Monday 30 July 2012

The Early Prophecies of Hildegard of Bingen


Kingdoms and Beasts:
The Early Prophecies of Hildegard of Bingen
Charles M. Czarski, PhD
The twelfth-century Benedictine author Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) has long
been famous for her first major work known as the Scivias, a description of her visions
and her commentaries on them which she wrote between 1141 and 1151.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze a striking vision consisting of a group of
animals which for Hildegard had prophetic meaning.  Her commentary on this vision
forms the core of her early prophetic thought.
In contrast to other contemporary writers, who developed their eschatology in the
form of Biblical exegesis, Hildegard was a visionary whose prophecies took the form of
commentaries on the visions which she believed had been sent to her by the Holy Spirit.
She maintained that from her infancy she had been instructed by the Holy Spirit in the
form of visions and voices which were not transmitted to her through her physical senses
and imagination.  Instead, Hildegard claimed that a heavenly light illuminated her soul
where she experienced the visions and instructions sent by the Holy Spirit.  She also
stated that in the course of these visionary experiences she was awake and conscious of
the world around her.  Hildegard believed that she had the God-given duty of revealing
these divine revelations in her writings.  Because Hildegard incorporated her visions into
her eschatology the symbolism found in her prophetic thought was highly original.  As
Newman has pointed out:
… her particular mode of seeing, with its visions within visions
… remains sui generis.  To her contemporaries the gift
appeared ‘strange’ and ‘unheard-of,’ and we must finally
With regard to the physical causes of Hildegard’s visions,F lanagan believed that
they were the product of migraine attacks, but this is impossible to prove.
Before Hildegard’s prophecies can be evaluated, a brief discussion of the relevant
historical background and key concepts is in order.
H. Rauh, Das Bild des Antichrist in Mittelalter (Munster: Verlag Aschendorf, 1973),  478-479.
Ibid., 478-526.
B. Newman, “Hildegard of Bingen: Visions and Validation”C hurch History 54 (1985):168-169.
S. Flanagan, Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179: A Visionary Life (London: Routledge, 1989; London:
Routledge, 1990), 193-213.
From the Early Middle Ages until the twelfth century, the views of St. Augustine of
Hippo (d.430) dominated eschatology in the Latin West.  Augustine saw the sixth age of
the world (that is, the time between the first advent of Christ and the end of the world) as
the status praesens.  Augustine and the Latin writers who followed him perceived the
status praesans as a single, undivided unit of time in which neither significant material
nor spiritual improvement (after Christ and the apostles) was considered possible nor, in
fact, any historical development at all.
Augustine also correlated the sixth age of the world with the old age (senectus) of
man.  Thus, the sixth age witnessed a continuation of the temporal decline of man and the
world which had already begun in the fifth age.  Augustine refused to predict when
exactly the sixth age would end.  The end of the world would remain unknown to
In the course of the twelfth century, Western writers began to abandon the
Augustinian view of the sixth age.  For example, according to Kamlah, one of the most
important twelfth-century innovations with regard to the periodization of time was the
development of the concept of Kirchengeschichte.  This concept involved the division of
the sixth age of the world into several periods which were assigned concrete historical
details.  The use of Kirchengeschichte represented a complete shift away from the
traditional, Augustinian view of the time between the apostolic Church and the Last
Judgement as the status praesens as an undifferentiated block of time in which historical
change was not acknowledged.
Kamlah traced the first use of the concept of Kirchengeschichte to Anselm of
Havelberg’sL iber de unitate fidei, an exegesis of the Apocalypse which was written
around 1150.  In it, Anselm divided Augustine’s sixth age of the world into sevens tatus
and he added concrete historical details to each status.
Anselm correlated the seven status of the Church with the opening of the seven
seals.  He originated the use of Kirchengeschichte in his attempt to explain how the
Church could change with time.  More specifically, in opposition to the medieval bias
that new developments were by nature bad, he wished to defend the appearance of a new
institution within the Church, namely, the rise of the regular canons, of whom he, as a
Premonstratensian, was a member.  Anselm found his answer to the question of how the
W. Kamlah, “Apocalypseu nd Geschichtstheologie,”H istorische Studien 285 (1935): 9-12, 61ff.
A. Luneau, L’histoire dus alut (Paris: Beauchesne et ses fils, 1964), 315-318.  Augustine correlated the
ages of the world and the ages of man (both as an individual and humanity in general) as follows: 1) Adam
to Noah –i nfantia, 2) Noah to Abraham – pueritia, 3) Abraham to King David – adolescentia, 4) David to
the Babylonian Captivity – iuventus, 5) the Babylonian Captivity to Christ – gravitas, which was a decline
from youth to old age, 6) Christ to the end of the world – senectus.  See Luneau, Salut, 284ff; R. Schmidt,
“Aetates mundi: Die Weltalter als Gliederungsprinzip der Geschichte,”Z eitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte 67
(1955-56): 291-294; P. Archambault, “The Ages of Man and the Ages of the World,”R evue des Etudes
Augustiniennes 12 (1966): 203-211.
Luneau, Salut, 316; R. Schmidt, “Aetates mundi,” 294.
Schmidt, “Aetates mundi,” 294; T. Mommsen, “St.A ugustine and the Christian Idea of Progress,”
Journal of the History of Ideas 12 (1951):350-354.
Kamlah, “Apocalypse,” 61ff.
Anselm of Havelberg, Liber de unitate fidei, Patrologiae, Series Latina 188, 1149C-1160A.  Edyvean has
