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. [3] Disorder in the Court (1936)
[4] Malice in the Palace (1949)
[5]Sing A Song of Six Pants (1947)
[6]Brideless Groom (1947)
. In Scott Adams's comic strip Dilbert, "Nostradogbert" is a pseudonym of Dogbert. There are four Three Stooges shorts that are in the public domain, and which can be downloaded at no charge from the Prelinger Archive:
. In the DC Comics Universe, Nostradamus was an ancestor of Zatara and Zatanna. He later reprograms three of the Nova Robots into a breed of the Three Stooges, almost in their likeness. A Phantom story from 1983 by Ulf Granberg and Jaime Vallvé featured an appearance by Nostradamus. In John Badham's movie Short Circuit, Johnny 5, while watching T.V., sees the original Three Stooges in their first short for Columbia Pictures, Women Haters, made in 1934 at Stephanie's (Ally Sheedy) house.

The story was made by Massimo Marconi and Massimo De Vita. Due to this guest appearance there was a short-lived animated series, also produced by Hanna-Barbera, entitled The Three Robonic Stooges featuring Moe, Larry, and Curly as bionic cartoon superheroes with extendable limbs, similar to the later Inspector Gadget. The boy of course became Nostradamus and the ripped pages from books explained his visions of the future. An episode of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies aired in the early 1970's featuring animated Stooges as guest-stars. 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. This series featured a mix of thirty-nine live action segments which were used as wrap-arounds to 156 animated Stooges shorts. 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. In addition to the unsuccessful television series pilots, Jerks of All Trades (1949) and Kook's Tour (1970), the Stooges appeared in a short-lived television show called The New Three Stooges which ran from 1965 to 1966.

It is composed by Tonci Huljic. The Three Stooges also made appearances in many feature length movies in the course of their careers:. Maksim, the cross-over piano player, plays a song entitled Nostradamus on his third CD. The most commonly used themes were:. Rapper Nas referred to himself as Nastradamus. Several instrumental tunes were played over the opening credits at different times in the production of their short features. English singer/songwriter Al Stewart wrote a song called "Nostradamus", concerning the prophecies, for his 1973 album Past, Present, and Future. A blow to a kettle drum accompanied blows to the stomach, and for pokes to the eye, a plucked violin string made the sound, or sometimes a high pitched piano sound.

In 2005, Dutch band Kayak released a rock opera called Nostradamus - Fate of Man. Typically, the sound of a hammer striking an anvil or a block of wood was used, suggesting the characters were "hard-headed" in more ways than one. 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. A good example would be Moe whacking one of his fellow Stooges on the head with a hammer. 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. The use of clever sound effects was important to the overall effect of the action. Nostradamus has also been parodied on Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show as Negrodamus. See [2] for more examples.

In the science fiction series First Wave, the protagonists use the quatrains of Nostradamus to fight back against an alien invasion. And in some episodes, there were sight gags involved Curly, who supposedly has a very hard head. The television series Alias prominently features the character Milo Rambaldi, a fictional Nostradamus-like prophet. His voice was later dubbed in. None of them can be regarded as factual or reliable. This was done with an air hose off-camera (usually below as it takes an extreme close-up of him) blowing his hair upward as he yells. He is the subject of many films and videos, including:. In some brief scenes for certain episodes, Moe would be seen with his hair standing straight in fright as he yelled in terror.

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 Stooge, typically Moe, grasps another Stooge's nose then vertically strikes the grasping fist, making the sound of a honking horn-like device. Nostradamus also never referred to a "third big war". The triple slap: a straight man slaps the faces of all three Stooges in one energetic sweep. 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. In a variant of this maneuver, one Stooge strikes his own outstretched fist with his other fist; usually, it is either Curly or Larry who is the one that does this, except after being struck, the clever trick backfires as the hand revolves downward, back and onto Curly's or Larry's own head. 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. After being struck, the hand revolves downward, back and onto another Stooge's head.

Ironically enough, the research paper included this poem as an illustrative example of how the validity of prophecies is often exaggerated. One Stooge, usually Moe, strikes his own outstretched fist with his other fist. 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. in 3-D, giving you a Stooge's POV of Moe dishing out the two-finger eyepoke!. 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!):. There were many variants to this classic move, one over the phone, and it being done in two episodes.. 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. or:.

