Reality Roars Bentley
Book Leader Row 1

The Sibylline Oracles

Translated from the Greek into English

by Milton S. Terry, Professor in Garrett Biblical Institute











{scanned at, December, 2001}

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THE Sibyls occupy a conspicuous place in the traditions and history of ancient Greece and Rome. Their fame was spread abroad long before the beginning of the Christian era. Heraclitus of Ephesus, five centuries before Christ, compared himself to the Sibyl "who, speaking with inspired mouth, without a smile, without ornament, and without perfume, penetrates through centuries by the power of the gods." The ancient traditions vary in reporting the number and the names of these weird prophetesses, and much of what has been handed down to us is legendary. But whatever opinion one may hold respecting the various legends, there can be little doubt that a collection of Sibylline Oracles was at one time preserved at Rome. There are, moreover, various oracles, purporting to have been written by ancient Sibyls, found in the writings of Pausanias, Plutarch, Livy, and in other Greek and Latin authors. Whether any of these citations formed a portion of the Sibylline books once kept in Rome we cannot now determine; but the Roman capitol was destroyed by fire in the time of Sulla (B. C. 84), and again in the time of Vespasian (A. D. 69), and whatever books were at those dates kept therein doubtless perished in the flames. It is said by some of the ancients that a subsequent collection of oracles was made, but, if so, there is now no certainty that any fragments of them remain.

The twelve books of Greek hexameters, of which a rhythmic English translation is furnished in the following

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pages, have been in existence for more than a thousand years, and may be properly called the Pseudo-Sibyllines. They belong to that large body of pseudepigraphical literature which flourished near the beginning of the Christian era (about B. C. 150-A. D. 300), and which consists of such works as the Book of Enoch, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Book of Jubilees, the Assumption of Moses, the Psalms of Solomon, the Ascension of Isaiah, and the Fourth Book of Esdras. The production of this class of literature was most notable at Alexandria in the time of the Ptolemies. The influence of Greek civilization and culture upon the large Jewish population of the Egyptian metropolis, and the marked favors shown this people in that country, turned them far from the strict usages of their Palestinian brethren. No fact could more strikingly show the results of this foreign influence than the building of the temple and altar at Leontopolis, as described by Josephus (Ant. xiii, 3). If the son of the high priest Onias saw propriety in converting a heathen temple to the worship of Almighty God, and building it after the pattern of the one in Jerusalem, we need not wonder that the religious and literary taste of the Alexandrian Jews found gratification in harmonizing Hebrew traditions and Greek philosophy. The ingenuity that found in Isa. xix, 19, a warrant for the building of such a temple and altar might easily discover among the responses of heathen oracles much that was capable of appearing to great advantage in a Jewish dress. In this way, no doubt, arose the Jewish Sibyl, assuming to be a daughter-in-law of Noah, and skilled in prophetic knowledge. And this passion for reproducing famous oracles spread beyond the land of Egypt, and gathered breadth and volume with its years of growth. Not only were the historical and philosophical productions of the Greeks made use of, but the speculations

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of the Persians, the mysteries of Egyptian priests, and the poetical myths and legends of all nations contributed to the medley which Hellenistic Jews were fond of turning to a pious purpose. And just as the allegorical method of interpreting Scripture was handed over as a sort of inheritance to the early Christian Church, so the passion for producing pseudonymous books took easy possession of many Christian writers of the first centuries.

Like other pseudonymous apocalypses, these Sibyllines contain evidence of being the work of a number of different authors. They are obviously a composite of Jewish and Christian elements. The citation from the Sibyl which appears in Josephus (Ant. i, iv, 3) shows that the oldest portion of our present third book (line 117, ff) must have been current before the beginning of the Christian era. The verses of the Jewish Sibyl probably originated at Alexandria, and may possibly have incorporated some fragments of more ancient oracles once included in the Sibylline books which were kept at Rome. They presented such a fascinating form of pseudepigraphical composition that not a few other writers followed the successful example and put forth verses of various merit. And so it came to pass that after a few centuries the later Jewish and the early Christian literature abounded with poetic oracles purporting to be productions of the ancient Sibyls. Many independent compositions of this kind were accordingly in circulation some time before the task was taken in hand of arranging the entire body of so-called Sibylline Oracles into one connected and orderly series. This task was undertaken by the author of what is known as the "Anonymous Preface," who combined the scattered oracles into fourteen books. The repetitions of language and sentiment now found in these different books indicate that already, before this larger task was attempted, other minor

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compilations had been made, and that the later compiler and editor left these smaller independent collections intact, not attempting to eliminate the repetitions, nor even to harmonize conflicting statements.

The first printed edition of the Greek text was brought out by Xystus Betuleius (Sixtus Birke) at Basel in 1545. A metrical Latin version of this by Sebastian Castalio appeared in 1546, and another edition of the Greek text, emended by the same scholar, in 1555. In 1599 Johannis Opsopæus (John Koch) published at Paris an edition of the Greek text, accompanied with the Latin version of Castalio, and with brief prolegomena and notes. But all these editions were superseded by that of Servatius Gallæus, published at Amsterdam in 1687-89, in two quarto volumes. One volume contains the Greek text, with the Latin version and extensive annotations; the other consists of dissertations on the Sibyls and their oracles. This text and translation, accompanied with numerous notes taken largely from the work of Gallæus, was republished at Venice in 1765, in the first volume of Gallandius's Collection of the Fathers. The next important contribution to the Sibyllines was the discovery in the Ambrosian library at Milan of the fourteenth book, which was published by Angelo Mai in 1817. The same distinguished prelate subsequently found in the Vatican library at Rome four books numbered xi-xiv, and published them in that city in 1828. The first to edit and publish the entire collection of twelve books (books i-viii and xi-xiv) was J. H. Friedlieb, whose single volume, issued at Leipsic in 1852, contains the entire Greek text, with a remarkably close metrical version in German, a valuable introduction, and a collection of various readings. A still more complete and critical edition is that of C. Alexandre, whose first volume appeared at Paris in 1841, and contains the Greek text

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and a Latin version of the first eight books, and extensive critical and exegetical notes. Two subsequent volumes (Paris, 1853 and 1856) supplied the remaining books, seven Excursus, and a bibliography of the Sibylline literature. A new edition, condensing the material of his previous dissertations and presenting all in a single volume, appeared at Paris in 1869.

The latest and most improved edition of the Greek text of the twelve books now extant is that of Aloisius Rzach, published at Vienna in 1891. The editor had prepared himself for his task by extensive studies in the department of the later Greek literature. His work has not escaped criticism, especially on account of its numerous conjectural emendations, but it is to-day undoubtedly, as a whole, the best edition of the Greek text in existence. Whatever improvements future editors may make, this product of indefatigable labor is not likely to be soon superseded.

The following translation is based upon the text of Rzach, and is designed to supersede and displace my earlier translation, which appeared in 1890. The defects of that work and the numerous improvements made in the Greek text of Rzach warrant this thorough recasting of what appears so far to be the only complete translation of these interesting oracles in the English language.[1] Inasmuch as one distinguishing feature of the original is the fact that all its parts and fragments are cast in the form of

[1. An English translation from the texts of Opsopæus and Gallæus was published in London, 1713, by Sir John Floyer. This, of course, contains only the first eight books. In a preface of twenty pages the translator maintains the genuineness of the oracles, cites numerous testimonies from the Christian fathers, and finds the papacy and the Turks predicted therein. The book is out of print, and its dissertations attempting to answer the objections of Opsopæus and Vossius (pp. 249-262) are obsolete and worthless.]

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Greek hexameters, I have been governed by a conviction that the translation ought to be set in some poetic form. It need not be an imitation of the hexameter, which seems somewhat foreign to the genius of the English tongue. The poetic form which in our language holds a position more analogous is that of pentameter blank verse, and I have accordingly felt that this measure was on the whole best adapted to the purpose of this work. A prose translation would undoubtedly enable one in not a few instances to convey the meaning of the original more accurately, but the consequent loss of that which is enhancing in the matter of poetic form ought not to be ignored. Bayard Taylor, in the Preface to his translation of Goethe's Faust, argues that "the value of form in a poetical work is the first question to be considered. . . . Poetry, indeed, may be distinguished from prose by the single circumstance that it is the utterance of whatever in man cannot be perfectly uttered in any other than a rhythmical form. It is useless to say that the naked meaning is independent of the form." This argument has, of course, a force and relevancy in connection with poetic masterpieces like Goethe's Faust and the Homeric epics which it cannot have for a version of such a composite of heterogeneous elements as we find in these Pseudo-Sibyllines; and yet we believe that it ought to have great influence in an attempt to translate what exists only in poetic form.

In working out my task I have aimed, in spite of the restrictions involved in maintaining a rhythmic form, to keep very close to the order and sentiment of the Greek verses. Not a few of my renderings may perhaps be justly criticised as being too literal, and some may be thought to violate the usages of good English style; and I must crave the kindly forbearance of the critical reader. Let the offense of extreme literalism be condoned by the consideration

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that I am a kind of pioneer in making these oracles accessible to English readers, and that I have risked adverse criticism for my occasional too close adherence to the letter of the Greek rather than expose myself to possibly greater error in the opposite extreme. It should be observed, also, that there are not a few very obscure and perplexing passages in these Pseudo-Sibyllines, and in some verses one can at best only guess at the meaning. There are also numerous lacuncæ and mutilations in all existing manuscripts, as, for example, at the conclusion of book xii. These are indicated in the translation just as they appear in the printed Greek texts. In the few places where a list of proper names occurs (for example, iii, 424-430) and English rhythm is impossible, my only course was simply to transfer the names in the order in which they stand in the Greek. For convenience in comparing the translation with the original the corresponding lines of the Greek text are indicated by the numbers inclosed in parentheses at the foot of each page of the translation.

I have aimed to supply in the footnotes such information as a reader of the oracles might wish to find by easy reference. My inability to explain all the obscure allusions has not deterred me from supplying as far as practicable such notes and comments as interested students may find to be a help. In the first footnote at the beginning of each book there is given a brief statement of the general character and the probable authorship and date of the contents, but I have not attempted the difficult task of a critical analysis, rearrangement, and formal discussion of the various parts of these now heterogeneous books and fragments. The task of the translator is at the present rather to accept the order of the books as they appear in all the printed texts of the Greek original.

The fact that many of the early Christian fathers cite

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these pseudonymous oracles as veritable Holy Scripture gives the work an importance in biblical criticism and theology which justifies the attention I have given the matter in the footnotes. The various citations have been carefully noted, and, for the convenience of students disposed to examine or verify them, the place of each citation is designated not only by the common reference of book and chapter, but also by the volume and column in which the passage appears in Migne's Complete Collection of Greek and Latin Fathers. This latter designation is always put in brackets, the letter G denoting the Greek, and L the Latin patrology; the numbers which follow these letters refer respectively to the volume and column. The index at the end of this volume also designates, in connection with the name of each of these fathers, the pages of our translation where the various citations may be found.

Those fragments of Sibylline Oracles which are preserved among the citations of Theophilus and Lactantius, but which do not appear anywhere in the twelve books of our collection, are placed in the Appendix to this volume, where also we furnish a translation of the "Anonymous Preface," together with the passages from Varro and Lactantius which tell the story of the Sibyls, and a bibliography of the Sibylline literature.

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See the page opposite the beginning of each book for a detailed table of contents.

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Announcement, 1-5. Creation of the earth and man, 6-47. First sin and penalty, 48-81. Condition of the first race, 82-107. The second race of men, 108-129. Third and fourth races, 130-148. The race of giants, 149-153. Call and preaching of Noah, 154-243. Entrance into the ark, and the flood, 244-281. Abatement of the waters, 282-319. Exit from the ark, 320-343. The sixth race and the Titans, 344-386. Prophecy of Christ, 387-468. Dispersion of the Hebrews, 469-485.

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BEGINNING with the generation first
Of mortal men down to the very last
I'll prophesy each thing: what erst has been,
And what is now, and what shall yet befall
5 The world through the impiety of men.
    First now God urges on me to relate
Truly how into being came the world.
And thou, shrewd mortal, prudently make known,
Lest ever thou should'st my commands neglect,
10 The King most high, who brought into existence
The whole world, saying, "Let there be," and there was.
For he the earth established, placing it
Round about Tartarus, and he himself

[1. This book appears to be one of the latest in composition of this entire collection of oracles, but it was placed first on account of its contents, which relate to the creation and the earliest races of mankind. It is evidently of Christian origin, and was written probably as late as the third century.

13. Tartartus, the prison of the Titans, is here conceived as encompassed by the earth and forming its interior. Hesiod (Theog., 720, ff) represents it as surrounded by a brazen fence and situated as far beneath the earth as earth is beneath the heaven; it would require nine days and nights, he says, for an anvil to fall from heaven to earth, and as many more for it to fall from earth to Tartarus. Comp. Homer, Il., viii, 13-16. Verg., Æn., vi, 577-581. It will be seen in line 127 and elsewhere that Gehenna is regarded as a part of Tartarus or identical with it, while Hades (line 106) comprehends the abode of all the dead.]


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Gave the sweet light; he raised the heaven on high,
15 Spread out the gleaming sea, and crowned the sky
With an abundance of bright-shining stars,
And decked the earth with plants, and mingled sea
With rivers, and the air with zephyrs mixed
And watery clouds; and then, another race
20 Appointing, he gave fishes to the seas
And birds unto the winds, and to the woods
The beasts of shaggy neck, and snakes that crawl,
And all things which now on the earth appear.
These by his word he made, and every thing
25 Was speedily and with precision done;
For he was self-caused and from heaven looked down
And finished was the world exceeding well.
And then thereafter fashioned he again
A living product, copying a new man
30 From his own image, beautiful, divine,
And bade him in ambrosial garden dwell,
That labors beautiful might be his care.
But in that fertile field of Paradise
He longed for conversation, being alone,
35 And prayed that he might see another form
Such as he had. And forthwith, from man's side
Taking a bone, God himself made fair Eve,
A wedded spouse, and in that Paradise
Gave her to dwell with him. And, when he gazed
40 Upon her, on a sudden filled with joy
Great admiration held his soul, he saw
A pattern so exact; and with wise words
Spontaneous flowing answered he in turn
For God had care for all things. For the mind
45 They darkened not with passion, nor concealed
Their nakedness, but with hearts far from evil


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Even like wild beasts they walked with limbs exposed.
And afterwards delivering them commands
God showed them not to touch a certain tree;
50 But the dread serpent drew them off by guile
To go away unto the fate of death
And to gain knowledge of both good and evil.
But the wife then first traitress proved to God;
She gave, and urged the unknowing man to sin.
55 And he, persuaded by the woman's words,
Forgot the immortal Maker utterly,
And treated plain commandments with neglect.
Therefore, instead of good, received they evil
According to their deed. And then the leaves
60 Of the sweet fig-tree piercing they made clothes
And put them on each other, and concealed
The sexual parts, because they were ashamed.
But on them the Immortal set his wrath
And cast them out of the immortal land.
65 For their abiding now in mortal land
Was brought to pass, since hearing they kept not
The word of the immortal mighty God.
And straightway they, upon the fruitful soil
Forthgoing, with their tears and groans were wet;
70 And to them then the immortal God himself
A word more excellent spoke: "Multiply,
Increase, work constantly upon the earth,
That with the sweat of labor ye may have
Sufficient food." Thus he spoke; and he made
75 The author of deceit to press the ground
On belly and on side, a crawling snake,
Driving him out severely; and he sent
Dire enmity between them and the one

[48-52. Cited by Lact., Div. Inst., ii, 13. [L., 6, 325.]]


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Is on the look-out to preserve his head,
80 But man his heel; for death is neighbor near
Of evil-plotting vipers and of men.
    And then indeed the race was multiplied
As the Almighty himself gave command,
And there grew up one people on another
85 Innumerable. And houses they adorned
Of all kinds and made cities and their walls
Well and expertly; and to them was given
A day of long time for a life much-loved;
For they did not worn out with troubles die,
90 But as subdued by sleep; most happy men
Of great heart, whom the immortal Saviour loved,
The King, God. But they also did transgress,
Smitten with folly. For with impudence
They mocked their fathers and their mothers scorned;
95 Kinsmen they knew not, and they formed intrigues
Against their brothers. And they were impure,
Having defiled themselves with human gore,
And they made wars. And then upon them came
The last calamity sent forth from heaven,
100 Which snatched the dreadful men away from life;
And Hades then received them; it was called
Hades since Adam, having tasted death,
Went first and earth encompassed him around.
And therefore all men born upon the earth
105 Are in abodes of Hades called to go.

[88. Day of long time.--Allusion to the remark the patriarchs as recorded in Gen. v.

102. Hades.--The conception of Hades here set forth, as the great receptacle of the souls of men after death, is in essential harmony with both the Jewish and the Christian doctrines. The derivation of the name from Adam is noticeable as a purely arbitrary conjecture. Comp. book iii, 30, note; comp. Plato's explanation of the word in Cratylus, 404.]


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But even in Hades all these when they came
Had honor, since they were the earliest race.
    But when Hades received these, secondly
[Of the surviving and most righteous men]
110 God formed another very subtile race
That cared for lovely works, and noble toils,
Distinguished reverence and solid wisdom;
And they were trained in arts of every kind,
Finding inventions by their lack of means.
115 And one devised to till the land with plows,
Another worked in wood, another cared
For sailing, and another watched the stars
And practiced augury with winged fowls;
And use of drugs had interest for one,
120 While for another magic had a charm;
And others were in every other art
Which men care for instructed, wide awake,
Industrious, worthy of that eponym
Because they had a sleepless mind within
125 And a huge body; stout with mighty form
They were; but, notwithstanding, down they went
Into Tartarean chamber terrible,
Kept in firm chains to pay full penalty
In Gehenna of strong, furious, quenchless fire.
130    And after these a third strong-minded race
Appeared, a race of overbearing men
And terrible, who wrought among themselves

[109. Lines thus inclosed in brackets are believed to be spurious interpolations, but have too much MS. authority to be omitted from the text.

130. Third strong-minded race.--The successive races here mentioned appear to be in imitation of Hesiod's ages or races of mankind. Hesiod applies to them the epithets of golden, silver, bronze, and iron. See Works and Days, 108-190, and comp. Aratus, Phænom., 100-134; Ovid, Met., i. 89-150; Juvenal, Sat., xiii, 27-30.]


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Many an evil. And fights, homicides,
And battles did continually destroy
135 Those men possessed of overweening heart,
    And from these afterward another race
Proceeded, late-completed, youngest born,
Blood-stained, perverse in counsel; of men these
Were in the fourth race; much the blood they spilled,
140 Nor feared they God nor had regard for men,
For maddening wrath and sore impiety
Were sent upon them. And wars, homicides,
And battles sent some into Erebus,
Since they were overweening impious men.
145 But the rest did the heavenly God himself
In anger afterwards change from his world,
Casting them into mighty Tartarus
Down under the foundation of the earth.
And later yet another race much worse
150 [Of men he made, to whom no good thereafter]
The Immortal formed, since they wrought many evils.
For they were much more violent than those,
Giants perverse, foul language pouring out.
Single among all men, most just and true,
155 Was the most faithful Noah, full of care
For noblest works. And to him God himself
From heaven thus spoke: "Noah, be of good cheer
In thyself and to all the people preach
Repentance, so that they may all be saved.
160 But if, with shameless soul, they heed me not
The whole race I will utterly destroy

[143. Erebus appears to be here employed merely as another name for the underworld, and interchangeable with Hades. Comp. Homer, Il., viii. 368. Tartarus is conceived as a still lower deep.

153. Giants.--The nephilim of Gen. vi, 4.]


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With mighty floods of waters. Quickly now
An undecaying house I bid thee frame
Of planks strong and impervious to the wet.
165 I will put understanding in thy heart,
And subtile skill, and rule of measurement
And order; and for all things will I care
That thou be saved, and all who dwell with thee.
And I am He who is, and in thy heart
170 Do thou discern. I clothe me with the heaven,
And cast the sea around me, and for me
Earth is a footstool, and the air is poured
Around my body; and on every side
Around me runs the chorus of the stars.
175 Nine letters have I; of four syllables
I am; discern me. The first three have each
Two letters, the remaining one the rest,
And five are mates; and of the entire sum
The hundreds are twice eight and thrice three tens
180 Along with seven. Now, knowing who I am,

[175. Nine letters.--The connection shows that the name intended must be some title or designation of the Creator, but no word has been discovered that fully meets the conditions of the puzzle. The nearest solution is found in the word {Greek ?ane'kfwnows}. This word has nine letters, four syllables, and five mutes, or consonants. The first three syllables have two letters each, and the sum of all the letters taken at their numerical value is 1,696. But the number stated in the text is twice 800, plus three times thirty (= 90) and seven = 1,697. {Greek ?ane'kfwnows} must also be supposed to be a shortened form for {Greek ?anekfw'nhtos}, used in ecclesiastical Greek writers to denote the unutterable name, Jehovah. Another name proposed is {Greek Ðeo`s Swth'r}, but an obvious objection is that we have here two words, not, as the text suggests, one word of four syllables. Besides, these letters amount to only 1,692. There is, perhaps, an error in the text. If for the words with seven (line 180) we read with two, the numerical difficulty of the last-named solution would be met; or if we read with six, then the word {Greek ?ane'kfwnos} solves the problem. Comp. the similar puzzle in lines 395-399 of this same book, and the well-known {footnote p. 22} enigma of the number of the beast in Rev. xiii, 18. A like example is also found in Capella (book ii, 193), who thus addresses the sun: "Hail, thou veritable face and paternal countenance of God, eight and six hundred in number, whose first letter forms a sacred name, a surname, and a sign;" which Kopp explains by the letters {Greek frh} (= 608), representative of the Egyptian name of the sun. Comp. also the designation of the Roman emperors in book v, 16, and following.]


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Be thou not uninitiate in my lore."
    Thus he spoke; and great trembling seized on him
At what he heard. And then, within his mind
Having contrived each matter, he besought
185 The people and began with words like these:
"O men insatiate, smit with madness great,
Whatever things ye practiced they shall not
Escape God's notice; for he knows all things,
Immortal Saviour overseeing all,
190 Who bade me warn you, that ye perish not.
Be sober, cut off badness, do not fight
Perforce each other with blood-guilty heart,
Nor irrigate much land with human gore.
Revere, O mortals, the supremely great
195 And fearless heavenly Creator, God
Imperishable, whose dwelling is the sky;
And do ye all entreat him--he is kind--
For life of cities and of all the world,
And of four-footed beasts and flying fowls;
200 Entreat him to be gracious unto all.
For when the whole unbounded world of men
Shall be destroyed by waters loud ye'll raise

[184. Besought the people.--The O. T. narrative of the flood records nothing of Noah's preaching, but in 2 Pet. ii he is called a "preacher of righteousness" (comp. 1 Pet. iii, 20), and Josephus (Ant., i, iii, 1) confirms this tradition of the Jews. Comp. also Theophilus, ad Autol., iii, 19 [G., 61 1.145].]


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A fearful cry. And suddenly for you
The air shall be disordered, and from heaven
205 The fury of the mighty God shall come
Upon you. And it certainly shall be
That the immortal Saviour against men
Will send wrath if ye do not placate God
And from this time repent; and nothing more
210 Fretful and evil lawlessly shall ye
One to another do, but let there be
A guarding of one's self by holy life."
    But when they heard him each turned up his nose,
Calling him mad, a frenzy-smitten man.
215 And then again did Noah sound this strain:
"O men exceeding wretched, base in heart,
Unstable, leaving modesty behind
And loving shamelessness, rapacious lords,
Fierce sinners, false, insatiate, mischievous,
220 In nothing true, stealthy adulterers,
Flippant in language, pouring forth foul words,
The wrath of God most high not fearing, kept
To the fifth generation to atone!
In no way do ye wail, harsh men, but laugh;
225 Sardonic smile shall ye laugh, when shall come
That which I speak--God's dire incoming flood,
When Eve's polluted race, in the great earth
Blooming perennial in impervious stem,
Shall, root and branch, in one night disappear,
230 And cities, men and all, shall the Earth-shaker

[225. Sardonic mile--Expression supposed to have originated from a Sardinian plant so bitter as to cause the face of the cater to writhe in pain, though he might attempt to laugh. Comp. Hom. Od., xx, 302.

230. Earth-shaker--the Greek poets an epithet of Poseidon (Neptune), the god of the sea, here evidently applied to the God of Noah.]


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From the depths scatter and their walls destroy.
And then the whole world of unnumbered men
Shall die. But how shall I weep, how lament
In wooden house, how mingle tears with waves?
235 For, if this water bidden of God shall come,
Earth shall float, hills float, and even sky shall float;
Everything shall be water, and all things
Shall be destroyed by waters. And the winds
Shall stand still, and a second age shall come.
240 O Phrygia, thou shalt from the water's crest
First rise up, and thou first another race
Of men shalt nourish, once again anew
Beginning; and thou shalt be nurse for all."
    But when now to the lawless generation
245 He had thus vainly spoken, the Most High
Appeared, and once more cried aloud and said:
"The time is now come, Noah, to proclaim
Each thing, even all which I that day to thee
Did promise and confirm, and to complete,
250 Because of a people disobedient,
Throughout the boundless world even all the things
Which generations of a former time
Did practice, evil things innumerable.
But do thou quickly enter with thy sons
255 And the wives. Call as many as I bid,
Of tribes of beasts and creeping things and birds,
And in as many as I ordain for life
Will I then put a willingness to go."
    Thus spoke he; forth went (Noah) and aloud
260 Cried out and called. And then wife, sons and brides,
Entered the house of wood; then also went

[240. Phrygia . . . first.--Comp. the statement of Herodotus (ii, 2), that the Phrygians were the most ancient of mankind.]


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The other things, as many as God willed
To shut in. But when fitting bolt was put
About the lid, and in its polished place
265 Was fitted sideways, then was brought to pass
Forthwith the purpose of the God of heaven.
And he massed clouds, and bid the sun's bright disk,
And moon, and stars, and circle of the heaven,
Obscuring all things round; he thundered loud,
270 Terror of mortals, sending lightnings forth;
And all the winds together were aroused,
And all the veins of water were unloosed
By opening of great cataracts from heaven,
And from earth's caverns and the tireless deep
275 Appeared the myriad waters, and the whole
Illimitable earth was covered o'er.
But on the water swam that wondrous house;
And torn by many furious waves, and struck
By force of winds, it rushed on fearfully;
280 But with its keel it cut the mass of foam
While the loud-babbling waters dashed around.
    But when God deluged all the world with rains
Then also Noah took thought to observe
By counsels of the Immortal; for he now
285 Had had enough of Nereus. And straightway
The house he opened from the polished wall,
That crosswise was bound fast with skillful stays.
And looking out upon the mighty mass
Of boundless waters Noah on all sides--

[285. Nereus.--A sea god supposed to dwell in the bottom of the ocean, and called in Homer (Il. i, 556) the "old man of the sea." His daughters were called Nereids. Nereus is here put by metonymy for the sea itself, and the Sibyl means to say that Noah had been long enough in the water.]


{p. 26}

290 And 'twas his fortune with his eyes to see!--
Fear possessed and shook mightily his heart.
And then the air became a little calm,
Since it was weary wetting all the world
Many days; parting, then, it brought to light
295 How pale and blood-red was the mighty sky
And sun's bright disk awearied; scarcely held
Noah his courage. And then forth afar
Sent he a dove alone, that he might learn
If yet firm land appeared. But with tired wing,
300 Flying round all things, she again returned;
For not yet had the water ebbed away;
For it was deeply filling every place.
But after resting quietly for days
He sent the dove once more, to learn if yet
305 Had ceased the many waters. And she flew
And flew on, and went o'er the earth and, resting
Her body lightly on the humid ground,
Again to Noah back she came and bore
An olive branch--of tidings a great sign.
310 Courage now filled them all, and great delight,
Because they hoped to look upon the land.
But then thereafter yet another bird,
Of black wing, sent he forth as hastily;
Which, trusting to its wings, flow willingly,
315 And coming to the land continued there.
And Noah knew the land was nearer now.
But when on dashing waves the craft divine
Had here and there o'er ocean's billows swum,
It was made fast upon the narrow strand.
320 There is in Phrygia on the dark mainland

[290. An aposiopesis. The poet is so appalled at the thought of what Noah saw that she leaves her sentence unfinished.]


