Famously accurate in his prophecies: Who was Nostradamus?

For more than five centuries, the gloomy prophecies of Nostradamus have fascinated people. Even while he was alive, he was famous - and often the cause of much controversy.

Famously accurate in his prophecies: Who was Nostradamus?
© Chris Nurse / GETTY IMAGES
Famously accurate in his prophecies: Who was Nostradamus?

His followers are still convinced that his mystical verses accurately predicted many catastrophes such as terrorist attacks, epidemics and even the Second World War.However, there are also critics who claim that all this is nonsense.

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Famous during his lifetime

Nostradamus was already considered an important French astrologer and physician, whose prophecies achieved great fame during his lifetime and earned him a loyal following. Now - and even before his death, centuries ago - numerous people credit him with predicting significant historical events, according to history.de.

In 1555, Nostradamus published his groundbreaking work Les Prophéties, which has since brought him worldwide fame. In his book, he predicts that the world will end in the year 3797. This gloomy prediction has moved the minds of many people to this day and remains a fascinating topic.

Read more:Self-proclaimed Nostradamus who 'predicted' Covid-19 has now 'foreseen' another disastrous event

The early years

The mysterious prophet Michel de Nostredame was born in France in 1503 as the son of a notary, a special lawyer. As a child, he already had a passion for the observation of the sky. There is limited information about Nostradamus' childhood, however, he was described as highly gifted. His maternal grandfather recognised very early on that his grandson had extraordinary potential and began to teach him, as history.de reports.

During this time, the young Nostradamus learnt the basics of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and mathematics. After graduating as a scientist, he successfully cured the sick as a famous epidemic doctor- under the name Nostradamus, according to geo.de. He roamed Europe and is even said to have brought a dead man back to life, at least so the legend goes.

The nobility relied on Nostradamus

In a time of uncertainty and unstable conditions, people were looking for orientation and protection from impending dangers. Predictions for the future were in great demand, and Nostradamus thrived as his popularity grew. His horoscope calendars were a bestseller, not only among ordinary citizens, but also among aristocrats.

The wife of the French monarch, Catherine de Medici, sent an invitation to the soothsayer to ask him to the court in Paris. Her request was that Nostradamus make astrological predictions for her descendants. This gesture contributed massively his legitimacy and growing reputation.

Language difficult to understand

As geo.de describes, Nostradamus published his work Les Prophéties in the year 1555, and it has been studied intensively by his followers right up to today. These are gloomy, four-line verses, which represent a mysterious - and often difficult to decipher - mixture of old French, Latin and invented words.

It is possible that he used this confusing tangle of languages to avoid being accused of heresy. Despite all his success, there have always been critics who consider him to be possessed by the devil or simply crazy. Nostradalus himself would say that his texts were based on the calculation of the planets and stars in relation to the Earth, history.de explains.

Agonizing early death

The last years of life were a terrible time for Nostradamus: his body was afflicted with gout, which makes every kind of movement a painful challenge.On July 2, 1566, the 'king of the prophets' took his last breath - one and a half years earlier than he himself had predicted.

This article was translated from Gentside DE.

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Sources used:
geo.de: Nostradamus and his incredible prophecies
history.de: Nostradamu

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