The Ancient Origins of Chirology

There have always been many claims for the great antiquity of the study of the hand. Various authors in various times have asserted that the study of the hand was prevalent in all the ancient cultures of the world, such as Ancient Egypt, Chaldea, Babylonia and Sumeria. However, it is impossible to substantiate any such claims now for there is an total lack of evidence that any form of study of the hand was known then.   No extant documentation remains to show conclusively that handreading was known and practiced in those cultures in those times.

However, it is without doubt that handreading is indeed an ancient subject, for references to the study of the hand can be found in many ancient religious texts, ranging from the Judaeo-Christian Bible to the Brahmanic Vedas, from poetry and prose to biographies and histories. Whilst these give us little idea as to the form and nature of handreading knowledge in ancient times, they do reveal that some form of handreading tradition did in fact exist.  But if any written works on the subject were produced, none of them now remain. The origin of the study of the hand is lost forever in the unrecorded silence of the past.


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