The renowned prophet Nostradamus (Michel de Nostradame) was born on December 14, 1503 in St. Remy, Provence, France. Nostradamus came from a long line of Jewish doctors and scholars. His family had converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1502, as a result of persecution on the ascension of Louis the XII. After a classical education he studied medicine, herbalism and astrology. During Nostradamus' lifetime the Black Death (today known as the bubonic plague) wiped out over a quarter of Europe. It is no wonder that a sense of apocalyptic terror fills Nostradamus' quatrains. Nostradamus had the visions which he later recorded in verse while staring into water or flame late at night, sometimes aided by herbal stimulants, while sitting on a brass tripod. The resulting quatrains (four line verses) are oblique and elliptical, and use puns, anagrams and allegorical imagery. Most of the quatrains are open to multiple interpretations, and some make no sense whatsoever. Some of them are chilling, literal descriptions of events, giving specific or near-specific names, geographic locations, astrological configurations, and sometimes actual dates. It is this quality of both vagueness and specificity which allows each new generation to reinterpret Nostradamus. Nostradamus is said to have predicted his own death. When his assistant wished him goodnight on July 1, 1566, Nostradamus reputedly pronounced, "You will not find me alive at sunrise." He was found dead on July 2, 1566.
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Sitting alone at night in secret study;
it is placed on the brass tripod.
A slight flame comes out of the emptiness and
makes successful that which should not be believed in vain.
The wand in the hand is placed in the middle of the tripod's legs.
With water he sprinkles both the hem of his garment and his foot.
A voice, fear: he trembles in his robes.
Divine splendor; the God sits nearby.
When the litters are overturned by the whirlwind
and faces are covered by cloaks,
the new republic will be troubled by its people.
At this time the reds and the whites will rule wrongly.
In the world there will be made a king
who will have little peace and a short life.
At this time the ship of the Papacy will be lost,
governed to its greatest detriment.
They will be driven away for a long drawn out fight.
The countryside will be most grievously troubled.
Town and country will have greater struggle.
Carcassonne and Narbonne will have their hearts tried.
The eye of Ravenna will be forsaken,
when his wings will fail at his feet.
The two of Bresse will have made a constitution
for Turin and Vercelli, which the French will trample underfoot
Arrived too late, the act has been done.
The wind was against them, letters intercepted on their way.
The conspirators were fourteen of a party.
By Rousseau shall these enterprises be undertaken.
How often will you be captured, O city of the sun ?
Changing laws that are barbaric and vain.
Bad times approach you. No longer will you be enslaved.
Great Hadrie will revive your veins.
From the Orient will come the African heart
to trouble Hadrie and the heirs of Romulus.
Accompanied by the Libyan fleet
the temples of Malta and nearby islands shall be deserted.
A coffin is put into the vault of iron,
where seven children of the king are held.
The ancestors and forebears will come forth from the depths of hell,
lamenting to see thus dead the fruit of their line.
The motion of senses, heart, feet and hands
will be in agreement between Naples, Lyon and Sicily.
Swords fire, floods, then the noble Romans drowned,
killed or dead because of a weak brain.
There will soon be talk of a treacherous man, who rules a short time,
quickly raised from low to high estate.
He will suddenly turn disloyal and volatile.
This man will govern Verona.
Through anger and internal hatreds, the exiles
will hatch a great plot against the king.
Secretly they will place enemies as a threat,
and his own old (adherents) will find sedition against them.
From the enslaved populace, songs, chants and demands,
while Princes and Lords are held captive in prisons.
These will in the future by headless idiots
be received as divine prayers
.Mars threatens us with the force of war
and will cause blood to be spilt seventy times.
The clergy will be both exalted and reviled moreover,
by those who wish to learn nothing of them.
A scythe joined with a pond in Sagittarius
at its highest ascendant.
Plague, famine, death from military hands;
the century approaches its renewal.
For forty years the rainbow will not be seen.
For forty years it will be seen every day.
The dry earth will grow more parched,
and there will be great floods when it is seen.
Because of French discord and negligence
an opening shall be given to the Mohammedans.
