This ostensibly unsent letter, a platform for his greater thoughts and detailed prophecies, is difficult to read – even when abridged. In fact seeking the deepest meaning of the full original creates in me a rather unsettling experience and so it is difficult for me to say exactly how much of that depth of overall effect may have been sliced and sluiced away here.

Michel’s  Medieval educated mind weaves in a way totally apart from the metrics of modernity’s educated minds and this has ordered/disordered his inspired writings accordingly. For an equivalent selection of this apparently reasonless rambling choose one of the more discursive sections in his prose publication “Traité des Fardemens”, a ‘health-food cookbook’, and wonder at the overall good effect produced from his untidy, untied seams of thought. (Noodles, anyone?)

Add to that his intentions expressed in Epistle to the King and Preface to Cesar,

i) to overcome the shortcomings of his times by explaining events with “a pragmatic epigram not to have only one sense or a sole sign” (linking this to “certain hours of abandon out of a frisson saturated with a feeling from my forebears of old”)

ii) to communicate like a “guest at a wedding party” so giving himself leeway to speak in his cups, so to speak, loosely and perhaps inaccurately, or to get his dates wrong and even to contradict hisself directly, as he does about whether his gift is inherited from his ancestry or family or from the delirious prophets of old.

Even so, we can easily deduce from the ‘Opera Nostradamus’ that there is an ongoing battle between barbarism and the modern world as first foreseen by Michel – and that a sinister hand has been stirring the pot.

I’ve not deleted much, just enough to make it more readable. I’m sorry if I have deleted anything that you found important. The purpose is to provide discrete, separated, paragraphs with the original wording in the same order as the original translation by me. After reading the abridgement you might try going back to the full Epistle to the King and reading it again.

I made a final cut by deleting an astrological allusion “three planets of the same element that are in trine to each other” simply because many or most trines – deemed helpful, by the way – seem to be of three planets of the same Zodiac element.

As always the quite odd punctuation decisions, preserved herein, must be taken with a pinch of salt.

As no more than a postscript, consider the ‘program novel’ (e.g. ‘Beautiful Losers’ by Leonard Cohen) which has two books, only one a novel, laced together by the novelty of one story being on all the left-hand side pages and the other written on the right. Does Nostredame do something like that here, interlacing stabs at the future End Times with insights upon Ancient History?

Epistle to Henry II
 King of France Second

composed March 14th, 1557

 my singular impression is that he is so very humane.

The hour searches out this moment by which I am able to manifest a good heart and sheer courage and which by his favour I am able to have gone a goodly portion in unfettered enlightenment: Your Serene Majesty.

Further, I saw that it was impossible at that time … yet … I was spiritually finessed otherwise and transported suddenly before the image of the sovereign eye and of the first monarch of the universe:

to he by whom I’m given royal audience I dedicate these three Centuries, the remainder of my prophecies, coming down to a thousand after my reflecting upon its bold audacity at maturity.

I have dedicated to a very prudent and very wise Prince my nocturnal and prophetic extrications of days for the greater part evaluated and set out in accordance with Astronomic estimations

And as for my works … the great part of the quatrains are styled so trickily that the one who leaps to a conclusion is the least likely to interpret them correctly: wishing aye that by writing them down I can leave behind me those years, towns, cities and regions where the most part is to come, the same for the years 1585 and 1606, as beginning from the present day, 14th of March, 1557.

and passing far beyond until the advent/fresh event that will be after the beginning of the seventh ‘milinaire’ concretely calculated,

the adversaries of Jesus Christ and of his Church will more extremely start to congregate,

composed and calculated by me in days and hours judicious and well arrayed in as just a manner as my spirit maketh possible and under Minerva the Moon on the most favourable days

“Truly, the future may not be totally determined”.

It is well true, Sire, that regarding my astrological bent, my own subtle spirit has given me this; 

All in accordance with presagings by the one of the wrought alloy saddle.

