An omen (also called portent or presage) is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change.[2] People in ancient times believed that omens bring a divine message from their gods.[3]

These omens include natural phenomena, for example an eclipse, abnormal births of animals and humans and behavior of the sacrificial lamb on its way to the slaughter. They had specialists, the diviners, to interpret these omens. They would also use an artificial method, for example, a clay model of a sheep liver, to communicate with their gods in times of crisis. They would expect a binary answer, either yes or no answer, favorable or unfavorable. They did these to predict what would happen in the future and to take action to avoid disaster.[3]

Though the word "omen" is usually devoid of reference to the change's nature, hence being possibly either "good" or "bad," the term is more often used in a foreboding sense, as with the word "ominous". The origin of the word is unknown, although it may be connected with the Latin word audire, meaning "to hear."[4]

Nuremberg chronicles - Omens (CLIr)
Examples of omens from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493): natural phenomena and unnatural births.
Omens in the Sun
Manuscript of the mid-nineteenth century, possibly of Sgaw Karen origin, shows various appearances in the sun, the moon, clouds, etc., and indicates the primarily bad omens these appearances foretell. Explanations in English were added to this manuscript by a nineteenth-century American missionary[1]

Ancient Near West

The oldest source for this practice in the Ancient Near West came from Mesopos practice attested at the first half of the 2nd millennium BC and it was vigorously pursued by the Asian kings, Esarhaddon and his son, Ashurbanipal in the 20th century BC.[3]

Omens were interpreted by several methods—e.g., liver divination, lecanomancy, and libanomancy. Hepatoscopy—observing irregularities and abnormalities of the entrails of a sacrificial sheep—was used in many royal services.[3]

Astrological omens were popular in Assyria in the 7th century BC. Diviners gained influence by interpreting omens and advising the king, Esarhaddon (681-669 BC), how to avoid some terrible fate. Sometimes the Assyrian king hid for a while after he put a substitute king on the throne. The court expected that the substitute king would take the evil consequences of an omen. When they believed the danger was over, they executed the substitute king and the true king resumed the throne.[3]

The observations of omens were recorded into series. Some of them dated back to the first half of the 2nd millennium BC, and these were arranged as conditional statement later (if such and such is the case, then such and such is the result).[3]

This belief of omens later spread out around the Near East and beyond when clay models of sheep livers use for the diviners to learn the craft were found in Boghazkoi, Ugarit, Megiddo, and Hazor.[3]

Such practice was found in Israel as well. Compared to Israel, they used the methods listed above except, hepatoscopy. According to the Bible, God did not answer King Saul through dreams, or Urim and Thummim, or prophets, before his final confrontation with the Philistines. Thus, showed that they have a similar belief and practice with their prophets, and dreams, and similar tool as Urim and Thummim.[3]

Letters from the city Mari dated at the latest from the 18th century showed that this divinatory practices were not limited to royal court, but also played an important role in everyday life of the people.[3]

Ancient Greece

An oionos (omen) was defined in antiquity as the carnivorous vulture, especially a prophetic bird. By careful observation of the bird’s cries and the way or direction it flew, the augurs attempted to predict the future. They also saw lightning or thunder as omens, sent from Zeus, and observed the direction in which they saw or heard them. Omens represented the divine will and the decisions of the gods, their positioning opposite human endeavors, and were aimed at being understood by sensitive receivers of the time, who brought the divine charisma to become intermediaries, channels between the world of gods and humans. Even since Homeric times, the Greeks paid special attention to these signs: when they saw vultures from the left, another symbol of Zeus, they considered it a bad omen. The cry of a heron or a lightning to the right marked positive and promising omen. In the Greek territory, seers also judged good and bad omens from the unwillingness or willingness of a victim to approach the altar and by the state of its offal when slaughtered.[5]

