Metoposcopy (also known as Metopomancy) is a form of divination in which the diviner predicts personality, character, and destiny, based on the pattern of lines on the subject’s forehead.
Derived from the Greek metopon (‘forehead’) and manteia (‘prophecy’)
The ancient Chinese were the first to use Metaposcopy, and various methods of face reading are still in use by a number of Asian cultures. Aristotle was a firm believer in Metaposcopy and its power to correctly analyze the human character, and Hippocrates thought of it as a legitimate science for diagnosing the traits of future diseases.
Metoposcopy was further developed by the renowned mathematician, physician and astrologer Gerolomo Cardano (1501-1576). His work covered over 800 facial illustrations associated with character, temperament, destiny, and astrological signs that were illustrated in an edition published by C. M. Laurenderiea titled Metoposcopia libris tredecim, et octingentis Faciei humanae Eicomibus complexa; cui accessis Metampodia de Navis Corporis Tractalus Craecs etLatina nunc primum editus (Latetiae Parisorum, 1658).
Although these interpretations were confined to lines of the forehead (confined with astrology) Cardan was a forerunner of the Physiognomy developed by J. K. Lavater (1741-1801).
The 16th century astrologer Giovanni Antonio Magini also concerned himself with this subject.
Cardano’s Metoposcopia shows the position of the planets on the wrinkles of the forehead. Each facial figure is associated with astrological signs and qualities of temperament and character. Cardano declared that one could tell by the lines on her face which woman is an adulteress and which has a hatred of any lewdness. Long, straight furrows indicate nobility of character. He claimed to be able to tell the generous from the trickster by their distinct lines and noted that having three curved furrows on the forehead proves one is a dissolute simpleton.