Michel de Nostradame, more commonly known as Nostradamus, was
born on December 14, 1503, in St. Remy de Provence. He was the son of notary Jacques o Jaume De Nostredame and of
his wife Renée de Saint-Rèmy. This is a small town in Provence
(southern France), located at 1O miles from the gaul-roman town of Arles
(with roman ruines as Mario's arch and Saint Paul mausoleum).
Saint-R‚my was built near GLANUM ruins, famous holy place for gauls, and
in the 1921 excavations were found ellenistic, greek and roman remains.
The city is located by the middle of "Provence's sacred triangle", that
has as it's vertex Arles, Avignone and SALON , where the Prophet will marry and live
(1547) and die (1566), plenty of fame and glory.
It was almost 11 years from the time Colombus' discovery of "Western Indias",
and in Rome, Pope ALEXANDER VI (Rodrigo Borgia) had suddendly died.
Pope maybe died because he ingested, by error, a poison that was destinated to an unknown cardinal.
After him was elected Pious III, that died after 25 days, and was
replaced with a warrior Pope Pope JULIUS II (Giuliano Della Rovere, from Albisola, Savona)
a real military commander, that began many victorious expeditions
against french and cities that rebelled to the Pontical State. He was the same Pope
that ordered to sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti the wall paintings in Sistine Chapel.
In that time LOUIS XII was king of France
and he signed with Spain's king FERDINAND II -
a teatry for the division of Naples' kingdom, that they soon broke, and resolved with war,
in the battle of Seminara and in Barletta's defy.
It was the shining era of Renaissance, great artist as Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello Sanzio
and Michelangelo Buonarroti are making their masterpieces.
Nicol• Machiavelli writes his treatise of politics "Il Principe".
Christopher COLUMBUS is making his fourth trip. Only in those years, Amerigo Vespucci,
after discovery of Rio de Janeiro's bay, realizes that it is an entire new continent
and publishes this idea in his book "Mundus Novus" (1503).
Martin LUTHER is studying in Erfurt's University, and his 99 thesis are still in his mind.
He was a seer and a time traveler living in 2 realities. He also was adept in astrology
and astronomy, and, along with his own clairvoyance. He used both
sciences to interpret the visions he received in the secrecy of his study.
He was often refered to as the prophet of doom because of the visions he
had involving death and war. His followers say he predicted the French
Revolution, the birth and rise to power of Hitler, and the assassination of
John F. Kennedy and the 911 Twin Towers attack . His prophetic vision....942 cryptic poems called
"The Centuries" groups in sets of 100. A single verse is commonly
called a quatrain and 100 quatrains a Centurie. The quatrains are a ser of four written lines. They have enthralled
generation after generation of readers. He predicted some of history's
most monumental events from the Great Fire of London (1666) to the
destruction of the space shuttle Challenger.
His parents were of simple lineage from around Avignon.
Nostradamus was the oldest son, and had four brothers; of the first
three we know little; the youngest, Jean, became Procureur of the
Parliament of the Provence.
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.
When his grandfather died, Nostradamus was sent to Avignon to
study. He already showed a great interest in astrology and it
became common talk among his fellow students. He upheld the
Copernican theory that the world was round and circled around
the sun more than 100 years before Galileo was prosecuted for
the same belief.
Since it was the age of the Inquisition and the family were
converted from Judaism to the Catholic faith by the time
Nostradamus was nine years old, his parents were quite worried,
because as ex-Jews they were more vulnerable than most. So
they sent him of to study medicine at Montpellier in 1522.
In 1532 he got his DEGREE and the right to dress the RED TOGA, and began to practice
as the assistant of an older doctor. After four days of examinations he got the degree.
He was thirty years old, and following the fashion between the sages of those times, latinized
his name, and from the simple Nostredame transformed in the character... NOSTRADAMUS !
Nostradamus obtained his bachelor's degree after three years,
with apparent ease, and once he had his license to practise
medicine he decided to go out into the countryside and help the
many victims of the plague.
