Michel De Nostradame, otherwise known as Nostradamus was born December 14, 1503. His family was of Jewish ancestry. His grandfather, Pierre de Nostradame, had settled in Provence because by the mid-1400s, many Jews had come to live there.
Nostradamus’ father was Jacques de Nostradame. Jacques worked as a scholarly, since most people didn’t know how to write he wrote things for them, from love letters to formal documents. Jacques’ income provided a good home at the time. Nostradamus’ earliest recollection of his home was the following:
Typical of all provençal homes in the sixteenth century was the room where both domestic and social life was carried on. The center and symbol of the room’s activity was the great fireplace, majestic, caver nous, holding a banked fire that never went out since his mother and father moved in. Shining pots and pans of brass hung low from the mantle shelf. At either angle of the fireplace was an oak settle were his grandfathers liked to laze and talk when they came to visit. On the walls hung light cabinet shelves holding salt and spices.
Nostradamus had one definite brother, Cèsar who wrote Histoire de Provence, a book which sustains the myth of the Nostradamus royal line. Historians think Nostradamus had three other brothers, Bertrand, Hector, and Antoine, but they are not sure and almost nothing is known about them besides their names. Nostradamus was educated by his grandfathers. First Peyrot, who had been a great traveler, brought Nostradamus up in his home. He taught Nostradamus the basics of mathematics, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Astrology. After Peyrot de Nostradamus’ death Nostradamus moved back in with his parents, Jacques and Reynière. It is thought that his other grandfather took over his education for a while, but the family decided to send Nostradamus to Avignon, which at that period was the center of Renaissance learning. At Avignon, Nostradamus spent many hours at University libraries.
Nostradamus’ biggest interest was astrology. His interest in astrology began to worry his parents, and by the advice of his grandfather he was sent to the University of Montpellier to study medicine. The University of Montpellier was regarded as second only to that of Paris in all of France. Nostradamus arrived there in 1522 at nineteen years of age. In three years he studied all the subjects needed for his bachelor’s degree. He was tutored by some of the finest doctors in Europe. The process of getting a degree was far more arduous than in the present day, and lasted much longer. A successful candidate was given his license to practice by the bishop of Montpellier. Nostradamus achieved this in 1525.
Nostradamus left the University and acquired a great reputation as a doctor by treating victims of the plague that ravaged that part of Europe, he would return later to get his doctorate. He was widely known for his use of his own formulas and prescriptions. He was recorded as being very successful. He made his medicines according to the patient; the richer the patient, the more expensive the ingredients were.
One of Nostradamus’ medicines used for tooth decay consisted of the following, it was not at all unusual for the time:
300-400 red roses, picked before dawn.
1oz. Sawdust from green fresh Cyprus.
6oz. Iris of Florence.
3 drams sweet smelling calamus, tiger lily.
6 drams lignaloes.
Pulverize the rose petals, in a mortar, mixed with a powder made from the above. Make the mixture in to lozenges , dry and keep enclosed, away from the air. Keep one in the mouth at all times.
Nostradamus got married in 1547 to a woman named Anne Ponsarde Gemelle, a rich woman and a widow. Even though Nostradamus was Christian he had not always been that way, and the townspeople abused him as a Jew. His reputation decreased. It was around this time that he started writing books called Almanachs. The first one, which came out in 1550, had information on things like the weather and crops. Many of these things were wrong, but the book was a success.nIn 1555 Nostradamus completed a series of books of prophecies, each containing 100 predictions about the future. They were joined in a book for the first time in 1568, the book contained 1000 predictions. Nostradamus predicted a lot of things. The following are several:
In prophecy number I.XXVI he says that in mid-day a great man, one that promises change to the world will be struck and killed in front of thousands of people. This is thought to explain John F. Kennedy’s death. In prophecy number II.V Nostradamus predicts a third World War. He says a great country in the north will be struck by a great blast from the sky, plague and blood. Many will suffer.
The books of prophecies are very interesting to read and are very accurate. Starting in 1561 a streak of prophecies became true and Nostradamus’ reputation grew so much that Jean Aymes de Chavigny the ex-mayor Beaunne, a city in France was quoted as saying “People came to France and sought Nostradamus as the only thing to be seen.” By the end of 1565 Nostradamus was seriously ill suffering from arthritis and gout, a painful swelling of the joints. On June 17, 1566 he wrote his will; a couple of days later he died. He lived 62 years, 6 months, 7 days.