Portal:Biography/Selected article/May 23

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Portrait of Nostradamus by his son Cesar

Michel de Nostredame (14 December 1503 or 21 December 1503 – 2 July 1566), usually Latinized to Nostradamus, was a French apothecary and reputed seer who published collections of prophecies that have since become famous world-wide. He is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555. Since the publication of this book, which has rarely been out of print since his death, Nostradamus has attracted an enthusiastic following who, along with the popular press, credit him with predicting many major world events.

In contrast, most academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus's quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power. Moreover, none of the sources listed offers any evidence that anyone has ever interpreted any of Nostradamus's quatrains specifically enough to allow a clear identification of any event in advance.

Nevertheless, interest in the work of this prominent figure of the French Renaissance is still considerable, especially in the media and in popular culture, and the prophecies have in some cases been assimilated to the results of applying the alleged Bible Code, as well as to other purported prophetic works. (Read more...)