The land and sea of Siena will be soaked in blood,
and the port of Marseilles covered with ships and sails.
When the snakes surround the altar,
and the Trojan blood is troubled by the Spanish.
Because of them, a great number will be lessened.
The leader flees, hidden in the swampy marshes.
The cities of Tours, Orleans, Blois, Angers, Reims and Nantes
are troubled by sudden change.
Tents will be pitched by (people) of foreign tongues;
rivers, darts at Rennes, shaking of land and sea.
The rock holds in its depths white clay
which will come out milk-white from a cleft
Needlessly troubled people will not dare touch it,
unaware that the foundation of the earth is of clay.
A thing existing without any senses
will cause its own end to happen through artifice.
At Autun, Chalan, Langres and the two Sens
there will be great damage from hail and ice.
In the third month, at sunrise,
the Boar and the Leopard meet on the battlefield.
The fatigued Leopard looks up to heaven
and sees an eagle playing around the sun.
At the New City he is thoughtful to condemn;
the bird of prey offers himself to the Gods.
After victory he pardons his captives.
At Cremona and Mantua great hardships will be suffered.
The lost thing is discovered, hidden for many centuries.
Pasteur will be celebrated almost as a God-like figure.
This is when the moon completes her great cycle,
but by other rumors he shall be dishonored.
The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt.
An evil deed, foretold by the bearer of a petition.
According to the prediction another falls at night time.
Conflict at Reims, London, and pestilence in Tuscany.
Beneath the oak tree of Gienne, struck by lightning,
the treasure is hidden not far from there.
That which for many centuries had been gathered,
when found, a man will die, his eye pierced by a spring.
Tobruk will fear the barbarian fleet for a time,
then much later the Western fleet.
Cattle, people, possessions, all will be quite lost.
What a deadly combat in Taurus and Libra.
When the fish that travels over both land and sea
is cast up on to the shore by a great wave,
its shape foreign, smooth and frightful.
From the sea the enemies soon reach the walls.
Because of the storm at sea the foreign ship
will approach an unknown port.
Notwithstanding the signs of the palm branches,
afterwards there is death and pillage. Good advice comes too late.
The wars in France will last for so many years
beyond the reign of the Castulon kings.
An uncertain victory will crown three great ones,
the Eagle, the Cock, the Moon, the Lion, the Sun in its house.
The great Empire will soon be exchanged
for a small place, which soon will begin to grow.
A small place of tiny area
in the middle of which he will come to lay down his scepter.
Near a great bridge near a spacious plain
the great lion with the Imperial forces
will cause a falling outside the austere city.
Through fear the gates will be unlocked for him.
The bird of prey flying to the left,
before battle is joined with the French, he makes preparations.
Some will regard him as good, others bad or uncertain.
The weaker party will regard him as a good omen.
The young lion will overcome the older one,
in a field of combat in single fight:
He will pierce his eyes in their golden cage;
two wounds in one, then he dies a cruel death.
Too late the king will repent
that he did not put his adversary to death.
But he will soon come to agree to far greater things
which will cause all his line to die.
Shortly before sun set, battle is engaged.
A great nation is uncertain.
Overcome, the sea port makes no answer,
the bridge and the grave both in foreign places.
The Sun and the Eagle will appear to the victor.
An empty answer assured to the defeated.
Neither bugle nor shouts will stop the soldiers.
Liberty and peace, if achieved in time through death.
At night the last one will be strangled in his bed
because he became too involved with the blond heir elect.
The Empire is enslaved and three men substituted.
He is put to death with neither letter nor packet read.
The false trumpet concealing madness
will cause Byzantium to change its laws.
From Egypt there will go forth a man who wants
the edict withdrawn, changing money and standards.
The city is besieged and assaulted by night;
few have escaped; a battle not far from the sea.
A woman faints with joy at the return of her son,
poison in the folds of the hidden letters.
The tenth day of the April Calends, calculated in Gothic fashion
is revived again by wicked people.
The fire is put out and the diabolic gathering
seek the bones of the demon of Psellus.
