Nostradamus

Nostradamus

Nostradamus, (December 14, 1503 – July 2, 1566) born Michel de Nostredame, is one of the world's most famous authors of prophecies. He is best known for his book Les Propheties, which consists of one unrhymed and 941 rhymed quatrains, grouped into nine sets of 100 and one of 42, called 'Centuries'. Interest in the work of this prominent figure of the French Renaissance is still considerable, especially in the media and in popular culture.

Life

Childhood

Born in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (see map) in the south of France in December 1503 (his claimed birthplace still exists), Michel de Nostredame was one of at least eight children of Reynière de St-Rémy and grain dealer Jaume de Nostredame, who was also a prosperous home-grown notary. The latter's family had originally been Jewish, but Jaume's father, Guy Gassonet, had converted to Catholicism circa 1455, taking the Christian name 'Pierre' and the surname 'Nostredame' (the latter apparently from the saint's-day on which his conversion was solemnized). In this, he was merely following the example of thousands of others, thanks to increasing official French persecution of Jews, many of whom were the descendants of former refugees from Spain, where they were known as the Marranos. The names of Nostredame's known forebears seem to reflect this. While practice of the ancestral religion was apparently continued in secret, nobody knows whether this applied to Nostredame's family, or whether it still applied to him two generations later. His adult religious leanings suggest, however, that his upbringing was devoutly Catholic.

His known siblings included Delphine, Jehan (c.1507-77), Pierre, Hector, Louis (b.1522), Bertrand, Jean and Antoine (b.1523).

Student years

Little is known about Nostredame's childhood, although there is a persistent tradition that he was educated by his maternal great-grandfather Jean de St-Rémy – which is vitiated by the equally persistent tradition that the latter died when the child was only one year old. It is known, however, that at the age of fifteen Nostredame entered the University of Avignon to study for his baccalaureate. After little more than a year (when he would have studied the regular Trivium of grammar, rhetoric and logic, rather than the later Quadrivium of geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy/astrology) he was forced to leave Avignon when the university closed its doors in the face of an outbreak of the plague. In 1529, after some years as an apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. He was promptly expelled again shortly afterwards, though, when it was discovered that he had been an apothecary, which was a 'manual' trade expressly banned by the university statutes. The hand-written expulsion document (BIU Montpellier, Register S 2 folio 87 – see facsimile on p. 25 of Lemesurier [2] under Sources) still exists in the faculty library. After his expulsion, Nostredame continued working, presumably as an apothecary (though some of his publishers and correspondents would later call him 'Doctor'), and became famous for creating a "rose pill" that was widely believed (not least by himself) to protect against the plague.

Marriage and healing work

In 1531 he was invited by Jules-César Scaliger, a leading Renaissance scholar, to come to Agen. There Nostredame married a woman whose name is still in dispute (possibly Henriette d'Encausse), but who bore him two children. In 1534, however, his wife and children died, presumably from the plague. After their death he continued to travel, passing through France and possibly Italy.

On his return in 1545, he assisted the prominent physician Louis Serre in his fight against a major plague-outbreak in Marseille, and then tackled further outbreaks of disease on his own in Salon-de-Provence and in the regional capital, Aix-en-Provence. Finally, in 1547, he settled down in Salon-de-Provence in the house which is still there today, and where he married a rich widow named Anne Ponsarde (nicknamed Gemelle, or 'Twinny') and eventually had six children – three daughters (Madeleine, Anne and Diane) and three sons (César, Charles and André). Between 1556 and 1567, Nostredame and his wife would in due course acquire a one-thirteenth share in a huge canal project organized by Adam de Craponne to irrigate largely waterless Salon and the nearby Désert de la Crau from the river Durance. Parts of the network remain today: thanks to much larger supplementary canals, there is even a hydroelectric station in Salon itself.

The seer

After a further visit to Italy, Nostredame began to move away from medicine and towards the occult. Following popular trends, he wrote an almanac for 1550, for the first time Latinizing his name to 'Nostradamus'. He was so encouraged by its success that he decided to write one or more annually. Taken together, they are known to have contained at least 6,338 prophecies (most of them, in the event, failed predictions – see Chevignard and Lemesurier [2] under Sources), as well as at least eleven annual calendars, all of them starting on January 1 (and not, as is sometimes supposed, in March). It was mainly in reaction to the almanacs that nobility and other prominent persons from far and wide soon started asking for horoscopes and advice from him, though he generally expected them to supply the birth-charts on which the horoscopes would be based.

He then began his project of writing a book of one thousand quatrains, which constitute the largely undated prophecies for which he is most famous today. Feeling vulnerable to religious fanatics, however, he devised a method of obscuring his meaning by using "Virgilianized" syntax, word games and a mixture of languages such as Provençal, Greek, Latin and Italian. For technical reasons connected with their publication in three installments, the last fifty-eight quatrains of the seventh 'Century', or book of 100 verses, have not survived into any extant edition.

The quatrains, published in a book titled Les Propheties ('The Prophecies'), received a mixed reaction when they were published. Some people thought Nostradamus was a servant of evil, a fake, or insane, while many of the elite thought his quatrains were spiritually inspired prophecies. Catherine de Médicis, the queen consort of King Henri II of France, was one of Nostradamus' greatest admirers. After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted at unnamed threats to the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain them, and to draw up horoscopes for her children. At the time, he feared that he would be beheaded, but by the time of his death in 1566, Catherine had made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to the King.

Some biographical accounts of Nostradamus' life state that he was afraid of being persecuted for heresy by the Inquisition, but neither prophecy nor astrology fell under this bracket, and he would have been in danger only if he had practiced magic to support them. In fact, his relations with the Church as a prophet and healer were always excellent. His brief imprisonment at Marignane in late 1561 came about purely because he had published his 1562 almanac without the prior permission of a bishop, contrary to a recent royal decree.

Final years and death

By 1566 Nostradamus' gout, which had plagued him painfully for many years and made movement very difficult, turned into dropsy. In late June he summoned his lawyer to draw up an extensive will bequeathing his property plus 3444 crowns (around $300,000 today) – minus a few debts – to his wife pending her remarriage, in trust for her sons pending their twenty-fifth birthdays and her daughters pending their marriages. This was followed by a much shorter codicil. On the evening of July 1 he is alleged to have told his secretary Jean de Chavigny, "You will not find me alive by sunrise." The next morning he was reportedly found dead, lying on the floor between his bed and a makeshift bench. He was buried in the local Franciscan chapel (part of it now incorporated into the restaurant La Brocherie'), but re-interred in the Collégiale St-Laurent at the French Revolution, where his tomb remains to this day.

Methods

Nostradamus claimed to base his predictions on judicial astrology – the assessment of the 'astrological quality' of expected future events – but was heavily criticized by professional astrologers of the day such as Laurens Videl for his incompetence and for assuming that 'comparative horoscopy' (comparison of future planetary configurations with the astrology of known past events) could predict the actual events themselves.

Recent research (Brind'Amour [1], Prévost, Gruber, Lemesurier [2] and [3]) has suggested that most of his prophetic work was in fact based on paraphrasing collections of ancient end-of-the-world prophecies (mainly Bible-based – the end of the world was expected at the time to occur in either 1800 or 1887, or possibly in 2242, depending on the system adopted) and supplementing their insights by projecting known historical events and identifiable anthologies of omen-reports into the future with the aid of comparative horoscopy. It is thanks to this that his work contains so many predictions involving ancient figures such as Sulla, Marius, Nero, Hannibal and so on, as well as descriptions of "battles in the clouds" and "frogs falling from the sky". Astrology itself is mentioned only twice in Nostradamus' Preface, and 41 times in the Centuries themselves, though rather more in his famously baffling dedicatory Letter to King Henri II.

His historical sources include easily identifiable passages from Livy, Suetonius, Plutarch and a range of other classical historians, as well as from the chronicles of medieval authors such as Villehardouin and Froissart. Many of his broader astrological references, by contrast, are taken almost word-for-word from the Livre de l'estat et mutations des temps of 1549/50 by Richard Roussat. Even the planetary tables, already published by professional astrologers, on which he based the birth-charts that he was unable to avoid preparing himself are easily identifiable by their detailed figures, even where (as is usually the case) he gets some of them wrong. (Refer to the seminal analysis of these charts by Brind'Amour, 1993, under Sources, and compare Gruber's comprehensive critique of Nostradamus’ horoscope for Crown Prince Rudolph Maximilian).

His major prophetic source was evidently the Mirabilis liber of 1522 (Brind'Amour, Lemesurier [2] and [3]), which contained a range of prophecies by Pseudo-Methodius, the Tiburtine Sibyl, Joachim of Fiore, Savonarola and others (his Preface contains no fewer than 24 biblical quotations, all but two of them in exactly the same order as Savonarola). The book had enjoyed considerable success in the 1520s, when it went through half-a-dozen editions (see Links below for facsimiles and translations). The obvious question – why the Mirabilis liber did not sustain its influence in the way that Nostadamus’ writings did – is explained mainly by the fact that the book (like the Bible) was mostly in Latin and in Gothic script and, to make matters even more complicated for the general reader, contained many abstruse scholastic abbreviations. Nostradamus was, in effect, one of the first to present its prophecies (and others) openly in the French vernacular – as was also happening to the Bible at the time – which is no doubt why he has retained all the credit for them. The Mirabilis liber, (some of the predictions of which had already lapsed by the time Nostradamus started writing) was not translated into French until 1831 – and this mainly for scholarly and antiquarian reasons at a time when knowledge of Latin was beginning to die out. See selected Engilsh translations from it here.

