Back to Home Page or
Contents Page or Divination
which sometimes covered the head of a child at birth. It was once thought
of as a preservative against drowning in the sea, so consequently the caul
was sought after by seamen.
Superstitions surrounding the caul reaches back into antiquity. In ancient
Rome, Aelius Lampridius, wrote about the life of Antonine Diadumeninus saying
he was so called from being born into the world with a band of membrane
round his forehead in the shape of a diadem, and he enjoyed a perpetual
state of felicity from this circumstance. Also, Roman midwives sold cauls
by the Forum.
Even as late as the 1870s British newspapers often printed advertisements
by prospective would be purchasers of a caul offering large amounts of money.
The caul was used for divination. (See Amniomancy) A.G.H.