Before the Empire changes
a very wonderful event will take place.
The field moved, the pillar of porphyry
put in place, changed on the gnarled rock.
In a short time sacrifices will be resumed,
those opposed will be put (to death) like martyrs.
The will no longer be monks, abbots or novices.
Honey shall be far more expensive than wax.
A founder of sects, much trouble for the accuser:
A beast in the theater prepares the scene and plot.
The author ennobled by acts of older times;
the world is confused by schismatic sects.
Very near Auch, Lectoure and Mirande
a great fire will fall from the sky for three nights.
The cause will appear both stupefying and marvelous;
shortly afterwards there will be an earthquake.
The speeches of Lake Leman will become angered,
the days will drag out into weeks,
then months, then years, then all will fail.
The authorities will condemn their useless powers.
When twenty years of the Moon's reign have passed
another will take up his reign for seven thousand years.
When the exhausted Sun takes up his cycle
then my prophecy and threats will be accomplished.
Long before these happenings
the people of the East, influenced by the Moon,
in the year 1700 will cause many to be carried away,
and will almost subdue the Northern area.
From the three water signs will be born a man
who will celebrate Thursday as his holiday.
His renown, praise, rule and power will grow
on land and sea, bringing trouble to the East.
The head of Aries, Jupiter and Saturn.
Eternal God, what changes !
Then the bad times will return again after a long century;
what turmoil in France and Italy.
Two evil influences in conjunction in Scorpio.
The great lord is murdered in his room.
A newly appointed king persecutes the Church,
the lower (parts of) Europe and in the North.
Alas, how we will see a great nation sorely troubled
and the holy law in utter ruin.
Christianity (governed) throughout by other laws,
when a new source of gold and silver is discovered.
Two revolutions will be caused by the evil scythe bearer
making a change of reign and centuries.
The mobile sign thus moves into its house:
Equal in favor to both sides.
In the land with a climate opposite to Babylon
there will be great shedding of blood.
Heaven will seem unjust both on land and sea and in the air.
Sects, famine, kingdoms, plagues, confusion.
Sooner and later you will see great changes made,
dreadful horrors and vengeances.
For as the moon is thus led by its angel
the heavens draw near to the Balance.
The trumpet shakes with great discord.
An agreement broken: lifting the face to heaven:
the bloody mouth will swim with blood;
the face anointed with milk and honey lies on the ground.
Through a slit in the belly a creature will be born with two heads
and four arms: it will survive for some few years.
The day that Alquiloie celebrates his festivals
Fossana, Turin and the ruler of Ferrara will follow.
The exiles deported to the islands
at the advent of an even more cruel king
will be murdered. Two will be burnt
who were not sparing in their speech.
An Emperor will be born near Italy,
who will cost the Empire very dearly.
They will say, when they see his allies,
that he is less a prince than a butcher.
The wretched, unfortunate republic
will again be ruined by a new authority.
The great amount of ill will accumulated in exile
will make the Swiss break their important agreement.
Alas! what a great loss there will be to learning
before the cycle of the Moon is completed.
Fire, great floods, by more ignorant rulers;
how long the centuries until it is seen to be restored.
Pestilences extinguished, the world becomes smaller,
for a long time the lands will be inhabited peacefully.
People will travel safely through the sky (over) land and seas:
then wars will start up again.
At night they will think they have seen the sun,
when the see the half pig man:
Noise, screams, battles seen fought in the skies.
The brute beasts will be heard to speak.
A child without hands, never so great a thunderbolt seen,
the royal child wounded at a game of tennis.
At the well lightning strikes, joining together
three trussed up in the middle under the oaks.
He who then carries the news,
after a short while will (stop) to breathe:
Viviers, Tournon, Montferrand and Praddelles;
hail and storms will make them grieve.
The great famine which I sense approaching
will often turn (in various areas) then become worldwide.
It will be so vast and long lasting that (they) will grab
roots from the trees and children from the breast.
O to what a dreadful and wretched torment
are three innocent people going to be delivered.
Poison suggested, badly guarded, betrayal.