accepted Kamlah’s thesis thatA nselm’s exegesis of the seven seals was highly original in its use of
concrete details.  See W. Edyvean, Anselm of Havelberg and the Theology of History (Rome: Catholic
Book Agency 1972), 26.
Church could change in Tyconius’ notion that as the devil changed his attacks against the
Church, the Church must change suitably in order to defend itself against these attacks.
Another example of an author who employed the principle of Kirchengeschichte
was Gerhoh of Reichersberg.  Gerhoh’sp eriodization of the sixth age of the world as well
as the historical details which he assigned to these periods reflected the fact that Gerhoh
was an extreme partisan of the Gregorian program of Church reform.  In fact, he
belonged to an order of regular canons, the Augustinians, one of the new orders which
was actively engaged in ecclesiastical reforms.
Gerhoh’ sdesire for ecclesiastical reform and his recognition of the historical
importance of the Investiture Controversy was apparent in the third and fourth divisions
of his four-fold scheme for periodizing the history of the sixth age of the world: 1) the
period of the martyrs, 2) the period of the heretics, 3) the time of Pope Gregory I (590-
604) to Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), and the present, from ca. 1100 or the reign of the
Emperor Henry IV (1056-1106) to the end of the world.
The evolution of Hildegard’s prophecies and concept of the sixth age of the world
can be most clearly traced through her exegesis of a complex group of symbols which
first appeared in a vision recorded in the Scivias.  Hildegard stated the basic theme
behind this group of symbols in the introduction to this vision.  Echoing the
Augustinian theme of the senectus mundi, she maintained that the world was heading
toward its end on a path full of disasters.  The church would also experience a great share
of troubles from the Antichrist and his harbringers.  However, the Church would not only
survive these ordeals but would emerge from them greater than ever.
In the first part of her vision, Hildegard described five beasts which she saw in the
north.  These animals signified “five very fierce courses of temporal kingdoms,” as
well as the times during which these kingdoms would exist.  The fact that these future
kingdoms were symbolized by animals located in the direction of the north indicated that
these kingdoms would be tainted by sinful, carnal desires.  The animals symbolized the
Edyvean, Anselm, 24-25; Kamlah, “Apocalypse,” 64-60.
B. Topfer, Das kommende Reich des Friedens (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1964), 28;  H. Rauh, Antichrist,
For Gerhoh’s view of the sixth age, see A.D empf, Sacrum Imperium (Munich and Berlin, 1929; repr.
Ed., Darmstadt, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1954), 252-261; Topfer, Reich des Friedens, 28-33;
Rauh, Antichrist, 416-473; M. Reeves,  “The Originality and Influence ofJ oachim of Fiore,”T raditio 36
(1980): 280-281; B. McGinn, Visions of the End (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979), 96-107.
A. Fuhrkotter, ed., Hildegardis Scivias, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis, Vol 43
(Turnholt: Brepols, 1978), III, 11.
Ibid., III, 11, 1.
Ibid., III, 11, 1-6.
…quinque ferocissimi cursus temporalium regnorum… Ibid., III, 11, 1, 155-156.
Ibid., III, 11, 1, 153-157.  Elsewhere, Hildegard maintained that the kingdoms of the world were
supported by a vice which she labeled Love of the World.  The virtue which opposed this was Love of
Heaven.  See her Liber vitae meritorum in J. Pitra, ed., Analecta Sacra, vol. 8 (Monte Cassino, 1882;
reprint ed., Farnborough, England: Gregg Press Ltd., 1966), 10.
For Hildegard, the dynamic force behind history was the battle between God and his virtues versus
Satan and his vices for man’s soul.  SeeS civias, III, 4, 6.  Although the virtues appeared to her as
personified forms in her visions, she carefully pointed out that they were not animate:
…non quod ulla virtus sit vivens forma in semetipsa, sed solummodo praelucida sphaera a Deo
fulgens in opera hominis; quia homo perficitur cum virtutibus, quoniam ipsae sunt opus operantis
hominis in Deo.
ferocity of these future kingdoms.  The first animal was a “fiery dog” which did not
burn.  Thus, “snapping” men would live during the times symbolized by this animal.
These men would believe that they appear like fire.  However, they would not actually
burn in divine justice.
The second beast was a yellow lion.  The lion symbolized future times which
would be characterized by warlike men who would not observe God’s righteousness in
their wars.  The yellow color of the lion indicated that the kingdoms of these warlike
times would begin to grow weak.
The next animal was the pale horse associated with the fourth seal of the
Apocalypse (Rev. 6:7-8).  The men who would live during the times symbolized by the
horse would neglect the virtues in their haste to pursue pleasure.  They would be
completely sunk in sin and lust.  Their preoccupation with sin and neglect of the virtues
would soon rob their kingdoms of strength.  The paleness of the horse signified the fall of
their kingdoms.
The fourth animal was a black pig.  The leaders who would exist in the times
symbolized by the pig would engulf themselves in filth by which Hildegard meant that
they would violate God’s precept by committing fornication and related sins.  The
blackness of the pig symbolized the gloominess or sadness of these leaders.  Hildegard
See Scivias, III, 3, 3, 166-169.
The purpose of the virtues was to ensure man’sw ellbeing be showing him the way to the good and
by helping him in the struggle against Satan.  They also indicated to God whether or not man was
worshipping him.  See Scivias I, 6, 4, 112-139 and Explanatio symboli S. Athanasii, PL 197, 1067C.  Thus,
Hildegard was able to employ the relative strength or weakness of the virtues among men of different
historical periods or of future ages as a barometer with which she measured humanity’s spiritual progress
