Friday, 27 July 2012

Roy de Bloys en Avignon regner

 

"Roy de Bloys en Avignon regner"
The Centuries and the Avignon context of the years 1560-1570

This study is followed by a debate with Peter Lemesurier

by Jacques Halbronn

The progression and extension of the frontiers of the French Kingdom have always generated a certain number of problems which have been solved in various ways. As a result of annexions, the case of Provence, for instance, at the end of the XVth Century has been treated differently from the case of Alsace, later on, i n the XVIIth Century. As a matter of fact, every State having an antijewish attitude, from Spain in the XVIth century to Germany in the XXth century was to solve such problems when confronted with new possessions as Spain in Italy or Germany in Poland. Any movement of population by colonization, conquest, immigration creates new social problems especially when Jews are involved, the main reason being the extreme diversity of jewish conditions and attitudes, sometimes hardly compatible, existing from one place to another, a point well noticed by Theodor Herzl in his 1896, Judenstaat. (see our book Le sionisme et ses avatars au tournant du XXe siecle, Ed, Ramkat, 2002). It can involve the arrival of new non Jewish populations as well as Jewish.

France was actually confronted with a rather specific question created by the transmission, as early as the XIIIth century, of a certain territory to the pontifical State, that is Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin, as a result of the Crusade against the Cathars (Albi), which eventually produced the so called Western Schism. When Languedoc then Provence fell under the authority of the French Kings, many Jews flew to the Church Territories which became a sort of Refuge to them, but there were already Jews since a long time in Avignon and the arrival of what we could call New Jews, that is Jews from another area did influence the situation of the local Jews. Hence names among the Pope Jews as Carcassonne which precisely seems to have been the name of Michel Nostradamus's grand father before taking the name of Nostredame.. Finally, the Avignon area became an enclave within the Kingdom with a rather significant Jewish minority, a fact which had to be tolerated by the French kingdom. As a matter of fact, it was not foreign in two ways since it was under the juridiction of the Pope of Rome and it was the only place where Jews could live without conversion, even though it was in difficult and humiliating conditions as having to wear a yellow hat. A pontifical enclave and a Jewish enclave, then.

In 1566, was published a Description des misères et calamitez des derniers temps, de la consommation du monde, du royaume de l'Antechrist & du second advènement de nostre Seigneur Jésus Christ" (BNF) which is a French translation by Nicolas Le Clerc dit de Juvigné, of the De Consummatione mundi ac de Antichristo & secundo adventu Domini nostri Iesu Christi, published in Cologne, in 1563 at Maternus Cholin (BNF). The book claims that the "le Pape souffre les Juifs à Rome et y fait brûler les vrays Chrétiens".

In 1569, for some reason, Pope Pie V decided to forbid the presence of Jews in the French area, they were asked to move to Rome (on the Mediteranean Sea) or to Ancona (on the Adriatic Sea), the only cities where Jews would still be authorized to stay within the Church States, this was the purpose of the Bulla Hebraeorum Gens, taken on the 25th of February. But the operation became not that easy to be fulfilled especially because of financial ties between the Jews and the Christians in the Avignon area.( see the testimony of a provencal Jew, Joseph Hacohen, in his Emek ha-bakha, 1575) One does not know if the Pope pronounced such an interdiction under the pressure of the French but what is certain is that the delays which came concerning such an application concerning the departure or the conversion of the Jews dwelling in the Pope States were not well accepted. The fact that Popes, in the next decades, changed their mind towards their Jews is indeed probably explained by foreign influences, which also came from the fact that the election of the Popes was in itself depending on various factors (see J. Halbronn, Papes et Propheties, decodages et influence. Ed. Axiome, 2005). The very fact that the 1569 Bulla did not even consider one reserved City in the French part of the Papal States, for the Jews seems rather suspect and a sign of a French intervention. In the future, Jews will be tolerated in four towns of the Comtat Venaissin, that is Carpentras, Cavaillon, Lisle (sur Sorgue) and of course Avignon.

