Nostradamus Analysis Essay

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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.

Remy France. He lived in a small poor family which did not have enough money


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


There he studied medicines for three years and through a grueling three hour


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


(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


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


later, while still living in Agen, he married a young women of high estate,


name is unknown. Together they had two children, whos names are also


Nostradamus life seemed completed, but nothing could have prepared him for


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


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


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


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


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


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


remainder of his life he would spend most of his time staring at a bowl of


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


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


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.


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