or decline.
…canis igneus, sed non ardens; quia cursus temporum illorum homines suae constitutionis mordaces
habebit, in sua quidem aestimatione velut ignis apparentes, sed in iustitia Dei non ardentes.  Scivias III, 11,
In the LVM (pp. 11 and 35), Hildegard used a dog as a symbol of petulance (petulantia).  According to
her, men who were petulant were like a hunting dog because they did not have steadfast minds.  Their
minds were like a hunting dog because they followed the will of other people just as a hunting dog
followed its prey.  She also noted (LVM 44-45) that people who were guilty of petulantia would be
punished by fire.
…leo fulvis coloris est: quoniam cursus ille bellicosos homines sustinebit, multa quidem bella moventes
sed in eis rectitudinem Dei non inspicientes: quia in fulvo colore regna illa incipient fatigationem debilitatis
incurrere.  Scivias, III, 11, 3.
Hildegard also used a lion in the conventional manner to symbolize Christ, who was the enemy of Satan.
See LVM, 9, 30, 88.
…equus pallidus: quia tempora illa homines in diluvio peccati lascivos et in velocitate voluptatis suae
operationem bonarum virtutum transilientes producunt, ubi tunc cor regnorum illorum in pallore reinae
suae confingetur quoniam ruborem fortitudinis suae iam perdet.  Scivias, III, 11, 4.
Cf. interpretations of the pale horse be Bede, Explanatio Apocalypsis, PL 93, 147C; Haimo of
Halberstadt, In Apocalypsin,  PL, 117, 1027D-1082D; Anselm of Havelberg, De unitate fidei, PL, 188,
1152C-1154C; Martin of Leon, Expositio libri apocalypsis, PL 209, 336D-337B.
…niger porcus: quoniam cursus ille rectores magnam nigredinem tristitia in semetipsis facientes habet et
se luto immunditiae involventes, videlicet divinam legem in multis contrarietatibus, fornicationum et
aliorum similium malorum postponentes, ac multa schismata divinorum praeceptorum in sanctitate
machinantes.  Scivias, III, 11, 5.
Elsewhere (Ibid., III, 7, 6) Hildegard denounced pagans who refused to convert as being covered with
fornication and adultery like a pig covered with mud.
was referring to the leaders of kingdoms because all of the animals symbolized
The fifth animal was a grey wolf.  The earlier times signified by the wolf would
be characterized by men who would struggle for control over kingdoms with the result
that the kingdoms of these times would be divided and fall.  The wolf indicated the
rapaciousness of these future men.  The gray color of the wolf symbolized the cunning or
deceit these men would employ to obtain power because they would try not to appear
black or white, that is, they would not wish to reveal their true selves.  When the
kingdoms of the earlier times symbolized by the wolf have fallen, the Antichrist would
appear and persecute the elect.
In the next scene of her vision, the five animals turned towards the west.  This
scene signified that the “fallen times”c (aduca tempora) symbolized by the animals “fell”
with the setting sun.  Hildegard based the comparison between the times and the sun on
an analogy with man: “… since just as it rises and sets so also do men when one is born
and another dies.”  Hildegard thus compared the history of the world to the course of a
day.  The Incarnation had taken place relatively late in the day because Christ arrived
after the world had already passed through five ages.  She likened Christ’s arrival to the
time of the day after the ninth hour, when evening was approaching.  Thus, she
maintained, in true Augustinian fashion, that the day which symbolized the history of the
world was already moving towards its sunset at the time of the Incarnation.  The advent
of the Antichrist would be like the setting of the sun in the west, in other words, near the
end of the world.
Next, Hildegard observed that a hill with five tops appeared in the west before the
five animals.  The five hilltops in the west indicated the power of the carnal desires
In the LVM (147), the vice of injustice was symbolized by an animal with a body like a pig’s.
…lupus griseus quia illa tempora habebunt homines multas rapinas tam in potestatibus quam in reliquis
successibus sibmetipsis inferentes, cum in his certaminibus nec nigros nec albos sed velut griseos in
verustiis suis se ostendentes, capita rengorum illorum ea dividentes deiciunt: quoniam tunc veniet tempus
irretitionis multarum animarum, ubi error errorum ab infer usque ad caelum erigitur, ita quod ‘filii lucis’
torculari martyriorum suorum imponuntur, Filium Dei non negantes sed filium perditionis abicientes, qui
diabolicis artibus voluntates suas perficere tentabit.  Scivias, III, 11, 6, 182-192.
Medieval writers saw the wolf as a symbol of the Antichrist because this animal was the enemy of the
lamb, which symbolized Christ.  See R. Emmerson, Antichrist in the Middle Ages (Seattle: University of
Washington Press, 1981), 76.
In the LVM (198), Hildegard used a creature with the head of a wolf to signify the vice of sorcery.
She reasoned that to acquire the diabolical arts of magic, people had to surrender their souls to Satan who
would consume his victims the way a wolf consumed a lamb.  This creature also had a lion’s tail, which
symbolized that sorcerers come to a bad end.  The fact that the remainder of this creature’s body resembled
a dog indicated that sorcerers employed their knowledge of magic to hunt for evil.  Hildegard, emphasized
the Antichrist’s role as a sorcerer in her account of his life.
Scivias, III, 11, 6, 193-196.
Ibid., III, 11, 24-25.
…quia sicut [sol] oritur et occidit, ita etiam faciunt homines, cum hic nascitur et cum ille moritur.
Scivias, III, 11, 6, 194-196.  Origen (d. ca. 253) had formulated a pattern based on a correlation between the
twelve-hour solar day mentioned in the parable about the workers in the vineyard (Mt. 20:1-16) and the
history of the world.  Thus, the morning or first hour represented the time from Adam to Noah, the third
hour, Noah to Abraham, the sixth hour, Abraham to Moses, the ninth hour, Moses to Christ, and the
eleventh hour, Christ to the end of the world.  Origen had also correlated the hours of the solar day with the