Among the reasons to expulse Jews, one which was often given was their superstitions, their use of magic, rather than their Judaism strictly speaking, in other words some form of corruption of their original message. (see J. Halbronn, Le monde juif et l’ astrologie, Milan, Arche, 1985). Such creeds responded to individual and pratical needs which might attract populations far from a submission to God s plans.

Crespin and the French Avignon problem

An important source of antisemitism but also sometimes of philosemitism is eschatology, prophetism and speculations, jewish and non jewish, about the end of the world, including the necessity for Jews to convert or/and to gather in Palestine.

We would like to study a rather neglected aspect of the Avignon problem, in the first years of the 1570's, which belongs to the field of the "nostradamic" and "antinostradamic" literature and which involves a sort of French prophet named Antoine Crespin of whom not much is known apart from his work.

If we trust the official nostradamic bibliography, Antoine Crespin used certain lines in his work and specially two connected with Avignon, appearing at the begining of his Demonstracion de l'Eclipce lamentable du Souleil que dura le long du jour de la Seint Michel dernier passé 1571 etc , Paris, Nicolas Dumont,(BNF) which was precisely dedicated to the Pope.

It starts with those six lines:

Le Roy de Bloys dans Avignon regner

Une autre foys le peuple emnopolle

Esleu sera renard ne soucent (sic) mot

Faisant le S. public uivant (sic) pain d'orge

Tirannizer après tout à ung cop

Mectant à pies des plus grands sur la gorge

followed by

A nostre S. Père le Pape par l'astrologue du treschrestien Roy de France & de Madame la Duchesse de Savoye. Salut

Crespin in this booklet and in some others (cf infra), on that occasion, attacks the Jews and the New Christians: ”nous en cognoissons un que tient des benefices dans la Comte d’Avignon tant temporels que spirituals encores (…) qu’il y a sept ou huict ans que feust baptisé que auparavant tenoit la loy des faulx iuifz insecrables (sic, pour exécrables) vella (sic pour voilà) pourquoy le peuple se met en erreur ».

Integration of Crespin's verses within the Centuries

Curiously enough, those lines also appear with the Nostradamus Centuries which are generally considered as having been published before the 1570s when they appear in Crespin's work :

VIII, 38

Le Roy de Bloys dans Avignon régner

Un autrefois le peuple emonopole

Dedans le Rhosne par murs fera baigner

Jusques à cinq le dernier pied de Nole.

Translation and annotation by Theophile de Garencières in The true propheties or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus (London, 1672)

The King of Blois in Avignon shall Reign

Another time the people do murmur

He shall cause in the Rhosne to be bathed through the Walls

As many as five, the last shall be near Nole

"This fortelleth that a King of France shall take Avignon, which is a City of France belonging to the Pope. And that some of the People beginning to murmur and mutiny, he shall cause five of them to be thrown over the Walls into the Rhosne which is a swift River taht passeth by. Nole must be some place thereabouts"

It sounds obvious to the commentator that "Roy de Bloys" means the French King, since Blois was an important location fot the Court on the river Loire, with its château.

VIII, 52

Le Roy de Blois dans Avignon régner

D'Amboise & Séme viendra le long de Lindre

Ongle à Poitiers saintes aisles ruiner

Devant Bony (sic)

The King of Blois shall Reign in Avignon

He shall come from Amboise and Seme along the Linder (sic, read the Indre)

A Nail at Poitiers shall ruine the Holy Wings

Before Bony.

annot:
The first Verse and the interpretation is easie. Amboise is a Town in France upon the River of Loire. The two last verses being imperfect admits of no interpretation, onely to let the Reader know that Poitiers is a very great City in France and Capital of the Province of Poitou.

