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date: 04 February 2023



  • Arthur Stanley Pease
  •  and David Potter


The word Sibylla, of uncertain etymology, appears first in Heraclitus (DK 22 B 92) and was used as a proper name by the 5th cent. bce (e.g. Ar.Pax 1095, 1116). Specific oracles relating to events in the 4th cent. appear to have been attributed to the Sibyl by Ephorus. Originally the Sibyl seems to have been a single prophetic woman, but by the time of *Heraclides (1) Ponticus (fr. 130–41 Wehrli) a number of places claimed to be the birthplace of Sibylla, traditions concerning a number of different Sibyls began to circulate, and the word came to be a generic term rather than a name. There are a number of Sibylline catalogues, of which the most important was that compiled by *Varro for his Res Divinae. It lists ten: (1) Persian;(2) Libyan;(3) Delphic;(4) Cimmerian (in Italy);(5) Erythraean (named Herophile);(6) Samian;(7) Cumaean;(8) Hellespontine;(9) Phrygian;(10) Tiburtine.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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