ages of man.  See Schmidt, “Aetates Mundi” 302-306.
Ibid., III, 11, 7, 199-202.
associated with the five future times and kingdoms, which were symbolized by the five
A rope ran from each animal’s mouth to each hilltop.  The ropes coming from the
animals’ mouths indicated that from the beginning of the times symbolized by these
animals the power of carnal desires would maintain an “uninterrupted course of great
extent” (tenor prolixitatis).  The ropes which were connected with the first four beasts
were black, which signified that the courses of the carnal desires of the times symbolized
by the animals would be characterized by the rapacity of the men living then and that the
great lengths of these carnal desires would be characterized by man’s stubborn pursuit of
pleasure.  The rope coming from the mouth of the wolf was partly black and partly
white.  The blackness of this rope symbolized the iniquities which would be committed
under the Antichrist while the whiteness of this rope signified the justice of those who
would oppose him.
Dividing time or viewing historical development in terms of kingdoms symbolized
by animals can be traced back at least as far as Jerome whose concept of four successive
world empires became important in the Middle Ages.  Jerome developed this concept in
a commentary on the four beasts mentioned in Daniel 7:2-8.  The lioness symbolized
the kingdom of the Babylonians and their way of life which was characterized by
brutality, cruelty, luxuriousness and lust.  Moreover, the eagle’s wings attached to the
lioness stood for the pride of Babylon.  The second beast was like a bear whose ferocity
Ibid., III, 11, 7, 203-206.
Ibid., III, 11, 7, 205.
Ibid., III, 11, 7, 206-211.  In a fragment from her medical works, Hildegard noted that the letter “c” or the
number one hundred was written on each rope of the beasts.  See H. Schipperges “Ein unveroffentlichtes
Hildegard-Fragment,”S udhoffs Archiv fur Geschichte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschaft 40 (1956):
73.  In the Scivias (III, 2, 19), she used the number one hundred to signify man’s moral imperfection from
the time of Christ to the end of the world.  On the last day, the elect will achieve moral perfection, which
she symbolized by the number one thousand.
Scivias, III, 11, 7, 207-215.
This scene of the five animals and the hill was portrayed in a miniature in Hs 1 (214 verso).  Besides
having the best text of the Scivias (a distinction it with Pal. Lat. 311), Hs 1 contains illuminations which are
generally in harmony with the text.  The only inaccuracies in the illumination of this scene is that the lion is
painted red instead of yellow.  The hill is somewhat distorted because it is very elongated like a tree with
five thick trunks at its top.
In addition to having a text which contains many errors, the illuminations found in the Codex Salem
X, 16, do not do justice to the details described in the text.  The illumination (177 recto) of the scene in
question consists of very simplified pictorial versions of Hildegard’s descriptions.  The illumination does
not help to explain the text.  In fact, the artist had to use captions so that the reader could identify the
pictures.  For example, the animals are labeled: canis, leo, equus, porcus, and lupus.  Only the horse and the
pig can be recognized without their captions.  The horse is colored light blue with patches of white.  The
four other animals are light brown or beige.  Thus, their colors do not match the descriptions in the text.
The ropes of the dog, lion, and pig are uncolored, while the ropes of the horse and the wolf are black and
white.  Thus only the rope of the wolf is true to the text.  The caption for this picture reads: “Collis quinque
apices habens, et ab ore cuiusque bestiae funis ad quemque apicem collis eiusdem extensus.”  This is close
to the text.  The hilltops are light brown just like the animals.
Rauh, Antichrist, 530-531.
Jerome of Stridon, In Danielem, Corpus Christanorum, Series Latina, Vol. 75 (Turnholt: Brepols, 1964),
II, vii, 2-8.
Jerome mistook “lion” for “lioness” when he was translating from the Aramaic or the Greek.  See his
Commentary on Daniel, trans. G. Archer (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1958), 72.
symbolized that the Persians, who succeeded the Babylonians, had a rigorous and frugal
life style.  Jerome thought that the third beast or the leopard symbolized the
Macedonians.  He based this correlation on the fact that a leopard was noteworthy for its
speed.  Likewise, Alexander the Great conquered the world very quickly.  The
Macedonians also resembled a leopard because they were bloodthirsty and tended to
plunge into death.  The fourth beast, which was strong and terrible, signified the Roman
Empire.  The fact that this beast devoured and crushed everything indicated that Rome
would destroy and subjugate all nations.  Jerome maintained that Rome would be the last
empire.  The fall of the Roman Empire would lead to the rise of the kingdom of the
With regard to the derivation of Hildegard’s symbolism, the pale horse and the
wolf, as it has been noted, were conventional symbols.  The concept of using a lion to
symbolize a kingdom was as old as the book of Daniel and Jerome.  However, Hildegard
modified this symbol in her own way.  Unlike the lion in Daniel, her lion was not winged.
Furthermore, there was no mention of a color in connection with the lion in Daniel,
whereas Hildegard described the lion in her vision as yellow.  The symbols of the dog
and the pig seem to be original.
Liebeschutz’s notion of the derivation of these symbols was inadequate and not
backed by sufficient evidence.  He noted that Hildegard’sP hysica, which was her
encyclopedia of pharmacology, contained descriptions of similar animals.  From this
similarity, he concluded that these animal symbols were derived from “einer
zoologischen Uberlieferung.”  However, in theP hysica, Hildegard dealt with these
animals in a way quite different from the Scivias.  In the Physica, she described the
