Michel de Nostredame Latinised as Nostradamus, was a French astrologer and reputed seer, best known for his book Les Prophéties, a collection of 942 poetic quatrains predicting future events. The book was first published in 1555 and has been out of print since his death. Nostradamus's family was Jewish, but had converted to Catholicism before he was born, he studied at the University of Avignon, but was forced to leave after just over a year when the university closed due to an outbreak of the plague. He worked as an apothecary for several years before entering the University of Montpellier, hoping to earn a doctorate, but was immediately expelled after his work as an apothecary was discovered, he first married in 1531. He fought alongside doctors against the plague before remarrying to Anne Ponsarde, who bore him six children, he wrote an almanac for 1550 and, as a result of its success, continued writing them for future years as he began working as an astrologer for various wealthy patrons.

Catherine de' Medici became one of his foremost supporters. His Les Prophéties, published in 1555, relied on historical and literary precedent, received mixed reception, he suffered from severe gout toward the end of his life, which developed into edema. He died on 2 July 1566. Many popular authors have retold apocryphal legends about his life. In the years since the publication of his Les Prophéties, Nostradamus has attracted many supporters, along with much of the popular press, credit him with having predicted many major world events. Most academic sources reject the notion that Nostradamus had any genuine supernatural prophetic abilities and maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus's quatrains are the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations; these academics argue that Nostradamus's predictions are characteristically vague, meaning they could be applied to anything, are useless for determining whether their author had any real prophetic powers. They point out that English translations of his quatrains are always of poor quality, based on manuscripts, produced by authors with little knowledge of sixteenth-century French, deliberately mistranslated to make the prophecies fit whatever events the translator believed they were supposed to have predicted.

Nostradamus was born on either 14 or 21 December 1503 in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, where his claimed birthplace still exists, baptized Michel. He was one of at least nine children of notary Jaume de Nostredame and Reynière, granddaughter of Pierre de Saint-Rémy who worked as a physician in Saint-Rémy. Jaume's family had been Jewish, but his father, Cresquas, a grain and money dealer based in Avignon, had converted to Catholicism around 1459–60, taking the Christian name "Pierre" and the surname "Nostredame", the saint on whose day his conversion was solemnised; the earliest ancestor who can be identified on the paternal side is Astruge of Carcassonne, who died about 1420. Michel's known siblings included Delphine, Pierre, Louis, Jean II and Antoine. Little else is known about his childhood, although there is a persistent tradition that he was educated by his maternal great-grandfather Jean de St. Rémy — a tradition, somewhat undermined by the fact that the latter disappears from the historical record after 1504, when the child was only one year old.

At the age of 14 Nostradamus entered the University of Avignon to study for his baccalaureate. After little more than a year, he was forced to leave Avignon when the university closed its doors during an outbreak of the plague. After leaving Avignon, Nostradamus, by his own account, traveled the countryside for eight years from 1521 researching herbal remedies. In 1529, after some years as an apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine, he was expelled shortly afterwards by the student procurator, Guillaume Rondelet, when it was discovered that he had been an apothecary, a "manual trade" expressly banned by the university statutes, had been slandering doctors. The expulsion document, BIU Montpellier, Register S 2 folio 87, still exists in the faculty library. However, some of his publishers and correspondents would call him "Doctor". After his expulsion, Nostradamus continued working still as an apothecary, became famous for creating a "rose pill" that purportedly protected against the plague.

In 1531 Nostradamus was invited by Jules-César Scaliger, a leading Renaissance scholar, to come to Agen. There he married a woman of uncertain name. In 1534 his wife and children died from the plague. After their deaths, he continued to travel, passing through France and Italy. On his return in 1545, he assisted the prominent physician Louis Serre in his fight against a major plague outbreak in Marseille, tackled further outbreaks of disease on his own in Salon-de-Provence and in the regional capital, Aix-en-Provence. In 1547, he settled in Salon-de-Provence in the house which exists today, where he married a rich widow named Anne Ponsarde, with whom he had six children—three daughters and three sons. Between 1556 and 1567 he and his wife acquired a o

Hove, Belgium

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Jörg Breu the Elder, of Augsburg, was a painter of the German Danube school. He was the son of a weaver, he journeyed to Austria and created several multi-panel altarpieces there in 1500–02, such as the Melk Altar. He returned to Augsburg in 1502, he travelled to Italy twice, in ca. 1508 and in 1514/15. After his death in 1537, his son, Jörg Breu the Younger continued to lead his Augsburg workshop until his own death 10 years later. Media related to Jörg Breu d. Ä. at Wikimedia Commons Wolfgang Wegner, "Breu, Jörg der Ältere", Neue Deutsche Biographie, 2, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 604–605.