Ancient Rome

In ancient Roman religion, augurs interpreted the flights of birds to ascertain the will of the gods, in response to specific questions. Their system was complex; for example, while a bird-sign on the left was usually favourable (auspicious) and one on the right unfavourable (inauspicious), the combination of a raven on the right and a crow on the left was favourable. Augurs also studied the behaviour of domesticated, sacred chickens before embarking on important enterprises, such as a senatorial meeting, the passage of a new law, or a battle. These formal "divine consultations" by augurs are known as "taking the auspices". Haruspices examined the liver, lungs and entrails of animals sacrifice to interpret the will of the gods, again in response to clear and specific proposals. Some omens came in the form of prodigies - unnatural, aberrant or unusual phenomena such as meteor showers, hermaphrodite births, or "blood rain", any of which could signify that the gods had somehow been angered. The meaning and import of reported prodigies were officially debated and decided by the Roman senate, with advice from religious experts. Threatening signs could then be officially expiated and the gods placated with the appropriate sacrifice and rituals. The interpretation and expiation of omens that suggested a threat to the State was a serious business. In 217 BC the consul Gaius Flaminius "disregarded his horse's collapse, the chickens, and yet other omens, before his disaster at Lake Trasimene".[6] Certain natural events, particularly lightning strikes and thunder, could be ominous for the public or state, or only for the individual who saw or heard them. When a thunderclap interrupted his election as consul, Marcellus gave up his candidacy. Thereafter he travelled in an enclosed litter when on important business, to avoid sight of any bad omens that might affect his plans.[7]

Many Romans believed that particular words, phrases or incidents might carry prophetic content aimed at particular individuals who witnessed or heard them. Such "private" omens could be accepted, and their benefits secured (or their threat averted) by use of countersigns, or verbal formulas such as accepit omen, arripuit omen ("I accept the omen, I hold to it"); the consul L Aemilius Paullus, when about to embark on his campaign against King Perseus, heard his daughter say that her dog Persa had died; given the similarity of the names and the death of the dog, he took this as a sign that Perseus would be defeated - which he was.[5] The orator and statesman Cicero, though an augur himself, and apparently convinced that in capable hands, it offered a reliable means of foretelling the future,[8] was skeptical of unsolicited, personal omens. He reports the story that Licinius Crassus took ship for Syria despite the ominous call of a fig-seller – "Cauneas!" ("Caunean figs!"), which might be heard as "Cave ne eas!" ("Beware, don't go!") - and was killed on campaign. Cicero saw these events as merely coincidental; only the credulous could think them ominous.[9] In Suetonius's "Lives of the Caesars", the deaths of various emperors are presaged by omens and dreams; the emperor Caligula, for example, dreamt that he stood before the throne of Jupiter, king of the gods, and Jupiter kicked him down from heaven to earth; Caligula ignored the premonition and was assassinated the next day.[10]


Bayeux Tapestry scene32 Halley comet
Halley's Comet's appearance in 1066 was recorded on the Bayeux Tapestry. ISTI MIRANT STELLA literally means "These ones are looking in wonder at the star". National Geographic translated it in a 1966 article about the tapestry as "These men wonder at the star."

In the field of astrology, solar and lunar eclipses (along with the appearance of comets and to some extent the full moon) have often been considered omens of notable births, deaths, or other significant events throughout history in many societies. One biblical example is the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew who predicted the birth of Jesus after seeing the Star of Bethlehem.

Good or bad

Omens may be considered either good or bad depending on their interpretation. The same sign may be interpreted differently by different people or different cultures.

For example, a superstition in the United States and other countries across Europe indicates that a black cat is an omen of bad luck.[11]

