Fact Check: Nostradamus Did NOT Predict Hungarians Would Overthrow A 'Hyena'


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Nostradamus Did NOT Predict Hungarians Would Overthrow A 'Hyena' Fabricated

Did Nostradamus predict that Hungarians would overthrow a ruler he described as a "hyena?" No, that's not true: The "prophecy" appears in a 1996 book by Péter Szentmihályi Szabó, a Hungarian author who claimed to have discovered what might be a long-lost collection of Nostradamus' prognostications. Szentmihályi Szabó later acknowledged that he had written the text himself, according to Hungarian media.

The claim appeared in a Hungarian-language video (archived here) on TikTok on September 15, 2023, under the caption "Maybe now is the time for this to be fulfilled 😁🇭🇺." The first part of the text read:

Nostradamus' prophecy about Hungary:
A fox and a hyena lead the people,
the country falls apart under them,
the fox alone makes many mistakes,
the hyena digs its grave.
The stupidity of the people is endless,
but the new power shall soon arise,
the fox will not listen to the hyena's word,
Pannonia will not become an animal cemetery.

(All translations by Lead Stories).

Pannonia was a province of the Roman Empire that covered much of modern-day Hungary.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Oct 11 09:33:43 2023 UTC)

Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus, was a self-declared French clairvoyant who began publishing a series of prophecies written in cryptic verse in 1555. Nostradamus aficionados credit him with foreseeing world events ranging from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Nostradamus occasionally mentioned both Pannonia and Hungary in his work, he never said anything about a fox or a hyena ruling the land. That verse comes from Szentmihályi Szabó's 1996 book, "Nostradamus Hungaricus avagy Nostradamus jóslatai Magyarországról" ("Nostradamus Hungaricus, or Nostradamus' Predictions about Hungary"). In his foreword, Szentmihályi Szabó said he had stumbled upon a collection of 99 prophecies attributed to the French astrologer but lost to history while browsing through his late father's library:

Its French language was more modern than that of Nostradamus, and, strikingly, it usually consisted of rhyming and eight-line poems. In all likelihood, it was a rather crude forgery created in the early 1840s or a thorough revision of an earlier work. Nevertheless, with great excitement and pleasure I began to read and translate the nearly one hundred predictions -- exclusively about Hungarian history. (The number 99 has special significance, since an inverted 9 is a 6, the number of Satan.)

Szentmihályi Szabó said the text suggested that Count Miklós Zrínyi, a Hungarian nobleman who died in 1566, had paid Nostradamus a tidy sum to write these predictions about Hungary. He concludes that the collection is either

a message from the past, or a vulgar hoax in the name of Nostradamus, who, of course, may have been a fraud himself. But who knows!?

Before his death in 2014, Szentmihályi Szabó admitted that the book was a product of his own imagination, not Nostradamus' predictive powers, according to news outlet hvg.hu. Many Hungarians believe that the work is authentic, as evidenced by its many citations on social media (here, here, and here).


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