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Physician Nostradamus believed that he could predict the future and published his

predictions in The Prophecies. Some believe they have or will come true.
Nostradamus was born Michel de Nostradame in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France in
1503. He studied medicine and became a physician, treating plague victims throughout
France and Italy. It’s believed he had a psychic awakening. He began to practice the occult
and make predictions of the future, which he published in The Prophecies. Many people
today believe his predictions have come true or will in the future.

Early Life
Astrologer and physician. Born Michel de Nostradame, December 14 or 21 1503. French astrologer and
physician known for his prophecies which he published in a book entitled The Prophecies in 1555, which have become
famous worldwide.
Michel de Nostradame was born in the south of France in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, one of nine children to
Reyniere de St-Remy, and her husband Jaume de Nostradame, a well-to-do grain dealer and part-time notary of
Jewish descent. Nostradame's grandfather, Guy Gassonet, had converted to Catholicism a half century earlier and
changed the family name to Nostradame, in part to avoid persecution during the Inquisition.
Little is known of his childhood, but evidence indicates he was very intelligent as he quickly advanced through school.
Early in his life, he was tutored by his maternal grandfather, Jean de St. Remy, who saw great intellect and potential in
his grandson. During this time, young Nostradame was taught the rudiments of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and
mathematics. It is believed that his grandfather also introduced him to the ancient rights of Jewish tradition and the
celestial sciences of astrology, giving Nostradame his first exposure to the idea of the heavens and how they drive
human destiny.


At the age of 14, Nostradame entered the University of Avignon to study medicine. He was forced to leave after only
one year, however, due to an outbreak of the bubonic plague. According to his own account, he traveled throughout
the countryside during this time, researching herbal remedies and working as an apothecary. In 1522 he entered the
University of Montpelier to complete his doctorate in medicine. He sometimes expressed dissension with the
teachings of the Catholic priests, who dismissed his notions of astrology. There are some reports that university
officials discovered his previous experience as an apothecary and found this reason to expel him from school.
Evidently the school took a dim view of anyone who was involved in what was considered a "manual trade." However,
most accounts state he was not expelled and received license to practice medicine in 1525. At this time he Latinized
his name—as was the custom of many medieval academics—from Nostradame to Nostradamus.

Combating the Plague

Over the next several years, Nostradamus traveled throughout France and Italy, treating victims of the plague. There
was no known remedy at the time; most doctors relied on potions made of mercury, the practice of bloodletting, and
dressing patients in garlic soaked robes. Nostradamus had developed some very progressive methods for dealing with
the plague. He didn't bleed his patients, instead practicing effective hygiene and encouraging the removal of the
infected corpses from city streets. He became known for creating a "rose pill," an herbal lozenge made of rosehips
(rich in Vitamin C) that provided some relief for patients with mild cases of the plague. His cure rate was impressive,
though much can be attributed to keeping his patients clean, administering low-fat diets, and providing plenty of
fresh air.

In time, Nostradamus found himself somewhat of a local celebrity for his treatments, and received financial support
from many of the citizens of Provence. 1n 1531, he was invited to work with a leading scholar of the time, Jules-Cesar
Scaliger in Agen, in southwestern France.

There he married and in the next few years, had two children. In 1534, his wife and children died—presumably of the
plague—while he was traveling on a medical mission to Italy. Not being able to save his wife and children caused him
to fall out of favor in the community and with his patron, Scaliger.
The Occult

In 1538, an offhanded remark about a religious statue resulted in charges of heresy against Nostradamus. When
ordered to appear before the Church Inquisition, he wisely chose to leave Province to travel for several years through
Italy, Greece and Turkey. During his travels to the ancient mystery schools, it is believed that Nostradamus
experienced a psychic awakening. One of the legends of Nostradamus says that, during his travels in Italy, he came
upon a group of Franciscan monks, identifying one as the future Pope. The monk, called Felice Peretti, was ordained
Pope Sixtus V in 1585, fulfilling the prediction of Nostradamus.

