Sibylline Books


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Sibylline Books

pl n
(Classical Myth & Legend) (in ancient Rome) a collection of prophetic sayings, supposedly bought from the Cumaean sibyl, bearing upon Roman policy and religion
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For those who aren't familiar with them, Sibylline books were a collection of oracular utterances, set out in Greek hexameters.
Referring to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, Poland's Minister of Finance, Jacek Rostowski, said that the negotiations reminded him of the story of the purchase of the Sibylline Books in ancient Rome.
After five centuries a sacerdos consulted the Sibylline books which read: Mater abest: Matrem iubeo, Romane, requires | cum veniet, casta est accipienda manu (259-60).
Ancient Greeks settled boundary disputes by referring to the text of Homer, and the Romans, when they could not consult the Sibylline Books, had recourse to the sortes Vergilianae, a method of divination that consisted of picking random passages out of the Aeneid.
Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price state that "many innovations were inspired by the Sibylline Books, the collections of oracles, kept and consulted by the duoviri sacris faciundis, which served both to initiate change and to provide [legitimacy] for what might otherwise have been seen as deviations from the ancestral tradition" (62).
She quoted from Roman Law, the Sibylline books and her favourite writer, Plato.
See also in Spero's library, Lucie Lamy, Egyptian Mysteries; Merlin Stone, Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood: Our Goddesses and Heroine Heritage (New York: Sibylline Books, 1979); Clifford Geertz, ed.
After witnessing a frightening meteor shower, the Roman magistrates consulted the Sibylline books, which prophesied that Hannibal could be defeated if the Idaean Mother was brought to Rome.
First, there is the Carmen's strict adherence to the matter of the saeculum as opposed to that of the golden age -- the reference to the Sibylline books at verse 5, for example, exhibits none of the play in the Eclogue's Cumaeum carmen (4) on Cumae, the home of the Sibyl, and Kyme, the birthplace of Hesiod: the Carmen Saeculare is to be precisely that -- a Saecular song.
Beginning his career with a minor magistracy, in 88 he gained a praetorship (a post with legal jurisdiction) and became a member of the priestly college that kept the Sibylline Books of prophecy and supervised foreign-cult practice.
The Fates are three, the Furies three, the Graces three, the harpies three, the Sibylline Books three times three (of which only three survived); the fountain from which Hylas drew water was presided over by three nymphs; the Muses were three times three; the Pythia sat on a three - legged stool, or tripod; and in Scandinavian mythology we hear of the Mysterious Three: Har the Mighty, the Like - Mighty, and the Third Person, who sat on three thrones above the rainbow.