How much some would write down to my account that which should be alloted to others – which is not a laughing matter to Everlasting God

protect me from the calumnies of the wicked who also make libellous suggestions about me

your more than imperial Majesty

excuse me protesting before God and his Saints

I do not claim to have put in writing nought any in the present epistle which is contradictory to the true Catholic faith, bestowing this with Astronomic calculations adjunct with my acquired knowledge, since the span of the eras in our earliest times which have preceded us are such, setting me back under the check of sounder judgement,

that the first man Adam came around 1,242 years before Noah not taking into account the times allotted the Gentiles, as put forward by the scribe Varron

1,350 years: some may be able to argue that this calculation is not proper,  for this is put back later than that of Eusebius.

And since the times of Mankind’s redemption until about 621 years passed, one can with but little effort collate the times that are passed, the hypothetic monthly computation is not the rightful and legitimate method amongst all peoples, for this hath been calculated by way of the celestial zones, compiled at certain hours of abandon out of a frisson saturated with a feeling from my forebears of old.

But the shortcoming of the times, oh so serene King, requires that such eventful secrets should not so much be held up high than be covered by a pragmatic epigram, that is not to have only one sense or a sole sign,

pursuant to the assessment in the Punic Chronicle of Joel; “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters will prophesy.”

I enter this: … I avow that all comes from God, and deflect/defer to him his favour, honour, immortal praise,  without having mixed therewith that divination which extrapolates evidentially

but to God, naturally, and for the most part accompanied by tracings of the celestial course, so that seeing is much like, so to speak, in a burning mirror,

those calamitous courses which hang over the main cultivators/protagonists. Firstly for the public servants at the edifices of God, secondly for those worldly ones who by deleteriousness cause such closings-over, along with a thousand other calamities which one knows will happen in time: because God will look at the long sterility of the great lady, who afterwards will then conceive two principal children:

the female of which – affected by the temerity of the age – collapses as if dead in her eighteenth year, not being able to exceed her thirty-sixth year she will leave behind her three males, and a female, and in these will be two who have not at all the same father,

of the three brothers there will be such differences and then links and accords such that three or four parts of Europe will tremble: the least in age will support and advance Christian Regnance

of the other children the senior will wear the crown/the escutcheon of the fierce Lions holding out their paws ‘at the intrepid’.

The next eldest, having the Romans/Lazios/Catholics for his company, makes a second journey shaking and raving to Mont-Louis downhill and uphill over the Pyrenees, not negotiating an exchange like the monarchs of old, making the third inundation of human blood,

And the daughter will be given into the keeping of the Christian Church, falling for her Master into the paganic doctrines of the new heretics she will have two children. Of her two children, one will be faithful to the Catholic Church, the other a heretic according to the Catholic conformities.

And this other … will have three extremely differing regions, to wit Italy, Germany, Spain, thereby to reinforce their particular partisanships by military means, going out from the 50th and the 52nd degree of latitude,

and all will render the homages of religions distant to the regions of Europe and the Seven Stars of the 48 degrees vertical,

out of whom the weak by their deficiency shall tremble first, then the most Westernmost, Southernmost and Easternmost parts will tremble, such will be their power, whether or no that which will be from their hostile conquests is an ironclad harmony or an insuperable union.

By nature they will be equals, but with great differences of faith. Following after this the unfruitful Dame of greater power than the second will be received by two peoples, by the first who are made obdurate by he who hath power over all, by the second and out of this the third which will have extended their forces against the system from Eastern Europe through the Pannonian states; there having overwhelmed and subjugated and by marine stealth will pursue his incursions to Trinacrie 
Adriatique … whole of the Romance regions being greatly afflicted and purged.

