Michael Nostradamus Essay, Research Paper
For centuries Nostradamus’s prophecies have inspired fear and controversy. His followerssay he predicted the French Revolution, the birth and rise of Hitler, and the assassination of John F.Kennedy. Did he, as his believers’ claim, predict some of history’s most monumental events – fromthe Great Fire of London to the launch disaster of the space shuttle Challenger? Nostradamus wastypical of the Renaissance time period. He made many prophecies and was a major contributor tonot only the Renaissance, but also the ‘Spirit of the Renaissance’.
Michael de Nostrodame (or his more used Latin name of Nostradamus) was born a Jew inthe small town of St. Remy de Province in southern France on the 14th of December 1503. Little isknown about Nostradamus’s family apart from Jean, his youngest brother, became Procurer of theParliament of Province.
As a small boy Nostradamus underwent significant changes in his life. While Nostradamuswas a child his family was forced to convert to Roman Catholicism. Around this time he was sentto live with his grandfather, Jean de Saint Remy, who taught him the basics of Latin, Greek,Hebrew, Mathematics and Astrology?
A few years later Nostradamus’s grandfather died and he went to Avignon to finish hisschooling. Whilst at Avignon he also believed, as did Galileo, that the Earth was round and circledthe sun.
Nostradamus used his ability to help people through harsh times and did not even fear forhis own life. In 1525 he received his Bachelor’s degree for Medicine and went to help the fightagainst the ‘Black Death’ that was feared throughout the Renaissance period. After traveling foralmost four years helping the sufferers of the Plague, he returned to Avignon and won fame for hiseagerness for learning, which ties in with the spirit of the Renaissance.
In 1532 he earned his Doctorate and became a Professor at the Montipellier University butresigned within the same year. He then moved to Agen, married and had a son and daughter. Hislife now seemed complete until an outbreak of the Plague in Agen that killed his wife and children. In 1538, he was accused of heresy because of a remark about a statue of the Virgin Marybeing like a devil that he had made years before. The Inquisitors sent him to Toulouse to standtrial.
Leoni, Edgar stated that in 1554 Nostradamus settled in Marseilles after wandering for sixyears keeping well clear of the church authorities. During this time legends started to appear abouthis foreseeing powers. It was not until later however that he received his fame with his propheticvisions of the future – nine hundred forty two cryptic poems called The Centuries – which havepreoccupied generation after generation of readers.
The Centuries (ten in total) were written in poem like form and contained hard-to-breakcodes that were use to stop attention being drawn to himself, as the church authorities could notarrest him for writing gibberish, because in that time prophecies were considered as witch craft ordevil work. The Centuries were written by night as not to be seen in 1555.
He eventually settled down in the town of Salon, France in 1554 where he married hissecond wife, Anne Ponsart Gemelle, with whom he rose six children -three boys and three girls. Do these writing actually predict the death of popes, rise of tyrants, and natural disasters tocome? The code in which the prophecies were written could be comprehended to mean manythings, but if the people who claim to be able to crack the code of Nostradamus’ work are right thenWorld War Three will reach its climax in the year 1999. Bio-warface will be used – which willvirtually wipe out most of humanity with minimal survivors with the human race living until theyear 3797.
Nostradamus traveled to Paris and booked in at a hotel on the 15th for August 1556 and thequeen at the time sent a message to Nostradamus asking him to see her. The queen talked toNostradamus privately for two hours, nothing is known about what they talked about. Two weekslater Nostradamus was again summoned to speak with the queen. This time she asked him to givehoroscopes on all her children – all turned out correct except one horoscope, her youngest childwho died before taking the throne. In 1564 Nostradamus was appointed Royal Physician to KingCharles IX.
On the 1st of July 1566 he sent for the local priest to give him this message, “I will not beseen alive again”. That night Nostradamus died.It was rumored that Nostradamus’ coffin contained the document that would decode his longcryptic writings and give the answers. This proved to be untrue becausein 1700 Nostradamus’body was moved to a different place in the church, and while it was being moved a priest lookedinside the coffin to reveal an amulet on his skeleton with the year 1700 on it. In 1791, during the French Revolution, soldiers broke into the church in search for money. While in the church thesoldiers found food and alcohol that they ate and drank. Claims that a soldier drank wine out ofNostradamus’s skull, and the next day the soldier was shot.
Now over four hundred years after the death of Nostradamus the interpretations on hisprophecies have continued to come true. Nostradamus made a total of nine hundred forty twoprophecies in his book The Centuries. A vast majority of these predictions are in our past but there are some in the near future that may let us now that;A) he was not a prophet but just wrote gibberish, orB) his prophecies have not been interpreted correctly.
No matter which of these is the case he helped many people through their bad times and with thesufferers of the plague. He also had a keen eagerness to learn and with the help he gave that has fitted him in with ‘The Spirit of the Renaissance’.
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