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Nostradamus and His Prophecies

Product no.: 978-0486414683
Provides the long-overdue exhaustive translation.

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Publisher's Synopsis
For over 400 years the prophecies of the controversial French prophet Michel Nostradamus (1503-66) have fascinated people because they project far into the future (A.D. 3797), and because they are open to countless interpretations. Until the publication of this book, however, there was no truly complete translation of the prophecies with even the minimum of scholarly apparatus required.

Edgar Leoni’s comprehensive, definitive study not only fills that gap but goes far beyond. This edition includes parallel texts in English and French of all Nostradamus’s prophecies (arranged in ten "centuries," or collections of 100 rhymed quatrains). Also included are explanatory notes, a series of indexes, historical background to the prophecies, a Commentary section, including the most famous — and infamous — interpretations; a critical biography of Nostradamus, his will and personal letters, and bibliographical material on both Nostradamus and his commentators.

Reviewing Leoni’s opus in the American Historical Review, Harvard historian Crane Brinton praised the book’s "meticulous scholarship" and obvious worth to historians, adding that "it also makes surprisingly interesting reading."

Reviews

"The prophecies of Nostradamus, written over 400 years ago and projecting almost 2,000 years from now, have fascinated people and provoked debate for centuries; many readers have become newly interested in the prophet at the turn of the millennium. This is the first complete, scholarly translation of the prophecies, providing a definitive study with parallel texts in French and English.

The edition includes complete notes and indexes (subjects, geographical names, time specifications, etc.), a critical biography of Nostradamus, his will and personal letters, historical background for the prophecies, and a bibliography of materials on Nostradamus and his commentators."      ~BookNews

Excerpt
"I have calculated and composed all during choice hours of well-disposed days, and as accurately as I could, all when Minerva was free and not unfavorable. I have made computations for events over almost as long a period to come as that which has already passed, and by these they will know in all regions what is to happen in the course of time, just as it is written, with nothing superfluous added, although some may say, There can be no truth entirely determined concerning the future.

It is quite true, Sire, that my natural instinct has been inherited from my forebears, who did not believe in predicting, and that this is natural instinct has been adjusted and integrated with long calculations. At the same time, I freed my soul, mind and heart of all care, solicitude and vexation. All of these prerequisites for presaging I achieved in part by means of the brazen tripod.

There are some who would attribute to me that which is not mine at all. The eternal God alone, who is the thorough searcher of humane hearts, pious, just and merciful, is the true judge, and it is to him I pray to defend me from the calumny of evil men. These evil ones, in their slanderous way, would likewise want to inquire how all your most ancient progenitors, the Kings of France, have cured the scrofula, how those of other nations have cured the bite of snakes, how those of yet other nations have had a certain instinct for the art of divination and still others which would be too long to recite here.

Notwithstanding those who cannot contain the malignity of the evil spirit, as time elapses after my death, my writings will have more weight than during my lifetime. Should I, however, have made any errors in my calculation of dates, or prove unable to please everybody, I beg that your more than Imperial Majesty will forgive me. I protest before God and his Saints that I do not propose to insert any writings in this present Epistle that will be contrary to the true Catholic faith, whilst consulting the astronomical calculations to the best of my ability."       ~Epistle to Henry II

Biography
Michel de Nostradame was born on December 14, 1503 at St. Remy in Provence, France to a family of "Christianized" Jews. He was taught a wide range of subjects by both his grandfathers. By the time that Michel began his formal education in Avignon, where he learned philosophy, grammar, and rhetoric, he was already well versed in classical literature, history, medicine, astrology (then a legitimate science), and herbal and folk medicine.

Nostradamus (the Latin version of his name) first became well known due to his novel and very successful treatment of bubonic plague, the infamous Black Death that ravaged France in the early 16th century. His innovative cure consisted basically of cleanliness and vitamin C. The first step when he entered a village was to have all of the corpses removed from the streets. He then prescribed for his patients plenty of fresh air, unpolluted water, and his "Rose Pills," which consisted of rose petals (and, perhaps, rose hips), sawdust from green cypress, iris, cloves, calamus, and lign-aloes. He did not allow his patients to suffer "bleeding," then a popular, although futile, treatment for everything from a minor cold to the Great Plague. He truly was successful in combating a disease for which there appeared to be no cure and no relief. It is estimated that over one-quarter of the entire population of Europe was killed by the Black Death during its sporadic visits.

In 1537, plague struck Agen, where Nostradamus was living with his wife and two children. He confidently began to treat his fellow citizens but, unfortunately, was unable to save his family from his old enemy. Distraught and questioning his own abilities, Nostradamus began to wander through Europe aimlessly for the next six years. It was during this time that he first became aware of the awakening of his prophetic powers. When plague broke out in Aix, capital of Provence, for nine months Nostradamus again applied his proven skills to save as many of the populace as possible. After the plague dissipated, the city showed its gratitude by bestowing upon him a pension for life.

Ten years after the death of his wife and children, Nostradamus settled in Salon and remarried, eventually fathering three daughters and three sons. He had the upper floor of his house transformed into a private study, where he installed his magical equipment: astrolabe, magic mirrors, divining rods, and a brass bowl and tripod, designed after the type used by the great Delphic oracles.

Editor Leoni, Edgar
Author Nostradamus, Michel
Translator Leoni, Edgar
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 822 pp.
Publisher Dover Publications 2000
Gold Medal

Gold Medal

 
 

  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Nostradamus and Ancient Auguries, Eschatology and the Apocalypse, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Noteworthy Releases 2000, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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