There many translations and interpretations of Nostradamus' Centuries, but there are few popular editions or "Nostradamus predicted the End of the World in 2012"-articles including two extremely important textes written by him, and this for very obvious reasons.
The first text is the Preface to the Centuries, dedicated to his son César, with this quote: "I have composed books of prophecies, containing each one hundred astronomic quatrains of forecasts, which I have tried to polish through obscurely, and which are perpetual vaticinations, from now to the year 3797."
Nostradamus did not predict the End of the World in 2012. And he did not predict Obama being the Antichrist either, as is stated on numerous racist and "Christian" fundamentalist websites. This becomes very clear when you read the second extremely important prophetic text written by Nostradamus and published together with his Centuries in 1558: The Epistle to Henry II of France.
This Epistle is also excluded by the Apocalypse 2012 Believers. That's why you may want to read it here in the translation (and interpretation) of the 19th century Nostradamian Charles A. Ward. Historical Mysteries however, serves you the most astonishing excerpts.
Of course, Charles A. Ward interpreted the Epistle in his 19th century context, centered around the "revolutionary" date 1792 (literally in the text!). He couldn't know yet that the Epistle mentioned also another "revolutionary" date (the October Revolution) and seems to say something about our lives and times too.
Yes, the Epistle to Henry II of France is a fascinating text, for Nostradamus "believers" as well as for the "non-believers". I still am somewhere in between, I guess...
There Will be in the Month of October a Grand Revolution...
As is the case in the Centuries, Nostradamus deliberately seems to have messed up chronology, facts and figures... But nevertheless, there are some fascinating observations to be made.
Quoting from the Epistle, in the translation of Charles A. Ward:
The Germans will succumb wholly and the Barbaric sect will be disquieted and driven back by the whole of the Latin race. Then shall begin the grand Empire of Antichrist in the Atila and Xerxes, [who is] to descend with innumerable multitudes, so that the coming of the Holy Spirit, issuing from the 48th degree, shall make a transmigration, chasing away the abomination of Antichrist, that made war upon the royal person of the great vicar of Jesus Christ, and against His Church, and reign per tempus, et in occasione temporis [for a time, and to the end of time].
This could be interpreted as the end of World War II, with the Germans and "the Barbaric sect" succumbed and driven back, and the rise of an Antichrist (there will be more!). But what about the "eclipse of the sun" preceding these events? Or the Grand Revolution in the month of October (Russia, 1917) which seems to happen after these events have taken place?
This will be preceded by an eclipse of the sun, more obscure and tenebrose than has ever been since the creation of the world, up to the death and passion of Jesus Christ, and from thence till now. There will be in the month of October a grand revolution made, such that one would think that the librating body of the earth had lost its natural movement in the abyss of perpetual darkness. There will be seen precursive signs in the spring-time, and after extreme changes ensuing, reversal of kingdoms, and great earthquakes [i.e. wars]. All this accompanied with the procreations of the New Babylon [Paris], a miserable prostitute big with the abomination of the first holocaust [death of Louis XVI.]. It will only continue for seventy-three years seven months.
The Renovation of 1792, Year I of the Republic
Prophecies that could easily been interpreted as saying something about our times are followed by the year 1792 (a "renovation") when France also became officialy a republic. It was, in fact, Year I of the Republic:
Of the three sects [Lutheran, Catholic, and Mahometan], that which is in the middle, by the action of its own worshippers, will be thrown a little into decadence. The first totally throughout Europe, and the chief part of Africa exterminated by the third, by means of the poor in spirit, who by the madness engendered of libidinous luxury, will commit adultery [i.e. apostatize].
A new incursion shall be made from the maritime shores, eager to give the leap of liberty since the first taking by the Mahometans. Their assaults shall not be at all in vain, and in the place where the habitation of Abraham was, it shall be assailed by those who hold the Jovialists [followers of Jupiter (Napoleon I.?)] in reverence. The city of Achem [in the Island of Sumatra] shall be encompassed and assaulted on all sides by a great force of armed men. Their maritime forces shall be weakened by the Westerns. Upon this kingdom a great desolation shall come, and the great cities shall be depopulated, and such as enter in shall come under the vengeance of the wrath of God. The Holy Sepulchre, for so long a period an object of great veneration, shall remain exposed to the blighting dew of evening under the stars of heaven, and of the sun and moon.
What great oppression shall then fall upon the princes and rulers of kingdoms, even on those who are maritime and Oriental, their tongues intermingled from all nations of the earth! Tongues of the Latin nations, mingled with Arabic and North-African communication. All the Eastern kings will be driven away, overthrown, and exterminated, not at all by means of the kings of the North and the drawing near of our age, but by means of the three secretly united who seek out death and snares by ambush sprung upon one another.
Then will be the commencement [of a period] that will comprehend in itself what will long endure [i.e. the vulgar advent of the French Revolution], and in its first year there shall be a great persecution of the Christian Church, fiercer than that in Africa [by the Vandals from 1439 to 1534, and this will burst out [durera] the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two; they will think it to be a renovation of time.
The Coming of the 19th Century Antichrist & the Age of Gold
According to Charles A. Ward, the Antichrist - as predicted by Nostradamus - was already among us in the early 19th century:
In the Adriatic there will be such permutations, that what was united will be separated, and that will be reduced to a house which before was a great city, including the Pampotan and Mesopotamia of Europe, to 45, and others to 41, 42, and 47. And in that time and those countries the infernal power will set the power of the adversaries of its law against the Church of Jesus Christ. This will constitute the second Antichrist, which will persecute that Church and its true vicar, by means of the power of the temporal kings, who in their ignorance will be reduced by tongues that will cut more than any sword in the hands of a madman.
The said reign of Antichrist will only last to the death of him who was born near the [commencement] of the century, and of the other in the city of Plancus [Lyons], accompanied by him the elect of Modena, Fulcy by Ferara, upheld by the Adriatic Piedmontese, and the proximity of the great Trinacria [Sicily]. Afterwards the Gallic Ogmion shall pass the Mount Jovis [Barcelona], accompanied by so great a number that from afar the Empire shall be presented with its grand law, and then and for some time after shall be profusely shed the blood of the innocent by the guilty recently elevated to power.
Then the third King of the North [Russia?], hearing the complaint of the people from [whom he derives] his principal title, will raise up a mighty army, and pass through the limits [destroits] of his last progenitors and great-grandfathers, to him who will [qui for lui qui] replace almost everything in its old condition. The great Vicar of the Cope shall be put back to his pristine state; but, desolated and abandoned by all, will return to the sanctuary [that was]destroyed by paganism, when the Old and New Testament will be thrust out and burnt. After that Antichrist will be the infernal prince. Then at this last epoch, all the kingdoms of Christianity, as well as of the infidel world, will be shaken during the space of twenty-five years, and the wars and battles will be more grievous, and the towns, cities, castles, and all other edifices will be burnt, desolated, and destroyed with much effusion of vestal blood, married women and widows violated, sucking children dashed and broken against the walls of town; and so many evils will be committed by means of Satan, the prince infernal, that nearly all the world will become undone and desolated. Before the events occur certain strange birds [imperial eagles] will cry in the air, "To-day! to-day!" and after a given time will disappear [June, 1815]. After this has endured for a certain length of time [twenty-five years he has said before, 1790 to 1815], there will be almost renewed another reign of Saturn, the age of gold [this might be the discovery of California, but for what follows].