The Ancient Library

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we have now surveyed the principal methods of Greek divination, and considered suggestions as to their origin and development. In general they may be grouped under two headings according as their affinity reveals itself on the one hand to a positive magic, or on the other hand to the interest aroused by unusual happenings and the increased sensitiveness to impressions of the normal man on unusual occasions. In both cases the development of divinatory methods is, I think, intelligible, and it should be remembered that while super­stitions may be based on irrationality they are not therefore arbitrary creations, lacking natural causes or intelligible foundations. Much of the power possessed by the mantis or his oracular utterances even in degenerate days is an heritage from the time when he was expected to work magic for the welfare of his tribe and the confusion of the enemy. The ordeal again


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