nature of the dog or the lion in general and whether or not the species or animal under
discussion was good or bad for man.  She evaluated the medical properties of these
species.  In the Physica, unlike the Scivias, she did not assign any eschatological meaning
to these animals.
When the entire scene of the five beasts anchored to the hilltops is considered, the
originality of Hildegard’s symbolism is readily apparent.  She placed traditional symbols
like the lion, horse, and wolf in an original context. The originality of this scene was an
outgrowth of her visionary experience, which set her apart from contemporary exegetes
such as Gerhoh of Reichersberg, Anselm of Havelberg, and Honorious of Autun.
Hildegard was more like an Old Testament prophet in the tradition of Isaiah or Jeremiah
in that she criticized the moral lapses of leaders like Archbishop Henry of Mainz and
revealed personal visions, which she believed were divinely-inspired, concerning the
present and future.  The concept of comparing Hildegard to the Old Testament prophets
can be traced as far back as her Vita, which likened her to Ezechiel and Daniel.
Hildegard’s use of five beasts to symbolize periods of time and thek ingdoms
which would exist in these periods was unusual.  She did not follow the traditional
pattern of four beasts and empires which had been established by Jerome, nor did she
Jerome of Stridon, In Danielem, II, vii, 7c, 8.
H. Liebeschutz, Das allegorische Weltbild der heiligen Hildegard von Bingen (Leipzig: Teubner, 1930;
reprint ed., Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1964), 153-154.  See also Physica, PL 197,
VII, 3, 8, 17, 19, 20.
M. Klaes, ed., Vita Sanctae Hildegardis, CCCM, vol 126 (Turnholt: Brepols, 1993), I, IX, 3-4 and III,
XVI, 32-33.
follow the patterns of seven found in the Apocalypse such as the seven seals or the seven-
headed dragon.  Liebeschutz, in his interpretation of the five beasts, came to the
conclusion that Hildegard chose five because five ages of the world proceeded Christ.
Hildagard’s account of the five beasts and thes ymbols which were associated with them
does not contain the slightest implication that she recognized any relationship between
the ages of the world which passed before Christ and the times designated by the five
Rauh, on the other hand, has suggested that Hildegard’s use of five in connection
with her account of the kingdoms which were symbolized by the beasts might be derived
from the five fallen kings mentioned in Revelation 17:10.  Rauh’s thesis is very
probably correct because one of the main themes in her discussion of the five beasts was
the downfall of the kingdoms which they signified.
Scholarly opinion has been divided over the question of the meanings of the five
beasts.  There is the problem of whether or not they signified periods of time.
Liebeschutz and Rauh denied that the beasts represented periods of time.  Liebeschutz
felt that in the Scivias, Hildegard was using the five beasts to signify the evil of secular
authority in general and not in future periods of time.  Rauh maintained that the animals
referred to future things but not to periods of time.  One major problem with Rauh’s
treatment of the five beasts was that he did not clearly distinguish Hildegard’s early use
of the beasts in the Scivias, from her later use of these symbols in the Liber divinorum
operum.  Warnefried and Hocht were of the opinion that the beasts designated periods of
time.  They did not specify whether or not Hildegard considered these periods of time to
be in the future.  Demf, Widmer, Rosenberg, and Gronau upheld the notion that for
Hildegard the five beasts represented five future periods of time.
The position maintained by the author of this article is that from Hildegard’s point
of view, the five beasts in the Scivias represented five future periods of time.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that these periods of time were vaguely-defined
compared with Hildegard’s later discussion of these animals in theL iber divinorum
operum.  The main reason why these animals should be interpreted as referring to the
future was that Hildegard employed the future tense in connection with the events which
were associated with the time signified by the dog.  Thus, the sequence of events which
followed the time signified by the dog will occur in the future as well.  Furthermore,
Hildegard also used the future tense in connection with events which were designated by
Liebeschutz, Weltbild, 153-154.
Scivias, III, 11.
Rauh, Antichrist, 507-508.
Liebeschutz, Weltbild, 154.
Rauh, Antichrist, 510.
C. Warnefried, Merkwurdige Gesichte, Prophezeiungen, und gottliche Offenbarungen uber Kirche und
Staat (Regensburg: Georg Joseph Manz, 1871), 163; J. Hocht, Hildegard von Bingen, Gesichte uber das
Ende der Zeiten (Wiesbaden: Credo –Verlag, 1953), 22.
Dempf, Sacrum Imperium, 267; B. Widmer, Heilsordnung und Zeitgeschehen in der Mystik Hildegards
von Bingen (Basel: Verlag von Hilbing und Lichtenhahn, 1955), 185, 193-195; A Rosenberg, Sibyl und
Prophetin (Munich: Otto Wilhelm Barth-Verlag, 1960), 85; E. Gronau, Hildegard von Bingen, 1098-1179:
Prophetische Lehrerin der Kirche an der Schwelle und am Ende der Neuzeit, with a forward by F.
Holbock, 2 ed. (Stein am Rhein: Christiana-Verlag, 1991), 143.
Scivias, III, 11, 2.
the lion, horse, and wolf.  Contrary to Rauh’s opinion,H ildegard’s employment of such
phrases as cursus temporum illorum and illa tempora indicates that the animals signified
periods of time and not just things.
Another question regarding the beasts is their political significance.  The notion of
Liebeschutz that the beasts signified the evil of secular authority in general and not in
future periods of time has already been disproved.  Hildegard was referring only to evil
secular powers which would exist in the future.  Raugh maintained that when Hildegard
employed the term “kingdoms”r (egna) in connection with the five beasts, she did not
mean a specific kind of political structure but the evil political or social behavior which
