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Nostradamus and Jules Caesar Scaliger of Agen (1484 – 1558CE)

© Allan Webber Jan 2012, 2013

See the following for the Rationale underlying my work on Nostradamus

Julius Caesar Scaliger  (or Giulio Cesare della Scala) was an Italian scholar and physician who spent a major part of his career in Southern France in the town of Agen which is on the Garonne River,  halfway between the major cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse. In the last quarter of the 20th century the Golfech nuclear plant was built 30 kms upstream from Agen. During the 16th century the town was in the midst of a region that was a hub for religious reformists and the court of Marguerite Angouleme of Navarre, the sister to king Francis lay within walking distance of Agen. 

In 1525 Jules Scaliger, a military hero turned scholar and physician, accompanied Antonio della Rovera, Bishop of Agen, to that town as his physician and remained there for the rest of his life. His skills were so highly regarded that young doctors flocked to the town to learn from him but they weren't allowed to practice while there. During this period he also gained his reputation as one of the most prominent Latin scholars of his day. 

From 1533 to 1539CE. Nostradamus did work in Agen as a physician and this was at the invitation of Jules Scaliger. In this period they certainly spent considerable time together in the mutual pursuit of intellectual debate and were both held in very high esteem by the townsfolk of Agen, on one occasion recorded in local journals both were carried shoulder high through the town for their magnanimous act of turning a large donation over to the support of the poor.

Agen, thanks to the proximity of Queen Marguerite's court of sanctuary and the reputation of Jules Scaliger attracted many notable thinkers including Jean Calvin. But Nostradamus didn't remain part of this community. He parted from Scaliger in acrimonious circumstances at the end of the Inquisitions investigation of heresy in Agen during which these two men had been prominent targets.

Nostradamus left Agen during this period but Scaliger stayed and dealt with the Inquisitors on his own behalf and that of others. In 1538 when Nostradamus returned to Agen his wife and two young children became ill and died and Nostradamus left Agen for good. The two men's differences were never reconciled even though Nostradamus always held Jules in the highest regard. In return Jules remained bitter towards Nostradamus throughout the rest of his life especially when Nostradamus became famous for his prophecies.

The temperament of this great man was always a factor in his relationships. Wikipedia entry on Julius Scaliger notes that"

 'He employed the techniques and discoveries of Renaissance humanism to defend Aristotelianism against the new learning. In spite of his arrogant and contentious disposition, his contemporary reputation was high, judging him so distinguished by his learning and talents that, according to Jacques August de Thou, none of the ancients could be placed above him, and the age in which he lived could not show his equal.'

Erasmus was not the only famous person of the time to fall foul of the critical mind of Scaliger and nor were his attacks restricted to a single field. For example one of the significant authors he attacked relentlessly was Gerolamo Cardano, an Italian scholar whose work in mathematics is still well known today.

It is because of this time which Nostradamus spent with Jules of Agen that Jules is of interest to me and my interest is greatly heightened by several verses in the Prophecies one of which contains a sequential series of anagrams that say 'Jules of Agen' and has other naming devices that tie that verse to Scaliger (C9 Q11). 

Jules Scaliger and Nostradamus C3 Q63

Even though written records provide mainly circumstantial evidence it is widely accepted that Nostradamus spent some years working with Jules Scaliger of Agen. Scaliger in his declamations of the prophet Nostradamus at no stage rejected the prophets claim that they had worked together. 

It is believed that it was at the invitation of Jules that Nostradamus came to this small town on the river Garonne to practice medicine in the 1530's. Although the details of this period of Nostradamus’ life are often in dispute we do know that in this period Nostradamus was a close associate of Jules Scaliger. By contrast the Italian born Jules is a well-documented figure in history because of his very public disputes over many scholarly issues with the even more famous Erasmus and the acclaim he received for his analysis of the work of Latin authors such as Cicero.

