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


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.