Nostradamus

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"Since his death only the Prophecies have continued to be popular, but in this case they have been quite extraordinarily so. Over two hundred editions of them have appeared in that time, together with over 2,000 commentaries. Their popularity seems to be partly due to the fact that their vagueness and lack of dating make it easy to quote them selectively after every major dramatic event and retrospectively claim them as 'hits' (see Nostradamus in popular culture)."
"Skeptics such as James Randi suggest that his reputation as a prophet is largely manufactured by modern-day supporters who fit his words to events that have either already occurred or are so imminent as to be inevitable, a process sometimes known as 'retroactive clairvoyance' (postdiction). There is no evidence in the academic literature to suggest that any Nostradamus quatrain has ever been interpreted as predicting a specific event before it occurred, other than in vague, general terms that could equally apply to any number of other events. In particular, no quatrain suggests, as is often claimed by books and films on the alleged Mayan Prophecy, that the world will end in December 2012."
  • Published almanacs from 1550-1566 containing at least 6,338 prophecies.
  • Produced horoscopes for clients.
  • Wrote 1,000 obscure prophetic quatrains in The Prophecies (1555-1568). 942 survive. Most not original with him, but drawn from many other sources.
  • Practiced the "medicine" of the day.
  • Became very wealthy.