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The title page of Swiss mathematician Jost Bürgi’s Aritmetische und Geometrische Progress Tabulen (Arithmetic and Geometrical Progression Tables, 1620),[1] containing tables of progressions – now understood as antilogarithms – which he developed independently of John Napier who is regarded as the discoverer of logarithms


logarithm +‎ -mancy; or a blend of logarithm +‎ arithmancy.



logarithmancy (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete, rare) Divination using logarithms.
    • 1652, John Gaule, “From the Affinity to Witch-craft”, in Πῦς-μαντία [Pys-mantia] the Mag-astro-mancer, or The Magicall-astrologicall-diviner Posed, and Puzzled. By John Gaule, Minister of Great Staughton in the County of Huntingdon, London: Printed for Joshua Kirton at the Kings Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard, OCLC 84406965, page 165:
      What difference betwixt Astromancy, Magomancy, or Magastromancy (as touching a sorcerous both superstition, and operation) and all these after-named? viz. [] Arithmancy, by numbers; Logarithmancy, by Logarithmes; []
    • [1973, Walter B[rown] Gibson; Litzka R. Gibson, The Complete Illustrated Book of Divination and Prophecy, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, →ISBN:
      LOGARITHMANCY: A mathematical method of divination performed with the aid of logarithms. Now supplanted by modern computers.]

Alternative forms[edit]


  1. ^ Jost Bürgi (1620) Aritmetische und Geometrische Progress Tabulen: Sambt gründlichen undterricht, wie solche nützlich in allerley Rechnungen zugebrauchen und verstanden werden sol [Arithmetic and Geometrical Progression Tables: Together with Thorough Instructions, on How to Use and Understand Them in All Kinds of Calculations], Prague: Sessen, OCLC 166067543.