VIII 60  IX 45 &  IX 50  WHAT’S IN A NAME?

What’s in a name? Nicolas Poussin painted his famous ‘Shepherds in Arcadia’ piece with the motto ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’. We recall Poussin’s inventiveness when we hear such titles. Apparently the name Shepherds in Acadia was previously given to a group of artists, perhaps the greatest of the Renaissance, and ‘Et in arcadia ego’ was the title of a prior piece by Guercino and, anyway, it was an antique Latin saying. So much for commercial claims to copyright names – there is nothing new under the Sun.

Norlaris, Mendosus and Mandosus.

Norlaris (VIII 60)  could be an anagram which incorporates names like Orion, Ra and Sol. Or else ‘Lion Ars R’, which by a minor substitution can become ‘Leonardo’, undoubtedly a great polymath artist, inventor and anatomical observer-recorder of his day. (Supposedly a member of the Shepherds of Arcadia group organized by Lorenzo de Medici in the Fidteenth Century and, in my book, up there amongst the very greatest of all time.)

Mendosus (IX 45) conflicts in spelling with Mandosus (IX 50) muddying the waters. Whatever, perhaps Nostredame’s separation of Mendosus from Mandosus was because it is or will be two different people with differing policies and polities or else a nudge to take and merge the names Marcianus with Theodosius (the Eastern Emperors at the time of Attila the Hun) which will produce both.



1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud

Premier en Gaule, premier en Romanie,
Par mer & terre aux Angloys & Parys
Merveilleux faitz par celle grand mesnie
Violant terax perdra le NORLARIS.

Here’s one more Nostradamus quatrain with multiple intentions.

Working Translation:

A first in Gaul, the first in Roumania,
Over land and sea, England and Paris,
Marvellous doings through that great populus
On violating, the wild beast NORLARIS will be loosed from its shackle.

NORLARIS trespassing the beast, reducing it to its parts.

Line 1, OF ‘premier’ mainly had the meaning of being first in time, original, foundational (but sometimes premium or ultimate).

Line 2. Any linking of ‘England and Paris’ evokes the ever-present rivalry between England and France but that is against the encompassing spirit of the first couplet. Here is an antique poetic description of Europe ‘over land and sea’. Using Paris to describe France allows the rhyme with NORLARIS and may prompt the proper noun ‘Polaris’ to mind.

Line 3, OF ‘mesnie’ is probably ‘maisnie’, all members of a grand household or the ordinary supporters of some high personage. Or this is a reference to an extremely occulted tradition typified by the ‘myni masters’ a geographically divided group who mysteriously rule the world. I’ll opt for ‘mesnie’ meaning something like a commune or cult or the studenti of an enduring school, a studio or house style or else a great polymath’s own domain of unique work and his or her demesne of followers. But at its widest it might suggest a whole and united region.

Line 4, OF ‘violant’ is violent in the sense of violating. OF ‘terax’ is possibly from ‘terrer’ to fill or cover with earth, or from teral, an earthwork. A visual substitute, OF ‘cerax’, is just as obscure: it’s from a participle used adjectivally about a bird of prey indicating that it descends well onto its target. OF ‘perdra’ meant losing a personal advantage or faculty or simply depriving a whole of a part of itself. As a poetic phrase, OF ‘violant terax perdra’ could even describe the upcoming practice of body-snatching. OF ‘perdra’ can also mean to free and let out an animal or person.

To some ‘NORLARIS’ seems representative of other names. Unfortunately Michel Nostredame’s loose anagrammatics can remove our ability to be totally sure of our chosen solution. I’ll opt for two choices (in addition to the astrological solution attempted in brief under the heading IX 50 MANDOSUS). One is ‘LION ARS R’ being ‘LEONARDO’ probably the greatest of all Renaissance artists. With his flowing buff mane and billowing beard his sketched self-portrait certainly looks like the Lion King of Art. His sketches – sometimes in white chalk on red paper, adding to the depth – and his intricately knotted precise signatures were as skilfull as his magnificent oil paintings.

