1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud

Le saint empire viendra en Germanie,
Ismaelites trouueront lieux ouuerts.
Anes vouldront aussi la Carmanie,
Les soustenens deterre tours couuerts.

The holy empire will come into Germania,
Ishmaelites will be found in open places:
Anes will want – also the Carmanians –
The guardians to unearth the buried towers.

Line 1. An English wit once said, “There is no such place as Germany, ask any German”. United Germany is of recent construction and highly regional.

Germanie = Germania/Germany?

Saint Henry II (d.1024) was Emperor of the then germanic Holy Roman Empire. There is a colourful surviving depiction of Henry being crowned by Christ, no less. A superior army of Slav pagans apparently dispelled in panic when Henry’s inferior army approached them led by an Angel and three Martyrs to boot. Yet this quatrain is composed in the future tense.

Germanie = Germania/Kermania?

Line 2. Unexpectedly we come across Ishmaelites, the descendants of Ishmael according to Genesis and the Islamic tradition and the major component among Arabs of the Middle East today.

(A previous version of this page was hastily constructed and a section on ‘Israelites’ inserted in error. It has been removed and will now appear in a future Article on that large and interesting subject.)

Line 3. In 1914 the RMS/HMS Carmania, used in convoy protection during WWI, sunk its German equivalent the Cap Trafalgar. The RMS Carmania  was a British passenger liner of the Cunard Line, which in World War I was converted to an armed merchant cruiser.

Geographical Carmania is now that part of South Eastern Iran known as Kerman Province: exceedingly ancient, prone to natural disasters and famous with archeologists and the like for its buried bones. Amongst its past designations were Kermania and Germania. Ishmaelites and Germanians are still found in high numbers in the Middle East (not so many in Germany though).

The meaning of ‘Anes’ is not immediately evident but ‘stupid ass’ or asinine is possibly quite close especially if this is about a world war and we are speaking from the arrogant side. There is a ward named Anes in Asturias, Northern Spain.

Anes might otherwise be Manes. These are good ghosts, god-like souls watching over the beloved departed, and ‘Di Manes’ appears on Roman tombstones as the letters D.M. roughly meaning ‘gone to the gods’. (Including at some burial places close to Nostredame’s Salon-en-Provence). Metaphorically, the Manes refers to the Underworld. (And phonetically at least, Di Manes could chime with ‘démons’).

Line 4, OF ‘soustenens’ might be from OF ‘soutenir’, to sustain, but ‘les soustenens’ seems most likely a version of ‘soustenteur’, a protector or defender. (OF ‘soutènement is maintenance.) OF ‘tours’ is tower (although most researchers seem to substitute OF ‘tous’, all.) OF ‘deterre’ = exhume, unearth.

‘Le saint empire’ suggests the Holy Roman Empire but could also mean any Christian Empire.

Interestingly, Carmania gets little mention in ancient records, possibly because it had no fixed boundaries of its own. During the age of Alexander the Great it was a satrapy West and North of Hormuz on the coast of the Persian Gulf. The ancient city of Karmana was not the site of the Medieval/modern city of Kerman.

The identity of the buried towers to be unearthed/uncovered is the missing clue here. Factual or figurative, ancient or modern, sacred or secular, peaceful or warlike towers? Missile silos?

                                                  NIGELRAYMONDOFFORD © 2013