Tyromancy is a method of divination from cheese. It is also known as Tiromanci, Tyromantia and Typomancy. It is an ancient method of divination based on the omens in cheese and other characteristics, specially the coagulation of the cheese. It is one of the most ancient methods of divination. A practitioner of tyromancy is called tyromancer.
Etymology of the word Tyromancy is a Greek word composed by the word tyro (from Greek turos) which means cheese and the word mancy (from Greek manteia) which means prophecy or divination.
It’s history goes back to middle ages. Then, some patterns and characteristics of the cheese like shape, pattern and holes were used to predict the future about love, money, justice and health. There was used to choose among some possibilities. Each piece of cheese was one possible answer. In this medieval practice, the piece eaten first by a mouse or a worm was the correct option.
Let’s see a real example to solve a crime. The materials needed were: a cheese, which had been left rotting only for the occasion, with its worms inside and a paper in which the names of the suspects were written.
The process was:
– A piece of cheese was placed in the middle of the names.
– The one to whom the worms were directed was to blame and receive his punishment.
– If no worm approached the names, it was assumed that all the defendants were innocent.