Saturday, September 14, 2013

Nostradamus: The Renaissance man

History remembers Nostradamus mostly for his uncanny gift of prophecy. This famous talent never dominated his attention. Along with being a noted doctor, capable of curing entire cities of plague, Nostradamus was a consummate gourmet and creator of fruit preservatives. His recipe for quince jelly earned him the praise of the Papal legate of Avignon for its nearly heavenly sweetness.

Nostradamus was also a master astrologer. The wealthy and noble-born of Europe beat the path to his door for horoscopes. High-born women of his day rushed to his residence in Salon de Provence to seek his advice on cosmetics. The author of prophetic works was also a noted translator of classics into French. He wrote a comprehensive book on the doctors and pharmacists he met throughout his travels in Southern Europe called Trakté des Fardemens. Often he would stay as a guest of the few doctors and pharmacists he respected, collaborating with them to cure the sick by day, becoming their eager pupil by night in occult instruction. These men, like himself, belonged to families of ex-Jews participating in an underground network of alchemists and cabalists seeking answers to mysteries beyond the absolutes preached in the outer Christian world.

Portrait of Nostradamus Making Predictions
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