would pave the way for the advent of the Antichrist.  Similarly, Gronau believed that
Hildegard used the five beasts to represent the spiritual characteristics of the future rather
than the kingdoms of the future.
However, Hildegard meant kingdoms in a literal sense.  For example, she spoke of
leaders (rectores) in association with the period symbolized by the pig.  The use of such
a term makes more sense in relation to kingdoms than it does to evil political conduct in
general.  Furthermore, in her later thought, Hildegard was quite specific in describing
how kingdoms will dominate Europe’s future political scene.  Warnefried and Dempf
held that the five beasts signified temporal kingdoms.  Lubac felt that each beast
represented a definite kingdom.  But Hildegard consistently used the plural whenever
she referred to the kingdoms (regna) and those who will lead those kingdoms
(rectores).  She most likely intended each beast to signify all of the kingdoms which
will exist in a particular future period of time.
In conclusion, the five beasts represented five vaguely-defined periods of time,
from Hildegard’s point of view.  According to her, the evil people who will live in these
kingdoms will prepare the way for the arrival of the Antichrist.
Except for one innovative element, her discussion of the time symbolized by the
beasts was traditional or Augustinian.  The Augustinian components included the theme
that the world was in its old age and also the notion that man could not calculate the time
of the arrival of the Antichrist.  In accordance with the Augustinian view of the sixth age
as the status praesens, Hildegard’s accounts of the periods and kingdoms symbolized by
the first four beasts were just vague variations on the traditional theme of moral decline
which would pave the way for the arrival of the Antichrist.  The concept that sin and evil
would thrive near the advent of the Antichrist or the end of the world was a traditional
concept in eschatology.  This view was based on Matthew 24:12.  In harmony with the
nonhistorical notion of the sixth age as the status praesens, Hildegard did not foretell any
historical developments or changes in the future times and kingdoms which would come
Ibid., III, 11, 3-4; III, 11, 6, 182-192.
Ibid., III, 11, 2; III, 11, 4; III, 11, 6, 182-192.
Rauh, Antichrist, 509-510.
Gronau, Hildegard, 130-143.
Scivias, III, 11, 5.
Liber divinorum operum, PL 197, 1026B-D.
Warnefried, Prohezeiungen, 163; Dempf, Sacrum Imperium, 267.
H. de Lubac, Exegese medievale (Paris, Aubier, 1961) Pt. 2, Vol. 1, 525-526.
Scivias, III, 11, 2-5.
Emmerson, Antichrist, 42, 52-53.
before the advent of the Antichrist.  Also in agreement with the Augustinian concept of
the sixth age, Hildegard’s use of the five beasts demonstrated that her early prophetic
thought did not foresee any material or spiritual improvement in the time before the
Hildegard’s description of the five beasts made one major departure from the
traditional view of the sixth age as the status praesens by dividing the future of the sixth
age into five vaguely-defined periods of time.  She thereby drew away from the notion of
the sixth age as a single unit of time.  By periodizing the sixth age, Hildegard adopted
one of the characteristics of Kirchengeschichte.  However, the Scivias did not incorporate
the other aspect of Kirchengeschichte, namely the use of concrete historical details in
conjunction with periods of time.  Therefore, Hildegard’s treatment of the five beasts in
the Scivias marked an incomplete transition from the Augustinian view of the sixth age as
the status praesens and the new way of dealing with the sixth age in terms of
Scholarship has overlooked the significance of Hildegard’sp eriodization of time in
connection with the five beast in the Scivias.  This important departure from the
Augustinian view of the sixth age has gone unnoticed with the result that the Scivias has
been stereotyped as traditional or Augustinian.  For example, Liebeschutz correctly
observed that the use of the beasts in the Scivias was indicative of patristic eschatology
because Hildegard focused her attention on the Antichrist and not on the future events
which would precede him.  However, he completely failed to understand her
periodization of time and its significance.  Lubac felt that the Scivias, like all medieval
eschatological works which were written before Joachim of Fiore, was in the Augustinian
tradition.  Likewise, McGinn claimed that “…the Scivias…shows this Benedictine
abbess as conservative and monastic in outlook….”  Granted that she dealt with the great
majority of topics in the Scivias in a traditional or Augustinian manner, yet the
periodization of time which she described in connection with the five beasts represented a
significant departure from the Augustinian view of the sixth age.
Mommsen, in his account of Augustine’s view of the sixth age of the world, describedA ugustine’s
attitude towards kingdoms during this age in words which could be applied precisely to Hildegard’s attitude
towards the kingdoms signified by the five beasts.  Mommsen stated that in Augustine’s view, the sixth age
was characterized by  “…the mutability and instability of human affairs.  Cities, kingdoms, and empires
have risen and fallen throughout the course of history and this will always be the case.”  T.M ommsen,
“Progress,” 373.   ThisA ugustinian indifference to the historical fate of temporal political institutions was
clearly manifested in Hildegard’s account of the kingdoms which were symbolized by the five beasts in the
Liebeschutz, Weltbild, 154.
Lubac, Exegese medievale, Pt. 2, Vol. 1, 459-527.
McGinn, Visions, 97.
The thesis that the periodization of time employed in association with the five beasts in the Scivias
signaled an important departure from the Augustinian view of the sixth age as the status praesens or an
incomplete transition to Kirchengeschichte was original to the author’s dissertation “The Prophecies of
Hildegard of Bingen,” (Ph.D.d iss., University of Kentucky, 1983), ch. 2.