Comets also have been considered both good and bad omens. Halley's Comet was a "bad omen" for King Harold II of England but a "good omen" for William the Conqueror.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "The Heavens - World Treasures: Beginnings - Exhibitions - Library of Congress".
  2. ^ Princeton. "Omen". Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Beck, David Noel Freedman ed. ; associate ed. Gary A. Herion, David F. Graf, John David Pleins ; managing ed. Astrid B. (2009). The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300140057.
  4. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary. "Omen". Douglas Harper. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  5. ^ a b Lampsas Giannis, Dictionary of the Ancient World (Lexiko tou Archaiou Kosmou), Vol. I, Athens, Domi Publications, 1984, pp. 43-44.
  6. ^ Donald Lateiner, "Signifying Names and Other Ominous Accidental Utterances in Classical Historiography," Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, (2005), 49."Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-04-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ See Veit Rosenberger, in Rüpke, Jörg (Editor), A Companion to Roman Religion, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007, p.298; citing Cicero, De Divinatione, 2.77.
  8. ^ Wardle, D., (Editor), Cicero on Divination, Book 1, Clarendon Ancient History Series, 2006, p. 74
  9. ^ "If we are going to accept chance utterances of this kind as omens, we had better look out when we stumble, or break a shoe-string, or sneeze!" Cicero De Divinatione 2.84: Loeb translation (1923) online at Bill Thayer's site [1]. In Pliny, Historia Naturalis, 15.83: ex hoc genere sunt, ut diximus, cottana et caricae quaeque conscendendi navem adversus Parthos omen fecere M. Crasso venales praedicantes voce, Cavneae. Teubner-Mahoff edn. transcribed at Bill Thayer's site [2]
  10. ^ The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula 57
  11. ^ Timeless Myths. "A Black Cat Crossing Your Path". Timeless Myths. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  12. ^ Mona Evans. "Halley's Comet". Bella Online. Retrieved 9 March 2011.

BioWare is a Canadian video game developer based in Edmonton, Alberta. It was founded in February 1995 by newly graduated medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, alongside Trent Oster, Brent Oster, Marcel Zeschuk and Augustine Yip. As of 2007, the company is owned by American publisher Electronic Arts.

BioWare specializes in role-playing video games, and achieved recognition for developing highly praised and successful licensed franchises: Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. They proceeded to make several other successful games based on original intellectual property: Jade Empire, the Mass Effect series, and the Dragon Age series. In 2011, BioWare launched their first massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Dark Oracle

Dark Oracle is a Canadian-produced TV series that premiered in 2004 on the popular Canadian channel YTV. It was created by Jana Sinyor (former writer for Degrassi: the Next Generation and creator of Being Erica), and co-developed by Heather Conkie. In 2005, Dark Oracle won the International Emmy for Best Children's and youth program.

HP Inc.

HP Inc. (also known as HP and stylized as hp) is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. It develops personal computers (PCs), printers and related supplies, as well as 3D printing solutions.

It was formed on November 1, 2015, renamed from the personal computer and printer divisions of the original Hewlett-Packard Company, with its enterprise products and services businesses becoming Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The split was structured so that Hewlett-Packard changed its name to HP Inc. and spun off Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a new publicly traded company. HP Inc. retains Hewlett-Packard's pre-2015 stock price history and its former stock ticker symbol, HPQ, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise trades under its own symbol, HPE.HP is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the S&P 500 Index. It is the world's largest personal computer vendor by unit sales, having regained its position in 2017 since it was overtaken by Lenovo in 2013. HP ranked No. 58 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Invaders Must Die

Invaders Must Die is the fifth studio album by English electronic dance music group The Prodigy. The album was released on 23 February 2009 on the band's new record label Take Me to the Hospital, and was distributed by Cooking Vinyl.

The album was a commercial success, faring better than Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. In contrast to the commercial performance, critical reaction to the album was mixed. It has spawned four singles, including the title track, "Omen", "Warrior's Dance", and "Take Me to the Hospital".

Legacy of Kain

Legacy of Kain is a series of action-adventure video games primarily developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix Europe (formerly Eidos Interactive). The first title, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, was created by Silicon Knights in association with Crystal Dynamics, but, after a legal battle, Crystal Dynamics retained the rights to the game's intellectual property, and continued its story with four sequels. To date, five games comprise the series, all initially developed for video game consoles and later ported to Microsoft Windows. Focusing on the eponymous character of Kain, a vampire antihero, each title features action, exploration and puzzle-solving, with some role-playing game elements.

