Talk:Sibylline Oracles

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Which Justin?[edit]

This article reads: "The so-called Sibylline oracles were referred to by the early Church fathers: Justin,..."

The link to Justin is to a disambig page, however. Is the Justin who is being referred to here Saint Justin Martyr ?Kevyn 21:43, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

My laziness. Justin Martyr of course. I've disambiguated and added a good external link, etc. Should the viewpoint of the Church Fathers to these bogue oracles be expanded? Wetman 22:49, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
LOL, I'm not the one to ask. I've been working on editing disambig pages that have links to them that they shouldn't, which was how I came across this page, from Justin. Thanks for fixing the link, though! Kevyn 23:09, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)


In order to preserve the current genuinely Neutral rather than Christianist POV, I have added the following italicised disclaimer to the characterization of prophecy, as it affects texts:

"Leaving aside any issues connected with prophecy in Holy Scripture, these oracles are like prophecies in general: they either purport to predict events which were already either history or legend at the time of the actual composition, which was given a spurious early dating, or else they are vague all-purpose predictions, especially of woe in the offing for various cities and countries such as Rome and Assyria."
Christianist interpretations of phrases in the OT as "prophetic"— or similar issues— should not compromise this entry. --Wetman 12:00, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't claim to be an expert on this subject, but all this talk about 'pretend prophesies' strikes me as major POV. What do you guys think?

You're right. I've deleted 'pretended'.
Rather than see eliminated the very word that is the crux of the most basic critical understanding of these texts in their historical context, I have substituted for "pretended" an explanatory phrase— 'utterances claimed as prophecies'— which is the meaning of pretended. Now the sentence is comprehensible even to the simplest understanding. --Wetman 18:14, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

Shouldn't this article be titled Sibylline Oracles? ( Ceoil sláinte 17:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

  • I've moved this page as above because of a request at my talk page. –xenotalk 13:40, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

More Information on the Sybll(s)[edit]


The Sybll was a woman who lived apart from the people of Neopolis founded in 6 BCE by the Greeks. (Gr. translation: new city), usually in a cave in the hills of Cumea, outside what is now Naples, Italy. She was the high priestess of the god Apollo. Much like the priestess of the Temple at Delphi, also an Apollonian oracle and source of prophecy, she was a connection to the gods. Nobody would dare start a project or do long range planning without first consulting her. The people, especially the leaders and men & women of influence, would consult the sybll before taking on any new project, for pregnancies, business deals...anything and everything.

The Sybll would go into a trance - this being thought by scientists to have been caused by ethylene vapor or gases which leech from the volcanic soil around Naples. [Ethylene gas in sufficient quantities is hallucinigenic]. The people believed she was being possessed by the God Apollo (who was the city's official god and protector). Once she was in the trance, it is said she would become highly agitated. The woman would begin to utter words and phrases which were written down on oak leaves. Many times the words on the leaves would blow about and parts of the message would be lost; the total message often got scrambled. Still other, longer messages were written down on scrolls made from parchment(sheepskin). These were considered holy, and were later kept in the temple of Jupiter (the Greek equivalent of Zeus) after the Romans conquered the city in approximately 4 BCE.

One of the prophecies the Sybll is most famous for in these modern times is her 'doomsday' prophecy, which tells of how the world will come to an end. It says the world would last for 9 periods of 800 years each or 7200 years. The 10th generation would begin approximately 2000 AD. This, she predicted, would be the last for humanity.

The Sybilline prophecy reads thus:

These things in the tenth generation shall come to pass: The earth shall be shaken by a great earthquake which will throw many cities into the seas. There shall be war. Fire shall come flashing down from the heavens; many cities will burn. Black ash shall fill the great sky. Then, know the anger of the gods.

The Sybll predicted Socrates' name would be 'known by the world'. This occured decades prior to his first writings. In the 6th Century BCE the Sybll predicted the invasion of Hannibal, which was over 700 years before he arrived. The sybll predicted the birth of Constantine the Great - by name - some 800 years before he was born. The sybll could be remarkably accurate and speak in more than generalities at times; at other times the messages were cryptic and difficult to understand.

The Sybll is somewhat revered by early Christians - even into the Renaissance for her prediction of the coming of the Christ. Noted in Virgil's 4th Eclogue is a line where the Sybll prophesies 'a child will be born that will bring a Golden Age" about 20 years before He was born. Michaelangelo even included her in his painting of the Sistine Chapel. This proves her acceptance by the Church, as the pope would have had to agree to her being included. Had she been viewed as a Greek or Roman mystic the pope would have ordered her removed or changed to a known saint. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Logikal1 (talkcontribs) 09:19, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we can't do much with unreferenced information nowadays, because we can't tell how much of it might be novel research, which is not allowed. Please read WP:RS and WP:OR for more on these policies, then if you have secondary references for all the above, we can discuss them. Thanks, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
This information is not cited because it is clearly misguided. Please show us where the Sibylline Records actually use the name of Constantine? This and other rumors are being spread through misinformed 2012 bloggers - none seem to have a source. I can't find such a reference in Vigil's accounting of Sbyilline Records, Messianic Eclogue, book 4. It's just not there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 14 August 2011 (UTC)