Other Methods of Divination

Hepatoscopy | Alphabets | Bibliomancy | Libanomancy | Palmistry | Physiognomy | Teratomancy, Prodigia | Other


A Greek Alphabet Oracle. The Limyran (Lycia) alphabet oracle, translated from Greek with comments. The reader must understand that, for each letter, the material outside of the quotes are Apollonius Sophistes/Bruce MacLennan's expansion upon the principles, not part of the ancient text.


Review of William Hansen (ed.), Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature (Bloomington, 1998) Reviewed by Laura Gibbs, BMCR 99. Hansen translates and comments upon the Oracles of Astrampsychus.

Amazon: Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature by William F. Hansen.

Reviewed by Georg Danek, Wiener Studien 113 (2000)

The Use of Sacred Books in the Ancient World (Leuven 1998) with "Sortes: Sacred Books as Instant Oracles in Late Antiquity" by Pieter W. van der Horst.

Web Archive: "The Meaninglessness of the Gospel of Thomas" by Stevan L. Davies. Talk delivered at the Society of Biblical Literature, 1994 conference. -- Asserts that the Gospel of Thomas is really an exercise in bibliomancy.

Web Archive: "The Ancient Roots of Bible-mancy" by L. Eslinger, U. Calgary. A short essay on modern biblical bibliomancy and ancient divination, in answer to a student's question.

Amazon. Sortes Astrampsychi, ed. Randall Stewart. Teubner edition of the Greek text.

Reviewed by Pieter W. van der Horst, BMCR 2001.

F. Maltomini, "P. Lond. 121 (= PGM VII) 1–221: Homeromanteion" ZPE 106 (1995). Italian article on a collection of Homeric lines intended for bibliomantic use.


Farmer's Almanac: "How to Predict the Weather Using a Pig Spleen" by Christina Cherneskey (1999)

Bruce MacLennan's (believer) Hepatoscopy page.

Babylonian hepatoscopy adapted for playing cards from "Bel Murru"'s Babylonian Magick.


Libanomancy quoting Finkel's article on the subject. The page is by "Bel Murru," who runs and believes in "Babylonian Magick". Like Bruce MacLennan, however, he seem to know his stuff. See his shorter page on Hepatoscopy, Liver Divination (turned into a card trick) and his useful scholarly bibliography.


Aristotle's Treatise on Palmistry, copied from William G. Benham's, The Laws of Scientific Handreading (1900). This is a translation of one of the Medieval palmistries ascribed to Aristotle, but I don't know which one and need to go find it. Any help on this one? Courtesy Serena's Guide to Divination.

Writing on Hands: Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe. Dickinson College/Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition of interest to those interested in Renaissance palmistry, Cardano, etc. Nice artwork. Recommended by the NYT's Circuits section.


Melampus, On Moles translated by Tim Spalding. This is my preliminary translation (the first in English) of a short ancient Greek work on divination through moles and birthmarks. On-site content.

"Physiognomic Horoscopes 4QCryptic-4Q186, 4QPhysiogn=4Q561" Paraphrase and notes by Katie Kanyamas and Robin Kocot of one of the "Dead Sea Scrolls." Introduction by Alan Humm.

Teratomancy, Prodigia

Review of Veit Rosenberger, Gezahmte Gotter. Das Prodigienwesen der romischen Republik (Stuttgart, 1998). Reviewed by Anthony Corbeill, BMCR 1998.

Obsequens, Liber Prodigiorum. German homepage includes text, German translation, introductory matter and indices (Annette Pohlke).

Julius Obsequens, Liber Prodigiorum at Ad Fontes Academy. Latin text; no translation. Mirrored here (George Mason University).


A good (but believer) list of -mancy words in Italian.

List of -mancy words. (Now and then someone will ask me what x-mancy means.) Note: believer site.

The Ikhtiladj Nameh (Divination by Twitches) by Ibrihim Haqq . A short Turkish treatise on divination by twitches, here (I think) misleadingly translated as "wounds". Translated into French by J. -A. Decourdemanche (1899). On-site content.

On a related subject see British Library: Turkish and Turkic Collections, including some interesting stuff on an 8th c. Turkish divination manual. Does anyone know where this is published?

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may also like these other sites by me:

The Oracle of Delphi and Ancient Oracles. Covers physical oracles, including academic information and site photos.

Ancient Library. Exciting new project, putting dozens of classical dictionaries and other resources online. There is a category for Ancient Divination.

Angels on the Web. Angels in culture, theology and art. Includes over 550 categorized images.

Hieroglyphics! Comprehensive guide and web directory to Egytian hieroglyphics.