Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



From Ancient Greek ἀλφῐτόμαντις ‎(alphitómantis, diviner who used barley meal), from ἄλφῐτον ‎(álphiton, barley meal).


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.