Nostradamus Essay, Research Paper
Once, while passing through Italy, Nostradamus bowed before a young
Franciscan monk, addressing him as “His Holiness.” Others around him did
not understand his strange behavior and the reasons as to why someone would
call a mere monk by such a title. However, years later, and after
Nostradamus’ death, that monk became Pope Sixtus V. This was just one of
the hundreds of prophecies, or visions of the future, that the fifteenth-
century prophet made during his lifetime.
Nostradamus, born in the year of 1503 in France, spent his childhood
under the guidance of his two grandfathers. After going to the University
of Montpelier for three years, he received a bachelor’s degree in the study
of medicine. Around this time, there was an outbreak of the plague in
various parts of France, and he quickly earned a good reputation with the
use of his medicine. However, Nostradamus’ “medicines” were not ordinary,
as they consisted of psychological guidance and homemade formulas. Using
these methods, he cured many victims of the plague who were previously
labeled incurable. He later went back to Montpelier to earn his doctoral
degree in medicine.
Although Nostradamus was very interested in medicine, he began reading
books about the occult and took a fancy to predicting the future. In 1550,
he published his first book which contained prophecies for the coming year.
The almanac proved so successful and accurate that he began publishing
them annually. After several years, Nostradamus developed the idea of
writing a complete almanac, entitled Centuries. This book came to consist
of prophecies ranging in time from his present to the end of the world.
In Centuries there were one thousand quatrains, or verses of four
lines each. One which was particularly amazing was this:
A Captain of great Germany,
Shall come to yield himself by stimulating help,
To the Kings of Kings with the help of Hungary,
So that his revolt shall cause great bloodshed.
This quatrain has been interpreted, in modern day, to mean that Hitler
shall involve Hungary in a great battle with much killing. Many believe
that it is simply luck that Nostradamus had in predicting the future because
his prophecies are generalized and not exact. However, one of his writings
contained the man “Hister” who was to be very powerful in a revolt. This
obviously bears much resemble to Hitler, and if this is true, Nostradamus
clearly predicted someone that was not to be born until more than three
centuries after his own death.
Nostradamus had over a thousand predictions in various almanacs, most
of them in Centuries. However, not all of these prophecies are supposed to
have happened yet. Perhaps the most famous prediction he made lies in this
In the year 1999 and seven months,
From the skies shall come an alarmingly powerful king,
To raise again the great King of the Jacquerie,
Before and after, Mars shall reign at will.
A tremendous world revolution is foretold to take place in the year of
1999, with world-wide wars. Only time will tell if Nostradamus was once
again successful at his prophecies.