{p. 27}

A steep, tall mountain; Ararat its name,
Because upon it all were to be saved
From death, and there was great desire of heart;
Thence streams of the great river Marsyas spring.
325 There on a lofty peak the ark abode
When the waters ceased, and then again from heaven
The voice divine of the great God this word
Proclaimed: "O Noah, guarded, faithful, just,
Come boldly forth, with thy sons and thy wife
330 And the three brides, and fill ye all the earth,
Increasing, multiplying, rendering justice
To one another through all generations,
Until to judgment every race of men
Shall come; for judgment shall be unto all."
335 Thus spoke the voice divine. Then from his couch
Noah, encouraged, hastened on the land,
And with him went his sons and wife and brides,
And creeping things, and birds and quadrupeds,
And all things else went from the wooden house
340 Into one place. And then went Noah forth
As eighth, most just of men, when on the waters
He had made full twice twenty days and one
Because of counsels of the mighty God.
Then a new stock of life again arose,
345 Golden first, which indeed was sixth, and best,

[321. Ararat.--Comp. the legends of this mountain and of the remains of the ark in Josephus, Ant., i, iii, 6.

323. From death.--A reading proposed by Mendelssohn, and approved by Rzach in his Addenda et corrigenda.

324. River Marsyas.--Two rivers of antiquity bear this name, one a branch of the Mæander in Asia Minor, the other a branch of the Orontes in Syria. Neither of these seems to meet the conditions of our text.

342. Twice twenty days and one.--According to the statement in Gen. vii, 12.]


{p. 28}

From the time when the first-formed man appeared;
Heavenly its name, because all things to God
Shall be a care. O first race of sixth age!
O mighty joy which I thereafter shared,
350 When I escaped sheer ruin, by the waves
Much tossed, with husband and with brothers-in-law,
Stepfather and stepmother, and with wives
Of husband's brothers suffering terribly.
Fitting things now will I sing: There shall be
355 On the fig-tree a many-colored flower,
And afterward the royal power and sway
Shall Cronos have. For three kings of great soul,
Men most just, shall distribute portions then,
And many a year rule, rendering what is just
360 To men who care for toil and deeds of love.
And earth shall glory in her many fruits
Self-growing, yielding much corn for the race.
And the foster-fathers, ageless all their days,
Shall from diseases chill and dreadful be
365 Far aloof; they shall die as fallen on sleep,
And unto Acheron in the abodes
Of Hades they shall go away, and there
Shall they have honor, since they were a race

[348. Sixth.--" The Erythræan Sibyl says that she lived in the sixth age after the flood," writes Eusebius, Orat. ad Sanct., xviii [G., 20, 1285]. Here we note that she assumes to be a daughter-in-law of Noah. Comp. close of book iii.

855. Many-colored flower.--Here employed as an image of the fertility of the royal race of whom she is about to sing.

357. Three kings.--The three sons of Noah would seem to have been identified in the Sibyl's thought with Cronos, Titan, and Iapetus of the Greek mythology. Comp. book iii, 130.

366. Acheron was a river of the lower world. Verg., Æn., vi, 295.]


{p. 29}

Of blessed ones, fortunate heroes, whom
370 The Lord of Sabaoth gave a noble mind,
And with whom always he his counsels shared.
But blessed shall they be even when they go
In Hades. And then afterward again
Oppressive, strong, another second race
375 Of earth-born men, the Titans. All excel
In figure, stature, growth; and there shall be
One language, as of old from the first race
God in their breasts implanted. But even these,
Having a haughty heart and rushing on
380 To ruin, shall at last resolve to fight
Against the starry heaven. And then the stream
Of the great ocean shall upon them pour
Its raging waters. But the mighty Lord
Of Sabaoth though enraged shall check his wrath,
385 Because he promised that again no flood
Should be brought upon men of evil soul.
    But when the great high-thundering God shall cause
The boundless swelling of the many waters--
With their waves hither and thither rising high--
390 To cease from wrath, and into other depths
Of sea their measure lessen, setting bounds
By harbors and rough headlands round the land;
Then also shall a child of the great God
Come, clothed in flesh, to men, and fashioned like
395 To mortals in the earth; and he doth hear

[315. Titans.--Mythical sons of heaven and earth who figure much in Greek legend and poetry. See book iii, 130-185. Lactantius records a number of the legends and observes: "The truth of this history is taught by the Erythræan Sibyl, who says almost the same things, varying only in a few unimportant details." Div. Inst., i, xiv [L., 6, 190].]


{p. 30}

Four vowels, and two consonants in him
Are twice announced; the whole sum I will name:
For eight ones, and as many tens on these,
And yet eight hundred will reveal the name
400 To men insatiate; and do thou discern
In thine own understanding that the Christ
Is child of the immortal God most high.
And he shall fulfill God's law, not destroy,
Bearing his very image, and all things
405 Shall he teach. Unto him shall priests convey
And offer gold, and myrrh, and frankincense;
For all these things he'll also bring to pass.
But when a voice shall through the desert land
Come bearing tidings to men, and to all
410 Shall call to make straight paths, and from the heart
Cast wickedness out and illuminate
With water all the bodies of mankind,
That being born again they may no more
From what is righteous go at all astray--
415 And one of barbarous mind, by dances bound,
Cutting that (voice) off shall bestow reward--

[296. Four vowels.--The name Jesus in Greek, {Greek ?Ihsou~s}, contains four vowels and the consonant is twice told, and the numerical value of all the letters is 888. Comp. line 175, and note.

406. Gold . . . myrrh.--Comp. Matt. ii, 11.

408. A voice.--Comp. Isa. xl, 3; Matt. iii, 3.

411. Illuminate.--An expression relating to Christian baptism quite common with the early fathers, many of whom understood the word {Greek fwtis-ðe'nte's} in Heb. vi, 4, as referring to baptism. Justin Martyr, 1 Apol., lxi [G., 6, 421], says: "This washing is called illumination, inasmuch as those who learn these things have their understanding illuminated." Cyril of Jerusalem wrote eighteen books of religious instruction, which are entitled Catechesis of the Illuminated [G., 33, 369-1060]. See also Apost. Const., viii, 8. For other references see Suicer, Thesaurus, under {Greek fw'tisma}.]


{p. 31}

Then on a sudden there shall be a sign
To mortals, when, watched over, there shall come
Out of the land of Egypt a fair stone;
420 And on it shall the Hebrew people stumble;
But by his guiding nations shall be brought
Together; for the God who rules on high
They also shall know through him, and the way
In common light. For unto chosen men
425 Will he show life eternal, but the fire
Will be for ages on the lawless bring.
And then shall he the sickly heal, and all
Who are blameworthy who shall trust in him..
And then the blind shall see, the lame shall walk,
430 The deaf shall hearken, and the dumb shall speak.
Demons shall he drive out, and of the dead
There shall be an uprising; on the waves
Shall he walk; also in a desert place
Shall he five thousand satisfy with food
435 From five loaves and a fish out of the sea,
    And with the remnants of them, for the hope
Of peoples, shall he fill twelve baskets full.
And then shall Israel, drunken, not discern,
Nor shall they hear, oppressed with feeble cars.
440 But when the maddening wrath of the Most High
Shall come upon the Hebrews, and take faith
Away from them, because they slew the Son
Of the heavenly God; then also with foul lips

[415. Dances.--See Matt. xiv, 6-10.

418. Watched over.--By God and angels, as told in Matt. ii.

419. Egypt.--See Matt. ii, 13-15, 21. Stone.--Comp. Matt. xxi, 42, 44, and I Pet. ii, 4-8; Zech. iii, 9.

424. Common light.--Comp. John i, 4-9.

429-437. Comp. book viii, 270-274 and 361-369. Cited also by Lactantius in Div. Inst. iv, 16 [L., 6, 493].]


{p. 32}

Shall Israel give him cuffs and spittle drugged.
445 And gall for food and vinegar unmixed
For drink will they, with evil madness smitten
In bosom and in heart, give impiously,
Not seeing with their eyes, more blind than moles,
More terrible than crawling poisonous beasts,
450 Fast bound by heavy sleep. But when his hands
He shall spread forth and measure out all things,
And bear the crown of thorns, and they shall pierce
His side with reeds, for which dark monstrous night
Shall be for three hours in the midst of day,
455 Then also shall the temple of Solomon
Bring to an end a mighty sign for men,
When he shall to the house of Hades go
Proclaiming resurrection to the dead.
But when in three days he shall come again
460 Unto the light, and show his form to men
And teach all things, ascending in the clouds
Unto the house of heaven shall he go
Leaving the world a Gospel convenant.
And in his name shall blossom a new shoot
465 From nations that are guided by the law
Of the Mighty One. But also after this
There shall be wise guides, and then afterward
There shall be a cessation of the prophets.
    After that, when the Hebrew people reap
470 Their evil harvest, shall a Roman king
Much gold and silver utterly destroy.
And afterward shall other royal powers
Continuously arise as kingdoms perish,

[444. Cuffs . . . spittle.--Comp. Matt. xxvii, 30.

456. Sign.--Comp. Matt. xxvii, 51.

470. Roman king.--Titus, who carried the spoils of the temple to Rome.]


{p. 33}

And they will oppress mortals. But great fall
475 Shall be for those men, when they shall begin
Unrighteous arrogance. But when the temple
Of Solomon in the holy land shall fall,
Cast down by barbarous men in brazen mail,
And from the land the Hebrews shall be driven
480 Wandering and wasted, and among the wheat
They shall much darnel mingle, there shall be
Evil contention among, all mankind;
And the cities suffering outrage shall bewail
Each other, in their breasts receiving wrath
485 Of the great God, since they wrought evil work.


{p. 34}

{p. 35}


{p. 36}


Introduction, 1-6. A time of plagues and wickedness, 7-15. The tenth race, 16-28. A time of peace, 29-36. Great sign and contest, 37-63. A chapter of proverbs, 64-188. The contest, 189-195. Woes of the last generation, 196-222. Events of the last day, 223-263. Resurrection and judgment, 264-312. Punishment of the wicked, 313-383. Blessedness of the righteous, 384-403. Some saved from the fire, 404-415. The Sibyl's wail, 416-427.

{p. 37}


    Now while I much entreated God restrained
My wise song, also in my breast again
He put the charming voice of words divine.
In my whole body terror-stricken these
5 I follow; for I know not that I speak,
    But God impels me to proclaim each thing.
But when on earth come shocks, fierce thunderbolts,
Thunders and lightnings, storms, and evil blight,
And rage of jackals and of wolves, manslaughter,
10 Destruction of men and of lowing kine,
Four-footed cattle and laborious mules,
And goats and sheep, then shall the ample field
Be barren from neglect, and fruits shall fail,
And there shall be a selling of their freedom
15 Among most men, and robbery of temples.
And then shall, after these, appear of men
The tenth race, when the earth-shaking Lightener
Shall break the zeal for idols and shall shake
The people of seven-hilled Rome, and riches great

[1. This second book appears to be a continuation of the preceding, and was probably written by the same author, In several manuscripts the two books are found united and placed after the third book. The appropriation of verses from the third and eighth books shows the later composition of these first two books, which our compiler assigned to their present position on account of their contents.

6. I know not.--Comp. Plato, Apol., 22, where Socrates observes that "not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them."]


{p. 38}

20 Shall perish, burned by Vulcan's fiery flame.
And then shall bloody signs from heaven descend--
      .     .     .     .     .
But yet the whole world of unnumbered men
Enraged shall kill each other, and in tumult
Shall God send famines, plagues, and thunderbolts
25 On men who, without justice, judge of rights.
And lack of men shall be in all the world,
So that if anyone beheld a trace
Of man on earth, he would be wonderstruck.
And then shall the great God who dwells in heaven
30 Saviour of pious men in all things prove.
And then shall there be peace and wisdom deep,
And the fruit-bearing land shall yield again
Abundant fruits, divided not in parts
Nor yet enslaved. And every harbor then,
35 And every haven, shall be free to men
As formerly, and shamelessness shall perish.
    And then will God show mortals a great sign:
For like a lustrous crown shall shine a star,
Bright, all-resplendent, from the radiant heaven
40 Days not a few; and then will he display
From heaven a crown for contest unto men
Who wrestle. And then there shall be again
A mighty contest of triumphal march

[21. There seems to be a lacuna of one line after this, containing perhaps a mention of omens and drops of blood, as in book xii, 73, where a similar thought is found.

43. Contest of triumphal march.--Allusion to the iselastic ({Greek ei'selastiko's}) contests, the victors in which were conducted into their own city through a broken part of the wall. See Pliny, book x, Epis. 119 and 120, in which these games are mentioned. Alexandre conjectures that this whole passage (lines 37-63) concerning contests and crowns was first written in a time of persecution to inspire to fidelity; but after persecution had ceased it was accommodated to the more common struggles of the Christian life.]


{p. 39}

Into the heavenly sky, and it shall be
45 For all men in the world, and have the fame
Of immortality. And every people
Shall then in the immortal contests strive
For splendid victory. For no one there
Can shamelessly with silver buy a crown.
50 For unto them will the pure Christ adjudge
That which is due, and crown the ones approved,
And give his martyrs an immortal prize
Who carry on the contest unto death.
And unto chaste men who run their race well
55 Will he the incorruptible reward
Of the prize give, and to all men allot
That which is due, and also to strange nations
That live a holy life and know one God.
And those who have regard for marriages
60 And keep themselves far from adulteries,
To them rich gifts, eternal hope, he'll give.
For every human soul is God's free gift,
And 'tis not right men stain it with vile deeds.
    [Do not be rich unrighteously, but lead

[64. The passage beginning here and ending with line 188, and consisting mainly of proverbs, has every appearance of an interpolation. It breaks the connection of thought and the figure of the iselastic contest, which is continued in lines 189-195. The passage is for the most part taken from a poem of 217 lines in hexameter verse, entitled {Greek poi'hma nouðetiko'n} (admonitory poem), and attributed to Phocylides, a gnomic poet of Miletus (born about B. C. 560). Very few, however, will seriously accept these lines as a genuine production of a contemporary of Theognis. They are without much doubt the composition of a Christian writer, and possibly, but not probably, by the author of the second book of the Sibylline Oracles. The variations between the two texts are considerable, the Sibyllines adding many lines not found in Phocylides, and Phocylides having a few not found in the Sibyllines.]


{p. 40}

65 A life of probity. Be satisfied
With what thou hast and keep thyself from that
Which is another's. Speak not what is false,
But have a care for all things that are true.
Revere not idols vainly; but the God
40 Imperishable honor always first,
And next thy parents. Render all things due,
And into unjust judgment come thou not.
Do not cast out the poor unrighteously,
Nor judge by outward show; if wickedly
75 Thou judgest, God hereafter will judge thee.
Avoid false testimony; tell the truth.
Maintain thy virgin purity, and guard
Love among all. Deal measures that are just;
For beautiful is measure full to all.
80 Strike not the scales oneside, but draw them equal.
Forswear not ignorantly nor willingly;
God hates the perjured man in that he swore.
A gift proceeding out of unjust deeds
Never receive in hand. Do not steal seed;
85 Accursed through many generations he
Who took it unto scattering of life.
Indulge not vile lusts, slander not, nor kill.
Give the toilworn his hire; do not afflict
The poor man. Unto orphans help afford
90 And to widows and the needy. Talk with sense;
Hold fast in heart a secret. Be unwilling
To act unjustly nor yet tolerate
Unrighteous men. Give to the poor at once
And say not, "Come to-morrow." Of thy grain
95 Give to the needy with perspiring hand.

[95. With perspiring hand.--So Mendelssohn, Philologus, xlix, 2, p. 246. Comp. Rzach, p. xix.]


{p. 41}

He who gives alms knows how to lend to God.
Mercy redeems from death when judgment comes.
Not sacrifice, but mercy God desires
Rather than sacrifice. The naked clothe,
100 Share thy bread with the hungry, in thy house
Receive the shelterless and lead the blind.
Pity the shipwrecked; for the voyage is
Uncertain. To the fallen give a hand;
And save the man that stands without defense.
105 Common to all is suffering, life's a wheel,
Riches unstable. Having wealth, reach out
To the poor thy hand. Of what God gave to thee
Bestow thou also on the needy one.
Common is the whole life of mortal men;
110 But it comes out unequal. When thou seest
A poor man never banter him with words,
Nor harshly accost a man who may be blamed.
One's life in death is proven; if one did
The unlawful or just, it shall be decided
115 When he to judgment comes. Disable not
Thy mind with wine nor drink excessively.
Eat not blood, and abstain from things
Offered to idols. Gird not on the sword
For slaughter, but defense; and would thou might
120 It neither lawlessly nor justly use:
For if thou kill an enemy thy hand
Thou dost defile. Keep from thy neighbor's field,
Nor trespass on it; just is every landmark,
And trespass painful. Useful is possession
125 Of lawful wealth, but of unrighteous gains
'Tis worthless. Harm not any growing fruit
Of the field. And let strangers be esteemed
In equal honor with the citizens;


{p. 42}

For much-enduring hospitality
130 Shall all experience as each other's guests;
But let there not be anyone a stranger
Among you, since, ye mortals, all of you
Are of one 'blood, and no land has for men
Any sure place. Wish not nor pray for wealth;
135 But pray to live from few things and possess
Nothing at all unjust. The love of gain
Is mother of all evil. Do not long
For gold or silver; in them there will be
A double-edged and soul-destroying iron.
140 A snare to men continually are gold
And silver. Gold, of evils source, of life
Destructive, troubling all things, would that thou
Wert, not to mortals such a longed-for bane!
For wars, because of thee, and pillaging
145 And murders come, and children hate their sires,
And brothers and sisters those of their own blood.
Plot no deceit, and do not arm thy heart
Against a friend. Keep not concealed within
A different thought from what thou speakest forth;
150 Nor, like rock-clinging polyp, change with place.
But with all be frank, and things from the soul
Speak thou forth. Whosoever willfully
Commits a wrong, an evil man is he;
But he that does it under force, the end
155 I tell not; but let each man's will be right.
Pride not thyself in wisdom, power, or wealth;
God only is the wise and mighty one
And full of riches. Do not vex thy heart
With evils that are past; for what is done
160 Can never be undone. Let not thy hand
Be hasty, but ferocious passion curb;


{p. 43}

For many times has one in striking done
Murder without design. Let suffering
Be common, neither great nor overmuch.
165 Excessive good has not brought forth to men
That which is helpful. And much luxury
Leads to immoderate lusts. Much wealth is prowl,
And makes one grow to wanton violence.
Passionate feeling, creeping in, effects
170 Destructive madness. Anger is a lust,
And when it is excessive it is wrath.
The zeal of good men is a noble thing,
But of the base is base. Of wicked men
The boldness is destructive, but renown
175 Follows that of the good. To be revered
Is virtuous love, but that of Cypris works
Increase of shame. A silly man is called
Very agreeable among his fellows.
With moderation eat, drink, and converse;
180 Of all things moderation is the best;
But trespass of its limit brings to grief.
Be not thou envious, faithless, or abusive,
Or evil-minded, or a false deceiver.
Be prudent and abstain from shameless deeds.
185 Imitate not what's evil, but leave thou
Vengeance to justice; for persuasion is
A useful thing, but strife engenders strife.
Trust not too quickly ere thou see the end.]
    This is the contest, these are the rewards;
190 These are the prizes; this the gate of life

[176. Cypris.--Another name for Aphrodite (or Venus), love. She is fabled to have sprung from the foam of the sea and to have first stepped ashore on the island of Cyprus, The love of Cypris here means impure sexual love.

189. This is the contest.--Obvious allusion to the iselastic contest {footnote p. 43} described in lines 42-63 above, and showing the passage 64-188 to be an interpolation. The compiler who inserted the passage here probably considered these proverbs so many precepts to guide one in the great contest for immortality.]


{p. 44}

And entrance into immortality,
Which God in heaven unto most righteous men
Appointed a reward for victory;
And through this gate shall gloriously pass
195 Those who shall then receive the victor's crown.
    But when this sign shall everywhere appear--
Children with gray hair on their temples born--
And human sufferings, famines, plagues, and wars,
And change of times, and many a tearful wail,
200 Ah! of how many parents in the lands
Will children mourn and piteously weep,
And with shrouds bury flesh and limbs in earth,
Mother of peoples, with the blood and dust
Themselves defiling. O ye wretched men
205 Of the last generation, evil doers,
Terrible, childish, not perceiving this,
That when the tribes of women do not bear
The harvest time of mortal men is come.
Near is the ruin when impostors come
210 Instead of prophets speaking on the earth.
And Beliar shall come and many signs
Perform for men. And then of holy men,
Elect and faithful, there shall be confusion,
And pillaging of them and of the Hebrews.

[197. Children with gray hair.--Comp. a similar passage in Hesiod, Works and Days, 181. Children will become prematurely old by reason of the woes destined to visit the race in the last generation.

211. Beliar.--Same as Belial, named here for antichrist, whose coming in the last time is depicted in harmony with Paul's doctrine in 2 Thess. ii. 8-10.]


{p. 45}

215 And there shall be upon them fearful wrath
When from the east a people of twelve tribes
Shall come in search of kindred Hebrew people
Whom Assyrian shoot destroyed; and over these
Shall nations perish. But they afterwards
220 Shall over men exceeding mighty rule,
Elect and faithful Hebrews, and enslave
Them as before, since their power ne'er shall fail.
He that is highest of all, the all-surveying,
Dwelling in heaven, will scatter sleep on men,
225 Covering the eyelids o'er. O blessed servants
Whom when the Master comes he finds awake!
And they all watch at all times and expect
With sleepless eyes. For it will be at dawn
Or eve or midday; but he sure shall come,
230 And it shall be as I say, it shall be,
To them that sleep, that from the starry heaven
The stars at midday will to all appear
With the two lights as the time hastens on.
And then the Tishbite, urging from the heaven
235 His chariot celestial, and on earth
Arriving, shall to all the world display
Three evil signs of life to be destroyed.
Alas for all the women in that day
Who shall be found with burden in the womb!

[215-222. A passage inexplicably obscure in its historical allusions, but apparently connected with the notion of the ten tribes of the Assyrian exile, who, according to 2 Esdras xiii, 40-50, are concealed in the far East, and to be restored in the last time.

225. Comp. Matt. xxiv, 46.

228. Comp. Mark xiii, 35; Homer, Il., xxi, 111.

233. Comp. Matt. xxiv, 29.

234. Tishbite . . . chariot.--Comp. 2 Kings ii, 11; Mal. iv, 5.

238. Comp. Matt. xxiv, 19.]


{p. 46}

240 Alas for all who suckle tender babes!
Alas for all who shall dwell on the waves!
Alas for women who shall see that day!
For a dark mist shall hide the boundless world,
East, west, and south, and north. And then shall flow
245 A mighty stream of burning fire from heaven
And every place consume, earth, ocean vast,
And gleaming sea, and lakes and rivers, springs,
And cruel Hades and the heavenly sky.
And heavenly lights shall break up into one
250 And into outward form all-desolate.
For stars from heaven shall fall into all seas.
And all the souls of men shall gnash their teeth
Burned both by sulphur stream and force of fire
In ravenous soil, and ashes hide all things.
255 And then of the world all the elements
Shall be bereft, air, earth, sea, light, sky, days,
Nights; and no longer in the air shall fly
Birds without number, nor shall living things
That swim the sea swim any more at all,
260 Nor freighted vessel o'er the billows pass,
Nor kine straight-guiding plow the field, nor sound
Of furious winds; but he shall fuse all things
Together, and shall pick out what is pure.
    But when the immortal God's eternal angels
265 Arakiel, Ramiel, Uriel, Samiel,
And Azael, they that know how many evils

[263. Comp. book iii, 106; viii, 646.

264-266. These names of the angels differ somewhat from those found in the Book of Enoch, where, in chap. ix, we find Michael, Gabriel, Surjan, and Urjan (the Greek fragment has Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel); in chap. xx we have Uriel, Rufael, Raguel, Michael, Saraquel, and Gabriel; and in xl we meet the name Fanuel.]


{p. 47}

Anyone did before, shall from dark gloom
Then lead to judgment all the souls of men
Before the judgment-seat of the great God
270 Immortal; for imperishable is
One only, himself the almighty, One,
Who shall be judge of mortals; and to them
That dwell beneath will then the heavenly One
Give souls and spirit and voice, and also bones
275 Fitted with joints unto all kinds of flesh,
And both the flesh and sinews, veins and skin
About the body, and hair as before;
Divinely fashioned and with breathing moved
Shall bodies of those on earth one day be raised.
280 And then shall Uriel, mighty angel, break
The bolts of stern and lasting adamant
Which, monstrous, bold the brazen gates of Hades,
Straight cast them down, and unto judgment lead
All forms that have endured much suffering,
285 Chiefly the shapes of Titans born of old,
And giants, and all whom the deluge whelmed,
And all that perished in the billowy seas,
And all that furnished banquet for the beasts
And creeping things and fowls, these in a mass
290 Shall (Uriel) summon to the judgment-seat;
And also those whom flesh-devouring fire
Destroyed in flame, even these shall he collect
And place before the judgment-seat of God.
    And when the high-thundering Lord of Sabaoth
295 Making an end of fate shall raise the dead,
Sit on his heavenly throne, and firmly fix
The mighty pillar, then amid the clouds
Christ, who himself is incorruptible,

[297. Pillar.--Comp. lines 351 and 362, and also book vii, 36.]


{p. 48}

Shall come unto the Incorruptible
300 In glory with pure angels, and shall sit
At the right hand on the great judgment-seat
To judge the life of pious and the way
Of impious men. And Moses, the great friend
Of the Most High, shall come enrobed in flesh
305 Also great Abraham himself shall come,
Isaac and Jacob, Joshua, Daniel,
Elijah, Habakkuk and Jonah, and
Those whom the Hebrews slew. But he'll destroy
The Hebrews after Jeremiah, all
310 Who are to be judged at the judgment-seat,
That worthy recompense they may receive
And pay for all each did in mortal life.
And then shall all pass through the burning stream
Of flame unquenchable; but all the just
315 Shall be saved; and the godless furthermore
Shall to all ages perish, all who did
Evils aforetime, and committed murders,
And all who are accomplices therein,
Liars and thieves, and ruiners of home,
320 Crafty and terrible, and parasites,
And marriage-breakers pouring forth vile words,
Dread, wanton, lawless, and idolaters;
And all who left the great immortal God,
Became blasphemers did the pious harm,
325 Destroying faith and killing righteous men
And all that with a shamelessness deceitful
And double-faced rush in as presbyters
And reverend ministers, who knowingly
Give unjust judgments, yielding to false words
330 More hurtful than the leopards and the wolves
And more vile; and ill that are grossly proud


{p. 49}

And usurers, who gains on gains amass
And damage orphans and widows in each thing;
And all that give to widows and to orphans
335 The fruit of unjust deeds, and all that cast
Reproach in giving from their own hard toils;
And all that left their parents in old age,
Not paying them at all, nor offering
To parents filial duty, and all who
340 Were disobedient and against their sires
Spoke a harsh word; and all that pledges took
And then denied them; and the servants all
Who were against their masters, and again
Those who licentiously defiled the flesh;
345 And all who loosed the girdle of the maid
For secret intercourse, and all who caused
Abortions, and all who their offspring cast
Unlawfully away; and sorcerers
And sorceresses with them, and these wrath
350 Of the heavenly and immortal God shall drive
Against a pillar where shall all around
In a circle flow a restless stream of fire;
And deathless angels of the immortal God,
Who ever is, shall bind with lasting bonds
355 In chains of flaming fire and from above
Punish them all by scourge most terribly;
And in Gehenna, in the gloom of night,
Shall they be cast 'neath many horrid beasts
Of Tartarus, where darkness is immense.
360 But when there shall be many punishments
Enforced on all who had an evil heart,
Yet afterward shall there a fiery wheel
From a great river circle them around,
Because they had a care for wicked deeds.


{p. 50}

365 And then one here, another there, shall sires,
Young children, mothers, nursing babes, in tears
Wail their most piteous fate. No fill of tears
Shall be for them, nor piteous voice be heard
Of them that moan, one here, another there,
370 But long worn under dark, dank Tartarus
Aloud shall they cry; and they shall repay
In cursed places thrice as much as all
The evil work they did, burned with much fire;
And all of them, consumed by raging thirst
375 And hunger, shall in anguish gnash their teeth
And call death beautiful, and death shall flee
Away from them. For neither death nor night
Shall ever give them rest. And many things in vain
Will they ask of the God that rules on high,
380 And then will he his face turn openly
Away from them. For he to erring men
Gave, in seven ages for repentance, signs
By the hands of a virgin undefiled.
But the others, all to whom right and fair works
385 And piety and thoughts most just were dear,
Shall angels, bearing through the burning stream,
Lead unto light and life exempt from care,
Where comes the immortal way of the great God
And fountains three--of honey, wine, and milk.
390 And equal land for all, divided not
By walls or fences, more abundant fruits
Spontaneous shall then bear, and the course
Of life be common and wealth unapportioned.
For there no longer will be poor nor rich,

[376.--Comp. viii, 468; and xiii, 166.

381-383.--Comp. viii, 473-475.

394-395.--Comp. viii, 145.]