For the title of Medical Doctor he made an examination over six patients, so he finally
obtained in Saint-Firmin's church the golden ring, the squared hat and Ippocrate's book.
Since then he will wear his family's emblem, with 4 sectors, in two is depicted a
black headed eagle, and in the other two there is an eight rayed wheel, a remembrance
of his origin, "of the wandering" of hebrews around the whole world.
The shield is underlined by a coat of arms that has written his famous motto:
SOLI DEO , maybe meaning "Only God", or... "Sun God" !
After nearly four years he returned to Montpellier to complete
his doctorate and re-enrolled on 23rd October 1529. Nostradamus
had some trouble in explaining his unorthodox remedies and
treatments he used in the countryside. Nevertheless his
learning and ability could not be denied and he obtained his
doctorate. He remained teaching at Montpellier for a year but by
this time his new theories, for instance his refusal to bleed
patients, were causing trouble and he set off upon another spate
While practising in Toulouse he received a letter from
Julius-Cesar Scaliger, the philosopher considered second only to
Erasmus throughout Europe. Apparently Nostradamus' reply so
pleased Scaliger that he invited him to stay at his home in
Agen. This life suited Nostradamus admirably, and circa 1534
he married a young girl 'of high estate, very beautiful and
admirable', whose name was lost to us. He had a son and a
daughter by her and his life seemed complete.
Then a series of tragedies struck. The plague came to Agen
and, despite all his efforts, killed Nostradamus' wife and two
children. The fact that he was unable to save his own family
had a disastrous effect on his practice. The he quarrelled with
Scaliger and lost his friendship. His late wife's family tried
to sue him for the return of her dowry and as the final straw,
in 1538, he was accused of heresy because of a chance remark
made some years before. To a workman casting a bronze statue
of the Virgin, Nostradamus had commented that he was making
devils. His plea that he was only describing the lack of
aestheticappeal inherent int the statue was ignored and
the Inquisitors sent for him to go to Toulouse.
Nostradamus, having no wish to stand trial, set out on his
wandering again and kept well clear of the Church authorities
for the next six years. We know little of this period. From
references in later books we know he travelled in the Lorraine
and went to Venice and Sicily. Legends about Nostradamus'
prophetic powers also start to appear at this time.
In 1545 he wrote Interpretation des Hiéroglyphes de Horapollo 86 handwritten sheets
authenticated, that after being in the library of COLBERT, minister of french king LOUIS XIV,
were bought by THE ROYAL LIBARY and (until recently) were in the old National Bibliotheque
de Paris (former location: MSF 2594), this is the only certified hanswritten of Nostradamus, actually available.
All it's parts are written by himself and signed. This text was pubblished in Barcelona
by Pierre ROLLER (1968), and contains 11 unpublished quatrains and an "explanation" about
Costantine's threasure, commented by PEIRESC, a famous botanic and brotherlike friend of
Nostradamus' son César. At that time Nostradamus had settled in Marseilles. In November
that year, the Provence experienced one of the worst floods of
its history. The plague redoubled in virulence, spread by the
waters and the polluted corpses. Nostradamus worked ceaselessly.
Nostradamus ordered to empty the streets, burn trash, to bury the corpses very
deep between layers of quicklime. Orders disinfection of houses with winegar,
boiled wine, boiling water. Advises to burn aromatic woods, to clean sewers.
Orders extermination of rats with poisoned bait. Recommends the chewing of GARLIC
cloves, (today scientist proved the antibacterial action of garlic), the use of
gloves and filtrating masks made of leather.
Once the city had recovered, Nostradamus moved on to Salon, 24 miles from Marseille,
which he found so pleasant a town that he determined to settled
there for the rest of his life. In November he married Anne
Ponsart Gemelle, a rich widow. The house in which he spent the
remainder of his days can still be seen off the Place de la
After 1550 he produced a yearly Almanac - and after 1554 The
Prognostications - which seem to have been successful, and
encouraged him to undertake the much more onerous task of the
Prophecies. He converted the top toom of his house at Salon into
a study and as he tells us in the Prophecies, worked there at
night with his occult books. The main source of his magical
inspirations was a book called De Mysteriis Egyptorum.