Nostredame’s Salon was originally the rural complex Villa Salone belonging to the Archbishops of Arles. Provence was ever a centre for gypsy pilgrimage. In 1888 Vincent van Gogh painted ‘The Caravans – Gypsy Camp near Arles’. The culturally and geographically varying title ‘King of the Gypsies’ has existed over many centuries with an extensive list of claimants. The most famous was Scaramuccia.

Leonardo (who died in the arms of the great King Francis the First in 1519) made sketches of grotesque male heads with severe or violent expressions, one in particular seeming to indulge screamingly in some wild and extreme act.  (‘Heads of Two Soldiers in the Battle of Anghiari’. His paintings were of every type of human being from youthful beauty to the transformations of old age.) A sketch of a railing, gap-toothed physiognomy may well have been posed for by ‘the Gypsy Captain Scaramuccia’ and a version was gifted under that title to another Italian polymath, Giorgio Vasari (the man who introduced in print the term rinascita/renaissance, erected the Ponte Vecchio in Firenze and painted ‘The Mutiliation of Uranus by Saturnus’).

Perhaps Line 3 may suggest ‘Marvels made by this great group (of Renaissance polymaths)’ and then Line 4 could infer ‘Encroachments and internalization of oncoming deprivations (the psychological specialisms of LEONARDO’s artistic domain).’

Or else Line 4 is intended to describe the extremely detailed drawings of cadavers by Leonardo (he dissected and drew in natural colour an entire horse) which was at the very beginning of our scientific understanding of how animal and human bodies work, why they appear and move externally as they do and what is going on ‘under the bonnet’, a large part of modern science and extra impressive to any Medieval physician like Michel de Nostredame. Leonardo was perhaps the greatest anatomist of his day.

My second choice is ‘Polaris’ the effective Western ICBM of the Cold War, able to be launched below surface, that was toted by the US and the British Navy’s submarines and that wandered beneath the waves of the Northern Hemisphere for years at a time. Here NORLARIS is not an anagram but the addition, as I see it, of NOR (an abbreviation for North/Nord) to LARIS (Latin for homeless). The Northern Wanderer. (Other explanations are under IX 50 MANDOSUS.)


1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud

A technical point; the words and letters placed in parentheses below are handwritten onto the original text as if part of the print had been destroyed previously:

(Ne sera s)u(t) jamais de demander,
(Grand M)endosus obtiendra son empire.
(Loing) de la cour sera contremander,
(Piedmo)nd, Picard, Paris, Tyrron le pire.

Line 1, OF ‘sut’ is from ‘savoir’, to know actively or to have acquired passive knowledge of a thing. Alternatively, to be capable of some task by talent or strength of will. (Twelfth Century, ‘Roland’ ed. Bédier)

Line 3, ‘contremander’ simply means to countermand, to encroach upon an authority or to cut across a previous order. It could be taken as a clue to rearrange this line or the following Line 4 somehow.

The end of Line 4 is confused. The printed word ‘Tyrron’, looks very much like the placename Tyrrhen alternatively spelled but it probably would have sounded more like OF ‘tyran’ meaning tyrant. The list of places can be rearranged to trace a progress from Gaul down into Northern Italy excepting ‘Tyrrhen le pire’ – the Tyrrhenian coastland the worst/the worst tyrant – which suggests that a word game is being played. Alternatively, ‘le Pire’ might just mean the Pyrenees-Orientales.

Never known to ask,
Great Mendosus will get his empire
Far from his court he will be countermanded
Piedmont, Picardy, Paris, Tyrrhenia the worst.

Despite this quatrain being expressed in the future case it mentions Tyrrhenia which has mostly become Tuscany/Umbria along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy. Whilst Attila the Hun disrupted Roman rule around France the rule was not that strong to start with yet history records that he avoided Paris (listed as affected in Line 4) by moving from Beauvais directly to Orleans. The Romance countries were weak and already ravaged by Barbarian tribes whilst Vandals ruled Carthage in North Africa. The fall of Rome was coming.