{p. 51}

395 Tyrant nor slave, nor any great nor small,
Nor kings nor leaders; all alike in common.
No more at all will one say, "night has come,"
Nor "morrow comes," nor "yesterday has been;
Nor shall there many days of anxious care,
400 Nor spring, nor winter, nor the summer-heat,
Nor autumn be [nor marriage, nor yet death,
Nor sales, nor purchases], nor set of sun
Nor rising; for a long day will God make.
And to the pious will the almighty God
405 Imperishable grant another thing,
When they shall ask the imperishable God:
That he will suffer men from raging fire
And endless gnawing anguish to be saved;
And this will he do. For hereafter he
410 Will pluck them from the restless flame, elsewhere
Remove them, and for his own people's sake
Send them to other and eternal life
With the immortals, in Elysian field,

[397-400.--Comp. viii, 561-565.

404-416.--This passage, which savors of a final restoration from future punishment, has been thought to be contrary to orthodox teaching; and we find appended to some manuscripts the following lines, headed, "Contradiction of the 'To the pious will the Almighty,'" and professedly a disproof of the doctrine of Origen on this subject:

    False manifestly; for the penal fire
Shall never cease from those who are condemned.
For also I might pray to have it thus,
Branded with greatest scars of trespasses,
Which need more kindness. But let Origen
Of his presumptuous babble be ashamed,
Saying there shall be end of punishments.

413. Elysian field.--In Homer (Od., iv, 563) the Elysian fields are represented as situated on the western border of the earth by the ocean stream. Hesiod (Works and Days, 169) speaks of "the Isles of the blessed, beside {footnote p. 52} deep-eddying ocean." But later, and with the Roman poets, Elysium was in the lower world, the blessed part of Hades, and is here conceived as bordering on the Acheronian lake.]


{p. 52}

Where move far-stretching billows of the lake
415 Of ever-flowing Acheron profound.
    Ah, miserable woman that I am!
What shall I be in that day? for I sinned--
Being busy foolishly about all things,
Caring for neither marriage-bond nor reason;
420 But even in my wealthy husband's house
I shut the needy out; and formerly
I knowingly performed unlawful things.
But, Saviour, though I shameless things performed,
Do thou from my tormentors rescue me,
425 A shameless woman. And I pray thee now
Make me to rest a little from my song,
Holy Giver of manna, King of the great realm.

[416-425.--Comp. the conclusion of book vii.]


{p. 53}


{p. 54}


Introduction, 1-10. Unity and power of God extolled, 11-34. Oracle against idolatry and sin, 35-64. Coming and judgment of the great King, 55-76. Coming of Beliar, 76-90. Reign of the woman and end of the world, 90-111. All things subject to Christ, 112-116. The tower of Babel, 117-132. Cronos, Titan, and Iapetus, 132-154. Cronos, Rhea, and the Titans, 155-187. End of the Titans and rise of many kingdoms, 188-196. The Sibyl's message, 196-201. Rule of the house of Solomon, 202-207. Rule of the Hellenes, 208-212. The Western Kingdom, 213-235. The Sibyl's burden, 236-241. Woes on the Titans and on many nations, 242-260. The righteous race, 261-303. The exodus and giving of the law, 304-325. Desolation and exile, 325-351. Restoration from exile, 352-361. The Sibyl ceases and begins again, 362-371. Woe on Babylon, 372-386. Woe on Egypt, 387-392. Woe on Gog and Magog, 393-397. Woe on Libya, 399-412. Great signs and woes on many cities, 413-433. Retributive judgment on Rome, 434-450. Doom of Smyrna, Samos, Delos, and Rome, 461-456. Peace of Asia and Europe, 457-473. The Macedonian woe, 474-482. The unnamed rulers. 483-499. The sign for Phrygia, 600-615. The fate of Ilium, 516-522. gongs of the blind old man, 523-541. Woes of Lycia, Chalcedon, Cyzicus, Byzantium, Rhodes, Lydia, Samos, Cyprus, and Trallis, 642-582. Italy's tribal wars, 683-590. Woes of Laodicea, Campania, Corsica, and Sardinia, 591-607. Woes of Mysia, Chalcedon, Galatia, Tenedos, Sicyon, and Corinth, 608-615. The Sibyl ceases and begins again, 616-619. Woes of Ph�nicia, Crete, Thrace, Gog, Magog, Maurians, Ethiopians, and provinces of Asia Minor, 620-656. Oracles against Greece, 657-723. The holy race, 724-756, Egypt subdued, 766-774. Time of blessedness, 775-783. Exhortation to worship God, 184-794. Time of judgment, 795-816. The god-sent king, 817-829. Fearful time of judgment, 830-871. The Sibyl's testimony, 872-876. A Jewish millennium, 877-911. Exhortation to the Greek s, 912-928. Day of prosperity and peace, 928-947. Exhortation to serve God, 948-953. The Messianic day, 954-988. Signs of the end, 989-1003. The Sibyl's account of herself, 1004-1031.

{p. 55}


O THOU high-thundering blessed heavenly One,
Who hast set in their place the cherubim,
I, who have uttered what is all too true,
Entreat thee, let me have a little rest;
5 For my heart has grown weary from within.
But why again leaps my heart, and my soul
With a whip smitten from within constrained
To utter forth its message unto all?
But yet again will I proclaim all things
10 Which God commands me to proclaim to men.
O men, that in your image have a form
Fashioned of God, why do ye vainly stray

[1. This third book of the Oracles is the most interesting and important of the entire collection. It is by far the longest, containing in the Greek text 829 verses. It is believed to be mainly of Jewish origin. In its present form, however, it is obviously a compilation of several distinct groups of oracles, one of which, lines 117-361 (Greek text, 97-294), contains the oldest portion of the Sibylline Oracles as they now exist. Two quite extensive fragments which have been preserved by Theophilus are by him said to have stood at the beginning of the Sibyl's prophecy and probably formed an introduction to this section of our third book (see Appendix, p. 267). In place of this more ancient introduction the compiler of our collection has inserted the first 116 lines of this book, which may be again subdivided into three parts, which appear to be so many separate fragments; lines 1-75, 76-111, 112-116. In some editions the first 75 lines (Greek text, 1-62) are appended to the preceding book, and some MSS. preface this book with the words, "Again in her third tome she says these things from the second discourse concerning God." Other clearly distinguishable sections of this book are the following: lines 362-616, 616-1003, 1004-1031 (Greek text, 295-488, 489-808, 809-827). The last section purports to he a personal vindication of the Sibyl.]


{p. 56}

And walk not in the straight way, always mindful
Of the immortal Maker? God is one,
15 Sovereign, ineffable, dwelling in heaven,
The self-existent and invisible,
Himself alone beholding everything;
Him sculptor's hand made not, nor is his form
Shown by man's art from gold or ivory;
20 But he, eternal Lord, proclaims himself
As one who is and was erst and shall be
Again hereafter. For who being mortal
Can see God with his eyes? Or who shall bear
To hear the only name of heaven's great God,
25 The ruler of the world? He by his word
Created all things, even heaven and sea,
And tireless sun, and full moon and bright stars,
And mighty mother Tethys, springs and rivers,
Imperishable fire, and days and nights.
30 This is the God who formed four-lettered Adam,
The first one formed, and filling with his name
East, west, and south, and north. The same is he
Who fixed the pattern of the human form,
And made wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls.
35 Ye do not worship neither fear ye God,

[28. Mother Tethys.--Wife of Oceanus, mother of the rivers, and the nymphs, three thousand in number. See Hesiod, Theog., 335, ff.

30. Four-lettered Adam.--The ingenuity which seer, in the four letters of this name the Greek initials of the words for east, west, north, and south surpasses even that noted in book i, 102, where Hades is traced in the word Adam. But Augustine adopts this, and says: "According to the Greek tongue, Adam himself signifies the whole world. For there are four letters, A, D, A, M, and in Greek speech these are the initial letters of the four quarters of the earth." {Greek ?Anatolh'}, east; {Greek Du'sis}, west; {Greek ?Arktos}, north; {Greek Meshmbri'a} south. Eharratio in Psalmum, xcv, 15 [L., 37, 1236]. See also Tractatus in Joannis, ix, 14, and x, 12 [L., 35, 1465, 1473].]


{p. 57}

But vainly go astray and bow the knee
To serpents, and make offering to cats,
And idols, and stone images of men,
And sit before the doors of godless temples;
40 Ye guard him who is God, who keeps all things,
And merry with the wickedness of stones
Forget the judgment of the immortal Saviour
Who made the heaven and earth. Alas! a race
That has delight in blood, deceitful, vile,
45 Ungodly, of false, double-tongued, immoral men,
Adulterous, idolous, designing fraud,
An evil madness raving in their hearts,
For themselves plundering, having shameless soul;
For no one who has riches will impart
50 To another, but dire wickedness shall be
Among all mortals, and for sake of gain
Will many widows not at all keep faith,
But secretly love others, and the bond
Of life those who have husbands do not keep.
55    But when Rome shall o'er Egypt also rule
Governing always, then shall there appear
The greatest kingdom of the immortal King
Over men. And a holy Lord shall come
To hold the scepter over every land
60 Unto all ages of fast-hastening time.

[55. The time when Rome obtained full control of Egypt was when Augustus became the undisputed master of the regions all about the Mediterranean Sea, and the Roman empire became fully established. This empire the Sibyl recognizes as beginning about the time of the appearance of the Christ, who was born during the reign of Augustus.

58. Holy Lord shall come.--The Messiah, for no other ruler could be described by such language as the writer here employs. This passage is evidence that at least lines 55-75 are of Christian or Jewish Christian authorship.]


{p. 58}

And then shall come inexorable wrath
On Latin men; three shall by piteous fate
Endamage Rome. And perish shall all men,
With their own houses, when from heaven shall flow
65 A fiery cataract. Ah, wretched me!
When shall that day and when shall judgment come
Of the immortal God, the mighty King?
But just now, O ye cities, ye are built
And all adorned with temples and race-grounds,
70 Markets, and images of wood, of gold,
Of silver and of stone, that ye may come
Unto the bitter day. For it shall come,
When there shall pass among all men a stench
Of brimstone. Yet each thing will I declare,
75 In all the cities where men suffer ills.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    From the Sebastenes Beliar shall come
Hereafter, and the height of hills shall he
Establish, and shall make the sea stand still
And the great fiery sun and the bright moon
80 And he shall raise the dead, and many signs
Work before men: but nothing shall be brought
By him unto completion but deceit,
And many mortals shall be lead astray
Hebrews both true and choice, and lawless men

[62. Three.--One most naturally thinks here of the famous triumvirate of Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus; but it is difficult to explain the "fiery cataract" (line 65) and other pictures of judgment in immediate connection with those historic names.

76. The Sebastenes are most naturally understood of the inhabitants of Sebaste, or Samaria, and a Jewish writer living in the time of Augustus might have been readily disposed to think of a Beliar--antichrist--as issuing from among the hated Samaritans. Comp. the miracle-working antichrist of Dan. vii 25; viii, 23-25; xi, 36; and also 2 Thess. ii, 8-10.]


{p. 59}

85 Besides who never gave ear to God's word.
But when the threatenings of the mighty God
Shall draw near, and a flaming power shall come
By billow to the earth, it shall consume
Both Beliar and all the haughty men
90 Who put their trust in him. And thereupon
Shall the whole world be governed by the hands
Of a woman and obedient everywhere.
Then when a widow shall o'er all the world
Gain the rule, and cast in the mighty sea
95 Both gold and silver, also brass and iron
Of short lived men into the deep shall cast,
Then all the elements shall be bereft
Of order, when the God who dwells on high
Shall roll the heaven, even as a scroll is rolled;
100 And to the mighty earth and sea shall fall
The entire multiform sky; and there shall flow
A tireless cataract of raging fire,
And it shall burn the land, and burn the sea,
And heavenly sky, and night, and day, and melt
105 Creation itself together and pick out
What is pure. No more laughing spheres of light,
Nor night, nor dawn, nor many days of care,
Nor spring, nor winter, nor the summer-time,

[92-93. A woman ... a widow.--If we find in the "three" of line 62 a reference to the triumvirs Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, it is but natural to understand this "widow" as Cleopatra of Egypt, who captivated by her charms both Julius Caesar and Antony. But here again the picture of world-judgment which immediately follows is difficult to account for in connection with such a mention of Cleopatra. Is not the entire passage rather an ideal apocalyptic concept, to be understood somewhat after the manner of the woman portrayed in John's Apocalypse, xvii, 3; xviii, 7; a symbol of Rome herself conceived as the mistress of nations? Comp. book viii, 263; 165, Comp. book ii, 263; viii, 646.]


{p. 60}

Nor autumn. And then of the mighty God
110 The judgment midway in a mighty age
Shall come, when all these things shall come to pass.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
O navigable waters and each land
Of the Orient and of the Occident,
Subject shall all things be to him who comes
115 Into the world again, and therefore he
Himself became first conscious of his power.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    But when the threatenings of the mighty God
Are fulfilled, which he threatened mortals once,
When in Assyrian land they built a tower;--
120 (And they all spoke one language, and resolved
To mount aloft into the starry heaven;
But on the air the Immortal straightway put
A mighty force; and then winds from above
Cast down the great tower and stirred mortals up
125 To wrangling with each other; therefore men
Gave to that city the name of Babylon);--
Now when the tower fell and the tongues of men
Turned to all sorts of sounds, straightway all earth
Was filled with men and kingdoms were divided;

[112-116. This fragment has no necessary connection with what precedes or follows, and the MSS. are defective at this point.

117-129. This passage is cited in Theophilus, ad Autol., ii, 31 [G., 6, 1101]; Josephus, Ant., i, iv, 3. Comp. Eusebius, Præp. Evang., ix, 14 [G., 21, 702, 703]. See Gen. xi, 1-9. It is one of the oldest portions of the Sibyllines, but begins abruptly, as if its natural preceding context had been omitted.

122. Winds.--"The idea that God threw down the tower by means of the winds was probably first written down by our poet, but it is really nothing but a subtile interpretation of Gen. xi, 7."--Ewald, p. 33.]


{p. 61}

130 And then the generation tenth appeared
Of mortal men, from the time when the flood
Came upon earlier men. And Cronos reigned,
And Titan and Iapetus; and men called them
Best offspring of Gaia and of Uranus,
135 Giving to them names both of earth and heaven,
Since they were very first of mortal men.
So there were three divisions of the earth
According to the allotment of each man,
And each one having his own portion reigned
140 And fought not; for a father's oaths were there
And equal were their portions. But the time
Complete of old age on the father came,
And he died; and the sons infringing oaths
Stirred up against each other bitter strife,
145 Which one should have the royal rank and rule
Over all mortals; and against each other
Cronos and Titan fought. But Rhea and Gaia,
And Aphrodite fond of crowns, Demeter,
And Hestia and Dione of fair locks
150 Brought them to friendship, and together called
All who were kings, both brothers and near kin,
And others of the same ancestral blood,

[130. Generation tenth.--Cited by Athenagoras, Legatio pro Christianis, xxx. [G., 6, 960], and Tertul., ad Nationes, ii, 12 [L., 1, 603]. In citing this passage Tertullian thus speaks of the Sibyl: "The Sibyl was earlier than all literature, that Sibyl, I mean, who was the true prophetess of truth. In hexameter verse she thus expounds the descent and exploits of Saturn."

132. Cronos.--Greek name for the more familiar Latin title Saturn. The story of the Titans in the following lines (132-187) is familiar to students of Greek mythology, but the old myth exists with numerous minor variations, and, according to Hesiod (Theog., 453-500), the birth and preservation of Zeus were somewhat different from this story.]


{p. 62}

And they judged Cronos should reign king of all,
For he was oldest and of noblest form.
155 But Titan laid on Cronos mighty oaths
To rear no male posterity, that he
Himself might reign when age and fate should come
To Cronos. And whenever Rhea bore
Beside her sat the Titans, and all males
160 In pieces tore, but let the females live
To be reared by the mother. But When now
At the third birth the august Rhea bore,
She brought forth Hera first; and when they saw
A female offspring, the fierce Titan men
165 Betook them to their homes. And thereupon
Rhea a male child bore, and having bound
Three men of Crete by oath she quickly sent
Him into Phrygia to be reared apart
In secret; therefore did they name him Zeus,
170 For he was sent away. And thus she sent
Poseidon also secretly away.
And Pluto, third, did Rhea yet again,
Noblest of women, at Dodona bear,
Whence flows Europus' river's liquid course,
175 And with Peneus mixed pours in the sea
Its water, and men call it Stygian.

[173-176. There was a Dodona in Epirus, ruins of which found near Jaunina were excavated in 1896; there was also a Dodona in northern Thessaly, and each of these places was the seat of an ancient and celebrated oracle. The Sibylline writer does not distinguish between the two. Europus is another name for the Titaresius, which, according to Strabo (Geog. ix, 5, 19; and Fragment 15) was a tributary to the Peneus, and flowed with it through the vale of Tempe to the sea. Comp. Homer, Iliad ii, 750-755, where mention is made of "wintry Dodona," and "lovely Titaresius," which, however, does not mingle with the Peneus, because it is a broken-off portion of the Styx.]


{p. 63}

But when the Titans heard that there were sons
Kept secretly, whom Cronos and his wife
Rhea begat, then Titan sixty youths
180 Together gathered, and held fast in chains
Cronos and his wife Rhea, and concealed
Them in the earth and guarded them in bonds.
And then the sons of powerful Cronos heard,
And a great war and uproar they aroused.
185 And this is the beginning of dire war
Among all mortals. [For it is indeed
With mortals the prime origin of war.]
    And then did God award the Titans evil.
And all of Titans and of Cronos born
190 Died. But then as time rolled around there rose
The Egyptian kingdom, then that of the Persians
And of the Medes, and Ethiopians,
And of Assyria and Babylon,
And then that of the Macedonians,
195 Egyptian yet again, then that of Rome.
    And then a message of the mighty God
Was set within my breast, and it bade me
Proclaim through all earth and in royal hearts
Plant things which are to be. And to my mind
200 This God imparted first, bow many kingdoms
Have been together gathered of mankind.
    For first of all the house of Solomon
Shall include horsemen of Ph�nicia
And Syria, and of the islands too,
205 And the race of Pamphylians and Persians
And Phrygians, Carians, and Mysians

[202. House of Solomon.--The kingdom of Solomon is here made to rule over nations which Old Testament history never mentions as subject to Israel. Comp. 1 Kings iv, 21. But the poet wishes to magnify that realm.]


{p. 64}

And the race of the Lydians rich in gold.
    And then shall Hellenes, proud and impure,
Then shall a Macedonian nation rule,
210 Great, shrewd, who as a fearful cloud of war
Shall come to mortals. But the God of heaven
Shall utterly destroy them from the depth.
    And then shall be another kingdom, white
And many-headed, from the western sea,
215 Which shall rule much land, and shake many men,
And to all kings bring terror afterwards,
And out of many cities shall destroy
Much gold and silver; but in the vast earth
There will again be gold, and silver too,
220 And ornament. And they will oppress mortals;
And to those men shall great disaster be,
When they begin unrighteous arrogance.
And forthwith in them there shall be a force
Of wickedness, male will consort with male,
225 And children they will place in dens of shame;
And in those days there shall be among men
A great affliction, and it shall disturb
All things, and break all things, and fill all things
With evils by a shameful covetousness,
230 And by ill-gotten wealth in many lands,

[208. Hellenes.--The Græco-Macedonian kingdom is here evidently intended.

213. Another kingdom.--That of Rome, here called white, or brilliant, in allusion to the white toga worn by the Roman magistrates. Competitors for office were called candidati, because of the white robe in which they presented themselves. Martial (Epig., viii, 65, 6) speaks of candida cultu Roma--"Rome white in apparel," The epithet many-headed has been supposed to point to Rome while she was yet a republic and had her hundred or more senators as rulers. But there may be an allusion to the biblical symbolism of Dan. vii, 6, and Rev. xiii, 1.]


{p. 65}

But most of all in Macedonia.
And it shall stir up hatred, and all guile
Shalt be with them even to the seventh kingdom,
Of which a king of Egypt shall be king
235 Who shall be a descendant from the Greeks.
    And then the nation of the mighty God
Shall be again strong and they shall be guides
Of life to all men. But why did God place
This also in my mind to tell: what first,
240 And what next, and what evil last shall be
On all men? Which of these shall take the lead?
    First on the Titans will God visit evil.
For they shall pay to mighty Cronos's sons
The penal satisfaction, since they bound
245 Both Cronos and the mother dearly loved.
Again shall there be tyrants for the Greeks
And fierce kings overweening and impure,
Adulterous and altogether bad;
And for men shall be no more rest from war.
250 And the dread Phrygians shall perish all,
And unto Troy shall evil come that day.
And to the Persians and Assyrians
Evil shall straightaway come, and to all Egypt
And Libya and the Ethiopians,
255 And to the Carians and Pamphylians--

[233. Seventh kingdom.--Or seventh king (comp. line 765) of the Greek Egyptian dynasty. This would point to Ptolemy Philometer it we reckon Alexander the Great as the first king, but Ptolemy Physcon if the line of the Ptolemies alone are reckoned. Ewald adopts this latter view, Alexandre the former. All the Ptolemies were of Greek (or Macedonian) origin.

237. Again strong.--The writer seems in the spirit and hope of Old Testament prophets to conceive a triumph for the chosen people, is following hard upon the evils of his own time.

242-245.--This passage is in part a repetition of lines 188-190 above.]


{p. 66}

Evil to pass from one place to another,
And to all mortals. Why now one by one
Do I speak forth? But when the first receive
Fulfillment, then straightway shall come on men
260 The second. So the very first I'll tell.
    There shall an evil come to pious men
Who dwell by the great temple of Solomon
And who are progeny of righteous men.
Alike of all these also I will tell
265 The tribe and line of fathers and homeland--
All things with care, O mortal shrewd in mind.
There is a city . . . on the earth,
Ur of the Chaldees, whence there is a race
Of men most righteous, to whom both good will
270 And noble deeds have ever been a care.
For they have no concern about the course
Of the sun's revolution, nor the moon's,
Nor wondrous things beneath the earth, nor depth
Of joy-imparting sea Oceanus,
275 Nor signs of sneezing, nor the wings of birds,
Nor soothsayers, nor wizards, nor enchanters,
Nor tricks of dull words of ventriloquists,
Neither do they astrologize with skill
28 Of the Chaldeans, nor astronomize;
O For these are all deceptive, in so far
As foolish men go seeking day by day
Training their souls unto no useful work;

[266. Mortal shrewd.--Comp. i, 8.

267.--The passage is corrupt, and the reading adopted in our version is to some extent conjectural, but has some support in manuscripts and suits the context. The critical student should consult Alexandre's note in his edition of 1841, p. 111. On "Ur of the Chaldees" see Gen. xi, 31. Others, however, following another conjectural reading, understand the city to be Jerusalem. So Ewald, p. 21.]


{p. 67}

And then did they teach miserable men
Deceptions, whence to mortals on the earth
285 Come many evils leading them astray
From good ways and just deeds. But they have care
For righteousness and virtue, and not greed,
Which breeds unnumbered ills to mortal men,
War and unending famine. But with them
290 Just measure, both in fields and cities, holds,
Nor steal they from each other in the night,
Nor drive off herds of cattle, sheep, and goats,
Nor neighbor remove landmarks of a neighbor,
Nor any man of great wealth grieve the one
295 Less favored, nor to widows cause distress,
But rather aids them, ever helping them
With wheat and wine and oil; and always does
The rich man in the country send a share
At the time of the harvests unto them
300 That have not, but are needy, thus fulfilling
The saying of the mighty God, a hymn
In legal setting; for the Heavenly One
Finished the earth a common good for all.
    Now when the people of twelve tribes depart
305 From Egypt, and with leaders sent of God
Nightly pursue their way by a pillar of fire
And during all the day by one of cloud,
For them then God a leader will appoint--
A great man, Moses, whom a princess found
310 Beside a marsh, and carried off and reared
And called her son. And at the time he came
As leader for the people whom God led
From Egypt unto the. steel) Sinai mount,

[303. Repeated in line 321 below.]


{p. 68}

His own law God delivered them from heaven
315 Writing on two flat stones all righteous things
Which he enjoined to do; and if, perchance,
One give no heed, he must unto the law
Make satisfaction, either at men's hands
Or, if men's notice he escape, he shall
320 By ample satisfaction he destroyed.
[For the Heavenly finished earth a common good
For all, and in all hearts as best gift thought.]
To them alone the bounteous field yields fruit
A hundredfold from one, and thus completes
325 God's measure. But to them shall also come
Misfortune, nor do they escape from plague.
And even thou, forsaking thy fair shrine,
Shalt flee away when it becomes thy lot
To leave the holy land. And thou shalt be
330 Carried to the Assyrians, and shalt see
Young children and wives serving hostile men;
And every means of life and wealth shall perish;
And every land shall be filled up with thee,
And every sea; and everyone shall be
335 Offended with thy customs; and thy land
Shall all be desert; and the altar fenced
And temple of the great God and long walls
Shall all fall to the ground, since in thy heart
The holy law of the immortal God
340 Thou didst not keep, but, erring, thou didst serve
Unseemly images, and didst not fear
The immortal Father, God of all mankind,
Nor will to honor him; but images
Of mortals thou didst honor Therefore now

[324, 324. Hundredfold . . . God's measure.--Comp. Gen. xxvi, 12; 2 Sam. xxiv, 3; Matt. xix, 29; Luke viii, 8.]


{p. 69}

345 Of time seven decades shall thy fruitful land
And the wonders of thy temple all be waste.
But there remains for thee a goodly end
And greatest glory, as the immortal God
Granted thee. But do thou wait and confide
350 In the great God's pure laws, when he shall lift
Thy wearied knee upright unto the light.
And then will God from heaven send a king
To judge each man in blood and light of fire.
There is a royal tribe, the race of which
355 Shall be unfailing; and as times revolve
This race shall bear rule and begin to build
God's temple new. And all the Persian kings
Shall aid with bronze and gold and well-wrought iron.
For God himself will give the holy dream
360 By night. And then the temple shall again
Be, as it was before. . . .

[345. Seven decades.--See Jer. xxv, 9-12.

352. The king here referred to is perhaps best explained of Cyrus, and the description should be compared with Isa. xliv, 28; xlv, 14. Ewald (p. 32) understands the king to be the Messiah, and, indeed, the language of lines 352 and 353 (Greek text, 286, 287), taken apart from the context, naturally suggests a supernatural ruler and judge. The poet may have intended to connect the advent of the Messiah with the restoration of the Jews and the rebuilding of their temple. But the context here and in the parallel passage, lines 817-826 below, points rather to Cyrus, whom Isaiah calls the anointed one of Jehovah and represents as the conqueror of nations, "saying of Jerusalem, She shall be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

954. Royal tribe.--Judah, which returned from Babylonian exile, and under Zerubbabel, a descendant of the house of David (Matt. i, 12; Luke iii, 27), rebuilt the temple.

357, 358 Kings shall aid.--Comp. Ezra i, 4; vi, 8; vii, 15, 16, 22.

369. The holy dream.--Perhaps alluding to the visions and prophecies of Zechariah and Haggai (comp. Ezra v, i).]


{p. 70}

    Now when my soul had rest from inspired song,
And I prayed the great Father for a rest
From constraint; even in my heart again
365 Was set a message of the mighty God
And he bade me proclaim through all the earth
And plant in royal minds things yet to be.
And in my mind God put this first to say
How many lamentable sufferings
370 The Immortal purposed upon Babylon
Because she his great temple had destroyed.
    Alas, alas for thee! O Babylon,
And for the offspring of the Assyrian men!
Through all the earth the rush of sinful men
375 Shall some time come, and shout of mortal men
And stroke of the great God, who inspires songs,
Shall ruin every land. For high in air to thee
O Babylon, shall it come from above,
And out of heaven from holy ones to thee
380 Shall it come down, and the soul in thy children
Shall the Eternal utterly destroy.
And then shalt thou be, as thou wast before,
As one not born; and then shalt thou be filled
Again with blood, as thou thyself before
385 Didst shed that of good, just, and holy men,
Whose blood yet cries out to the lofty heaven.
To thee, O Egypt, shall a great blow come

[362. When my soul had rest.--Comp. similar exordiurn in lines 1-10, 196-201, and 616-619. The passage beginning here and ending with line 615 forms a section by itself, and is regarded by Alexandre as an interpolation belonging to the times of the Antonines. Others, however, find in it evidences of a pre-Christian date.

