The prophecies of Nostradamus.
Michel de Nostredame (also known as Nostradamus), a French physician and astrologer who was born on December 1503 in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Provence, France. He is also known a reputed and prolific seer.
He published a collection of prophecies that have since become widely famous and is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555.
According to his followers, he predicted a lot of things that have actually happened in the last few centuries; including the French Revolution, Adolf Hitler's rise to power and the 9/11 attack.
Since the publication of the book, which has rarely been out of print since his death, Nostradamus has attracted a following that, along with much of the popular press, credits him with predicting many major world events.
Most academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus' quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power.
His book titled Les Propheties (The Prophecies), received a mixed reaction when it was published. Some people thought Nostradamus was a servant of evil, a fake, or insane, while many of the elite evidently thought otherwise.
Catherine de' Medici, wife of King Henry II of France, was one of Nostradamus's greatest admirers. After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted at unnamed threats to the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain them and to draw up horoscopes for her children.
At the time, Nostradamus feared that he would be beheaded, but by the time of his death in 1566, Queen Catherine had made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to her son, the young King Charles IX of France. Since his death, only the Prophecies have continued to be popular.
Nostradamus has been credited, for the most part in hindsight, with predicting numerous events in world history, from the Great Fire of London, and the rise of Napoleon and Adolf Hitler, to the Challenger Explosion, to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Many do agree, though, that particular predictions refer, for example, to the French Revolution, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, both world wars, and the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There is also an evident consensus among popular authors that he predicted whatever major event had just happened at the time of each book's publication, from the Apollo moon landings, through the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, to the events of 9/11.
Possibly the first of these books to become popular in English was Henry C. Roberts' The Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus of 1947, reprinted at least seven times during the next forty years, which contained both transcriptions and translations, with brief commentaries.
The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus served as the basis for the documentary, The Man Who Saw Tomorrow and both did indeed mention possible generalized future attacks on New York (via nuclear weapons), though not specifically on the World Trade Center or on any particular date.
Long before the French Revolution, upon re-digging of his grave, a brass plaque was found on his chest, correctly stating the date and time when his grave would be opened and cursing the exhumers.
The prophecies retold and expanded by Nostradamus figured largely in popular culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. As well as being the subject of hundreds of books (both fiction and nonfiction), Nostradamus's life has been depicted in several films and videos, and his life and writings continue to be a subject of media interest.
Interestingly, there have also been several well-known Internet hoaxes, where quatrains in the style of Nostradamus have been circulated by e-mail as the real thing. The best-known examples concern the collapse of the World Trade Center in the 11 September attacks.
With the arrival of the year 2012, Nostradamus's prophecies started to be co-opted (especially by the History Channel) as evidence suggesting that the end of the world was imminent, notwithstanding the fact that his book never mentions the end of the world, let alone the year 2012.
His prophecies, which he wrote in four-line verses are of course open to interpretation - but here are some verses that could possibly shed a little light on what we can expect in 2017:
For example, there is evidence of him predicting Trump's presidential win, whom he referred to as 'the great shameless, audacious bawler'.
The prediction of 'Floods and drought for forty years and the rainbow will not be seen and there will be great floods when it is seen', could relate to the recent devastating earthquakes, floods and hurricanes that we are witnessing in the world.
While 'Thunder and conflict - The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt. An evil deed, foretold by the bearer of a petition' could relate to the war of words amongst the US, North Korea and Iran.
According to the prediction another falls at night time. 'Conflict at Reims, London, and pestilence in Tuscany - A battle at sunset - Shortly before sun set, battle is engaged - A great nation is uncertain'. 'A fox will be elected without speaking one word, appearing saintly in public living on barley bread, afterwards he will suddenly become a tyrant, putting his foot on the throats of the greatest men'.
'A weakened West-Twice put up and twice cast down, the East will also weaken the West. Its adversary after several battles, chased by sea will fail at time of need'.
What do the above verses mean is unclear and will these predictions of Nostradamus come true, only time will tell.