Nostradamus was born Michel de Nostradame in 1503 in France. He studied to become a doctor, and in those days doctors also had to study astrology. Nostradamus liked his studies in astrology. When Europe was struck by the bubonic plague, Nostradamus was able to cure many people while other doctors failed. Yet, he was unable to save his wife and children from the sickness. People turned against Nostradamus and he was almost put on trial by the church. He was forced to flee his home, but a decade later he made a name for himself as a prophet. No one knows how Nostradamus was able to predict the future but he is the most famous prophet to ever have lived. Wary of further trouble with the church Nostradamus wrote his predictions in verse, called quatrains because they were each four lines long. These quatrains were put into books called The Centuries, but they are hard to read because Nostradamus wrote in several languages and in riddles. He predicted with strange accuracy the death of France's Henry II. The young lion shall overcome the old In warlike fields in a single duel; In a cage of gold he will pierce his eyes, Two knells one, then die a cruel death. In 1559, four years after Nostradamus wrote those words, Henry II, the Old Lion, faced a knight who called himself the Young Lion in a jousting tournament. King Henry wore a golden helmet (the cage of gold). The lance the Young Lion used splintered and pierced the king. One piece went through his eye (he will pierce his eye) into his brain and killed him. A second (Two knells one) piece went into his throat. Hundreds of years before it happened, he predicted the Russian revolution: The Slavic people in a warlike hour will be so highly lifted up by their ideals, that they will change a prince And bring forth a person of lowly birth to rule. But many believe Nostradamus wrote so many predictions, and in such an unclear way, that people could really find a verse to fit anything. He also got things very wrong. He predicted the world would end in 1999, and here we are. But there are astonishing anecdotes about his life. As the story goes, Nostradamus was visiting a farmer by the name of Florinville who had two pigs, a black one and a white one. Florinville asked Nostradamus to predict which pig would be eaten for dinner that night. Nostradamus said the black pig. The farmer secretly ordered the chef to prepare the white pig. At dinner the farmer asked Nostradamus which pig he was eating and he again replied that they were eating the black one. Florinville called on the chef, who replied the guests had eaten the black pig because farm dogs had chewed on the white one. Kings and queens sought Nostradamus's advice He managed to predict his own death and the date on which his grave would be disturbed.