372. Babylon.--Comp. how Jeremiah (xxv, 12) passes from the Jews' calamities to the penal visitation of Babylon.

387. Blow.--The constant wars of the times of the Ptolemies.]


{p. 71}

And dreadful, to thy homes, which thou didst hope
Might never fall on thee. For through thy midst
390 A sword shall pass, and scattering and death
And famine shall prevail until of kings
The seventh generation, and then cease.
    Alas for thee, O land of Gog and Magog
In the midst of the rivers of Ethiopia!
395 What pouring out of blood shalt thou receive,
And house of judgment among men be called,
And thy land of much dew shall drink black blood!
    Alas for thee, O Libya, and alas,
Both sea and land! O daughters of the west,
400 So shall ye come unto a bitter day.
And ye shall come pursued by grievous strife,
Dreadful and grievous; there shall be again
A dreadful judgment, and ye all shall come
By force unto destruction, for ye tore
405 In pieces the great house of the Immortal,
And with iron teeth ye chewed it dreadfully.
Therefore shalt thou then look upon thy land
Full of the dead, some of them fallen by war
And by the demon of all violence,
410 Famine and plague, and some by barbarous foes.
And all thy land shall be a wilderness,

[392. Seventh.--See line 233, and note.

393. Gog and Magog.--Names derived from Ezek. xxxviii, 2. Comp. Rev. xx, 8. Here apparently applied as symbolical names to the Ethiopians of the Upper Nile.

399. Daughters of the west.--Roman. cities lying west of Egypt on or near the Mediterranean sea.

405. Great house.--Obvious allusion to the temple at Jerusalem and its destruction by the Romans.

406. Iron teeth.--Comp. Dan. vii, 7, 19.]


{p. 72}

And desolations shall thy cities be.
    And in the west there shall a star shine forth
Which they will call a comet, sign to men
415 Of the sword and of famine and of death,
And murder of great leaders and chief men.
    And yet again there shall be among men
Greatest signs; for deep-eddying Tanais
Shall leave Mæotis's lake, and there shall be
420 Down the deep stream a fruitful, furrow's track,
And the vast flow shall hold a neck of land.
And there are hollow chasms and yawning pits;
And many cities, men and all, shall fall:--
In Asia--Iassus, Cebren, Pandonia,
425 Colophon, Ephesus, Nicæa, Antioch,
Syagra, Sinope, Smyrna, Myrina,
Most happy Gaza, Hierapolis, .
Astypalaia; and in Europe--Tanagra,
Clitor, Basilis, Meropeia, Antigone,
430 Magnessa, Mykene, Oiantheia.
Know then that the destructive race of Egypt
Is near destruction, and the past year then
Is better for the Alexandrians.
    As much of tribute as Rome did receive

[412. Desolations.--Rzach's text here proposed the reading {Greek e?'pma}, support, prop; but in his Corrigenda he concedes that the reading {Greek e?'phma po'lmes}, proposed by Gomperz, is far preferable. Comp. Isa. i, 7.

414. Among most nations the appearance of a comet has been regarded by the superstitious as a sign of the evils here specified.

418. Tanais.--Ancient classic name of the Don, which empties into the modern sea of Azof, the ancient Lake Mæotis.

424-430. These names of cities are inserted in the translation in the order in which they stand in Rzach's text. Of course no rhythmic arrangement is practicable.

434-450. This prophecy of the subjugation of Rome by Asia is referred {footnote p. 73} to by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 15 [L., 6, 787-790], who declares that "the Sibyls openly say that Rome shall perish, and that too by the judgment of God, because she held his name in contempt, was an enemy of righteousness, and slew a people that was a keeper of truth." Previously, in the same chapter, he says: "The Roman name by which the world is now ruled shall be taken from the earth, and the power will revert to Asia, and the East will again rule, and the West will be in subjection." The "virgin" addressed in line 442, being a "child of Latin Rome," cannot without unnatural violence be understood of "the virgin daughter of the true God, the community of Israel, which, while inflicting divine punishment, also contributes to the true welfare" (Ewald, p. 19), but is rather a poetical name for Rome herself. The "mistress," in line 446, is understood by Alexandre of the goddess Fortune, whom Horace (Od., i, 35) addresses as able "in a moment either to lift a mortal body from the lowest place, or to turn the noblest triumphs into funeral scenes."]


{p. 73}

435 Of Asia, even thrice as many goods
Shall Asia back again from Rome receive,
And her destructive outrage pay her back.
As many as from Asia ever served
A house of the Italians, twenty times
440 As many Italians shall in Asia serve
In poverty, and numerous debts incur.
    O virgin, soft rich child of Latin Rome,
Oft at thy much-remembered marriage feasts
Drunken with wine, now shalt thou be a slave
445 And wedded in no honorable way.
And oft shall mistress shear thy pretty hair,
And wreaking satisfaction cast thee down
From heaven to earth, and from the earth again
Raise thee to heaven, for mortals of low rank
450 And of unrighteous life are held fast bound.
    And of avenging Smyrna overthrown
There shall be no thought, but by evil plans
And wickedness of them that have command


{p. 74}

Shall Samos be sand, Delos shall be dull,
455 And Rome a room; but the decrees of God
Shall all of them be perfectly fulfilled.
    And a calm peace to Asian land shall go.
And Europe shall be happy then, well fed,
Pure air, full of years, strong, and undisturbed
460 By wintry storms and hail, bearing, all things,
Even birds and creeping things and beasts of earth.
O happy upon earth shall that man be
Or woman; what a home unspeakable
Of happy ones! For from the starry heaven
465 Shall all good order come upon mankind,
And justice, and the prudent unity
Which of all things is excellent for men,
And kindness, confidence, and love of guests;
But far from them shall lawlessness depart,
470 Blame, envy, wrath, and folly; poverty
Shall flee away from men, and force shall flee,
And murder, baneful strifes and bitter feuds,
And theft, and every evil in those days.
    But Macedonia shall to Asia bear
475 A grievous suffering, and the greatest sore
To Europe shall spring up from Cronian stock,
A family of bastards and of slaves.
And she shall tame fenced city Babylon,

[454, 455. These lines contain a notable play on the names Samos, Delos, and Rome. Comp. also book iv, 126, and viii, 218. Comp. also Tertullian, De Pallio, ii [L., 2, 1034]; Lactantius, vii, 25 [6, 812]; Palladius, Lausiaca, cxviii [G., 34, 1227].

474-482. This passage is most naturally explained as referring to the Macedonian rule of Alexander and his successors, who endeavored to appear as haughty, world-ruling sons of Cronos (Saturn), but were, as a matter of fact, of heathen origin, ignoble, and really a bastard race. Perseus, the last of them, was truly a bastard. So Ewald, Abhandlung, p. 12.]


{p. 75}

And of each land the sun looks down upon
480 Call herself mistress, and then come to naught
By ruinous misfortunes, having fame
In later generations distant far.
    And sometime into Asia's prosperous land
Shall come a man unheard of, shoulder-clad
485 With purple robe, fierce, unjust, fiery;
And this man he who wields the thunderbolt
Roused forwards; and all Asia shall sustain
An evil yoke, and her soil wet with rain
Shall drink much murder. But even so shall Hades
490 Destroy the unknown king; and that man's offspring
Shall forthwith perish by the race of those
Whose offspring he himself would fain destroy;
Producing one root which the bane of men
Shall cut from ten horns, and plant by their side
495 Another plant. A father purple-clad
Shall cut a warlike father off, and Ares,
Baneful and hostile, by a grandson's hand
Shall himself perish; and then shall the horn
Planted beside them forthwith bear the rule.
500    And unto life-sustaining Phrygia
Straightway shall there a certain token be,
When Rhea's blood-stained race, in the great earth

[483-489. This passage seems best to describe Antiochus Epiphanes, but Alexandre understands it of Hadrian. The "thunderbolt," in line 486 (Greek {Greek kerauno's}), is thought by Ewald (p. 13) to be a manifest allusion to Seleucus Ceraunus, one of the predecessors of Antiochus Epiphanes, but the epithet seems more properly to denote the god of the thunder.

493-499. Here, too, the exact references are uncertain, but the imagery of being cut from ten horns is manifestly from Daniel (vii, 7, 8, 20,24), and favors the opinion that the writer had in mind one of the Syrian kings. We must not suppose, however, that these Sibylline authors were always accurate in their knowledge or exact in their descriptions.]


{p. 76}

Blooming perennial in impervious roots,
Shall, root and branch, in one night disappear
505 With a city, men and all, of the Earth-shaker
Poseidon; which place they shall sometime call
Dorylæum, of dark ancient Phrygia,
Much-bewailed. Therefore shall that time be called
Earth-shaker; dens of earth shall he break up
510 And walls demolish. And not signs of good
But a beginning of evil shall be made;
The baneful violence of general war
Ye'll have, sons of Æneas, Dative blood
Of Ilus from the soil. But afterwards
515 A spoil shalt thou become for greedy men.
    O Ilium, I pity thee; for there shall bloom
In Sparta an Erinys very fair,
Ever-famed, noblest scion, and shall leave
On Asia and Europe a wide-spreading wave;
520 But to thee most of all she'll bear and cause
Wailings and toils and groans; but there shall be
Undying fame with those who are to come.
    And there shall be an aged mortal then,
False writer and of doubtful native land;
525 And in his eyes the light shall fade away;
Large mind and verses measured with great skill
Shall he have and be blended with two names,

[507. Dorylæum.--Situated on the river Thymbris, in Phrygia, and noted for its hot baths. The entire region round about has suffered fearfully from earthquakes. That time, according to the poet, would be so noted for earthquakes as to take the title of the Earth-shaker himself.

517. An Erinys.--Here referring to Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta, who was the occasion of the Trojan war, and is called by Vergil (Æn., ii, 573) "the common Erinys of Troy and native land." Comp. book xi, 166.

523. Aged mortal.--Reference to the blind Homer.

627. Two names.--Besides his common name, Homer is also called "a {footnote p. 77} Chian" because the island Chios was said to be his birthplace. Possibly the reference is to Melesigenes and Mæonides, two names often applied to Homer.]


{p. 77}

Shall call himself a Chian and shall write
Of Ilium, not truthfully, indeed,
530 But skillfully; for of my verse and meters
He will be master; for he first my books
Will open with his hands; but he himself
Will much embellish helmed chiefs of war,
Hector of Priam and Achilles, son
535 Of Peleus, and the others who have care
For warlike deeds. And also by their side
Will he make gods stand, empty-headed men,
False-writing every way. And it shall be
Glory the rather, widely spread, for them
540 To die at Ilium; but he himself
Shall also works of recompense receive.
    Also to Lycia shall a Locrian race
Cause many evils. And thee, Chalcedon,
Holding by lot a strait of narrow sea,
545 Shall an Ætolian youth sometime despoil.
Cyzicus, also thy vast wealth the sea
Shall break off. And, Byzantium of Ares,
Thou some time shalt by Asia be laid waste,
And also groans and blood immeasurable
550 Shalt thou receive. And Cragus, lofty mount
Of Lycia, from thy peaks by yawning chasms
Of opened rock shall babbling water flow,
Until even Patara's oracles shall cease.
O Cyzicus, that dwellest by Propontis
555 The wine-producing, round thee Rhyndacus

[653. Patara.--A chief city of Lycia and place of a very famous oracle of Apollo.]


{p. 78}

Shall crash the crested billow. And thou, Rhodes,
Daughter of day, shalt long be unenslaved,
And great shall be thy happiness hereafter,
And on the sea thy power shall be supreme.
560 But afterwards a spoil shalt thou become
For greedy men, and put upon thy neck
By beauty and by wealth a fearful yoke.
A Lydian earthquake shall again despoil
The power of Persia, and most horribly
565 Shall the people of Europe and Asia suffer pain.
And Sidon's hurtful king with battle-din
Dreadful shall work a mournful overthrow
To the seafaring Samians. On the soil
Shall slain men's dark blood babble to the sea;
570 And wives together with the noble brides
Shall their outrageous insolence lament,
Some for their bridegrooms, some for fallen sons.
    O sign of Cyprus, may an earthquake waste
Thy phalanxes away, and many souls
575 With one accord shall Hades bold in charge.
    And Trallis near by Ephesus, and walls
Well made, and very precious wealth of men
Shall be dissolved by earthquake; and the land
Shall burst out with hot water; and the earth

[556. Rhodes.--The famous island off the southern coast of Caria, where now, as of old, it is said there is scarcely a day of the whole year in which the sun is not visible. Not mingling in the quarrels of Alexander's successors, Rhodes enjoyed a considerable period of peace and prosperity, and carried an extensive commerce with Egypt. Its subsequent enslavement and downfall were mainly due to the fact that it was such a tempting spoil for greedy conquerors.

577. Very precious wealth.--Mendelssohn's emendation approved by Rzach in his Corrigenda. The common reading of MSS. is, wealth of heavy-hearted men.]


{p. 79}

580 Shall swallow down those who are by the fire
And stench of brimstone heavily oppressed.
    And Samos shall in time build royal houses.
    But to thee, Italy, no foreign war
Shall come, but lamentable tribal blood
585 Not easily exhausted, much renowned,
Shall make thee, impudent one, desolate.
And thou thyself beside hot ashes stretched,
As thou in thine own heart didst not foresee,
Shalt slay thyself. And thou shalt not of men
590 Be mother, but a nurse of beasts of prey.
    But when from Italy shall come a man,
A spoiler, then, Laodicea, thou,
Beautiful city of the Carians
By Lycus's wondrous water, falling prone,
595 Shalt weep in silence for thy boastful sire.
Thracian Crobyzi shall rise up on Hæmus.
Chatter of teeth to the Campanians comes
Because of wasting famine; Corsica
Weeps her old father, and Sardinia
600 Shall by great storms of winter and the strokes

[587. Hot ashes.--Allusion to eruptions of Vesuvius. Comp. book. iv, 172.

592. Spoiler.--L. Scipio, according to some; Nero, according to others; but the reference is uncertain. "The entire picture," says Ewald (p. 38), "is so vast and so general that we cannot think of it as referring to an event that had already taken place." Laodicea.--Situated on the Lycus as here described, and on the borders of Lydia, Caria, and Phrygia. It suffered much by wars and earthquakes.

595. Boastful sire.--Antiochus Theos, who named it in honor of his wife Laodice.

596. Crobyzi.--Mentioned by Strabo (vii, 5, 12) as occupying the district near Mt. Hæmus and south of the Danube.

597. Campanians.--Campania was the district of Italy south of Latium, on the seacoast. Vesuvius was near its central part.]


{p. 80}

of a holy God sink down in ocean depths,
Great wonder to the of the sea.
Alas, alas, how many virgin maids
Will Hades wed, and of as many youths
605 Will the deep take without funeral rites!
Alas, alas, the helpless little ones
And the vast riches swimming in the sea!
    O happy land of Mysians, suddenly
A royal race shall be formed. Truly now
610 Not for a long time shall Chalcedon be.
And there shall be a very bitter grief
To the Galatians. And to Tenedos
Shall there a last but greatest evil come.
    And Sicyon, with strong yells, and Corinth, thou
615 Shalt boast o'er all, but flute shall sound like strain.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    Now, when my soul had. rest from inspired song.
Even again within my heart was set
A message of the mighty God, and he
Commanded me to prophesy on earth.
620    Woe, woe to the race of Ph�nician men
And women, and all cities by the sea;
Not one of you shall in the common light
Abide before the shining of the sun,
Nor of life shall there any longer be
625 Number and tribe, because of unjust speech
And lawless life impure which they lived,
Opening a mouth impure, and fearful words

[616. Here a new section begins, and has an exordium similar to those of lines 1-10, 196-201 and 362-371.

620. Ph�nician men.--Famed for their extensive commerce. Ewald (p. 38) sees in this oracle an evidence of the bitter feeling of the author toward Ph�nicia, chiefly on account of commercial rivalry.]


{p. 81}

Deceitful and unrighteous forth,
And stood against the God, the King,
630 And opened loathsome month deceitfully
Therefore may he subdue them terribly
By strokes o'er all the earth, and bitter fate
Shall God send on them burning from the ground.
Cities and of the cities the foundations.
635    Woe, woe to thee, O Crete! To thee shall come
A very painful stroke, and terribly
Shall the Eternal sack thee; and again
Shall every land behold thee black with smoke,
Fire ne'er shall leave thee, but thou shalt be burned.
610     Woe, woe to thee, O Thrace! So shalt thou come
Beneath a servile yoke, when the Galatians
United with the sons of Dardanus
Rush on to ravage Hellas, thine shall be
The evil; and unto a foreign land
645 Much shalt thou give, not anything receive.
    Woe to thee, Gog and Magog, and to all,
One after another, Mardians and Daians;
How many evils fate, shall bring on thee!
Woe also to the soil of Lycia,
650 And those of Mysia and Phrygia.
And many nations of Pamphylians,
And Lydians, Carians, Cappadocians,
And Ethiopian and Arabian men
Of a strange tongue shall fall. How now may I
655 Of each speak fitly? For on all the nations

[647. Mardians and Daians.--The Mardians were a warlike tribe which occupied the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, and the Daians, or Dahæ, were a great Scythian people whose territory lay on the southeast of the same sea. They were naturally associated in thought with Gog and Magog. Comp. line 391 above.]


{p. 82}

Which dwell on earth the Highest shall send dire plague.
    When now again a barbarous nation comes
Against the Greeks it shall slay many heads
Of chosen men; and they shall tear in pieces
660 Many fat flocks of sheep of men, and herds
Of horses and of mules and lowing kine;
And well-made houses shall they burn with fire
Lawlessly; and unto a foreign land
Shall they by force lead many slaves away,
665 And children, and deep-girded women soft
From bridal chambers creeping on before
With delicate feet; and they shall be bound fast
With fetters by their foes of foreign tongue,
Suffering all fearful outrage; and to them
670 There shall not be one to supply the toil
Of battle and come to their help in life.
And they shall see their goods and all their wealth
Enrich the enemy; and there shall be
A trembling of the knees. And there shall fly
675 A hundred, and one shall destroy them all;
And five shall rout a mighty company;
But they, among themselves mixed shamefully,
Shall by war and dire tumult bring delight
To enemies, but sorrow to the Greeks.
680    And then upon all Hellas there shall be
A servile yoke; and war and pestilence
Together shall upon all mortals come.
And God will make the mighty heaven on high
Like brass and over all the earth a drought,

[657. The passage beginning here is best explained as referring to the subjugation of Greece by the Romans, B. C. 146.

675. Comp. Lev. xxvi, 8; Dent. xxxii, 30; Isa. xxx, 17.]


{p. 83}

685 And earth itself like iron. And thereupon
Shall mortals all lament the barrenness
And lack of cultivation; and on earth
Shall he set, who created heaven and earth,
A much-distressing fire; and of all men
690 The third part only shall thereafter be.
    O Greece, why hast thou trusted mortal men
As leaders, who cannot escape from death?
And wherefore bringest thou thy foolish gifts
Unto the dead and sacrifice to idols?
695 Who put the error in thy heart to do
These things and leave the face of God the mighty?
Honor the All-Father's name, and let it not
Escape thee. It is now a thousand years,
Yea, and five hundred more, since haughty kings
700 Ruled o'er the Greeks, who first to mortal men
Introduced evils, setting up for worship
Images many of gods that are dead,
Because of which ye were taught foolish thoughts.
But when the anger of the mighty God
705 Shall come upon you, then ye'll recognize
The face of God the mighty. And all souls
Of men, with mighty groaning lifting up
Their hands to the broad heaven, shall begin
To call the great King helper, and to seek
710 The rescuer from great wrath who is to be.

[690. Third part.--Comp. Ezek. v, 2; Zech. xiii, 8; Rev. viii, 7-9. Also Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 16 [L., 6, 792].

691-697. Quoted (omitting one line) by Lactantius, Div. Inst., i, 15 [L., 6,196]. 698. The number here given seems to be intended not as an exact, but as a general and vaguely oracular, designation. The prophetess seems to forgot her time and place as the daughter-in-law of Noah, to which she pretends in the closing lines of this book.]


{p. 84}

    But come and learn this and store in your hearts,
What troubles in the rolling years shall come.
And what as whole burnt-offering Hellas brought
Of cows and bellowing bulls unto the temple
715 Of the great God, she from ill-sounding war
And fear and pestilence shall flee away
And from the servile yoke escape again.
But until that time there shall be a race
Of godless men, even when that fated day
720 Shall reach its end. For offering to God
Ye should not make till all things come to pass,
Which God alone shall purpose not in vain
To be all fulfilled; and strong force shall urge.
    And there shall be again a holy race
725 Of godly men who, keeping to the counsels
And mind of the Most High, shall honor much
The great God's temple with drink-offerings,
Burnt-offerings, and holy hecatombs,
With sacrifices of fat bulls, choice rams,
730 Firstlings of sheep and the fat thighs of lambs,
Sacredly offering whole burnt-offerings
On the great altar. And in righteousness,
Having obtained the law of the Most High,
Blest shall they dwell in cities and rich fields.
735 And prophets shall be set on high for them
By the Immortal, bringing great delight
Unto all mortals. For to them alone
The mighty God his gracious counsel gave
And faith and noblest thought within their hearts;
740 They have not by vain things been led astray,

[730. Fat thighs.--This conjectural reading of Mendelssohn ({Greek mh~ra} instead of {Greek mh~la}) is approved by Rzach in his Addenda et Corrigenda.]


{p. 85}

Nor pay they honor to the works of men
Made of gold, brass, silver, and ivory,
Nor statues of dead gods of wood and stone
[Besmeared clay, figures of the painter's art],
745 And all that empty-minded mortals will;
But they lift up their pure arms unto heaven,
Rise from the couch at daybreak, always hands
With water cleanse, and honor only Him
Who is immortal and who ever rules,
750 And then their parents; and above all men
Do they respect the lawful marriage-bed;
And they have not base intercourse with boys,
As do Ph�nicians, Latins, and Egyptians
And spacious Greece, and nations many more
755 Of Persians and Galatians and all Asia,
Transgressing the immortal God's pure law
Which they were under. Therefore on all men
Will the Immortal put bane, famine, pains,
Groans, war, and pestilence and mournful woes;
760 Because they would not honor piously
The immortal Sire of all men, but revered
And worshiped idols made with hands, which things
Mortals themselves will cast down and for shame
Conceal in clefts of rocks, when a young king,
765 The seventh of Egypt, shall rule his own land,
Reckoned from the dominion of the Greeks,
Which countless Macedonian men shall rule;
And there shall come from Asia a great king,

[741-750. Cited by Clem. Alex., Cohort., vi [G., 8, 176].

757. For the text see Rzach's Addenda et Corrigenda.

764. Young king.--Or new king; Ptolemy Philometer, the seventh from Alexander, including the latter, as the poet evidently intends.

168. Great king.--Antiochus Epiphanes, who invaded Egypt B. C. 170, and carried off Ptolemy Philometer as prisoner.]


{p. 86}

A fiery eagle, who with foot and horse
770 Shall cover all the land, cut up all things,
And fill all things with evils; he will cast
The Egyptian kingdom down; and taking off
All its possessions carry them away
Over the spacious surface of the sea.
775 And then shall they before, the mighty God,
The King immortal, bend the fair white knee
On the much-nourishing earth; and all the works
Made with hands shall fall by a flame of fire.
And then will God bestow great joy on men;
780 For land and trees and countless flocks of sheep
Their genuine fruit to men shall offer--wine,
And the sweet honey, and white milk, and wheat,
Which is for mortals of all things the best.
    But thou, O mortal full of various wiles,
485 Do not delay and loiter, but do thou,
Tossed to and fro, turn and propitiate God.
Offer to God Your hecatombs of bulls
And firstling lambs and goats, as times revolve.
But him propitiate, the immortal God,
490 If haply he show mercy. For he is
The only God, and other there is none.
And honor justice and oppress no man.
For these things the Immortal doth enjoin
On miserable men. But do thou heed
795 The cause of the wrath of the mighty God,
When on all mortals there shall come the height
Of pestilence and conquered they shall meet
A fearful judgment, and king shall seize king
And wrest his land away, and nations bring
800 Ruin on nations and lords plunder tribes,

[779-783. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 24 [L., 6, 811].]


{p. 87}

And chiefs all flee into another land,
And the land change its men, and foreign rule
Ravage all Hellas and drain the rich land.
Of its wealth, and to strife among themselves
805 Because of gold and silver they shall come--
The love of gain an evil shepherdess
Will be for cities--in a foreign land.
And they shall all be without burial,
And vultures and wild beasts of earth shall spoil
810 Their flesh; and when these things are brought to pass,
Vast earth shall waste the relics of the dead.
And all unsown shall it be and unplowed,
Proclaiming sad the filth of men defiled
Many lengths of time in the revolving years,
815 And shields and javelins and all sorts of arms;
Nor shall the forest wood be cut for fire.
    And then shall God send from the East a king,
Who shall make all earth cease from evil war,
Killing some, others binding with strong oaths.
820 And he will not by his own counsels do
All these things, but obey the good decrees
Of God the mighty. And with goodly wealth,
With gold and silver and purple ornament,
The temple of the mighty God again
825 Shall be weighed down; and the full-bearing earth
And the sea shall be filled full of good things.
And kings against each other shall begin

[806, 807. A parenthetic statement, occasioned by the reference to gold and silver. Comp. book ii, 136-143; viii, 21-26.

814-816. Comp. a similar statement in Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 26 [L., 6, 814]. See also Isa. ix, 5, and Ezek. xxxix, 9, 10, and lines 907-911, where we have the fuller form of what seems here to be fragmentary.

817. Send from the East a king.--Best explained by Cyrus. Comp. line 352 above, and Isa. xli, 2, 25.]


{p. 88}

To hold ill will, in heart abetting evils.
Envy is not a good to wretched men.
830    But again kings of nations on this land
Shall rush in masses, bringing on themselves
Destruction; for they'll purpose to despoil
The great God's temple and the noblest men.
What time they reach the land, polluted kings
835 Shall set around the city each his throne
And have his people that obey not God.
And then shall God speak with a mighty voice
To all rude people of an empty mind,
And judgment from the mighty God shall come
840 Upon them, and they all shall be destroyed
By his immortal arm. And fiery swords
Shall fall front heaven on earth; and great bright lights
Shall come down flaming in the midst of men.
And in those days shall earth, all-mother, reel
845 By his immortal arm, and shoals of fish
In the deep sea, and all wild, beasts of earth,
And countless tribes of winged fowl, and all
The souls of men and every sea shall tremble
Before the face of the Immortal One,
850 And there shall be dismay. High mountain peaks
And monstrous hills shall he asunder break,
And to all shall dark Erebus appear.
And misty gorges in the lofty hills

[830. Here assuredly a new paragraph ought to begin, though Rzach's text allows none. After the prophecy of the restoration of the temple the writer turns (lines 830-836) to the wars of the post-exile period, and the despoiling of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. With such attempts to destroy the holy people he conceives, after the manner of Daniel's prophecy (Dan. xl, 40-45), that the sudden judgment of heaven intercepts the daring and impious transgressor. Hence the sublime apocalyptic passage, lines 837-871, follows in the regular order of prophetic thought.]


{p. 89}

Shall be full of the dead; and rocks shall stream
855 With blood and every torrent fill the plain.
And well-built walls of evil-minded men
Shall all fall to the earth, since they knew not
The law nor judgment of the mighty God,
But with a senseless soul all hurried on
860 Against the temple and raised up their spears.
And God shall judge all by war and by sword
And by fire and by overwhelming storm;
And brimstone there shall be from heaven, and stones
And great and grievous hail; and death shall come
865 Upon the quadrupeds. And then shall they
Know God, the Immortal, who performs these things;
And wailing, and upon the boundless earth
Shall be at once a shout of perishing men;
And all the unholy shall be bathed in blood;
870 And earth herself shall also drink the blood
Of the perishing, and beasts be gorged with flesh.
    And all these things the great eternal God
Himself bade me proclaim. And that shall not
Be unaccomplished, or be unfulfilled,
875 Whatever only in my heart he put;
For truthful is God's spirit in the world.
    But children of the mighty God shall all
Again around the temple live in peace,
Rejoicing in those things which he shall give
880 Who is Creator, righteous Judge and King.
For he himself, great, present far and wide,
Shall be a shelter, as on all sides round
A wall of flaming fire. And they shall be
In cities and in country without war.
885 For not the hand of evil war, but rather
The Immortal shall himself be their defender


{p. 90}

And the hand of the Holy One. And then shall all
The islands and the cities tell how much
The immortal God loves those men; for all things
890 Help them in conflict and deliver them
Heaven, and divinely fashioned sun, and moon.
[And in those days shall earth, all-mother, reel.]
Sweet word shall they send from their mouths in hymns:
"Come, falling on the earth let us all pray
895 The immortal King, and great eternal God.
To the temple let its in procession go,
Since he alone is Lord; and let us all
Meditate on the law of God most high,
Which is most righteous of all (laws) on earth.
900 And from the path of the Immortal we
Have wandered and with senseless soul we honor
Works made by hand and wooden images
Of dead men." These things souls of faithful melt
Shall cry out: "Come, having, at the house of God
905 Fallen on our faces, let its with our hymns
Make joy to God the Father at our homes,
Supplied through all our land with arms of foes
Seven lengths of time in the revolving years;
Even shields and helmets and all sorts of arms,
910 And a great store of bows and arrows barbed;
For forest wood shall not be cut for
    But, wretched Hellas, stop thy arrogance
And be wise; and entreat the Immortal One
Magnanimous, and be upon thy guard.

