Nostradamus Essay, Research Paper
Nostradamus: How Accurate Were His Predictions
Is it possible to see into the future? Many believe
that a man named Michel de Nostradamus could. His
predictions of the future have mystified scholars for over
four hundred years. Nostradamus made over one thousand
predictions and historians say that over half of them have
already come true. The most startling of his predictions
deal with the coming of three anti-Christ s. My paper will
focus on these prophecies made by Michel de Nostradamus and
see how accurate they were. If his predictions of the past
are accurate, then his predictions for the future may also
In order to establish Nostradamus’ credibility, it is
important to know facts concerning his actual life. Michel
de Nostradamus was born in 1503 in St. Remy de Provence,
France. The young Michel was brought up as a Catholic.
Being a brilliant student, Michel learned classical
languages, mathematics, and astrology from his grandfather.
Later he decided to pursue medicine and enrolled at the
University of Montpellier. As a skilled physician, he
became famous for his amazing success in treating victims
of a deadly plague. In 1532, Nostradamus got married and
had children, but the terrible plague that Nostradamus
himself had helped to fight returned killing his wife and
children. Deeply depressed, Nostradamus spent the next six
years wandering around France and Italy. This is when he
began to notice and take account of his strange prophetic
gifts. While wandering through Italy, Nostradamus
encountered a group of Franciscan monks. Standing aside to
let them pass Nostradamus suddenly exclaimed and threw
himself on his knees, bowing his head and clutching at the
garment of one of the monks. The monk, named Felice
Peretti, was a former swine herder of very lowly birth.
When asked why he had done such a silly act, Nostradamus
replied, “I must yield myself and bow before his Holiness.”
Nineteen years after the death of Nostradamus, Peretti
became Pope Sixtus V (Randi 25).
Many such stories arose as testimony to Nostradamus’
alleged psychic powers. In one account, the visionary was
challenged by a skeptic, the Seigneur de Florinville,
while staying at his chateau in the province of Lorraine.
Nostradamus was shown two suckling pigs, one black, the
other white. Florinville then asked Nostradamus to predict
which they would eat that night for supper. Nostradamus
replied they would eat the black pig. Florinville then
told the cook to prepare the white pig. That evening at
dinner, Nostradamus was again asked which pig they were
eating, and again he replied the black one. Florinville
asked the cook to tell which pig it was that they were
eating. The cook said that while preparing the white pig a
tamed wolf cub had wandered into the kitchen and devoured
it. The cook then slaughtered the remaining black pig and
prepared it for the dinner (Randi 26).
In 1555, Nostradamus published the first of ten books,
all entitled Centuries. Each volume contained 100
predictions written in four line verses known as quatrains.
He wrote in his native French but to protect himself from
the superstitious which hunters of the day, he confused the
verse with Latin, Greek, and even anagrams. He saw these
predictions by looking into a black mirror that he had. He
would go into his study, which he let no one else into.
While in here he would stare into his black mirror or even
a pool of water in a bowl, when this is done it seems that
you stare into infinite and it can result in seeing things,
which he did.
These quotes were taken from a source on the Internet,
which dealt with the rise of the two anti-Christ s and the
prediction of the third. Throughout Nostradamus’ quatrains
he speaks of three powerful and tyrannical leaders that he
calls anti-Christ s. He said they would lead their people
through reigns of terror after first seducing them with
promises of greatness. Napoleon is thought to have been
the first of these anti-Christ s. Of Napoleon’s rise to
power and years as Emperor Nostradamus wrote:
An Emperor shall be born near Italy.
Who shall cost the Empire dear,
They shall say, with what people he keeps company
He shall be found less a Prince than a butcher.
Napoleon, who was considered a butcher, certainly cost the
Empire dearly in both manpower and political
From a simple soldier he will rise to the empire,
From the short robe he will attain the long.
Great swarms of bees shall arise. (Morgana’s)
After becoming Emperor, Napoleon adopted the beehive as his
imperial crest. (Morgana’s)
Some scholars say that Nostradamus was referring to
Napoleon’s destruction of Moscow when he wrote:
A great troop shall come through Russia.
The destroyer shall ruin a city. (Paranormal)
Napoleon’s forces drove too far and got trapped in the
Russian winter. The following verse resembles what could
have been Napoleon’s retreat across the icy part of Russia.
The rear guard will make defense.
The exhausted ones will die in the white territory.
Nostradamus made other predictions of Napoleon’s fate:
The great Empire will soon be exchanged for a small
Which will soon begin to grow.
A small place of tiny area in the middle of which
He will come to lay down his scepter. (Paranormal)
The captive prince, conquered, is sent to Elba;
He will sail across the Gulf of Genoa to Marseilles.
By a great effort of the foreign forces he is
Though he escaped the fire, his bees yield blood by
Napoleon was exiled to the small island of Elba but escaped
for 100 days. After a defeat at Waterloo he relinquished
all power for exile on tiny St. Helena. (Paranormal)
So with Napoleon he was accurate in predicting his rise to
power and his invasions and his defeats.