A third reference can be found in IX, 41

“Le grand Chyren soy saisir d’Avignon

De Romme (sic) letres (lettres) en miel plein d’amertume

Letre (Lettre) ambassade partir de Chanignon

Carpentras pris par duc noir rouge plume”

Translation by Garencière;

The great Chyren shall seize upon Avignon

Letters from Rome shall come full of bitterness

Letters and Embassies shall go from Chanignon

Carpentras taken by a Black Duke with a red Feather

Garencières gives an interesting commentary, since he considers as granted that some quatrains have a prophetical value. So he does not hesitate - in his True Propheties of 1672 - to see in this third quatrain the prediction of a XVIIth century event connected with Avignon :

Annot :
This did happen lately, viz, some five or six years ago, when the Duke of Crequy Embassadour at Rome was affronted by the Corses which are the Popes Guard; for which the King of France demanded reparation and seized upon Avignon, till the Pope granted him that all the said Corses should be banished and a Pyramid erected in Rome to the perpetual infamy of that Nation.

The connection of Crespin with the centurical canon seems, at first sight, to be reinforced by the fact that he is using some lines of the Centuries, although he never referred explicitly to the Centuries most probably because they did not exist yet - is the use of the first quatrain of the first Century in the centurical canon.

Estant assis de nuict secret estude

Seul reposé sus la selle d'airain

Flambe exigue sortant de solitude

Fait prospérer qui n'est à croire vain

translation by Garencières:

Sitting by night in my secret study

Alone resting upon the Brazen Stool

A slight flame breaking forth out of that solitude

Makes me utter what is not in vain to believe

Crespin uses several times this quatrain as another neonostradamic author also did before and one would imagine with difficulty the fact of using such a quatrain if it had been published before at the very begining of the said Centuries. Our thesis is that this quatrain had not yet been associated with the name of Michel de Nostredame, at the beginning of the 1570s.

If it is true for this quatrain, it can also well be true for the Avignon quatrains which are concentrated within a same group of Centuries, that is the one comprehending Centuries VIII, IX, X which had a specific statute in many editions. As a matter of fact, one finds dozens of lines common between Crespin and the Centuries. It certainly is tempting to think that Crespin borrowed verses from the Centuries in the same way as he declares being himself Nostradamus. But we think that he wanted to prove that he was as good as Nostradamus more than just borrow part of his published work.

If the Avignon lines, at least, are the work of Crespin, how come that it appears in the centurical canon which carries, ipso facto, a certain form of Antijudaism, reinforced by the presence of another verse about the Synagogue, still in the same VIIIth Century.

VIII, 96:

La synagogue sterile sans nul fruit

Sera receu entre les infidels

De Babylon la fille du porsuit

Misere & triste luy trenchera les aisles.

with an English translation by Theophile de Garencières and a short commentary

The synagogue barren, without fruit

Shall be received among the Infidels

In Babylon,the daughter of the persecuted

Miserable and sad shall cut her wings

Annot. :
A Synagogue is a place where the Jews assemble for Divine Worship, as the Christians do in Churches or Temples, the said Jews Synagogue is threatened here to be unfruitful and barren, and chiefly, in Babylon, by the means of a woman, daughter of one persecuted, belike of some of their own tribe, whom the rest did persecute (p. 351)

The answer to this surprising issue concerning such texts has to do with the making of the centurical canon in the 1570s. Neonostradamism has been used to constitute the centurical corpus, in quite a syncretic way, gathering all sorts of documents, especially among those who belonged as Crespin obviously did to the nostradamic sphere. Crespin, imitating Nostradamus was a good recruit to be included within a nostradamic collection.