[900-903. Cited by Justin Martyr, Cohort. ad Græcos, xvi [G., 6, 273].

907-911. Comp. lines 815-816 above, and note.

912. Wretched Hellas.--Addressed apparently to the Greek dominion of Egypt under the Ptolemies.]


{p. 91}

915 Send now against this city yet again
The people inconsiderate, who are come
Out of the holy land of the mighty One.
Do not move Camarina; for 'tis better
She be unmoved; a leopard from the lair,
920 Do thou not let an evil meet with thee.
But keep off, do not hold within thy breast
An arrogant and overbearing soul,
Ready for mighty contest. And serve God
The mighty, that thou mayest share those things;
925 And when that fated day shall reach its end
[And judgment of the immortal God shall come
To mortals], judgment great and power shall come
Upon men. For all-mother earth shall yield
To mortals best fruit boundless, wheat, wine, oil;
930 Also from heaven a delightful drink

[915. Send now against this city.--Several critics have proposed to read, "Send not," and understand the passage as an exhortation to the Greeks of Egypt not to send to Jerusalem an army of Alexandrine Jews, who might be excited by bad counsel to mix up with the Palestinian wars so constantly raging between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies. Such ill-advised action would be "moving Camarina," or provoking a fierce leopard in his lair. Another view is that the oracle dates about the beginning of the rise of the Maccabees, and is an exhortation to the Ptolemies to send to Jerusalem Jewish forces, numerous in Alexandria, to help their brethren in the Holy Land. But all the attempts to make the passage fit particular persons and events involve so much of fancy and conjecture that one may well hesitate to adopt any of them.

918. Camarina.--The allusion is to the well-known story of draining the marsh of Camarina, a city of southern Sicily. The inhabitants, disregarding the oracle, drained the neighboring marsh, which was believed to breed pestilence, and by so doing they opened a way for their enemies to come and destroy their city. Hence the proverb, "Move not Camarina," was equivalent to: Do not seek to remove one evil in a way that is likely to bring on another and greater one. Comp. Vergil, Æn., iii, 701.]


{p. 92}

Of honey and trees shall give their fruit,
And fatted sheep and cattle there shall be,
Young lambs and kids of goats; earth shall break forth
With sweet springs of white milk; and of good things
935 The cities shall be full and fat the fields;
Nor sword nor uproar shall be on the earth;
No more shall earth groan heavily and quake;
Nor shall war longer be on earth, nor drought,
Nor famine, nor the fruit-destroying hail;
940 But great peace, shall be upon all the earth,
And king to king be friend until the end
Of the age, and o'er all earth common law
Will the Immortal in the starry heaven
Perfect for men, touching whatever things
945 Have been by miserable mortals done;
For he alone is God, there is no other;
And the stern rage of men he'll burn with fire.
    But change entirely the thoughts in thy heart,
And flee unrighteous worship; serve the One
950 Who liveth; guard against adultery
And deeds of lewdness; thine own offspring rear
And do not murder; for the Immortal One
Is angry with him who in these things sins.
    And then a kingdom over all mankind
955 Shall he raise up for ages, who once gave
Holy law to the pious, unto whom
He pledged to open every land, the world
And portals of the blessed, and all joys,
And mind immortal and eternal bliss.
960 And out of every land unto the house
Of the great God shall they bring frankincense
And gifts, and there shall be no other house

[948-950. Cited by Lactantius, de Ira Dei, i, xxii [L., 7, 143].]


{p. 93}

To be inquired of by men yet to be,
But what God gave for faithful men to honor;
965 For mortal temple of the mighty God
Shall call it. And all pathways of the plain
And rough hills and high mountains and wild waves
Of the deep shall be easy in those days
For crossing and for sailing; for all peace
970 On the land of the good shall come; and sword
Shall prophets of the mighty God remove;
For they are judges and the righteous kings
Of mortals. And there shall be righteous wealth
Among mankind; for of the mighty God
975 This is the judgment and also the power.
    Be of good cheer, O maiden, and be glad;
For he who made the heaven and earth gave thee
Joy in thy age. And he will dwell in thee;
And thine shall be immortal and wolves
980 And lambs shall in the mountains feed on grass
Together, and with kids shall leopards graze;
And bears shall lodge among the pasturing calves;
And the carnivorous lion shall eat chaff
At the manger like the cow; and little children
985 In bonds shall lead them; for he will make beasts
Helpless on earth. With babes shall fall asleep
Serpents, along with asps, and do no harm;
For over them shall be the hand of God.
    Now tell I thee a sign exceeding clear,
990 That thou may'st know when the end of all things

[964. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 6 [L., 6, 462].

976. Comp. Zech. ii, 10; ix, 9.

979-987. Comp. Isa. xi, 6-9. Cited also, with some verbal variations, by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 24 [L., 6, 811].]


{p. 94}

On earth shall be. When in the starry heaven
Swords shall by night point straight toward west and east,
Straightway shalt there be also from the heaven
A cloud of dust borne forth to all the earth,
995 And the sun's brightness in the midst of heaven
Shall be eclipsed, and the moon's beams appear
And come again on earth; by drops of blood
Distilling from the rocks a sign shalt be;
And in the cloud shalt ye behold a war
1000 Of foot and horse, like the chase of wild beasts
In the dense fog. This end of all things God
Shalt consummate, whose dwelling is in heaven.
But all must sacrifice to the great King.
    These things I show thee, I who madly left
1005 The long walls of Assyrian Babylon
For Hellas to proclaim to all the wrath
Of God, fire sent. . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
And that I might to mortals prophesy
Of mysteries divine. And men shalt say
1010 In Hellas that I am of foreign Land,
Of Erythre born, shameless; others say
That I'm a Sibyl, born of mother Circe
And father Gnostos raving mad and false;
But at that time when all thing come to pass
1015 Ye shall remember me, and no one more

[991-1000. Comp. with this section Josephus, Wars, vi, v, 3.

1005. Babylon.--Lactantius understood the Sibyl to predict that she would be called Erythræan, "although she was born in Babylon." Div. Inst., i, 6 [L., 6, 145].

1013. Gnostos.--Some have thought that Glaucus is intended, the seagod and father of Deiphobe. See Vergil, Æn., vi, 36.

1014-1016. Cited by Lactantius, Div, iv, 15 [L, 6, 495].]


{p. 95}

Shall call me mad, the great God's prophetess,
    For he showed me what happened formerly
To my ancestors; what things were the first
Those God made known to me; and in my mind
1020 Did God put all things to be afterwards,
That I might prophesy of things to come,
And things that were, and tell them unto men.
For when the world was deluged with a flood
Of waters, and one man of good repute
1025 Alone was left and in a wooden house
Sailed o'er the waters with the beasts and birds,
In order that the world might be refilled,
I was his son's bride and was of his race
To whom the first things happened, and the last
1030 Were all made known; and thus from mine own mouth
Let all these truthful things remain declared.

[1028. His son's bride.--Literally and strictly, I was his bride ({Greek nu'mfh}) but the word is probably employed here as in the later Greek usage, in the use of daughter-in-law. Nevertheless, in book vii, 219, the Sibyl says she had a son by her father. Compare, however, book i, 350-353; ii, 416-425. In book v, 15, she calls herself sister of Isis.]


{p. 96}

{p. 97}


{p. 98}


Introduction, 1-28. Blessedness of the righteous, 29-60. The Assyrian kingdom, 61-65. The Medes and Persians, 66-82. Woes on Phrygia, Asia, and Egypt, 83-100. Sicily burned by fire of Ætna, 101-104. Strife in Greece, 105-108. Triumphs of Macedon, 109-129. Triumphs of Italy, 130-168. Italy's punishment, 169-180. Woes of Antioch, Cyprus, and Caria, 181-197. Wrath in reserve for the impious, 198-209. Exhortations and threatening, 210-230. Resurrection, judgment, and reward, 231-248.

{p. 99}


    PEOPLE of boastful Asia and of Europe,
Hear how much, all too true, I am about,
Through a month many-toned, from my great hall
To prophesy; no oracle am I
5 Of lying Ph�bus whom vain men called god,
And further falsified by calling seer;
But of the mighty God, whom hands of men
Formed not like speechless idols carved of stone.
For he has not for his abode a stone
10 Most dumb and toothless to a temple drawn,
Of immortals a dishonor very sore;
For he may not be seen from earth nor measured
By mortal eyes, nor formed by mortal hand;
He, looking down at once on all, is seen
15 Himself by no one; his are murky night,
And day, and sun, and stars, and moon, and seas
With fish, and land, and rivers, and the month

[1. This fourth book was probably written by a Jew who lived during the latter part of the first century A. D. In lines 162-165 we find allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and lines 169-174 are most naturally explained as referring to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A. D., which overwhelmed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The Nero legends also appear in this book (lines 154-159, 178-180), and serve to prove the date not earlier than about 80 A. D.

5. Phæbus.--The god of archery, prophecy, and music, who had temples at Delos, Delphi, Patara, Claros, Miletus, Grynium, and other places, in all of which he gave forth oracles of the future. His oracles were, according to Herodotus (i, 66, 75), often ambiguous and misleading,

5-8. Cited by Clem. Alex., Cohort. ad Græcos, iv [G., 8, 111].]


{p. 100}

Of springs perennial, creatures meant for life,
And rains at once producing fruit of field
20 And tree and vine and oil. This God a whip
Struck through my heart within to make me tell
Truly to men what things have now befallen
And how much shall befall them yet again
From the first generation to the eleventh;
25 For he himself by bringing them to pass
Will prove all things. But do thou in all things,
O people, to the Sibyl give all ear,
Who pours from hallowed mouth a truthful voice.
Blessed of men shall they be on the earth
30 As many as shall love the mighty God,
Offering him praise before they drink and eat;
Trusting in piety. When they behold
Temples and altars, figures of dumb stones,
[Stone images and statues made with hands]
35 Polluted with the blood of living things
And sacrifices of four-footed beasts,
They will reject them all; and they will look
To the great glory of one God and not
Commit presumptuous murder nor dispose
40 Of stolen gain, which things most horrid are;
Nor shameful longing for another's bed
Have they, nor vile and hateful lust of males.
Their manner, piety, and character

[24. Eleventh.--Or tenth? Comp. lines 58 and 110. The reckoning begins with the first generation after the flood. Comp. lines 64 and 65. By generation the author evidently means a long period, an age, but its duration is left indefinite.

29-37. Cited by Justin Martyr, Cohort. ad Græcos, xvi [G., 6, 273]; also by Clem. Alex., Cohort. ad Græcos, iv [G., 8, 161].

41,42. Cited by Clem. Alex., Pæd., ii, 10 [G., 8, 516].]

{p. 101}

Shall other men, that love a shameless life,
45 Not ever imitate; but, mocking them
With jest and joke like babes in senselessness,
They'll falsely charge to them as many deeds
Blameful and wicked as they do themselves.
For slow is the whole race of human kind
50 To believe. But when judgment of the world
And mortals comes which God himself shall bring
Judging at once the impious and the pious,
Then indeed shall he send the ungodly back
To lower darkness [and then they shall know
55 How much impiety they wrought]; but the pious
Shall still remain upon the fruitful land,
God giving to them breath and life and grace.
But these things all in the tenth generation
Shall come to pass; and now what things shall be
60 From the first generation, those I'll tell.
    First over all mortal shall Assyrians rule,
And for six generations hold the power
Of the world, from the time the God of heaven
Being wroth against the cities and all men
65 Sea with a bursting deluge covered earth.
    Them shall the Medes o'erpower, but on the throne
For two generations only shall exult;
In which times those events shall come to pass:

[49-67. Cited with verbal variations by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 23 [L., 6, 807].

57. Comp. Acts xvii, 25.

61. First ... Assyrians.--Comp. Gen. x, 11. 63-65. Cited by Lactantius, de Ira Dei, xxiii [L., 7, 144].

66. The Medes o'erpower.--Comp. Herod., i, 95: "When the Assyrians had ruled over upper Asia five hundred and twenty years, first the Medes began to revolt from them, and, having thrown off their slavery, became free."]


{p. 102}

Dark night shall come at the mid hour of day
40 And from the heaven the stars and circling moon
Shall disappear; and earth in tumult shaken
By a great earthquake shall throw many cities
And works of men headlong; and from the deep
They shall peer out the islands of the Sea.
75    But when the great Euphrates shall with blood
Be surging, then shall there be also set
Between the Medes and Persians dreadful strife
In battle; and the, Medes shall fall and fly
'Neath Persian spears beyond the mighty water
80 Of Tigris. And the Persian power shall be
Greatest in all the world, and they shall have
One generation of most prosperous rule.
    And there shall be as many evil deeds
As men shall wish away--the din of war,
85 And murders, and disputes, and banishments,
And overthrow of towers and waste of cities,
When Hellas very glorious shall sail
Over broad Hellespont, and shall convey
To Phrygia sorrow and to Asia doom.
90    And unto Egypt, land of many furrows,
Shall sorry famine come, and barrenness
Shall during twenty circling years prevail,
What time the Nile, corn-nourisher, shall hide

[69. Night . . . day.--Probably to be understood of a notable eclipse of the sun. Herodotus (i, 74) relates that during the wars of the Medes and Lydians it happened that in the heat of battle the day was suddenly turned into night. This event, he observes, Thales had foretold, designating beforehand the very year in which it actually occurred.

87-89. Reference to the Trojan War according to most critics, but according to Badt (Das vierte Buch d. Sibyl. Orakel, 10) to the beginning, of the Persian War by the revolt of southwestern Asia Minor, and the attack on Sardis by the Greeks.]

{p. 103}

His dark wave somewhere underneath the earth.
95    And there shall come from Asia a great king
Bearing a spear, with ships innumerable,
And he shall walk the wet paths of the deep,
And shall sail after he has cut the mount
Of lofty summit; him a fugitive
100 From battle fearful Asia shall receive.
    And Sicily the wretched shall a stream
Of powerful fire set all aflame while Etna
Her flame disgorges; and in the deep chasm
Down shall the mighty city Croton fall.
105    And strife shall be in Hellas; they shall rage
Against each other, cast down many cities,
And fighting make an end of many men;
But equally balanced is the strife with both.
    But, when the race of mortal men shall come
110 To the tenth generation, also then
Upon thc Persians shall a servile yoke
And terror be. But when the Macedonians
Shall boast the scepter there shall be for Thebes
An evil conquest from behind, and Carians
115 Shall dwell in Tyre, and Tyrians be destroyed.

[95-100. Reference to Xerxes' invasion of Greece.

104. Croton.--No city of this name is known to have existed in Sicily, and the well-known Croton, or Croto, in southern Italy, cannot be thought of as perishing by lava streams of Etna. Another reading {Greek Brotw^n}) is, "the great city of men."

105-108. Reference to the Peloponnesian War.

110-120. Reference to the Macedonian power, which, under Alexander the Great, subdued the Persian Empire, and spread Greek colonies over its broad territory. The illusions are to be understood poetically, and were probably not designed to be altogether strict statements of fact.

113. Thebes, in B�otia, which was razed to the ground by Alexander before his expedition into Asia.]


{p. 104}

And Babylon, great to see but small to fight,
Shall stand with walls that were in vain hopes built.
In Bactria Macedonians shall dwell;
But those from Susa and from Bactria
120 Shall all into the land of Hellas flee.
    It shall take place among those yet to be,
When silver-eddying Pyramus his banks
O'erpouring, to the sacred isle shall come.
And Cibyra shall fall and Cyzicus,
125 When, earth being shaken by earthquakes, cities fall.
And sand shall hide all Samos under banks.
And Delos visible no more, but things
Of Delos shall all be invisible.
And to Rhodes shall come evil last, but greatest.
130    The Macedonian power shall not abide;
But from the west a great Italian war
Shall flourish, under which the world shall bear
A servile yoke and the Italians serve.
And thou, O wretched Corinth, thou shalt look
135 Sometime upon thy conquest. And thy tower,

[118. Bactria.--The northeastern extreme of the Persian Empire, bordering on northern India.

119. Susa.--The biblical Shushan, one of the capital cities of the Persian Empire.

122. Pyramus.--A river of Cilicia flowing southward from Mount Taurus and emptying into the Mediterranean. Strabo (book i, chap. iii, 7) describes it and quotes these lines of the Sibyl as all ancient oracle.

123. Sacred isle.--Referring probably to Cyprus, which word Strabo here reads.

124. Cibyra.--City of Asia Minor, in Phrygia, near the border of Caria. Cyzicus was a city of Mysia, on an island of the same name in the Propontis.

126, 127. On Samos and Delos comp. book iii, 454.

134. Corinth.--Destroyed by the Romans the same year as Carthage, B. C. 146.]

{p. 105}

O Carthage, shall press lowly on the ground.
    Wretched Laodicea, thee sometime
Shall earthquake lay low, casting headlong down,
But thou, a city firmly set, again
140 Shalt stand. O Lycia Myra beautiful,
Thee never shall the agitated earth
Set fast; but falling headlong down on earth
Shalt thou, in manner like an alien, pray
To flee away into another land,
145 When sometime the dark water of the sea
With thunders and earthquakes shall stop the din
Of Patara for its impieties.
    Also for thee, Armenia, there remains
A slavish fate; and there shall also come
150 To Solyma an evil blast of war
From Italy, and God's great temple spoil.
But when these, trusting folly, shall cast off
Their piety and murders consummate
Around the temple, then front Italy
155 A mighty king shall like a runaway slave
Flee over the Euphrates' stream unseen,

[138. Lay low.--Read {Greek strw'sei}. Comp. book v, 587 (Greek text, 438). So Mendelssohn, favored by Rzach.

140. Myra.--Chief city of Lycia, on the southern coast, about a league from the sea. Its ruins witness to its ancient wealth and beauty.

147. Patara.--Sec book iii, 551.

148. Armenia.--There was Armenia Major, the vast territory south of the Caucasus Mountains and between the Euxine and Caspian Seas; and Armenia Minor, a, small section on the west of Armenia Major, and east of Cappadocia. All these lands were subject to Alexander, then to the Syrian princes, and were made a Roman province under Trajan.

150. Solyma.--That is, Jerusalem.

155. Mighty king.--Nero, whose murder of his mother is notorious, and whose flight beyond the Euphrates and expected return as antichrist was a superstitious tradition long maintained.]


{p. 106}

Unknown, who shall some time dare loathsome guilt
Of matricide, and many other things,
Having confidence in his most wicked hands.
160 And many for the throne with blood
Rome's soil while he flees over Parthian land.
   And out of Syria shall come Rome's foremost man,
Who having burned the temple of Solyma,
And having slaughtered many of the Jews,
165 Shall destruction on their great broad land.
    And then too shall an earthquake overthrow
Both Salamis and Paphos, when dark water
Shall dash o'er Cyprus washed by many a wave.
    But when from deep cleft of Italian land
170 Fire shall come flashing forth in the broad heaven,
And many cities burn and men destroy,
And much black ashes shall fill the great sky,
And small drops like red earth shall fall from heaven,
Then know the anger of the God of heaven,
175 For that they without reason shall destroy
The nation of the pious. And then strife
Awakened of war shall come to the West,
Shall also come the fugitive of Rome,
Bearing a great spear, having marched across

[162-165. This evidently refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the subjugation of all Palestine by the Romans under Vespasian and Titus.

167. Salamis and Paphos.--Famous cities, one at the east and the other at the west end of Cyprus. "How often," says Seneca (Epist. 91), "has this calamity (earthquake) laid Cyprus waste? How often has Paphos fallen into ruin?"

171-176. The great eruption of Vesuvius, which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, A. D. 79, is construed by the Sibyl as a sign of God's anger against the Romans for the slaughter of the Jews.

178. Fugitive of Rome.--Nero, referred to in lines 154-159 above.]


{p. 107}

180 Euphrates with his many myriads.
    O wretched Antioch, they shall call thee
No more a city when around their spears
Because of thine own follies thou shalt fall.
And then on Scyros shall a pestilence
185 And dreadful battle-din destruction bring.
    Alas, alas! O wretched Cyprus, thee
Shall a broad wave of the sea cover, thee
Tossed on high by the whirling stormy winds.
    And into Asia there shall come great wealth,
190 Which Rome herself once, plundering, put away
In her luxurious homes; and twice as much
And more shall she to Asia render back,
And then there shall be an excess of war.
    And Carian cities by Mæander's waters,
195 Girded with towers and very beautiful,
Shall by a bitter famine be destroyed,
When the Mæander his dark water hides.
    But when piety shall perish from mankind,
And faith and right be hidden in the world,
200 . . . Fickle . . . and in unhallowed boldness
Living shall practice wanton violence,
And reckless evil deeds, and of the pious
No one shall make account, but even them all
From thoughtlessness they utterly destroy
205 In childish folly, in their violence
Exulting and in blood holding their bands;
Then know thou that God is no longer mild,

[184. Scyros.--Large island of the Ægean Sea east of Eubæa.

191. Twice as much.--Comp. book iii, 434-441.

194. Mæander.--This stream, having its sources in Phrygia, ran westward between Caria and Lydia, and was famous for its many windings. Comp. Ovid, Metam., viii, 162-166.]


{p. 108}

But gnashing with fury and destroying all
The race of men by conflagration great.
210 Ah! miserable mortals, change these things,
Nor lead the mighty God to wrath extreme;
Put giving up your swords and pointed knives,
And homicides and wanton violence,
Wash your whole body in perennial streams,
215 And lifting up your hands to heaven seek pardon
For former deeds and expiate with praise
Bitter impiety; and God will give
Repentance; he will not destroy; and wrath
Will he again restrain, if in your hearts
220 Ye all will practice honored piety.
But if, ill-disposed, ye obey me not,
But with a fondness for strange lack of sense
Receive all these things with an evil ear,
There shall be over all the world a fire
225 And greatest omen with sword and with trump
At sunrise; the whole world shall hear the roar
And mighty sound. And he shall burn all earth,
And destroy the whole race of men, and all
The cities and the rivers and the sea;
230 All things he'll burn, and it shall be black dust.
    But when now all things shall have been reduced
To dust and ashes, and God shall have calmed

[209. See lines 224-230, and comp. 2 Pet. iii, 7; Cicero, de Natura Deorum, ii, 49; Ovid, Metam. i, 256-258. Justin Martyr refers to this passage in his first Apology, chap. xx.

212. Knives.--Read {Greek sto'nuxas} instead of {Greek stonaxa's}. This emendation proposed by Mendelssohn seems more suitable than the reading groanings, and finds favor with Rzach.

214. Wash.--Reference to Christian baptism.

218-220. Cited in Lactantius, de Ira Dei, xxiii.

231-248. This picture of resurrection, judgment, and awarding of {footnote p. 109} punishments and rewards embodies the substance of familiar Christian doctrine. This passage is quoted in the Apostolical Constitutions, book v, 7 [G., 1, 844], where we find a somewhat abbreviated text.]


{p. 109}

The fire unspeakable which he lit up,
The bones and ashes of men God himself
235 Again will fashion, and he will again
Raise mortals up, even as they were before.
And then shall be the judgment, at which God
Himself as judge shall judge the world again;
And all who sinned with impious hearts, even them,
240 Shall he again hide under mounds of earth
[Dark Tartarus and Stygian Gehenna].
But all who shall be pious shall again
Live on the earth [and (shall inherit there)
The great immortal God's unwasting bliss,]
245 God giving spirit life and joy to them
[The pious; and they all shall see themselves
Beholding the sun's sweet and cheering light.
O happy on the earth shall be that man].


{p. 110}

{p. 111}


{p. 112}


Introduction, 1, 2. Rome's first emperors, 2-733. Grief of the Sibyl, 74-76. Inundation of Egypt, 77-84. Oracle against Memphis, 85-100. Idolatry and woes of Egypt, 101-147. Woes on various cities of the East and of Asia Minor, 148-169. Woe on Lycia, Phrygia, and Thessaly, 110-185. The vile and fearful king, 186-209. Oracle against Rome, 210-241. Lamentation over Egypt, 242-272. Britons and Gauls, 273-280. Ethiopians and Indians perish by conflict of the stars, 281-291. Doom of Corinth, 292-308. Oracle against Rome, 309-334. The blessed Jews, 335-345. The heavenly Joshua, 346-350. Lovely Judea, 351-382. Woe on western Asia and Ephesus, 383-398. God's wrath on the wicked, 399-410. Woes on Smyrna, Cyme, Lesbos, Corcyra, Hierapolis, and Tripolis, 411-434. Doom of Miletus, 433-439. Prayer for the land of Judah, 440-446. Wretched Thrace, Hellespont, and Italy, 447-463. Divine judgment and majesty, 464-484. Wars and woes of the last time, 485 517. Appeal to the wicked city, 518-555. Messianic day, 556-580. Fall of Babylon, 581-600. Woes of Asia, Crete, Cyprus, and Ph�nicia, 601-615. Vast armies in Egypt, Macedon, and Asia, 616-624. Destruction of the Thracians, 625-629. Mankind made few by woes, 630-639. Final darkness, 640-648. Ruin of Isis and Serapis, 649-660. The temple in Egypt, 661-676. Sin and doom of the Ethiopians, 677-687. Battle of the constellations, 688-711.

{p. 113}


    BUT come, now, hear of me the mournful time
Of sons of Latium. And first of all,
After the kings of Egypt were destroyed
And the like earth had downwards borne them all,
5 And after Pella's townsman, under whom
The whole East and the rich West were cast down,
whom Babylon dishonored, and stretched out
For Philip a dead body (not of Zeus,
Of Ammon not true things were prophesied),
10 And after that one of the race and blood
Of king Assaracus, who came from Troy,
Even he who cleft the violence of fire,
And after many lords, and after men
To Ares dear, and after the young babes,
15 The children of the beast that feeds on sheep,
The very first lord shall be, who shall sum
Twice ten with the first letter of his name;

[1. Next to the third, this fifth book is the longest in our present collection of oracles. It is clearly a composite of Jewish and Christian material, and as the three Antonines are referred to in line 72, we cannot suppose that the book in its present form existed prior to the middle of the second century of the Christian era.

5. Pella's townsman.--Alexander the Great.

9. Not true things.--In this parenthetic way the Sibyl declares that the popular traditions of Alexander as having sprung from Zeus or from Ammon were proven untrue.

11. Assaracus.--Ancestor of Æneas.

14. Babes.--Romulus and Remus.

16. The very first lord.--First in the line of Cæsars or emperors. This Sibylline writer, as well as Suetonius, the Roman historian, begins the list {footnote p. 113} with Julius Cæsar, who is designated by the numerical value of the initial letters of his name. The Greek letter Kappa (K) stands for twenty, and Iota (I) stands for ten.]


{p. 114}

In wars exceeding powerful shall he be;
And he shall have the initial sign of ten;
20 And in like manner after him to reign
Is one who has the alphabet's first letter;
Before him Thrace and Sicily shall crouch,
Then Memphis, Memphis cast headlong to earth
By reason of the cowardice of rulers
25 And of a woman unenslaved who falls
Upon the wave. And laws will he ordain
For peoples and put all things under him;
But after a long time shall he transmit
His power unto another, who shall have
30 Three hundred for his first initial sign,
And of a river the beloved name,
And the Persians he shall rule and Babylon;
And then shall he smite Medians with his spear.
Then shall one rule who has the initial sign
35 Of the number three. And then shall be a lord
Who shall for first initial have twice ten;
And he shall come to Ocean's utmost water
And by Ausonia cleave the refluent tide.

[21. First letter.--Alpha, initial of Augustus.

25. Woman.--Allusion to Cleopatra of Egypt. Her falling upon the wave is ambiguous, and probably the text is an error. In the parallel in book xii, 29, the reading is under the spear.

30. Three hundred.--Represented by the letter T, the initial of Tiberius, as well as of the river Tiber.

35. Three.--The letter {Greek G}, Greek initial of Caius (Gaios) Cæsar, commonly known as Caligula.

36. Twice ten.--As in line 16, but here designating Claudius (Greek, Klaudios).]


{p. 115}

And one whose mark is fifty shall be lord,
40 A dreadful serpent breathing grievous war,
Who sometime stretching forth his hands shall make
An end of his own race and stir all things,
Acting the athlete, driving chariots,
Putting to death and daring countless things;
45 And he shall cleave the mountain of two seas
And sprinkle it with gore; but out of sight
Shall also vanish the destructive man;
Then, making himself equal unto God,
Shall he return; but God will prove him naught.
50    And after him shall three kings be destroyed
By one another. Then a great destroyer
Of pious men shall come, whom seven times ten
Shall point out clearly. But from him a son,
Whom the first letter of three hundred proves,
55 Shall take the power. And after him shall be
A ruler, of the initial sign of four,
A life-destroyer. Then a reverend man
Of the number fifty. Next, succeeding him
Who has the first mark of the initial sign
60 Three hundred, shall a Celtic mountaineer,
Into the strife of battle pressing on,

[39. Fifty.--The letter N, here denoting Nero, and Nerva in line 58.

