The Ancient Library
 

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CHAPTER VIII

LEKANOMANCY

there remain to be considered those modes of divination in which a vessel of water plays an important part as an instrument. All these methods one may include under the title Lekanomancy, although in classical authors the meaning of the word generally implies the most popular of these rites, viz. the reading of future events reflected in a bowl of liquid. For obvious reasons the term must further cover the cases where a crystal or a mirror takes the place of the vessel of water or the pool of ink. The most interesting feature of these rites as a whole is the close analogies which they present to the practices at holy wells, and the parallel development of an independent spiritual agent to explain their efficacy, the result of a gradual personification of the power of the water.

In his list of the characteristic prophets of the different nations of antiquity Strabo mentions

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