5 Things You Didn't Know About Nostradamus

December 14th, 1503, marked the birth of Nostradamus.  Nostradamus was a French physician and an esteemed seer who published several prophecies that have become widely known.Here are five things you didn't know about this famed prognosticator...


Nostradamus Was Tossed Out of Medical School In 1519, when Nostradamus was 15, he enrolled at the University of Avignon. The school closed a year later because of a Black Death epidemic, so he spent time helping plague victims, studying herbal remedies, and working as an apothecary. Several years later in 1529, he enrolled at the medical school of the University of Montpellier, but he was tossed out because of his work as an apothecary, which was a trade that the school had banned as inferior to that of a doctor. The document expelling Nostradamus is still housed at the faculty library at the university.

His Contemporaries Said He Was a Bad Astrologer “The Prophecies,” the book by Nostradamus that contains mysterious quatrains that appear to predict the future, came out in 1555. Professional astrologers were not complimentary about the seer’s methodology and were vocal about it. One man, named Laurens Vidal, even wrote a 1558 pamphlet lambasting Nostradamus’ lack of skills in astrology and his predictions, saying the seer could not calculate the movement of any of the bodies in the heavens at all.


Nostradamus Published a Cookbook for Medicine Most people would be a little upset by some of the ingredients used by Nostradamus in his medical cookbook, although sweets such as cherry jam and candied orange peel were included. Lye was an ingredient for those who wanted blond highlights in their hair, and his recipe for toothpaste included crushed bones of the cuttlefish and sea snail shells. The “love jam” recipe was bizarre and sounded more like a witch’s brew. It included octopus tentacle eyelets, blood from sparrows, and mandrake apples, which can be poisonous.

Nostradamus Predicted the Strange Death of King Henry II The wife of the King of France, Henry II, admired Nostradamus and made him her husband's physician and counselor. Nostradamus gave a warning to the king to stay away from ceremonial jousting because of his prophecy of a “young lion” that would pierce an older lion’s eye and kill him. The king died exactly in that manner three years later, when an opponent’s lance struck him in the face, and he died of infection 10 days later.

He Predicted His Own Death The final prediction by Nostradamus was made July 1, 1566, to his own priest. The priest bid him farewell, saying that he would see him the next day. The response made by Nostradamus was that he would be dead by sunrise, and he passed away during the night.