45. Mountain of two seas.--Isthmus of Corinth, which Nero attempted to open to the two adjoining bodies of water.

50. Three kings.--Galba, Otho, and Vitellius.

52. Seven times ten.--This number is denoted by the Greek {Greek O}, initial of the Greek form of the name of Vespasian ({Greek Ou?espasiano's}).

54. Three hundred.--Here denoting Titus.

56. Four.--The letter A, initial of Domitian.

60. Three hundred.--Here denoting Trajan, who was of Spanish origin, and so reckoned by the Sibyl as a "Celtic mountaineer," not accurately, but in a loose, general way as a Western.]


{p. 116}

Escape not fate unseemly, but shall be
Worn weary unto death; him foreign dust,
But dust that of Nemea's flower has name,
65 Shall hide a corpse. And after him shall rule
Another man, with silver helmet decked;
And unto him shall be the name of a sea;
And he shall be a man the best of all
And in all things discreet. And upon thee,
70 Thou best of all, above all, dark-haired one,
And upon thy shoots shall be all these days.
After him three shall rule; but the third one
Shall at a late time hold the royal power.
    Worn out am I, thrice-miserable one,
75 Sister of Isis, to lay up in heart
An evil message, and an inspired song
Of oracles. First Mænades shall dart

[64. Nemea's flower.--Nemea in Argolis was the spot where biennial games were celebrated by the Greeks, and the victors were crowned with parsley, the Greek name of which is selinon. The emperor Trajan died in Selinus, a city of Cilicia, in Asia Minor; hence the allusion of the Sibyl.

67. Name of a sea.--The Adriatic (or Hadriatic), from which it is apparent Hadrian is referred to.

72. Three.--The three Antonines, namely, Antonius Pius, M. Aurelius, and I.. Verus. This last named, being only seven years old at the time of his adoption, was thought by the Sibyl to be likely to come late to the throne. Comp. book viii, 85.

75. Sister of Isis.--The Sibyl, who elsewhere (book iii, 1028) represents herself as a daughter-in-law of Noah, here assumes to be sister or friend ({Greek gnwsth'}) of the Egyptian goddess Isis, sadly prophesying the doom of Egypt, and especially of Memphis.

77. First.--Lactantius seems to have had this passage in mind when he says: "First of all, Egypt shall stiffer punishment for her foolish superstitions, and will be covered with blood as if with a river." Div. Inst., vii, 15 [L., 6, 786]. Mænades.--A name applied to the priestesses of Bacchus, who were wont to work themselves into mad frenzy, and are here named as avenging furies, fit to execute judgment. Comp. line 651.]


{p. 117}

Around thy much-lamented temple's steps,
And thou shalt be in evil hands that day
80 When the Nile some time shall fill the whole land
Of Egypt even to sixteen cubits deep;
It shall wash all the land, and water it
For mortals; and the pleasure of the land
Shall be still and the glory of her face.
85    Memphis, thou most shalt over Egypt wail;
For of old ruling mightily the land
Thou shalt become poor, so that out of heaven
The Thunderer shall himself with great voice cry:
"O mighty Memphis, who didst boast of old
90 O'er craven mortals greatly, thou shalt wail
Full of pain and all-hapless, so that thou
Thyself shalt the eternal God perceive
Immortal in the clouds. Where among men
Is now thy mighty pride? Because thou didst
95 Against my God-anointed children rave,
And didst urge evil forward on good men,
Thou shalt for such things suffer penalty
In some like manner. No more openly
For thee shall there be right among the blessed;

[78. Thy much-lamented temple. The temple of Isis is referred to.

79. Evil hands. Allusion perhaps to the tearing in pieces of Pentheus by the hands of his mother and aunts, to whom Bacchus made him appear as a wild beast.

81. Sixteen cubits.--The elevation of the Nile, in the vicinity of Memphis, is about twenty-three feet, according to Humboldt, which would be equivalent to the ordinary estimate of sixteen cubits. It is interesting to note that the famous piece of statuary in the Vatican, representing the Nile as a reclining human figure, has the childlike forms of sixteen genii climbing about it, as if to represent the sixteen cubits of the usual annual overflow.

85. Memphis.--Ancient capital of lower Egypt. Comp. line 243.

95. God-anointed children.--The Jewish people. Comp. Psa. cv, 16; Hub. iii, 13.]


{p. 118}

100 Fallen from the stars, thou shalt not rise to heaven."
    Now these things unto Egypt God bade me
Speak out for the last time, when men shall be
Utterly evil. But they labor hard,
Evil men evil things awaiting, wrath
105 Of the immortal Thunderer in heaven,
Worshiping stones and beasts instead of God,
And also fearing many things besides
Which have no speech, nor mind, nor power to hear;
Which things it is not right for me to mention,
110 Each one an idol, formed by mortal hands;
Of their own labors and presumptuous thoughts
Did men receive gods made of wood and stone
And brass, and gold and silver, foolish too,
Without life and dumb, molten in the fire
115 They made them, vainly trusting such things. . . .
Thmois and Xois are in sore distress,
And smitten is the hall of Heracles
And Zeus and Hermes (king). And as for thee,
O Alexandria, famed nourisher
120 (Of cities) war shall not leave, nor (plague) . . .
For thy pride thou shalt pay as many things
As thou before didst. Silent shalt thou be
A long age, and the day of thy return . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
No more for thee shall flow luxurious drink . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

[100. Comp. Isa. xiv, 12,13; Matt. xi, 23.

116. Thmois and Xois.--Cities of Egypt, the former mentioned by Herodotus (ii, 166), the latter by Strabo (xvii, 1, 19).

117. Heracles.--Son of Zeus, as was also Hermes, and these deities are thus naturally associated in the Sibyl's thought with their halls or temples of worship in Egypt. The corruption in the Greek text of this passage is indicated by the lacunæ visible in the translation.]


{p. 119}

12 5 For there shall come a Persian on thy dale,
And like hail shall he all the land destroy,
And artful men, with blood and corpses. . . .
By sacred altars one of barbarous mind,
Strong, full of blood and raging senselessly,
130 With countless numbers rushing to destruction.
And then shalt thou, in cities very rich,
Be very weary. Falling on the earth
All Asia shall wail on account of gifts
Crowning her head with which she was by thee
135 Delighted. But, as he himself obtained
The Persian land by lot, he shall make war
And killing every man destroy all life,
So that there shall remain for wretched mortals
A third part. But with nimble leap shall he
140 Himself speed from the West, and all the land
Besiege and waste. But when he shall possess
The height of power and odious reverence,
He shall come, wishing to destroy the city
Even of the blessed. And a certain king
145 Sent forth from God against him shall destroy
All mighty kings and bravest men. And thus
Shall judgement by the Immortal come to men.
Alas, alas for thee, unhappy heart!
Why dost thou move me to declare these things,
150 The painful rule of Egypt over many?
Go to the East, to races of the Persians
Who lack in understanding, and show them

[125. A Persian.--The allusion is uncertain. According to the scholium found in a Paris codex, he is one who is to be associated with the coming of antichrist. Much in the description corresponds to what is said of Nero in lines 39-49 above.

144-147. A Messianic passage quoted by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 18 6, 796].]


{p. 120}

That which is now and that which is to be.
    The river of Euphrates shall bring on
155 A deluge, and it shall destroy the Persians,
Iberians and Babylonians
And the Massagetæ that relish war
And trust in bows. All Asia fire-ablaze
Shall to the isles beam brightly. Pergamos,
160 Revered of old, shall perish from its base,
And Pitane among men shall appear
All-desolate. All Lesbos shall sink deep
Into the deep, and thus shall be destroyed.
Smyrna, whirled down her cliffs, shall wail aloud,
165 She that was once revered and given a name
Shall perish utterly. Bithynians
Shall over their own country, then reduced
To ashes, wail, and o'er great Syria,
And o'er Ph�nicia that bas many tribes.
170 Alas, alas for thee, O Lycia;
How many evils does the sea contrive
Against thee, mounting up of its own will
Upon the painful land! And it shall dash
With evil earthquake and with bitter streams
175 On the rough Lycian land that once breathed perfume.

[156. Iberians.--Those north of Armenia, and between the Euxine and Caspian Seas, are probably intended; but they, as well as the Massagetæ mentioned in the next line, were in no contact with the Euphrates. The Massagetæ were east of the Caspian, in Scythia.

161. Pitane.--A city on the east coast of Mysia, southwest of Pergamos.

162. Lesbos.--Large island near the coast of Mysia.

164. Smyrna.--Well-known city on the coast of Lydia, distinguished for its commerce in ancient and modern times.

170. Lycia.--Province on the southern coast of Asia Minor, having Phrygia to the north.]


{p. 121}

And there shall be for Phrygia fearful wrath
Because of sorrow for which Rhea came,
Mother of Zeus, and there continued long.
    The sea shall overthrow the Centaur race
190 And barbarous nation, and beneath the earth
Shall tear away the Lapithæan land.
    The river of deep eddies and deep flow,
Peneus, shall destroy Thessalian land,
Snatching men from the earth. Eridanus
185 (Pretending once to bear the forms, of beasts).
    Hellas thrice wretched shall the poets weep,
When one from Italy shall smite the neck
Of the isthmus, mighty king of mighty Rome,
A man made equal to God, whom, they say,
190 Zeus himself and the august Hera bore
He, courting by his voice all-musical
Applause for his sweet Songs, shall put to death
With his own wretched mother many men.
From Babylon shall flee the fearful lord
195 And shameless whom all mortals and best men
Abhor; for he slew many and laid hands
Upon the womb; against his wives he sinned
And of men stained with blood had he been formed.

[177. Rhea.--Comp. book iii, 165-182.

179. Centaur race.--Fabulous race in Thessaly, represented as half man and half horse.

181. Lapithæan land.--The mountainous parts of Thessaly, so called from a fabulous people, the Lapithæ, who are said to have once dwelt there.

185. The Greek text is here corrupt, and the words in parentheses are conjectural.

187. One from Italy.--Another picture of Nero (comp. lines 39-49) who is here represented as the author of the Roman war which resulted in the overthrow of Jerusalem and the temple.]


{p. 122}

And he shall come to monarchs of the Medes
200 And Persians, first whom he loved and to whom
He brought renown, while with those wicked men
He lurked against a nation not desired
And on the temple made by God he seized
And citizens and people going in,
205 Of whom I justly sang the praise, he burned;
For when this man appeared the whole creation
Was shaken and kings perished--and yet power
Remained among them, and they quite destroyed
The mighty city and the righteous people.
210    But when the fourth year a great star shall shine,
Which alone shall the whole earth overpower
Because of honor, which was first assigned
To lord Poseidon; then a great star shall come
From heaven into the dreadful sea and burn
215 The vasty deep, and Babylon itself,
And the land of Italy, because, of which
There perished many holy faithful men
Among the Hebrews and a people true.
    Thou shalt be among evil mortals made

[210. Fourth year.--Perhaps in allusion to the time, times, and dividing of time (three and a half years) in Dan. vii, 25, a symbolic number for a period of woe.

213. To lord Poseidon.--Reading doubtful. Some MSS. read, Poseidon who is in the sea. Mendelssohn proposes the Homeric phrase, {Greek E?nuali'wj a?ndreïfo'nth} the man-slaying, warlike one.

213, 214. Star . . . into the . . . sea.--Comp. Rev. viii, 8; xvi, 3. This passage is an apocalyptic prophecy of judgment to come on Rome, and is so interpreted by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 15 [L., 6, 790].

215. Babylon.--Here used as a symbolic name for Rome.

219. Thou.--Direct address to Rome.]


{p. 123}

220 To suffer evils, but thou shalt remain
All-desolate whole ages by thyself
Hating thy soil; for thou didst have desire
For sorcery, adulteries were with thee
And lawless carnal intercourse with boys,
225 Thou evil city, womanish, unjust,
Ill-fated above all. Alas, alas!
Thou city of the Latin land, unclean
In all things, Mænad having joy in snakes,
Over thy banks a widow shalt thou sit
230 And the river Tiber shall lament for thee,
His consort thee, who hast a blood-stained heart
And impious soul. Didst thou not understand
What God can do, and what he doth devise?
But thou saidst, "I'm alone, and me no one
235 Shall sack." But now shall God, who ever is,
Thee and all thine destroy, and in that land
No longer shall thy ensign yet remain,
As of old, when the mighty God received
Thy honors. Stay, O lawless one, alone,
240 And mixed with burning fire inhabit thou
In Hades the Tartarean lawless land.
    And now again, O Egypt, I bewail
Thy blind delusion; Memphis, first in toils,
Thou shalt be filled up with the dead; in thee
245 The pyramids shall speak a ruthless sound.

[221. This line is in substance repeated in the codices and editions of the Greek text, but is so evidently a corruption that we omit the repetition from our text.

223, 224. Cited by Clement of Alex., Pæd., ii, 10 [G., 8, 616].

229. Widow.--Comp. Lam. i, 1.

242. Again, O Egypt.--Comp. lines 74-100.]


{p. 124}

O Python, who wast justly called of old
The double city, be for ages silent,
So that thou mayest cease from wickedness.
Reckless in evils, treasury of toils,
250 Much-wailing Mænad, suffering, dire ills,
Much-weeping, thou a widow shalt remain
Through all time. Thou didst full of years become
While thou alone wast ruling o'er the world;
But when the white dress Barea round herself
255 Shall put on over that which is defiled,
Would that I neither were nor had been born
    O Thebes, where is thy great strength? A fierce man
Shall slay the people; but thou, wretched one,
Grasping thy dusky dress shalt wail alone,
260 And thou shalt make atonement for all things
Which thou aforetime with a shameless soul
Didst perpetrate. They also shall behold
A mourning on account of lawless deeds.
    And a mighty man of the Ethiopians
265 Shall overthrow Syene; by their might

[246. Python.--This name seems to be here applied to Memphis as a symbolical name, equivalent to "oracle city," in allusion to the famous Delphic oracle in Greece.

250. Mænad.--A raving priestess of Bacchus, Comp. lines 77 and 228.

254. White dress.--According to Alexandre, the nomad population of Barca, in the northern part of Africa, were wont to put on a white garment over their sunburned and filthy bodies when about to go into battle.

257. Thebes.--The ancient and famous capital of Upper Egypt, as Memphis was of Lower. The fierce man of this line and the mighty man, of line 264 are both understood by Alexandre to refer to antichrist, but it is better perhaps to understand this whole passage as apocalyptic in the broad, general way, and so no particular person known in history need be supposed.]


{p. 125}

Shall swarthy Indians occupy Teucheira.
Pentapolis, a man of mighty, strength
Shall burn thee whole. All-tearful Libya,
Who shall explain thy follies? And Cyrene,
270 Of mortals who shall pitiably weep
For thee? Thou shalt not even to the time
Of thy destruction cease thy hateful wail.
    Among the Britons and among the Gauls,
Rich in gold, Ocean shall be roaring loud
275 Filled with much blood; for evil things
Did they unto God's children, when a king
Of the Sidonians, a Ph�nician, led
A mighty Gallic host from Syria;
And he shall slaughter thee, thyself, Ravenna,
280 And unto slaughter shall he lead the way.
    O Indians and great-hearted Ethiops,
Together fear; for when with these the course
Of Capricorn and Taurus in the Twins
Shall wind about the middle of the heaven,
285 Virgo then rising, and about his front
Fastening a belt the sun shall lead all heaven,
There shall be moving downwards to the earth
A mighty conflagration high in air,

[266. Teucheira.--Doubtful reading.

273-280. In these verses the Sibyl foretells punishment on the Britons and Gauls, who are supposed to have furnished soldiers for the legions led by Vespasian against the Jews. These last are to be understood by "God's children" in line 276. The Ph�nician king is Vespasian, who led his forces out of Ptolemais in Syria to carry the war into Galilee. See Josephus, Mars, iii, vi, 2, 3, and Tacitus, Hist., iv, 39; v, 1. Ravenna, the great naval station of the Romans on the Adriatic, comes in for its share of the curse, for it was a chief city of Cisalpine Gaul, and was naturally associated with the military operations of Rome in the time of the Cæsars.

282-291. Comp. the war of the constellations in lines 690-711 below.]


{p. 126}

And a new nature in the warlike stars,
290 'so that the whole land of the Ethiops
Shall perish in the midst of fire and groans.
    And weep thou, Corinth, the destruction sad
Which is ill thee; for when with pliant threads
The Fates three sisters, spinning shall aloft
295 Lead him who flees by guile against the voice
Of the isthmus, until all shall look at him
Who once cut out the rock with ductile brass,
He also shall destroy and smite thy land,
As it hath been appointed. For to him
300 God gave strength to accomplish that which could
No earlier of all the kings together.
And first with sickle cleaving off the roots
From three heads he shall give food in excess
To others, so that kings unclean shall eat
305 The flesh of parents. For unto all men
Slaughter and terrors are laid up in store
because of the great city and just people
Saved through all time, whom Providence held high.
    O thou unstable one and ill-advised,

[294. Fates.--These, according to popular mythology, were three sisters, named Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who are continually spinning out the destiny of mortals. Clotho, it was said, held the distaff, Lachesis spun out the thread of existence, and Atropos cut it off.

295. Him who sees.--The reference seems to be to Nero and his cleaving the isthmus (comp. lines 45 and 188). His return from the East as antichrist was a superstitious apprehension prevalent for some time after his death.

303. Three heads.--Comp. Dan. vii, 8, 24; 2 Esdras xi, 23; xii, 22. Hippolytus, de Christo et Antichristo, lii [G., 10, 772].

307. City ... people.--Jerusalem and the Jews.

209-334. A prophetic curse against Rome as the greatest source of misery to men.]


{p. 127}

310 By evil fates surrounded, for mankind
Both a beginning and great end of toil,--
Of suffering creation and of part
Restored again,--thou leader insolent
Of evils, and for men a great curse, who
115 Of mortals wished for thee? Who has not been
Embittered from within? Cast down ill thee
A king his honored life lost. Evilly
Hast thou disposed all things and washed away
All that is fair, and by thee have been changed
320 The world's fair folds. In strife with us perhaps
Thou hast brought forward these unstable things;
And how dost thou say, "I will thee persuade,"
And "If in any thing thou blame me, speak?"
There was once among men the sun's bright light
325 The prophets' common ray being spread abroad;
Speech dripping honey, fair drink for all men,
Appeared and grew, and day arose on all.
Because of this, thou narrow-minded one
Leader of greatest evils, both a sword
330 And grief shall come in that day. For mankind
Both a beginning and great end of toil,--
Of suffering creation and of part
Restored again,--hear, O thou curse of men,
The bitter oracle intolerable.
335 But when the Persian land shall keep away
From war and plague and groaning, in that day
A race divine of blessed heavenly Jews

[335. Persian land.--All western Asia, which the Roman and other wars destructive to the Jews had long ravaged, and which was also often visited with pestilence. In the midst of this land, namely, at Jerusalem, the re- stored Jewish race, according to the Sibyl, are to dwell in peace and glory.

337. Heavenly Jews.--This line is cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 20 [L., 6, 516].]


{p. 128}

Shall offer prayer, who shall dwell round about
God's city in mid portions of the land,
340 And even as far as Joppa building round
A great wall they shall carry it aloft
Unto the gloomy clouds. No more shall trump
Sound battle--din nor by a foe's mad hands
Shall they be cut off; but they shall set up
345 Their trophies for an age of evil men.
And one shall come again from heaven, a man
Preeminent, whose hands on fruitful tree
By far the noblest of the Hebrews stretched,
Who at one time did make the sun stand still
350 When he spoke with fair word and holy lips,
No longer vex thy soul within thy breast
By reason of the sword, rich child of God,
Flower longed for by him only, goodly light
And noble branch, a scion much beloved,
355 Pleasant Judea, city beautiful,
Inspired by hymns. No more shall unclean foot
Of Greeks keep revel round about thy land,
Who held within their breast a lawless mind;
But thee shall glorious children honor much
360 [And be expert in songs and holy tongues],
With sacrifices of all kinds and prayers
Honored of God. All who endure the toils
Of small affliction and the just shall have

[338. Shall offer prayer.--This reading, {Greek eu?'ksetai}, as in book xiii, 206 (Greek text, 153), Rzach now prefers to the {Greek e?'ssetai} of the MSS., and his own former conjecture of {Greek a?rðh'setai}, shall he raised up.

346-350. In this passage the Messiah is conceived as both Moses and Joshua coming down out of the heavens. The allusions are to Moses stretching out his hands with the wonder-working rod (comp. Exod. vii, 17-20, and xvii, 9-12), the rod that put forth buds and fruit (Num. xvii, 8), and Joshua commanding the sun to stand still (Josh. x, 12).]


{p. 129}

More that is altogether beautiful;
365 But the wicked, who to heaven sent lawless speech,
Shall cease their speaking one against another,
And hide themselves until the world be changed.
And there shall be a rain of gleaming fire
From the clouds; and no more shall mortals reap
370 The fair corn from the earth; all things unsown
And unplowed, until mortal men shall know
The Lord of all things, the immortal God
Always existing, and no more revere
Mortal things, neither dogs nor vultures' nests,
375 And what things Egypt taught to magnify
With dumb months and dull lips. But all these things
The holy land of the only pious men
Shall bring forth, from the honey-dripping rock
A stream and from a spring ambrosial milk
380 Shall flow for all the just; for in one God,
One Father, who alone is glorious,
Having great piety and faith they hoped.
    But why does the wise mind grant me these things?
And now thee, wretched Asia, piteously
385 I mourn and the race of Ionians
And Carians and Lydians rich in gold.
Alas, alas for thee, O Sardis; and alas
For Trallis much beloved; alas, alas,
Laodicea, city beautiful;
390 Thus shalt thou be by earthquakes overthrown

[376-380. These lines are cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 42 [L., 6, 811]; comp. Joel iii, 18.

383-398. The Sibyl here pronounces woe on several well-known provinces and cities of Asia Minor, all which have been repeatedly shaken by earthquakes. Especially interesting is the mention of the famous temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus. Comp. Acts xix, 24-28.]


{p. 130}

And ruined, and be also changed to dust.
And to Asia gloomy. . . .
    Artremis' temple fixed at Ephesus . . .
By chasms, and earthquakes come headlong down
395 Sometime into the dreadful sea, is storms
Overwhelm ships. And up-turned Ephesus
Shall wail aloud, lament beside her banks,
And for her temple search which is no more.
    And then incensed shall God the imperishable,
400 Who dwells on high, hurl thunderbolts from heaven
Down on the head of him that is impure.
And in the place of winter there shall be
In that day summer. And to mortal men
Shall then be great woe; for the Thunderer
405 Shall utterly destroy all shameless men
And with his thunders and with lightning-flames
And blazing thunderbolts men of ill-will,
And thus shall he destroy the impious ones,
So that there shall remain upon the earth
410 Dead bodies more in number than the sand.
    For Smyrna also, weeping her Lycurgus,
Shall come unto the gates of Ephesus
And she herself shall perish even more.
    And foolish Cyme with her inspired streams
415 Cast down by hands of godless men unjust
And lawless, shall to heaven not so much
As a word utter; but she shall remain
Dead in Cymæan streams. And then shall they
Together weep, awaiting evil things.

[396-398. These lines are cited by Clem. Alex., Cohort., iv [G., 8, 141].

414. Cyme.--Situated some fifteen miles north of Smyrna. Its rough populace (line 420) is said by Strabo (xiii, iii, 6) to have been ridiculed for their stupidity.]


{p. 131}

420 Cyme's rough populace and shameless tribe,
Having a sign, shall know for what they toiled.
And then, when they shall have bewailed their land
Reduced to ashes, by Eridanus
Shall Lesbos be forever overthrown.
425    Alas, Corcyra, city beautiful,
Alas for thee, cease from thy revelry.
Thou also, Hierapolis, sole land
With riches mixed, what thou hast longed to have
Thou shalt have, even a land of many tears,
430 Since thou wast angry towards a land beside
Thermodon's streams. Rock-clinging Tripolis,
Beside the waters of Mæander, thee
Shall by the nightly surges under shore
God's wrath and foresight utterly destroy.
435    Take me not, willing, to the neighboring land
Of Ph�bus; sometime shall a thunderbolt
Dainty Miletus from above destroy,
Because she seized on Ph�bus' crafty song
And the wise care and prudent plan of men.
440    Father of all, be gracious to the land
Of Judah, well fed, fruit-abounding, great,

[423. Eridanus.--Usually understood as a mythical name of the river Po; but in this passage it is apparently intended as the name of a destructive sea-god. Comp. Hesiod, Theog., 338.

425. Corcyra.--City on an island of the same name off the coast of Epirus, identical with the modern Corfu.

427. Hierapolis.--Phrygia, not far from Laodicea and Colossæ.

431. Thermodon.--River of Pontus, emptying in the Euxine, Tripolis.--Northwest of Hierapolis, on the Mæander.

437. Miletus.--Said to have been founded by, and named after, a son of Ph�bus (that is, Apollo; see note on book iv, line 5), and hence called land of Ph�bus, as in this passage. According to Strabo (book xiv, i, 6), the Milesians invoke Ph�bus as the dispenser of health and healer of diseases.]


{p. 132}

In order that thy judgments we may see.
For thou, O God, in kindness didst regard
This land first that it might appear to be
445 Thy gracious gift unto all mortal men
And to hold fast what God put in their charge.
    The works thrice wretched of the Thracians
I yearn to see, and wall between two seas
Trailed in the dust along beneath the mist,
450 Even like a river for the swimming fish.
    O wretched Hellespont, sometime a child
Of the Assyrians shall throw a yoke
Across thee; battle of the Thracians comes
And shall despoil thy strength. And there shall rule
455 Over the land of Macedonia
A king of Egypt, and a barbarous clime
Shall waste the strength of captains. Lydians,
And the Galatians, and Pamphylians
With the Pisidians, all equipped for war
460 Shall in a mass bring evil strife to pass.
Thrice wretched Italy, then shalt remain
All-desolate, unwept, in blooming land
By deadly sting to perish utterly.
    And sometime high in the broad heaven above
465 Like thunder-roaring shall God's voice be heard.

[447. Works . . . of the Thracians.--Reference probably to the wall, mentioned in next line, built by Miltiades across the isthmus of the Thracian Chersonese. See Herodotus, book vi, 36.

452. Assyrians.--Here put for Persians, who occupied the Assyrian territory. The reference is manifestly to Xerxes, who bridged the Hellespont, as described by Herodotus, book vii, 34-36.

456. King of Egypt.--Lysimachus seems to be referred to, and is thought of as being Egyptian because of his marriage with Ptolemy's daughter. The provinces of Asia Minor named in lines 457-459 were all involved in the wars of Lysimachus.]


{p. 133}

And the unwasting flames of the sun himself
Shall be no more, nor shall the brilliant light
Of the moon again be in the latest time,
When God shall bc the ruler. And dark gloom
470 Shall be o'er all the earth, and blinded men
And evil beasts and woe; that day shall be
A long time, so that men shall see that God
Himself is Lord, the overseer of all
In front of heaven. And then will he himself
475 Not pity hostile men, who sacrifice
Their herds of lambs and sheep and calves and goats
And bellowing golden-horned bulls, offering them
To lifeless Hermæ and to gods of stone.
But let the law of wisdom be your guide
480 And the glory of the righteous; lest sometime
The imperishable God incensed destroy
Each race of men and shameless tribe of life,
It doth behoove them faithfully to love
The Father, the wise God who ever is.
485    In the last time, at the turning of the moon,
There shall be raging through the world a war
And carried on with cunning, and in guile.
And from the limits of the earth shall come
Fleeing and pondering sharp things in his mind,

[478. Hermæ.--statues surmounted with ahead of Hermes, the god of arts and of traffic. They were numerous in Athens and Rome, and many specimens are to be seen in the museums of Europe.

480-484. Cited by Lactantius, de Ira Dei, xxiii [L., 7, 144].

488-490. Reference to Nero, here conceived as returning from his flight beyond the Euphrates (see book iv, 156) and embodying the traits of the vile king described in Dan. viii, 23-25. This passage is quoted by Lactantius, de Morte Persec., ii [L., 7, 197], and he says that some persons of his own time understood it of Nero, who was supposed to be still living in Nero distant region whither he had been secretly conveyed.]