A Maya king


The Mayan King found on the Xultun murals.

A Maya king, seated and wearing an elaborate head dress of blue feathers, adorns the north wall of the ruined house discovered at the Maya site of Xultún. An attendant, at right, leans out from behind the king’s head dress. The painting by artist Heather Hurst recreates the design and colors of the original Maya artwork at the site.
CREDIT: Heather Hurst, copyright National Geographic Society

View full size image

The oldest-known version of the ancient Maya calendar has been discovered adorning a lavishly painted wall in the ruins of a city deep in the Guatemalan rainforest.

The hieroglyphs, painted in black and red, along with a colorful mural of a king and his mysterious attendants, seem to have been a sort of handy reference chart for court scribes in A.D. 800 — the astronomers and mathematicians of their day. Contrary to popular myth, this calendar isn't a countdown to the end of the world in December 2012, the study researchers said.

"The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future," said archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas, who worked to decipher the glyphs. "Numbers we can't even wrap our heads around." [End of the World? Top Doomsday Fears]

<a href=";kw=adsense1;sz=575x185;ord=123456789?" target="_blank" ><img src=";kw=adsense1;sz=575x185;ord=123456789?" border="0" alt="" /></a>

A brilliant surprise

The newly discovered calendar is complex indeed, featuring stacked bars and dots representing fives and ones and recording lunar cycles in six-month chunks of time. But it wasn't these mathematical notations that first caught the archeologists' eye. William Saturno, an archaeologist from Boston University, was mapping the ancient Maya city of Xultun in northeast Guatemala in 2010 when one of his undergraduate students peered into an old trench dug by looters and reported seeing traces of ancient paint.

The discovery was "certainly nothing to write home about," Saturno told reporters on Thursday (May 10), in advance of releasing details of the murals in this week's issue of the journal Science. Paint doesn't preserve well in the rain forest climate of Guatemala, and Saturno figured that the faint red and black lines his student had found weren't going to yield much information. But he felt he had a responsibility to excavate the room the looters had tried to reach, if only to be able to report the size of the structure along with the paint finding.

The first artwork found on the walls of a Maya house.

Conservator Angelyn Bass cleans and stabilizes the surface of a wall of a Maya house that dates to the ninth century. The figure of a man who may have been the town scribe appears on the wall to her left.
CREDIT: Photo by Tyrone Turner © 2012 National Geographic

View full size image

As Saturno continued along the old trench to the back wall, he was shocked to run into a brilliantly painted portrait: a Mayan king, sitting on his throne, wearing a red crown with blue feathers flowing out behind him. Another figure peeks out from behind him. On an adjoining wall, three loincloth-clad figures sit, wearing feathered headdresses. One is captioned "Older Brother Obsidian," or "Senior Obsidian," a still-mysterious title. Next to the king, a man painted in brilliant orange wearing jade bracelets reaches out with a stylus, likely identifying him as a scribe. He is labeled as "Younger Brother Obsidian," or perhaps "Junior Obsidian." [See Photos of the Mayan murals]

It's not the end of the world

These paintings — covering the west and north walls of the small, 6-foot-by-6-foot room — weren't the only surprise Xultun had to offer. On the east wall, someone had painted a series of small, complex hieroglyphics. This, the researchers soon realized, was a calendar.

The calendar seemed to have been added after the murals were completed, as some of the numbers cover up painted figures on the wall. It's almost as if an ancient scribe got sick of flipping through a document to find his timekeeping chart and decided to put it on the wall for at-a-glance reference, Stuart said.

"It's kind of like having a whiteboard in your office where you're writing down formulas that you want to remember," he said.

The Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, including 400-year chunks called baktuns. It's these baktuns that have led to rumors of an end-of-the-world catastrophe on Dec. 21, 2012 — on that date, a cycle of 13 baktuns will be complete. But the idea that this means the end of the world is a misconception, Stuart said. In fact, Maya experts have known for a long time that the calendar doesn't end after the 13th baktun. It simply begins a new cycle. And the calendar encompasses much larger units than the baktun.

An image of what may be the first Mayan astronomical calendar.


Four long numbers on the north wall of the ruined house relate to the Maya calendar and computations about the moon, sun and possibly Venus and Mars; the dates stretch some 7,000 years into the future. These are the first calculations Maya archaeologists have found that seem to tabulate all of these cycles in this way. Although they all involve common multiples of key calendrical and astronomical cycles, the exact significance of these particular spans of time is not known.
CREDIT: Illustration by William Saturno and David Stuart © 2012 National Geographic

View full size image

"There were 24 units of time they actually could have incorporated into their calendar," Stuart said. "Here, we're only seeing five units and they're still really big."

In one column, the ancient scribe even worked out a cycle of time recording 17 baktuns, the researchers found. In another spot, someone etched a "ring number" into the wall. These notations were used to record time in a previous cycle, thousands of years into the past. The calendar also appears to note the cycles of Mars and Venus, the researchers said. Symbols of gods head the top of each lunar cycle, suggesting that each cycle had its own patron deity.

"There was a lot more to the Maya calendar than just 13 baktuns," Stuart said.

Scratching the surface

This ancient "wall calendar" is a major find, because the first known calendar and astronomical tables before this time came from the Dresden Codex, a book that dates to the 11th or 12th centuries. Most likely, Saturno said, the wall calendar and the Dresden Codex both arose from earlier books that long ago rotted away. [8 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries]

The mural room gives an unprecedented glimpse into the work lives of Mayan scientists, Stuart said. The mural room is in a compound with several other rooms, which were collapsed and built over in later years. The murals only survived, because, instead of collapsing the room, Mayan engineers filled it with rubble and then built on top of it.

