Nostradamus was someone who could see things much ahead of his time. His prophecies seemed unbelievable to people who thought him to be a madman or a worshipper of the devil. But the French Renaissance prophet took it as his duty to make everyone aware of the upcoming dangers. Though many of his prophecies came true, the researchers are still in doubt about the accuracy of his riddles. Nostradamus’ life is also full of mysteries; we don’t get any accurate answers while describing some of his life events.
Childhood and Family
The year was 1503. Michel de Nostredame was born in Saint-Remy-de Provence, France on 14th December(some sources also state that he was born on 21st Dec).* He was the son of Jaume de Nostredame and Reyniere. Michel’s grandfather was a grain trader and he worked also as a notary in the city of Avignon. He converted the religion
from Judaism to Catholicism to escape oppression. He then adopted the surname ‘Nostredame’.The Latinized form of Nostredame was Nostradamus. The Nostredames had a family coat of arms which depicted two black eagle heads and two wheels with eight spokes each on a red background. Their motto was ‘Soli Deo’ (Latin-“God only”) . Michel had many siblings; one of them was Jean who later became a poet. At a very young age, the modern prophet predicted the fate of two pigs. He said that a wolf would eat the white piglet and they would be served the black
one for lunch. The cook later confirmed this prediction.
M. Nostradamus’ maternal grandfather, Jean de Saint-Remy, was an astrologer and philosopher. Young Michel learned Latin, Greek, Hebrew, astrology, and mathematics from him. Because of his love for astrology, he was called ‘the little astrologer’ at his school. In the year 1518, Nostradamus entered the University of Avignon where he studied grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, logic, geometry, music, astrology, etc. After some months, the university closed its doors as the plague broke out in that area and Michel had to leave the place. In 1525, the prophet joined the university of Montpellier to learn medicine and pharmacology. Soon after his admission, he was expelled because the authority found out that Nostradamus used to work as an apothecary before. However, some critics also said that he was not expelled.
As a Doctor
The outburst of the plague in France occurred in the year 1526. Doctors of that time used to apply bloodletting and klasterov methods on the patients. Michel rejected the conventional way of healing and invented a famous remedy against the disease. He created the ‘rose pills’(enriched with Vitamin C); he recommended low-fat diet and exercise to his patients. The prophet also asked people to remove infected bodies from the infected parts of the town. He gave new life to many and became famous among people. He tried to tell everyone about the importance of cleanliness.
Nostradamus traveled some European countries and treated local patients too. He assisted the physician, Louis Serre in 1545 and got the opportunity to work with famous humanist and leading Renaissance scholar Julius
Caesar Scaliger in Agen.
Interest in Mysticism
From his childhood, Nostradamus was interested in occultism and kabbalism. At first, his maternal grandfather and then a collection of Mirabilis Liber made him curious to know more about the topic. Later in his life, Michel started depending more on occultism than medicine. He believed that inner power could heal the body and mind. The doctor made some comments on the Virgin Mary and revealed some predictions which were based on the astrological calculations and the visions he got. Because of all these, the churches called him the gift from the devil. They made the life of the prophet difficult. But in 1546, the situation changed. Nostradamus saved many lives from the disease plague. People again started considering him as their savior and the church had to abandon their idea to persecute Michel.