NOSTRADAMUS (1503-1566), the assumed name of Micr[EL DE NOTREDAME, a French astrologer, who was descended from a family of Jewish origin, and was born at St Remi in Provence 13th December 1503. After completing a course of study in humanity and philosophy at Avignon, he entered the school of medicine at Montpellier, where he eventually took the degree of doctor of medicine in 1529. Shortly afterwards he settled at Agen, and in 1544 he established himself at Salon near Aix in Provence. Both at Aix and at Lyons he acquired great distinction by his devoted and skilful labours during terrible outbreaks of the plague, and he was already well known before he appeared in the character of a seer. In 1555 he published at Lyons a book of rhymed prophecies under the title of Centuries, which secured him the notice of the superstitious Catherine de' Medici of France ; and in 1558 he published a second and enlarged edition with a dedication to the king. The seeming fulfilment of some of his predictions greatly increased his influence, and Charles IX. named him his physician in ordinary. He died 2d July 1566.
The Centuries of Nostradamus have been frequently reprinted, and have been made the subject of many commentaries. In 1781 they were condemned by the papal court, being supposed to con- . fain a prediction of the fall of the papacy. Nostradamus was the author of a number of smaller treatises. See especially Bareste, Nostradamus (Paris, 1840).