The Cumaean Sibyls In Classical Mythology And Religion, Prophetess?

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Register to read the introduction… There were said to be as many as 10 sibyls, variously located and represented. The most famous was the Cumaean sibyl, described by Vergil in the Aeneid. When she offered Tarquin her prophetic writings, the so-called sibylline books, he refused to pay her high price. She kept burning the books until finally he bought the remaining three at the original price. Although the historical origins of the books are uncertain, they were actually kept at Rome in the Capitol and were consulted by the state in times of emergency. The books were destroyed in the burning of the Capitol in 83 B.C., but a new collection was made. This was burned in A.D. 405. The sibyls achieved a stature in Christian literature and art similar to that of the Old Testament …show more content…
Parnassus emitting a gas that would cause seizures among the goats that grazed nearby. The convulsions and wild ravings of a goatherd who was also affected were interpreted by the locals as "divine inspiration", and the priesthood moved in rapidly to take advantage of the unusual situation. The oracle was ascribed to a few other deities before the temple of Apollo was established. The Pythia was the priestess of this oracle who was crowned in laurel and seated on a tripod perched over the cleft that produced the intoxicating vapors. Her utterances while under the influence were usually so disjointed that additional clergy were needed to provide interpretation.

the earliest of the Sibyls. She was believed to have come from the rest, and resided at Cumae. She owned, according to tradition, nine books of prophecies. When the Roman king Targuin (Tarquinius Priscus) wanted to buy those books he thought the price she asked far too high. The Sibyl threw three books into the fire and doubled the price; this she did again with the next three books, and the king was forced the buy the remaining three books for a price four times as high as the original

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