- Question. What was Nostradamus' day job?
Answer. Nostradamus was educated as a physician and was
noted for his work during the plagues of the 16th century. In
later years, he worked as an astrologer to clients who included the Queen of
- Question. What did Nostradamus write?
Answer. Apart from his professional works
(in which no one is really interested)
he produced a number of prophetic works. We discern between the
Centuries and the Prognostications.
The Prognostications are like an Almanac. They contain
a series of Predictions about the next year. Because these
predictions were fulfilled (or not) more than 440 years ago
few are interested in them.
The really interesting stuff is the Centuries. This name comes from
the fact that each Centurie contains 100 prophetic verses of 4 lines.
These verses are called quatrains. Nostradamus wrote 10 Centuries,
which are commonly numbered by roman numerals I to X.
- Question. In what kind of verse did Nostradamus write?
Do the verse numbers have anything to do with the dates when
the events are to occur?
Answer. Nostradamus left his predictions in the
form of several letters, almost 1000 4-line
verses called quatrains (the Centuries), and a collection of
6-line verses called sixains. The prophesies are
not sequential by date. Some interesting coincidences
have been observed between the quatrain
number (in the Centuries) and the last two digits of the year of
the corresponding event, but this is not uniformly true.
- Question. It seems like there are more earthquakes,
volcanoes, blizzards, cancer deaths, etc. today than
ever before. Didn't Nostradamus predict that these things
would happen at the end of the world?
Answer. No. There are various prophesies that can be
interpreted as earthquakes, bad weather, even global climate
change. It seems that occurances of these events are to
increase around the "time of troubles" and rise of the
Nostradamus specifically said in one of his letters
that he does not predict the end of the world. He also stated
that his prophesies extend out several thousand years, which is far
beyond the present age. The perception that there are more
bad events than ever before may also be an artifact of
observation. There have always been fires, earthquakes,
genocide, wars, etc. It's just that CNN has not been around until recently.
- Question. Didn't Nostradamus say the world would end in
(pick one) 1984, 1999, 2000, 2012?
Answer. Nostradamus clearly stated, in plain
French that his prophecies would
extend to the year 3797 ( See preface ). It is not clear
whether this (or is not)
the end or the world E.Leoni states: '.... this will
be the year when the roll is called up yonder.' Keep in mind that this is
- Question. Did Nostradamus predict any
specific names, dates, or events?
Answer. The names of [Louis] Pasteur, [Gen. Francisco]
Franco, and others are clearly given by Nostradamus. The exact
date of the London Fire (1666) is also plainly given. Many
interpreters think that Hitler's name is also given, slightly
modified, as "Hister." There are still many unsolved names and dates.
In other quatrains, several dates are given in terms of fairly
specific and unique astronomical data (e.g., planet positions in the zodiac).
- Question. I'm missing quatrains 43-100 in Centurie VII.
Answer. You're not missing them, for unknown reasons Centurie VII contains
only 42 quatrains. The reason behind this is unknown.
However, there are publications with more than 42 verses. Although
these are written in the style of Nostradamus we can not be sure
about their origin.
( However, note that the date signed under the Epistle is 1558,
58+42 = 100, a complete century. Does C-VII contain predictions
for the 16th century ???)
- Question. Nostradamus refers to 3 Anti-Christs. Who are (were) they?
Answer. It is commonly believed that the first two Anti-Christs were
Napoleon and Hitler. The identity of the third Anti-Christ is not yet known.
Some people believe that Saddam Hussien will be the 3AC. Many believe that
the 3AC will come from the Mid-East. Others have argued that the 3AC will
come from East Asia (China, Mongolia or Korea.) This is a common topic
of discussion in the Nostradamus newsgroup.
- Question. Who is Mabus?