Meanwhile, if Nostradamus' many competitors – and he had many – never accused him of copying from it, it was because copying and/or paraphrasing, far from being regarded (as it is today) as mere plagiarism, was regarded at the time as what all good, educated people should do anyway. The whole Renaissance was based on the idea. Copying from the classics in particular, often without acknowledgement, and preferably from memory, was all the rage. Only in the 17th century did people start to be surprised by the fact that much of his output was evidently based on earlier and often classical originals – which was no doubt why, according to the early commentator Théophile de Garencières, his Prophecies started to be used as a classroom-reader at that time. Nostradamus, it should be remembered, denied in writing on several occasions that he was a prophet on his own account. In translation:

This last is presumably why he entitled his book

(which, in French, as easily means 'The Prophecies, by M. Michel Nostradamus' – which is precisely what they were – as 'The Prophecies of M. Michel Nostradamus' – which, except in a few cases, they weren't, other than in the manner of their editing, expression and re-application to the future). Any criticism of Nostradamus for claiming to be a prophet, in other words, would have been for doing what he never claimed to be doing in the first place.

Further material (see Brind'Amour, Gruber, Lemesurier [2] and [3]) was gleaned from the De honesta disciplina of 1504 by Petrus Crinitus, which included extracts from Michael Psellus's De daemonibus and the De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum..." (Concerning the mysteries of Egypt...), a book on Chaldean and Assyrian magic by Iamblichus, a 4th-century neo-Platonist. Latin versions of both had recently been published in Lyon, and extracts from both are paraphrased (in the second case almost literally) in his first two verses. While it is true that Nostradamus claimed in 1555 to have burned all the occult works in his library, no one can say exactly what books were destroyed in this fire. The fact that they reportedly burned with an unnaturally brilliant flame suggests, however, that some of them were manuscripts on vellum, which was routinely treated with saltpeter.

Given that his methodology, clearly, was mainly literary, it is doubtful whether Nostradamus used any particular methods for entering a trance state, other than contemplation, meditation and incubation (i.e. ritually 'sleeping on it'). His sole description of this process is contained in letter 41 of his collected Latin correspondence, as republished by Jean Dupèbe and translated by Lemesurier [2]. The popular legend that he attempted the ancient methods of flame gazing, water gazing or both simultaneously is based on an uninformed reading of his first two verses (see above), which merely liken his own efforts to those of the Delphic and Branchidic oracles. In his dedication to King Henri II Nostradamus describes "emptying my soul, mind and heart of all care, worry and unease through mental calm and tranquility", but his frequent references to the "bronze tripod" of the Delphic rite are usually preceded by the words "as though".

Works

A copy of his Prophecies dated 1672, located at The P.I. Nixon Medical History Library of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The Prophecies - In this book he collected his major, long-term divinations. The first edition was published in 1555. The second, with 289 further prophetic verses, was printed in 1557. The third edition, with three hundred new quatrains, was reportedly printed in 1558, but nowadays only survives as part of the omnibus edition that was published after his death in 1568. Given printing practices at the time, no two editions turned out to be identical, and it is relatively rare to find even two copies that are exactly the same.

The Almanacs - By far the most popular of his works, these were published annually from 1550 until his death. Often he published two or even three in a single year, entitled either Almanachs (detailed predictions), Prognostications or Presages (more generalized predictions). See also here.

Nostradamus was not only a diviner, but a professional healer, too. We know that he wrote at least two books on medical science. One was an alleged "translation" of Galen, and in his so-called Traité des fardemens (basically a medical cookbook containing, once again, materials borrowed mainly from others) he included a description of the methods he used to treat the plague – none of which (not even the bloodletting) apparently worked. The same book also describes the preparation of cosmetics.

A manuscript normally known as the Orus Apollo also exists in the Lyon municipal library, where upwards of 2000 original documents relating to Nostradamus are stored under the aegis of Michel Chomarat. It is a purported translation of an ancient Greek work on Egyptian hieroglyphs based on later, Latin versions, all of them unfortunately ignorant of the true meanings of the ancient Egyptian script, which was not in fact deciphered until the advent of Champollion in the 19th century.

Since his death, only the Prophecies have continued to be popular, but in this case they have been quite extraordinarily so. Indeed, they have seldom, if ever, been out of print. This may be due partly to popular unease about the future, partly to people's desire to see their lives in some kind of over-all cosmic perspective and so to give meaning to them – but above all, possibly, to their vagueness and lack of dating, which enables them to be wheeled out after every major dramatic event and retrospectively claimed as 'hits'.

Hazards of interpretation

Skeptics of Nostradamus state that his reputation as a prophet is largely manufactured by modern-day supporters who shoehorn his words into events that have either already occurred or are so imminent as to be inevitable, a process known as "retroactive clairvoyance". It has been stated, probably correctly, that no Nostradamus quatrain has ever been interpreted as predicting a specific event before it occurred beyond a very general level (e.g., a fire will occur, a war will start).

A good demonstration of this flexible predicting is to take lyrics written by modern songwriters (e.g., Bob Dylan) and show that they are equally "prophetic". (For Dylan see Masters Of War , As I Went Out One Morning, Gates Of Eden, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), etc.)

Some scholars believe that Nostradamus wrote not to be a prophet, but to comment on events that were happening in his own time, writing in his elusive way – using highly metaphorical and cryptic language – in order to avoid persecution. This is similar to the Preterite interpretation of the Book of Revelation; John (the Divine) intended to write only about contemporary events, but over time his writings became seen as prophecies.

The well-known prophecy that "a great and terrifying leader would come out of the sky" in 1999 and 7 months "to resuscitate the great King from Angoumois" has been much over-stated. The phrase d'effraieur (of terror) in fact occurs nowhere in the original printing, which merely uses the word deffraieur (defraying, hosting). On the basis of Nostradamus's by-now well known technique of projecting past events into the future, Lemesurier [3] suggests that X.72 therefore refers back to the restoration to health of the captive Francis I of France (who was Duke of Angoulême) following a surprise visit to his cell by his host, the then Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1525. No fewer than five of the planets were in the same signs on both occasions.

The bulk of the quatrains deal with disasters of various sorts. The disasters include plagues, earthquakes, wars, floods, invasions, murders, droughts, battles and many other related themes. Some quatrains cover these in over-all terms; others concern a single person or small group of persons. Some cover a single town, others several towns in several countries. All of them are presented in the context of the supposedly imminent end of the world – a conviction that sparked numerous collections of end-time prophecies at the time, not least an unpublished collection by Christopher Columbus.

Misquotes and hoaxes

Nostradamus enthusiasts have credited him with predicting numerous events in world history, including the French Revolution, the atom bomb, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Indeed, they regularly make similar claims regarding each new world crisis as it comes along, for the most part shamelessly twisting either the words or the events to fit (see specific examples below). The tradition goes right back to Nostradamus' own day, and naturally does the seer himself no favors.

Nostradamus does not in fact mention any of the above specifically, not even Hitler: the name Hister, as he himself explains in his Presage for 1554, is merely the classical name for the Lower Danube, while Pau, Nay, Loron – often claimed to be an anagram of 'Napaulon Roy'– evidently refers simply to three neighboring towns in south-western France close to the seer's one-time home territory. This linguistic sleight of hand is particularly easy to carry out when the would-be commentator knows no French to start with, especially in its 16th-century form – to say nothing of French geography. Not surprisingly, then, detractors see such 'edited' predictions as examples of vaticinium ex eventu, retroactive clairvoyance and selective thinking, which find non-existent patterns in ambiguous statements. Because of this, it has been claimed that Nostradamus is "100% accurate at predicting events after they happen", while the seer has acquired even more disrepute than he possibly deserves.

Certainly, there is a persistent tendency to claim that 'Nostradamus predicted whatever has just happened'. As mentioned above, this applied most recently to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City. Almost as soon as the event had happened, the relevant Internet sites were deluged with enquiries into whether Nostradamus had predicted the event. In response, Nostradamus enthusiasts started searching for a Nostradamus quatrain that could be said to have done so. The nearest that they could come up with was quatrain VI.97, which in the original 1557 edition ran:

With instant evidently a version of the Latin instanter ('violently, vehemently'), a reasonable English translation would thus appear to be:

The various ways in which the enthusiasts chose to interpret the text, however, were almost universally panned by experts on the subject (compare the relevant sections of the Snopes and Lemesurier websites listed under External Links below, and see Gruber p.419 and Lemesurier [2] pp. 145-6 under Sources). 'Five and forty degrees' was said to be the latitude of New York City (this being incorrect in itself), or was interpreted as '40.5 degrees' (even though the decimal point had not yet come into use in the Europe of Nostradamus' day); the 'New City' was claimed to be New York (even though Nostradamus refers in this way to various 'New Cities' whose names, unlike 'New York', literally mean 'New City', and especially Naples – from Greek Neapolis, 'new city'); and most of the attempts to fit in the 'Normans' seemed contrived at best. After the factual nature of these claims was widely denied, some suggested instead that the first line might refer to the actual angle at which one of the hijacked airliners hit the World Trade Center (which seemed unlikely, even if the rest had fitted).

