Nostradamus is a French Jew who lived in France in the 16th century. He made a lot of predictions, including the two World Wars, the fall of Russia and many believe the World Trade Center attack.
18 of his 950 quatrains refer to the 3rd World War. Some Nostradamus experts had given the date for the start of the third world war as mid - 1999, referring to the Balkan conflict in Kosovo. The experts obviously misinterpreted the quatrains. After the 11 September 2001 their attention turned to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
Born Michel de Notredame on 14 December 1503 in St Remy, France, Nostradamus was the oldest of five sons. His grandfather, taught him Latin, Greek, Hebrew, mathematics and astrology at an early age. In 1529 Nostradamus received a medical degree and became physician-in-ordinary to Charles IX during the bubonic plague. He is assumed to have had extraordinary healing abilities.
Nostradamus was in his late 40s when he started having of the future. He began to document his visions in a mixture of Lain, French, and Greek quatrains. His famous Centuries were published in 1558.
Nostradamus was married twice, losing his first wife and two children to the plague. He died on 2 July 1566. "Centuries" was translated into English in 1672. In 1781 it was banned by the Roman Catholic Church. Ironically, in 1553, when Nostradamus encountered a group of Franciscan monks, he threw himself on his knees, clutching at the garment of one of the monks, Felice Peretti. When asked why he had done this he replied that he must yield "before his Holiness." Nineteen years after the death of Nostradamus, Peretti became Pope Sixtus V.
The Nostradamus experts say he predicted about the Balkan war. The war prophecy is reserved for someone whom Nostradamus refers to as "the tyrant." He predicted that the Slavs will "change their prince" and "raise an army in the mountains, " suggesting a guerilla war. He speaks of "when the north pole is united", and there are many geographical references to the Balkans, such as Greece, Italy and the Mediterranean.
The war is linked to when the "eagle" (United States) and the "cock" (France) stand together. There also is specific reference to the time when England, Poland and Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) "form a new alliance." The former Eastblock countries recently joined NATO.
He predicted that the Allies will win, that the war will be protracted, lasting seven months, and that it may go beyond the Balkans, toward the north, but that after the war there will be "peace on earth for a long time."
The predictions of Nostradamus seemed to be confirmed by other seers, including Nicolaas van Rensburg, the famous South African seer who lived 1862 to 1926. At the turn of the 20th Century Van Rensburg had also predicted the use of electricity, the massacre of six million Jews, the Chernobyl disaster, the rise and fall of Russia, and the European Union - in the last two instances accurately describing the flags before they were designed. Of the third world war, he predicted that England would left weakened, while Germany would rise to become the world's most powerful nation.
What the experts say Nostradamus predicted about the WTC attack "In the year of the new century and nine months, from the sky will come a great king of terror. The sky will burn at 45 degrees... fire approaches the great new city... there will be thunder... The third big war will begin when the city is burning."
So it is quoted among rumour mongers. The facts are
Nostradamus appears not to have made predictions about the World Trade Centre attack or, at least, none that could easily be understood from the quatrains. He did not mention "the new century, " or "nine months" and New York is not at 45 degrees; the Manhattan latitude is 40° 47' N.
Of course, not only have the "experts" on the prophets not always been correct - the seers themselves have not always been quite so accurate in their forecasts. In fact, many predictions have missed the mark.
Time will tell if the Kosovo conflict or, indeed, the World Trade Center attack had put the spark to a bigger barrel. As for the end of the world... Nostradamus predicted it to be the year 3786 or 3797, depending on which Nostradamus expert you believe.