alphitomancy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek [script needed] (alphitomantis, diviner who used barley meal), from [script needed] (alphiton, barley meal).

Noun[edit]

alphitomancy (uncountable)

  1. An Ancient Greek method of divination using barley meal, used for instance to reveal guilty parties; it entailed feeding a person or group barley meal, and judging those who felt no effects to be innocent, while judging those who felt indigestion to be guilty.
    • 1931, Lock translating de Givry Picture Museum of Sorcery:
      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.

Translations[edit]