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’. Here is an example:. 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 first Stooge then uses the index finger of each hand to jab both eyes at once. Subsequent investigation by Lemesurier ([3], pp. After a while, the other Stooge catches on and holds his palm perpendicular to the edge of his nose to block this. 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. One Stooge pokes the other in the eyes with the first and second fingers of one hand.

Once again, however, rather more sober investigation by Brind'Amour ([2, p. Examples of archetypical Stooge slapstick:. 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'. Here are some examples:. or, in a possible English translation:. Although The Three Stooges are best known for their physical comedy, the group's dialogue is also highly quotable, with many of their lines (or signature nonverbal vocalizations) having become popular catchphrases. Perhaps in frustration, the searchers now turned to quatrain I.87, which in the original 1555 edition (Albi copy) ran:. Emil Sitka
Born: December 22, 1914
Died: January 16, 1998
Stooge years: c.1971-1975
.

– which is indeed the latitude of Naples. Curly-Joe DeRita
Real Name: Joseph Wardell
Born: July 12, 1909
Died: July 3, 1993
Stooge years: 1959-1975
. In this case, the first expression may simply be a version of. Joe Besser
Born: August 12, 1907
Died: March 1, 1988
Stooge years: 1957-1959
. 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. Shemp Howard
Real Name: Samuel Horwitz
Born: March 4, 1895
Died: November 22, 1955
Stooge years: 1922-1925, 1929-1932, 1947-1955
. Lemesurier ([3], pp. Curly Howard
Real Name: Jerome Lester Horwitz
Born: October 22, 1903
Died: January 18, 1952
Stooge years: 1934-1946
.

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). Larry Fine
Real Name: Louis Feinberg
Born: October 5, 1902
Died: January 24, 1975
Stooge years: 1925-1926, 1929-1971
. '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. Moe Howard
Real Name: Harry Moses Horwitz
Born: June 19, 1897
Died: May 4, 1975
Stooge years: 1922, 1926, 1929-1975
. 145-6 under Sources). This movie was based on Michael Fleming's authorized biography on the Stooges, The Three Stooges: From Amalgamated Morons to American Icons. 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. In Spring of 2000, a TV-movie about the life and careers of the Stooges was produced for and broadcast on ABC.

With instant evidently a version of the Latin instanter ('violently, vehemently'), a reasonable English translation would thus appear to be:. Comedy III Productions, Inc., formed by Moe, Larry and Curly-Joe DeRita in 1959, is today the owner of all of the Three Stooges' trademarks and merchandising (the company is currently operated by DeRita's two stepsons). The nearest that they could come up with was quatrain VI.97, which in the original 1557 edition ran:. Throughout their career, Moe was the heart and soul of the troupe, acting as both their main creative force and business manager. In response, Nostradamus enthusiasts started searching for a Nostradamus quatrain that could be said to have done so. Curly-Joe often stated that his time with the Three Stooges were the 'best years of his life.'. Almost as soon as the event had happened, the relevant Internet sites were deluged with enquiries into whether Nostradamus had predicted the event. Curly-Joe passed away in 1993, making him the last Stooge to die.

As mentioned above, this applied most recently to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City. It's interesting to note that in 1975, we lost both Larry and Moe, but also Moe's wife of 50 years, Helen. Certainly, there is a persistent tendency to claim that 'Nostradamus predicted whatever has just happened'. However, Moe passed on a few months later, and it was inconceivable that the Three Stooges continue without a Howard, although Curly-Joe did do some live performances with a new group of Stooges in the early 1970s. 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. Several movie ideas were considered, including one called Blazing Stewardesses according to Leonard Maltin, who also uncovered a pre-production photo (the film was ultimately made with the last surviving Ritz Brothers). 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. After his death, it was decided that long-time Stooge supporting actor Emil Sitka would replace him, and be dubbed "The Middle Stooge".

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. In January 1975, Larry Fine was gone. 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 following month, he suffered a more serious stroke, which Larry did not survive. The tradition goes right back to Nostradamus' own day, and naturally does the seer himself no favors. Larry suffered another stroke in December 1974. 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). A 50-minute version of Kook's Tour was edited together from usable material and initially only made available for the home movie market (years before the popularity of home video); it has subsequently been released to DVD, though unrestored.

