Ancient is virtually the opposite of prescient and more. (At least, until The Words Project gets its mitts on the word prescient and, then, who knows?) There are two related definitions of ancient, both of them adjectives and both of them contrast with the current definition of prescient. Whereas prescient (for now) means being able to foresee events before they occur, if you are ancient you are either:
- Regularly absolutely convinced that you know what will happen in the future, but you are always as wrong as wrong can be about your predictions.
- Always entirely wrong about what you are convinced happened in the past and is happening now.
Someone who is ancient by the first definition of the word should generally not bet on sporting events, the stock market or anything else that depends on a future outcome. The exception to this rule is an ancient person who is willing to bet on the opposite of what his or her intuition says will happen.
People who are ancient by the second definition of the word should not become historians, reporters or journalists unless they get paid a hell of a lot of money up front for their historical works, reportage or journalism and they don’t mind fleeing the country to avoid the inevitable lawsuits when they are discovered to be charlatans.
People who are ancient by both definitions of the word should shut the hell up at all times and let others run their lives for them. Either that or they can become televangelists and make a fortune from their failed prognostications and their sermons on the past.