Michel de Nostredame, usually known as Nostradamus, was a French author, translator, apothecary, and astrological consultant who published collections of prophecies that have since become famous around the world. He is most famous for his book Les Propheties, which first appeared in 1555. He made several prophecies about life, love, death, and tragedy. Several of Nostradamus prophecies have come true, while others hold an air of uncertainty about them.
1. Death of King Henry II
One of Nostradamus’s predictions of death was about King Henry II, which came true. Nostradamus predicted that, “The young lion will overcome the older one / On the field of combat in a single battle; He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage / Two wounds made one, then he dies a cruel death”. The prediction came true when Henry II was set to joust Gabriel, comte de Montgomery, seigneur de Logres, a nobleman six years his junior. In the battle, Montgomery’s lance splintered into two shards. One went through the king’s visor and hit his eye, the other lodging in his temple. Henry suffered ten days before dying.
2. The Great Fire of London
Nostradamus also predicted the Great Fire of London, which would occur in 1666. He predicted that, “The blood of the just will be lacking in London / Burnt up in the fire of ‘66: The ancient Lady will topple from her high place / Many of the same sect will be killed”. In 1666, a small bakery fire turned into a three-day blaze that became known as the Great Fire of London. At least eight people died in the blaze and thousands of buildings were burnt down in the process. Historians believe that “Blood of the just” might refer to the elimination of flea-carrying rodents that spread the Black Death, which died out during the Great Fire.
3. The French Revolution
Nostradamus expertly predicted the French Revolution, despite it occurring decades after his death. He predicted that, “Songs, chants, and demands will come from the enslaved / Held captive by the nobility in their prisons / At a later date, brainless idiots / Will take these as divine utterances”. In 1789, the French people decided that they were sick of the aristocratic rule and revolted, storming the Bastille, a Paris prison. The peasants quickly took control from the royals and enforced their demands, even resorting to beheading some of the royals.
4. Scientific Discovery by Louis Pasteur
Not even a century later, another of Nostradamus prophecies came true, this one in the name of scientific discovery. Nostradamus predicted that, “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”. French chemist Louis Pasteur discovered that the growth of micro-organisms caused fermentation in foods. After some effort, he invented a process for removing the bacteria to make the food edible, and the process was named “pasteurization” after him. He also created several vaccinations for rabies and anthrax. Pasteur was praised heavily, but centuries later, a science historian published a book in which evidence showed that Pasteur used a rival’s research to make his anthrax vaccine successful. This dishonored the great scientist, proving Nostradamus’s prediction right.
Another Nostradamus prophecies came true in the 1940’s, several centuries after Nostradamus’s lifetime. He predicted that, “From the depths of the West of Europe / A young child will be born of poor people / He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop; His fame will increase towards the realm of the East” and “Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers / The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister / Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn / When the child of Germany observes nothing”. Hitler was born to poor parents in Western Germany, which proved part of Nostradamus’s prediction true. Many people believe that “Hister” was a typo, but it is also an old name for the Danube River. Hitler was born mere miles from the Danube. Later on, Hitler terrorized most of Europe with bloodshed and war.
6. Assassination of John F. Kennedy
In the 1960’s another of Nostradamus prophecies came true, this time about President John F. Kennedy. Nostradamus predicted that, “The ancient task will be completed / From on high, evil will fall ont he great man / A dead innocent will be accused of the deed / The guilty on will remain in the mist”. JFK was shot from “on high”, as the fired bullet entered his head from roof-level. The accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, persistently claimed that he was innocent, but was held for trial anyway. However, he didn’t live long enough to face trial, as a nightclub owner killed him while in police custody. “The guilty on will remain in the mist” describes the fact that no one truly knows who killed JFK.
7. September 11th 2011 Attacks
Another of Nostradamus prophecies that came true in the last fifteen years. On September 11th, 2001, a pair of hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. This was predicted through Nostradamus’s words: “The sky will burn at forty-five degrees. Fire approaches the great new city. By fire, he will destroy their city / A cold and cruel heart, blood will pour. Mercy to none”. Historians interpret forty-five degrees as a reference to New York City’s proximity to the 45th latitude. Hundreds of people were killed or went missing after the attack, and the city, as well as the rest of the country, was left distraught.
Many people believe in the prophecies of Nostradamus, as several turn out to be true in one way or another. His prophecies have become a large part of pop culture and Nostradamus’s life has been depicted in several videos and films, and his life still continues to be of media interest.
Quatrains in Nostradamus’s style have been circulated through email as part of internet hoaxes to instill fear in people. The most popular hoaxes involve the September 11th attacks and the human-induced end of the world. While none of Nostradamus’s prophecies specifically mentioned the end of the world, many people still believe that the end of the world is soon to come and will arrive by the hands of humans.