It is interesting to mention, however, another explanation concerning those Avignon lines, proposed by Louis Schlosser ( La vie de Nostradamus, Paris, Belfond, 1985, p. 36) :

"François Ier tenta à plusieurs reprises d'accroitre ses droits sur Avignon et sur le Comtat Venaissin; il n'y réussit que partiellement , comme le prouve l'ordonnance de Villers- Cotterets de 1539. En effet, le roi substitua le français au latin dans tous les actes de justice de ces territoires provençaux du Saint Siége. Nostradamus se fit l'écho de cette situation (..) dans deux de ses quatrains prophétiques où curieusement on voit revenir le même vers "Le Roy de Blois dans Avignon régner"

But why Nostradamus publishing not earlier than in the 1550s, according to the lowest chronological evaluation, would have mentioned in a prophetic text an event already known of 1539? On the contrary, we believe that prophetism has to do with the future and quite often with a very near future, that one expects and which does not necessarily arrives as expected. This was the case with Crespin announcing an action which was not fully accomplished neither concerning the French power which never passed a certain level nor the Jewish presence which never totally ceased. Actually, we think that such an anachronism was due to the use of old documents that had not been properly identified by forgers and attributed to Nostradamus without being conscious of the chronological problem.

Of course, later on, the 1569 Avignon events will belong to the past as the 1539 events but the question is : when the text appeared at first? With Crespin Demonstration of the 1571 Eclipse, do we have a commentary of a quatrain taken from already existing Centuries or do we have lines constituting a sort of political formula? One has believed that the Centuries were at least a versification of historical data but it seems that even the versification was largely borrowed and was just more or less redistributed, reshuffled, sometimes awkawardly as precisely in the case of "Roy de Bloys dans Avignon régner", which comes twice, within the same VIIIth Centurie.....

Attacks againt New Christians

The case of Nostradamus himself is an interesting example of the situation of the New Christians in France, in the middle of the XVIth Century. On century after the conversion, in 1455, of his grand father Guido Gassonnet, then becoming Pierre de Nostre dame, the physician and astrologer Michel, born in 1503, will be invited at the French Court for consultation with the royal couple, Henry de Valois and Catherine de Médicis. As a matter of fact, in 1550, Henry II had taken measures favorable to the presence of New Converts in Bordeaux. In any case, one could hardly assert that there were no Jews in France in the XVIth Century. The integration of the "conversos" seems to have been more successful than in Spain. One has to underline, however, that those New Christians were also, New Jews, since they were Jews coming from other cultures.

Crespin did, indeed, adopt the name of a "Nouveau Chrestien", of a olim judaeus, Nostradamus, later to be changed in Archidamus. And one can wonder if he was conscious and aware of Nostradamus's Jewish origins. Probably not. How could he attack the Jews, including the maranos, using for himself the name of a convert?

The Nostredame family is actually a good example of the integration of New Christians in the second part of the XVIth century, in France. The brother of Michel, Jehan de Nostredame contributed by his writings to a better knowledge of Provence and the elder son of Michel, César de Nostredame - bearing a first name far from being Jewish - was also a productive French poet and historian of Provence and called himself a "Gentilhomme provençal", though he was still living in Salon (de Provence) 50 years after his father's death (1566)..In 1602, he will publish, at Aix, J. Tholosan, L'Entrée de la Royne en sa ville de Salon, in honour to Marie de Médicis, just married to Henri IV. Indeed, the activity of this family was by no means focused on Jewish culture. There was a real process of integration through several generations. Conversion was indeed a fair way to fully participate to the French Culture and language. As a matter of fact, the Nostredame -Jean and Cesar - when they spoke about their ancestors did not mention explicitly their Jewish origins although acknowledging that some knew hebrew among other languages.

Michel de Nostredame did not hesitate to dedicate his Présages Merveilleux pour 1557 to the King Henri II -( Paris, J. Kerver) - letter which also appears, with some changes including a new date of the epistle, in the Centuries. César de Nostredame, his son, dedicated his Histoire et chronique de Provence, Lyon, Simon Rigaud, 1614, to the young King Louis XIII.