The series takes place in the fictional land of Nosgoth—a gothic fantasy setting—and revolves around Kain's quest to defy his fate and restore balance to the world. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver introduced another antihero protagonist, Raziel; the adventures of both characters culminate in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Themes of destiny, free will, morality, redemption and the hero's journey recur in the storyline, which was inspired by ancient literature, horror fiction, Shakespeare's plays and Gnosticism. The Legacy of Kain games have enjoyed critical success, particularly receiving praise for high-quality voice acting, narrative, and visuals, and, as a whole, had sold over 3.5 million copies as of 2007. In 2015, a sequel has been confirmed as "50/50".

Lilith Clay

Lilith Clay is a fictional character who appears in DC Comics' Teen Titans titles. She is the best friend of Donna Troy (the first Wonder Girl), and the second hero to join the original Teen Titans after its founders, the first being Speedy. Although her origin and powers have varied significantly throughout her history she is consistently seen as both precognitive and psychic.

List of Hulk supporting characters

This is a list of supporting characters in the Hulk comics.

Omen (Star Wars novel)

Omen is a science-fiction Star Wars novel by Christie Golden released on June 23, 2009. It is the second novel in the Fate of the Jedi series and it has been published in hardcover format.

Omen (The Prodigy song)

"Omen" is the nineteenth single released by the British electronic band The Prodigy. It was released on 16 February 2009, and it is the first commercial single from the album Invaders Must Die.

The release was announced on 9 January, in a newsletter sent to fans. The single is accompanied by a video that features live footage from the band. It was first played on Radio 1 on 12 January. The single was co-produced by Does It Offend You, Yeah? singer James Rushent and features a remix from the Dutch drum and bass group Noisia. The track was The Prodigy's tenth top ten hit on the UK Singles Chart.

The single has yet to receive a physical release outside Europe.

The song won the Kerrang! Award for Best Single. It came in at #68 in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100: the fifth track by The Prodigy to chart in the annual countdown, following "Voodoo People" in 1994, "Breathe" and "Firestarter" in 1996, and "Funky Shit" in 1997. The song itself is featured in the movie Kick-Ass and also on the soundtrack respectively.

The Omen

The Omen is a 1976 British-American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner, and written by David Seltzer. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Spencer Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Troughton, Martin Benson, and Leo McKern. The first installment of The Omen franchise, The Omen concerns a young child replaced at birth by American Ambassador Robert Thorn (Peck) unbeknownst to his wife (Remick), after their own son was murdered at the hospital, enabling the son of Satan to grow up with wealth and power. They are surrounded by mysterious and ominous deaths, unaware that the child, Damien, is the Antichrist.

Released theatrically by 20th Century Fox in June 1976, The Omen received acclaim from critics and was a commercial success, grossing over $60 million at the box office and becoming one of the highest-grossing films of 1976. The film earned two Oscar nominations, and won for Best Original Score for Jerry Goldsmith, his only Oscar win. A scene from the film appeared at #16 on Bravo's The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. The film spawned a franchise, starting with Damien: Omen II, released two years later, and followed by a third installment, Omen III: The Final Conflict, in 1981. A remake was released in 2006.

The Omen (2006 film)

The Omen (also known as The Omen: 666) is a 2006 American supernatural horror film directed by John Moore and written by David Seltzer. A remake of the 1976 film of the same name, the film stars Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles and Mia Farrow. It was released worldwide on June 6, 2006 — the date intentionally reflecting the purported Number of the Beast, 666.

The Pious Bird of Good Omen

The Pious Bird of Good Omen is a compilation album by British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1969. It consists of their first four non-album UK singles and their B-sides, two other tracks from their previous two albums, and two tracks by blues artist Eddie Boyd with backing by members of Fleetwood Mac. These two tracks came from Boyd's album 7936 South Rhodes.

The title of the album is a phrase found in an 1817 gloss (marginal note) to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 1798 epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The phrase refers to the albatross killed in the poem ("The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the pious bird of good omen"). Its use as an album title as well as the album art is a sly wink to the featuring of the band's number 1 UK hit "Albatross."

The US-only compilation English Rose was a similar package, sharing five songs with this album, and was released earlier in 1969.