{p. 134}

490 A matricidal man who every land
Shall overpower and over all things rule,
And see all things more wisely than all men;
And that for whose sake he himself was slain
Shall he seize forthwith. And he shall destroy
495 Many men and great tyrants and shall burn
All of them, as none other ever did,
And he shall raise up them that are afraid
For emulation's sake. And from the West
Much war shall come to men, and blood shall flow
500 Down hill till it becomes deep-eddying streams.
And in the plains of Macedonia
Shall wrath distil and give help from the West,
But to the king destruction. And a wind
Of winter then shall blow upon the earth,
505 And the plain be filled with evil war again.
For fire shall rain down from the heavenly plains
On mortals, and therewith blood, water, flash
Of lightning, murky darkness, night in heaven,
And waste in war and o'er the slaughter mist,
510 And these together shall destroy all kings
And noblest men. Thus shall be made to cease
Then the destruction pitiable of war.
And no more shall one fight with swords or iron
Or even darts, which things shall not again
515 Be lawful. But wise people shall have peace,
Who were left, having made proof of wickedness,
That they might at the last be filled with joy.

[493. That for which he perished, and which the returning Nero would again seize, was the sovereignty.

501-503. The exact import of these lines is quite unintelligible, except that by various concurring forces the Nero antichrist is to be destroyed.]


{p. 135}

    Ye matricides, leave off your impudence
And evil-working boldness, who of old
520 provided lawlessly lewd couch with boys,
And placed as harlots maidens pure before
In brothels by assault and punishment
And by much-laboring indecency.
For in thee mother with her child did hold
525 Unlawful intercourse, and daughter was
With her own father wedded as a bride;
And in thee kings have their ill-fated mouth
Polluted, and in thee have wicked men
Found couch with cattle. Be in silence hushed,
530 Thou wicked city all-bewailed, possessed
Of revelry; for by thee virgin maids
Shall care no longer for the fire divine
Of sacred wood that fondly nourisheth;
Before thee was a much-loved house of old
535 Extinguished, when I saw the second house
Cast headlong down and overwhelmed with fire
By an unholy hand, house ever flourishing,
God's watchful temple, brought forth of his saints
And being always indestructible,
540 By the soul hoped for and the body itself.
For not without the rites of burial
Shall one praise God out of the unseen earth,
Nor did wise workman make a stone by them,
Nor had he fear of gold, cheat of the world

[518. Infanticides.--The Romans are thus addressed, as if they were conceived in the Sibyl's mind as so many Neros. Comp. line 490.

532. Fire divine.--This was kept burning in the temple of Vesta at Rome, and attended by six virgin priestesses known as Vestal virgins. The safety of the city was believed to depend on keeping this fire ever burning.

534. Loved house.--The temple in Jerusalem, laid waste first by the Chaldeans (2 Kings xxv, 8-11) and a second time by the Romans under Titus.]


{p. 136}

545 And of souls, but the mighty Father, God
Of all things God-inspired, did he revere
With holy offerings and fair hecatombs.
But now an unseen and unholy king
With multitude great and with men renowned
550 Rose into power and cast his dwelling down
And let it go unbuilt. But he himself
When he set foot on the immortal land
Destroyed the ground. And such a sign no more
Was wrought upon men, so that it appeared
555 That others the great city should destroy.
    For there came from the heavenly plains a man,
One blessed, with a scepter in his hand,
Which God gave him, and he ruled all things well,
And unto all the good did he restore
560 The riches which the earlier men had seized.
And many cities with much fire he took
From their foundations, and he set on fire
The towns of mortals who before did evil,
And he did make that city, which God loved,
565 More radiant than stars and sun and moon,
And he set order, and a holy house
Incarnate made, pure, very fair, and formed
In many stades a great and boundless tower
Touching the clouds themselves and seen by all,
570 So that all holy and all righteous men
Might see the glory of the eternal God,
A sight that has been longed for. Rising sun

[548. Unholy king.--The reference seems to be to Nero, under whom was begun the Jewish war which ended in the destruction of the temple. Comp. lines 187-209 above.

556-580. A Messianic passage depicting the ideal period of future glory, a golden age to come.

664-565. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 24 [L., 6, 809].]


{p. 137}

And setting day hymned forth the praise of God.
For there are then no longer fearful things
575 For wretched mortals, nor adulteries
And lawless love of boys, nor homicide
Nor tumult, but a righteous strife in all.
It is the last time of the saints when God
Accomplisheth these things, high Thunderer,
580 Founder of temple most magnificent.
    Alas, alas for thee, O Babylon,
For golden throne and golden sandal famed,
Kingdom of many years and of the world
Sole ruler, who wast great in olden time
585 And city of all cities, thou no more
Shalt lie in golden mountains and by streams
Of the Euphrates; thou shalt be laid low
By rout of earthquake. But the Parthians dire
Caused thee to stiffer all things. Hold thou fast
590 Thy unknown speech, impure Chaldean race;
Ask not nor be concerned how thou shalt lead
The Persians or how thou shalt rule the Medes;
For on account of thy supremacy,
Which thou hadst, sending hostages to Rome
595 And serving Asia, thou that formerly
Didst also think thyself a queen, shalt come
Unto the judgment of antagonists,

[581. Babylon.--Here put for Ctesiphon on the Tigris, the metropolis of the Parthian Empire. This empire was one of the great powers of the East, and, after long conflict with the Syrian king, spread its dominion over western Asia, and very successfully resisted the Romans until the third century of our era.

594. Hostages to Rome.--A little while before the beginning of the Christian era the Parthian king Phraates sent four of his sons to Rome, and the Roman writers speak of them as hostages to Augustus. See Rawlinson, Sixth Oriental Monarchy, chap. xiii.]


{p. 138}

Because of whom thou hast suffered baneful things;
And thou shalt give instead of crooked words
600 Bitter vexation to the enemies,
    And in the last time shall the sea be dry
And ships no longer sail to Italy,
And Asia the great then, all-hapless, shall
Be water, and then Crete shall be a plain.
605 And Cyprus shall endure great misery
And Paphos shall bewail a dreadful fate,
So that even Salamis, great city, shall
Be seen to undergo great misery;
And now the dry land shall be fruitless sand
610 Upon the shore. And locusts not a few
Shall utterly destroy the Cyprian land.
Looking at Tyre, doomed mortals, ye shall weep.
Ph�nicia, dreadful wrath remains for thee,
Until thou to a worthless ruin fall,
615 So that even Sirens truly may lament.
    In the fifth generation, when the ruin
Of Egypt has ceased, it shall come to pass
That shameless kings shall be together joined,
And races of Pamphylians shall encamp
620 In Egypt, and in Macedonia
And in Asia and among the Libyans
Shall in the dust be a world-maddening war
Exceeding bloody, which the king of Rome
And rulers of the West shall make to cease.
625    When wintry storm shall drop down like the snow,
While frozen are great river and vast lakes,
Forthwith a barbarous race shall make their way

[615. Sirens . . . lament.--Terrible indeed must be a destruction which moves the cruel Sirens to lamentation.

616-624. This passage seems to refer to the series of wars in Europe, Asia, and Egypt which put an end to the Greek domination of the Orient.]


{p. 139}

Into the Asian land and shall destroy
The race of dreadful Thracians, hard to quell.
630 And then shall mortals feeding lawlessly
Devour their parents, being by hunger worn,
And shall gulp down the entrails. And wild beasts
Shall devour from all houses table-food,
And they and birds all mortals shall devour.
635 The ocean with dead bodies shall be filled
From the river and be red with flesh and blood
Of the foolish ones. Then thus a feebleness
Shall be on earth, so that of men the number
May be seen and the measure of the women,
640    And the dire race shall wail for myriad things
At last when the sun sets to rise no more,
But to remain submerged in Ocean's waves;
For it beheld the wickedness unclean
Of many mortals. And a moonless night
615 Shall be a fame around the mighty heaven,
And no small mist shall hide the world's ravines
A second time; then afterwards God's light
Shall guide the good men, who sang praise to God.
    Isis, thrice wretched goddess, thou alone
650 Shalt on the waters of the Nile remain,
A Mænad out of order on the sands
Of Acheron, and no longer shall remain
Remembrance of thee over all the earth.
And also thou, Sarapis, who art placed
655 On many glistening stones, a ruin vast
Shalt thou in thrice unhappy Egypt lie.
But those whom love of Egypt led to thee

[649. Isis.--Comp. lines 75-84 above.

654. Sarapis.--Another Egyptian deity, like Isis, and having many attributes of Osiris.]


{p. 140}

Shall all lament thee badly; but who put
Imperishable reason in their breast,
660 And who praised God, shall know thee to be naught.
    And sometime shall a linen-vested man,
A priest, say: "Come, let us raise up of God
A beautiful true temple; come, let us
The fearful law of our forefathers change,
665 Because of which they did not understand
That they were unto gods of stone and clay
Making processions and religions rites.
Let us turn our souls, giving praise to God
The imperishable, who himself is Father,
670 The everlasting One, the Lord of all,
The true One, the King, life-sustaining Father,
The mighty God existing evermore."
And then shall there a great pure temple be
In Egypt, and the people made by God
675 Shall into it their sacrifices bring.
And to them God shall give life incorrupt.
    But when the Ethiopians, forsaking
The shameless tribes of the Triballians,
Shall cultivate their Egypt, they will then
680 Begin their baseness, that the later things

[673. Temple.--Commonly supposed to refer to the Jewish temple at Leontopolis in Egypt. See Josephus, Wars, vii, x, 2, 3; Ant., xiii, 3. Alexandre, however, controverts this explanation, and maintains that this writer, being subsequent to the closing of the temple at Leontopolis and the abolishing of its worship by order of the Roman emperor (Josephus, Wars, vii, x, 4), could not have thus spoken of this temple, nor prophesied its overthrow by Ethiopians. Hence the plausible supposition that the entire passage about a temple in Egypt is a poetical amplification of the prophecy of Isa. xix, 18-22.

678. Triballians.--These were a powerful and savage tribe near the Danube in Europe (comp. book xii, 91), and are here strangely associated with the Ethiopians. But probably both names are here used symbolically, like Gog and Magog in book iii, 193.]


{p. 141}

May all occur. For they shall overthrow
The mighty temple of the Egyptian land;
And God shall rain down on the earth dire wrath
Among them, so that all the wicked ones
685 And all without sense perish. And no more
Shall there be any sparing in that land,
Because they did not keep that which God gave.
    I saw the threatening of the shining Sun
Among the stars, and in the lightning flash
690 The dire wrath of the Moon; the stars travailed
With battle; and God gave them up to light.
For long fire-flames rebelled against the Sun;
Lucifer treading upon Leo's back
Began the fight; and the Moon's double horn
695 Changed its shape; Capricorn smote Taurus' neck;
And Taurus took away from Capricorn
Returning day. Orion would no more
Abide his yoke; the lot of Gemini
Did Virgo change in Aries; no more shone
700 The Pleiads; Draco disavowed his zone;
Down into Leo's girdle Pisces went.
Cancer remained not, for he feared Orion;
Scorpio down on dire Leo backwards moved;
And from the Sun's flame Sirius slipped away;
705 And the strength of the mighty Shining One
Aquarius kindled. Uranus himself
Was roused, until he shook the warring ones;
And being incensed he hurled them down on earth.
Then swiftly smitten down upon the baths
710 Of Ocean they set all the earth on fire;
And the high heaven remained without a star.

[688-711. Comp. lines 282-291 and book viii, 261. Also Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 16 [L., 6, 192].]


{p. 142}

{p. 143}


{p. 144}


Preexistence, incarnation, and baptism of the Son of God, 1-9. His teaching and his miracles, 10-25. Miseries in store for the guilty land, 26-32. The blessed cross, 33-36.

{p. 145}


    The great Son of the Immortal famed in song
I from the heart proclaim, to whom a throne,
To be held fast the most Father gave
Ere, he was brought forth; then was he raised up
5 According to flesh given, washed, at the mouth
Of the river Jordan, which goes rushing on
Trailing its gleaming billows, from the fire
Escaping he first shall see God's sweet Spirit
Descending with the wings of a white dove.
10 And a pure flower shall bloom, and springs be full.
And he shall show the ways to men, and show
The heavenly paths, and teach all with wise
And he shall come for judgement and persuade
A disobedient people while he boasts
15 Descent praiseworthy from a heavenly Sire.
Billows shall he tread, sickness of mankind
Shall he destroy, he shall raise up the dead,
And many sufferings shall he drive away;
And from one scrip shall be men's fill of bread,

[1. This book is scarcely entitled to a place among the Sibylline Oracles, or to be called a book. It is a brief hymn in honor of Christ and the cross, and probably of later date than any other portion of the present collection.

2-4. Comp. John xvii, 5.

9. Comp. Matt. iii, 16.

10. Pure flower.--Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 13 [L., G, 486], and comp. Isa, xi, 1, 2, where the Septuagint reads blossom.

16. Tread.--See Matt. xlv, 25.

16-19. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 15 [L., 6, 494].]


{p. 146}

20 When the house of David shall bring forth a child;
And in his hand the whole world, earth, heaven, sea.
And he shall flash upon the earth, as once
The two begotten from each other's ribs
Saw human form appearing. It shall be
25 When earth shall be glad in the hope of child.
    But for thee only, Sodomitic land,
Are evil woes laid up; for thou thyself
Ill-disposed didst not apprehend thy God
Who mocks at mortal schemes; but from a thorn
30 Didst crown him with a crown, and fearful gall
Didst mingle unto insolence and spirit.
This shall bring evil woes about for thee.
O the Wood, O so blessed, upon which
God was outstretched; the earth shall not have thee,
35 But thou shalt look upon a heavenly house,
When thou, O God, shalt flash thine eye of fire.

[20. Child.--Or a plant; a shoot. Comp. Isa. xi, 1.

23. Comp. Gen. ii, 21-23.

26. Sodomitic land.--Judea, so called on account of her wickedness. Comp. Isa. i, 10; Ezek. xvi, 48,49.

27-31. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 18 [L., 6, 507].

33. Cited by Sozomen, Hist. Eccl., ii, 1 [G., 67, 933].]



{p. 148}


Woes of Rhodes, Delos, Cyprus, and Sicily, 1-9. The deluge, 10-15. Ruin of Phrygia, Ethiopia, and Egypt, 16-28. Woe of Laodicea, 29-31. Signs and powers of Messiah, 32-49. The new shoot, 50-52. Persian wars, 53-67. Fall of Ilias, 68-72. Doom of Colophon, Thessaly, Corinth, and Tyre, 73-86. Cæle-Syria accursed, 87-102. Rules for sacrifice and alms giving, 103-130. Doom of Sardinia, Mygdonia, the Celtic land, Rome, Syria, and Thebes, 131-161. The devouring fire, 162-190. Long night followed by a better time, 101-205. Confession and doom of the Sibyl, 206-221.

{p. 149}


    O RHODES, thou art unhappy; for first thee,
Thee will I mourn; and thou shalt be the first
Of cities, and first shalt thou be destroyed,
Bereft of men, but of the means of life
5 Not wholly destitute. And thou shalt sail,
Delos, and be unstable on the water;
Cyprus, a billow of thy gleaming sea
Shall sometime thee destroy; thee, Sicily,
The fire that burns within thee shall consume.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
10 Nor heed God's terrible and foreign water.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Noah sole fugitive from all men came.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Earth shall float, hills float, and even sky shall float,
Everything shall be water and all things
Shall be destroyed by waters. And the winds
15 Shall stand still and a second age shall be.
    O Phrygia, first shalt thou flame from the crest
Of the water; and first in impiety
Thou shalt deny God himself, courting favor
With false gods, which shall utterly destroy
20 Thee, wretched one, while many years roll round.

[1. This book is brief and fragmentary, and mainly of Christian origin. Its composition may be properly assigned to the close of the second or the early part of the third century.

10-15. Here we have the fragment of a passage referring to Noah and the flood, in which the language is appropriated from book i, 226-240.]


{p. 150}

The hapless Ethiopians under pain,
Suffering things lamentable, shall by swords
Be smitten whilst they crouch upon the ground.
    Rich Egypt ever caring for her corn,
25 Which Nilus by his seven swimming streams
Intoxicates, shall in intestine strife
Destroy; and thence men unexpectedly
Shall drive out Apis, not the god for men.
    Alas, alas, Laodicea! thou
30 Not ever seeing God shalt lie, bold one;
And over thee shall dash a wave of Lycus.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
He himself who is born the mighty God,
Who shall work many signs, shall through heaven hang
An axle in the midst, and place for men
35 A mighty terror to be seen on high,
Measuring a column with a mighty fire
Whose drops shall slay the races of mankind
That have dared evils. But a common Lord
There shall at some time be, and then shall men
40 Propitiate God, but shall not make an end
Of fruitless sorrows. And through David's house
Shall all things come to pass. For God himself
Gave him the power and put it in his hand;
Under his feet shall sleep his messengers,
45 And some shall kindle fires, and some shall make
Rivers appear, and some shall rescue towns,

[28. Apis.--The sacred bull, worshiped by the Egyptians.

29. Laodicea.--Comp. book iii, 592-595.

34-36. Axle . . . column.--This idea of a column, axle, or pillar, to be reared on high in connection with the final judgment, is peculiar to the Sibyl. Comp. book ii, 297, 361, and 362.

38. A common Lord.--The Messiah, common in the same sense that Jude (epistle, verse 3) speaks of the "common salvation."]


{p. 151}

And some shall send forth winds. But furthermore
A grievous life shall come on many men,
Entering their souls and changing human hearts.
50 But when a new shoot shall out of a root
Put forth eyes, the creation, which to all
Once gave abundant food . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
And it shall with the times be full. But when
Others shall rule, a tribe of warlike Persians,
55 Bride-chambers straightway shall be terrible
Because of lawless deeds. For her own son
Will mother have as husband; son will be
The ruin of his mother; and with sire
Shall daughter lie down and shall put to sleep
60 This foreign law. But to them afterwards
Shall Roman Ares flash from many a spear;
And they shall mix much land with human blood.
But then a chief of Italy shall flee
From the force of the spear. But they shall leave
65 Upon the land a lance inscribed with gold,
Which as the signal ensign of their rule
The foremost fighters carry constantly.
    And it shall be, when evil and ill-starred
Ilias shall piteously complete for all
70 A tomb, not marriage, then shall brides weep sore,

[62. The Greek text is at this point so broken as to leave the entire passage obscure.

54. Warlike Persians.--Ewald understands this term as a symbolical name for the incestuous Romans; but it is more probably a designation of the Parthians who in their wars with Crassus and Antony captured many of the Roman standards.

69. Ilias.--Here apparently put for all the region round about ancient Ilium, or Troy, or perhaps for Perganum in the neighboring province.]


{p. 152}

Because they knew not God, but always gave
By kettle-drums and cymbals boisterous sound.
    Consult the oracle, O Colophon;
For a great fearful fire hangs over thee.
75    Ill-wedded Thessaly, the earth no more
Shall see thee, nor thy ashes, and alone
Escaping from the mainland thou shalt swim;
Thus, O thou wretched one, shalt thou of war
Be melancholy refuse, having fallen
80 By swiftly flowing rivers and by swords.
    And thou, O wretched Corinth, shalt receive
Around thyself stern Ares, hapless one,
And ye shall perish one upon another.
    Tyre, thou, unhappy, shalt be left alone;
85 For, made a widow by the feebleness
Of pious men, thou shalt be brought to naught.
    Ah, C�le-Syria, of Ph�nician men
The last hold, upon whom the briny sea
Of Berytus disgorging is poured forth,
90 O wretched one, thou didst not know thy God,
Who once in the mouth of Jordan washed himself,
--And the Spirit spread his wings in flight towards him--
Who before both the earth and starry heaven
Was, actual Word, begotten by his Father,
95 And by the Holy Spirit donning flesh

[73. Colophon.--Situated a little to the north of Ephesus, and the seat of an ancient oracle of Apollo (Strabo xiv, i, 27).

75. Ill-wedded.--Unfortunate in the marriages of the inhabitants. Comp. line 67.

87. C�le-Syria.--That part of Syria which lies between the Libanus and Antilibanus mountain ranges.

89. Berytus.--On the Ph�nician sea-coast north of Zidon, the modern Beyrout. The sea of Berytus is the Mediterranean along this coast.]


{p. 153}

He quickly flew unto his Father's house.
And for him three towers did the mighty heaven
Establish, in which dwell God's noble guides,
Hope, piety, and reverence much-desired,
100 Not having in gold or in silver joy,
But in the reverential acts of men--
Both sacrifices and most righteous thoughts.
    And thou shalt sacrifice to the immortal
And mighty God august, not melting grains
105 Of frankincense in fire, nor with the sword
Slaying the shaggy-haired lamb, but with all
Who bear thy blood take wild fowls, offer prayer,
And fixing eyes on heaven send them away;
And thou shalt sprinkle water on pure fire
110 Having cried: "As the Father did beget
Thee, the Word, Father, I sent forth a bird,
Swift messenger of words, with holy waters
Besprinkling thy baptism, O Word, through which
Thou didst make thyself manifest in fire."
115    Thou shalt not shut thy door, when there shall come
A stranger unto thee in need to curb
His hunger which comes from his poverty,
But taking hold of that man sprinkle him
With water and pray thrice; and to thy God
120 Do thou thus cry: "I do not long for wealth;

[97. Three towers.--Corresponding with the three virtues named in line 99. Comp. Hermas's vision of the one tower which was explained to him as a revelation of the Church. Hermæ Pastor, book 1, vision iii [G., 2, 899-909].

103-130. This passage contains a series of precepts which are strictly neither Jewish nor Christian. Some of the precepts suggest certain doctrines of the Essenes (comp. Josephus, Ant., xviii, i, 5); others bear a manifest Christian character, and lines 110-114 contain allusions to the baptism of Jesus, as lines 91 and 92 above.]


{p. 154}

A suppliant I once publicly received
A suppliant; Father, thou provider, hear."
When thou hast prayed thou shalt give unto him;
And the man went away thereafter. . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
125 Do not afflict me, holy fear of God
And righteous, as to birth pure, unenslaved,
Attested. . . .
Do thou, O Father, make my wretched heart
Stand still; to thee have I looked, unto thee,
130 The undefiled, whom hands did not produce.
    Sardinia, weighty now, thou shalt be changed
To ashes. Thou shalt be no more an isle,
When the tenth time shall come. Amid the waves
Shall sailors seek thee when thou art no more,
135 And o'er thee shall kingfishers wail sad dirge.
    Rugged Mygdonia, beacon of the sea
Hard to get out of, ages shalt thou boast
And unto ages shalt be all destroyed
With a hot wind, and rave with many woes.
140    O Celtic land, on mountain range so great,
Beyond impassable Alp, thee deep sand
Shall altogether bury; thou shalt give
Tribute no more, nor corn, nor pasturage;
And thou from peoples ever far away
145 Shalt be all-desolate, and becoming thick
With chill ice thou shalt for an outrage pay,
Which thou didst not perceive, unholy one.
    Stout-hearted Rome, thou to Olympus shalt
Flash lightning after Macedonian spears;

[124-130. These lines are too fragmentary to yield sense.

136. Rugged Mygdonia.--Region of Macedonia north of the Thermaic gulf and connecting with the peninsula of Chalcidice.]


{p. 155}

150 But God shall make thee utterly unknown,
When thou wouldst to the eye seem to remain
Much more firm. Then to thee such things I'll cry.
Perishing thou shalt then cry out and boil
In pain; a second time to thee, O Rome,
15 Again a second time I am to speak.
    And now for thee, O wretched Syria,
Do I wail bitterly in pitying grief.
    O Thebans ill-advised, an evil sound
Is over you while flutes speak out their tones;
160 For you shall trumpet sound an evil sound
And ye shall see the entire land destroyed
    Alas, alas for thee, thou wretched one;
Alas, alas thou evil-minded sea!
Thou shalt be wholly eaten up of fire
165 And people with thy brine shalt thou destroy.
For there shall be such raging fire on earth
As flows like water, and it shall destroy
The whole land. It shall set the hills on fire,
Shall burn the rivers, and exhaust the springs.
170 The world shall be disordered whilst mankind
Are perishing. And then the wretched ones,
Burned badly, shall look unto heaven inwrought
Not with stars, but with fire. Not speedily
Shall they be made to perish, but dissolved
175 From under flesh, and burning in the spirit
For age-long years, they shall know that God's law
Is always hard to put to test and not
To be deceived; and then earth, seized by force,
Daring whatever god she did admit
180 Unto her altars, cheated, turned to smoke
Through the changed air; and they shall undergo

[170. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 16 [L., 6, 792].]


{p. 156}

Much suffering who for gain shall prophesy
Shameful things, nourishing the evil time.
And the Hebrews who put on the shaggy skins
185 Of sheep shall prove false, in which race
Obtained no portion by inheritance,
But talking mere words over sorrows they
Are misers, who shall change their course of life
And not mislead the just, who through the heart
190 All-faithfully propitiate their God.
    But in the third lot of revolving years,
Eighth the first, shall another world appear.
Night shall be all . . . long and without light.
And then shall pass around the dreadful stench
195 Of brimstone, messenger of homicides,
When they shall be by night and hunger slain.
Then a pure mind shall God beget in men,
And shall the race establish, as it was
Aforetime; longer shall not any one
200 Deep furrow cut with round plow, nor two oxen
Straight guiding dip the iron down; nor vines
Shall be nor ears of corn; but all shall eat
Together dewy manna with white teeth.
And then among them God shall also be,
205 And he shall teach them as he has taught me,
The sad one. For how many evil things
I did with knowledge once, and many things
Heedless I also wickedly performed.
Countless my couches, but no marriage-bond

[192. Eighth the first.--That is, the eighth being the first of "the third lot." The Sibyl reckons all the years as divided into ten periods or times (line 133 above); of these ten times the eighth is supposed to be the first of the third portion; namely, the eighth, ninth, and tenth, during which shall take place what is written in lines 193-205, immediately following.]


{p. 157}

210 Was cared for; and I, all-unfaithful, brought
To all a savage oath. I turned away
Those in need and among the foremost went
Into like glen and minded not God's word.
Therefore did fire consume me and shall gnaw;
215 For I shall not live always, but a time
Of evil shall destroy me, when for me
Men shall beside the margin of the sea
Construct a tomb, and shall slay me with stones;
For lying with my father a dear son
220 Did I present him. Smite me, smite me all;
For thus shall I live and fix eyes on heaven.

[216. Destroy me.--Had Arnobius this passage in mind when he wrote: "If the Sibyl, when she was uttering her prophecies and oracular responses, and was filled with Apollo's power, bad been cut down and slain by impious robbers, would Apollo have been slain in her?" Adv. Gentes, book i, 62 [L., 5, 802]. Comp. the conclusion of book ii.]


{p. 158}

{p. 159}


{p. 160}


Introduction, 1-4. The five monarchies, 5-21. Lust of gain, 21-46. Doom of Rome, 47-63. The gray-haired prince, 61-83. The three rulers, 84-94. Misery of Rome, 95-115. Final judgment of Rome, 116-140. Dirge over Rome, 141-173. The sixth race of Latin kings, 174-182. Appearance of the Phenix, 183-186. Fall of Rome, 187-210. Woes of Rhodes, Thebes, Egypt, Rome, Delos, Samos, and the Persians, 211-222. The Messianic king, 223-225. The day of evil and of doom, 226-251. The Sibyl's wish, 255-260. The end of all things, 261-283. Christian acrostic concerning the last day, 284-330. Moses a type of the Messiah, 331-337. The Messianic Saviour portrayed, 338-379. The crucifixion, 380-410. Entrance into Hades and resurrection, 411-429. Exhortation to honor the Messianic king, 430-447. Another picture of the day of doom, 448-475. Self-declaration of the Creator through the Sibyl, 476-568. The heavenly Ruler addressed, 569-607. The incarnation of the Word, 608-641. Additional Christian precepts, 642-669.

{p. 161}


GOD'S declarations of great wrath to come
In the last age upon the faithless world
I make known, prophesying to all men
According to their cities. From the time
5 When the great tower fell and the tongues of men
Were parted into many languages
Of mortals, first was Egypt's royal power
Established, that of Persians and of Medes
And also of the Ethiopians
10 And of Assyria and Babylon,
Then the great pride of boasting Macedon,
Then, fifth, the famous lawless kingdom last
Of the Italians shall show many evils
Unto all mortals and shall spend the toils
15 Of men of every land. And it shall lead
The untamed kings of nations to the West,
Make laws for peoples and subject all things.
Late do the mills of God grind the fine flour.
Fire then shall destroy all things and give back
20 To fine dust the heads of the high-leafed hills

[1. This eighth book is remarkably fragmentary, and touches on a wide range of topics. It is obviously of Christian authorship, and contains (lines 284-330) the famous Sibylline acrostic of the name of Jesus Christ.

1-4. Cited by Lactantius, de Ira Dei, xxiii [L., 7, 143].