If Crespin did not know, apparently, about the Nostredame's pedigree, some seem to have been quite aware of it. Michel de Nostredame had enemies and quite a few booklets were published against him, his astrological skill being questioned; one of them alludes to his judaism :

Jean de la Daguenière in his Le Monstre d'Abus which is a joke on the name of Nostradamus : monster of abuse (cf Benazra, Répertoire Chronologique Nostradamique pp. 33-34) shows indeed that his jewish origins were not forgotten although he was grandsone of a convert, speaking of his almanachs as having a Jewish flavor :

de nous vouloir persuader ces tant evidentes menteries descrites en vos petits pacquectz annuelz, qui sentent encores leur Judaisme a pleine gorge” (fol. C1

La Daguenière use the word "retaillat" which means circumcised:

“retaillat terme se me semble dequoy on use fort peu souvent ailleurs qu’en Provence. Et qui n’est propre qu’à ceux qui sont yssus, descendus, & extraictz des tribus & races de Judee” (fol. D3v)

Among the sources of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, one usually mentions a Letter of the Jews of Arles to their brothers in Constantinople. In the 1880s, the then beginning Revue des Etudes Juives dedicated a few studies to this text and H. Graetz wrote an article, in 1889 : "But réel de la correspondance échangée vers la fin du XVe siècle entre les Juifs espagnols et provençaux et les Juifs de Constantinople". According to Graetz, this letter was translated from spanish to french with the same aim, to créate a feeling of disconfidence towards the New Christians. The letter from Arles was supposed to have been written at the time Provence was to be included within the French Kingdom . The Letter sent from Constantinople cynically encourages conversion but also marranism since it is the only way to remain in Provence or to stay in France. It is precisely an Abbé from Avignon, Bouis, who gave in 1641 a certain impact to this forged letter in his Royalle Couronne des Roys d'Arles. We can say that accusations of marranism prepared the move from antijudaism to anti-Semitism, since the religious change tended progressively to become not significant.

Crespin's Antijudaism and Antipapism

Behind the attacks by Crespin against the Jews, one wonder if he is not attacking the Pope. It is quite a typical strategy to associate an ennemy with the Jews in order to bring discredit to him. It is a classical polemical trick to connect an adversary with the Jews as it will be done in the XIXth Century with Free Masons, supposedy controled by Jews, which gave birth to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Prophéties dédiées à la Puissance Divine, Lyon, 1572:

Au Pontife Romain salut
Le Roy de Bloys dans Avignon regner.
(...)

Le Saint Siége sera remis au corps spirituel qui sera tenu pourt vray siége, la terre aride en siccité croistra & grand déluge sera aperceu soudain qui sera faict par despit de marrans & juifs, qui tiennent une loy à sainteté contraire

Crespin

Aux faux Juifz exécrables & marrans
Car vous serez déceuz (c'est à dire trompez du pontife Romain).

In 1574, after the Saint Barthelemy, Crespin still connects the Jews with the Pope in his Epistre de Profétie de paix qui doit venir au Royaume de France sans dissimulation qui régnera plus de trois cens ans etc :

"Moy Archidamus & Astrologue du dict Roy, je vous annonce que la vérité est telle qu'en brief temps, ceux qui auront mal vescu avec toutes leurs loix.. (...) comme le vieux testament a esté aboli qu'il n'y a plus que les Juifz qui le tiennent mais en ce temps qui doit venir, il n'y aura point de ceulx qui veullent convivre en leur meschante doctrine: il n'y aura Prince sur la terre qui les puisse sauver (..) et par le Pape de Rome maintenant entretenus & conservez en grand honneur lesditcz Juifz mais en ce temps qui doit venir & sommes bien proches de y estre, il n'y aura nuls qui aient méschante vie qui puissent estre sauvez & de mesme lesdictz faux Iuifz leur seront compagnie s'ils ne délogent subitement hors de la Chrestienté car le pouvoir dicelui qui les soustient ne sera de les soustenir".