In 2002, the tracks from this album were repackaged by Sony BMG and released as a new collection very closely resembling the 1971 Greatest Hits album, but with the addition of "Shake Your Moneymaker" and "Love That Burns".

Tin Omen (song)

Tin Omen is a single by the band Skinny Puppy, taken from their 1989 album Rabies. The song name is a reference to the 1989 Tiananmen uprising and massacre in China. The song also refers to the My Lai massacre of 1968, and the Kent State shootings of 1970.

Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen (credited as both Alien Jourgensen and Hypo Luxa) performed guitar and backing vocals for the song. The band's longtime producer Dave "Rave" Ogilvie also contributed additional backing vocals.


Voodoo Computers Inc. or VoodooPC was a luxury personal computer brand and company. Voodoo was originally started as a niche PC maker in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was founded in 1991, and acquired by Hewlett Packard in 2006. Voodoo specialized in high performance computing. By 2013 the Voodoo name was no longer used, and was replaced by the brand name Omen, which uses the same logo.

Warriors (novel series)

Warriors is a series of novels published by HarperCollins.

It is written by authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland, with the plot developed by editor Victoria Holmes, who collectively use the pseudonym Erin Hunter. The series follows the adventures of four, later five, clans of wild cats—ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and SkyClan, who were not introduced into the territories until A Vision of Shadows —in their forest and lake homes. They look up to StarClan, the spirits of their warriors ancestors, who guide the four clans. They also follow the warrior code, a set of rules established in order to keep the clans as civil factions.

There are currently six sub-series, each containing six books, and a seventh sub-series has already been announced. The first, Warriors (later re-titled as Warriors: The Prophecies Begin), was published from 2003 to 2004. Warriors: The New Prophecy, published from 2005 to 2006, follows the first sub-series, chronicling the Clans as they move to a new home. The third story arc, Warriors: Power of Three, was published from 2007 to 2009. The fourth sub-series, Warriors: Omen of the Stars, was published from 2009 to 2012 and continued where the third story arc left off. The fifth sub-series Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, was published from 2013 to 2015. The sub-series acts as a prequel series, detailing the formation of the Clans. The sixth and most recent sub-series, Warriors: A Vision of Shadows, had its final book released on 6 November 2018, completing the "A Vision of Shadows" series. The first book of the sixth series, The Apprentice's Quest, was released on 15 March 2016, and the second book, Thunder and Shadow, was released on 6 September 2016. Chronologically, Warriors: A Vision of Shadows follows Warriors: Omen of the Stars, and Bramblestar's Storm. The seventh sub-series, Warriors: The Broken Code, has been announced. The first book in the seventh series, Lost Stars will release on 9 April 2019.

Other books have been released in addition to the main series, including eleven lengthier stand-alone "Super Edition" novels; a few other books that were published as e-book novellas, which were also published in five print compilations, with three stories each: Warriors: Tales from the Clans, Warriors: The Untold Stories, Warriors: Shadows of the Clans, Warriors: Legends of the Clans, and Warriors: Path of a Warrior. Six guides and several volumes of original English-language manga, produced as a collaboration between HarperCollins and TOKYOPOP, have been published as well. Manga published after TOKYOPOP's shutdown is published by HarperCollins on its own. The series has been translated into several languages, and there is a website featuring games, promotional videos, quizzes, and news.

Major themes in the series are adventure, forbidden love, the concept of nature vs. nurture, the reactions of different faiths meeting each other, and characters being a mix of good and bad. The authors draw inspiration from several natural locations and other authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.

Warriors has received mostly positive reviews, but it has also been criticised for being confusing due to its large number of characters. Critics have compared it to the Redwall series, though one reviewer commented that the series is less elegantly written. Although nominated for several awards, Warriors has yet to receive any major literary prizes. The series has reached the New York Times Bestseller List and has found popularity in many countries, including Trinidad, Germany and China.

On 20 October 2016, Vicky Holmes and Kate Cary, two of the Erin Hunters, announced that Alibaba Pictures had acquired the film rights to the series.

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