Lemesurier ([3], pp. 246-7; but compare Clébert) suggests that the verse is merely an undated projection into the future of the capture of Naples by the Normans in 1139 during a year marked by a notably violent eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius that is recorded in the contemporary Annales Cassini. In this case, the first expression may simply be a version of

– which is indeed the latitude of Naples.

Perhaps in frustration, the searchers now turned to quatrain I.87, which in the original 1555 edition (Albi copy) ran:

or, in a possible English translation:

Here, once again, the cité neufve was claimed to be New York; au tour de had to refer to the Twin Towers (even though, in French, the word tour in the masculine – as it is here – has absolutely nothing to do with towers); the Deux grands rochiers had to be the Twin Towers themselves; and Arethusa was (naturally!) an anagram of 'the USA'. Once again, however, rather more sober investigation by Brind'Amour ([2, p. 170) had already revealed (bearing in mind that, in French, faire la guerre aux rochers, or 'to make war on the rocks', simply means 'to struggle fruitlessly') that the reference was probably to Naples and its nearby volcano. Subsequent investigation by Lemesurier ([3], pp. 40-41) and his colleagues suggested that it applied particularly to the Annales Cassini's report of its lava eruption of 1036, at a time when the Lombards of Capua and the Byzantine dukes of Naples were constantly at war over the city prior to the decisive intervention of the Normans. For 968, similarly, Leo Marsicanus had reported in the same annals that ‘Mount Vesuvius exploded into flames and sent out huge quantities of sticky, sulfurous matter that formed a river rushing down to the sea’. Thus, given that Arethusa was the classical nymph of springs and rivers, with a well-known 'spring of Arethusa' still visible today in the Sicilian port of Syracuse, the case for a '9/11' interpretation was evidently unfounded.

Meanwhile the following spoof text was already being circulated on the Internet, along with many more elaborate variants (one of them signed 'Nostradamus 1654' – when he would, of course, have been just 150 years old!):

As it turns out, the first four lines were indeed written before the attacks, but by a Canadian graduate student named Neil Marshall as part of a research paper in 1997. Ironically enough, the research paper included this poem as an illustrative example of how the validity of prophecies is often exaggerated. For example, the phrases "City of God" (why is New York City the City of God?), "great thunder" (this could apply to just about any disaster), "Two brothers" (many things come in pairs), and "the great leader will succumb" are so ambiguous as to be meaningless. The fifth line was added by an anonymous Internet user, completely ignoring the fact that Nostradamus wrote his Propheties in rhymed four-line decasyllables called quatrains. Nostradamus also never referred to a "third big war".

To verify the authenticity of a purported Nostradamus quatrain, compare the identifying number (e.g.: C1, Q25 or 'I.25' means Century 1, Quatrain 25) against an authoritative version of Nostradamus' works, which will probably also contain the original old French – or click on the appropriate External Links below to see facsimiles of the originals.

Nostradamus in popular culture

Film

He is the subject of many films and videos, including:

  • Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow at The Internet Movie Database (1981)
  • Nostradamus at The Internet Movie Database (2000)
  • Nostradamus at The Internet Movie Database (1994) Depicts Nostradamus's rise in influence, because of success in treating plague and his predictions, culminating in his appointment as court physician to Charles IX of France.

None of them can be regarded as factual or reliable.

Television

The television series Alias prominently features the character Milo Rambaldi, a fictional Nostradamus-like prophet. In the science fiction series First Wave, the protagonists use the quatrains of Nostradamus to fight back against an alien invasion. Nostradamus has also been parodied on Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show as Negrodamus.

Music

Composer Robert Steadman has twice used Nostradamus' prophecies in pieces of music: in the 1987's quatrains by Nostradamus were juxtaposed with the Latin Requiem Mass text and poems on environmental issues. And in 1999, he set what was thought by some to be Nostradamus's prediction of the end of the world for soprano and chamber ensemble in The Final Prophecy.

In 2005, Dutch band Kayak released a rock opera called Nostradamus - Fate of Man. English singer/songwriter Al Stewart wrote a song called "Nostradamus", concerning the prophecies, for his 1973 album Past, Present, and Future.

Rapper Nas referred to himself as Nastradamus.

Maksim, the cross-over piano player, plays a song entitled Nostradamus on his third CD. It is composed by Tonci Huljic.

Comics

In an Italian Mickey Mouse story, Mickey and Goofy travel back in time and by accident a young boy followed them back to the present. The boy had to go back to his own time and his memory of the future was erased, but before that he grabbed pieces of books. The boy of course became Nostradamus and the ripped pages from books explained his visions of the future. The story was made by Massimo Marconi and Massimo De Vita.

A Phantom story from 1983 by Ulf Granberg and Jaime Vallvé featured an appearance by Nostradamus.

In the DC Comics Universe, Nostradamus was an ancestor of Zatara and Zatanna.

In Scott Adams's comic strip Dilbert, "Nostradogbert" is a pseudonym of Dogbert.

Games

In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the prophecy of 1999 was used as the ressurection of Dracula and added that all born of the day of Dracula's demise are "Dark Candidates" meaning that that they'll be next in line to be Dark Lord.


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In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the prophecy of 1999 was used as the ressurection of Dracula and added that all born of the day of Dracula's demise are "Dark Candidates" meaning that that they'll be next in line to be Dark Lord.
. In Scott Adams's comic strip Dilbert, "Nostradogbert" is a pseudonym of Dogbert. As the architectures are entirely different between Xbox and Xbox 360, unlike other backward compatible consoles such as the PlayStation 2, software emulation is the only viable option for compatibility. In the DC Comics Universe, Nostradamus was an ancestor of Zatara and Zatanna. (Games in emulation add support for the Xbox 360's higher screen resolution and anti-aliasing abilities.) These emulators are periodically updated to add compatibility for older games; these updates are available for free on Xbox Live for those with the hard drive. A Phantom story from 1983 by Ulf Granberg and Jaime Vallvé featured an appearance by Nostradamus. When equipped with a removable hard drive add-on, the Xbox 360 supports a limited subset of the Xbox's library (more than 200 games at US launch) through emulation.

The story was made by Massimo Marconi and Massimo De Vita. [17]. The boy of course became Nostradamus and the ripped pages from books explained his visions of the future. NVIDIA ceased production of the Xbox's GPU in August of that year, which almost certainly marks the end of Xbox production and the quick release of the Xbox 360 featuring a new GPU from NVIDIA's rival ATI. The boy had to go back to his own time and his memory of the future was erased, but before that he grabbed pieces of books. Microsoft's next generation Xbox, the Xbox 360, was released on November 22, 2005. In an Italian Mickey Mouse story, Mickey and Goofy travel back in time and by accident a young boy followed them back to the present. To avoid frustrating early adopters, they offered a bundle containing two games and one controller for free to any purchaser who could provide a sales receipt showing the original higher price.

It is composed by Tonci Huljic. Microsoft countered with a £100 price drop (and its equivalent in the rest of Europe) some scant months after launch. Maksim, the cross-over piano player, plays a song entitled Nostradamus on his third CD. With a price-dropped PlayStation 2 and a comparatively inexpensive GameCube as competition, many users were naturally reluctant to invest in the console. Rapper Nas referred to himself as Nastradamus. Obviously, ignoring the GBP-USD exchange rate in the way gives the impression of a 100% mark-up for Europe. English singer/songwriter Al Stewart wrote a song called "Nostradamus", concerning the prophecies, for his 1973 album Past, Present, and Future. As with many games consoles (for example, the PlayStation series), the Xbox was launched with a price in GBP equal to its US price in USD (in this case, $/£299), and this price then converted for the rest of Europe.

In 2005, Dutch band Kayak released a rock opera called Nostradamus - Fate of Man. Of note is the high European launch price. And in 1999, he set what was thought by some to be Nostradamus's prediction of the end of the world for soprano and chamber ensemble in The Final Prophecy. Oceania. Composer Robert Steadman has twice used Nostradamus' prophecies in pieces of music: in the 1987's quatrains by Nostradamus were juxtaposed with the Latin Requiem Mass text and poems on environmental issues. Europe. Nostradamus has also been parodied on Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show as Negrodamus. North America.

In the science fiction series First Wave, the protagonists use the quatrains of Nostradamus to fight back against an alien invasion. Recently, the firmware to the newer optical drives was edited to allow signed code to play. The television series Alias prominently features the character Milo Rambaldi, a fictional Nostradamus-like prophet. Modding your Xbox in this manner will definitely void your warranty, since it requires you to disassemble the console. None of them can be regarded as factual or reliable. There are now sites that offer to modify the software on your Xbox for free. He is the subject of many films and videos, including:. Probably the most legal way of modding the Xbox is replacing the whole motherboard so that you can install Linux or any other operating system designed for PC without having to hack anything.

