In the beginning of this
month, on the websites Encyclopaedia Hermetica and Espace Nostradamus,
a contribution has been published, written by Peter Lemesurier, entitled Nostradamus: the
Halbronn hypotheses. Lemesurier is
an English Century-scholar, who wrote several books about
Nostradamus and who leads the Nostradamus Research
Group. Apparently, he wrote the article as a private person.
In Nostradamus: the
Halbronn hypotheses, Lemesurier tries to knock down the ideas and hypotheses
regarding Nostradamus, as formulated by Jacques Halbronn D.Litt., by
discussing, very briefly, six items:
Halbronn's ideas about
regarding the comment by Couillard on the Preface to Cesar.
regarding differences between the Budapest-version and the
Utrecht-version of the 1557-Du Rosne-edition of the Centuries.
regarding the comparison of the contents of the Epistle to Henry II
in the Centuries with the dedicacy in the Présages Merveilleux
pour 1557, which is also addressed to Henry II.
regarding the authenticity of Les Significations de l'Eclipse
du 16. septembre 1559, given the inconsistency of
regarding the meaning in Les Significations... of the
phrase comme plus amplemét est declaré à l'interpretation de la
secóde céturie de mes Propheties.
In Lemesurier's article, one
searches in vain for a description by Lemesurier in what ways his
approach to the Centuries differs from Halbronn's approach. If he would
have described these differences, his position would have been more
clear for the readers. Now we have to deal with the fact that a discussion
once more is caught into a trench. This is for no-ones benefit.
Several times, Lemesurier writes that it is difficult to grasp the main
elements of Halbronn's approach. Indeed, this is not easy, but
Halbronn's publications are not a labyrinth. Besides his publications
about parts of his Nostradamian research, Encyclopaedia Hermetica /
Espace Nostradamus also contain more general and descriptive
publications regarding his research, such as the letter he wrote to me
on July 17, 2003, and more recently an article, entitled Petite contre
encyclopedie nostradamus. Next, there is the thesis Le texte
prophétique en France - formation et fortune, partly available
online on Encyclopaedia Hermetica, and Documents
inexploités sur le phénomène Nostradamus. As far as I am
concerned, all these documents offer enough starting points to describe
systematically Halbronn's oeuvre, to summarize it and to criticize it,
instead of, as Lemesurier does, to present a tentative list, using this
list for what looks like a fire dance. In some ways, this tentative list
harms Halbronn's oeuvre. This list also harms the validity of Lemesurier's criticism. Finally: a correct summary of Halbronn's oeuvre
is for the benefit of the readers of this article by Lemesurier.
I would like to take the
opportunity to give a brief comment on Lemesurier's discussion of
Halbronn's opinion about the authenticity of Les Significations...,
also because I published a number of articles about this subject and
because a number of my arguments are present in Lemesuriers comment.
Lemesurier presents a hypothesis. He writes about the line comme
plus amplemét est declaré à l'interpretation de la secóde céturie
de mes Propheties, that Les Significations...
does not contain remarks which point to a published interpretation of
the second Century. According to Lemesurier, publishing of this kind of
interpretations would affect negatively the interests of Nostradamus, since it would have narrowed down the book’s potential scope and
thus increased its likely fallibility. Lemesurier supposes that
there is a reference to an interpretation of the Centuries, sent
privately to Jacques Marie Sala, bishop of Viviers and vice-legate,
written by Nostradamus on request of Sala himself. Regarding this
hypothesis, Lemesurier refers to other dedications of Nostradamus which
contain remarks of a private nature.
As far as I know, this is the first time in the discussion about the
authenticity of Les Significations..., that the possibility is mentioned
that Nostradamus wrote interpretations of "the
Centuries" and spread them privately. One should note that in the discussion of
Les Significations... in the Recueil des Presages Prosaïques...
it reads in the left margin of item #467: Ceste
interpretation ne fut jamais veuë; the author of the RPP never saw
such an interpretation.
It is one thing to present a possibility, it is another thing to present
the involved document, in this case, the interpretation, directed to
Sala. So let us wait until this interpretation is found, before we
present the idea of the existence of such a document as a given fact. As
far as I am concerned, this hypothesis is not reflected in the remains
of Nostradamus' correspondence and is in contradiction with the remark
in the Preface to Cesar that old books, long hidden (apparently playing
an important role in the composing of the Centuries) were destroyed
Regarding the two different
charts of the September 1559 Lunar Eclipse, discussed in Les
Significations..., Lemesurier notes that this does not point to the
non-authentic character of Les Significations..., but to the authentic
character, an argument which was given by dr. Elmar R. Gruber in an
earlier phase in this debate. Lemesurier points to the fact that in the
Nostradamian oeuvre there are five years of creation of the world, two
of them in one and the same document: the Epistle to Henry II.
The argument that the Nostradamian oeuvre is characterized by
contradictions and inaccurate use of source material, is not valid in
all cases. In an article about astrological anomalies in Almanachs,
Pronostications and correspondence, and in a contribution to the
November 2004 MAU symposium, I discussed the letter of September 20,
1557, written by Jean Brotot, a letter which brought Halbronn to raise
the question if this letter was written in 1554, given the names of
those to who Nostradamus directed the dedications of his manuscripts.
This letter rises the question which parts in the books, attributed to
Nostradamus, are supplied by Nostradamus, and which parts are supplied
by e.g. the editor. As far as I am concerned, this question is also at
stake in the case of the creation years in the Almanachs and
Pronostications. Did Nostradamus supply data such as creation years,
biblical chronologies, the golden number, market days in Lyon etc. or
are these data (or some of them) supplied by others, such as editors?
Since February, this site has a new section: Debate Platform. This
section includes, among other articles, the articles I wrote about Les
Significations... Mr. Lemesurier is invited to present his ideas and
theses about the authenticity of Les Significations... in this
De Meern, the
Netherlands, March 10, 2005
The titles, places and
year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.
Nostradamus: the Halbronn hypotheses. [text]
- Astrological anomalies in
Almanachs, Pronostications and correspondence;
- Contribution to a Nostradamus-workshop, MAU,
- Halbronn: Observations sur la Correspondence