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of future events. Another way was to have three arrows, upon one of which was written, God forbids it me; upon another, God orders it me; and upon the third nothing at all. These were put into a quiver, out of which one of the three was drawn at random; if it happened to be that with the second inscription, the thing they consulted about was to be done ; if it chanced to be that with the first inscription, the thing was let alone; and if it proved to be that without any inscription, they drew over again. Belomancy is an ancient practice, and is probably that which Ezekiel mentions, chap. xxi. v. 21: at least St Jerome understands it so, and observes that the practice was frequent among the Assyrians and Babylonians. Something like it is also mentioned in Hosea (chap. vi.), only that staves are mentioned there instead of arrows, which is rather Rhabdomancy than Belomancy. Grotius, as well as Jerome, confound the two together, and show that they prevailed much among the Magi, Chaldeans, and Scythians, from whom they passed to the Sclavonians, and thence to the Germans, whom Tacitus observes to make use of Belomancy.

CLEROMANCY Is a kind of divination performed by the throwing of dice or little bones; and observing the points or marks turned up.

At Bura, a city of Achaia, a celebrated Temple of Hercules, where such as consulted the oracle, after praying to the idol, threw four dice, the points of which being well scanned by the priest, he was supposed to draw an answer from them.

CLEDONISM. This word is derived from the Greek xlnowr, which signifies two things, - viz. a report, and a bird: in the

first sense, Cledonism should denote a kind of divination drawn from words occasionally uttered. Cicero observes that the Pythagoreans made observations not only of the words of the gods, but of those of men, and accordingly believed the pronouncing of certain words-e. g. incendium -at a meal very unlucky. Thus, instead of prison, they used the words domicilium ; and to avoid calling the Furies by the name erinnyes, which was supposed to be unpleasing


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to them said Eumenides. In the second sense, Cledonism should seem a divination drawn from birds,—the same with Ornithomantia.

COSCINOMANCY, As the word implies, is the art of divination by means of a sieve.

The sieve being suspended, after repeating a certain form of words, it is taken between two fingers only, and the names of the parties suspected repeated: he at whose name the sieve turns, trembles, or shakes, is reputed guilty of the evil in question. This doubtless must be a very ancient practice. Theocritus, in his third Idyllion, mentions a woman who was very skilful in it. It was sometimes also practised by suspending the sieve by a thread, or fixing it to the points of a pair of scissors, giving it room to turn, and naming, as before, the parties suspected: in this manner Coscinomancy is still practised in some parts of England. From Theocritus it appears that it was not only used to find out persons unknown, but also to discover secrets.



Is a kind of divination by means of smoke, used by the ancients in their sacrifices. The general rule was, when the smoke was thin and light, and ascended straight up, it was a good omen; if on the contrary, it was an ill one.

There was another species of Capnomancy, which consisted in observing the smoke arising from poppy and jessamin seed cast upon burning coals.


Is another species of divination used by the ancients, performed by means of a mirror.

Pausanias says that this method of divination was in use among the Achaians, where those who were sick, and in danger of death, let down a mirror, or looking-glass, fastened by a thread, into a fountain before the temple of Ceres ; then, looking in the glass, if they saw a ghastly disfigured face, they took it as a sure sign of death; but, on the contrary, if the face appeared fresh and healthy, it was a token of recovery. Sometimes glasses were used without water,

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and the images of future things, it is said, were represented in them.

CHIROMANCY Is the art of divining the fate, temperament, and disposition of a person by the lines and lineaments of the hands.

There are a great many authors on this art,-viz. Artemidorus, Fludd, Johannes de Indagine, Taconerus, and M. De le Chambre, who are among the best.

M. De le Chambre insists upon it that the inclinations of people may be known from consulting the lines on the hands, there being a very near correspondence between the parts of the hand and the internal parts of the body, the heart, liver, &c., “whereon the passions and inclinations much depend." He adds, however, that the rules and precepts of Chiromancy are not sufficiently warranted, the experiments on which they stand not being well verified.

