Physician. Astrologer. Born Michel de Nostradame in St. Remy de Provence, France; the oldest of five brothers. The family had been Jews forced to convert to Catholicism by the Inquisition. He attended the University at Avignon and was graduated from the University of Montpellier after which he practiced as a physician. He was apparently remarkably successful in treating plague victims in the Montpellier area. About 1534 he married and had a son and a daughter. His family, however, succumbed to the plague and the fact that he had been unable to save them had a disastrous effect on his practice. In 1538, he was accused of heresy, but had reason to avoid the Inquisition, and so left before Inquisitors arrived. He wandered throughout France and Italy for six years. He eventually settled in Salon, France where in 1554 he married his second wife, Anne Ponsart Gemelle, with whom he raised six children. In 1550, he published his first almanac of prophecies; twelve four-line poems called quatrains. Each quatrain gave a general prophecy for the coming year. He produced an almanac every year for the rest of his life. At the age of 52, he wrote his first collection of Centuries - a set of 100 quatrains. Eventually these prophecies were to consist of ten volumes of 100 quatrains each. Apparently, in order to avoid being prosecuted as a magician, the verses were written in an obscure style, as riddles, puns, anagrams, and epigrams, with a polyglot of vocabulary from French, Provencal, Italian, Greek, and Latin. The prophecies became the rage at the French Court, and Queen Catherine de Medici sent for him and demanded horoscopes for her children. In 1564 Catherine, then Queen Regent for her son, appointed Nostradamus Physician in Ordinary to King Charles IX, which carried with it a salary and other benefits. Nostradamus spent the last years of his life in great pain caused by arthritis, gout, and dropsy. He made his will on June 17, 1566. On July 1 he sent for the local priest to give him the last rites. Legend has it that when his assistant wished him goodnight that evening, Nostradamus replied, "You will not find me alive at sunrise." On the morning of July 2, the assistant found his body on the floor beside his bed. He was interred standing upright within the walls of the Church of the Cordeliers of Salon. The inscription on his tomb translated from Latin reads: "Here rest the bones of the illustrious Michel Nostradamus, alone of all mortals, judged worthy to record with his near divine pen, under the influence of the stars, the future events of the entire world. He lived sixty-two years, six months and seventeen days. He died at Salon the in year 1566. Let not posterity disturb his rest. Anne Posart Gemelle wishes her husband true happiness."
Bio by: Iola