History of Palm Reading

Palmistry can be traced back many thousands of years, with significance being given to the hand in paintings found in from the Stone Age. It is thought that the modern day practise of the art originates from India, where a number of techniques have been devised based on ancient writings. Since then, palmistry has been spread to other countries and altered by their cultures' own religious interpretations of signs on the hand. For example, when Gypsies arrived in Europe in the 1300s, they mixed the palmreading they had learnt from India with their own blend of psychic abilities.


Palmistry is thought to have been popular among academics in Ancient Greece, with links to physicians using it in their practise and Aristotle writing on it. In the 4 century BC, Aristotle is said to have sent his student, Alexander the Great, to India in order to discover whatever he could on palmistry, and although experts dispute Aristotle's writings on palm reading, it is thought that he attributes meaning to the length of the lines on the hand in his work De Historia Animalium.


Claims have also been made that palmistry was used in the Roman times by Julius Caesar. It is thought that he believed that by reading his men's palms, he could judge their intentions and split imposters from genuine followers. On one occasion, it was said, he read a man's palm and, deciding that he was an imposter, had his executed. However, historians have disputed this, arguing that the Romans preferred astrology to palm reading as a method of forecast.


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