System of divination practiced by throwing black and white beans, little bones or dice, or stones—anything, in short, suitable for lots.
A method of practicing cleromancy in the streets of Egypt is cited in the entry on sortilege, and similar divination was common in ancient Rome.
The Thriaejan lots meant much the same thing as cleromancy, being little more than the tossing of dice in which the objects used bore particular marks or characters and were consecrated to Mercury, who was regarded as the patron of this method of divination.
For this reason an olive leaf, called ‘‘the lot of Mercury,’’ was generally put in the urn in order to gain his favor.
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