The doctor, astronomer, alchemist and poet Michel Nostradamus is better known in a different incarnation. He is the author of a book that predicts the future of mankind until the year 3797. So, at least, Nostradamus himself claimed. The interpretation of the texts of this weighty tome has been going on for almost 500 years, and the interpretations of different experts often do not coincide – due to the double or even triple meaning of some expressions. However, this does not bother the supporters of Nostradamus, who in the 21st century are looking for answers to their questions in his “Prophecies”.
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On March 1, 1555, the French astrologer Nostradamus presented his first predictions in a book called The Predictions of Michel Nostradamus (Fr. Prophéties de Nostradamus). The prophecies were written in the form of rhyming quatrains.
Who is Nostradamus
Michel de Notredam, known throughout the world as Nostradamus, was born in 1503 in the small town of Saint-Remy in southern France into a wealthy family of a grain merchant. Michel’s maternal grandfather Jean de Saint-Remy was a renowned physician. For many years he served as medical officer to the Duke of Lorraine, René the Good.
Grandfather taught Michel the basics of mathematics, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He also introduced him to the basics of astrology, which at that time everyone (or almost everyone) took very seriously. Then the parents sent their son to the University of Avignon, where he studied grammar, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, music and astrology.
In 1522, having completed his studies in Avignon, the 19-year-old Michel entered the University of Montpellier, one of the most famous medical centers in Europe. In 1525 he received a bachelor’s degree and with it the right to independent medical practice.
Over the next few years, he would complete his doctoral dissertation, become a famous doctor, fight the plague, successfully using pills he had prepared himself, which included rose petals and other herbs. “All who used them were saved and vice versa,” he later wrote. For this work, the Parliament of Provence awarded Nostradamus a lifetime pension.
Having thus received, albeit a modest, but constant income, Nostradamus settled in the small provincial town of Salon-de-Provence and lived there until his death. He did not leave medical practice, he was very interested in land reclamation and climate improvement. With his assistance, a canal was built, which irrigated the arid area around the city. 18 villages still use water from this canal.
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How did the pseudonym of the predictor come about
In the Middle Ages, it was fashionable to change their surnames into the Latin manner, but this was done according to certain rules: either the Latin ending -us was added to the surname (for example, Notredameus), or the entire surname was translated into Latin.
In this sense, the surname Notredam should have sounded like “Nostradomina”. Instead, the prophet used the variant “Nostradamus”, which in Latin sounds like “we give”, and this at one time caused a lot of ridicule.
How Nostradamus Became an Astrologer
By 1550, Nostradamus became interested in the occult sciences. A major role in this was played by his deep conviction that it was he who was destined to “scientifically” open the veil that hides the future.
Another circumstance cannot be ignored. Predicting the future in the 16th century was a very profitable business. Every self-respecting king or major feudal lord usually kept a court astrologer with him. Both ordinary nobles and bourgeois were interested in astrology.
To meet the demand, dozens of almanacs were published annually in mass editions. In 1550, Nostradamus produced the first such almanac with predictions for each month and continued to issue them annually until the end of days. Only one such yearbook has come down to us – for 1559 – in which there are quite a lot of banal predictions about famine, epidemics, floods, but nothing more specific.
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Predictions of Nostradamus
The first part of the “Prophecies” (they are also called “Centuries”) Nostradamus published in 1555. In its full form, it consisted of 10 centurial chapters, each of which (except the seventh, which remained incomplete for some reason) included 100 quatrains-quatrains. But the chapters did not coincide with the centuries, and there was no chronological order in the presentation of the plots.
In the preface addressed to his son Caesar, Nostradamus explained his idea in this way: “I decided in dark and mysterious terms to still tell about the future changes of mankind, especially the closest ones, those that I foresee, using a manner that will not shock their fragile feelings. Everything must be written in a vague form, above all prophetic… I have compiled books of prophecies, each of which consists of one hundred astronomical quatrains or prophecies. These are eternal prophecies, for they extend from our days to the year 3797.”
To create even more fog, Nostradamus encrypted his predictions in a mixture of four languages: Greek, Old French, Italian and Latin. They practically did not indicate any dates, the time sequence was not respected, and the quatrains themselves were mixed up.
Quatrains of Nostradamus
The word “quatrain” (from the French quatrain) is translated as “quatrain”. In a broad sense, a quatrain is a separate stanza containing a complete thought and consisting of four lines. The quatrain does not have a canonical form, so the poetic meter and rhyming scheme can be anything.
The history of the phenomenon goes back to the medieval era. The first quatrains-quatrains appeared in the French drama of the XII century “The Game of Adam”, written by an unknown author.
