Les Prophéties

Les Prophéties (The Prophecies) is a collection of prophecies by French physician Nostradamus, the first edition of which appeared in 1555 by the publishing house Macé Bonhomme. His most famous work is a collection of poems, quatrains, united in ten sets of verses ("Centuries") of 100 quatrains each.[1][2]

Nostradamus Centuries 1568

The first edition included three whole Centuries and 53 quatrains. The book begins with a preface, in the form of a message to his son César, followed by the Centuries themselves. The second edition was published in the same year and has minor differences from the first.

The third edition was published in 1557, and included the full text of the previous edition, supplemented by three more Centuries. The fourth edition was published two years after the death of the author, in 1568. It is the first edition to include all ten Centuries, as well as a second preface, the Letter to King Henry II. However, quatrains 55 to 100 of the seventh Century were never completed.

The first English edition titled The True Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus, Physician to Henry II. Francis II. and Charles IX. Kings of France, was published in London by Thomas Ratcliffe and Nathaniel, in the year 1672.[3]

The predictions do not follow chronological coherence and were written combining French, Greek, Latin and Occitan. It is believed that it contains anagrams, mythological and astrological references, in a subjective language that makes comprehension difficult. Some scholars claim that this was a resource used by Nostradamus to evade the Holy Inquisition, for fear of being persecuted for heresy.[4]

Most of the quatrains deal with disasters, and Nostradamus gained notoriety for the belief in his ability to predict the future.

Letter to King Henry IIEdit

The open "Letter to King Henry II of France" is his dedicatory preface to the now-missing 1558 edition of The Propheties, as reprinted in the posthumous 1568 edition by Benoist Rigaud. After a formal introduction, it makes various claims about the sources of his inspiration and lists many cryptic prophecies (nearly all undated) that seemingly have little to do with those in the work itself.

These include:

  • decadence and calamity threatening both Church and laity
  • the advent of French rulers who will cause Europe to tremble
  • the amalgamating of kingdoms and propagation of new laws
  • the confrontation of England and a bloody invasion of Italy
  • new alliances between Rome, Eastern Europe and Spain
  • the liberation of Sicily from the Germans
  • the persecution of the Arabs by the Latin nations
  • the advent of the Antichrist like Xerxes and his hosts
  • attacks by the Muslims on the Pope and his Church
  • an eclipse of unprecedented darkness
  • a great October upheaval lasting 73 years and seven months
  • renewal of the Church by one from the 50th degree of latitude
  • an attempt by peoples to free themselves which will result in even greater imprisonment
  • the advent of the Great Dog and an even Greater Mastiff
  • the rebuilding of the churches and restoration of the priesthood
  • a new disaster, with crooked leaders and generals who will be disarmed by a sceptical populace
  • a new military and regal saviour ruling from another 'little Mesopotamia'
  • the putting down of a former tyranny by a conspiracy
  • a powerful resurgence of Islam, with Western Christendom in decay and decline
  • an unprecedented persecution of the Church, with two thirds of the population wiped out by pestilence
  • desolation of the country and clergy, while the invading Arab military take over Malta, Mediterranean France and the offshore islands
  • a Western counterinvasion that will rescue Spain from the invaders and pursue the Arabs back to the Middle East
  • the depopulation of Israel, with the Holy Sepulchre turned into farm buildings
  • terrible retribution inflicted on the Orientals by the Northerners, whose tongues will have acquired an Arabic admixture
  • defeat of the Eastern leaders and seven-year triumph of the Northern Christians
  • the persecution of Christians until 1792, when a totally new era will begin
  • an extremely powerful Venice
  • vast naval battles in the Adriatic, destruction of many cities and persecution of the Church and Pope
  • a brief reign for the Antichrist, with a huge liberating army led into Italy by a 'Gallic Hercules'
  • vast floods wiping out the very knowledge of letters
  • universal peace toward the beginning of the seventh millennium after the Creation, and restoration of the Holy Sepulchre
  • some great conflagration
  • restoration of the papacy
  • sacking of the Holy of Holies by pagans and destruction of the scriptures
  • the reign of the Prince of Hell for 25 years after the Antichrist
  • premonitory birds
  • a new Golden Age of Saturn, the binding of Satan for a thousand years, and universal peace and harmony, with the Church finally triumphant

The letter also includes two different dates for the creation of the world.


  • Leoni, E., Nostradamus and His Prophecies (Wings, 1961–82)
  • Lemesurier, P., The Nostradamus Encyclopedia (Godsfield/St Martin’s, 1997)
  • Lemesurier, P., Nostradamus – The Illustrated Prophecies (O Books, 2003)
  • Wilson, I., Nostradamus: The Evidence (Orion, 2002)/ Nostradamus: The Man Behind the Prophecies (St Martin's 2007)

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "The prophecies of Nostradamus". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  2. ^ "Transhumanisme : business d'un mythe". Transhumanisme et intelligence artificielle (in French). 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  3. ^ "Les Propheties by Nostradamus". 7 December 2012.
  4. ^ Nostradamus (1978). The Prophecies of Nostradamus (In English and French Languages). Library of Alexandria. ISBN 9781465516886.