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Biographical Information
Real Name: Michel de Nostredame
Title: Physician

Astrological consultant

Born: 14 December 1503
Age: 62
Religion: Roman Catholicism
Gender: Male Male.png
Height: 5'3
Originally From: Provence, France
Parents: Reynière (Father)

Notary Jaume (Mother)

Wife: Henriette d'Encausse (First)

Anne Ponsarde (Second)

Family: 9 Brothers & Sisters
Children: 2 Children

6 Children

Affiliations: French Court
TV Character Information
Signature: Nostradam's Signature.png
First appearance: Pilot
Portrays: Nostradamus
Portrayed by: Rossif Sutherland

Michel de Nostredame was a French apothecary and reputed seer
who published collections of prophecies that have since become
famous worldwide. He is best known for his book Les Propheties,
which has rarely been out of print since his death, and some credits
with predicting many major world events. He was also good friends with Catherine de Médicis for many years.

Early Life

Born on either 14 or 21 December 1503 in Provence, France, where his birthplace still exists, Michel de Nostredame was one of at least nine children of Reynière and Notary Jaume. His mother's family had originally been Jewish, but her father converted to Catholicism around 1455, taking the Christian surname "Nostredame" (Our Lady), the saint on whose day his conversion was solemnised.

At the age of 15 Nostredame entered the University of Avignon to study for his baccalaureate. After little more than a year, he was forced to leave when the university closed its doors in the face of an outbreak of The Black Plague. After leaving, Nostredame, by his own account, travelled the countryside for eight years from 1521 researching herbal remedies. In 1529, after some years as an apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. He was expelled shortly afterwards, when it was discovered that he had been an apothecary, a "manual trade" expressly banned by the university statutes, and had been slandering doctors.

Life and Work

In 1531 Nostredame was invited by a leading Renaissance scholar, to come to Agen. There he married Henriette d'Encausse, who bore him two children. In 1534 his wife and children died, from The Black Plague. After their deaths he traveled, passing through France and Italy.

On his return in 1545, he assisted in the fight against a major plague outbreak in Marseille, and then tackled further outbreaks of disease on his own. Two years alter he settled where he married a rich widow named Anne Ponsarde, with whom he had six children—three daughters and three sons.

Later in Life

After another visit to Italy, Nostredame began to move away from medicine and toward the occult. He wrote an almanac, for the first time and changed his name from Nostredame to Nostradamus. He was so encouraged by the almanac's success that he decided to write one or more annually. Taken together, they are known to have contained at least 6,338 prophecies, as well as at least eleven annual calendars. Soon nobles started asking for horoscopes and "psychic" advice from him, though he generally expected his clients to supply the birth charts on which these would be based, rather than calculating them himself as a professional astrologer would have done. When obliged to attempt this himself on the basis of the published tables of the day, he frequently made errors and failed to adjust the figures for his clients' place or time of birth.

He then began his project of writing a book of one thousand mainly French quatrains, which constitute the largely undated prophecies for which he is most famous today. The quatrains, published in a book titled Les Propheties, received a mixed reaction when they were published. Some people thought Nostradamus was a servant of evil, a fake, or insane, while many of the elite evidently thought otherwise. Catherine de Médicis, wife of King Henry II of France was one of Nostradamus' greatest admirers. After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted at unnamed threats to the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain them and to draw up horoscopes for her children. At the time, he feared that he would be beheaded, but by the time of his death in 1566, Queen Catherine had made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to her son, the young King Charles IX of France.

Nostradamus has brief imprisonment in late 1561 was solely because he had violated a recent royal decree by publishing his 1562 almanac without the prior permission of a bishop.


By 1566, Nostradamus's gout, which had plagued him painfully for many years and made movement very difficult, turned into edema, or dropsy. In late June he summoned his lawyer to draw up an extensive will bequeathing his property plus 3,444 crowns (around $300,000 US today), to his wife pending her remarriage, in trust for their sons pending their twenty-fifth birthdays and their daughters pending their marriages. He was buried in the local Franciscan chapel in Salon.

Related Pages

Pages relating to Nostradamus are the following:

Nostradamus's Predictions
Nostradamus and OliviaNostradamus and Catherine
Rossif Sutherland

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