The name given to certain Spanish people who, by the flight
and song of birds, meetings with wild animals, and various
other means, foretold coming events. According to the fifteenth-century
humanist Laurentius Valla, ‘‘They carefully preserve
among themselves books which treat of this science,
where they find rules of all sorts of prognostications and predictions.
The soothsayers are divided into two classes, one, the
masters or principals, the other the disciples and aspirants.’’
Another kind of knowledge is also attributed to them, that
of being able to indicate the way taken by horses and other
beasts of burden which are lost, and the road followed by one
or more persons. They can specify the kind and shape of the
ground, whether the earth is hard or soft, covered with sand or
grass, whether it is a broad road, paved or sanded, or narrow,
twisting paths, and tell also how many passengers are on the
road. They can follow the track of anyone and cause thieves to
be apprehended. Those writers who mention the Almoganenses,
however, do not specify either the period when they flourished
or the country or province they occupied, but it seems
possible from their name and other considerations that they
were Moorish. (See also Ornithomancy)

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