System of divination practiced by throwing black and white
beans, little bones or dice, or stones—anything, in short, suitable
for lots. A method of practicing cleromancy in the streets
of Egypt is cited in the entry on sortilege, and similar divination
was common in ancient Rome.
The Thriaejan lots meant much the same thing as cleromancy,
being little more than the tossing of dice in which the objects
used bore particular marks or characters and were consecrated
to Mercury, who was regarded as the patron of this
method of divination. For this reason an olive leaf, called ‘‘the
lot of Mercury,’’ was generally put in the urn in order to gain
his favor