Feeling he'd stayed away long enough to be safe from the inquisition, Nostradamus returned to France to resume his
practice of treating plague victims. In 1547, he settled in his home-town of Salon-de-Province and married a rich
widow named Anne Ponsarde. Together they had six children—three boys and three girls. Nostradamus also
published two books on medical science by this time. One, was a translation of Galen, the Roman physician, and a
second book, The Traite des Fardemens, was a medical cookbook for treating the plague and the preparation of

Within a few years of his settling into Salon, Nostradamus began moving away from medicine and more toward the
occult. It is said that he would spend hours in his study at night meditating in front of a bowl filled with water and
herbs. The meditation would bring on a trance and visions. It is believed the visions were the basis of his predictions
for the future. In 1550, Nostradamus wrote his first almanac of astrological information and predictions of the coming
year. Almanacs were very popular at the time, as they provided useful information for farmers and merchants and
contained entertaining bits of local

folklore and predictions of the coming year. Nostradamus began writing about his visions and incorporating
them into his first almanac. The publication received a great response, and served to spread his name all across
France, which encouraged Nostradamus to write more.

By 1554, Nostradamus' visions had become an integral part of his works in the almanacs, and he decided to channel
all his energies into a massive opus he entitled Centuries. He planned to write 10 volumes, which would contain 100
predictions forecasting the next 2,000 years. In 1555 he published Les Prophesies, a collection of his major, long-term
predictions. Possibly feeling vulnerable to religious persecution, he devised a method of obscuring the prophecies'
meanings by using quatrains—rhymed four-line verses—and a mixture of other languages such as Greek, Italian,
Latin, and Provencal, a dialect of Southern France. Oddly enough, Nostradamus enjoyed a good relationship with the
Roman Catholic Church. It is believed he never faced prosecution for heresy by the Inquisition because he didn't
extend his writings to the practice of magic.

Nostradamus ran into some controversy with his predictions, as some thought he was a servant of the devil, and
others said he was a fake or insane. However, many more believed the prophecies were spiritually inspired. He
became famous and in demand by many of Europe's elite. Catherine de Medici, the wife of King Henri II of France,
was one of Nostradamus' greatest admirers. After reading his almanacs of 1555, where he hinted at unnamed threats
to her family, she summoned him to Paris to explain and draw up horoscopes for her children. A few years later, she
made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to King Henri's court. In 1556, while serving in this capacity
Nostradamus also explained another prophecy from Centuries I, which was assumed to refer to King Henri. The
prophecy told of a "young lion" who would overcome an older one on the field of battle. The young lion would pierce
the eye of the older one and he would die a cruel death. Nostradamus warned the king he should avoid ceremonial
jousting. Three years later, when King Henri was 41 years old, he died in a jousting match when a lance from this
opponent pierced the king's visor and entered his head behind the eye deep into his brain. He held on to life for 10
agonizing days before finally dying of infection.

Nostradamus claimed to base his published predictions on judicial astrology—the art of forecasting future
events by calculation of the planets and stellar bodies in relationship to the earth. His sources include passages from
classical historians like Plutarch as well as medieval chroniclers from whom he seems to have borrowed liberally. In
fact, many scholars believe he paraphrased ancient end-of-the-world prophecies (mainly from the Bible) and then
through astrological readings of the past, projected these events into the future. There's also evidence not everyone
was enamored with Nostradamus' predictions. He was criticized by professional astrologers of the day for
incompetence and assuming that comparative horoscopy (the comparison of future planetary configurations with
those accompanying known past events) could predict the future.
Death and Legacy
Nostradamus suffered from gout and arthritis for much of his adult life. In the last years of his life, the condition
turned into edema or dropsy, where abnormal amounts of fluid accumulate beneath the skin or within cavities of the
body. Without treatment, the condition resulted in congestive heart failure. In late June of 1566, Nostradamus asked
to see his lawyer to draw up an extensive will, leaving much of his estate to his wife and children. On the evening of
July 1, he is alleged to have told his secretary Jean de Chavigny, "You will not fine me alive at sunrise." The next
morning he was reportedly found dead lying on the floor next to his bed.

Most of the quatrains Nostradamus composed during his life dealt with disasters such as plagues, earthquakes, wars,
floods, invasions murders, droughts, and battles. Nostradamus enthusiasts have credited him with predicting
numerous events in world history including the French Revolution; the rise of Napoleon and Hitler; the development
of the atomic bomb; and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Nostradamus's
popularity seems to be due in part to the fact that the vagueness of his writings and their lack of specific dates make
it easy to selectively quote them after any major dramatic events and retrospectively claim them as true. Some
scholars believe he was not writing to be a prophet, but writing to comment on events of his time and the people in
it. Whatever his method or intentions, Nostradamus' timeless predictions continue to make him popular to those
seeking answers to life's more difficult questions.

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