Nostradamus is well known throughout history for his ability to predict the future. His book, Les Prophecies, is one of the most widely circulated publications in the world. Born in 1503, in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Provence, France, Nostradamus was one of nine children born to Reyniere and Jaume de Nostredame.
While facts about his childhood are scarce, it is believed by many that Nostradamus was educated by his great grandfather. When he was 15 years of age, he began studies at the University of Avignon. After a plague outbreak, the university was forced to close its doors. From there, Nostradamus traveled across the countryside, gathering information on a variety of herbal remedies.
Nostradamus spent the following years as an apothecary before enrolling in the University of Montpelier in 1529. While studying to become a doctor, he was expelled from the university after it was discovered that he had already served as an apothecary. Once expelled, Nostradamus resumed his apothecary work and developed a medication that was said to ward off the plague.
In 1531, Nostradamus received an invite to Agen. During his time there, he married an unknown woman, and bore two children. It is presumed that his wife and children succumbed to the plague in 1534. He resumed his travels, making his return to Agen in 1545. Nostradamus spent the next two years fighting plague outbreaks in Marseilles and Salon-de-Provence.
Nostradamus settled in Salon-de-Provence during 1547, marrying Anne Ponsarde and having three sons and three daughters. He also began to take a deeper interest in matters of the occult, writing an almanac in 1550. The almanac was a raging success, leading Nostradamus to write one each year.
As the almanacs spread in popularity, noblemen began to look to him for advice. After his notoriety began to spread, Nostradamus then wrote a new book that contained many of the prophecies he is now famous for. This book received mixed reviews in the time period when it was released.
However, by the year 1566, Nostradamus had developed an awful case of gout. It had been building for years and by the time he died, movement had become increasingly difficult for him. His gout would soon give away to edema. In June of 1566, he summoned a lawyer to draw up a will.
He bequeathed all of his property, in addition to the equivalent of $300,000 US dollars in today's economy, to his wife. Nostradamus also established a trust for his three sons that they were to receive on their 25th birthdays and one for his three daughters that they were to receive upon marriage.
After Nostradamus' death, his writings began to take on greater life in popular culture and many of his predictions ended up coming true. While he is longer here in physical form, his collective works will continue to ensure that his name lives on.