(ORDO NEWS) — 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”.
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.
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.
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 shake 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.
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.
What is the phenomenon of Nostradamus predictions
The popularity of Nostradamus did not decrease even after his death in 1566. The Prophecies are being translated into many languages, edition after edition.
The work of Nostradamus, as noted by one of the Nostradamus scholars, is perhaps the only book, except for the Bible, which has been published almost continuously for almost five hundred years.
It is not difficult to understand this interest. There were no easy times either in the 16th century or today. People at all times have been concerned about what the future holds for them.
And thanks to the vague presentation of Nostradamus’s predictions, every commentator over the centuries could “adjust” the source to his own needs, reorienting most of the predictions in accordance with his personal preferences or political order.
What in the 16th century was attributed to Henry of Navarre, in the 19th century could be attributed to Napoleon, and in the 20th century to Hitler.
Under the agents of the Antichrist, about whom Nostradamus talks a lot, in the 16th century they meant “godless Calvinists”, in the 18th century – “godless Jacobins”, and in the 20th century – “godless Bolsheviks”.
The main role here has always been played by the sympathies or antipathies of the interpreters to this or that historical person or phenomenon.
Why do people believe in the predictions of Nostradamus
It’s all about the properties of the human psyche. People want to believe that it is possible to foresee something or, if something has already happened, to “see the prediction” of it and reassuringly think that if you study the works of all soothsayers, you can change the future, or at least prepare for it.
This is a person’s desire to control life and the eternal belief in the supernatural.
There is good reason to take many of Nostradamus’s predictions with skepticism. Perhaps the soothsayer’s supporters make one very characteristic mistake. In their opinion, his writings tell about the events of the distant future.
But it would be much more reasonable to perceive the messages of Nostradamus in the context of his time.
The prophecies may well have been veiled attempts to predict the phenomena characteristic of that era. It is unlikely that a person, even an astrologer, who lived in the 16th century, was very worried about the events of the 19th or 20th century.
Not the last role in the fact that Nostradamus became known throughout the world was played by chance. After the soothsayer’s death, his student Jean-Aimé de Chavigny did everything to ensure that the mentor’s works were published.
It is likely that, if not for the efforts of de Chavigny, Nostradamus would have remained in memory solely as the court astrologer of Henry II and would not now be on a par with such prominent people of the Renaissance as Leonardo da Vinci and Nicolaus Copernicus.
Historian, author of the commented translation of “The Prophecies of Master Michel Nostradamus”.
“In his prophecies, people are still trying in vain to find what he never Nostradamus, like many of his contemporaries, was an esotericist, he believed in mysticism.
But there is hardly anything supernatural in his works – in the usual sense for us.
Nostradamus was convinced of the correctness of his predictions.
He realized that history develops cyclically , in a spiral. It helped him to foresee future events.
I believe that Nostradamus also had a powerful intuition.
However, an intuitive concept – the question is debatable, so far no one has been able to identify algorithms intuitively .
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