The stanza caught on quickly. Its short form is convenient for perception, but allows you to express the idea. Inscriptions, dedications, epitaphs, epigrams and messages were written with quatrains. It is not surprising that over time this method of organizing poetic speech spread almost all over the world. Many famous poems are composed precisely of quatrains, for example, “I remember a wonderful moment …” by Pushkin.
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What did Nostradamus predict?
At first, the work of Nostradamus did not arouse much interest, almost no attention was paid to him. But in 1559, when he was already the court astrologer of Henry II, celebrations took place on the occasion of a double wedding: they celebrated the marriage of the royal daughter with Philip II and his younger sister with the Duke of Savoy.
According to tradition, a jousting tournament was arranged, in which the king himself participated; his rival was the Comte de Montgomery. During the duel, the count’s spear broke, a fragment through the visor pierced Henry’s skull and exited through the ear. The injury turned out to be fatal, after a long agony, the monarch died.
In the book of Nostradamus by that time there was already a mention of a similar tragic event. Quatrain I, 35 says:
The young lion will surpass the old one,
On the battlefield in a single duel,
Scratching out his eyes in a golden cage,
Which will lead the old lion to a painful death.
The tragic death of the king turned out to be a great success for Nostradamus. After the death of Henry II, many believed in the supernatural abilities of the author of the Centuries.
True, skeptics still, as they say, have questions. Montgomery was indeed younger than the “old lion” – Henry II, but the difference in age was only 10 years.
Much attention was drawn to the mention of the “golden cage” and “eyes” in the quatrain. It is known that during the competition, Henry II fought in gilded armor, but the spear entered the skull above the right eye.
There is another reason not to pay too much attention to this prediction. In the 16th century, jousting tournaments were not yet uncommon, and many of them ended tragically. The message of Nostradamus, if desired, could be applied to any of these fights.
Nostradamus Predictions for 2023
According to data from open sources, Nostradamus predicted that the year 2023 will be remembered by mankind for anomalous socio-political and climatic cataclysms. The divination quatrain, marked 5/23, contains the following data:
“The two contenders will unite together
When most others unite with Mars
African leader scared and shaking
The double alliance is divided by the fleet”
Some believe that this “African leader” could be the American billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, since he is from South Africa, and “fright” is supposedly his words about the threat of nuclear war in the world.
The media write that, according to Nostradamus, the upheavals of this time will lead to revelations and the beginning of a new era in the life of mankind. It is noted that the seer called it a sacred moment, auspicious and at the same time dangerous. According to these data, 2023 is the time of purification and spiritual rebirth of humanity.
In addition, according to other sources, Nostradamus also predicted several armed conflicts at once in different parts of the planet. In his “Prophecies”, in particular, it is said that “great Arabia will go far ahead, but will be betrayed by the Byzantines, Ancient Rhodes will come out to meet her, and even more evil – from the Pannonian Austra”. Presumably, we can talk about the threat of an Arab-Turkish conflict.
In addition, it is alleged that Nostradamus also wrote about a large army that “crosses the mountains”, about Saturn in Sagittarius, about Mars, which “goes backwards in Pisces”, and about poisons that are “hidden in the heads of salmon hanging by their heads on fishing line”. Here some see hints of poisons – chemical or bacteriological weapons.
The astrologer predicted another conflict for Europe. In one of his quatrains, he wrote: “Seven months of the Great War, people died of atrocities, Rouen, Evreux will not fall before the king.” Rouen and Evreux are historic cities located in the Normandy region of northern France. We can talk about France, and about Britain, which was conquered by the Normans in the 11th century.
In addition, at the beginning of 2023, Nostradamus promised a collision of an asteroid with the Earth and a climate catastrophe.
Nostradamus about Russia
The astrologer died almost 500 years ago, but his prophecies continue to amaze many loyal believers. Nostradamologists consider the following to be the largest of the predictions: the French Revolution, the rise to power of Hitler, the beginning of World War II, the development of the atomic bomb and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
If we talk about predictions regarding Russia, then they stand on a separate line. There are many of them, as well as many options for their interpretation. Nostradamus, of course, did not use the words “Russia”, “Rus”, but commentators believe that he called the Russians northerners, Aquilonians (that is, living in the region of the north wind – Aquilon).
Here is quatrain II, 68, which Nostradamologists attribute to Peter I:
Aquilon’s efforts will be great.
The gates to the ocean will be open.
The kingdom on the island will be restored.
London will tremble, open to sail.
The first two lines do not need comments. The last two, according to commentators, reflect synchronous events – the restoration of the Stuart dynasty (1660) and an episode from the second Anglo-Dutch war – a breakthrough of the Dutch fleet into the Thames (1667). But strictly speaking…