Nostradamus (Michel de Nostredame) : biography
On 14th December of 1503 in French city Saint-Remy was born a boy called Michel. His parents, a notary public Jacques de Nostredame and Renee de Saint-Remy, were Jewish in origins, but they became Christian, not only because of their views, but because they had to do that according to the royal decree. So the childhood of the boy was spent in the atmosphere of secret activity of maintaining Jewish religious canons. His ancestors of his father’s and his mother’s lines, showed their inclination for mathematics and medicine, having success at those areas. The representatives of the boy’s father’s family were always known for their prophetical gift.
Upbringing the child since the infancy years was the deal of the two boy’s grandfathers. They were known to be comprehensively educated people. Thanks to the grandfathers the boy could speak Latin, Greek and Hebrew, he also mastered the basics of medicine and folk traditions of healing. The grandfathers introduced the boy to the secret sciences, which were cabbalism and alchemy. But the areas in which the future prophet showed his best results were astrology and mathematics. His relatives even called the young member of the family “a little stargazer”. At the age of fourteen, after the death of his grandfather de Saint-Remy, Michael was sent to Avignon, where he studied the humanities sciences, including philosophy and rhetoric. But in a year there started a plague epidemic in the city and the boy gave up his studies, making up his mind that he had to become a doctor in order to find a good way of healing that awful disease. So, he continued educating himself. Judging by his own writing notes, it could be found out that Michael spent a few years travelling around with the aim of learning medical science.
In 1525 Michel de Nostredame entered the University of Montpellier, the medical faculty of which was well-known in the whole Europe. However, pretty soon Nostredame realized that his own knowledge of medicine were almost similar to the knowledge of the professors of the university. In addition to that the common sense and his own intuition prompted Michael that many methods of medical treatment, which were accepted at those times, were mostly useless and sometimes even harmful. However, Nostredame did need the diploma. So, having studied there for three years, the young man became the bachelor and got the license for medical treatment. After that he left for province in order to study bubonic plague which raged in France those years. That young doctor was very much different from the others. He paid no attention to the success of the masters of medicine and their scornful attitude to his youth. He worked using his own ways of treating. His guides were logics, common sense and his own experience. He was disappointed with the methods of his colleagues pretty soon, but his own methods, otherwise, gave the surprising results.
Michel de Nostredame managed to stop the epidemic of bubonic plague in several French towns, including Toulouse, Carcassonne, Bordeaux and Nardona. Instead of using generally accepted bloodletting, that was only weakening the victims of plague, giving away their last energy, he prescribed drinking spring water and breathing at fresh air. Having had succeeded at pharmacy chemistry, Michael formulated a plague remedy indeed. He made some herbal composition, which was meant to be held in mouth in order not to get infected.
The remedy which was formed as pink pills, was gave by the doctor to people at streets. While giving them he informed people about elementary rules of hygiene on passing. The wonder-working strength of the remedy was described in legends. However, the formulations, which remained till the nowadays, didn’t contain any unknown ingredients, which had not been used in the medical practice of the 16th century. The modern research showed that the “pink pills”, formulated by the young doctor, could not protect from being infected or cure the plague. Michael de Nostredame didn’t invent a new remedy for the plague, but his presence and advice placed hope in the hearts of people. The most important thing was that people started to follow the rules of hygiene. It was known that people of those times didn’t pay my attention to such rules. That was way following the hygiene rules steadily prevented the infection to spread.
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