DACTYLIOMANCY. ** This is a sort of divination performed by means of a ring. It was done as follows :-viz. by holding a ring, suspended by a fine thread, over a round table, on the edge of which were made a number of marks with the 24 letters of the alphabet. The ring, in shaking or vibrating over the table, stopped over certain of the letters, which, being joined together, composed the required answer. But this operation

. was preceded and accompanied by several superstitious ceremonies ; for, in the first place, the ring was to be consecrated with a great deal of mystery ; the person holding it was to be clad in linen garments to the very shoes, his head was to be shaven all round, and he was to hold vervein in his hand. And before he proceeded on anything the gods were first to be appeased by a formulary of prayers, &c.

The whole process of this mysterious rite is given in the 29th book of Ammianus Marcellinus.

EXTISPICIUM. (From exta and spicere, to view, consider.) The name of the officer who showed and examined the entrails of the victims was Extispex.

This method of divination, or of drawing presages relative to futurity, was much practised throughout Greece, where there were two families, the Jamida and Clytide, consecrated or set apart particularly for the exercise of it.

The Hetrurians, in Italy, were the first Extispices, among whom likewise the art was in great repute. Lucan gives us a fine description of one of these operations in his first book.


This species of divination, practised among the ancients,. was performed by means of ventriloquism.

There is another kind of divination called by the same name, which is performed by means of glasses, or other round transparent vessels, within which certain figures appear by magic art. Hence its name, in consequence of the figures appearing as if in the interior of the vessels.


Was performed by means of a number of little points or dots, made at random on paper, and afterwards considering the various lines and figures which these points present; thereby forming a pretended judgment of futurity, and deciding a proposed question.

Polydore Virgil defines Geomancy a kind of divination performed by means of clefts or chinks made in the ground, and he takes the Persian Magi to have been the inventors of it. (De invent. rer. lib. i. c. 23.)

Geomancy is formed of the Greek yn, terra, earth; and μavrɛla, divination; it being the ancient custom to cast little pebbles on the ground, and thence to form their conjecture, instead of the points above mentioned.

HYDROMANOY, Υδρομαντεια.

The art of divining or foretelling future events by means of water, and is one of the four general kinds of divination: the other three, as regarding the other elements,-viz. fire and earth,—are denominated Pyromancy, Aeromancy, and Geomancy, already mentioned.

The Persians are said by Varro to have been the first in

ventors of Hydromancy, observing also that Numa Pompilius and Pythagoras made use of it.

There are various Hydromantic machines and vessels, which are of a singularly curious nature.

ONEIROCRITICA Is the art of interpreting dreams, or a method of foretelling future events by means of dreams.

ONOMANCY, OR ONOMAMANCY, Is the art of divining the good or bad fortune which will befall a man from the letters of his name. This mode of divination was a very popular and reputable practice among the ancients.

The Pythagoreans taught that the minds, actions, and successes of mankind were according to their fate, genius, and name; and Plato himself inclines somewhat to the same opinion.

Thus Hippolytus was observed to be torn to pieces by his own coach horses, as his name imported; and thus Agamemnon signified that he should linger long before Troy; Priam that he should be redeemed out of bondage in his childhood. To this also may be referred that of Claudius Rutilius :

Nominibus certis credam decurrere mores ?
Moribus aut Potius nomina certa dari ?

It is a frequent and no less just observation in history, that the greatest empires and states have been founded and destroyed by men of the same name. Thus, for instance, Cyrus, the son of Cambyses, began the Persian monarchy, and Cyrus, the son of Darius, ruined it; Darius, son of Hystaspes, restored it; and again, Darius, son of Asamis, utterly overthrew it. Phillip, son of Amyntas, exceedingly enlarged the kingdom of Macedonia ; and Phillip, son of

Antigonus, wholly lost it. Augustus was the first emperor of Rome, Augustulus the last. Constantine first settled the empire of Constantinople, and Constantine lost it wholly to the Turks.

There is a similar observation that some names are constantly unfortunate to princes --e. g. Caius, among the

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