Nostradamus – doctor, astrologer and prophet or none of them? He was an expatriated physician from the medical school, an astrologer whose abilities were criticized by his contemporaries and a prophet whose first published work was, in fact, a cookbook. Or maybe the man was simply passionate about magic … Whatever the case may be, here are five curiosities about Nostradamus that you might not know.
He was expelled
Here is the first information on our list of curiosities about Nostradamus. He was born Michel de Nostradame in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France, in 1503.
At 14, he enrolled at the University of Avignon to study medicine. His studies ended after a year, due to a bubonic plague epidemic. Then he became a pharmacist and did extensive research on herbal remedies.
In 1522, he enrolled at the University of Montpellier (one of the oldest medical institutions in the world still functioning today) to obtain his medical degree. At classes he sometimes disagreed with the teachings of Catholic priests.
Some reports say that university officials discovered his previous activity as a pharmacist and that was why he was expelled. It is still debated whether or not he returned later to get his diploma, but there is no evidence to suggest that he would have done so.
The expulsion document, signed by prosecutor Guillaume Rondelet, still exists in the university library.
In addition to the prophecies, Nostradamus published a cookbook
Here is the second mention on our list of curiosities about Nostradamus. One of Nostradamus’s early publications was entitled “Treatise on cosmetics and preserves” and was published in 1555.
The book provided instructions for the preparation of hair dye, laxatives, toothpaste (used for cuttlefish and sea snail shells, or – if the teeth were very degraded – blue clay) and a “rose” tablet for treat the plague.
In addition, the book contained recipes for marzipan paste, candied orange peel, jam, cherry jam, jelly jelly “worthy of a king” and preserved pears “so good that they can be offered to a prince.”
It seems that Nostradamus’s “love jam” is so powerful and effective that – according to the description – “if a man would put a small amount in his mouth and kiss a woman like that, or if a woman would kiss him , and, through the saliva, would reach the mouth of the other, it would have the effect of a burning desire of her heart to consume the act of love.
“ The book is based on the knowledge accumulated by Nostradamus before going to Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. Before that, he was a traveling pharmacist. Essentially, it is a medical cookbook that contains the prescriptions of others, like many modern cookbooks.
His prophecies were based on the past
Nostradamus claimed that he based his prophecies published on the art of predicting future events through calculations regarding planets and celestial bodies in relation to Earth.
His sources include passages from classical historians, such as Plutarch, as well as from medieval chroniclers, from whom he appears to have borrowed with breadth. However, according to Peter Lemesurier, a former Cambridge linguist and professional translator who wrote at least ten books on the enigmatic prophet, Nostradamus was neither an astrologer nor a visionary.
He simply believed that history would repeat itself. In fact, many scholars believe that he paraphrased ancient prophecies regarding the end of the world (mainly in the Bible) and then, in the light of an astrological interpretation of the past, designed these events in the future.
Using a technique dating from biblical times, known as “bibliomancy”, Nostradamus randomly extracted passages from older sources and then used astrological calculations to calculate their recurrence in the future.
Contemporaries criticized his astrologer’s abilities
Here is the fourth of these curiosities about Nostradamus. Before publishing the “Prophecies” in 1555, Nostradamus was already known for his almanacs, which he had begun to publish every year.
The texts provided useful weather information for farmers and prophecies about the coming year, and eventually caught the attention of the Queen of France, Catherine de Medici. She called Nostradamus to Paris to explain his prophecies and make up the horoscopes of her children.
But not all attention to Nostradamus was positive. He was criticized by professional astrologers of the time for incompetence and for assuming that comparative horoscope (the comparison of future planetary configurations with those that accompanied important events from the past) could predict the future.
It was used by Nazi propaganda
Here is the latest information from our list of curiosities about Nostradamus. During the Second World War, flyers with chains that were falsely attributed to Nostradamus and which predicted the defeat of France, were launched by German planes on the skies of Europe.
It seems that the brain of the operation was the Nazi political secretary Rudolf Hess and that even Adolf Hitler believed in Nostradamus. We certainly know that the minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, believed in them, under the influence of his wife, Magda.
Magda Goebbels came across a passage in the book “Mysteries of the sun and the soul”, in which it was claimed that one of Nostradamus’s locks predicted a crisis in England and Poland in 1939. The Allies also responded with psychological warfare, throwing large quantities of flyers into German-occupied territories.
The butterflies claimed that Nostradamus had prophesied the defeat of the Germans. In order to increase the morale of the Americans, the MGM film studio produced a series of documentary films about the famous prophet. Read also the Nostradamus prediction for the year 2020