Nostradamus was a French astrologer, physician and seer who lived in the 16th century. Nostradamus’ most famous work is Les Prophéties (French for “The Prophecies”), a collection of nearly 1000 quatrains that claimed to predict the future. Since Les Prophéties was first published in 1555, some of the prophecies it contained have seemingly come true. However, many others claim that the quatrains are too vague to be fully accurate. No matter which side of the debate you fall on, here are four Nostradamus predictions that came true.
The Death of Henry II, 1559
King Henry II of France passed away at the age of 40 from a jousting match gone wrong. In the summer of 1559, King Henry held a tournament to celebrate a peace treaty, during which he jousted with one of his young soldiers. The soldier’s lance shattered, and its splinters entered King Henry’s eye and skull. King Henry passed away some time later due to sepsis from his wounds.
Many people believe that Nostradamus foretold this tragic turn of events when he said that “the young lion will overcome the older one” and that he would “pierce his eyes through a golden cage.”
The Great Fire of London, 1666
To understand why some believe Nostradamus predicted the Great Fire, here’s part of the quatrain in question: “… a fault at London, burnt through lightning of twenty threes the six.”
Not only do these few short lines already mention London, but some quick math also finds that 20 threes plus six equals 66– the very year the fire broke out.
The Rise of Hitler, World War II
Some of Nostradamus’ predictions are incredibly chilling, particularly those related to events like The Holocaust. Here’s how what he had to say about someone whose sounds eerily like Adolf Hitler, compares to actual historical fact:
“From the depths of the West of Europe”: Hitler was born in Austria, a country in Western Europe.
“A young child will be born of poor people”: Hitler’s father was a civil servant of uncertain parentage while his mother was a housewife.
“He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop”: Hitler gained many supporters as his Nazi ideology came to prominence.
“His fame will increase towards the realm of the East”: One of the countries in the Axis Powers alongside Germany was Japan, an East Asian country.
The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945
Another prediction Nostradamus made that seems to predict parts of World War II may well be about the atomic bombs that were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“Within two cities, there will be scourges the likes of which was never seen,” the quatrain begins. It goes on to predict famine within plague and “people put out by steel” – could these be references to the planes that dropped the atomic bombs and the aftermath of radiation sickness and the war?
Whether you believe Nostradamus was a gifted prophet or simply had the gift of the gab, his predictions have certainly sparked plenty of debates about whether he successfully predicted history. Nostradamus’ impact will no doubt be felt now and in the future for many years to come.