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A slave presenting her mistress with the calathus (Greco-Roman).

Calathumpian, also spelled "callothumpian", "carathumpian" and "calisthumpian", is a term that is used in a non-judgmental way to describe a religion or philosophy in its infancy. The description is of a relatively original belief, held by a small group, personally assembled, or not institutionalized. It can also be sometimes used as a non-specific example of a religious or political persuasion.

Calathumpian (which may be derived from an apocryphal origin from the Latin term “calathus” which comes from Greek "κάλαθος" = rubbish bin) is a description applied, sometimes pejoratively, to individuals who believe things that mainstream believers (at that time and place) tend to regard as rubbish.

In Australia, Callithumpian has a more general meaning of any set, or sets of minority philosophical, religious, political, etc., beliefs not covered by specified categories, e.g. Mr John Howard (Australian House of Representatives Hansard, 1993 Oct 21) —"With regard to the service on 11 November next for the entombment of the Unknown Soldier, . . . these occasions have always been in the Australian tradition: Liberal, Labor, National Party, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Callithumpian, whatever one likes. They have never been exclusively one party, one denomination." [1]

There was also a Maryland Nativist criminal gang in Baltimore, Maryland in the mid-1800s known as the "Callithumpians".


  1. ^ Howard, John. "Hansard". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 31 March 2012.