Nostradamus: prophet or hoaxer?

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Nostradamus: prophet or hoaxer?
Nostradamus: prophet or hoaxer?

At all times, soothsayers and fortune-tellers were much more popular than scientists. Among all predictors, even in our time, the greatest interest is a person who lived five centuries ago - Nostradamus. Was this person really endowed with incredible abilities? Or is Nostradamus just another talented charlatan? We will try to shed light on these questions.


The life of a fortuneteller

To understand the secrets of the prophecies of Nostradamus, you need to understand his personality and the time in which he happened to live. The fortuneteller was born in France at the beginning of the 16th century. There are many incomprehensible things in the description of the life of the famous Frenchman. Even the name Nostradamus itself is not real, but real - Michel de Nostradamus. He came from a clan of Jews who converted to Catholicism. Later, ill-wishers will point to the Jewish roots of Nostradamus and call him a secret Jew. There are legends that already in early childhood, Nostradamus began to make accurate predictions.

In his youth, Michel de Nostrdam chose medicine as the main direction of his activity. In 1529, he entered the University of Montpellier, at the Faculty of Medicine. Despite the difficult relationship with teachers, Nostradamus managed to graduate from an educational institution. Already in 1534, he received his doctorate. Rumor has it that his pedigree played an important role in the success of his studies. Allegedly, the ancestors of Nostradamus were famous doctors and served at the ducal court. In our time, this theory can neither be confirmed nor refuted. It is likely that eminent ancestors existed only in the imagination of a talented hoaxer.

Be that as it may, one thing is certain: Nostradamus was an intelligent, educated and versatile person. In addition to medicine, he was seriously interested in astrology and alchemy. And in the 16th century, these pseudosciences were perceived in a completely different way than in our time. Of course, if you were considered an alchemist, then your chances of being burned at the stake by the Inquisition significantly increased. But in the 16th century there was still no definition of "pseudoscience" in the usual sense. People of that time did not see much difference between chemistry and alchemy, astronomy and astrology. Nostradamus was born in 1503 in the family of a notary. According to legend, his ancestors were healers who served at the court of the Duke of Lorraine René the Good, as well as the Duke of Calabria. According to legend, the great-grandfather of Michel de Nostrdam was the royal physician Abram Solomon. It is only known for certain that his maternal ancestors were doctors.

Nostradamus lived in a really difficult time. Hunger, war, disease, a ferocious inquisition - all this was an integral part of the life of France in the XVI century. One of the biggest troubles of that time was the plague. In 1537, Nostradamus's wife and two of his children died of this disease. All this could have a decisive impact on him, forcing him to seriously engage not only in medicine, but also in the occult sciences. However, this is just a guess.


We can only say with certainty that Michel de Nostrdam decided to devote himself to the fight against this disease. Nostradamus defended the idea of ​​preventing the disease, which helped prevent an epidemic in the city of Aix-en-Provence. He also sought to invent a cure for the "black death", but these experiments did not have much success. But who is seriously interested in his work is the Holy Inquisition.In order to avoid explanations with representatives of the church, Nostradamus left France and hid in Germany and Italy for several years. Returning to France, he continued the practice of healing and even received recognition. Soon, Nostradamus married for the second time to Anna Ponsard Gemelier, from this marriage six children were born. In the first half of the 16th century, plague was no longer something new for Europe. The most terrible epidemic broke out on its territory in the middle of the XIV century. Then about a third of the European population died from this disease. However, in the 16th century, there were no effective methods to combat this disease.

Mystical heritage

Surprisingly, but the glory of the predictor awaited Nostradamus during his lifetime. In 1555 he managed to publish his first work, The Prophecies. This book was a collection of the so-called Centuries. There are ten Centuries in the book, each uniting one hundred quatrains - quatrains written in poetic form.

By the way, about the form. The quatrains were written in a language that even Nostradamus's contemporaries understood with great difficulty. The language of the messages was extremely florid. Because of this, any word from the quatrain can have several meanings and be interpreted in different ways. It is not entirely clear why Nostradamus needed to clothe his thoughts in such a shell. Rumor has it that the only way Michel de Nostrdam could avoid unnecessary attention from the Inquisition. There is also a simpler version. Nostradamus could use a language that is difficult to understand on purpose, so that predictions look as vague as possible. One important fact speaks in favor of this theory. A characteristic feature of the works of Nostradamus is the almost complete absence of specific dates for predicted events. Not only the Centurias brought fame to Nostradamus. In addition to them, he published astrological almanac calendars. The first such almanac was published in 1550. It is noteworthy that in the almanacs Nostradamus made his predictions not in poetic, but in prosaic form. Unfortunately, none of these prophecies have survived.

