VISIONS AND REVELATIONS
Hundreds of years ago a plague was devastating most lands known to the people of the world. It was entirely possible to be hung for mundane crimes, and egomaniacal tyrants ruled the earth as kings. The realm of religion was in an uproar as one division attacked another and political relations were strained. The world was a dark place and out of this darkness came a man with sight into his time and our own. The sixteenth century seer Nostradamus made prophecies that people still heed to this day.
Nostradamus was born in 1503 as Michel de Nostradame as the eldest of four sons in his family of Jewish decent (Ridge 7).His father, Jacques, was a prosperous notary who provided comfortable living accommodations for his family while his wife stayed at home taking care of household chores (Hogue 11-12). Nostradamus' grandfather, Jean de St. Remy taught Michel Greek, Latin, and Hebrew during his younger years and was one of his greatest influences (Hogue 11-12).
Another among these influences was Pierre de Nostradame, Michel's other grandfather (Hogue 11-12). Along with Jean, Pierre had served as personal physician to the Royal house of Provence (Hogue 11-12). Not only were these men great healers, but also great teachers who taught Nostradamus classical literature, history, medicine, astrology, herbal folk medicine, the Jewish Kabbalah, and alchemy laying the groundwork for a truly gifted man's life (Hogue 11-12).
At the age of fourteen Michel was sent to study in Avignon, a center of Renaissance learning and the capital of the papal enclave in Provence. Here he was taught philosophy, grammar, and rhetoric. He also earned the nickname "little astrologer" from classmates for studying the occult and astrology in all of his free time (Hogue 12). After completing his studies at Avignon Michel returned...