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. During production of the pilot, Larry suffered a paralyzing stroke, ending his acting career, as well as future plans for the TV series. 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. In 1969, the Three Stooges filmed a pilot episode for a new TV series entitled Kook's Tour which would have been a combination travelogue and sitcom that would have seen the "retired" Stooges travelling around the world, with the episodes filmed on location. Some cover a single town, others several towns in several countries. The trio also filmed 39 short comedy skits that were broadcast as introductions and closings for a 1965 animated television series based upon the comedy team. Some quatrains cover these in over-all terms; others concern a single person or small group of persons. This version of the Three Stooges went on to make a series of moderately popular full-length films during the late 1950s and through the 1960s.

The disasters include plagues, earthquakes, wars, floods, invasions, murders, droughts, battles and many other related themes. Moe quickly signed Joe DeRita as his replacement; DeRita shaved his head and became "Curly-Joe" because of his resemblance to the original Curly Howard. The bulk of the quatrains deal with disasters of various sorts. Besser's wife had had a heart attack, however, and he withdrew from the act. No fewer than five of the planets were in the same signs on both occasions. A "Stooge fandom" quickly developed, and Howard and Fine found themselves back in demand again with the public. 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. In 1959, Columbia syndicated the entire Stooges film library to television (through its TV subsidiary, Screen Gems), and the Stooges were rediscovered by the baby boomers.

The phrase d'effraieur (of terror) in fact occurs nowhere in the original printing, which merely uses the word deffraieur (defraying, hosting). Because of a production backlog, the final Stooges short, Sappy Bullfighters, did not reach theatres until 1959. 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. Columbia Pictures, the last studio still producing shorts, unceremoniously fired the trio in 1957 at the end of production of their final short, Flying Saucer Daffy. 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. Television was the new popular medium, and the Stooges were practically dinosaurs. 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. Unfortunately, the market for short subjects had all but dried up by the time Besser joined the trio.

(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.). Besser had a clause in his contract specifically prohibiting him from being hit too hard, though this restriction was lifted as Besser's tenure continued (ironically, Besser was the only "third" stooge that dared to hit Moe back). 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". Joe Besser then replaced Shemp in 1956 and 1957, appearing in 16 shorts. 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). Archived footage of Shemp, combined with new footage of his stand-in, Joe Palma (filmed from behind or with his face hidden), were used to finish the last four films on Shemp's contract. 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". Shemp Howard died of a sudden heart attack at age 60 on November 22, 1955.

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'. To add insult to injury, death paid the Stooges another visit just three years after Curly's demise. Indeed, they have seldom, if ever, been out of print. Remakes of earlier Shemp shorts occurred on a regular basis as a cost-saving tactic. Since his death, only the Prophecies have continued to be popular, but in this case they have been quite extraordinarily so. Bernds took producer Hugh McCollum with him, and Columbia Short Subjects head Jules White was left to both produce and direct the remainder of the Stooge shorts. 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 quality of the Stooge shorts took a nosedive in 1952 when director Edward Bernds was fired from Columbia Pictures.

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. The series was never picked up, although the pilot is today in the public domain and is available on home video, as is an early TV appearance from around the same time on a vaudeville-style comedy series starring Ed Wynn. The same book also describes the preparation of cosmetics. During this period, Moe, Larry, and Shemp also made a pilot for a Three Stooges television show called Jerks of All Trades in 1949. 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. With Shemp on board, the Stooges went on to appear in 77 more shorts and a mediocre feature entitled Gold Raiders (1951). We know that he wrote at least two books on medical science. He died in January, 1952.

Nostradamus was not only a diviner, but a professional healer, too. Unfortunately, Curly's condition grew worse. See also here. Shemp wanted some kind of assurance that his rejoining was indeed temporary, and that he could leave the Stooges once Curly recovered. Often he published two or even three in a single year, entitled either Almanachs (detailed predictions), Prognostications or Presages (more generalized predictions). However, he realized that Moe and Larry's careers would be finished without the Stooge act. The Almanacs - By far the most popular of his works, these were published annually from 1550 until his death. Shemp Howard was hesitant to rejoin the Stooges, as he had a successful solo career going at the time of Curly's untimely illness.