To verify the authenticity of a purported Nostradamus quatrain, compare the identifying number (e.g.: C1, Q25 or 'I.25' means Century 1, Quatrain 25) against an authoritative version of Nostradamus' works, which will probably also contain the original old French – or click on the appropriate External Links below to see facsimiles of the originals. One such successful use of Live to discourage modding was when the hit game Halo 2 was released, and many owners of modded consoles found out that they were permanently banned from the Xbox Live service, but was retaliated with On-Off switchable Modchips (or add-ons) and XBOX Live friendly softmods from XBOX hackers community. Nostradamus also never referred to a "third big war". As of November 2004, Microsoft has been taking new actions for banning Xboxes with hard drive modifications from the Xbox Live service. The fifth line was added by an anonymous Internet user, completely ignoring the fact that Nostradamus wrote his Propheties in rhymed four-line decasyllables called quatrains. Also, most internal hardware modifications will render an Xbox unable to participate in Xbox Live, which has forced many modders to use a switch that turns on and off their modifications. For example, the phrases "City of God" (why is New York City the City of God?), "great thunder" (this could apply to just about any disaster), "Two brothers" (many things come in pairs), and "the great leader will succumb" are so ambiguous as to be meaningless. Modding an Xbox may require opening the Xbox case, and would certainly void the Xbox's warranty.

Ironically enough, the research paper included this poem as an illustrative example of how the validity of prophecies is often exaggerated. A modded Xbox can even be configured into a computer running Linux, FreeBSD, or Microsoft Windows CE operating systems. As it turns out, the first four lines were indeed written before the attacks, but by a Canadian graduate student named Neil Marshall as part of a research paper in 1997. Beyond gaming, a modded Xbox can be used as a media center with the Xbox Media Center software (XBMC) allowing the playing of DVDs without the DVD dongle/remote and streaming of music and video files from the hard drive or from another computer over a network. Meanwhile the following spoof text was already being circulated on the Internet, along with many more elaborate variants (one of them signed 'Nostradamus 1654' – when he would, of course, have been just 150 years old!):. This process does require a modded Xbox using one of the alternative dashboards, and is used by scrupulous users to eliminate load times or leave their games in storage, and by unscrupulous users to play illegally copied games. Thus, given that Arethusa was the classical nymph of springs and rivers, with a well-known 'spring of Arethusa' still visible today in the Sicilian port of Syracuse, the case for a '9/11' interpretation was evidently unfounded. This allows the user to spare game disks from scratching and allows for faster load times.

For 968, similarly, Leo Marsicanus had reported in the same annals that ‘Mount Vesuvius exploded into flames and sent out huge quantities of sticky, sulfurous matter that formed a river rushing down to the sea’. Then Xbox games can be copied from the DVD to the hard disk with programs such as DVD2Xbox and PxHDDLoader, and then played directly from the hard drive. 40-41) and his colleagues suggested that it applied particularly to the Annales Cassini's report of its lava eruption of 1036, at a time when the Lombards of Capua and the Byzantine dukes of Naples were constantly at war over the city prior to the decisive intervention of the Normans. The original hard drive can be replaced with a larger one. Subsequent investigation by Lemesurier ([3], pp. This is especially attractive as the Xbox is designed to output to TVs, and high-quality controllers and arcade sticks are available for it. 170) had already revealed (bearing in mind that, in French, faire la guerre aux rochers, or 'to make war on the rocks', simply means 'to struggle fruitlessly') that the reference was probably to Naples and its nearby volcano. This allows running an alternate dashboard such as UIX, Avalaunch, Evolution-X or UnleashX and in turn makes playing original (free) homebrew games or various older games through arcade and console game emulators possible.

Once again, however, rather more sober investigation by Brind'Amour ([2, p. Software modding is much less intrusive, and only involves running software exploits to trick the Xbox into running unsigned program code. Here, once again, the cité neufve was claimed to be New York; au tour de had to refer to the Twin Towers (even though, in French, the word tour in the masculine – as it is here – has absolutely nothing to do with towers); the Deux grands rochiers had to be the Twin Towers themselves; and Arethusa was (naturally!) an anagram of 'the USA'. [15][16]. or, in a possible English translation:. He was sentenced to 140 hours community service, ordered to pay £750 costs at a court in Caerphilly, Wales, and his computer equipment was confiscated. Perhaps in frustration, the searchers now turned to quatrain I.87, which in the original 1555 edition (Albi copy) ran:. It is the first conviction since the Directive was enacted in October 2003 in the UK.

– which is indeed the latitude of Naples. (The Directive makes it illegal to circumvent copy protection systems on hardware including video game consoles). In this case, the first expression may simply be a version of. This was the first conviction of its kind in the UK. 246-7; but compare Clébert) suggests that the verse is merely an undated projection into the future of the capture of Naples by the Normans in 1139 during a year marked by a notably violent eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius that is recorded in the contemporary Annales Cassini. In July 2005, a 22 year old Cambridge University graduate was convicted under the EU Copyright Directive for modifying Xboxes and selling them with an upgraded 200 GB hard drive, which was pre-loaded with 80 games. Lemesurier ([3], pp. Hardware modding can involve anything from simply replacing the console's green decorative "jewel" with a custom-designed one to opening up the case and installing a modchip.

After the factual nature of these claims was widely denied, some suggested instead that the first line might refer to the actual angle at which one of the hijacked airliners hit the World Trade Center (which seemed unlikely, even if the rest had fitted). The recent popularity of the Xbox has inspired efforts to circumvent the built-in hardware and software security mechanisms (sometimes in order to use the Xbox as a low cost web server), as well as to add customized design touches to the console's case (similar to PC case modding). 'Five and forty degrees' was said to be the latitude of New York City (this being incorrect in itself), or was interpreted as '40.5 degrees' (even though the decimal point had not yet come into use in the Europe of Nostradamus' day); the 'New City' was claimed to be New York (even though Nostradamus refers in this way to various 'New Cities' whose names, unlike 'New York', literally mean 'New City', and especially Naples – from Greek Neapolis, 'new city'); and most of the attempts to fit in the 'Normans' seemed contrived at best. The Xbox API is similar to DirectX version 8.1, but is non-updateable just like other console technologies. 145-6 under Sources). Microsoft's set of low-level APIs for game development and multimedia purposes, DirectX, was used as a basis for the Xbox's hardware programming. The various ways in which the enthusiasts chose to interpret the text, however, were almost universally panned by experts on the subject (compare the relevant sections of the Snopes and Lemesurier websites listed under External Links below, and see Gruber p.419 and Lemesurier [2] pp. This output selectivity is made possible by the Xbox's SCART-like AVIP port.

With instant evidently a version of the Latin instanter ('violently, vehemently'), a reasonable English translation would thus appear to be:. Numerous unofficial third-party cables and breakout boxes exist that provide combinations of outputs not found in these official video packages; however, with the exception of a few component-to-VGA transcoders and custom-built VGA boxes, the four official video packages represent all of the Xbox's possible outputs. The nearest that they could come up with was quatrain VI.97, which in the original 1557 edition ran:. Included with the Hello Kitty Crystal console was a matching Crystal Controller S and a copy of Hello Kitty Mission Rescue. In response, Nostradamus enthusiasts started searching for a Nostradamus quatrain that could be said to have done so. A limited production run of 550 units was sold at a retail price of S$99 (US$61), if you purchase selected Samsung LCD TVs during a promotion. Almost as soon as the event had happened, the relevant Internet sites were deluged with enquiries into whether Nostradamus had predicted the event. The special edition console was translucent with a pink and orange Hello Kitty picture covering the X on top of the case.

As mentioned above, this applied most recently to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City. The Hello Kitty Crystal Xbox was released with Sanrio in Singapore, to commemorate the release of Hello Kitty Mission Rescue on the Xbox. Certainly, there is a persistent tendency to claim that 'Nostradamus predicted whatever has just happened'. Included with the neon green console was one of two games: Project Gotham Racing 2 or Amped 2. Because of this, it has been claimed that Nostradamus is "100% accurate at predicting events after they happen", while the seer has acquired even more disrepute than he possibly deserves. Dew logo under the Xbox name. Not surprisingly, then, detractors see such 'edited' predictions as examples of vaticinium ex eventu, retroactive clairvoyance and selective thinking, which find non-existent patterns in ambiguous statements. The Mountain Dew Limited Edition Xbox was neon-green colored and had a special jewel atop the Xbox that had the words "Limited Edition" and the Mt.

This linguistic sleight of hand is particularly easy to carry out when the would-be commentator knows no French to start with, especially in its 16th-century form – to say nothing of French geography. Production numbers are unknown. Nostradamus does not in fact mention any of the above specifically, not even Hitler: the name Hister, as he himself explains in his Presage for 1554, is merely the classical name for the Lower Danube, while Pau, Nay, Loron – often claimed to be an anagram of 'Napaulon Roy'– evidently refers simply to three neighboring towns in south-western France close to the seer's one-time home territory. The sweepstakes spanned 5 months – from April to August – in 2004. The tradition goes right back to Nostradamus' own day, and naturally does the seer himself no favors. The Mountain Dew Limited Edition Xbox was only available through a Mountain Dew sweepstakes requiring loyal Dew-drinking Xbox fans to amass 550 points in order to "buy" the Limited Edition Xbox. Indeed, they regularly make similar claims regarding each new world crisis as it comes along, for the most part shamelessly twisting either the words or the events to fit (see specific examples below). Included with the Ice Blue console was a matching Controller S, and a copy of Halo 2.

