March 2018 Historical Book of the Month
This month’s book pick is The True Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus by Nostradamus, translated by Theophilus de Garencières 1672, 1st edition.
Nostradamus is the Latinized name of Michel de Nostredame, a French astrologer, physician, and prophet. He is famous for his prophecies in his publication Centuries, which was originally published in his native French in 1555.
The True Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus, or Centuries, is a collection of quatrains in groupings of a hundred which foretell events of all manner of calamity and historical/political resonance. However, the predictions are vague, do not follow chronological order, and were written in a mix of French, Greek, Latin, and Occitan, and critics argue that this lack of specificity allows them to be applied to multitudes of events. On the other hand, this absence of linguistic continuity and use of cryptic poetic verse to express his prophecies is seen by some scholars as his efforts to evade the Inquisition.
This first edition English edition was translated by Theophilus de Garencières, also a French apothecary and physician, who lived and practiced medicine in London, England.
It’s easy to see what drew Theophilus and so many others to Nostradamus’ book of prophecies. Anything from the age when medicine was “the healing arts” feels mystical and gives off major Hogwarts vibes. View a digitized copy through Google Books.
Nostradamus. (2017, December 14). Retrieved December 19, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus
Les Propheties. (2017, November 12). Retrieved December 19, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Propheties
Theophilus de Garencières. (2017, December 04). Retrieved December 19, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophilus_de_Garenci%C3%A8res
Nostradamus, M. (1672). The True Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus (T. D. Garencières, Trans.). London: Ratcliffe.
Mikkelson, D. (Ed.). (2016, September 09). FALSE: Nostradamus and 9/11. Retrieved December 19, 2017, from https://www.snopes.com/rumors/nostradamus.asp
-Veronica Franco, Library Intern