The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

xi NECROMANCY 245

manteis, and Pythones. Hvffuv, like the Hebrew 'ob, could mean equally the divining spirit or the diviner whom it possessed.1 The familiar spirit which St. Paul cast out of the girl at Philippi is called irvevpM irv6a>va.z These diviners belong, of course, to the lowest grade of the profession, and were evidently for the most part ventriloquist quacks who drove a despised but perhaps profitable trade among the vulgar. So far as the nature of their familiar spirit is denned, it seems probable that it was supposed to be the ghost of a deceased person, though one would not look for clear definition or consistence of theory in this lowly branch of the art of divination. In most pas­sages where they are mentioned they occur in close juxtaposition to the necromancers, and Philochoros evidently connected them with the art of divining by the dead.3 In the Byzantine period diviners of this character appear to have retained their popularity, and they are said by Psellus, that expert in the ranks and categories of devils, to be possessed by the subterranean kinds of devil.4

Bekker, p. 75, 241 R, who gives the name of Sakchouras, a Babylonian counterpart to Eurykles.

' Hesychios, s.v. n-iiBav ; Suidas, s.v. (yyacrpt^vSos.

2 Acts xvi. 16. 3 Suidas, loc. cit.

* Psellus, Z>e op. daem. (Gaulminus), Gin, p. 55.

Pages
About | Preface | Contents | Index

244

245

246
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW