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Nostradamus, (1503-1566), French physician and astrologer who wrote Centuries, a famous collection of prophecies published in 1555. The prophecies in Centuries appear in four-line rhyming verses called quatrains. In vague language, they describe events from the mid-1500s through the end of the world, which is predicted to come in AD3797. Many people have interpreted the prophecies in Centuries, connecting certain ones with events that have taken place since Nostradamus's time. The name "Nostradamus" is a Latin name he used in place of his original name, Michel de Nostredame.

Nostradamus was born in Saint Remi, in southern France, and was raised as a Roman Catholic. He studied medicine in Montpellier, and started a practice about 1525. Soon after, he began to treat victims of the plague in communities of southern France. Nostradamus used innovative methods of treatment, and his success in curing extremely ill patients earned him a reputation as a specially gifted healer.

About 1550, Nostradamus moved to Salon, where he began to write his prophecies. The publication of Centuries increased his fame, bringing many people to visit him in Salon during the rest of his life. Catherine de Medicis, queen of France, asked him to plot the horoscopes of her husband, King Henry II, and their children. In 1560, King Charles IX of France appointed Nostradamus court physician.

Terrorists Attack on U.S.
Did Nostradamus Predict the Tragedy?

Nostradamus, the French astrologer born in 1503, published his barely scrutable collection of prophecies, the Centuries, in 1555. Each four-line verse, or "quatrain," purported to foretell world events far into the future, and ever since Nostradamus' time the work has been claimed by devotees to have "accurately" predicted wars, disasters and the rise and fall of dynasties. But with all due respect to true believers, Nostradamus composed his prophetic verses in such vague language that his words can be and have been interpreted to apply to almost anything.

I have no doubt that ponderous tracts will be written in the coming weeks and months asserting that Nostradamus prophesied the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks (such exegeses-in-hindsight have followed virtually every modern catastrophe), but in the meantime there are already a number of "spooky quatrains" circulating by email that are demonstrably fake. It isn't a question of whether or not they accurately predict anything Nostradamus simply didn't write them.

The first was making the rounds within hours of the attacks. It said:

"In the City of God there will be a great thunder,
Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb",
The third big war will begin when the big city is burning"

- Nostradamus 1654 -

Unfortunately, Nostradamus died in 1566, so it's rather unlikely he wrote this passage in 1654. The quatrain is not to be found in his published oeuvre. It's a hoax.

As far as we know, the text originated on a Web page entitled "A Critical Analysis of Nostradamus," written several years ago by a student named Neil Marshall. Marshall made up the quatrain to demonstrate quite ironically, in light of how it is now being misused that the writings of Nostradamus are cryptic enough to be interpreted to mean almost anything.

'Two metal birds would crash into two tall statues'

An interesting variant of the faux prophecy was posted in the newsgroup soc.culture.palestine under the heading "They followed his prediction":

In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos,while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb''The third big war will begin when the big city is burning'- Nostradamus 1654 ...on the 11 day of the 9 month that...two metal birds would crash into two tall the new city..and the world will end soon after" "From the book of Nostradamus"

Again, while the text has all the flavor and vagueness of Nostradamus' writings, it cannot be found in the Centuries. It's a hoax.

The third variant, now circulating by email, is perhaps the spookiest:

Subject: Re: Nostradamus

Century 6, Quatrain 97

Two steel birds will fall from the sky on the
Metropolis. The sky will burn at forty-five degrees
latitude. Fire approaches the great new city

[New York City lies between 40-45 degrees] Immediately
a huge, scattered flame leaps up. Within months,
rivers will flow with blood. The undead will roam
earth for little time.

This, it turns out, is an imaginative revision of an actual verse by Nostradamus. The original, authentic passage is typically translated this way:

The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude,
Fire approaches the great new city
Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps up
When they want to have verification from the Normans.
But Nostradamus never mentioned "two steel birds," nor did he write that "the undead will roam the earth." New York City lies at exactly 40 degrees, 42 minutes, 51 seconds north latitude. While it isn't false to say it lies "between 40-45 degrees," the claim is imprecise, misleading and an obvious ploy to make the prophecy seem applicable.

'Third big war will begin'

Nostradamus' prediction on WW3:

"In the year of the new century and nine months,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror...
The sky will burn at forty-five degrees.
Fire approaches the great new city..."

"In the city of york there will be a great collapse,
2 twin brothers torn apart by chaos
while the fortress falls the great leader will succumb
third big war will begin when the big city is burning"


He said this will be bigger than the previous two. 2001 is the first year of the new century and this is the 9th month. New York is located at the 41st degree Latitude.