Then the great Empire of the Antichrist will begin in the Atila & Zerses.

will descend in a number great and uncountable, such that the coming of the Holy spirit will proceed from the  degree 48, making a transmigration chasing out the abomination of the Antichrist, who will wage war opposing that Imperator who is the great Vicar of Jesus-Christ and his Church … will take place before a solar eclipse, the most opaque and most sombre that has been since the Creation, excepting the death and Passion of Jesus-Christ, and then up to here, and it will be in the month of October that some great translation will be made

and such that people will consider the gravity of Earth to have lost its natural movement, and to be plunged into everlasting gloom, up to the Spring equinox and that ensuing after extreme changes, interchanges of rule, by great earth tremors, with the busy springing-up of the new Babylon … and holding on never more than 73 years, 7 months,

then after issuing from that stem which had remained sterile such a long time, proceeding from the 50th degree, which will renew all the Christian Church. And there will be made great peace union and accord between individuals of the next generation whose mental wounds will heal over, and the various separate regimes will make such peace that there abides chained to the deepest abyss the inceptor and implementer of the military wing for the disparate ultra-orthodox ones, and will concrete over the inferno of the Rabieux: who feign that there is wisdom in their words.

And the countries which will have abandoned their old ways for licentiousness, entraining them so strongly it will be the hidden cause of their losses of freedom, and the perfect lost religion, will start to strike to the left, then rebound on the right, and restoring the overweening holiness for a long time, with its chiselled inscriptions, that after the great dog enters the greatest mastiff, which makes destruction out of all, of this the selfs who previously will have reached enlightenment, will re-format the temples as they were at their beginning, and the cleric will be restored to his immaculate state,

And there approaches another overthrowing, by that time she will be at her height and sublime in dignity, which will draw up its potentates and military leaders who to her will make chastening their swords, and to her will remain nothing but the war-cries, which by the device of the curvature enthralls them, the people making to go straight,

will want to stir-up what will be born of a branch from the long sterile time until that which will free the people everywhere out of their passive and self-inflicted thralldom, the self given up to the protection of Mars so depriving Jupiter of all its honour and dignity, for the city of liberty, established and seated in an otherwise rundown Mesopotamia.

And the chief and governor will be cast out of his/their environs, and up in the air, ignorant of the plot by the sworn conspirators with the second Trasibulus, who will have manipulated all this for a long period of time.

Then the unearthly abominations will exist, the most shameful show of objects and exhibits from dusk to dawn,

ceasing around the end of the change of that rule, and the keys of the Church will be inferior to the love of God, 

the main apostatizers of the true faith, and of these three sects, that of the middle one of these partisan cultures as mentioned hereunto will be put into decadence to a degree. The first is absolutely the main one of Europe, the greater part of Africa is blotted-out by the third, the middle is poor in spirit, as incessant arousal by libidinous lust will corrupt them. The plebians will be succoured by the undertaking, driving out the cult of the legalists, and it  will seem from the realms enfeebled by Orientals that God the Creator has unbound Satan from the infernal brig, to bring into being the great Dog & Dohan,

And then will come to be a greater persecution of the Churches than has ever been. And in the midst of all these happenings will be born the pestilence so great that more than two thirds of the world will go down with it.

no-one left will have appropriate know-how  behoving regulation of fields and communities, and there will flourish undergrowths more than knee-high throughout the villages and cities.

And to the ecclesiastics will come a total devastation, and a usurpation of the military which will return from the city of Soleil to Melite,

Achem will be encircled and attacked on all sides by hugely powerful foreign armed forces. Its sea forces will be enfeebled by the Westerners.

And by this the powerful state will be made so desolate, and the largest cities will have become settlements,  and those who would enter in will be as if taken out at the vengeful cry of the anger of God.