By 1555 Nostradamus had completed the first part of his book
of prophecies that were to contain predictions from his time to
the end of the world. The word Century has nothing to do with
one hundred years; it was so called because there were a hundred
verses or quatrains in each book. The verses are written in a
crabbed, obscure style, with a polyglot of vocabulary of French,
Provencal, Italian, Greek and Latin. In order to avoid being
prosecuted as a magician, Nostradamus writes that he
deliberately confused the time sequence of the Prophecies
so that their secrets would not be revealed to the non-initiate.
It is extraordinary how quickly the fame of Nostradamus spread
across France and Europe on the strength of the Prophecies,
published in their incomplete form of 1555. The book contained
only the first three Centuries and part of the fourth. The
prophecies became all the rage at Court, the Queen, Catherine de
Medici, sent for Nostradamus to come to Court, and he set out
for Paris on 14th July 1556. On 15th August, Nostradamus booked
a room at the Inn of St. Michel, and the next day the queen sent
One could only wish that there had been a witness to record
their meeting. Nostradamus and the Queen spoke together for
two hours. She is reputed to have asked him about the quatrain
concerning the king's death and to have been satisfied with
Nostradamus' answer. Certainly she continued to believe in
Nostradamus' predictions until her death. The king, Henri II,
granted Nostradamus only a brief audience and was obviously
not greatly interested.
Two weeks later the queen sent for him a second time and now
Nostradamus was faced with the delicate and difficult task of
drawing up the horoscopes of the seven Valois children, whose
tragic fates he had already revealed in the centuries. All he
would tell Catherine was that all of her sons would be kings,
which is slightly inaccurate since one of them, Francois, died
before he could inherit.
Soon afterwards Nostradamus was warned that the Justices of
Paris were inquiring about his magic practices, and he swiftly
returned to Salon. From this time on, suffering from gout and
arthritis, he seems to have done little except draw up
horoscopes for his many distinguished visitors and complete the
writing of the Prophecies. Apparently he allowed a few
manuscript copies to criculate before publication, because
many of the predictions were understood and quoted before
the completed book came off the printing press in 1568,
two years after his death.
The reason for this reticence was probably the king's death in
1559. Nostradamus had predicted it in I.35 and may have felt
that it was too explicit for comfort and that it would be
advisible to wait some years until things had quietened down.
But the following year, 1560, King Francis II died, and this
time he was openly quoted.
In 1564 Catherine, now Queen Regent, decided to make a Royal
Progress through France. While travelling she came to Salon and
visited Nostradamus. They dined and Catherine gave Nostradamus
the title of Physician in Ordinary, which carried with it a
salary and other benefits.
But by now the gout from which Nostradamus suffered was
turning to dropsy and he, the doctor, realized that his end was
near. He made his will on 17th June 1566 and left the large sum,
for those days, of 3444 crowns over and above his other
possessions. On 1st July he sent for the local priest to give
him the last rites, and when Chavigny took leave of him that
night, he told him that he would not see him alive again. As he
himself had predicted, his body was found the next morning.
He was burried upright in one of the walls of the Church of
the Cordeliers at Salon, and his wife Anne erected a splendid
marble plaque to his memory.
It was rumored that a very secret document existed in his coffin, that would decode his prophecies.
In 1700, the coffin was moved to a prominent wall of the Church. Careful not to
disturb his body a quick look inside revealed an amulet on his skeleton, with the year
1700 on it. One night in 1791 during the French Revolution, soldiers from Marseilles
broke into the church, in search of loot. The next morning they were ambushed by Royalists.
The soldier who had used Nostradamus' skull as a wine glass, the night before, died by a sniper's bullet.
Under the Oak (coffin) lightening strikes in Gienne.
Not far from there (Salon) is hidden the treasure
For after long centuries it is grabed
Found, shall die, eye pierced by a spring (of a trigger).
I 27 The Desecration of Nostradamus' Tomb
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