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. It was the only film that contained all three Howard brothers simultaneously (Curly's cameo appearance was recycled in the 1953 remake Booty and the Beast). 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. Curly did make one brief cameo appearance (doing his "Rrrowf! Rrrowf!" routine) in the third film after Shemp returned to the trio, Hold That Lion!, in an effort to boost his morale. The second, with 289 further prophetic verses, was printed in 1557. Brother Shemp reluctantly rejoined the act to take Curly's place. The first edition was published in 1555. Curly suffered a stroke on May 6, 1946, curtailing his output at 97 shorts.

The Prophecies - In this book he collected his major, long-term divinations. You Nazty Spy was the first Hollywood film to spoof Hitler, and was released nine months before the more famous Charlie Chaplin film The Great Dictator. 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". This 18-minute short subject starring Moe as a Hitler-like character satirized the Nazis in a period when America was still neutral and isolationist about WWII. 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. According to a published report,[1] Moe, Larry, and director Jules White considered their best film to be You Nazty Spy (1940). 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]. Jules White directed many others, and his brother Jack White directed several under the pseudonym "Preston Black".

ritually 'sleeping on it'). Del Lord directed more than three dozen of the Three Stooges shorts. 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. The Stooges went on to star in 190 film short subjects over the next twenty-three years, the longest such series in history. 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. The same year, the Three Stooges (as the Howard brothers and Fine renamed their act) signed on to appear in two-reel comedy short subjects for Columbia Pictures at just a few hundred dollars a week. 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. According to Moe Howard in his autobiography, Moe Howard and the Three Stooges, the Stooges split with Ted Healy in 1934 once and for all because of his alcoholism and abrasiveness.

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. Ted took one look at Jerome and with his long black locks and facial hair, stated he was not a character like Moe and Larry, so Jerome left the room and returned moments later with a shaved head and face, thus, Curly was born. 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. When Shemp left the act, Ted and the two remaining stooges (Moe and Larry) needed a third stooge, so Moe offered his baby brother, Jerome. 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. Fields. 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). Shemp left the act in 1931 for a career in feature films, notably as trainer Knobby Walsh in the Joe Palooka films, and in The Bank Dick with W.C.

Michel Nostradamus' – which is precisely what they were – as 'The Prophecies of M. By 1930, Ted Healy and His Stooges were appearing in Hollywood feature films, such as Soup to Nuts. (which, in French, as easily means 'The Prophecies, by M. Shemp acquired his name from his mother's attempts to pronounce his name, "Sam", in spite of her thick accent. This last is presumably why he entitled his book. Brothers Harry Moses Howard (Moe) and Samuel Howard (Shemp) (original last name Horwitz) were later joined by violinist Larry Fine (born Louis Feinberg). In translation:. The Stooges got their name and their start from a vaudeville act called Ted Healy and His Stooges (originally called "Ted Healy and His Southern Gentlemen"), which was founded in 1922.

Nostradamus, it should be remembered, denied in writing on several occasions that he was a prophet on his own account. . 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. Commonly known by their first names, Larry, Moe, & Curly (sometimes spelled "Curley"); Larry, Moe & Shemp; and other lineups became famous for their work in movies and starred in many short features that consisted of masterful ways of showcasing their extremely physical and sometimes controversial brand of slapstick comedy. Copying from the classics in particular, often without acknowledgement, and preferably from memory, was all the rage. The Three Stooges were an American comedy act in the 20th century. The whole Renaissance was based on the idea. They rarely say anything, but are occaisionally spotted in the background.

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. In the TV show The Simpsons, two regulars of Moe's Tavern are named Larry and Curly. See selected Engilsh translations from it here. In the 1950s, after numerous complaints by parents of children imitating the Stooges' eyepoke, they went on TV to demonstrate how exactly they did it safely. 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. The illusion looked real on television. 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 contact point of the "eye poke" was actually the brow bone, not the eyes.

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. She comments, "I wonder what's wrong with that man?" as she looks up, and gets the pie right in the face. The book had enjoyed considerable success in the 1520s, when it went through half-a-dozen editions (see Links below for facsimiles and translations). Finally the guest asks, "Young man, what's wrong with you? You act as if the Sword of Damocles was hanging over your head.", to which Moe replies, "Lady, you must be psychic!" and walks away. 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). One of the guests starts talking with Moe Howard, who is getting increasingly nervous as the pie starts coming loose. (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 legend of the Sword of Damocles gets mentioned in Half-Wits' Holiday (1946), when a pie get thrown up and stuck to the ceiling during a party.

