Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hurray Nostradamus the Poet, Boo the Prophet

No one would have thought a once simple boy born from St. Remy, France, Michael de Notredame, most commonly known as Nostradamus became famous. Lots of scholars, experts and critics from different places (ranging from his own hometown to anywhere else in the world) have cited his famous book “Centuries” as perfect predictions of events. Nostradamus was brilliant because his works have continued to win curiosity even centuries after his death. However, he was far from being a prophet.

At the early age, he had already dealt with mathematics, astronomy, Greek, Hebrew and Latin subjects. When he got his license in medicine while he was in his mid 20's, he traveled to many places and helped patients especially the bubonic plague victims. “Also at this time he developed an interest in the occult, alchemy, and magic, topics he pursued in the library of Avignon. Although his fame had gone before him, his ability could not be denied, he obtained his doctoral degree in Montpelier.”

Nostradamus was not afraid to try new things, even which seemed fictional during his time. As a physician, he refused the methods other medical professional practiced to treat patients. Like for instance, he strongly protested the use of Bleeding as a method of treating variety of illnesses such as migraine, pneumonia, etc. He also suggested the use of sunlit bed for the sick. This idea caused many frowned reactions since it did not exist in his place during his time. Still, nothing could have seemed to stop him. In fact most of his medical practices were unorthodox.

“Centuries” was the greatest achievement of Nostradamus. It is composed of a thousand four-lined verses called quatrains. When it was published in his place, people including those from Royalties and people with great influence had been quoting his ideas during speeches and campaign. The reason could probably be that his quatrains are written with deep sense of meaning. Some accounts though telling that “Nostradamus wasn't a great poet” simply because of some rules of poetry by which he disobeyed. This unconventional style of poetry writing nevertheless drove much attention from the public. Mixing different languages and fascinating rhymes in each quatrain made it seemed peculiar but appeared scholarly and more interesting.

“Not all of his predictions came true.” In fact, none of his writings on the “Centuries” did come precisely true. Everything, which many believed to have come true, was absolutely based from assumptions made by several acclaimed scholars who interpreted the quatrains. They were absolutely made by making logical analogies. The interpretations could not really be what Nostradamus had originally meant.

He was a poet. A brilliant poet could magnificently put anything "under the sun" into writing, which could appear to be real. Nostradamus mentioned submarines and other medical gadgets, which did not exist during his time, and this was not really a prediction. It was rather a wish of having a more advancement that later coincidentally came true. "Landing on the moon" was also mentioned in one of his quatrains. This was his dream-like but metamorphic idea that he expressed through his words but he could have really not literally meant landing on the moon. However, years after that someone had actually landed on the moon. It was a pure coincident. Nostradamus was really brilliant in playing with words. Thus, he was an excellent poet rather than a prophet. If he were a real prophet, then all of his "predictions" would have come true. Some could be referred to as if it had come true; but they were actually only halfway close to the truth.

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