The end is near. At least that's what the doomsday predictions from Nostradamus, the Book of Revelation, the Mayan "long count" calendar and others would have us believe. Many unsettling forecasts of global destruction even pinpoint the year: 2012. How worried should we be? If these prophecies are accurate and inevitable, is there any way to avoid or at least postpone them from coming true? In Nostradamus Effect, a timely new 12-episode series, History examines various end-of-days prophecies that loom large in the 21st century.

Nostradamus Effect - Netflix

Type: Reality

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2009-09-09

Nostradamus Effect - Nostradamus - Netflix

Michel de Nostredame (depending on the source, 14 or 21 December 1503 – 2 July 1566), usually Latinised as Nostradamus was a French physician and reputed seer, who is best known for his book Les Propheties, a collection of 942 poetic quatrains allegedly predicting future events. The book was first published in 1555 and has rarely been out of print since his death. Nostradamus's family was originally Jewish, but had converted to Catholicism before he was born. He studied at the University of Avignon, but was forced to leave after just over a year when the university closed due to an outbreak of the plague. He worked as an apothecary for several years before entering the University of Montpellier, hoping to earn a doctorate, but was almost immediately expelled after his work as an apothecary (a manual trade forbidden by university statutes) was discovered. He first married in 1531, but his wife and two children were killed in 1534 during another plague outbreak. He fought alongside doctors against the plague before remarrying to Anne Ponsarde, who bore him six children. He wrote an almanac for 1550 and, as a result of its success, continued writing them for future years as he began working as an astrologer for various wealthy patrons. Catherine de' Medici became one of his foremost supporters. His Les Propheties, published in 1555, relied heavily on historical and literary precedent and initially received mixed reception. He suffered from severe gout towards the end of his life, which eventually developed in edema. He died on 2 July 1566. Many popular authors have retold apocryphal legends about his life. In the years since the publication of his Les Propheties, Nostradamus has attracted a large number of supporters, who, along with much of the popular press, credit him with having accurately predicted many major world events. Most academic sources reject the notion that Nostradamus had any genuine supernatural prophetic abilities and maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus's quatrains are the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate). These academics argue that Nostradamus's predictions are characteristically vague, meaning they could be applied to virtually anything, and are useless for determining whether their author had any real prophetic powers. They also point out that English translations of his quatrains are almost always of extremely poor quality, based on later manuscripts, produced by authors with little knowledge of sixteenth-century French, and often deliberately mistranslated to make the prophecies fit whatever events the translator believed they were supposed to have predicted.

Nostradamus Effect - Seer - Netflix

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 evidently thought otherwise. Catherine de' Medici, wife of King Henry II of France, was one of Nostradamus's 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, Queen Catherine had made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to her son, the young King Charles IX of France. Some accounts of Nostradamus's life state that he was afraid of being persecuted for heresy by the Inquisition, but neither prophecy nor astrology fell in this bracket, and he would have been in danger only if he had practised magic to support them. In 1538 he came into conflict with the Church in Agen after an Inquisitor visited the area looking for Anti-Catholic views. His brief imprisonment at Marignane in late 1561 was solely because he had violated a recent royal decree by publishing his 1562 almanac without the prior permission of a bishop.

After another visit to Italy, Nostredame began to move away from medicine and toward the “occult,” although evidence suggests that he remained a Roman Catholic and was opposed to the Protestant Reformation. But it seems he could have dabbled in horoscopes, necromancy, scrying, and good luck charms such as the hawthorn rod. Following popular trends, he wrote an almanac for 1550, for the first time Latinising his name from Nostredame to Nostradamus. He was so encouraged by the almanac's success that he decided to write one or more annually. Taken together, they are known to have contained at least 6,338 prophecies, as well as at least eleven annual calendars, all of them starting on 1 January and not, as is sometimes supposed, in March. It was mainly in response to the almanacs that the nobility and other prominent persons from far away soon started asking for horoscopes and “psychic” advice from him, though he generally expected his clients to supply the birth charts on which these would be based, rather than calculating them himself as a professional astrologer would have done. When obliged to attempt this himself on the basis of the published tables of the day, he frequently made errors and failed to adjust the figures for his clients' place or time of birth. He then began his project of writing a book of one thousand mainly French quatrains, which constitute the largely undated prophecies for which he is most famous today. Feeling vulnerable to opposition on religious grounds, however, he devised a method of obscuring his meaning by using “Virgilianised” syntax, word games and a mixture of other languages such as Greek, Italian, Latin, and Provençal. For technical reasons connected with their publication in three installments (the publisher of the third and last installment seems to have been unwilling to start it in the middle of a “Century,” or book of 100 verses), the last fifty-eight quatrains of the seventh “Century” have not survived in any extant edition.

Nostradamus Effect - References - Netflix