Title: Les vrayes centuries et propheties de maistre Michel Nostradamus, 1710
Author: Michel Nostradamus
Publisher: A Paris, Barthelemy Gyrin
An extremely scarce and early 18th century edition of the Prophecies of Nostradamus. Included are additional titles showing the execution of Charles I of England and the Fire of London, and a full-page portrait of Nostradamus and woodcut of Henri IV of France.
First published in 1555, the work is a collection of poetical quatrains, united in ten sets of verses, in this case described as Centuries, and broken down into 100 quatrains per century. Contrary to many modern editions which seek to follow his prophecies year by year, the predictions originally did not have any sort of chronological order at all, originally written in a random combination of French, Greek, Latin, and Occitan.
It is widely assumed that the quatrains contain numerous anagrams, as well as mythological and astrological references, designed in a way to be difficult to comprehend. Scholars have claimed that this was Nostradamus’ method to avoid persecution from the Holy Inquisition, out of fear of being declared a heretic. Many of the quatrains deal with disasters of varying levels, which is what Nostradamus granted his reputation as a prophet to predict the future, and many have credited him to accurately predicting many world events. Many academic sources have since rejected any extent of Nostradamus’ prophetic powers, pointing out that the English translations of his quatrains were not necessarily of a high quality, and at times mistranslated the prophecies to fit any narratives or events the translator believe they predicted.
Worldcat records no existing copies of this edition in libraries.
One volume in 16mo, (34)+216 pages
On note of condition, this volume is in fair shape with wear and rubbing to the boards, and the spine defective, with both joints heavily stressed and the front cover coming close to detachment. There is minor foxing and staining throughout. The gathering for pages 195-214 is shaken, jutting out ever so slightly.