Answer. Nostradamus makes one reference to a person (?) named
"Mabus". In Century 2,62 Nostradamus states "Mabus then will soon die" ... many bad
things will happen. Some people say that
Mabus is the AntiChrist (or 3rd AC); however, this does not seem to
be supported by C 2,62, which is the ONLY quatrain in which the
There is a lot of discussion as to who Mabus is. Currently the
best three guesses are Saddam, Rabin, or the current (early 1996)
U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Raymond Mabus.
Only time will tell if any of the aforementioned people are THE Mabus that
Nostradamus refers to.
- Question. What did Nostradamus say about China?
Answer. Very little or nothing. He does refer to the
King of the Mongols, and to a King from beyond the Black Sea.
Most of the discussion about China relates to a verse from the
Bible that mentions an army of 200 Million.
- Question. I just read in the National Enquirer
(World News, Globe, etc.) that Nostradamus predicted the
outcome of the O.J.Simpson Trial (the end of the world;
winning lotto number, etc.). Can you tell me if this is
really a prediction from Nostradamus?
Answer. Most of these are complete fabrications.
Here are some giveaways:
- If the prediction is very specific, it is probably bogus.
Nostradamus almost always concealed his meaning in anagrams,
symbolism, and mythological allusions. (There are exceptions,
however, see below.)
- If the event is minor in the "grand scheme of things," the
prediction is probably bogus. Who
will care about the OJ Trial or the blizzard of '96 in 100 years?
- These articles almost never
give a citation to the original verse. Often all they give is
an English "translation" that reads like it was composed by
Bart Simpson. Not providing a reference makes it very
difficult to find the original (if it exists at all), because
translations vary tremendously.
- Consider the source. Is the article wedged between ads
for nose hair clippers, trusses, and bust enhancers? Enough said.
If you are interested in finding out about a particular verse or
topic, post a notice to the USENET group,
alt.prophesies.nostradamus. There, several hundred
readers can help you find whether Nostradamus wrote it or not.
It's OK if the article is complete tripe -- the posting will
provide a good laugh. Most of us are too embarrassed to buy those
tabloids in the supermarket.
To search for a particular verse yourself when all you have
is a "translation," do the following:
- find several "key" words in the supposed translation
(e.g., "bloody" and "glove" for the OJ prediction)
- find the french equivalent(s) for each key word
using the on-line English-to-French glossary. Don't forget
to include synonyms or related words (glove -> hand, fingers, etc.).
- use one of the on-line indexes of the Centuries to
find quatrains that contain the key words.
- goto to the on-line verses (french w/ literal english translation)
& see if there is a resemblance to what you're trying to find.
- Question. Why is this FAQ necessary? There is already
a Nostradamus FAQ.
Answer. The existing Nostradamus FAQs in various
have a good biography and offer some provocative interpretations.
However, they are based heavily on the works of D.Cannon (DC), who
claims to have contacted Nostradamus in the Other World by
"hypnosis." While hypnosis may or may not have validity,
people should be encouraged to read, translate and interpret
Nostradamus for themselves.
- Question. If we know in advance that something bad is going
to happen, can't we avoid it?
Answer. Most of Nostradamus' prophesies are only
understood in retrospect, that is,
after the event has occurred. Few have
been understood prior to the event.
Some specific events have been predicted for the period
1996-1998 by astrological dating and by the sequence of Popes
of the Catholic Church --
see the essay "At 45 Degrees the Sky will Burn" by Goro Adachi
available on the internet (see below). Stay tuned to
see if the future unfolds as Goro predicts. (This FAQ
was written in early 1996).
- Question. Why are the quatrains so obscure ?
Answer. Nostradamus explains that this was done to avoid persecution from
the Inquisition. He also gives this as the reasong why the quatrains
are not in chronological order.
Another possible explanation for the obscurity of the
quatrains has to do with the breadth of Nostradamus'
visions. His visions seem to span thousands of years.
It was proabably difficult for him to describe 20th and
21st century technology using 16th century French.
Also, it is possible that a single quatrain could refer
to several events. The incorporation of 'links' to
several different events would further increase the
obscurity of a quatrain.
