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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nostradamus - Visionary or The Best Fraud Ever

When one thinks of Catherine de Medici the first thoughts that generally come to mind are the superstitions about her, her dark clothing and nature, her connections to the occult…and her connection to Nostradamus.

First to get a little background on the man himself-

Nostradamus did not begin his career in the occult. Nostradamus attended medical school, but was eventually expelled for practicing as an apothecary (apparently that was a big deal!). After this, he spent much of his early career in France helping to heal those struck by the plague. He took a trip to Italy around 1550 and this is when he changed focus. He left France as a healer, and returned to it with a much stronger belief in the occult. He began to write almanacs that would contain many prophecies for the coming year. His prophecies attracted the attention of many who would come to request information about births and deaths of their family.

Catherine de Medici was one of those people who requested prophecies from Nostradamus. He was asked to “see” the horoscopes of her children and her husband. It is believed that he predicted the death of her husband, Henri II, and also that all of her children would be kings and that they would die early deaths.

Nostradamus was kept in business by Catherine until his death, but his death didn’t stop him.

Nostradamus is just as successful (possibly more so) today, centuries after his death. Supermarket tabloids constantly herald Nostradamus for predicting a major event that happened or for foretelling the end of things. His book of prophecies has been in print almost constantly. There is always a new documentary or show coming out about him on tv.

Did he really “see” things? Well, I don’t know – personally, I think not. I think he was just vague enough in his prophecies that they can fit many situations. It’s all up to interpretation.

Nostradamus and his prophecies play a critical role in Gortner’s book Confessions of Catherine de Medici.

Other events at HFBRT today:

At HFBRT – giveaway for Catherine’s Necklace!
At Historical-Fiction.com– Book review by Arleigh

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Wonderful post, thank you so much! I'm really excited to be part of the HFBRT event and Nostradamus is such an enigmatic character, always a source of constant fascination.

  2. How depressing. I certainly do not want to know what the future holds. There really isn't anything I can do to stop the 2012 cataclysm that is predicted, so why know about it and worry about it. I cannot imagine wanting to know when my husband and children would die or what their fates might be. I am one who won't open presents early or have an ultra-sound to find out the sex of my baby before it is born.

    Yes, Nostradamus is and his predictions are interesting, but mostly in the matching up of what he predicted and what has already happened.
    If Catherine De Medici felt she needed his advice, then I am glad she was able to get it. She certainly had a difficult life. Any consolation she was able to get, she probably deserved.

  3. I find it all so fascinating..and scary; Unlike Catherine, I for one, would have been petrified to have known ahead of time about all those tragic happenings! Thanks for highlighting this most interesting historical figure- great post, Heather!

  4. Great post Heather! I don't know I believe some people have a gift and people have always be supertisous.

  5. How cool I love the post. He sure is an interesting character to read about but I too also believe that his "prophecy's" are vague enough to fit anything into it. The Myans on the other hand scare me 2012 is the end of their calender but it could just be another Y2K thing. I am going to have to find out more on that show thank you for the heads up on it.

  6. I've read and seen some documentaries on Nostradamus and find it always fascinating. Found your blog via Ms. Lucy...she is such a sweetheart and now I'm a follower of your blog and I've added it to my google reader:D

  7. Fascinating character from history. His quatraines are always being discussed after the fact so I love how some of his most ardent supporters make history fit them so tidily.

  8. I've read quite a bit about Nostradamus (including a fictionalized account of his life) but not as much about Catherine de Medici. The man was definitely one of the more interesting figures in history. Very well written post.

  9. I'm late to the party as I was sick last week! Anyway, I had no idea of Catherine's link to Nostradamus until I started reading all these great HFBRT posts. I certainly have always been interested in Nostradamus. Great post Heather!


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