Medieval Justice System – To place one’s fate between a worm and a piece of cheese

A recent post on the QI Facebook page led the writer to a study of tyromancy – the medieval practice of divination from cheese.

The practice involved a tyromancer (a practitioner of tyromancy, of course) observing the coagulation of a piece of cheese and interpreting the patterns and characteristics. The shapes, patterns and holes were used to predict the future and determine the past.

Tyromancy was also used in the judicial system to determine guilt. Pieces of cheese were placed in an area with several worms. A tyromancer interpreted each piece of cheese as a different potential scenario. The piece of cheese to which the worms were attracted represented the correct fact scenario or guilty person. If the worms did not approach any piece of cheese then none of the defendants were guilty.

I camembert (cannot bare) the thought of being tried by a piece of cheese.

The above is not intended as legal advice. You should obtain legal advice in relation to your own specific circumstances.



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