Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Nostradamus Totally Called It. Totally.

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on September 28, 2011

And here I thought preoccupation with the prophecies of a sixteenth-century French alchemist apothecary was a modern craze. I was wrong. From the Sheveport Daily News, September 28, 1861:

Although many of the predictions made by Nostradamus (especially those concerning the deaths of Henry IV and Louis XVI) have been completely verified, they are generally discredited in our times. But in the “Prophecies at Vaticinations” of that great man, vol. 2d, (edition of 1609) we find the following, which would seem to deserve some attention:

“About that time (1861) a great quarrel and contest will rise in a country beyond the seas–America. Many poor devils will be hung and many poor wretches will be killed by a punishment other than a crowd. Upon my faith you may believe me. The war will not cease for four years, at which none should be at all astonished or surprised, for there will be no want, of hatred and onstinacy [sic.] in it. At the end of that time, prostrate and almost ruined, the people will re-embrace each other in great joy and love.”

Now, here is something very confirmatory of the prophetic genius of Nostradamus, but in no way consoling for us poor devils and wretches (pauvres diables et pauvres heres) who will have to suffer under this war for four years. Let us hope that the astrologer was mistaken at least on this point.

This is, like most citing of mysterious prophecy, a case of what James Randi calls “retroactive clairvoyance,” connecting vaguely-worded prophecies to events that have already happened, or are plainly inevitable to all. For any Daily News readers who might not make the connection between Nostradamus’ writing and then-current events, of course, the editors helpfully insert the date and location he was (obviously) referring to.

Why can’t prophets offer predictions that don’t have to be explained to make sense?  😉

2 Responses

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  1. corkingiron said, on September 28, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Oh ye of little faith! You slander the prophets at your peril. So here’s one that you can take to the bank:

    A big light will appear in the East!

    BTW – You aren’t foolin’ anybody with that photo of Nostradamus. That’s clearly Sean Connery on the front page.

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