After the extinction of the prophetic voice, an ever-increasing weight was not unnaturally laid on the predictive element in their writings.
33).1 While the earlier classical physiognomy was chiefly descriptive, the later medieval authors particularly developed the predictive and astrological side, their treatises often digressing into chiromancy, onychomancy, clidomancy, podoscopy, spasmatomancy, and other blanches of prophetic folk-lore and magic.
One of the oldest of this large family of predictive systems is that of palmistry, whereby the various irregularities and flexion-folds of the skin of the hand are interpreted as being associated with mental or moral dispositions and powers, as well as with the current of future events in the life of the individual.
Johns (Interpreter, April 1 9 06, "The Prophets of Babylonia") thinks that longer discourses moral, and predictive, fully equal to those of the Hebrew prophets, existed in Babylonia as early as the 3rd millennium B.C. but were curtailed into the brief sentences of the omen tablets.
That these purely mechanical arrangements have any psychic, occult or predictive meaning is a fantastic imagination, which seems to have a peculiar attraction for certain types of mind, and as there can be no fundamental hypothesis of correlation, its discussion does not lie within the province of reason.