Latinized as Nostradamus, Michel de Nostredame was a well-known seer and a French apothecary whose varied published works of prophecies are famous throughout the world. “Les Propheties” is the most famous book that he authored; it features 4 line rhymed poems or quatrains that are grouped into Centuries or sets of 100.
Predictions of Nostradamus
Many enthusiasts and followers of Nostradamus have stated that he is responsible for predicting many events that have occurred on earth across the times. Nostradamus has been credited with predicting the atom bomb, the French Revolution, the attacks of 9/11, and the rule of Adolf Hitler.
However, critics of Nostradamus have stated that his predictions come across as selective thinking and retrospective clairvoyance that are hidden in ambiguous wordings and non-existent forms. Hence, detractors have pointed out that the predictions of Nostradamus turn out to be 100 percent correctly interpreted only after those events have occurred.
Life of Nostradamus
Nostradamus was born on Dec 14 or 21, in 1503, to grain dealer and notary Jaume/de Nostredame and Reynière/Renée de Saint-Rémy in south France’s Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Originally Jewish, the family had later become Catholics.
At age 15, Nostradamus attended the University of Avignon for his baccalaureate, but left after a year and some due to the Plague epidemic. He then worked as an apothecary for some time before gaining admission as a medical student in the University of Montpellier in 1529. He was expelled from the university in a short while after the university discovered that he had worked as an apothecary; this trade was banned by the statues of the university. Subsequently, he continued working as an apothecary and even created a vitamin C-rich ‘rose pill’ that supposedly boosted the immune system and offered protection against the plague. He travelled to Agen in 1531 at the invitation of well-known Renaissance man Jules-César Scaliger. There he married a woman and had two children. His wife and children died in 1534, allegedly by the plague. He then continued his travels to different regions of France and Italy.
In 1547, Nostradamus married Anne Ponsarde Gemelle, a rich widow and had 6 children with her. During this time he went to Italy and moved towards occult away from medicine. In 1550, he wrote an almanac which became very popular, thereby encouraging him to write a new almanac on an annual basis. The combined almanacs have 6338 prophecies. Later, he started writing 1,000 quatrains. This is what brought him worldwide recognition, to this day. Nostradamus used complicated language for writing his quatrains so as to obscure their meaning and thus protect himself from the wrath of religious fanatics.
Nostradamus’ works soon attracted the attention of the nobility and before long he was made Physician in Ordinary and Counselor to the King of France. He died on July 2nd 1566 due to gout complications. It is said that he told his secretary ‘You will not find me alive by sunrise,’ the day before he died.
Nostradamus in today’s culture
- Nostradamus, his works, and his aliases have been featured in TV series such as ‘First Wave,’ ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ and ‘Alias.’
- The life of Nostradamus has been featured in varied movies, the most famous of which is the 1981 film ‘Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow.’
- The life and works of Nostradamus have been used in comics and music as well. For example, “The Final Prophecy,” a chamber and soprano ensemble, and the comic ‘A Phantom story.’
Written by Ron Clouzet 2015