Nostradamus enthusiasts have credited him with predicting numerous events in world history, including the French Revolution, the atom bomb, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The console was translucent blue and retailed for approximately $249. All of them are presented in the context of the supposedly imminent end of the world – a conviction that sparked numerous collections of end-time prophecies at the time, not least an unpublished collection by Christopher Columbus. On March 18, 2005, an Ice Blue Halo 2 Limited Edition Xbox was released in Canada and Asia. Some cover a single town, others several towns in several countries. The original retail price was ¥22'800 yen ($215), and included the translucent blue console with a matching Controller S, a DVD Playback Kit, an Xbox Live Starter Kit with a free one-year membership, a copy of Dead or Alive Online, and a five-foot-long Kasumi body pillow. Some quatrains cover these in over-all terms; others concern a single person or small group of persons. The translucent blue case was based on the costume of Dead or Alive's main character, Kasumi, and had "Dead or Alive Online" written in white lettering in the lower left corner of the top of the case.

The disasters include plagues, earthquakes, wars, floods, invasions, murders, droughts, battles and many other related themes. The system had a limited manufacturing run of 5,000 units, and was released simultaneously with Tecmo's fighting game, Dead or Alive Online. The bulk of the quatrains deal with disasters of various sorts. On March 25, 2004, a Kasumi-chan Blue Xbox console was released in Japan. No fewer than five of the planets were in the same signs on both occasions. 200,000 of these Xboxes were produced. On the basis of Nostradamus's by-now well known technique of projecting past events into the future, Lemesurier [3] suggests that X.72 therefore refers back to the restoration to health of the captive Francis I of France (who was Duke of Angoulême) following a surprise visit to his cell by his host, the then Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1525. The version of Halo that came with this bundle was identical to other versions of Halo, with the exception of a "NOT FOR RESALE" notice placed on the front of the game case.

The phrase d'effraieur (of terror) in fact occurs nowhere in the original printing, which merely uses the word deffraieur (defraying, hosting). The console case featured the Halo logo and the words "Special Edition"; the controller had a jewel that had the Halo logo in place of the normal Xbox logo. The well-known prophecy that "a great and terrifying leader would come out of the sky" in 1999 and 7 months "to resuscitate the great King from Angoumois" has been much over-stated. This version was translucent green and came with a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved and a matching translucent green Controller S. This is similar to the Preterite interpretation of the Book of Revelation; John (the Divine) intended to write only about contemporary events, but over time his writings became seen as prophecies. On March 14, 2004, Microsoft released a special version of the Xbox in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Some scholars believe that Nostradamus wrote not to be a prophet, but to comment on events that were happening in his own time, writing in his elusive way – using highly metaphorical and cryptic language – in order to avoid persecution. A Crystal Controller S was also availible separately.

(For Dylan see Masters Of War , As I Went Out One Morning, Gates Of Eden, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), etc.). The Crystal console was re-released on October 8, 2004 in a new bundle (but with only one controller) at the normal Xbox price of €149/£99. A good demonstration of this flexible predicting is to take lyrics written by modern songwriters (e.g., Bob Dylan) and show that they are equally "prophetic". It is unknown how many Crystal Limited Editions were produced, however; later bundles were released pairing a re-released Crystal Xbox with different Xbox games and Xbox Live subscriptions. It has been stated, probably correctly, that no Nostradamus quatrain has ever been interpreted as predicting a specific event before it occurred beyond a very general level (e.g., a fire will occur, a war will start). With a price tag of €199/£139, the Crystal Limited Edition came with a transparent console and two matching Crystal Controller S. Skeptics of Nostradamus state that his reputation as a prophet is largely manufactured by modern-day supporters who shoehorn his words into events that have either already occurred or are so imminent as to be inevitable, a process known as "retroactive clairvoyance". On March 14, 2004, the Crystal Limited Edition Xbox was released in Europe to celebrate the Xbox's European birthday.

This may be due partly to popular unease about the future, partly to people's desire to see their lives in some kind of over-all cosmic perspective and so to give meaning to them – but above all, possibly, to their vagueness and lack of dating, which enables them to be wheeled out after every major dramatic event and retrospectively claimed as 'hits'. Included with the Pure White console was a matching Controller S, a DVD Playback Kit, and an Xbox Live Starter Kit with a free one-year membership and voice communicator. Indeed, they have seldom, if ever, been out of print. The original retail price for the Pure White Limited Xbox was ¥19'800 yen ($186) and was only available for purchase online at the Official Xbox Japan website between the dates of January 30 and February 6, 2004. Since his death, only the Prophecies have continued to be popular, but in this case they have been quite extraordinarily so. The words "Limited Edition 2004" were also carved into the jewel of the console, and into the exclusive Controller S (right below the Xbox name). It is a purported translation of an ancient Greek work on Egyptian hieroglyphs based on later, Latin versions, all of them unfortunately ignorant of the true meanings of the ancient Egyptian script, which was not in fact deciphered until the advent of Champollion in the 19th century. The system had a limited manufacturing run of 1,000 units and allowed purchasers to personalize their console with up to twenty letters (Japanese characters not allowed) engraved on the case.

A manuscript normally known as the Orus Apollo also exists in the Lyon municipal library, where upwards of 2000 original documents relating to Nostradamus are stored under the aegis of Michel Chomarat. On February 22, 2004, a Pure White Limited Xbox Console was released in Japan, to commemorate the console's two-year anniversary in that country. The same book also describes the preparation of cosmetics. The Translucent Green Limited Edition Xbox was also released in Candada and came with one matching Controller S and two games, Crimson Skies and Project Gotham Racing 2. One was an alleged "translation" of Galen, and in his so-called Traité des fardemens (basically a medical cookbook containing, once again, materials borrowed mainly from others) he included a description of the methods he used to treat the plague – none of which (not even the bloodletting) apparently worked. The green Controller S was also sold separately. We know that he wrote at least two books on medical science. The styling of the Translucent Green Xbox is identical to Debug Units used in game development; of course, the retail versions lacked the words "Debug Unit" on the front of the case.

Nostradamus was not only a diviner, but a professional healer, too. The console came with two matching Controller S and retailed for €229/£149. See also here. On May 2, 2003 a Translucent Green Limited Edition Xbox was released in Europe to celebrate Xbox's one-year European birthday. Often he published two or even three in a single year, entitled either Almanachs (detailed predictions), Prognostications or Presages (more generalized predictions). Included with the Special Edition console was a matching white Controller S, an Xbox Component A/V cable, an Xbox Component AV pack, a copy of Panzer Dragoon Orta with its soundtrack CD, and a dragon head necklace. The Almanacs - By far the most popular of his works, these were published annually from 1550 until his death. The Panzer Dragoon Orta Special Edition was priced at ¥35'800 ($358) and could only be pre-ordered on November 1, 2002 through Sega Direct.

Given printing practices at the time, no two editions turned out to be identical, and it is relatively rare to find even two copies that are exactly the same. The console's special features included a white case with the Panzer Dragoon Orta logo in top's the lower left hand corner, as well as some artwork from Orta surrounding the Xbox jewel. The third edition, with three hundred new quatrains, was reportedly printed in 1558, but nowadays only survives as part of the omnibus edition that was published after his death in 1568. This Special Edition had a limited production of 999 units; however, it is rumored that there are actually 1,049 units in total. The second, with 289 further prophetic verses, was printed in 1557. This quickly became the most sought-after Xbox to date. The first edition was published in 1555. On December 19, 2002, a Panzer Dragoon Orta Special Edition Xbox was released in Japan to commemorate the release of Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Xbox.

The Prophecies - In this book he collected his major, long-term divinations. Included with the Clear Black console was a matching Clear Black Controller S, an Xbox Component AV pack, and a key chain that had Bill Gates' signature and the console's serial number engraved in it. In his dedication to King Henri II Nostradamus describes "emptying my soul, mind and heart of all care, worry and unease through mental calm and tranquility", but his frequent references to the "bronze tripod" of the Delphic rite are usually preceded by the words "as though". The system had a limited manufacturing run of 50,000 units, and originally retailed for ¥35'800 yen. The popular legend that he attempted the ancient methods of flame gazing, water gazing or both simultaneously is based on an uninformed reading of his first two verses (see above), which merely liken his own efforts to those of the Delphic and Branchidic oracles. In 2001, a Clear Black Limited Edition Xbox was released in Japan to commemorate the Xbox's Japanese release. His sole description of this process is contained in letter 41 of his collected Latin correspondence, as republished by Jean Dupèbe and translated by Lemesurier [2]. Manufacturing photos can be found here..

ritually 'sleeping on it'). Microsoft extended the warranty on those first generation Xboxes that came with faulty drives and fixed them for free, unlike Sony and their first generation PS2s. Given that his methodology, clearly, was mainly literary, it is doubtful whether Nostradamus used any particular methods for entering a trance state, other than contemplation, meditation and incubation (i.e. Several internal hardware revisions have been made in an ongoing battle to discourage modding (hackers continually updated modchip designs in attempt to defeat them), cut manufacturing costs, and to provide a more reliable DVD-ROM drive (some of the early units' drives gave Disc Reading Errors). The fact that they reportedly burned with an unnaturally brilliant flame suggests, however, that some of them were manuscripts on vellum, which was routinely treated with saltpeter. This Japanese controller (which was briefly imported by even mainstream video game store chains, such as GameStop) was subsequently released in other markets as the "Xbox Controller S", and currently all Xbox consoles come with a "Controller S", while the original controller (known as Controller "0" or "The Duke") was quietly discontinued. While it is true that Nostradamus claimed in 1555 to have burned all the occult works in his library, no one can say exactly what books were destroyed in this fire. In response to these criticisms, a smaller controller was introduced for the Japanese Xbox launch.