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. Stooges folklore has it that the Soviet government asked permission for the aging Stooges shorts to be shown on Soviet TV, and that the Stooges declined, their theory being that the Soviets planned to use the Stooges as Cold War propaganda, i.e., evidence that the American people were pathologically violent and/or stupid. 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. Legend has it that the eye poke started when Shemp accused Larry of cheating in a card game, and Shemp poked him in the eyes! Moe, watching all this, laughed so hard he fell off his chair and through his patio glass door. 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 appearance of the Second Doctor in the British science fiction series, Doctor Who, played by Patrick Troughton, was often compared to that of Moe Howard, although it's not known if this was intentional. 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 folk trio Modern Man perform the song "Moe" (written by pianist/singer George Wurzbach), about a boy whose father looks like Moe Howard.

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". An episode of MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch featured the stooges, who were brought to the present age via a time machine invented by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to battle the Three Tenors. 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. Another Vulcan, who is depicted as being familiar with human pop culture, agrees with the assessment. 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. One of the Vulcans is annoyed at being nicknamed "Moe" because of his resemblance to "something called a 'Stooge'". 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. The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Carbon Creek" features a group of Vulcans stranded in a small American town in the 1950s.

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. In Louis Sachar's children's novel The Boy Who Lost His Face, a group of three children (one of which being a girl called Mo) is nicknamed after the Stooges. This was followed by a much shorter codicil. Doctor John Zoidberg from the Futurama TV show makes Curly's trademark "Woo, woo, woo" sound when running away from trouble (sometimes after squirting ink), and sometimes makes Shemp's trademark "Heep, heep, heep" sound when frustrated. 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. (Source: http://www.2112.net/powerwindows/RushInspirations.htm; and...first-hand experience at multiple Rush concerts). By 1566 Nostradamus' gout, which had plagued him painfully for many years and made movement very difficult, turned into dropsy. A picture of the Stooges and their names is included in the Counterparts linernotes, and they are included in the "assistance, inspiration, comic relief" listing.

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. The Stooges television series theme music, a derivative of "Three Blind Mice", was used by Rush as introductory music during the Signals through Hold Your Fire tours, and again for the Vapor Trails tour. In fact, his relations with the Church as a prophet and healer were always excellent. Tribute to a famous trio by...another famous trio: the legendary Canadian rock group Rush. 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. The movie was executive produced by Mel Gibson. 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. Moe was played by Paul Ben-Victor, Larry by Evan Handler, Shemp by John Kassir, and Curly by Michael Chiklis.

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. The Stooges were brought back to life (so to speak) in a 2000 TV movie. Catherine de Médicis, the queen consort of King Henri II of France, was one of Nostradamus' greatest admirers. Homer Simpson from the TV show The Simpsons imitates Curly occasionally, while character Mr Burns suffers from 'Three Stooges Syndrome', where he has every disease known to man, but survives because they all cancel each other out. 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. The Super NES RPG Final Fantasy VI features as bosses the "Three Dream Stooges" (also named Larry, Curly and Moe), who entered Cyan Garamonde's mind while he was facing his inner demons in Doma Castle. The quatrains, published in a book titled Les Propheties ('The Prophecies'), received a mixed reaction when they were published. The King of the Hill episode "A-Fire Fighting We Will Go" contains several references to the Stooges.

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. Larry", Pinky and The Brain are inexplicably joined by a third wheel Larry in their plan to get into the White House posing as wallpaperers, whose unwelcome addition to the team causes Stooge-style antics to ensue. 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 an episode of the cartoon Pinky and the Brain entitled "Pinky & The Brain And.. 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. These three guards are none other than the three stooges. 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. In the computer game remake of Quest for Glory 1, three guards attempt to kill the hero in the Brigand fortress.

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). In the 1995 computer game Space Quest 6, there was a minigame called Stooge Fighter, which was a humorous tribute to the stooges. He was so encouraged by its success that he decided to write one or more annually. The game was also ported to the NES in 1989 by Activision, and then to Game Boy Advance in 2002 Metro 3D (M3). Following popular trends, he wrote an almanac for 1550, for the first time Latinizing his name to 'Nostradamus'. A 1987 computer game by Cinemaware, The Three Stooges, has the stooges trying to save an orphanage where they engage in wacky adventures and engage in some of their classic comic scenes. After a further visit to Italy, Nostredame began to move away from medicine and towards the occult. The 1994 Song, "Two Reelers" by Frank Black tells the story of the four "original" stooges and Jules White, and protests the dismissal of the Three Stooges as mere low-brow slapstick: "If all you see is violence/Well then I make a plea in their defense/Don't you know they speak vaudevillian?".

