Michel de Nostre-Dame, alias Nostradamus, was born on 14 December 1503 in the small town of St-Remy, Provence. He came from a rich family in the middle of the Catholic Inquisition. He was the oldest of 6 children. His father, Jaume, was a merchant and a notary. At that time, anyone found guilty of heresy against the Catholic Church was immediately arrested and tortured until conversion or death. The church banned all astrology, alchemy and prophecy and since Nostradamus was a Jew, he was always living in the fear of being caught. He was always running from authority.

Nostradamus learned the art of alchemy from his family and he had great disposition for mathematics and astrology. His father pushed him to pursue medical study so he can live a correct life. In 1525, he left Montpellier to fight the Black Plague. Normally, doctor’s usually pushed patients faster to death instead of curing them. Nostradamus introduced the use of the “hygienic” method. He always had perfectly clean clothes. That way he cured thousands of sick people without ever get the disease.

In 1529, when the Plague started to disappear, Nostradamus returned at the university to teach. Three years after, he had to leave because his methods were found too non-conformist. So he gets back to the fight against the Plague..

In 1537 his family died even if he was considered one of the best doctors of the time. The population found strange that he couldn’t cure his family and started to denunciate him to the authority. In 1547 he had to left for Italy. Three years later he meet, in Milan, a specialist of vegetal alchemy called Jules-César Scaligero who teach him the virtues of jam. He conduct some experiments on vegetal jam and when he return to France, in 1552, he publish his “Traite des confitures et fardements”.

The 11th of November 1547, he married Anne Ponsard, a young widow of Salon-de-Provence and established a small clinic.

The 3rd of May 1555, Nostradamus publishes the first edition of “Les Centuries”. The success is instant and he his called to Dijon to explain himself in front of the parliament. The same year, Catherine de Medicis, invite the “Mage de Salon” to analyze the horoscope of the royal family. In 1557, a new edition of “Les Centuries” is published containing new quatrains, sixtains and presages.

The 3rd of June 1559, in the middle of a tournament, a young man named Gabriel de Montgomery kills King Henry II. Nostradamus predicted that in the quatrain I-35:

"Le lion jeune le vieux surmontera,
En champ bellique par singulier duelle,
Dans cage d'or les yeux lui crèvera,
Deux classes une puis mourir mort cruelle."

From that time the reputation of Nostradamus as a seer became worldwide (That mean all Europe). He continued to predict lots of royal events and successions like Henri IV, Francois II, Charles IX and Henry III.

The 17 of June of 1566 he wrote his testament and on the 2nd of July, at 62 years, 6 months and 10 days: he is found dead near his bed and chair … exactly like he predicted in one of his quatrains. His epitaph was:

"Dieu très grand. Ici les os du très illustre Michel de Notre-Dame,
estimé digne entre tous les mortels de décrire suivant le cours des astres et 
de l'univers tout entier, d'une plume presque divine, les événements de l'avenir. 
Il a vécu 62 ans, 6 mois, 10 jours, et mourut à Salon en 1566."

In 1791, when National Guards hoping to find a treasure opened his tomb, it is said that they found the exact date of the tomb profanation.

In early 1900, another manuscript from Nostradamus was discovered. The title was “Les hieroglyphes de Horapollo” and it was an interpretation of Egyptians hieroglyphs.

{Nostradamus' Antichrist} is called 'Mabus...' there are a couple ways to decode that word. M-A-B-U-S, reversed, which was a common practice in the Sixteenth Century, becomes Subam. You can then always replace one letter with another, the "U" with "A"—Sadam.... it's quite possible Mabus... could be our own president. M-A-B-U-S, you can reverse the "M" to make a "W" and you have B-U-S with a silent Latin "H."

John Hogue, Nostradamian

I'm not sure what a "silent Latin 'H'" is supposed to be, but the rest of it is ridiculous.

