alphitomancy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Ancient Greek alphitomantis, a diviner who used barley meal. From Ancient Greek alphiton (plural alphita), barley meal.

Noun[edit]

alphitomancy (uncountable)

  1. Ancient Greek method of divination using barley meal.
  2. A divination practise used to reveal guilty parties by feeding a person or group barley meal. The innocent, it is said, would feel no effects, but the guilty would feel indigestion. Also known as Cursed Bread.

Quotations[edit]

"Aleuromancy and alphitomancy were almost analogous processes; cakes were made of wheat or barley flour which could not be swallowed by anyone guilty of a given misdeed." -- Lock translating de Givry Picture Museum of Sorcery, 1931