sibyl


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

sibyl

(sĭb`ĭl), in classical mythology and religion, prophetess. 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 prophets.

Sibyl

A woman in Greek and Roman mythology reputed to possess powers of prophecy and divination.

Sibyl

 

any of several legendary prophetesses mentioned in works by classical writers.

The most famous sibyl was from the city of Cumae in Italy; according to legend, her predictions were gathered into collections of prophecies, the Sibylline Books. During the reigns of the legendary Roman kings Tarquinius Superbus and Tarqui-nius Priscus (seventh-sixth centuries B.C.), these collections were brought to Rome and kept in a stone vault under the Temple of the Capitoline Jupiter; in 83 B.C.. they were destroyed during a fire. The books were compiled again and stored in the temple of Apollo on the Palatine; in AD. 405 these were burned by edict of Stilicho, ruler of the Western Roman Empire. The 12 surviving Sibylline Books, dating from the second century B.C.. to the second century AD., are a source for the history of the Judaic and Christian religions. Sibyls appear in paintings by Michelangelo, Tintoretto, Rembrandt and other artists.

sibyl

1. (in ancient Greece and Rome) any of a number of women believed to be oracles or prophetesses, one of the most famous being the sibyl of Cumae, who guided Aeneas through the underworld
2. a witch, fortune-teller, or sorceress
References in periodicals archive ?
Her Sibyl was a dramatic contrast to Laura Rogers' flighty, bubbly Amanda, who clearly pulled the strings in her new marriage with a mix of feminine wiles and bloody-mindedness.
Syers offers an analogy: "I once asked Sibyl about her approach to singing, and she told me her job was 'to put the song in the people.
Sibyl received her undergraduate degree in history from Duke University, '85, cum laude (History), and her J.
Sibyl herself is wrapped up like a parcel in layers of warm clothing - trousers and tights and a polo-neck sweater, a quilted waterproof jacket with the hood up.
Dempsey also looks at the paintings of the sibyls commissioned by Cardinal Giordano Orsini in the early fifteenth century.
The case study here is a set of Latin epigrams describing a cycle of twelve sibyls and some prophets painted c.
2) The episode of the Sibyl of Panzoust does stand out among the others, not because it provides a different answer to Panurge's dilemma, but because on the surface it presents a sibyl unlike others, one who does not conform to the prescribed decorum of a sibyl who speaks a divinely authored oracle.
Un cuarto de hora despues, en medio de una tempestad de aplausos, entro Sibyl Vane en escena.
The Sibyl of Cumae, wooed by Apollo, was offered a year of life for every grain of sand she could gather in one hand.
Mwynheais ddarllen y gerdd a anfonwyd gan Sibyl Jones, Penrhyndeudraeth hefyd.
At the same time, in the first of her novels to appear after the deaths of her husband and Byron (in 1822 and 1824, respectively), Shelley surpasses her contemporaries by restoring the Sibyl, a prophetic female voice from Western antiquity, as a principal vatic authority.