Are those words "The Pope of Rome" coming from a good Catholic? One can doubt very much. Is Crespin a Protestant? The fact is that he is the prophet of a slaughter of the Jews and not of the Protestants...We rather believe that Crespin is an advocate of gallicanism and that this gallicanism cristalised around the Avignon problem. Actually, was he really against the Jews or did he try before all to weaken the legitimity of the presence of the Pope in Avignon? One should add that in the vicinity of Avignon, was a Protestant enclave, at Orange, which gave its name to the Dutch dynasty. Later on, this area became a refuge for the Jesuits, rejected from the French Kingdom, under Louis XV.

Eventually, the Avignon problem decreased and remained most of the time until the French Revolution outside the control of the French Kings. The Cardinal de Bourbon, cousin of the King of France was appointed in Avignon so that the prediction was only fulfilled under Louis XVI.

Eschatological antijudaism in the XVI th Century

Crespin, being connected with the political level as well as with the prophetical one, combines several sorts of antijudaisms. He might also have been influenced by texts published in French in the years 1530-1560s, containing attacks against the Jews although there were absent from France. But French was not limited to the Kingdom of France and some French speaking areas did have jewish minorities at least until they were integrated, sooner or later, for some of them, within the Kingdom, one of those areas being actually the Comtat Venaissin and Avignon.

Indeed the French States of the Pape did belong to the French cultural sphere. Many books in French were printed in Avignon, as the almanach of Nostradamus for 1563, by Pierre Roux, dedicated in French and Italian to François Fabrice de Serbellon, a military delegate of the Pope in Avignon. The same Pierre Roux, with Ian Tramblay, had published in 1558, an attack against Nostradamus, Declaration des abus ignorances et seditions de Michel Nostradamus, de Salon de Craux en Provence. In 1574, was published in Lyon, Jean Patrasson, a Brief Discours de quelques pluyes de sang advenues au Comté de Venaissin , by A. De Blegers de la Sale. Avignon will often be mentioned as a place of edition for the Nostradamus Centuries and in the XVIIIth Century, it will become a central nostradamic point, producing antidated forgeries as a Pierre Rigaud edition, Lyon, 1566.

Turrel

Le Période, c'est à dire la fin du monde contenant la disposition des choses terrestres par la vertu & influence des corps célestes. (1531)

"Or regardes Juif infideles & malheureux si le vrai Messias n'est point venus, puis que naves point de Royaume (...) mais vous avez des précheurs qui vous abusent mesmement Emmanuel delatis fil de Bonnet delatis, lequel ay ouy à vous prescher que le vray Messias vous viendroit bientost visiter etc'

Roussat

Livre de l'Estat et mutation du monde, Lyon, Guillaume Rouillé (1550)

"que les faulx, inhumains & meschans tirans Iuifz n'ont pu descirer " p. 178

La première partie du Recueil des Propheties et revelations tant anciennes que modernes, Paris, R. Le Mangnier, 1561. New edition, Troyes, P. Chevillot, 1611, Paris, Delarue, 1866.

Ch XXVII L'Estat et disposition des Juiifz infidéles est déclaré comment ils seront disposez (pp. 64 et seq)

"Et maintenant n'avez nulz prophetes, ne Roy, ne Prestre mais estes mesprisez de tout le monde en désolation perpetuelle (...)

"Vers la fin du monde peu de Juifz seront convertis à la foy car ils seront seduictz par l'Antéchrist

In the case of this last text, one should underline the fact that it was to republished several times, including 1611, but even in 1866 and both cases under the same cover as the Nostradamus Centuries. It is indeed important to notice that the Centuries, being a remarkable best selling during centuries have perpetuated, including the XIXth and XXth Centuries, some elements of Crespin's antijudaism and antipapism.

