The historic Caliphate of al-Andalus was actually three Caliphates, three parts of the Iberian Peninsular that previously formed Visigoth Hispania.

A Caliphate is effectively a government claiming descent from the Prophet Mohammet in that it represents the unity of the Moslem World. The extraordinary rift that occurred, leading to Sunni and Shiite Moslems, still hangs on whether its leader, traditionally titled Caliph, should be determined from election by the people or by promotion from among the Islamic clerics.

The origin of the geographical name Andalus (Andalusia) is speculative – it might have been an alternative name for the Isla de Tarifa, first footfall of the Moorish invasion. Just as murky is the proposal of some relationship with the legendary ‘Atlantis’.

The Latin ‘Ad’ has multiple directional meanings and ‘alun’ might just be the great tribe of Alan to the East of Europe. In Nostredame’s time Catif might have meant captive or suggested a Caliphate. ‘Adalun’ may even have suggested Vandal, simply by changing the ‘u’ to ‘v’ in anagram.


1. It seems Eighth Century Faesulae is now Fiesole that gazes down upon Firenze in  Tuscany, one-time centre of the Renaissance. It’s had its share of important inhabitants but was not one of the Etruscan league of cities such as Perugia, although it is usually included with them. (The Etruscans had deep links with Rome and probably introduced many of its more fey aspects.) The suffix ‘-lan’ is an expression sometimes found on very old maps that could be taken as ‘land’ or ‘place’, more or less, so making Fesulan ‘the place called Fesula/Faesulae’.

2. When a Moslem Amir conquered Tripoli in 643, he took the Jewish and Christian women and children to be slaves to his Arab soldiers. Ephesus suffered a wholesale deportation to Islamic territories. When Thessalonica was sacked in 903, tens of thousands of Christians were handed over to Arab tribal chieftains or sold. Palestine, Egypt, and Mesopotamia record that non-Moslems who did not pay their special poll-tax had children taken away to slavery and a Moslem military training in lieu. For 600 years, non-Moslem Nubia was forced to pay an annual tribute of slaves to Moslem Cairo. Likewise by treaties concluded with Sijistan, Armenia, and Fezzan in the Northwest of Africa. In the single name ‘Fesulan’ or Fezzan might be encapsulated the slavery of African child-soldiers treated as second-class to all Moslems and yet the baby-infantry of Moslem Wars long ago.

3. There was a thriving and arcane Jewish society in Spain at the time of Nostredame and his interest in their history may have become strongly aroused. Five thousand Jews were exterminated by Moslems in Fez in 1033 (and about three thousand Jews were erazed in Grenada also). Fesulan thus could be Fez wrapped in that area of Moorish Spain otherwise called ‘Andalusia’ – now Cadiz and Seville. (There were Moslem massacres of Christians in and around Seville in the Ninth Century.)

4. Fayzullin is an old Russian name.

                                                              Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012