John Hogue, one of the foremost Nostradamians, has written nine books and frequently appears on television and radio to defend Nostradamus to an increasingly incredulous general public. You can visit his Web site at www.hogueprophecy.com.

However, he can't seem to very accurately read Nostradamus himself: the old edition of Nostradamus and the Millennium says Ayatollah Khomeini "Mabus." After he died, a new edition was published—the only major change? Now Saddam Hussein is the Antichrist. Or maybe it's George W. Bush like he said before. You can never be sure, right?

An important thing to understand is that he wrote many, many vague quatrains that could mean a lot of things with enough liberties taken and they've had the better part of a millennium to come true. Further, Nostradamus' "predictions" are never explained until after the events happen. Even should he have forseen these events, what good are the predictions if only he could decipher them?

Don't just take my word for it. Here's the text of Century I, Quatrain 35, which supposedly "predicted" Henry II's death, along with my translation.

Le Lyon ieune le vieux ƒurmontera
En champ bellique par ƒingulier duelle,
Dans cage d'or les yeux luy creuera:
Deux claƒƒes vne, puis mourit, mort cruelle.

The young lion will conquer the old
On the battlefield in a one-on-one (or strange) duel
In a golden cage, his eyes will be pierced
Two wounds at once, then he'll die cruelly

My translation is flawed, I'm sure (I've never done any study of Old French), but there are plenty more around the Web, and they don't get much more specific.

At any rate, you have to be pretty imaginative to get Henry II out of that. The only thing that can be taken as coming true in more than a sense of vague symbolism is the piercing of the eyes.

All in all, Nostradamus is mostly built on the power of suggestion and creative interpretation. He continues to be popular because people like the idea of mystical future-seeing, even if it's useless until after the events. This is also why, for example, shows with women whose dreams "foretold" the catastrophic future (never mind all the nightmares worried mothers have that never come true) saturate daytime television.


"End of the World." Penn & Teller. Bullshit!. Showtime.
Nostradamus. Sacred-texts.com. 18 June 2004 <http://www.sacred-texts.com/nos/>.
"Nostradamus." Unsolved History. The History Channel. 16 June 2004.

Views of The Rome Catholic Church on Nostradamus, the Prophet.<\p>

Nostradamus (first called Michel De Nostredame) once wrote his book on prophecy (it was fully finished in 1558). This book was condemned by the Vatican yet not until after his death (1566). The Church didn’t spend a lot of time on Nostradamus but considered him instantly a false prophet. Since these prophecies are a form of divination. And according to the church, all forms of divination are to be rejected as heresy.<\p>

The Catechism of the Rome Catholic Church teaches this on the subject:<\p>

Paragraph 2115: "God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.”<\p>


Paragraph " 2116: All forms of *divination* are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect and loving fear that we owe to God alone."<\p>

Nostradamus was of Jewish origin yet he claimed to be a Catholic.
His work on prophecy was however condemned of heresy without much distress since they clearly violate these two paragraphs.<\p>


More of The Catechism of The Church (on destiny) may be viewed here: <\p>


Before he wrote his prophecies, Nostradamus wrote little domestic tractates on how to make perfumes, beauty potions, and elixirs. He became a doctor in 1529, latinized his name to Nostradamus, and had a family. He lost his family during the Black Death, and his medical practice suffered as a result. Nostradamus turned to work as a peripatetic miracle worker, and was eventually summoned before the Inquisition (in 1538). Having survived the Inquisition, he returned to the practice of medicine and alchemy, focusing on elixirs that would restore beauty and youth.

In 1552 he published his first book on cosmetic-making, the Tractite des Fardemens. Shortly thereafter, the first part of his Centurien (the prophecies for which he is now most famous) was published, and Nostradamus became far too busy travelling (to Parliament, to see Catherine de Medici, etc.) to keep up with his work on alchemical cosmetics and elixirs.

Source: The Elixirs of Nostradamus, Ed Knut Boeser, Moyer Bell, London; 1994.

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