Astrology serving Antijudaism

In his Pronostication et prédiction pour 1572 qui seront conclus Mars estant seigneur pour le temps présent de la grande révolution du monde & suivra ses effectz jusques à l'an 1616 selon les mouvemens agiles du firmament, BNF, V 21370), Antoine Crespin gives a great importance to the coming "grand conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn in Aries, which only occurs every 800 or 900 hundred years - a conjunction taken quite seriously by Jean Bodin, in his Republique, published in the 1570s.

"....Quand toutes les planètes seront enjointes au signe d'Aries, alors vous vous pouvez assurer d'estre du tout ruinez ensemble tous vos supposts & lesdites choses sont bien proches à venir. O quel déplorable advenement quand les vespres Siciliennes seront exécutées incontinent plus rudement qu'elles n'ont esté faites au pays des Suysses par lesquels j'en suys grandement fasché avoir descouvert les dites choses au ciel" " (Lyon, Melchior Arnoullet

The time for this fatal conjunction to come is fixed by Crespin in 1584. It is true, however, that Jews, like Abraham Bar Hiyya, also speculated upon the next coming of the Messiah especially for the end of the XVth Century and Turrel, in 1531, alluded, in his Période, to the prophecies of Emmanuel de Lattes.

It remains that many historians of nostradamism, like Pierre Brind'amour, do continue to attribute the whole centurical corpus to Michel de Nostredame, including the antijewish elements, especially the attack against the Synagogue which is a quite obvious line. Of course, some new Christians were capable to be very agressive towards the faith of their ancestors. The fact that Nostradamus, born in Saint Remy, returned, at the end of his life, in the vicinity of Avignon, in Salon de Provence, city from which a part of his family came, makes such a statement rather improbable.

Conclusions

Progressively, in the XVI th Century, the idea of a ghetto took place which had not been considered in Spain. One main point was to distinguish between Jews and non Jews and there was an attempt to do it by imposing a specific sign like the yellow colour in Avignon but that was not always considered as enough. This ghetto solution had been actually applied in XVIth century s France towards the Protestants who had certains towns attributed to them like La Rochelle. Comparatively, the ghetto, in the sense of a reserved town then, more specifically, of a reserved street (carriere) or quarter, might appear indeed, retrospectively, as an acceptable alternative to expulsion or to conversion. In the first case, the expulsion of Jews created problems for the communities which received them with a certain risk of antijudaism and in the second case, the converted Jews remained suspect of heresy and were under the threat of Inquisition. There was a derived solution which was to integrate new Christians coming from Spain and Portugal and to forget, as it were, their Jewish origin, that is what happened in Bordeaux, it afforded the French authorities to accept Jews without having to change their laws.

As a matter of fact, what happened in Provence, an area which belongs not that obviously to the so called sephardic world, could be considered within the History of the solutions of the Jewish Question - which is the subtitle of Herzl ‘s Judenstaat- zionism being one of those solutions, It is to be remarked that Palestine, in its old geographic and mandatory sense, has also to do with the Church concerns -the Popes were directly connected with the Crusade-for Christians to reapropriate what had been lost by the Byzantine Empire. So in a certain sense, Palestine - and especially Jerusalem - could be considered as a sort of new Avignon. In any case, the Avignon jewish enclave does symbolize the fact that the Jewish people are often considered as an intellectual enclave, as a problem which cannot be solved by the usual procedures.

As to the strange repetition of the formula - like a leitmotiv - “Roy de Bloys dans Avignon régner”, in the Centuries, and the fact that the last verse of one of the quatrains bearing the said formula is uncompleted, we think that it is a clear sign that the Centuries were at first presented as a posthumous and unfinished work which by no means could have been published during the life of Michel de Nostredame.

Bibliography

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J. Halbronn, Le monde juif et l’astrologie, histoire d’un vieux couple, Milan, Arché, 1985D. Crouzet, La nuit de la Saint-Barthélemy. Un rêve perdu de la Renaissance. Paris, Fayard, 1994J. Halbronn, Le texte prophétique en France. Formation et fortune, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, Villeneuve d’Ascq, 2001.

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