Marcian, d.457, was the Eastern Roman Emperor after Theodosius II. The latter encouraged trade with and paid a redoubled tribute to Attila the Hunnic Emperor but Marcian, a financial reformer, cancelled the payments. This caused Attila to strike at Roman protectorates although he thought twice about attacking Constantinople which had been re-fortified and reinforced beyond his offensive capabilities. He and his army, having raged around Thrace, invaded the Balkans and Gaul (see the first line of VIII 60 above) but were eventually forced back into Northern Italy. He had intended to ravage all Italy but natural disasters and a Roman attack on the Hun homeland made him return to the Hungarian Plains after having laid waste to swathes of the teetering Western Empire.

Marcian automatically became Eastern Emperor by marrying Pulcheria the surviving heir of Theodosius II. She had already seen off the competition to her succession. Line 1 seems to be a forerunner of Shakespeare’s phrase “some have greatness thrust upon them” in that Marcian was given little choice by his compatriots but to join the House of Theodosius by ‘marriage’ to Pulcheria who lived out a vow of chastity, dying childless.

Modern historians of Eastern Empire notwithstanding, the Western Empire must have viewed Marcian’s uncaring isolationism as indicative of the worst of emperors. Attila was known to attack viciously and at the drop of a hat, so to speak. From the Franco-Italian point of view Marcian had brought disaster down upon them.

Assuming that the spellings of the earliest edition of the Centuries were exactly as intended with the exceptions of  Piedmond (properly Piedmont or Piemonte) and Tyrron (Tyrrhen) which were possibly slips of the dictaphonic printing procedure used in those early days, the second couplet should have been printed perhaps as

“Loing de la cour sera contremander,
Piedmont, Picard, Paris, Tyrrhen le pire”

yielding all of the following:

Marcian and Theodosius and Aetius (who really ran things Roman during this period and sent a stunned Attila scampering over the Rhine). It is also possible to extract Pulcheria and ‘Atila’ or ‘Etele’ (the Hungarian spellings of Attila, a variably written name) as well as Constantinus (the Prefect of Constantinople who attended well to its fortifications and was the ‘first minister’ to Emperor Marcian). Furthermore the Latin titles imperator, caesar, legatus, princeps, dominus, lictor, magister militum, consul, censor and tetrarch are available (also augustus, princeps senatus, imperium maius, togae purpurae and primus inter pares should we then allow the letters of Lines 3 and 4 to be duplicated in any one title).

Of course, if ‘sera’ was truthfully ‘fera’ (the print type being similar for both) then the name Constantinus would fall into the duplicated letters category yet the title Praefectus would then qualify in first place.

Despite that Tyrrhen means Tuscan, the West Italy home of the Etruscans, it also refers to the Pelasgians and the people of Lemnos, an island of Greece and a part of the Eastern Empire. (Words like Celt and Pelasgian refer basically to separate tribes linked primarily by language. Apparently Etruscan seems somewhat Pelasgian, originally a language of Asia Minor.)

Pelasgian, Etruscan and Lemnos/Lemnian can all be found by rearranging letters found in these revised Lines 3 and 4.

Malachy’s final Pope, ‘Pierre le Romain’ who “pastures his sheep during many tribulations”, may found in both the original spelling and my revised spelling for Line 4.


Piedmont in Northern Italy (where they spoke Piedmontese, Occitan and some Franco-Provençal) is at the join of France to Northern Italy. Picardy and Paris are in Northern France, part of Gaul. Once again, language is suggested as Picard is one of the d’oïl dialects, the Old French aspect of the Gallic-Roman languages, but Picard is distinct in itself as is Parisien Francien.

Did Michel intend to write of the future case or of the past? Is Nostradamus Quatrain IX 45 a Roman history puzzle or a nod to the fate of all multi-lingual, multi-cultural conglomerates under an alien imperial rule that can no longer protect them?

Having wreaked havoc in (Thrace) the (Hun) was halted in his attempt to destroy the Eastern Empire at a battle in (Dace Ripensis) by a Roman-led force out of ill-fated (Marcianople). (Rome) though was almost finished-off in 455 by (Silesian) Vandals (Silingi, Hasdingi) led by by (Genseric/Geiseric) who had once predicted to (Marcian/Marcianus) that he would become the Eastern Emperor one day. The names in parenthesis in this final paragraph can all be drawn from the letters of the corrected Lines 3 and 4. As can Gaul or Gaule and Italy or Italie not to mention the Rhone or Rose and the Rhine or Renos.