And that sepulchre of so many great venerations over the space of a long time under the still clarity in the all-seeing eyes of the Heavens and of the Sun, beyond the Moon, will still exist. And this sanctified place will become amenable to new sentiments, accommodating and adapting to a menagerie of impious stuff. Oh! what a calamitous sorrow there will be during that time for those women engirthed: 
and this will be at the time of the principal Eastern leader, for the most part removed through the vanquishing by the Northerly regions and the West, and put to death, destroyed, the remainder evasive, and his children by many women get imprisoned, and at that time the Prophecy of the King-Prophet will come true

great oppression will be inflicted at that time upon the Princes and governors of the Kingdoms, the same being maritime and Eastern, that their languages are indistinguishable to greater society: the language of Latin and Arabic via Phoenician, and all these Eastern potentates will be driven to destruction, exterminated, not wholly by means of the Kings of the North,

also by the presence in this Earthly existence of those three in hidden association who desire deaths, and insidiously set pitfalls for one another, and the renewed Triumvirate lasts seven years, such that the fame of that particular grouping will make its testaments global, and will uphold the offerings to its credited saints and immaculate host: and this will be at the time of the Lords two in number of the Northerly Regions; victorious over those Eastern ones, as hereunto so great a noise will be made, the bellicose roaring all as aforementioned.

The alarmed Easterners will be burned by those North-Westerly brothers already mentioned; brothers but not brothers.

Sire, that by this discourse I put these predictions well-nigh confusedly, and when it will be and the start thereto, for the time sequences that it follows, that it is by no means or not very well in conformity with the excellent: the which is somewhat by astronomic seeing, at other times by the holy scriptures, which can by no means fail,

That if I were to wish at each and every quatrain to put in the calculated time, I would rightway do so: but it would never be agreeable to all, the least so to the interpreters excepting this should happen Sire, that Your Majesty had vouchsafed me from the trappers ensnaring me.

that year will be peaceful without eclipse, but not in all, yet will be a commencement that contains what yet will last and starting in that year will be made greater persecution of the Christian Church, than ever was made in Africa, Oh! what a concept will come into being as the century turns:

hence the Roman membership will start to straighten themselves, and to sweep clean some dark corners, somewhat getting back their original clearness, yet not without great division and continual alterations.

After that Venice in great force and power will raise its wings so high, which is not to say surpassing the forces of ancient Rome.  And in these times the great veiled Bizantines ally with the Ligurians under the approval of the North-Westerly powers, bringing such pushing together that neither of the Cretans will be able to keep their faith with propriety. The crafts built by the ancient Martial powers will taste the salt waves of Neptune.

In the Adriatic will be made great discord, such that what first will be united will then be separated, and there will approach some habitation that before has been and will again be a great city, covering the Pompotam and Mesopotamia.

And in that time, and in such regions the infernal force will place into its encounter with the Church of Jesus Christ the power of adversaries to the law, which will be the second Antichrist … by means of the power of temporal rulers, who through inexperience will be seduced by the professors of insanities who more than not cut more sharply than the sword.

The allotted reign of the Antichrist will last no longer than the proscribed period, close to the closure of the Age, the same for the other in the city of Plancus accompanied by the elect/elevated Modone Fulci, through Ferrare, supported by the  Adriatic Ligurians, under the grace of the great Trinacrie

Then the Gallic Ogmios, will pass the Mont Louis/Mount Joux accompanied by so great a number that the faraway Empire of his great law will have evinced itself and for that time and some time after the profuse bloody wounds of the Innocents will be dressed by the observers and alleviated a little: then by great inundations the memory of the things governed by such instruments will sustain an immeasurable loss, the same for the book knowledge

who will be drawn from the North-Westerly regions by the divine will that works through an unwavering belief within shall bind Satan. And universal peace will be between all Mankind, and the Church of Jesus Christ will be delivered from all tribulation, much how the Azos-people would wish to mix gall inside honey as their pestilence charm

and that will be close to the Seventh Earthly Millenium, that no more will the sanctuary of Jesus Christ be trodden by the infidels who will have come from the North-West as the world approacheth some great conflagration, how much that by my calculations in my prophecies the course of the ages finds abode a lot further away than the passage of years during the Epistle dedicated to my son Cesar Nostradamus. Ay! It is rarely that what has been declared appears or otherwise dawns without some omen.

