No matter how people treat Nostradamus and astrology, the book of his prophecies has been reprinted for over 400 years
It may seem astonishing but the word Nostradamus is one of the most searched proper names on the Internet, even more popular than Bin Laden or Madonna. What do people living in the 21st century want to know about Nostradamus and his prophecies? Candidate of historical sciences, the most prominent expert on the works by Michel de Nostredame in Russia, Alexey Penzensky, says that for over 400 years official science evinced no interest in the works of Nostradamus. His contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and others living in the epoch of Late Renaissance dabbled at mysticism. But Nostradamus went down in history only as a predictor. We know little about prophecies of Leonardo da Vinci but know perfectly well his medical, cultural and engineering achievements; as for Nostradamus, he is known only in connection with mysticism.
Mysticism amateurs immediately realized they had a wonderful opportunity to ascribe every statement they wanted to Nostradamus. It was at the end of the 16th century that first attempts to use Nostradamus for political ends were made. Depending upon their personal political engagement, some people often declared some prophecies as made by Nostradamus.
Alexey Penzensky says that in addition to the prophecies of Nostradamus also composed verses, but people found his verses strange because of Nostradamus's unusual telegraph style. It was just in the past centuries that his verses were appreciated thanks to new trends in literature that appeared in that time.
Guillaume Аpollinaire, one of the greatest French poets of the 20th century mentioned Nostradamus as a great poet. Historians and philologists finally realized that the Nostradamus prophecies were an epoch monument. No matter how people treat Nostradamus and astrology, the book of his prophecies has been reprinted for over 400 years which makes a lot of sense to us.
Researchers made the first attempts to do scientific studies of works by Nostradamus log ago, even before the French Revolution. Recently, researchers studying works by Nostradamus discovered a couple of anonymous publications in a French publicistic magazine where the prophecies of Nostradamus are considered in the context of the epoch and culture while the prophecies were made with no associations with the future.
What is the main idea of the Nostradamus prophecies? Many researchers have arrived at a conclusion that Nostradamus wanted to emphasize that history repeats.
There are just few scientific works about Nostradamus. James Randi's The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World's Most Famous Seer is one of them but the book is not translated into Russian. Randi states that Michel Nostradamus was a quack or crazy and did not believe himself in what he did. However, the texts that Nostradamus left after his death demonstrate he was not crazy at all.
When the Soviet Union broke up in the early 1990s, the post-Soviet media reported that allegedly Nostradamus had predicted that the Soviet Union would last for 73 years and 7 months. Indeed, in a message to King Henry II Nostradamus predicted coming of an antichrist some day close to the date of an eclipse of October 12, 1605. And Nostradamus was not the only who predicted coming of an antichrist in this period.
In his works, Nostradamus employs no anagrams or secret names. It often happened that typesetters confused the names of small settlements and villages. This is astonishing that Nostradamus did not mention such places as Novgorod, Berlin, Warsaw or Krakow at the time when people already knew the places. But the predictor mentioned a lot of tiny settlements which can hardly be found on detailed maps today.
Nostradamus had a library consisting of about 50 volumes or more which was not typical of people from no noble families. He had a guide-book mentioning small settlements in France. Unfortunately, many commentators failed to discover that names mentioned in the works by Nostradamus were real names of French settlements.
For some reason the world knows little about the Russian prophet monk Avel who predicted overthrowing of the Romanovs Royal Family more than one hundred of years before it actually happened. Alexey Penzensky says that Avel's legendary prophecies were not written down during his life that is why they cannot be studied scientifically. There are lots of such legendary prophecies in the west. It is important that the Nostradamus prophecies were published in 1555. At the same time, many of published prophecies were happily forgotten in the west. The arrangement of Nostradamus's texts makes them particularly popular.
It was reasonable of Nostradamus not only to write his book of prophecies but also to bring it to the audience. That was wonderful creative consistency. People who wrote in the 16th century usually sought immediate publication of their works.