It was during the time that Nostradamus was linked to Scaliger that many important publications were released; amongst them those of Agrippa on magic, code and the occult. Copernicus’ earliest works suggesting the planets moved around the sun were also in circulation. This was a period of high intellectual excitement and considerable risk for those who dared to venture too far from the views held by the powerful religious leaders of that time. Accordingly many scholars were circumspect in what they published, waiting for a time when their work would not call down the wrath of the buffoons in Rome.

The above gives the setting for one of the three other verses that contain anagrams of Scaliger’s first name. 

C03 Q63 (Click left for full analysis)

  The Roman power will be thoroughly abased,
Following in the footsteps of its great neighbour:
Hidden civil hatreds and debates
Will delay their follies for the buffoons.
Romain pouuoir Sera du tout abas
Son grand voiSin imiter les veStiges.
Occultes haines ciujles et debats
Retarderont aux bouffons leurs folies

The wording of this verse provides adequate ties between the town of Agen and Nerac in the first half of the 16th century since Marguerites Court at Nerac is Agen's great neighbour where the power of Rome was under challenge.  The hidden civil hatreds and debates may also relate to the activities of Nerac and those of Jules Scaliger in his dealings with Erasmus.  The anagrams that appear in the third line may also be relevant and possibly describe the relationshibetween Scaliger and Nostradamus at the time they parted.

These anagrams occur in quite remarkable sequences that reason suggests shouldn’t occur either by chance or design. From Occultes haines ciujles et debats the following can be found based on a number of very rarely found anagrams.

  Occultes haines ciujles et debats
....….lteshainesc I ujles etdeba.
………...... in esciuj lesetdebat SOccult
…....... teshainesci ujles  
  Hidden civil hatreds and debates

Of the major words found in the above Jules is the one found most frequently in the Prophecies. There are four other occurrences which still makes it very rare. Ethicalness, detestable, juices and hesitancies occur nowhere else which amplifies the relevance of the adjacent anagrams which say Jules_ethicalness, detestable_juices and Jules_hesitancies. And these are very much in laccord with the text of the line where they are found which says Hidden/Occult civil hatreds and debates.

And the ethicalness of the use of Occult medicines is surely something over which two medical practitioners might have serious disagreement. But the discussions of the occult only provided part of what is a quite unexpected brush with history. 

Jules Scaliger bore many children and his son Joseph was born shortly after Nostradamus’ departure. He played a significant part in the history of astronomy.

It was Joseph Scaliger, historian, poet and astronomer, who, in the early seventeenth century, proposed a scheme for dating history that was independent of the many calendars in use in ancient times. He built his calendar and named the major unit the Julian Day (in honour of his father). It was based around a scheme that numbered the days from an arbitrary date in pre-history and used astronomic data to match historic events to the new calendar.

This calendar has since been adopted by astronomers and is still used today. In this naming of the Julian Day we can see another meaning for text of the first line which says the Roman power will be thoroughly abased because the Roman, Julius Caesar, created the Julian Calendar and this new astronomy-dating system, with a very similar name for its years, helped in the demise of the Julian Calendar that had been in use for 1500 years.

There is even a touch of the civil hatred and debate mentioned in the third line since the foundations of this new calendar of Joseph Scaliger incorporates the Roman Indiction Cycle which was a 15 year cycle for the payment of civil taxes, and therefore this cycle represented a time of great civil hatred and debate. Although there are several meanings to the phrases in this verse they all relate to a time period which is the 1530's.

There is already a quite high level of connection between the message of the verse, Jules Scaliger, his family and the rare anagrams found in the third line but there are other anagrams in this verse that are equally as relevant.

A unique word not so far shown is that of division and it is adjacent to an anagram for time which gives us time division ( d-voiSin-i mite ) as an adjacent sequence in the second line. There is also an anagram for timelier in the same line and it is also rare, only occurring in one other verse. It too is part of a sequence and it says sons grand vision timelier. These two anagrammatic sequences are found in the second line whose text says Following in the footsteps of its/his great neighbour. Nostradamus may well be referring to his use of a calendar system that was not created until 1608 by Joseph Scaliger.

