Nostradamus biography, Nostradamus prediction
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Nostradamus prophecy, quatrains

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Nostradamus biography
prediction quatrains

Michel de Nostradame, more commonly known as Nostradamus the author of the prophecies, was born on December 14, 1503, in St. Remy de Provence into a family that were then Jewish. During his childhood the family became Roman Catholic possibly because these were times of Inquisition into matters of faith sponsored by powerful forces in predominantly Roman Catholic France. Nostradamus' great intellect became apparent while he was still very young, and his education was put into the hands of his grandfather, Jean, who taught him the rudiments of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Mathematics and Astrology.

After some preliminary advanced education at Avignon he studied medicine in Montpellier and started a medical practice. Nostradamus seems to have used innovative methods of treatment, and to have gained a reputation as a notably gifted healer. One example of his innovative methods was a refusal to "bleed" his patients in line with the then widely accepted opinion that it could be advantageous.

After being invited to Agen by the famous philosopher Scaliger, Nostradamus, in 1534, married a young and beautiful local girl who came from a good background. They became parents to a son and a daughter and then came tragedy in the form of a plague that killed Nostradamus' wife and two children. These fatalities were a professional as well as a personal disaster as who would trust a physician who could not save his own wife and children. His troubles were further compounded by his being sued for the return of dowry monies by his late wife's family.

In 1538, Nostradamus was accused of heresy and, in order to avoid standing trial, set out on a series of travels over the next few years keeping well clear of the Church authorities. Circa 1554 Nostradamus moved to Salon near Aix-en-Provence, which he found so pleasant that he determined to settle there for the rest of his life. He married a rich widow from the town. In these times he produced a number of astrological works including a yearly Almanac (from circa 1550).

By 1555 Nostradamus had completed the first part of his book of prophecies that was to contain prediction about important, and often disastrous, events from his time to the end of the world. These prophecies were grouped into centuries - not centuries in terms of years but in terms of there being one hundred cryptic and obscure quatrains in each century. These quatrains are four-line poems written in a cryptic mixture of French, Provencal, Italian, Greek and Latin. Nostradamus seems to have deliberately confused the time sequence of the prophecies of prediction such that their secrets would not be revealed to the non-initiate. The overall obscurity of presentation may have been intended to lessen his chances of being prosecuted for questionable dabbling in magical practices.

Even though the Prophecies only received a very limited publication in an incomplete form in these times their fame spread across France and came to the keenly interested attention of the French court. The Queen, Catherine de Medici, sent for Nostradamus who subsequently set out for Paris in July 1556 arriving in the Paris in mid-August. The following day he was received in audience, over some two hours, by the queen.

Two weeks later the queen asked him, as an astrologer, to plot the horoscopes of her seven children. Although some of Nostradamus quatrains could be interpreted as predicting an unhappy fate for these young people he seems to have told the queen that all of her sons would be kings but that she would herself outlive them all. This turned out to be true in every case but one as they successively died young leaving the crown to an eldest surviving brother. The one exception being a prince who himself died before he could play a similar part in history.

Nostradamus was warned that the Justices of Paris were inquiring about his magic practices, and he promptly returned to Salon fearing punishment. In 1564 Catherine, now Queen Regent, decided to make a Royal Progress through France and made a point of visiting Nostradamus when she came to Provence. Catherine awarded Nostradamus the title of Physician in Ordinary, which brought him a handsome salary and other benefits.

In the summer of 1566 Nostradamus realised that the gout and dropsy from which he suffered were bringing his days to a natural end. He made his will on 17th June 1566 in which he made arrangements for the disposal of his considerable wealth. On 1st July he sent for the local priest to give him the last rites. He died that night.

The completed Prophecies containing 942 obscure and cryptic four-line rhyming verse quatrains came off the printing press in 1568, two years after his death.

Many people have interpreted the prophecies seeing in them some connection with certain events that have taken place since Nostradamus' time including the French Revolution, the rise of Hitler, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York.

The following English language example of a cryptic / obscure quatrain ( Century 2 Quatrain 24 ) has been interpreted as referring to Adolf Hitler.

Beasts ferocious from hunger will swim across rivers:
The greater part of the region will be against the Hister,
The great one will cause it to be dragged in an iron cage,
When the German child will observe nothing.

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