Fate turned out to be favorable to the author of the prophecies. In 1555, Nostradamus was invited to the royal personages and appointed personal astrologer of King Henry II. One of the most famous predictions of Nostradamus is associated with the name of this monarch. In 1559, a double wedding was celebrated. Celebrated the marriage of Henry's daughter to Philip II and Henry's sister to the Duke of Savoy. On the occasion of the significant event, a knightly duel was arranged. The king himself took part in it, his rival was Count Gabriel de Montgomery. During the duel, Earl Montgomery's spear broke, and a shard of it pierced Henry's skull through the visor of his helmet. The injury was fatal, and after a long agony, the monarch died.

Nostradamus was destined to perpetuate this tragic event. The thirty-fifth quatrain of the first Century of Nostradamus says:

The young lion will surpass the old

On the battlefield in

single duel

It will pierce his eyes

through the golden cage, Two wounds in one

then will die

painful death.

There are several more versions of the translation of this quatrain, but their meaning is very similar. The tragic death of the king turned out to be a great success for Nostradamus. After the death of Henry II was predicted, many people believed in the supernatural powers of Michel de Nostrdam.

So what does the famous quatrain hide? Indeed, the Earl of Montgomery was somewhat younger than the "old lion" - Henry II, but their age difference was no more than two years. Much attention was drawn to the mention of the "golden cage" and "eye" in the quatrain. It is known that during the competition, Henry II fought in gilded armor, but the spear hit the king not in the eye, but entered the skull slightly above the right eye. There is another reason not to pay too much attention to this prediction.Even in the 16th century, knightly tournaments were not uncommon, and many of them ended tragically. The message of Nostradamus, if desired, can be applied to any of these fights.

Another famous prediction was the prophecy about the king of France. Nostradamus maintained good relations with Queen Catherine de Medici. During a meeting with her, Nostradamus foresaw that in the future the king of France would become a relative of the ruling dynasty of Valois - Henry of Navarre. At that time, such a prediction seemed almost unbelievable, since Catherine de Medici had sons of her own. But many years later, the prophecy came true, and in 1589 the new king of France, Henry IV of Navarre, ascended the throne. However, this prediction exists only in the form of a beautiful legend.

The last prediction of Nostradamus is widely known. On July 1, 1566, Michel de Nostrdam said to his student Jean-Aimé de Chavigny: "At dawn you will not find me alive anymore!" The prophet died the next morning. Were his words a premonition, a manifestation of superpowers, or a pure coincidence? We will probably never know.


The coming of the antichrist

The writings of Nostradamus contain apocalyptic prophecies. The appeal to religious themes does not seem like something strange if you remember the time in which he happened to live. At the same time, many unusual things can be found in the predictions of Nostradamus.

Unlike traditional religions, Nostradamus predicted the coming of not one, but three antichrists. “Pau Nay Oloron has more fire than blood in his veins,” says one of his messages. It is believed that Pau Nay Oloron is an anagram that hides the name of one of the Antichrists. If you rearrange the letters in places, you can see the phrase Napaulon Roi (Napoleon Roi) or Napoleon. The mention of Napoleon also contains one more quatrain of Nostradamus. It says:

Near Italy

an emperor will be born, Which will cost

empire at a high price.

They will say looking at people

with which he will surround

myself, That he is, rather, a butcher, than a prince.

Indeed, Corsica (Napoleon's birthplace) is much closer to Italy than to France. It is also known that Nostradamus was a royalist, and the self-proclaimed emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte could hardly arouse warm feelings in him. However, all this makes sense only if you take on faith the thesis of the prophetic gift of Nostradamus.

Among scientists, the problem of the authenticity of the works of Nostradamus is acute. There is a possibility that some of the quatrains were written by the followers of the author after his death. In addition, it is possible that Nostradamus himself could rewrite some of his messages after the events that happened. According to the French historian Peter Lemesurier, Nostradamus was not a fortuneteller. Based on the works of Nostradamus, the researcher concluded that these predictions are based on the theory of cyclicity (repetition) of history. Researchers also do not exclude the possibility that Nostradamus could borrow predictions from earlier authors.

