Roman Emperor’ as was necessary to papal pursuit of the ‘heretic’ Martin Luther and in return for which the French were repelled from Lombardy leaving Venice isolated in its watery corner. I have opted for more direct translations as given below but this version may be kept in mind.

 Line 3, OF ‘contrebandé’ is obscure. I suppose it could mean something like ‘contrevent’, hard against the wind. OF ‘contre’ means in opposition to and OF ‘bandé’ from ‘bander/bender’ is heraldic bands, bandaging or whosoever wears a band (the sign of an Armagnac). Otherwise it means united or combined. The English word ‘contraband’ is all about smuggling – be it stolen saintly relics or the ‘contraband of war’ such as English goods reaching Napoleon’s France via Sicily – and this might be involved incidentally but it was not the main import of the OF word ‘contrebandé’ which was closer to ‘getting there against the flow’ or ‘struggling against a united front’ or even ‘removing the blindfold’.

OF ‘apres’ has a variety of meanings. This website’s Homepage has the italicized primer ‘7T’s’ which in its subsection ‘Tongues’ reads

… an alternative OF meaning, as in the case of ‘apres’ which as the past participle of OF ‘aprendre’ and Occitan ‘apendre’ can mean informed or well-apprehended.

It could even suggest a disagreeable after-sensation or, figuratively, ‘in bad odour’. As OF ‘aprés’ it means subsequent to, later.

Line 4. The obscure and possibly mistaken final word, ‘caindre’, is printed as ‘craindre’, fearful, in the 1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud edition but reverts in a later publication. Alternatively the almost identical OF verb ‘ceindre’ would mean to encircle or to gird around.

‘Venise’ is Venice in Italy or else a small commune in Eastern France whilst Venice in Canada is a hamlet in Alberta and the famous ‘Venice of America’ neighbourhood of L.A. was developed 1905.

 During fall-of-Rome days the islands of Venice were first created out of mud by frightened mainlanders seeking to evade marauding barbarian armies although they probably left the Vens as soon as the coast was clear. The incoming Lombards, however, rattled them more thoroughly and they have remained gloriously lagoon’d ever since.

There are several instances of Nostradamus envisioning the Northern shores of the Med being plundered by barbarians, as was happening during Michel’s era due to piratical raids from North Africa, and there are further quatrains in the Centuries wherein Line 4 seems at sight to be fully separate from the previous three lines (just as some quatrains have the first and second couplets seemingly unrelated, at first glance).

The impact of Line 4 depends geatly on who you might wish to call a barbarian and why. (See the section BARBAR in the Article UNDERSTANDING NOSTRADAMUS: EXPLORING SOME SUBJECTS RECURRENT IN THE CENTURIES) If this means simply any kind of foreign incursion, including by a Christian state, then the French army in Italy of King Francois I could be the ones as they incidentally impressed the independently-minded Venice into a kind of alliance. However Michel Nostredame is about the least person imaginable who might use the term ‘barbarian’ to speak of France and the French King. Encircling cities was normal Medieval warfare (Montmorency encircled Pavia in 1524) but Venice is built in the sea, so should army read navy? Well, OF ‘armee’ can also mean any military expedition or feat of arms whilst the OF verb ‘armer’, to provide arms, can alternatively mean to equip a ship either for war or for commerce.

The exceptional navigator royally summoned OR
The great warrant holder commissioned by the King,
To leave his position to attain to a higher one;
Seven years later/well-apprehending/irritated/in bad odour he will rise up,
The barbarian army will come to girdle Venice.

The Nostradamus Quatrain VI 75  states 7 years will pass. Interestingly, it was common for ‘year’ to be employed insecurely in the Hebrew Bible where it quite possibly implies weeks, seasons, centuries etc. Actually, the first three lines of this quatrain are curiously reminiscent of the eponymous Book of Daniel. He was one of a trio of Judaen boys taken and versed in the occult secrets of Chaldea, including Astrology, at the court of Babylonian King ‘Nabuchodorosor II’ and who all proved exceptional. (Three Wise Men?) Like Joseph in Egypt,  Daniel rose high in royal favour to become Ruler of the Province of Babylon and supreme amongst Wise Men. He explained a dream of the King’s in which he had stumbled over a tree stump 7 times. Apparently it was about a great tree cut-down upon some heard command. Daniel alone could give the dream interpretation that later proved exactly true (so writes ‘Daniel’) that the King would fall because of pride. Each time he acted so his punishment was severe. The list gets quite bizarre until he becomes convinced of God’s goodness and power and his old throne get restored to him.

