1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud

Clergé Romain l’an mil six cens & neuf,
Au chef de l’an seras election
D’vn gris & noir de la Compagne yssu,
Qui onc ne feut si maling.

The first thing to say about this Nostradamus Quatrain is that the lines have no rhyming scheme, which makes it remarkable. The second matter to point out is that this first became available in the 1568 Rigaud edition published some time after Michel Nostredame’s death and which I distrust in parts. But it does flaunt 1609 as a solid year for the prediction (excepting that this might be a coded distraction that I can’t crack) and is further located by the phrase ‘issue from Campania’ (otherwise, ‘of the Company issue’).

Roman clergy, in the year 1609,
At the top of the year OR The leader in the year
of the locked-in election
Of one grey and one black from Campania/of the Company issue,
Never was one so evil.

Line 2, OF ‘seras’ is either an adjective taken from OF ‘scier’, a saw (OF ‘serrurier’ is a locksmith) or it is the OF verb ‘serrer’ to close a door so as to bar it or engage the latch or lock. (By metonym, to lock-in, store or hide, and figuratively to close a gap by bringing two parties together. Or to hug or shake, pleasingly or oppressively. Or else to something like “his heart has a closed door”.) Campania is a fertile region on the Italian Peninsula.

Line 3. The shield of Tuscany’s Siena is simply two blocks of colour: a marbled off-white and a jet black. OF ‘yssu’ is probably ‘issue from’, the OF ‘issir’ meaning to be born or descend from or ‘out of’ in the sense to exit from, withdraw.

Siena was the family homeland of Pope Paul V, d.1621, who was possibly the last papal supremacist and had been an inquisitor. Whatever it took for him to get the papal throne (possibly not much) his rapid election on 16th May 1605 was particularly covert and murky.

Line 4,
OF ‘onc/onques’ = never
OF ‘feut’ = exist/existence (or possibly a form of ‘fouir’, to dig).
OF ‘maling/malin/maligne’ = malice, wickedness, one who likes to do in an evil way.

Catholic monks of the old Tironensian and the Savigny orders, both of France and England, wore grey robes. The Savigny’s merged administratively with the great Cistercian order, called the White Monks. The distinct Benedictines are the dark-robed Black Monks. Evil acts are widespread, of course, but not particularly known with these Orders. In fact, France especially reported the rectifying powers simply of the medal of St. Benedict. On the other hand, the religiously motivated witch trials in Bamberg, Germany, from 1626–1631 were notorious for torture and executions, about 500 hundred poor souls, even in terms of the spate of mass witch trials occuring demoniacally during the dreadful and meaningless Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants. (14 million killed.) Prince Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen (d. 1622) was the bishop of Bamberg and Würzburg during all this perversion and was close to the Jesuits (who were founded as ‘The Company of Jesus’).

The wording of Line 4 is dramatic and somewhat overblown to the modern mind. This “never was/never were there” style of finale is recurrent in Century X only. As well as Nostradamus Quatrain X 91 it closes X 9, X 19 and X 20  and also occupies Line 3 of X 57.

It could be a sheer coincidence or by deliberate intent or a temporary habit of thought. Were the quatrains of Nostradamus Century Ten composed concurrently, more or less? Well, they were all debuted at Lyons in 1568 by the farsighted famille de compositeurs Rigaud.


                                                NIGELRAYMONDOFFORD © 2013