Parts of the network remain today: thanks to much larger supplementary canals, there is even a hydroelectric station in Salon itself. Among these: the blood flowing in the basement in Evil Dead (an homage to 1940's A-Plumbing We Will Go), the fight with his hand in the kitchen in Evil Dead 2, and the fight with the skeleton hands and with the little Ashes in Army of Darkness. 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 Evil Dead film series has a number of stooge inspired moments. 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 1985 film, Stoogemania tells the story of an obsessed Three Stooges fan, and includes clips of their classic Shorts. 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. The 1984 song "The Curly Shuffle," recorded by Jump N'The Saddle Band, expressed admiration for the Stooges and included several Curly imitations in the chorus.

After their death he continued to travel, passing through France and possibly Italy. Kook's Tour (1970). In 1534, however, his wife and children died, presumably from the plague. The Outlaws Is Coming (1965). There Nostredame married a woman whose name is still in dispute (possibly Henriette d'Encausse), but who bore him two children. 4 for Texas (1963) (Cameo). In 1531 he was invited by Jules-César Scaliger, a leading Renaissance scholar, to come to Agen. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) (Cameo).

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. The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze (1963). 25 of Lemesurier [2] under Sources) still exists in the faculty library. The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962). The hand-written expulsion document (BIU Montpellier, Register S 2 folio 87 – see facsimile on p. The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962). 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. Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961).

In 1529, after some years as an apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959). 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. Columbia Laff Hour (1956). It is known, however, that at the age of fifteen Nostredame entered the University of Avignon to study for his baccalaureate. Gold Raiders (1951). 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. Swing Parade of 1946 (1946).

His known siblings included Delphine, Jehan (c.1507-77), Pierre, Hector, Louis (b.1522), Bertrand, Jean and Antoine (b.1523). Rockin' in the Rockies (1945). His adult religious leanings suggest, however, that his upbringing was devoutly Catholic. Yates (1943) (scenes deleted). 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. Good Luck, Mr. The names of Nostredame's known forebears seem to reflect this. My Sister Eileen (1942) (Cameo).

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. Time Out for Rhythm (1941). 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). Start Cheering (1938). 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 Captain Hates the Sea (1934). . Hollywood Party (1934).

Interest in the work of this prominent figure of the French Renaissance is still considerable, especially in the media and in popular culture. Fugitive Lovers (1934). 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'. Myrt and Marge (1933). Nostradamus, (December 14, 1503 – July 2, 1566) born Michel de Nostredame, is one of the world's most famous authors of prophecies. Dancing Lady (1933). 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. Meet the Baron (1933).

Nostradamus at The Internet Movie Database (2000). Turn Back the Clock (1933). Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow at The Internet Movie Database (1981). Soup to Nuts (1930). Ironically, the actual song is mournful. The verse portion of "Listen to the Mockingbird", played in a comic way, complete with sounds of cuckoo birds and such.

Another version was played fast all the way through. "Three Blind Mice", beginning as a slow but straightforward presentation, often breaking into a "jazzy" style before ending. Larry: OW!!. Moe: Yeah, an eye fer an eye! (Moe immediately pokes Larry in the eyes).

Larry: (points out) That's an eye. Moe: (pointing to his left eye) What's that?. Curly: YEOW!!. (Moe immediately pokes Curly in the eyes.).

Curly: (pointing out Moe's first and second fingers) One, two!. Moe: (holding out his hand) Pick out two fingers. "Poifect!". (after Moe kicks his right foot causing his right fist to hit his chin).

Moe: "This!". Curly and/or Larry: "What happens now?". (After Moe gets Larry or Curly to put his right fist up to his chin and puts his right knee up to his right elbow)

    . "Yeah, I got a tape woim, 'n' tha's good enough fer 'im." (any of the Stooges).