Ancient (probably Canaanite) folklore on the number 7 aside, could this be about the Seven Years War? The French and Indian War was the last in that succession of European wars fought out on American soil. These form, in turn, the ‘Second Hundred Years War’ that had involved Austria-Hungary, France, Prussia, Great Britain, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

We should at least check advisors/administrators loyal to the kings of Britain or France during the last of these rivalrous wars of empire-building. As for the future ‘States of America’, the Western colonies were not led into revolution by the Founding Fathers, far from it, this world-changer was a long-term disaffected ‘grass-roots’ movement but one name was to appear repeatedly in the history books, that of George Washington.

For instance in 1774 Lieutenant Colonel Washington wrote that Independence was the very last thing that any thoughtful person in the North Americas should wish for although back in 1754 Washington had sparked-off the French and Indian War by attacking French scouts in Pennsylvania. In the same year he had been sent to warn-off the French in Virginia but then in 1755 a British General led a military expedition of combined British and colonial forces against them, the latter under Colonel George Washington’s command. Washington was necessarily loyal to his King but felt infuriated that even the lowest ranking British officer was his theoretical superior.

In 1756 the Seven Years War spread across to Europe where it became called the ‘Great War for Empire’. Prime Minister Pitt, the brilliant General Wolfe and Lord Amsherst between them brought about the collapse of French Canada in the year 1759 thus unleashing the pent-up fury of the colonial North Americans which had been previously suppressed for fear of the French and their incitements of or inducements to the Native-American warriors. 1756 plus 7 years brings us to 1763, generally considered the start-date of the 7-year American Revolution, starring … General George Washington, commander-in-chief. (During that period smuggling of taxed imports had become a major American activity along the lengthy coastline, completely over-extending the costly revenue cutters.)

From a French perspective we can find that Étienne-François, comte de Stainville and duc de Choiseul  (his two titles are simultaneously jumbled up in the letters of Nostradamus Quatrain VI 75) was closely associated with the unhappy French involvement in the Seven Years War. However he was skilful during the ensuing American War of Independence and managed to banish the Jesuit Order in France after their abolition by Pope Clement XIV. Although born in Lorraine he received the highest-ranking Order of the Holy Spirit from the King of France as well as its rival the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece.

The Italian Four Years War of 1521 to 1526 was part of the long series of conflicts between King Francois I of France and the HRE Charles V. After the Battle of Bicocca the French withdrew from Lombardy, Northern Italy, and the fight moved to France in the West while Venice in the East made peace separately and were France’s only ally at that time. Among many other historic matters this period marked the beginning of the Franco-Ottoman alliance. Hence the ‘barbarians’ and Venetians helped gird-up the French resolve. Does that explain Line 4?

The Fourth Ottoman-Venetian War of 1570 to 1573, after the death of  Nostredame and before the Battle of Lepanto, was called the War of Cyprus, a then wealthy island considered by Venice to be a Venetian holding. Eventually the Ottoman conquest under Selim II, son of Suleiman the Lawgiver, was complete. Even if Cyprus had been mistaken for Venice by Michel in (strange to me) partial visions or (even stranger) partial verbal informings, there was no encirclement of the large island state as a whole. I hope that Line 4 is not mistaken for the Siege of Vienna, 1529, by Suleiman’s forces. I guess this would be pushing too far! Surely Venise means Venice?

The more I look at this Nostradamus Quatrain VI 75 the more the picture changes, never settling down into clear focus, as if something is undiscovered as yet or else this might turn out to be a future prediction. Nevertheless I found relevant words perhaps deliberately (but some perhaps accidentally) jumbled-up in the letters of this quatrain. These include not only Lorraine, Ordre du Saint-Esprit, comte de Stainville and duc de Choiseul but also ‘Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha’ and big brother ‘Baba Orusce’, Soliman le Premier, Ottomane, Gaspard, de Coligny, Seigneur de Châtillon, Protestant, Huguenot, Calviniste, Simon Vigor, Maurevert, duc de Guise, Papa Clement, Martin Luther, Charles V du Saint-Empire romain (Sacrum, Romanum, Imperium), Lombardie, guerre de Sept Ans, Second Guerre de Cent Ans, la guerre d’Indépendance américaine, Sultan Selim and Chypre (Cyprus).