Nostradamus (1503-1566)Nostradamus (1503-1566) - The most famous seer in history, the name 'Nostradamus' is synonymous with prognostication.  To this day, millions of people place credibility in his predictions, known as quatrains (942 in all).  He is credited with predicting everything from the rise of Napoleon to the rise of Hitler; and even some events which are still occurring in the present and some which have yet to occur.  Prophecy was not his profession, he was a physician by trade.  But starting in 1550, he began to put out an almanac filled with predictions of future events.  It proved popular and he would release an almanac every year until 1565, the year before his death.  He wrote under the name Nostradamus; his birth name was Michel de Nostredame.  He was raised Catholic; however, his paternal grandfather converted from Judaism (probably to avoid persecution).  Shortly after his death, a book called Les Propheties containing all his predictions was published.  It is still in print.  One of his most famous quatrains (#35) was said to have been fulfilled during his own lifetime.  It reads:


"The young lion will overcome the older one,
On the field of combat in a single battle;
He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage,
Two wounds made one, then he dies a cruel death."


In 1559, King Henry II of France was participating in a jousting tournament, one of his favorite sports.  In a match against the captain of his Scottish Guard, Gabriel Montgomery, Henry was pierced through the mask of his helmet by Montgomery's lance and lingered for ten days in severe pain before dying.  Many felt Nostradamus' quatrain was an accurate prediction of Henry's death and probably contributed to the large following which he maintains to this day.