The Ancient Library

Nicolaides, Les Livres de Divination Traduits sur un Manuscrit Turc Inédit

Les Livres de Divination Traduits sur un Manuscrit Turc Inédit translated by Jean Nicolaides (1889). Scanned by the Tim Spalding from a Xeroxed made from the copy in Widener library. Because of the low resolution of the scans, this edition does not include OCR.


  1. La Livre du Tonnerre (Leon le Sage)
  2. La Second Livre du Tonnerre
  3. La Troisième Livre du Tonnerre
  4. Le Livre des Constellation (Leon le Sage)
  5. Le Tableau des Constellations (Leon le Sage)
  6. Le Livre de L'Éclair
  7. Le Livre du Tremblement de Terre (Leon le Sage)
  8. La Second Livre du Tremblement de Terre
  9. Le Livre des Naissances (Pythagoras)
  10. Le Second Livre des Naissances (Leon le Sage)
  11. Le Troisième Livre des Naissances (Leon le Sage)
  12. La Livre des Grains de Beauté (Leon le Sage)
  13. Le Livre des Jours Néfastes (the Prophet Daniel)
  14. Le Livre des Augures (the Prophet Daniel)
  15. Le Livre de L'Arc-en-Ciel (Leon le Sage)
  16. Le Livre de Dragon (Aristote)
  17. Le Livre de Noel (Leon le Sage)

Preliminary Description

Although I did some serious work on Greek divination, this work is somewhat outside my field of expertise. In the future I hope to write a longer, better introduction to this work. For now, I shall limit myself to a brief, and not very scholarly summary of what I know:

  1. The work is composed of seventeen short tracts of diverse methods of divination, including divination by thunder, lightning, earthquakes, beauty marks, etc. A majority rely upon the machinery of astrological signs. (For full list the table of contents.)
  2. The translator indicates it was written in Greek letters, but in the Turkish and Arabic language. The former is, I understand, known as Karamanli (from the district of Karaman in S.W. Anatolia), and not uncommon. I have never heard of Arabic works in Greek letters.
  3. As Nicolaides notes, some of the works are clearly of Greek and Christian origin, but goes no further. Apart from the explicitly Christian references in some works, many are also ascried to the pseudepigraphical "usual suspects" of Greek divinatory literature—Daniel, Pythagoras, Aristotle (I'm not sure about Leon the Wise).
  4. Although Nicolaides mentions the works of Melampus in his preface, he is unaware that his tract La Livre des Grains de Beauté, ascribed to Leon le Sage, is very similar to Melampus' work On Moles (peri elaion tou somatos). (I believe I've read nearly everything written is on Melampus, and have never seen this noticed before.) Nicolaides' version is less verbose, omits most of the alternate predictions for women, and stops at the chest where Melampus continues down to the feet. Even so the predictions are largely identical, and a close source relationship must exist. I imagine some of the other tracts have parallels in extant Greek (or Latin) divinatory literature.

Note: The Google search box won't work until Google finishes indexing this book.

About | Preface | First | Contents
page #  
Search this site
This book does not have searchable text.
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of