The Roman Catholic use of Interregnum refers to the times when there is no Bishop of Rome and the see is vacant. It comes from bygone days when the papacy was an armed temporal power.

1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud

Mandosus tost viendra à son hault regne
Mettant arriere vn peu de Norlaris:
Le rouge blaime, le masle à l’interregne,
Le ieune crainte & frayeur Barbaris.

Mandosus will soon come to the apogee of his reign
Positioned a little behind the Norlaris:
The red one blemished, maleficence has the interregnum,
The young fearful and terrorized by the un-christians.

The Pope burns out before his time has come
When he reaches his apogee he will not have surpassed Norlaris, finishing somewhat behind the Northern Wanderer*:
The Vatican soiled, the Interregnum is a time of black intrigues calumnies and cover-stories,
The youngsters reticent and made afeared by the un-Christian cadre.

*Here Norlaris may be the popular Polish Papa – most have been Italian – John Paul II who had wandered from his North homeland.  (Malachy’s motto ‘De labore solis’ in turn suggests ‘laris’.)

Lines 1 and 2 read as ‘Mandosus will soon come to the apogee of his reign Positioned a little behind the Norlaris’ demand that we identify the players if we are to grasp the gist.

There is also the possibilty that this quatrain is quite astrological, NORLARIS being the Septentrionalis or North Star. If Mandosus were Pluto we could be talking generally about a living death and the interregnum would be its periods of retrograde motion, ‘le masle’ possibly meaning Mars.

Line 1, OF ‘tost’ here could be OF ‘toaster/toster’ to raise a toast, to celebrate, or it could just mean ‘soon’ as it does in Modern French. Strictly-speaking ‘haulte’ meant a lofty entrance hall, an imposing covered area at the front of a grand building or an indoor public meeting place, possibly a palace, whereas ‘haut’ is simply high. The first couplet could start “Mandosus will come soon to the zenith of his reign” or it could read “Mandosus will come to celebrate in his regal halls”. (To celebrate the Mass, perhaps?)

Line 2, ‘mettant arriere’ seems obvious, putting back or being put back, although OF ‘mettre quelqu’un’ could mean ‘before or ahead of someone’ and ‘le Norlaris’ could be the Lorrainers – the folk of the Lorraine – or famous personages.

Line 3. The ‘rouge’ is red or rose and may be a person or a thing. OF ‘blaime’  as it is printed in the 1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud edition could be French (perhaps from ‘blâmer/blasmer’ to blame) or Spanish or Walloon, possibly ‘bleime’ (pustule) or ‘blême’ pallid. The former suggests ‘blemish’ although the latter word when associated with ‘pommettes’ produces the delightful phrase ‘red bloom on little apples’. The term ‘masle’ is what is essentially of Mars: the maleness, masculinity, the scent of testosterone in male encroachments. Could ‘masle’ even be linked to ‘muscle’? Or could ‘masle’ be an odd form of ‘marle’, turgid earth. (Its rhyming contrast ‘molle’ suggests the comfortingly soft but non-durable.)

The ‘regne’ can mean an action or an instrument of reign, the territory people and things attributed to a monarch, the domination of a group by force or by example, a period of history corresponding to a monarch or an éclat or vérité so implied, a ruling or reigning dynasty, the exercise of the royal prerogative, regal authority and any practical or theoretical sovereignty over subjects. OF ‘interregne’ (Fourteenth Century, ‘intervalle entre deux règnes’, Bresure) is an interval between succesive monarchs.

