Michel de Notredame, better known under the Latinized name of Nostradamus, was born in the borough of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. They say that his family belonged to the ancient dynasty of Issachar, famous for their gift of prophecy. It was the time of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, but Michel de Notredame chose the career of a doctor. Thanks to a university course in Montpellier and to his talent, he became the court doctor of Charles IX. According to the traditions of those times, he, like any erudite, cast horoscopes. It is believed that in his famous Les Prophéties he predicted the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, the revolutions in France and Russia, the murders of Henry IV of France and John Kennedy, the formation of the United States of America, the atom bomb explosion over Hiroshima and even the AIDS. The fact that he predicted the exact day of his own death is put forward as a proof of his gift of prophecy.
In any case, Nostradamus was right when he predicted scientific and technological progress. “It's hard for my contemporaries to believe
In iron amphibians of land and seas,” he wrote (Century I, quatrain 29). The famous doctor, astrologer and prophet was no stranger to worldly pleasures: he also wrote a book titled Traité des fardemens et confitures (English-language edition: Nostradamus' Original Recipes for Elixirs, Scented Water, Beauty Potions and Sweetmeats).