But only by the replacing of the cap was that omen accounted good.
Of all such cases it is enough to say that it is impossible for the serious inquirer to establish any causal connexion between the omen and the event which it is presumed to foreshadow.
It's a bad omen of things to come.
It is said that while the archbishop was blessing the fleet the silver cross of his archiepiscopal staff fell off, but that the omen was disregarded by .the irreverence of the Pisans, who declared that if they had the wind they could do without divine help. They advanced in line abreast to meet the first line of the Genoese, fighting according to the medieval custom to ram and board.
Subsequently the appearance in its vicinity of a white deer carrying a flower in its mouth was deemed so favourable an omen as to more than justify the change of its name to Luh or Deer city.
Sometimes divination took place through vessels filled with water and oil (see Omen and Divination).
On the other hand, the appearance of the new moon earlier than was expected was regarded as an unfavourable omen - prognosticating in one case defeat, in another death among cattle, in a third bad crops - not necessarily because these events actually took place after such a phenomenon, but by an application of the general principle resting upon association of ideas whereby anything premature would suggest an unfavourable occurrence.
Not a few of the astrological and omen tablets in the Kuyunjik collection of the British Museum, however, although found at Nineveh, were executed, according to their own testimony, at Calah for the rab-dup-sarre or principal librarian during the reigns of Sargon and Sennacherib (716-684 B.C.).
The early explorers of the great Southern Sea cheered themselves with the companionship of the albatross in its dreary solitudes; and the evil hap of him who shot with his cross-bow the bird of good omen is familiar to readers of Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
It is significant that in the royal collection of cuneiform literature made by King Assur-bani-pal of Assyria (668-626 B.C.) and deposited in his palace at Nineveh, the omen collections connected with the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria form the largest class.