Line 4, OF ‘ieune’ is ‘jeune’ or ‘jone’ as in ‘jone fille’ (Wace, Fifteenth Century) meaning young. The latter could explain the masculine name Iyone which sounds like Joan. ‘crainte’ means avoiding every inquietude or withdrawn, perhaps introverted, also craven, tremulous or afeared. ‘frayeur’ is a mortal terror or fracass (“into the fray”). ‘Barbaris’ is possibly a personal name, somewhat like Brabant (the title Duke of Brabant was created by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and fell to the Dukes of Burgundy from 1430 up to the French Revolution) but it rather suggests barbaric, which in the Medieval French view meant tribal, unaccustomed, savage or gross.

The second couplet is a little mystifying. Some veiled abuse becomes evident. The interregnum mentioned was perhaps the gap in British history opened by executing the king and closed by bloody revolutionary Oliver Cromwell crowning hisself. Or the similar gap in French revolutionary history closed by Emperor Napoleon’s dynastic ascendance. Even the gap in North American history closed by an occulted hand that re-established kingmakers and imposed imperial powers for presidents (i.e. from the unelected President Lyndon Johnson onwards). At such a time, some faction of hitherto unaccounted and introspective youth is waiting somewhere in the wings to change the world.

In Chavingy’s later version ‘NORLARIS’ is capitalized with the N exaggerated and would seem to be a name like Lorrainers/LORRAINS, the most common translation-solution. The Lorraines or the House of Habsburg-Lorraine were supported by George Anson of Shugborough Hall monument fame during the war of the Austrian Succession, an ‘interregnum’. Some say he was persuaded that this House was of the bloodline of Jesus. (Their various Habsburg heraldic mottoes certainly read as if they believed that the world belonged to them.)


Mandosus/Mendosus is a name derived from Latin, suggesting ‘full of faults’. It is tempting to look out for a name like Mandelson/Mendelssohn. We should also recall the ‘Malmatiyya’ (the blameworthy ones) once discussed esoterically around the Moslem states and to be found especially in old al-Andalusa.

These latter are externally blameworthy and under-achieving members of society who are inwardly resolved, accepting all in their life as Providence from God including their food, clothing and shelter without attempting to provide for themselves (other than ‘going through the motions’ for the sake of appearing ‘normal’). By social standards they are non-productive or even good-for-nothings and yet they are put into society by God to be His unseen beacons, silently broadcasting inner qualities to the world from within their non-competitive hearts. They are like Mary who relaxed with Jesus against all the social rules while Martha laboured in the kitchen as society said she should and yet was not so well favoured by Him. They are neither priests of social standing nor monastics supported by a societal system and would be called ‘losers’, to quote the materialistic USA’s grossest term, failing in employment and ostensibly lacking at providing for their families. Yet they lack no necessities, which is at the heart of this Mystery for they are only superficially compliant with the ‘law’ of cause-and-effect. Seemingly they fit to God’s ‘heavenly plan’ only in as much as ‘they also serve who only stand and wait’. Yet that appearance is precisely because most folk have no knowing of Unknowable God despite that this apparent contradiction is an entirely available experience. By contrast the ‘Malmattiya’ possess an unswerving insight into Truth. (The God Manifest is Truth. Whatever is not true is not God.) Jesus of Nazareth (or the Nazarean, if you prefer) speaks exactly of reaching this ‘state of knowing’ but His exhortations to quit worrying over clothing, shelter or food are ignored as too impractical by our money-centric and exclusive ‘religious trainers’ who enthuse over book-knowledge and social memberships and value congregational contributions far more than trusting unquestioningly in Providence. The rarely blameworthy Mother Theresa once scolded her nuns for teasing the last drop of sauce out of the sauce bottles rather than trusting in an unbreakable supply of good things from God’s Providence. (She also made them sign a declaration that they had not undertaken to show love to dying paupers in order to make a personal spiritual progress, thus pointing them directly towards the achieving of it.)

 (Also see the Article ADDENDUM AU SUJET DE L’HOMME NICE: the Malamatiyya)

What can come after an interregnum following a regal or papal abdication?

(See the Nostradamus Quatrain VIII 65  TWENTY BAD MONTHS)

The business of known, little known, virtually unkown and deliberately jumbled names is taken further by me in many pieces listed on this website.  (See the Article SOME NAMES AND NOUNS IN NOSTRADAMUS)