Delivered up to horror by drunken executioners.
The great mountain, seven stadia round,
after peace, war, famine, flooding.
It will spread far, drowning great countries,
even antiquities and their mighty foundations.
Rain, famine and war will not cease in Persia;
too great a faith will betray the monarch.
Those (actions) started in France will end there,
a secret sign for on to be sparing.
The marine tower will be captured and retaken three times
by Spaniards, Barbarians and Ligurians.
Marseilles and Aix, Ales by men of Pisa,
devastation, fire, sword, pillage at Avignon by the Turinese.
The inhabitants of Marseilles completely changed,
fleeing and pursued as far as Lyons.
Narbonne, Toulouse angered by Bordeaux;
the killed and captive are almost one million.
France shall be accused of neglect by her five partners.
Tunis, Algiers stirred up by the Persians.
Leon, Seville and Barcelona having failed,
they will not have the fleet because of the Venetians.
After a rest they will travel to Epirus,
great help coming from around Antioch.
The curly haired king will strive greatly for the Empire,
the brazen beard will be roasted on a spit.
The tyrant of Siena will occupy Savona,
having won the fort he will restrain the marine fleet.
Two armies under the standard of Ancona:
the leader will examine them in fear.
The man will be called by a barbaric name
that three sisters will receive from destiny.
He will speak then to a great people in words and deeds,
more than any other man will have fame and renown.
A promontory stands between two seas:
A man who will die later by the bit of a horse;
Neptune unfurls a black sail for his man;
the fleet near Gibraltar and Rocheval.
To an old leader will be born an idiot heir,
weak both in knowledge and in war.
The leader of France is feared by his sister,
battlefields divided, conceded to the soldiers.
Bazas, Lectoure, Condom, Auch and Agen
are troubled by laws, disputes and monopolies.
Carcassone, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Bayonne will be ruined
when they wish to renew the massacre.
From the sixth bright celestial light
it will come to thunder very strongly in Burgundy.
Then a monster will be born of a very hideous beast:
In March, April, May and June great wounding and worrying.
Nine will be set apart from the human flock,
separated from judgment and advise.
Their fate is to be divided as they depart.
K. Th. L. dead, banished and scattered.
When the great wooden columns tremble
in the south wind, covered with blood.
Such a great assembly then pours forth
that Vienna and the land of Austria will tremble.
The alien nation will divide the spoils.
Saturn in dreadful aspect in Mars.
Dreadful and foreign to the Tuscans and Latins,
Greeks who will wish to strike.
The moon is obscured in deep gloom,
his brother becomes bright red in color.
The great one hidden for a long time in the shadows
will hold the blade in the bloody wound.
The king is troubled by the queen's reply.
Ambassadors will fear for their lives.
The greater of his brothers will doubly disguise his action,
two of them will die through anger, hatred and envy.
When the great queen sees herself conquered,
she will show an excess of masculine courage.
Naked, on horseback, she will pass over the river
pursued by the sword: she will have outraged her faith
Earthshaking fire from the center of the earth
will cause tremors around the New City.
Two great rocks will war for a long time,
then Arethusa will redden a new river.
The divine wrath overtakes the great Prince,
a short while before he will marry.
Both supporters and credit will suddenly diminish.
Counsel, he will die because of the shaven heads.
Those of Lerida will be in the Moselle,
kill all those from the Loire and Seine.
The seaside track will come near the high valley,
when the Spanish open every route.
Bordeaux and Poitiers at the sound of the bell
will go with a great fleet as fast as Langon.
A great rage will surge up against the French,
when a hideous monster is born near Orgon.
The Gods will make it appear to mankind
that they are the authors of a great war.
Before the sky was seen to bee free of weapons and rockets:
the greatest damage will be inflicted on the left.
Under one man peace will be proclaimed everywhere,
but not long after will be looting and rebellion.
Because of a refusal, town, land and see will be broached.
About a third of a million dead or captured.
The Italian lands near the mountains will tremble.
The Cock and the Lion not strongly united.
In place of fear they will help each other.
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