Nostradamus was after all a great neighbour to Jules Scaliger during the 1530's and the ideas for the calendar system may well have come from ideas held by Jules. And Joseph, Jules' son may also have gained his ideas from his father and then felt it important enough to honour this authorshieven though it conflicted with an existing calendar system.

Joseph Scaliger was a highly regarded  scholar but was renowned for his integration of old ideas not their creation.  It is quite likely that such issues were debated and developed by Jules Scaliger and Michel de Nostredame and then passed on at a later stage to Joseph by Jules. If so then we have a clue as to the topic of the debate; it was the idea of a calendar based on astronomic events. There is also a sequence in the last line that fits to the same theme by suggesting that the debates were also about the rules.of.earliest order.  

The hidden text of this verse has provided some powerful reasons for believing that the anagrams for Jules and Nostradamus' word plays apply to the period in the 1530’s when Nostradamus lived in Agen. And this analysis of mine is in accord with Nostradamus' own  guidelines.

""The Astronomic calculations are given to the best of my knowledge because the space of times of our first ones, those who came before us,  are handed to me needing the correction of my own healthier judgement.":
 Nostradamus Epistle to Henry 1558

I believe the above verse shows that there is strong evidence that Nostradamus  did include the story of his relationshiwith Jules Scaliger in this verse but it is not the only verse where there is highly provocative detail of this relationship.

Jules Scaliger of Agen –C9 Q11

In the previous section I showed that C3 Q63 relates to Nostradamus’ relationship with Jules Scaliger of Agen in the 1530’s. This verse is worthy of additional comment since it is a verse other analysts generally ignore as are a great number of verses that I have also shown. And each of these held a hidden meaning that throws light on the seemingly meaningless visible text.

Many people argue that the meaningless nature of  such verses is sufficient proof Nostradamus was no prophet but a charlatan but I argue differently and I believe that it is a gross error to assume these verses are not precise statements with specific meaning.

If Nostradamus had no real message to present and his only interest was in teasing his readers into believing in them as occult prophecies it is highly likely he would have made sure that each verse could be classified in one way or another not left as shapeless flotsam. But so many apparently meaningless verses means he didn’t do this. So I believe no analyst can claim to have found the key to Nostradamus unless they can find meaning in this type of verse and in so doing provide evidence that supports Nostradamus’ own claim at the end of his Preface to his first publication where he says:

Take now this gift of your father, Michel Nostradamus, who hopes to explain to you each prophecy of the quatrains included here.

Nostradamus claim goes further in the Epistle that precedes the publication of all 942 verses. He begins by stating that his visible text is obscure but goes on to say:

 • … most of the prophetic quatrains are so risky that there is no easy way of getting to them and even less of interpreting them (la plupart des quatrains prophetiques sont tellement scabreux , que l’on n’y saurait donner voie ni moins aucuns interpretere)  

But the danger of the times, O Most Serene King, requires that such secrets should not be bared except in enigmatic sentences having, however, only one sense and meaning and nothing ambiguous or amphibological inserted.
Nostradamus, 1558 in his Epistle to King Henry

and a little later in the same document we are provided the themes of the verses:

 • ….Nevertheless I wanted to leave a record in writing of the years, towns, cities and regions in which most of the events will come to pass, even those of the year 1585 and of the year 1606, reckoning from the present time which is March 14 1557 and going far beyond to the events which will take place at the beginning of the seventh millenary.

 • I have made computations for events over almost as long a period to come as that which has already passed, and by these they will know in all regions what is to happen in the course of time, just as it is written with nothing superfluous added.

