French seer and astrologer (1503–1566)

Michel de Notredame formerly Michel de Nostredame, born Michel Gassonet (14 December 15031 July 1566) was a French physician, astrologer, occultist and author of almanacs, most famous for his book Les Propheties; known primarily as Nostradamus, the latinization of his given name.

When the exhausted Sun takes up his cycle then my prophecy and threats will be accomplished.


  • Tomorrow, I shall no longer be here.
    • Last words, as quoted in Famous Last Words: The Ultimate Collection of Finales and Farewells‎ (2004) by Laura Ward and Robert Allen; reported to have been said to his secretary Jean de Chavigny

Les Propheties (1555)

The Prophecies, often referred to as the Centuries there are numerous translations and interpretations of these verses.


  • If I have eschewed the word prophet, I do not wish to attribute to myself such lofty title at the present time, for whoever is called a prophet now was once called a seer; since a prophet, my son, is properly speaking one who sees distant things through a natural knowledge of all creatures. And it can happen that the prophet bringing about the perfect light of prophecy may make manifest things both human and divine, because this cannot be done otherwise, given that the effects of predicting the future extend far off into time.
  • Perfect knowledge of such things cannot be acquired without divine inspiration, given that all prophetic inspiration derives its initial origin from God Almighty, then from chance and nature. Since all these portents are produced impartially, prophecy comes to pass partly as predicted. For understanding created by the intellect cannot be acquired by means of the occult, only by the aid of the zodiac, bringing forth that small flame by whose light part of the future may be discerned. We need god to prosper those without him will not.

Century I

Online text
  • Estant assis de nuit secret estude,
    Seul repousé sur la selle d'ærain,
    Flambe exigue sortant de solitude,
    Fait prosperer qui n'est à croire vain.
    • Sitting alone at night in secret study;
      it is placed on the brass tripod.
      A slight flame comes out of the emptiness and
      makes successful that which should not be believed in vain.
      • Quatrain 1
  • When twenty years of the Moon's reign have passed
    another will take up his reign for seven thousand years.
    When the exhausted Sun takes up his cycle
    then my prophecy and threats will be accomplished.
    • Q 48

Quotes about

  • Were we to record the failures and ridiculous blunders of astronomers, we are afraid they would outnumber by far those of the astrologers. Present events fully vindicate Nostradamus, who has been so much ridiculed by our skeptics.
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