The most incredible of all prophecies is described in the twenty-fourth quatrain of the second Century. It is about the coming of the second antichrist.

Beasts, fierce with hunger, the rivers will cross.

Most of the camp

will be against Hister`a.

In an iron cage

drag the great

When the Rhine turns


to the child of Germany.

So says one of the translations of the quatrain. Many tend to see the leader of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler, in the image of the mysterious "Hister". However, according to critics, we are talking about the ancient name of the Danube River - Istra. Be that as it may, the true meaning of this quatrain is almost impossible to understand, since there is no exact translation. The only people who unconditionally believed in the truth of this prediction were the Nazis themselves.

Year 1999, seventh month.

A great one will come from the sky

the king of terror

To resurrect

great king


Before and after Mars

rule happily.

The date 1999 bears an obvious mystical connotation, because if you turn the three nines, you get the number 666. Based on the prophecy of Nostradamus, the Antichrist will be destroyed after twenty-seven years of bloody confrontation. In his prophecies, Nostradamus also calls the name of the antichrist - Mabus. In an incomprehensible way, many see in him the name of Saddam Hussein (if you read the word Mabus on the contrary, we get Subam). In defense of this theory, it is said that from the moment the Iraqi leader came to power until the day of his death, twenty-seven years passed. True, it is not entirely clear how the ordinary dictator of the banana republic suddenly became the Antichrist. With the same success the servant of the devil can be called Idi Amin, Pol Pot or Kim Il Sung. There is a point of view that the messages of Nostradamus should not be taken literally. According to the supporters of this hypothesis, the predictions of Nostradamus contain a certain astrological code. Today there is no consensus on this theory.

Nostradamus is also credited with predicting the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 9/11 attacks and even the Kennedy assassination. If there is at least some logic in the prediction of the death of King Henry II, then in the case of the assassination of Kennedy, there is hardly an explanation. It is hard to imagine that the assassination of an American president was on the agenda in the 16th century.


Fictional prophet

So why is so much attention still riveted to the predictions of Nostradamus? Obviously, the answer lies not so much in his predictions as in the human mind. Perhaps the main feature of his works was the negative connotation of predictions. The works of Nostradamus touch on the themes of war, murder, destruction and cataclysms. This topic interests society most of all.

There is another reason to be skeptical about many predictions. Perhaps the supporters of Nostradamus make one characteristic mistake. In their opinion, the works of Nostradamus tell about the events of the distant future. But it would be much wiser to perceive the messages of Nostradamus in the context of his time. Prophecies may well have been veiled attempts to predict the phenomena characteristic of that era. A person who lived in the 16th century was hardly worried about the events of the 19th or 20th century.

Not the least role in the fact that Nostradamus became known all over the world was played by an ordinary accident. After the death of Nostradamus, his student Jean-Aimé de Chavigny did everything so that the works of his mentor were published and became the property of society. They say that history does not tolerate the subjunctive mood, but we will depart from the traditions of historical science. It is likely that if it were not for the efforts of de Chavigny, Michel de Nostrdam would have remained in memory exclusively as a court astrologer. With a request to comment on this issue, we turned to the famous researcher of the heritage of Nostradamus, candidate of historical sciences, writer Alexei Penzensky:

- Of course, for his time, Nostradamus can be considered an erudite. His interests covered a wide variety of aspects. Among other things, Nostradamus was fond of interpreting hieroglyphs and cooking. But his name was not destined to be next to the names of prominent figures of the Renaissance, such as Leonardo da Vinci or Nicolaus Copernicus. Nostradamus was left to the mercy of a cheap sensation. In his prophecies, people are still trying in vain to find what he never meant. Nostradamus, like many of his contemporaries, was esoteric, he believed in mysticism. But there is hardly anything supernatural in his works, in our usual understanding. Nostradamus was convinced of the correctness of his predictions. He realized that history develops cyclically, in a spiral. This helped him to anticipate future events. I believe that Nostradamus also had a powerful intuition. However, the intuitive concept is a debatable issue, so far no one has been able to identify the algorithms of intuitive cognition.

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