In this way Nostradamus nominates two particular years as important, 1585 and 1606, and interestingly they were the publication dates of two of Joseph Scaliger’s works that have connection with this series of my work. In 1585 Joseph Juste Scaliger, son of Jules Scaliger of Agen, published an alphabeticised volume of poetry (c.f. Psalm 119) and in 1606 he published a Thesaurus of the chronology of history based on astronomical references in all the then extant texts of many languages to which he could gain access.

Preceding these he had, in 1582, published the basis that became the Thesaurus and he spent the next 24 years researching the astronomic records. I believe there is evidence in Nostradamus Prophecies that the ideas in these two volumes are also at the heart of Nostradamus' astronomic dating system. There is a quatrain which holds two of the remaining four anagrams of Jules that can be found in the Prophecies. Not only does it hold a double reference to Jules it also states where he's from.  

C9 Q11

  Wrongly they come to put the just one to death  
Publicly in the middle of his duty extinguished:  
So great a nuisance is born in this place  
That the years needed to dig it up withheld.
Le juSte a tort a mort l'on viendra mettre
Publiquement et due millieu eStaint
Si grande peSte en ce lieu viendra naiStre
Que les jugeans fouyr Seront conStraint 

The last line of this verse contains the word jugeans which doesn't exist as a real word in French. Nostradamus only uses it in this single place but it is this word that delivers ua remarkably salient anagrammatic sequence which is Jules of Agens (les ju - geans  - of). What makes it even more unusual is that of the four occurrences of the anagram for Jules two of them occur in this verse.

The second occurrence is at the start of the first line and is formed from part of the word juste which is the middle name of Jules famous son Joseph. So in the line Jules name is connected to the middle name of his last son. This then removes the lack of meaning in the second line since its reference and in the middle aptly applies to his son's middle name. It could also be claimed Joseph as the last of Jules' sons was the completion of Jules public duties of fatherhood. Joseph Juste Scaliger would go on to fill much of the other tones of the verse including those of the first line.

And again this verse is rich in sequential anagrams of a type that suggest they are intentional. It is not my intent to pursue this idea further nor to explain all the sequences that can be found in full depth but I will show the frame they provide for use in later analyses (See C09 Q11 for full anagram analysis).

The sequence of adjacent anagrams Jules of Agens continues to become Jules of Agen’s Quatrein (raint Que - les ju - geans  fo). Jules did write quatrains and the line in which it is found suggests correctly that it will take a long, long time before anyone notices that they hold a secret worth uncovering. In the same line there is an anagram of sequential (aint Que les) and this is of course a word that is highly relevant to these hidden anagrams. This anagram only occurs in one other verse so it is very infrequent. An anagram for contrast is even more rare occurring only here and it forms a sequence contrast your Norse.

The first line, the holder of the other anagram for Jules, is also quite powerful as its anagram sequence gives considerable relevance to the text. It says Jules Rotate On Mortal Driven Matter (Lejus teator amortl on viendr amettr). This links to the religious theme I show is behind a large part of the Prophecies; the division between the sects over the oneness of Christ with God (see Nostradamus on Gnosticism) which is a debate on the mortal matter of Jesus. All of this fits tightly to the previous verse in this paper but it also ties in with material I present in other papers. 

The implication is that Jules wavered between orthodoxy and Gnosticism. Further, the evidence of the last two verses analyzed give the distinct impression that Jules Scaliger and his son Joseph are critical to both the story of the astronomic code Nostradamus used and its purpose. There are some further anagrams in the current verse that give a tantalizing glimpse of what may be found as these ideas are pursued. The second line holds tenet illumed (ent et - due milliwhile the third line hints Unvaried Step Retains Readings (Si grande - peSt - u viendra - naiStre) as well as pre-assigned (Si grandee peps).

The first line therefore implies Jules and his son Joseph are keys to Nostradamus' own pattern of thinking . And on this matter the first line does indeed give direction for it holds anagrams which say just rotate letter (tare Le - just - e a tort). Interestingly, when you take all these sequences as cipher keys the resulting coding system comes uncannily close to the methods I use for the decoding (see my rules for decoding).



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