The second anti-Christ Nostradamus wrote about was “a
man stained with murder…the great enemy of the human
race…one who was worse than any who had gone
before…bloody and inhuman.” (Nostradamus) Experts agree
that Nostradamus was referring to Adolf Hitler.
Out of the deepest part of the west of Europe,
From poor people a young child shall be born,
Who with his tongue shall seduce many people,
His fame shall increase in the Eastern Kingdom.
Adolf Hitler, born in Austria of poor parents, with his
knowledge of mob psychology and powers of speech, was
successful in seducing many people, even in the Eastern
Empire of Japan. In some quatrains Nostradamus refers to
Hitler as the child or sometimes captain of Germany.
(Morgana’s) Here are two examples:
He shall come to tyrannize the land.
He shall raise up a hatred that had long been dormant.
The child of Germany observes no law.
Cries, and tears, fire, blood, and battle. (Morgana’s)
A captain of Germany shall come to yield himself by
So that his revolt shall cause great bloodshed.
All of these images certainly describe Adolf Hitler. After
seducing his people, Hitler ignored all treaties and began
a massive invasion of Europe (Morgana’s). In the following
verse, some experts say that Nostradamus actually referred
to Hitler by name but missed by one letter.
Beasts wild with hunger will cross the rivers
The greater part of the battlefield will be against
Finally, Nostradamus sums up Hitler’s life and even
predicts the fact that his death in Berlin in 1945 would
never be satisfactorily confirmed:
Near the Rhine from the Austrian mountains
Will be born a great man of the people, come too late.
A man who will defend Poland and Hungary
And whose fate will never be certain (Morgana’s).
So as can be seen by these predictions, Nostradamus was
extremely accurate with Hitler, he even practically spelled
his name out and even predicted that his death wasn t ever
certain which is true.
According to Nostradamus, the first two anti-Christ s
were extremely evil, and history has shown this to be so
however, Nostradamus speaks of a third anti-Christ who is
more hideous than all the others combined. Some say Sudaam
Hussein, the dictator from Iraq, could be this evil tyrant.
Others say that he has not yet appeared. What does
Nostradamus say about this third anti-Christ? First,
Nostradamus tells us he will come from the Middle East.
Out of the country of Greater Arabia
Shall be born a strong master of Mohammed…
He will enter Europe wearing a blue turban.
He will be the terror of mankind.
Never more horror (Paranormal).
Here, Nostradamus says that a man from Greater Arabia will
lead his forces on an invasion through Europe. This
invasion will start a third world war that will be far
worse than all the other wars put together (Roberts). When
will all this take place? In one quatrain Nostradamus
gives us an exact date in which the war will be well under
In the year 1999 and seven months
From the sky will come the great King of Terror.
He will bring back to life the King of the Mongols;
Before and after war reigns. (Roberts)
Nostradamus predicts the war will begin shortly before the
year 1999 (Roberts). He also tells us how long the war
The war will last seven and twenty years. (Roberts)
Nostradamus says that the war will be so terrible that
the world will come face to face with final annihilation.
Here, he implies that the war might involve some kind of
horrible weapon, possibly nuclear (Roberts). Nostradamus
tells what the first target will be.
The sky will burn at forty-five degrees.
Fire approaches the great new city (Roberts).
In this phrase, Nostradamus refers to a great city in the
new world of America near forty-five degrees latitude.
Experts agree this could only be New York (Roberts).
By fire he will destroy their city,
A cold and cruel heart,
Blood will pour,
Mercy to none. (Roberts)
Although Nostradamus ’s predictions for our future
sound frightening he does give us some hope by telling us
how this third world war will end. He says it will end as
a result of an unexpected alliance (Paranormal).
When those of the Northern Pole are united,
In the East will be great fear and dread…
One day the two great leaders will be friends;
Their great powers will be seen to grow.
The New Land will be at the height of its power:
To the man of blood the number is reported.
The new land was a common term used by Nostradamus to refer
to what we now call America. The countries of the northern
pole could be Russia and the United States. We have
recently seen the breakdown of Communism in Russia and an
increasing friendship between Russia and the U.S.
Were Nostradamus predictions true? It sure seems like
it, but the only problem with that now is; will his future
predictions of a third world war be true? There are some
that say that the seeming accuracy of his quatrains is a
result of their quick interpretations (Randi). Still, more
than four hundred books and essays about his prophecies
have been published since his death in 1566, along with a
lot of articles and other commentaries, in numerous
languages (Randi). Even skeptics pay careful attention to
Nostradamus’ predictions of the three anti-Christ s. Since
Nostradamus predictions seem to be extraordinarily
accurate we should take notice of his words about the
future. Perhaps we can prevent the monotonous fate
Nostradamus seems to have predicted so accurately for us.