Category:
History
Paper Title:
Nostradamus
Text:
Knowing the future has always been a dream of man but for Nostradamus it
was reality. Nostradamus has successfully predicted over 900 historical
events, and
even more have yet to be fulfilled. He has predicted such things as the
defeat of
Napoleon, the rise of Nazi power in Germany, and even the end of the world.


Nostradamus was born Michael de Nostradame on December 14, 1503 in St.

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Remy France. He lived in a small poor family which did not have enough money
to
provide for him and his 4 brothers. Trying the best to give their son a
decent life, his
parents were forced to send him to live with his grandfather. At the young
age of
seven Nostradamus intellect began to show. With his grandfathers
influence, he
learned the basics of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Mathematics, and astrology
(Cheetham, a, 62).


After his grandfathers death he was sent to Avignon to study. Soon after, he
was forced to leave because of his radical ideas, such as the world circled
the sun,
and his parents had no other choice but to send him to the University of
Montpelier.


There he studied medicines for three years and through a grueling three hour
oral
exam, he received his bachelors degree (Byers, 433).


After graduating, he found a cure for the bubonic plague. He cured entire
towns at a time with his herbal remedies. By 1525, at the age of 22, he was a
celebrated figure throughout Europe. His book Le Tratie Des Fardemers which
contained all of his prescriptions, was used as standard for doctors all over
Europe
(Cheetham, b, 192).


After 4 years of traveling he returned to the University Of Montpelier to
receive his doctorate. 5 years of studying and 3 months of exams later he
graduated, and began a job at the university. But had to resign because of a
dispute
with his co-workers.(Cheetham, b, 194)
With no where to go he began to wander through Europe, again. Two years
later he found himself in Toulouse, curing more plague victims, when he
received a
letter from Julius Caesar Scaliger, one of the greatest philosophers of his
time. The
letter asked Nostradamus to come stay with him at his house in Agen. Two
months
later, while still living in Agen, he married a young women of high estate,
whos
name is unknown. Together they had two children, whos names are also
unknown.


Nostradamus life seemed completed, but nothing could have prepared him for
what
had came next. (Cheetham, 66)
The excessive rainfall had caused floods throughout France, which spread the
plague to Agen. Nostradamus tried everything he could do, but he could not
save
his wife and children. From there his life slowly began to fall apart, he
fought with
Scaliger which cost him a friendship and even more importantly a house. His
in-laws tried to sue him for the death of his wife. The church authorities
were after
him for making inappropriate comments towards a statue of Mary. Probably the
worst of it all was that the people look upon him with scorn, they figured if
he could
not save his own family how could he save them. Now a fugitive from the
church,
Nostradamus began to wander, yet again (Cheetham, a, 68).


During his wanderings his prophetic powers began to show. He was stopped
by a man on the street who had heard of him, the man asked Nostradamus to put
his
powers to the test. Nostradamus pointed to the mans pigs, he said that the
white one
would be eaten by a wolf and the black would be served for dinner.

Immediately the
man had the white one ordered to be cooked for dinner, but as the cook was
preparing it, a tame wolf, belonging to one of the servants wandered in and
stole the
prepared white pig from the table. The frantic cook hurriedly killed the
black pig
and served it. Half way through the meal the cook confessed to the man what
had
happen, proving Nostradamus was right.(Cheetham, 69)
Nostradamus hid from the church authorities for six years until the plague
began to spread again, and with all the doctors fleeing, towns were left to
die with
no one to help. Seeing this Nostradamus sprung into action first appearing in
Marseilles, were he developed a vaccine made from rose petals, that would
keep the
disease from spreading. In less than a month he had single handily cured the
plague
from France. He was once again a celebrated figure throughout Europe
(Cheetham, a, 73).


With the plague beginning to disappear he settled down in the little town of
Salon, there he married a rich widow, and began to write his prophecies. For
the
remainder of his life he would spend most of his time staring at a bowl of
water,
supposedly seeing the future. With this method he has predicted over 1,000
historical events, some have already happened, some have yet to come, and
even
some we hope never happen. (Cheetham, b, 201).


Nostradamus was many things, an astrologer, a doctor, and a scholar. But
one of the few things that he wasnt, was immortal, and in 1655, at the age
of 52,
Nostradamus died in Salon. But his prophecies have lived on for hundreds of
years,
where we still read and enjoy them today.




List of Works Cited
Byers, Paula K. Nostradamus Encyclopedia of World Biography. New York,
1998, pg. 432-434.


Cheetham, Erika (a). The Further Prophecies of Nostradamus. New York; Berkley
Publishing Group, 1985.


-- (b) The Man Who Saw Tomorrow: The Prophecies of Nostradamus.


New york; Berkley Publishing Group, 1981.


History