Latin versions of both had recently been published in Lyon, and extracts from both are paraphrased (in the second case almost literally) in his first two verses. The original game controller design, which was particularly large, was similarly often criticized since it was ill-suited to those with small hands. Further material (see Brind'Amour, Gruber, Lemesurier [2] and [3]) was gleaned from the De honesta disciplina of 1504 by Petrus Crinitus, which included extracts from Michael Psellus's De daemonibus and the De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum..." (Concerning the mysteries of Egypt...), a book on Chaldean and Assyrian magic by Iamblichus, a 4th-century neo-Platonist. However, the Xbox has also pioneered safety features, such as breakaway cables for the controllers to prevent the console from being yanked from the shelf. Any criticism of Nostradamus for claiming to be a prophet, in other words, would have been for doing what he never claimed to be doing in the first place. Because of this, the Xbox has found itself a target of mild derision, as gamers poke fun at it for things like a warning in the Xbox manual that a falling Xbox "could cause serious injury" to a small child or pet. Michel Nostradamus' – which, except in a few cases, they weren't, other than in the manner of their editing, expression and re-application to the future). This is largely due to a bulky tray-loading DVD-ROM drive and the standard-size 3.5" hard drive.

Michel Nostradamus' – which is precisely what they were – as 'The Prophecies of M. The Xbox itself is much larger and heavier than its contemporaries. (which, in French, as easily means 'The Prophecies, by M. The Xbox does not use Windows CE due to Microsoft internal politics at the time, as well as limited support in Windows CE for DirectX. This last is presumably why he entitled his book. Therefore if the Xbox crashes, the only way to recover is to reboot the console as there is no multitasking support on Real Mode. In translation:. That is why Xbox is running on Real Mode and not Protected Mode as seen on Windows 2000.

Nostradamus, it should be remembered, denied in writing on several occasions that he was a prophet on his own account. Although the Xbox is based on commodity PC hardware and runs a stripped-down version of the Windows 2000 kernel using APIs based largely on DirectX 8.1, it incorporates changes optimized for gaming uses as well as restrictions designed to prevent uses not approved by Microsoft. Only in the 17th century did people start to be surprised by the fact that much of his output was evidently based on earlier and often classical originals – which was no doubt why, according to the early commentator Théophile de Garencières, his Prophecies started to be used as a classroom-reader at that time. An Xbox owner can rip music from standard Audio CDs to the hard drive so players can use their custom soundtrack in addition to the original soundtrack of Xbox games that support such feature. Copying from the classics in particular, often without acknowledgement, and preferably from memory, was all the rage. Some games support "Custom soundtracks," another particularly unusual feature allowed by the hard drive. The whole Renaissance was based on the idea. Most of the games also use it as a disk cache, for faster game loading times.

Meanwhile, if Nostradamus' many competitors – and he had many – never accused him of copying from it, it was because copying and/or paraphrasing, far from being regarded (as it is today) as mere plagiarism, was regarded at the time as what all good, educated people should do anyway. The Xbox was the first console to incorporate a hard disk drive, used primarily for storing game saves (eliminating the need for separate memory cards) and content downloaded from Xbox Live. See selected Engilsh translations from it here. Nonetheless, most of these features were not fully exploited in its first year of launch, notably the lack of Xbox Live online multiplayer. The Mirabilis liber, (some of the predictions of which had already lapsed by the time Nostradamus started writing) was not translated into French until 1831 – and this mainly for scholarly and antiquarian reasons at a time when knowledge of Latin was beginning to die out. Also, the console cost as much as the high-end GeForce 3 video card alone in 2001, while having comparable graphics processing power (the Xbox's NV2A graphics chipset is a derivative of the GeForce 3). Nostradamus was, in effect, one of the first to present its prophecies (and others) openly in the French vernacular – as was also happening to the Bible at the time – which is no doubt why he has retained all the credit for them. At the time of its introduction, the Xbox was the only game console to do so.

The obvious question – why the Mirabilis liber did not sustain its influence in the way that Nostadamus’ writings did – is explained mainly by the fact that the book (like the Bible) was mostly in Latin and in Gothic script and, to make matters even more complicated for the general reader, contained many abstruse scholastic abbreviations. The Xbox was designed to take advantage of a slowdown in the saturated PC gaming market and incorporates a built-in Ethernet adapter. The book had enjoyed considerable success in the 1520s, when it went through half-a-dozen editions (see Links below for facsimiles and translations). This prediction turned out to be correct; Microsoft Game Studios, Microsoft's game division in charge of Xbox development, had its first profitable quarter reported in January 2005, thanks largely to the success of Halo 2[14]. His major prophetic source was evidently the Mirabilis liber of 1522 (Brind'Amour, Lemesurier [2] and [3]), which contained a range of prophecies by Pseudo-Methodius, the Tiburtine Sibyl, Joachim of Fiore, Savonarola and others (his Preface contains no fewer than 24 biblical quotations, all but two of them in exactly the same order as Savonarola). Microsoft predicted that it would not make a profit on the Xbox for at least three years. (Refer to the seminal analysis of these charts by Brind'Amour, 1993, under Sources, and compare Gruber's comprehensive critique of Nostradamus’ horoscope for Crown Prince Rudolph Maximilian). The losses deepened when sales of the Xbox increased and when the price was reduced successive times to compete with PlayStation 2 [13].

Even the planetary tables, already published by professional astrologers, on which he based the birth-charts that he was unable to avoid preparing himself are easily identifiable by their detailed figures, even where (as is usually the case) he gets some of them wrong. [12] In particular, the Xbox hardware itself is a loss leader, since the console was sold at a loss even at its debut price. Many of his broader astrological references, by contrast, are taken almost word-for-word from the Livre de l'estat et mutations des temps of 1549/50 by Richard Roussat. Internal documents show that the Xbox division had invested $4 billion from 2000 to 2005. His historical sources include easily identifiable passages from Livy, Suetonius, Plutarch and a range of other classical historians, as well as from the chronicles of medieval authors such as Villehardouin and Froissart. The large size of the hardware itself did not endear itself to the size-sensitive Japanese consumers. Astrology itself is mentioned only twice in Nostradamus' Preface, and 41 times in the Centuries themselves, though rather more in his famously baffling dedicatory Letter to King Henri II. The Xbox has sold poorly in Japan mainly because Microsoft was unable to enlist enough local developers to cater to Japanese interests.

It is thanks to this that his work contains so many predictions involving ancient figures such as Sulla, Marius, Nero, Hannibal and so on, as well as descriptions of "battles in the clouds" and "frogs falling from the sky". In Europe, the Xbox's market share is currently ahead of the GameCube, but is still behind the PlayStation 2. Recent research (Brind'Amour [1], Prévost, Gruber, Lemesurier [2] and [3]) has suggested that most of his prophetic work was in fact based on paraphrasing collections of ancient end-of-the-world prophecies (mainly Bible-based – the end of the world was expected at the time to occur in either 1800 or 1887, or possibly in 2242, depending on the system adopted) and supplementing their insights by projecting known historical events and identifiable anthologies of omen-reports into the future with the aid of comparative horoscopy. The Xbox has enjoyed its greatest success in North America, where an estimated 13.5 million units have been sold and where it managed for a time to outsell the PS2[11]. Nostradamus claimed to base his predictions on judicial astrology – the assessment of the 'astrological quality' of expected future events – but was heavily criticized by professional astrologers of the day such as Laurens Videl for his incompetence and for assuming that 'comparative horoscopy' (comparison of future planetary configurations with the astrology of known past events) could predict the actual events themselves. Although ahead of the GameCube's 18.5 million, this was far behind the PlayStation 2's 90 million (after the Xbox was discontinued in favour of the Xbox 360, the GameCube and PlayStation 2 have reached 19.8 million[9] and 100 million[10], respectively). He was buried in the local Franciscan chapel (part of it now incorporated into the restaurant La Brocherie'), but re-interred in the Collégiale St-Laurent at the French Revolution, where his tomb remains to this day. According to company documents, Microsoft has shipped 25 million consoles to retailers worldwide at the end of 2005[8].

On the evening of July 1 he is alleged to have told his secretary Jean de Chavigny, "You will not find me alive by sunrise." The next morning he was reportedly found dead, lying on the floor between his bed and a makeshift bench. However, as of February 2005, estimates show the Xbox's share of the worldwide console market is only moderately ahead of the Nintendo GameCube and far behind the PlayStation 2. This was followed by a much shorter codicil. Some critics were initially concerned that the Xbox would allow Microsoft to extend its dominance of the PC software market to consoles. In late June he summoned his lawyer to draw up an extensive will bequeathing his property plus 3444 crowns (around $300,000 today) – minus a few debts – to his wife pending her remarriage, in trust for her sons pending their twenty-fifth birthdays and her daughters pending their marriages. In July 2004, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live reached 1 million subscribers, and announced in July 2005 that Live had reached 2 million. By 1566 Nostradamus' gout, which had plagued him painfully for many years and made movement very difficult, turned into dropsy. 250,000 subscribers had signed on in 2 months since Live was launched [7].

