Could This Scholar Really Predict The Future?

Dylan Shea, Journalist

There are many figures in the world that claim that they can predict the future. Often, they make claims such as the end of the world is among us or claim to see outcomes in a dream. Most predictions are false or work off loose corroboration. However, an astrologer and physician, named Nostradamus, made many predictions about the future. Some of his predictions are very vague, while others are more specific. From predicting The Great Fire of London to the reign of Adolf Hitler; many have found his predictions compelling, and therefore, believe that Nostradamus was capable of predicting the future.

Before looking into the predictions of Nostradamus it is important to understand his background and who he was. Nostradamus was born in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France in 1503. He became a physician and treated plague victims in Italy and France. Later down the line in 1555, he wrote a book known as The Prophecies where he published predictions of the future. Before writing the predictions, Nostradamus was charged with heresy in 1538 after an offhand remark about a religious statue. After this, he went on traveling and visiting mysterious places. Nostradamus is said to have experienced a psychic awakening while away from France. He then later published The Prophecies, which many regards as accurate predictions of the future.

Some of Nostradamus’ predictions seem very or at least closely accurate to an event in history that happened long after he was alive. For example, many believe Nostradamus predicted Adolf Hitler and The Third Reich. In The Prophecies, it states, “From the depths of the West of Europe, A young child will be born of poor people, He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop; His fame will increase towards the realm of the East. Also … Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers, The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister. Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn, When the child of Germany observes nothing.” This prediction is enticing and seems to fit perfectly with Adolf Hitler. Or how about the death of Henry II. He was the king of France and killed in a joust in 1559. The prediction states, “The young lion will overcome the older one, On the field of combat in a single battle; He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage, Two wounds made one, then he dies a cruel death.” Although his predictions are seemingly accurate, many skeptics believe that they are simply coincidences. Some say that it only makes sense that, after writing so many predictions, it makes sense that some of them would land. Others say that every prediction is too vague and does not accurately represent the events.

I interviewed a few people, and here is what they had to say. When asked, “Do you believe in Nostradamus’ predictions?” Jeremy Powers who is a senior at Ipswich High School said, “No way, I mean I guess it’s possible they could be real, but I say Nah. I feel like there needs to be more to it, like dates or something.” I asked the same question to Bridget Baker, also a student at Ipswich High School. She said, “No, they are obviously just coincidences, I could write a bunch of vague predictions and at least some of them have to come true.” No one I asked seemed to believe the idea that Nostradamus was able to predict the future.

It is understandable that many wouldn’t believe Nostradamus’ prophecies. Even after extensive research, I find it hard to believe them as well. Personally, I don’t feel there is enough to prove that the predictions fit their corresponding events. While I do feel it is a little eerie how accurate some of them seem to be, I am going to have to side with Jeremy, Bridget, and many other skeptics. The obscure predictions that Nostradamus wrote in The Prophecies 460 years ago are a mystery that many will argue for millenniums. Perhaps as time goes on, more and more of Nostradamus’ predictions will coincide with events to happen in the future. Who knows what the prophet Nostradamus really meant by his predictions or if they are truly accurate or not, but they sure haven’t and will continue to not go unnoticed.