Some more reasons that Nostradamus' writings are
difficult to understand and interpret include:
- use of language that was, even when written, archaic.
- use of anagrams and unknown names.
- use of astrological or mythological references.
- inconsistent spelling.
- nonstandard word order.
- Question. What language did Nostradamus use? Can people
today understand what he meant?
Answer. Nostradamus wrote primarily in "early Modern
French," with an admixture of archaic words
mostly derived from Latin and Greek. Early Modern French is
with Shakespearian English. He also incorporates words from the
"Languedoc" or Provencal
dialect of southern France. Readers who are familiar
with Latin and modern French can often
understand the original language, even if they have not studied early
French or Provencal.
- Question. Where can I get a dictionary of 16-th century
Answer. French dictionary of the period is provided by the
Chicago's ARTFL Project. A link to it is available on:
However, this is useful only if you already know French
- Question. Do native speakers of French have an
advantage in understanding Nostradamus' French compared with
someone who has learned French out of a book?
Answer. Yes, particularly in recognizing subtle nuances
of meaning and in unscrambling the
nonstandard word order. A good background in
classical Latin, or one of the modern romance languages,
is helpful in understanding the many words that differ from
- Question. I think that Nostradamus is balderdash.
Most of his verses are so vague that it's no surprize
that a few of them "hit" at random. There are over
1000 verses (Centuries + Sixains) plus the
letters. By chance alone there are likely to be similarities with
Answer. Undoubtedly this sort of random similarity
accounts for many of the "hits" that have been
found by various interpreters. Verses that are extremely vague and
ambiguous can be interpreted
in many different ways. Unfortunately, most of Nostradamus' verses
are of the vague and
ambiguous persuasion. Thus, it is possible to find at least one
verse that can be interpreted as
almost any given event, provided that the interpretation is done
after the event has already
Several verses appear to be so exact and accurate that it is
difficult to believe that this is due to
chance alone. See, for example, "Franco & Riviera" at
jamesf's web site.
- Question. Why are intelligent people wasting their time on
this stuff? Shouldn't they be out doing
meaningful activites such as saving the whales, or something?
Answer. Study of Nostradamus is an interesting intellectual
exercise, even for skeptics. Some people with adequate grounding in French,
Latin, and other languages find Nostradamus to be an interesting
diversion. Many people enjoy reading the original words that
Caesar, Dante and Chaucer wrote for the same reason.
Some intelligent non-skeptics believe that the quatrains have some prophetic value.
If it can be determined that Nostradamus has accurately predicted some events
of the past 440 (appox.) years, then it makes sense that some people would
use the quatrains as a tool for gaining insight on the future.
- Question. Where can I find a good biography of Nostradamus?
Answer. The books of Erika Cheetham have good biographical
material. These are readily available in university libraries and
even in many bookstores. See also the other Nostradamus pages on
the WWW and the USENET Nostradamus FAQ. (See below.)
- Question. Are there any other recommended books?
Answer. E. Leoni, "Nostradamus and his Prophecies". Wings Books, New York.
- Question. Who is DC? What is CWN?
Answer. DC is Dolores Cannon. CWN is Conversations
With Nostradamus. A three volume book written by DC. For more information
see the question 12 above.
- Question. Who is GMS?
Answer. GMS is Gordon-Michael Scallion. He has been
on radio and TV. He produces a monthly newsletter called the
Earth Changes Report. His prophecies are occasionally
discussed/reviewed in this news group.
The following are URLs where you can find out more about GMS.
- A Summary Of Scallion's Most Import Predictions
-- http://www.sedona.net/nen/nhne/scallionsummary.html (Score 67, Size 27K)
- Biographies -- http://188.8.131.52/bio.html (Score 80, Size 2K)
- Question. Where can I find the Quatrains on the Internet?
Marc Nijweide's page:
Goro Adachi's Prophecy Page:
- Question: Are there any Nostradamus Web sites?
Answer: Yes. Here are a few.