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Michel de Nostredame was born on December 14th, 1503 in St. Remy de Provence, France. His family, converted from Judaism to Catholicism when Nostradamus was still a young boy. It has been suggested that Nostradamus was a descendent of the lost Jewish tribe of Issacher, which was noted to be knowledgeable in astrology and the mystical arts. Nostradamus' great-grandfather inspired him to study astrology and the celestial sciences when he was very young. It was then that Nostradamus was introduced to Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Later, he was sent to Avignon, France, to study medicine. In 1522, at the age of 19, Nostradamus decided to study medicine and enrolled at Mont Pellier. He achieved his bachelor's degree and was soon licensed to practice medicine. He was active in treating the victims of the "Black Plague" and developed unique and effective methods of treatment which helped to lessen the suffering of many people. At 26, Nostradamus returned to Mont Pellier to obtain his doctorate. He was recruited as an instructor after his graduation and taught for about a year. In 1538 Nostradamus was falsely accused of heresy by Church officials, due to an innocent comment he made one day about a church statue. One misconception led to another, and the agents of the Spanish Inquisition sought his arrest. Wishing to avoid arrest, Nostradamus left France and fled to Italy. And after traveling through Italy and France for six years, Nostradamus returned to his native land where he was employed by the city of Aix in 1546. For a period of three years he again fought the plague. During this period of his life, Nostradamus acquainted himself with the apothecaries and healers of the area in order to include them in his book "Traite des Fardmens", the world's first medical directory, which listed the names, location and specialties of physicians and healers practicing in Europe. By 1555, Nostradamus had finished the first phase of his book that would contain his prophecies. Upon its publication, Nostradamus' fame quickly spread throughout Europe. This first version of his prophecies contained over 300 predictions. His book became very popular among the literate and educated Europeans of the day, and the French Queen, Catherine de' Medici, summoned Nostradamus to her court in Paris. He and the Queen became close personal friends. It was during that era that Nostradamus was appointed as the personal physician and royal advisor to Henry II. Later, he also advised the French Kings Francis II and Charles IX. In 1557, when he was told that the Justices of Paris were again asking about his magical practices, he hurriedly returned to Salon. On June 28, 1559, quatrain # 1-35 which predicted the accidental death of an "old lion" (an allusion to Henri -- the King of France) came true. Some people were upset with Nostradamus, others amazed. His fame grew even more. Nostradamus remained in Salon for a number of years, and continued to work on his writings. In 1565-66, Nostradamus' health began to be troubled with gout and arthritis. His health continued to worsen and he wrote his will on June 17, 1566. On July 1st, Nostradamus sent for the local Catholic priest and requested that his last rites be administered to him, telling his close friend Chavigny that he would not live to see the next day. As Nostradamus prophesied, he was found dead in the morning, and was buried in the Church of the Cordeliers, in Salon. His remains were later moved to the Church of St. Laurent in Salon, France. After his death, his son Caesar gathered the remaining prophecies which had been unpublished up to that point, and published them in 1568, two years after Nostradamus passed away.