"This is clearly a space where someone important was living, this important household of the noble class, and here you also have a mathematician working in that space," Stuart said. "It's a great illustration of how closely those roles were connected in Mayan society."

Kings would have been extremely interested in timekeeping, Stuart said, because part of their job was to conduct rituals of renewal at certain times. Unfortunately, the name of the king pictured in the mural room has been lost.

Although Xultun was first discovered in 1915, less than 0.1 percent has been explored, Saturno said. Looters damaged much of the ancient city in the 1970s, meaning much of historical significance has been lost. But archaeologists still don't even know how far the boundaries of the town extend.

"[That] investigations can begin and in a house like this we can find something we've never seen before only speaks to the great wealth of scientific material that remains in Guatemala in the Maya area for us to discover," Saturno said.

The excavations of the mural room were funded by the National Geographic Society.

You can follow LiveScience senior writer Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

Sunday 29 July 2012

Prophecy News in the Faith


Prophecy News in the Faith

Prophecy News in the Faith

Prophecy News Current Events in the Faith | ID#072612 |
Prophecy News this week is in the Faith of Jesus Christ and his testimony. As we do Syria is continuing to heat up as the battle rages near the stronghold of Assad. Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf as the Americans send more ships into the area. Prophecy News and current events this week covers the many new improvements in making and preparing for war as new technological advances come forth
As the military continues to improve its advances we hear of Drones firing lasers, mind reading helmets, insect cyborgs, smart bullets that have brains, and the Super soldier. With this news comes that the Marines are preparing law enforcement battalions. Prophecy looks in the basket of delusion as the nations, i.e. the 'euro zone' economy that is not doing well and also Italy and Spain having economic troubles. Argentina is facing the same thing as is many cities in America. With American debt now into its fifth straight year of trillion dollar debt and the poverty rate at its highest, we find an opportunity to use all the military upgrades that been done. That is to control the nation during martial law. Don't miss this jam pack session of Prophecy news "in the faith" as the current events are hurling us straight at the sixth chapter of Revelation. All is hanging in the balance, God's balance as the nation’s move in historic ways towards Prophecy being fulfilled.
In the Faith of Jesus Christ we find Paul being stoned by the Jews who hated him and his messaged left him for dead. But in the midst of the disciples, he rose up. He further exhorted them saying "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of god".
7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
Act 14:19-23
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

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The People You Hate Aren't Here


I wanted to do a longer treatment of this, but I'm going to leave that to a later post. I just want to get this one up to make the point.
Catholics don't hate gays. We don't obsess over birth control. The people progressives want so badly to hate don't exist, at least not in meaningful numbers.
I'm a Eucharistic Minister at our church. Last Sunday while distributing the Body of Christ, a couple of women who were almost certainly lesbians came up to receive the Host. They were given the Sacrament with as much love as everyone else. That happens all the time and the meaning of the action is totally lost on the progressives who long to hate us.
In Catholicism, there is nothing that compares to the Body and Blood of Christ. Nothing even comes close. Because we oppose gay marriage, we're frequently accused of hating gays. We don't. Not even a little. If we did, how could we share our most sacred thing with them? When we distribute Communion, it doesn't come with a lecture to each person or even a stern look. It comes with love and solemnity, not hate. Come and see who we are and you'll understand.

The only hate here is the hate you bring with you.

Saturday 28 July 2012

The Coming World War 3 | Prophecy in the News


The end times are here we are in the birthing pains which are stated in Matthew 24 an also Luke 21 ,either the one world order is the fourth beast or the Vatican because in Daniel the four beasts are 4 kingdoms the fourth kingdom its says will be different from all the other kingdoms

From Daniel, Ezekiel, NT, it is clearly shown that in the last days, World War 3 will be started by the king of the South represented by Israel or Egypt. When Israel attack the king of the North represented by Iran (head of the former Persian empire), then all hell will break loose. After the 4th Seal is opened, 1/4 of all mankind will be killed by wars with the deployment of WMD, greatest earthquakes ever with subsequent extremely huge tsunamis, pestilences and famines. The end is at hand. The 4th Seal was opened on the 3rd February 2011, in the midst of riots in Cairo, Egypt. Be ready to face the coming prophecies as recorded in OT, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Revelation, etc. before the opening of the 5th Seal (The period of the Great Tribulation) and then the 6th Seal (Rapture).#1 I believe the USA will be part of the anti-christ's kingdom,along with Europe.There will be those who say 'who can make war with him[the anti-christ]'.Who can defeat our army,and our allies?Not even Russia and China.#2 A war between us and these two powers would result in the collapse of the world's economy as we know it.This would usher in the perfect opportunity for the anti-christ to step in,along with a one world economic system.#3 Has anyone really taken notice as to what we(the USA)is doing?We have taken out a number of regimes that are renegade,helped Africa and the Middle East to unify under treaties and alliances,and have done more to unify the world than any other nation in history.The two main countries that would be opposed to a one world system,Russia and China are in our we really have to look that hard to see that the USA is pushing for this 'one unified world'? A war against the USA by Russia and China would be a long,bloody war but let us not forget that in the seven seals,it is revealed that there will be a war-not the battle of Armaggedon-but a war that will precede it,and will follow a great economic depression(the prior seal).No-the USA will not 'lose'this war,per se.The world will lose,as it pushes us toward the kingdom of the anti-christ.

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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.

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


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.


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'


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.


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.


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