His brief imprisonment at Marignane in late 1561 came about purely because he had published his 1562 almanac without the prior permission of a bishop, contrary to a recent royal decree. This online service works exclusively with broadband. In fact, his relations with the Church as a prophet and healer were always excellent. In November 2002 Microsoft released the Xbox Live online gaming service, allowing subscribers to play online Xbox games with (or against) other subscribers all around the world and download new content for their games to the hard drive. Some biographical accounts of Nostradamus' life state that he was afraid of being persecuted for heresy by the Inquisition, but neither prophecy nor astrology fell under this bracket, and he would have been in danger only if he had practiced magic to support them. In 2005, the long-awaited Xbox-exclusive Doom 3, Half-Life 2, and Far Cry Instincts were released. At the time, he feared that he would be beheaded, but by the time of his death in 1566, Catherine had made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to the King. That year, Microsoft and Electronic Arts reached a deal which would see the latter's popular titles enabled on Xbox Live.

After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted at unnamed threats to the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain them, and to draw up horoscopes for her children. In 2004, Halo 2 set records as highest grossing release in entertainment history [6] as well as being a successful killer app for the online service. Catherine de Médicis, the queen consort of King Henri II of France, was one of Nostradamus' greatest admirers. In addition, many other publishers got into the trend of releasing the the Xbox version alongside the PS2 version, instead of delaying it for months. Some people thought Nostradamus was a servant of evil, a fake, or insane, while many of the elite thought his quatrains were spiritually inspired prophecies. Take-Two Interactive's exclusivity deal with Sony was amended to allow Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and its sequels to be published on the Xbox. The quatrains, published in a book titled Les Propheties ('The Prophecies'), received a mixed reaction when they were published. Several best-selling and critically-acclaimed titles for the Xbox were published, such as Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Ninja Gaiden, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

For technical reasons connected with their publication in three installments, the last fifty-eight quatrains of the seventh 'Century', or book of 100 verses, have not survived into any extant edition. The Xbox Live online service was launched with a strong lineup including MotoGP, MechAssault and Ghost Recon. Feeling vulnerable to religious fanatics, however, he devised a method of obscuring his meaning by using "Virgilianized" syntax, word games and a mixture of languages such as Provençal, Greek, Latin and Italian. In 2002 and 2003, several releases helped the Xbox to gain momentum and distinguish itself from the PS2. He then began his project of writing a book of one thousand quatrains, which constitute the largely undated prophecies for which he is most famous today. Lastly, Sony countered the Xbox by making exclusivity deals for highly anticipated games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was mainly in reaction to the almanacs that nobility and other prominent persons from far and wide soon started asking for horoscopes and advice from him, though he generally expected them to supply the birth-charts on which the horoscopes would be based. Although it enjoyed strong third-party support from its inception, many early Xbox games did not take full advantage of its powerful hardware, with few additional features or graphical improvements to distinguish themselves from the PS2 version, and this negated one of the Xbox's main selling points.

Taken together, they are known to have contained at least 6,338 prophecies (most of them, in the event, failed predictions – see Chevignard and Lemesurier [2] under Sources), as well as at least eleven annual calendars, all of them starting on January 1 (and not, as is sometimes supposed, in March). However, the failure of several first-party games (including Fuzion Frenzy [4] and Azurik: Rise of Perathia [5]) damaged the initial public reputation of the Xbox. He was so encouraged by its success that he decided to write one or more annually. Other successful launch titles included NFL Fever 2002, Project Gotham Racing[2] and Dead or Alive 3 [3]). Following popular trends, he wrote an almanac for 1550, for the first time Latinizing his name to 'Nostradamus'. Halo still remains the console's standout title. After a further visit to Italy, Nostredame began to move away from medicine and towards the occult. The greatest success of the Xbox's launch games was Halo: Combat Evolved, which was critically well-received [1] and one of the best-selling games of the year.

Parts of the network remain today: thanks to much larger supplementary canals, there is even a hydroelectric station in Salon itself. The Xbox launched in North America on November 15, 2001. Between 1556 and 1567, Nostredame and his wife would in due course acquire a one-thirteenth share in a huge canal project organized by Adam de Craponne to irrigate largely waterless Salon and the nearby Désert de la Crau from the river Durance. The Xbox even brought high-end gaming technology to the mainstream, sporting a top of the line GeForce 3 equivalent graphics processor, a built-in Ethernet adapter, and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Finally, in 1547, he settled down in Salon-de-Provence in the house which is still there today, and where he married a rich widow named Anne Ponsarde (nicknamed Gemelle, or 'Twinny') and eventually had six children – three daughters (Madeleine, Anne and Diane) and three sons (César, Charles and André). The Xbox also presented a standardized alternative to the near-endless variety of end-user configurations on the PC. On his return in 1545, he assisted the prominent physician Louis Serre in his fight against a major plague-outbreak in Marseille, and then tackled further outbreaks of disease on his own in Salon-de-Provence and in the regional capital, Aix-en-Provence. Being based upon Windows and standard PC hardware, the Xbox was more familiar to developers and as a result was significantly easier to develop for in contrast to PlayStation 2's proprietary processor and operating system.

After their death he continued to travel, passing through France and possibly Italy. The authors concluded that the Xbox project as a direct response to the upcoming PlayStation 2. In 1534, however, his wife and children died, presumably from the plague. As well, a venture into the gaming console market would also diversify Microsoft's product line, which up to that time had been heavily concentrated into software. There Nostredame married a woman whose name is still in dispute (possibly Henriette d'Encausse), but who bore him two children. The growing video game market seemed to threaten the PC market which Microsoft had dominated and relied upon for most of its revenues. In 1531 he was invited by Jules-César Scaliger, a leading Renaissance scholar, to come to Agen. According to the book Smartbomb, by Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby, the remarkable success of the upstart Sony PlayStation worried Microsoft in late 1990s.

After his expulsion, Nostredame continued working, presumably as an apothecary (though some of his publishers and correspondents would later call him 'Doctor'), and became famous for creating a "rose pill" that was widely believed (not least by himself) to protect against the plague. Some see the Xbox as a way to capitalize on the growing video game market, noting that the PC market growth was stagnating after the dot-com bust. 25 of Lemesurier [2] under Sources) still exists in the faculty library. In May 2000 the "Xbox Project" was officially confirmed by Microsoft. The hand-written expulsion document (BIU Montpellier, Register S 2 folio 87 – see facsimile on p. Gates said that a gaming/multimedia device was essential for multimedia convergence in the new times of digital entertainment. He was promptly expelled again shortly afterwards, though, when it was discovered that he had been an apothecary, which was a 'manual' trade expressly banned by the university statutes. The rumors of a video game console being developed by Microsoft first emerged at the end of 1999 following interviews of Bill Gates.

In 1529, after some years as an apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. The Xbox was initially developed within Microsoft by a small team which included Seamus Blackley, a game developer and high energy physicist. After little more than a year (when he would have studied the regular Trivium of grammar, rhetoric and logic, rather than the later Quadrivium of geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy/astrology) he was forced to leave Avignon when the university closed its doors in the face of an outbreak of the plague. . It is known, however, that at the age of fifteen Nostredame entered the University of Avignon to study for his baccalaureate. Notable launch titles for the console include Amped, Dead or Alive 3, Halo: Combat Evolved, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, and Project Gotham Racing. Little is known about Nostredame's childhood, although there is a persistent tradition that he was educated by his maternal great-grandfather Jean de St-Rémy – which is vitiated by the equally persistent tradition that the latter died when the child was only one year old. The Xbox was Microsoft's first independent venture into the video game console arena, after having developed the operating system and development tools for the MSX, and having collaborated with Sega in porting Windows CE to the Sega Dreamcast console.

His known siblings included Delphine, Jehan (c.1507-77), Pierre, Hector, Louis (b.1522), Bertrand, Jean and Antoine (b.1523). The Microsoft Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console first released on November 15, 2001 in North America and Puerto Rico, then released on February 22, 2002 in Japan, and later on March 14, 2002 in Europe. His adult religious leanings suggest, however, that his upbringing was devoutly Catholic. Xbox: Part Deux (Xbox XGPU Basics)" by Dave Salvator, ExtremeTech.Com, November 30, 2001, retrieved January 30, 2006. While practice of the ancestral religion was apparently continued in secret, nobody knows whether this applied to Nostredame's family, or whether it still applied to him two generations later. "GameCube vs. The names of Nostredame's known forebears seem to reflect this. NZ$249 (2004 Q4, 2005).