    "Buint toast 'n' a rotten egg?" (any of the Stooges). "I'll take some buint toast 'n' a rotten egg." (any of the Stooges)

      . Curly and/or Larry: "Oh, I just thought I'd ask.". Moe: "Nothin', what about it?!".

      Curly and/or Larry: "Wait a minute! What're you gonna do?". "Get out (of here)! (Moe to Larry, Curly, or Shemp)

        . (Double-slaps Larry after that) "GO ON!". "Pappy!" (Moe gets on his knees to Larry)
          .

          "Mammy!" (Larry gets on his knees to Moe). (After Moe tells them to do something). "I'm tryin' to think, but nothin' happens!" (Curly). (Moe pokes them in the eyes again).

          Curly and/or Larry: "I got my eyes closed.". Moe: "What'sa matter?". Curly and/or Larry: "I can't see! I can't see!". (After Moe pokes them in the eyes)

            .

            "Hold Hands, You Love Birds" (Emil Sitka). "Hey Lorna, How ya do'in?" (Shemp introduction to Lorna Doone). "Meep-meep-meep-meep!". "Vee-vee-vee-vee!".

            "Bee-bee-bee-bee!". "Hee-hee-hee-hee!". "Heep-heep-heep-heep!". "Mee-mee-mee-mee!" (Shemp, frightened or surprised): Uttered very fast, difficult to transcribe exactly; some other attempts:

              .

              (or "Woop-oop-oop-oop-oop-oop!"). (or "Whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop!"). "Woo-woo-woo-woo!" (Curly)

                . Howard." (over the public address system in a hospital).

                Fine, Dr. Howard, Dr. "Calling Dr. "Okay, buddy boy" (Curly-Joe DeRita).

                "Come on and fight like a man!" (Joe Besser). "that's good for you! "that's good for you! (get's hit by something) that's bad for me! (Joe Besser). "You crazy you!" (Joe Besser). "Oh, cut it ouuuuuut!" (Joe Besser).

                "That huuuuurts!" (Joe Besser). "Not so haaaaaard!" (Joe Besser). "Cotton!!" (Stooges to each other whenever performing surgery). "Seenophran!" (Moe, demanding another surgical instrument).

                "Anakanapuner!" (Moe, demanding a surgical instrument). "I'm sorry, Moe, it was an accident!" (Larry). "Say a few syllables!" (Curly to Moe when trying to wake him). Yuhhh-uh-uh-uh!.

                Other attempts: "Nyuhhh-uh-uh!". "Nyahhh-ah-ah!" (Stooges frightened)

                  . "Hey! Wake up and go to sleep!" (Moe). "What's the big idea?!" (Moe).

                  "Niagara Falls! Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch..." (Moe or Larry). "Hello (Moe, low tone), Hellooo (Larry, a note higher, with Moe still holding his 'o'), Hellooooo (Curly, another note higher, with Larry and Moe both holding their 'o's)!". "I'll make a note of it!" (Larry or Curly). "Remind me to kill you later!" (Moe, to others)

                    .

                    "I'll moider ya!" (Moe). "Hey, porcupine!" (Moe, to Larry). "I'm a victim of soicumstance" (circumstance) (Curly). "Oh, you're an intelligent imbecile!" (Moe).

                    "Oh, a wise guy, eh?" (Curly). "You knucklehead!" (Moe, to others). (Sometimes Moe on some Shemp and Joe shorts). Other attempt: (Ruff! Ruff!)

                      .

                      "Rrrowf! Rrrowf!" (Curly) (when angry or defiant)

                        . "Mmmmmmmmh!" (Curly) (when frustrated; difficult to transcribe exactly). "La-la-la, la-la-la..." (Curly, humming). "Yauauaua!" (Curly).

                        "You nitwit!" (Moe, to others). "You imbecile!" (Moe, to the others). "Soitenly!" (certainly) (Curly). "Hey, Moe! Hey, Larry!" (Curly, Shemp).

                        "Why I oughta..." (Moe). "Spread Out!" (Moe, to others). "Come 'ere!" (Moe, to others). "Why you...!" (Moe, to others).

                        "A hot stake is better than a cold chop." (Curly, on why he would rather be burned at the stake instead of decapitated). "Ngah-ngah-ngah!" (Curly frightened). "Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!" (Curly laughing). Sitka was officially named a member of the Stooges following Larry Fine's stroke, but never got to appear in a movie with the group.

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