Further here, O Sire, are compiled several great and marvellous advents much how those who come after will see it. And of the duration calculated Astrologically hereunto, reciprocal to the sacred books, the persecution of the Ecclesiastics will gain its origins through the power of the North-Westerly kings, united with the Orientals. And this persecution will last for eleven years – or a little less, for by that time the health of the main Northern king  will have failed – which covers the years in which will take place the unification of the North and South, that will persecute even more extremely over the space of three years these Church people, by the apostatic charm of one who will hold all power absolutely through the Military church, and those blessed God’s people the observers of the divine law, and all orders of religion, will be largely persecuted and afflicted, such that the blood of true Ecclesiastics shall swim everywhere, and one of these atrocious temporal Kings will be given such lauding by his adherents, that he will have more

the King will perpetrate  some forfeitures unimaginable to the Church, coursing human blood through the public streets, from temples, as water from rainfall flows, and reddening by blood the nearest rivers, and by a further naval war will redden the sea, so that the report of one King will relate concerning him: ‘Naval battles bloomed the sea red’

Then in the same year and those following there comes into existence the most dreadful pestilence, and made most marvellous by the anterior famine, and such great tribulations that never such will have appeared since the original founding of the Christian Church

During that time the third Northern King hearing the complaints by his subjects about his foremost claim, will raise so large an army, and will cut past the detractions of those rearguards and grandfathers,  and who will remit the greatest part from his state, and the Vicar-General of the hat will enter his formerly perfect original state

rather distressed and then abandoned by all, and will turn around the Earthly inner sanctum destroyed by Paganism and the old and new Testaments will be thrown out, on the fire. Roughly-speaking, the Antichrist will be the  infernal prince anew through the latter faith shaking all the Christian Realms, and also the  non-believers, for the space of 25 years, and there will be more grievances wars and battles, and there will be towns, cities, chateaux, and all other kinds of buildings fired, distressed, destroyed, with great effusion of the blood of virgins, married women and widows raped, suckling babes dashed against the town walls, squashed and crushed, and so many of these ills will be committed by the intermediaries of Satan, prince infernal, that almost the entire great global system will be demolished and distressed: and before all these aforementioned advents, otherwisely strange birds will be singing out on the air, “Huy huy”, and will be vanished after some time.

And after such times of lengthy duration, and almost at the return of a further reign of Saturn, it will be a golden existence.

Satan will be put out and bound in the abyss of the Baratron in the deep pit: and well then will commence a universal peace between God and Mankind, a universal peace, and abides bound to that place for the space of a thousand years, and will turn with such great force, the Ecclesiastic power, and then slip unbound.

That all these figures are precisely arranged by the heavenly records for the visible celestial bodies, this is book-knowledge, by Saturn, Jupiter, and March, and the others conjunct, as being better aligned/suited to plan than we will otherwise be able to see with quadrants/quadrins, it having calculated and keyed the ones more tellingly with the others.

Further foreseeing, Oh! Most Serene King, that some ones of censorious pursuit would come up with pernickety objections which could oblige me to take my leisure and withdraw my nocturnal pen 

“Without, Oh! supreme king, a great number of future things are clear, in effect indicated correctly in brief, but I could not nor have I wanted to clarify them all in this letter that is directed to you; lest that we should have conveyed/you should have garnered certain facts too horrible, and to no great purpose thereby. Your humanity resides with Mankind, your mercy abides with God. Your qualities alone are worthy of the title Christian Regent; in you is that great authority that all religions deferentially confer dignity upon.”

Oh! King so clement;

my eyes got so close to your Solar splendour, such that the furthest extent of my work upon my self can neither reach nor summon up.

De Salon, ce 27. de Iuin, 1558.
Faciebat Michaël Nostradamus – ABRIDGED

NigelRaymondOfford (C) 2016