In this, he was merely following the example of thousands of others, thanks to increasing official French persecution of Jews, many of whom were the descendants of former refugees from Spain, where they were known as the Marranos. NZ$299 (2004 Q2). The latter's family had originally been Jewish, but Jaume's father, Guy Gassonet, had converted to Catholicism circa 1455, taking the Christian name 'Pierre' and the surname 'Nostredame' (the latter apparently from the saint's-day on which his conversion was solemnized). AU$249 (2004, 2005). Born in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (see map) in the south of France in December 1503 (his claimed birthplace still exists), Michel de Nostredame was one of at least eight children of Reynière de St-Rémy and grain dealer Jaume de Nostredame, who was also a prosperous home-grown notary. NZ$349 (2004). . AU$299 (2004).

Interest in the work of this prominent figure of the French Renaissance is still considerable, especially in the media and in popular culture. NZ$399 (2003). He is best known for his book Les Propheties, which consists of one unrhymed and 941 rhymed quatrains, grouped into nine sets of 100 and one of 42, called 'Centuries'. AU$349 (2003). Nostradamus, (December 14, 1503 – July 2, 1566) born Michel de Nostredame, is one of the world's most famous authors of prophecies. NZ$499 NZD (3 October, 2002, Launch Price). Nostradamus at The Internet Movie Database (1994) Depicts Nostradamus's rise in influence, because of success in treating plague and his predictions, culminating in his appointment as court physician to Charles IX of France. AU$299 AUD (2005).

Nostradamus at The Internet Movie Database (2000). AU$399 AUD (2004). Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow at The Internet Movie Database (1981). AU$699 AUD (26 April, 2002, Launch Price) (Quickly dropped to $399 to compete with launch of Nintendo GameCube). €99 (Spain, January 2006 promotional price). €99 (Ireland; Christmas 2005 promotional price).

£99 (August 27, 2004). €149 (August 27, 2004). £130 (2003). €199 (2003).

€249 (August 30, 2002). €299 (Launch Price (Rest of Europe) and Ireland April 26, 2002). £299 GBP (Launch Price March 14, 2002),. €479 (Launch Price (Ireland) 14 March, 2002),.

US$179 (February 6, 2006, Bundled with Forza). CAD$199 (March 29, 2004). US$149 (March 29, 2004). US$179 (May 14, (2003).

US$199 (May 15, (2002). US$299 (November 15, 2001, Launch Price). Approved by Microsoft for wireless gameplay with Xbox. Logitech 2.4 GHz wireless controller.

This system has been defeated by the Xbox hacking community, who have developed tools to modify gamesaves to work in a different console, though some unique technical information concerning the recipient Xbox must be known. Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball) do not support this accessory as a cheat prevention measure. Note that some recent games (e.g. Memory Unit: An 8 MB removable solid-state memory card onto which game saves can either be copied from the hard drive when in the Xbox Dashboard's memory manager or saved during a game.

The precise layout of the controls differs between the two variations of controller.

. The Xbox controller features two analog sticks, a digital pad, two analog triggers, a Back button, a Start button, two accessory slots, and six 8-bit analog action buttons (ABXY, Black, and White). It also allows users to upload pictures in JPG format (to create slide shows) as well as audio in WMA and MP3 format (for karaoke or a game's Custom Soundtracks feature) from a Windows XP machine running the Xbox Music Mixer PC Tool. Provides a music player with 2D/3D visualizations as well as basic karaoke functions.

Xbox Music Mixer: A utility software bundled with a microphone that connects to an adapter that plugs into the top expansion slot of a controller. Later, as the price of the Xbox dropped, the DVD remote was bundled. Although there is nothing to prevent the Xbox from acting as a progressive-scan DVD player, Microsoft chose not to enable this feature in the Xbox DVD kit in order to avoid royalty payments to the patent-holder of progressive scan DVD playback. By selling a DVD remote separately, Microsoft was able to bundle the cost of the DVD licensing fee with it.

DVD playback was not included as a standard feature of the Xbox due to licensing issues with the DVD format that would have added extra cost to the console's base price. DVD Playback Kit: Required in order to play DVD movies, the kit includes an infrared remote control and receiver. It can also be used for DVD playback. Xbox Media Center Extender: A kit that allows Xbox to act as a Media Center Extender to stream content from a Windows XP Media Center Edition PC.

This functionality is similar to Sega's DirectLink for Sega Saturn. System Link Cable: A Cat 5 crossover cable for connecting together two consoles or a Cat 5 straight through cable used in conjunction with an ethernet hub for connecting up to four consoles, for up to 16 total players. The headset can in fact be replaced with most standard earpiece-and-microphone headsets; headset specialist Plantronics produce various officially-licensed headsets, including a special-edition headset for Halo 2. Xbox Live Starter Kit: A subscription and installation pack for the Xbox Live service, as well as a headset (with monaural earpiece and microphone) that connects to a control box that plugs into the top expansion slot of a controller.

While the official Wireless Adapter guarantees compatibility with the Xbox, almost any wireless bridge can be used. Xbox Wireless Adapter: a wireless bridge which converts data running through an ethernet cable to a wireless (802.11b or 802.11g) signal to connect to a wireless LAN. Note that while there is an "official" Xbox 'System Link' cable (a crossover cat5e cable), any PC ethernet cable can be used in the normal way treating the xbox as an NIC, eg an Xbox-Xbox connection requires a crossover cable, whereas an xbox-switch connection requires a straight-through cable. Ethernet (Xbox Live) Cable: A Cat 5 cable for connecting the Xbox to a broadband modem or router.

As Europe has no HDTV standard, no High Definition cable is currently provided in those markets. Advanced SCART Cable: The European equivalent to the Advanced AV Pack, providing a full RGB video SCART connection in place of S-Video, RCA composite and stereo audio connections (composite video and stereo are still provided by the cable, through the SCART connector, in addition to the RGB signal), while retaining the TOSLINK audio connector. Also provides analog RCA and digital TOSLINK audio outputs. High Definition AV Pack: A breakout box, intended for HDTVs, that provides a YPrPb component video signal over three RCA connectors.

Advanced AV Pack: A breakout box that provides S-Video and TOSLINK audio in addition to the RCA composite video and stereo audio of the Standard AV Cable. RF Adapter: Provides a combined audio and video signal on an RF connector. European systems come with a RCA jack to SCART converter block in addition to the cable. Comes with the system.

Standard AV Cable: Provides composite video and monaural or stereo audio to TVs equipped with RCA inputs. Dimensions: 320 × 100 × 260 mm (12.5 × 4 × 10.5 inches). Weight: 3.86 kg. Controller Ports: 4 proprietary USB ports.

EDTV and HDTV Support: 480p/720p/1080i (see game boxes for supported resolutions). PAL TV's have less than 600 horizontal lines. Note: NTSC (Non-HD) TV's have less than 500 horizontal lines. Maximum Resolution (2x32bpp frame buffers +Z): 1920(vert.)x1080(horiz)

    .

    DVD Movie Playback: Yes (separate DVD Playback Kit/Remote required or by modding the Xbox and running DVD-playing homebrew software). Broadband Enabled: Yes (10/100base-T ethernet). AC3 (Dolby Digital) Encoded Game Audio: Yes (via TOSLINK). MIDI DLS2 Support: Yes.

    3D Audio Support: HRTF Sensaura 3D enhancement. Audio Channels: 64 3D channels (up to 256 stereo voices). Soundstorm NVAPU)

      . Audio Processor : nVIDIA MCPX (a.k.a.

      Storage Medium: 2-5x DVD (XFAT), 8 gigabyte hard disk (new consoles contain a 10GB physical hard drive, though it is formatted to only use 8GB, uses XFAT), optional 8MB memory card for savegame transfer. Full Scene Anti-Aliasing: Yes. Compressed Textures: Yes (6:1 through DDS). Simultaneous Textures: 4.

      Theoretical Texture Fill Rate: 1,864 Megatexels/second (932 MP x 2 texture units). Theoretical Pixel Fill Rate: 932 Megapixels/second (233 MHz x 4 pipelines). Pipeline Configuration: 4 pixel pipelines with 2 texture units each. Theoretical Particle Performance: 125 M/s.

      Theoretical Geometry Rate: 115+ million vertices/second. Enhanced vertex processing with 2 vertex shaders, and more flexible pixel shading than DirectX 8.

        . Graphics Processor: 233 MHz custom chip "NV2A", developed by Microsoft and nVIDIA (fits between GeForce 3 and GeForce 4 in capability). Theoretical Memory Bandwidth: 6.4 GB/s.

        Unified Memory Subsystem: Total (shared) Memory: 64 MB DDR SDRAM running at 200 MHz, supplied by Hynix or Samsung depending on manufacture date and location

          . Same size as Celeron, but 8-way associative like Pentium III E. 128 kB L2 Advanced Transfer Cache (256-bit). 32 kB L1 cache.

          Same as fastest Pentium III EB CPUs. 133 MHz FSB. Often used for audio and video. Switching between FPU and MMX is slow, so not of great use for 3D rendering tasks.

          Integer functions. SIMD: MMX. Pentium III had architectural drawbacks that lessened real-world SSE throughput. Theoretical maximum 4 FLOPS/cycle (2.9 gigaFLOPS for Xbox).

          Four single-precision floating-point numbers in one instruction.

            . SIMD: SSE. Intel IA-32 instruction set. Basically a Pentium III.
              .

              CPU: Micro PGA2 733 MHz Intel Coppermine Core. ISBN 1565123468.
              . (2005) Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution. Ruby, A., Chaplin, H.

              Article: How Xbox Happened.

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