5. Tower-Comp. book iii, 119.

7-13. Comp. book iii, 190-195.

18. A proverb found also in Plutarch, de Sera Num. Vind., and Sextus Empiricus, Contra Mathem., i, 13.]


{p. 162}

And of all flesh. First cause of ills to all
Are covetousness and a lack of sense.
For there shall be love of deceitful gold
And silver; for than these did mortals choose
15 Naught greater, neither light of sun nor heaven,
Nor sea, nor broad-backed earth whence all things grow,
Nor God who giveth all things, of all things
The Father, nor yet faith and piety
Chose they before them. Of impiety
30 A fount, and of disorder forward guide,
An instrument of wars and foe of peace
Is lack of sense, that sets at enmity
Parents and children. And along with gold
Shall marriage not be honorable at all.
35 And the land shall have its borders and each sea
Its watchers craftily distributed
To all those that have gold; for ages thus
Shall those who purpose to possess the land
That feedeth many plunder laboring men,
40 In order that, procuring larger space,
They may enslave them by a false pretense.
And if the huge earth from the starry heaven
Held not her throne far off there had not been
For men an equal light, but, bought with gold,
45 It had belonged to rich men and God must
For poor men have prepared another world.
    There shall come to thee sometime from above
A heavenly stroke deserved, O haughty Rome.
And thou shalt be the first to bend thy neck
50 And be rased to the ground, and thee shall fire
Destructive utterly consume, cast down
Upon thy pavements, and thy wealth shall perish,

[21, 22. Comp. 1 Tim. vi, 10.]


{p. 163}

And wolves and foxes dwell in thy foundations.
And then shalt thou be wholly desolate,
55 As if not born. Where thy Palladium then?
What god shall save thee, whether wrought of gold
Or stone or brass? Or then where thy decrees
Of senate? Where shall be the race of Rhea,
Of Cronus, or of Zeus, and of all those
60 Whom thou didst worship, demons without life,
Images of the worn-out dead, whose tombs
Crete the ill-starred shall hold a cause of pride,
And honor the unconscious dead with thrones?
    But when thou shalt have had voluptuous kings
65 Thrice five, enslaving the world from the east
Unto the west, there shall be then a lord
Gray-headed, having name of the near sea,
The world inspecting with a nimble foot,
Bringing gifts, having large amount of gold
70 And plundering hateful silver even more,
And stripping it off he shall pick it up.
And he shall have part in all mysteries
Of Magian shrines, display his child as god,
Abolish all things sacred, and disclose
75 The ancient mysteries of deceit to all.
Sad then the time when he himself, sad one,
Shall perish. And yet shall the people say:
"Thy mighty strength, O city, shall fall down,"
At once perceiving that the evil day

[60-62. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., book 1, xl [L., 6, 179].

65. Thrice five.--Emperors from Julius to Hadrian; a round number, but inexact. Comp. the first part of book v.

67. Gray-headed.--Hadrian. Comp. book v, 66.

73. Child as god.--Reference to the beautiful youth Antinous, whom Hadrian sought to deify.]

{p. 164}

80 Is coming on. And, thy most piteous fate
Foreseeing, fathers and young children then
Shall mourn together; they alas, alas! Shall wail
Beside the Tiber's lamentable banks.
    After him at the latest day of all
85 Shall three rule, filling out a name of God
The heavenly, of whom is the power both now
And to all ages. One of them being old
The scepter long shall wield, most piteous king,
Who in his houses shall shut up and guard
90 All the goods of the world, in order that,
When from the utmost limits of the earth
That man, the matricidal fugitive,
Shall come again, he may bestow these things
On all and furnish Asia with great wealth.
95 And then shalt thou mourn and shalt put aside
The luster of the broad-striped purple robe
Of thy commanders and wear mourning dress,
O haughty queen, off spring of Latin Rome;
The glory of that arrogance of thine
100 Shall be for thee no longer, nor shalt thou,
Ill-fated, ever be raised up again,
But shalt lie prostrate. For the glory also
Of eagle-bearing legions shall fall low.
Where then thy power? What allied land shall be
105 Subjected by thy follies lawlessly?
For then in all earth shall confusion be
Of mortals, when the Almighty shall himself

[86. Three.--The Antonines. See book v, 72. Name.--Allusion probably to the Hebrew name Adonai, which it was thought to resemble.

87. One of them . . . old.--Antoninus Pius.

92. Matricidal fugitive.--Nero. Comp. book v, 490.

106-109. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Ind., vii, 24 [L., 6, 808].]


{p. 165}

To the tribunal come to judge the souls
Of the living and the dead and all the world.
110 And parents shall not be to children dear
Nor children to their parents, on account
Of their impiety and their distress
Unlooked-for. Thine thenceforth shall gnashing be
And scattering and conquest, and when the fall
115 Of cities comes and yawnings of the earth.
    When a dragon charged with fire in both his eyes
And with full belly shall come on the waves
And shall afflict thy children, and there be
Famine and war of kinsmen, near at hand
120 Is the end of the world and the last day
And judgment of the immortal God for them
That are approved and chosen. And there shall
Against the Romans first of all be wrath
Implacable, and there, come a time
125 Of drinking blood and wretched course of life.
Alas, alas for thee, thou reckless land,
Great barbarous nation; thou didst not perceive
Whence naked and unworthy thou didst come
To the sun's light, that to that place again
130 Naked thou mightest withdraw and afterwards
Come unto judgment, as unjustly judging. . . .
With hands gigantic coming from on high
Alone through all the world thou, shalt abide
Under the earth. By naphtha and asphalt
135 And brimstone and much fire thou utterly
Shalt disappear and shalt be burning dust
For ages; and each one who sees shall hear
From Hades a great mournful bellowing

[116. Perhaps an allusion to the imagery of Rev. xii, 17; xiii, 1, as associated in the thought of the writer with the end of the world.]


{p. 166}

And gnashing of teeth, and thee noisily
140 Beating with thine own hands thy godless breast.
For all together there is equal night;
For rich and poor; and naked from the earth
Naked again to earth they haste away
And cease from life when they complete their time.
145 No slave is there, nor any lord, nor tyrant,
Nor king, nor leader having much conceit,
Nor speaker learned in law, nor magistrate
Judging for money; nor do they pour out
The blood of sacrifices in libations
150 Upon the altars; there sounds not a drum
Nor cymbal. . . .
Nor perforated flute that has a power
To madden mind itself, nor sound of pipe
That bean the likeness of a crooked snake,
155 Nor trumpet, harsh-toned messenger of wars;
Nor those made drunken in the lawless feasts
Of revelry, nor in the choral dance;
Nor sound of harp, nor harmful instrument;
Nor strife, nor anger manifold, nor sword
160 Is with the dead; but an eternity
Common to all is keeper of the key
Of the great prison before God's judgment-seat
With images of gold and silver and stone
Ye are ready, that unto the bitter day
165 Ye may come to see your first punishment,
O Rome, and gnashing of teeth. And no more
Shall Syrian or Greek lay down his neck
Beneath thy servile yoke, nor foreigner,

[142. Comp. Job. i, 21.

163-165. Comp. book iii, 68-72.]


{p. 167}

Nor other nation. Plundered thou shalt be
170 And made to suffer what thou didst exact,
And in fear wailing thou shalt give, until
Thou pay back all things; and thou for the world
Shalt be a triumph and reproach of all.
    Then shall the sixth race of the Latin kings
175 End life at last and scepters leave behind
From the same race another king shall reign,
Who shall rule every land and scepters wield;
And having full power, and by the decrees
Of God most mighty, shall his children rule,
180 And of unshaken children is his race;
For thus it is decreed while time moves round,
When there shall be of Egypt thrice five kings.
    Thereafter when the limit of the time
Of the Phenix shall come round, there shall a race
185 Of peoples come to plunder, tribes confused,
Enemy of the Hebrews. Then shall Ares
Go plundering Ares; and he shall himself
Destroy the haughty threatening of the Romans.
For Rome's power perished then while in its bloom;
190 An ancient queen with cities dwelling round,
No longer shall the land of fertile Rome
Prevail, when out of Asia one shall come

[174. Sixth race.--Referring to the Antonines, and reckoning the preceding generations as (1) the Cæsars; (2) the Flavii; (3) Nerva; (4) Trajan; and (5) Hadrian.

176. Another king.--Referring perhaps to Septemius Severus.

182. Thrice five.--The same as those referred to in line 65.

184. Phenix.--Fabulous Egyptian bird, said to appear once in, five hundred years. See Herod., ii, 73; Pliny, Nat. Hist., x, 2; Clem. Rom., 1 Cor., xxv [G., 1, 261-276], According to Tacitus (Annal., vi, 28), the fourth appearance, of the Phenix occurred in the reign of Tiberius.]


{p. 168}

To rule with Ares. And when he has wrought
All these things, to the city afterwards
195 Shall he come. And three times three hundred
And eight and forty shalt thou make complete,
When, taking thee by force, an ill-starred fate
Shall come upon thee and complete thy name.
    Ah me, I the thrice wretched, shall I see
200 Sometime that day to thee destructive, Rome,
But to all Latins most? It honors him
With counsels who goes, up on Trojan car
With hidden children from the Asian land,
Having a fiery soul. But when he shall
205 Cut through the isthmus looking wistfully,
Moving against all, passing o'er the sea,
Then shall dark blood pursue the mighty beast.
And a dog chased the lion which destroys
The shepherds. And then shall they take away
210 His scepter and to Hades he shall pass.
    And unto Rhodes shall come an evil last,
But greatest, There shall also be for Thebes
An evil conquest afterwards, And Egypt

[193. To rule with Ares.--The matricidal fugitive of line 92, returning as antichrist. This whole passage is apocalyptic, and no exact conformity to history need be sought.

195. The number 948 is the numerical value of the Greek letters in the name Rome ({Greek r}=100, {Greek w}=800, {Greek m}=40, {Greek h}=8, = {Greek Rw'mh}). Nine hundred and forty-eight years after the founding of Rome extends to about 196 of our era, and the reign of Septimius Severus.

199. Wretched.--Comp. book v, 74, and the close of book vii.

203. From the Asian land.--Another allusion to Nero. His ascending the Trojan car is metaphorical of his supposed coming with war chariots from the east, and all the force and fury of Ares.

208-209. Comp. book xiv, 21, 22.

211, 222. Fragments of sentiments found in other books. Comp. iii, 453-455.]


{p. 169}

Shall perish by the wickedness of rulers,
215 And he who, being mortal, even so
Escaped headlong destruction afterwards,
Thrice blessed was, even four times happy man.
And Rome shall be a room, and Delos dull,
And Samos sand. . . .
220 Later again thereafter there shall come
An evil to the Persians for their pride,
And all their insolence shall come to naught.
    And then a holy Lord of all the earth
Having raised up the dead shall wield the scepter
225 Unto all ages. Thrice then unto Rome
Will the Most High bring pitiable fate
And unto all men, and by their own works
They'll perish; but they would not be persuaded,
Which would have been much more, to be desired.
230 But when forthwith there shall increase for ill
An evil day of famine and of plague
And of intolerable battle-din,
Even then again the former daring lord
Shall, having called the senate, counsel take
235 How he shall utterly destroy. . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Dry land shall bloom together with the leaves
Appearing; and the, heavenly firmament
Shall bring to light upon the solid rock
Rainstorm and flame, and much wind on the land,
240 And over all the earth a multitude
Of poisonous sowings. But with shameless soul
Shall they again act, fearing not the wrath
Of God or men, forsaking modesty,

[223. A holy Lord.--The Messiah. Comp. book iii, 58.

243-247. Comp. book i, 217-221.]


{p. 170}

Longing for and greedy tyrants
245 And violent sinners, false, insatiate,
Workers of evil and in nothing true,
Destroyers of faith, on foul speech
In false words; they shall have no fill of wealth;
But shamelessly will they strip off still more;
250 Under the rule of tyrants they shall perish.
    The stars shall all fall forwards in the sea,
All one by one, yet shall men see in heaven
A brilliant cornet, sign of much distress
About to come, of war and battle-strife.
255    Let me not live when the gay woman reigns,
But then when heavenly grace shall reign within,
And when the holy child shall crush with bonds
The mischievous destroyer of all men,
Opening the depth to view, and suddenly
260 The wooden house shall cover mortals round.
    But when the generation tenth shall be
Within the house of Hades, afterwards
The mighty sway of one of female sex;
And God himself shall increase many evils
265 When she with royal honor has been crowned;
And altogether then an impious age.
The sun obscurely looking shines by night;
The stars shall leave the sky; and with much storm
A hurricane shall desolate the earth;

[251. Comp. book ii, 251, and Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 16 [L., 6, 191, 792].

257. Apparent allusion to Rev. xx, 1-3.

260. Wooden house.--A coffin.

261. Generation tenth.--Supposed by the Sybil to be the last. Comp. book vii, 133.

263. Female.--The woman symbolically portrayed in Rev. xvii, 1-6. Comp. book iii, 92, note.]


{p. 171}

240 And there shall be a rising of the dead;
The running of the lame shall be most swift,
The deaf shall bear, the blind shall see, and those
That talk not shall talk, and to all
Shall life and wealth be common. And the land
275 Alike for all, divided not by walls
Or fences, shall bear more abundant fruits.
And fountains of sweet wine and of white milk
And honey it shall give. . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
And judgment of the immortal God (great king).
280 But when God shall change times . . .
Winter producing summer, then shall be
Oracles (all fulfilled) . . .
But when the world has perished . . .


And the earth shall perspire, when there shall be
285 The sign of judgment. And from heaven shall come
The King who for the ages is to be,
Present to judge all flesh and the whole world.

[270-274. Comp. book i, 427-432.

276-218. Comp. book iii, 781-783, and Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 24 [L., 6, 811]. What follows between these lines and the acrostic is fragmentary. The remaining words, translated in our text, show that the general subject was that of judgment of God and the end of the world.

281. Winter . . . summer.--Cited in Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 16 [L., 61 792]. 282 appears in full, book xiv, 381.

284-330. This passage is celebrated as being an acrostic of thirty-four lines in the Greek text, the first letters of which lines form the title given above, namely, JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, SAVIOUR, CROSS. It is quoted in full by Eusebius in his report of Constantine's Oration to the Assembly of the Saints, xviii [G., 20, 1288, 1289], and, excepting the seven lines representing the word CROSS, by Augustine, de Civitate Dei, xviii, 123 [L., 41, 5791. We give in our text a faithful translation of the Greek without any {footnote p. 172} attempt to transfer it into a corresponding English acrostic, but in the Appendix of this volume (pp. 274-277) the reader may find several English translations which aim to reproduce the acrostic form of the original. To the picture of the day of judgment as given in this acrostic there is obvious allusion at the beginning of the famous medieval hymn:

Dies iræ, dies illa,
Solvet sæclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sibylla.



{p. 172}

Faithful and faithless mortals shall see God
The Most High with the saints at the end of time.
290 And of men bearing flesh he judges souls
Upon his throne, when sometime the whole world
Shall be a desert and a place of thorns.
And mortals shall their idols cast away
And all wealth. And the searching fire shall burn
1295 Earth, heaven, and sea; and it shall burn the gates,
Of Hades' prison. Then shall come all flesh
Of the dead to the free light of the saints;
But the lawless shall that fire whirl round and round.
For ages. Howsoever much one did
300 In secret, then shall he all things declare;
For God shall open dark breasts to the light.
And lamentation shall there be from all
And gnashing of teeth. Brightness of the, sun
Shall be eclipsed and dances of the stars.
305 He shall roll up the heaven; and of the moon
The light shall perish. And he shall exalt
The valleys and destroy the heights of hills,
And height no longer shall appear remaining
Among men. And the hills shall with the plains
310 Be level and no more on any sea
Shall there be sailing. For the earth shall then
With heat be shriveled and the dashing streams

[293, 294. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 19 [L., 6, 798].]


{p. 173}

Shall with the fountains fall. The trump shall send
From heaven a very lamentable sound,
315 Howling the loathsomeness of wretched men
And the world's woes. And then the yawning earth
Shall show Tartarean chaos. And all kings
Shall come unto the judgement seat of God.
And there shall out of heaven a stream of fire
320 And brimstone flow. But for all mortals then
Shall there a sign be, a distinguished seal,
The Wood among believers, and the horn
Fondly desired, the life of pious men,
But it shall be stumbling block of the world,
325 Giving illumination to the elect
By water in twelve springs; and there shall rule
A shepherding iron rod. This one who now
Is in acrostics which give signs of God
Thus written openly, the Saviour is,
330 Immortal King, who suffered for our sake;
    Him Moses typified when he stretched out
Holy arms, conquering Amalek by faith,
That the people might know him to be elect
And honorable before his Father God,
335 The rod of David and the very stone
Which he indeed aid promise, and in which
He that believes shall have eternal life.
    For not in glory, but as mortal man
Shall he come to creation, pitiable,

[313, 314. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 16 [L., 6, 792].

316-318. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 20 [L., 6, 798].

322. The Wood.--The Cross. Comp. book vi, 33-36.

326. Illumination.--The grace of baptism. Comp. line 360 below, and note on book i, 411.

339-341. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 16 [L., 6, 498].]


{p. 174}

340 Unhonored, without seemly form, to give
Hope to the pitiable; and he will give
Fair form to mortal flesh, and heavenly faith
To those without faith, and he'll give fair form
To the man who was fashioned from the first
345 By the holy hands of God, and whom by guile
The serpent led astray unto the fate
Of death to go and knowledge to receive
Of good and evil, so that leaving God
He serves the ways of mortals. For at first
350 Receiving him as fellow-counsellor
From the beginning the Almighty said:
"Let both of us, O Son, make mortal tribes--
Stamping them with the impress of our image;
I now by my hands, and thou by the Word
355 In after time shalt for our form provide
That we may jointly cause it to arise."
Keeping in mind this purpose he shall come
To the creation, to a holy virgin
Bringing the likeness antitypical,
360 Baptizing with water by the elders' hands,
And by the Word accomplishing all things,
And healing every sickness. By his word
He winds shall he make cease, and with his foot
Shall calm the raging sea, walking thereon
365 In peaceful faith. And from five loaves of bread
And a fish of the sea live thousand men
Shall he fill in the desert, and then taking
All the remaining fragments for the hope
Of peoples shall he fill twelve baskets full.
370 And the souls of the blessed he shall call,

[363-369. Comp. book i, 432-431.]


{p. 175}

And love the pitiable, who, being mocked,
Beaten, and whipped, shall evil do for good
Desiring poverty. He who perceives
All things and sees all things and hears all things
375 Shall search the heart and bare it to conviction;
For of all things is he himself the ear
And mind and sight, and Word that maketh forms
To whom all things submit, and he preserves
Them that are dead and every sickness heals.
380 Into the hands of lawless men, at last,
And faithless he shall come, and they will give
To God rude buffetings with impure hands
And poisonous spittle with polluted mouths.
And he to whips will openly give then
385 His holy back; [for he unto the world
A holy virgin shall himself commit.]
And silent he will be when buffeted
Lest anyone should know whose son he is
Or whence he came, that he may talk to the dead.
390 And he shall also wear a crown of thorns;
For of thorns is the crown an ornament
Elect, eternal. They shall pierce his side
With a reed that they may fulfill their law;
For of reeds shaken by another spirit
395 Were nourished inclinations of the soul,
Of anger and revenge. But when these things
Shall be accomplished, of the which I spoke,
Then unto him shall every law be loosed
Which from the first by the decrees of men

[372. Evil for good.--Several MSS. here read good for evil. The sense is doubtful.

380-386, also 387-390, are cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 18 [L., 6, 506]. 12 (279-801.)]

{p. 176}

400 Was given because of disobedient people.
He'll spread his hands and measure all the world.
But gall for food and vinegar to drink
They gave him; this inhospitable board
They'll show him. But the curtain of the temple
405 Shall be asunder rent and in midday
There shall be for three hours dark, monstrous night.
For it was no more pointed out again
How to serve secret temple and the law,
Which had been covered with the world's displays,
410 When the Eternal came himself on earth.
And into Hades shall he come announcing
Hope unto all the saints, the end of ages
And the last day, and having fallen asleep
The third day he shall end the lot of death;
415 Then from the dead departing he shall come
To light, the first to show forth to the elect
Beginning of resurrection, and wash off
By means of waters of immortal spring

[401. Measure.--"In his suffering," says Lactantius, "he stretched forth his hands and measured out the world, that even then he might show that a great multitude, collected out of all languages and tribes, from the rising of the sun even to the setting, was about to come under his wings and to receive on their foreheads that great and lofty sign." Div. Inst., iv, 26 [L., 6, 530].

404-406. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 19 [L., 6, 511].

411. Into Hades.--This doctrine of Christ's descent into Hades is found in the well-known clause of the Apostles' Creed, and claims for its biblical support the language of Psa. xvi, 9 (comp. Acts ii, 25-27); Rom. x, 7; Eph. iv, 8-10; 1 Pet. iii, 18-20. It is found also in Justin Martyr, Trypho, 72 [G., 6, 645]; Irenæus, Adv. Hær., iii, xx, 4 [G. 7, 945], and iv, xxvii, 2 [G., 7, 1058]; Clem. Alex., Strom., vi, chap. vi [G., 9, 265-275]; Tertullian, de Anima, chaps. vii [L., 2, 657] and lv [L., 2, 742-745]; Origen, adv. Celsus, ii, 43 [G., 11, 864].

414-417. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 19 [L., 6, 513].]


{p. 177}

Their former wickedness, that, being born
420 From above, they might be no more enslaved
To the unlawful customs of the world.
And first then openly unto his own
Shall he as Lord in flesh be visible,
As he before was, and in hands and feet
425 Exhibit four marks fixed in his own limbs,
Denoting east and west and south and north;
For of the world so many royal powers
Shall against our Exemplar consummate
The deed so lawless and condemnable.
430    Daughter of Zion, holy one, rejoice,
Who hast suffered many things; thy king himself
Mounted upon a foal is hastening on;
Behold, meek he shall come, that he may lift
Our slavish yoke, so grievous to be borne
435 Lying upon our neck, and may annul
Our godless laws and bonds compulsory.
Know thou thy God himself, who is God's Son;
Him glorify and hold within thy heart,
From thy soul love him and extol his name.
440 Put off thy former friends and wash thyself
From their blood; for he is not by thy songs
Nor by thy prayers appeased, nor does he give
To perishable sacrifices heed,
Being imperishable; but present
445 The holy hymn of understanding mouths
And know who this one is, and thou shalt then
Behold the Father. . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

[426. Comp. book iii, 30, note.

430. Rejoice.--Comp. Zech. ix, 9; Matt. xxi, 6; John xii, 15.

433-436. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 18 [L, 6, 796].]


{p. 178}

And then shall all the elements of the world
Abide in solitude, air, earth, sea, light
450 Of gleaming fire, and heavenly sky and night
And all days into one shall run together
And into outward form all-desolate.
For from heaven shall the stars of light all fall.
And there shall fly no longer in the air
455 The well-winged birds, nor stepping be on earth;
For wild beasts shall all perish. Nor shall be
Voices of men, nor of beasts, nor of birds.
The world shall hear no serviceable sound,
Being disordered; but a mighty sound
460 Of threatening shall the deep sea sound aloud,
And swimming trembling creatures of the sea
Shall all die; and no longer on the waves
Shall sail the freighted ship. And earth shall groan
Blood-stained by wars; and all the souls of men
465 Shall gnash with their teeth, [of the lawless souls
Both by loud crying and by fear,] dissolved
By thirst, by famine, and by plague and murders,
And they shall call death beautiful and death
Shall flee away from them; for death no more
470 Nor night shall give them rest. And many things
Will they in vain ask God who rules on high,
And then will he his face turn openly
Away from them. For he to erring men
Gave in seven ages for repentance signs
475 By the hands of a virgin undefiled.
    All these things in my mind God himself showed
And all that have been spoken by my mouth

[448-475. Comp. similar passage in book ii, 243-263, and book iii, 97-111; and also Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 16 [L., 6, 791, 792]. All these prophecies are obviously derived from corresponding Scripture passages.]


{p. 179}

Will he accomplish; and I know the number
Of the sands and the measures of the sea,
480 I know the inmost places of the earth
And gloomy Tartarus, I know the numbers
Of the stars, and the trees, and all the tribes
Of quadrupeds, and of the swimming things
And flying birds, and of men who are now
485 And of those yet to be, and of the dead;
For I myself the forms and mind of men
Did fashion, and right reason did I give
And knowledge taught; I who formed eyes and ears,
Who see and hear and every thought discern,
490 And who within am conscious of all things,
I am still; and hereafter will convict
[And punishing what any mortal did
In secret, and upon God's judgment seat
Coming and speaking unto mortal men].
495 I understand the dumb man and I hear
Him that speaks not, and how great the whole height
From earth to heaven is, and the beginning
And end I know, who made the heaven and earth.
[For all things have proceeded from him, things
500 From the beginning to the end he knows.]
For I alone am God and other God
There is not. They my image formed of wood
Treat as divine, and shaping it by hand
They sing their praises over idols dumb

[478. At this point the Sibyl assumes to represent God himself as speaking, and continues this strain to line 567, throwing in occasional observations of her own, as if forgetful of the part she holds. Lines 478, 479, and 496, 496, are identical with two lines attributed to the oracle of Delphi by Herodotus, i, 47.

501. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., i, 6 [L., 6, 148].]


{p. 180}

505 With supplications and unholy rites.
Forsaking the Creator they were slaves
To lewdness. Men possessing everything
Bestow their gifts on things which cannot aid,
As if they for my honors deemed these things
510 All useful, with the smell of sacrifice
Filling the feast, as if for their own dead.
For they flesh and bones full of marrow burn
Offering on altars, and they pour out blood
To demons, and they kindle lights to me
515 The giver of light, and as to a god
That thirsts do mortals drunken pour out wine
For nought to idols that can give no aid.
I have no need of your burnt offerings,
Nor your libations, nor polluted smoke,
520 Nor blood most hateful. For in memory
Of kings and tyrants they will do these things
Unto dead demons, as to heavenly beings,
Performing service godless and destructive.
And godless they their images call gods,
525 Forsaking the Creator, having faith
That from them they derive all hope and life,
Deaf and dumb, in the evil putting trust,
But they are wholly ignorant of good.
Two ways did I myself before them set,
530 Of life and of death, and before them set
Judgment to choose good life; but they themselves
Hastened to death and to eternal fire.
Man is my image, having upright reason.
For him a table pure and without blood
535 Make ready and with good things fill it up,

[530. Life and of death.--Comp. Dent. xxx, 15, 19, and also the opening
words of the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles."]


{p. 181}

And give the hungry bread, the thirsty drink,
And to the body that is naked clothes
From thine own labors with unsullied hands
Providing. Recreate the afflicted man,
540 And help the weary, and provide for me
The living One a living sacrifice
Sowing piety, that also I to thee
Sometime may give immortal fruits, and light
Eternal thou shalt have and fadeless life
545 When I shall prove all by fire. For all things
I shall fuse and shall pick out what is pure,
Heaven will I roll up and the depths of earth
Lay open, and then will I raise the dead
Making an end of fate and sting of death,
550 And afterward for judgment will I come
Judging the manner both of pious men
And impious; I will set ram close to ram,
Shepherd to shepherd, calf to calf, for test,
Close to each other; whosoever were
555 Exalted, proven by trial, and who stopped
The mouth of every one, that they themselves
Vieing with them that lead a holy life
May likewise bring them into slavery,
Enjoining silence, urged by love of gain,
560 Not proved before me, then shall all withdraw.
No longer henceforth shalt thou grieving say
"Morrow shall be," nor "yesterday has been;"
Not many days of care, nor spring, nor winter,
Nor summer then, nor autumn, nor sunset

[546. Comp. book ii, 363; iii, 105.

547-551. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 20 [L., 6, 799].

654-560. The import of these lines is very obscure and uncertain.

561-565. Comp. book ii, 397-403.]


{p. 182}

565 Nor sunrise; for a long day I will make.
And unto ages there shall be the light
Longed for of the great . . .
(Christ Jesus, of ages) . . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    Thou who art self-begotten, undefiled,
570 True and eternal, measuring by thy power
From heaven the fiery blast, and with rough torch
From clashing doth the scepter keep, and calm
The crashings of the heavy-sounding thunders,
And driving earth into confusion dost
575 Hold back the rushing noises. . . .
And the fire-blazing scourges thou dost blunt
Of lightnings, and the vast outpour of storms
And of autumnal hail, and chilling stroke
Of clouds and shock of winter. For of these
580 Each one indeed is marked out in thy mind,
Whatever seems good to thyself to do
Thy Son nods his assent to, having been
Begotten in thy bosom before all
Creation, fellow-counselor with thee,
585 Former of mortals and creator of life.
Him with the first sweet utterance of mouth
Thou didst address: "Behold, let us make man
In a form altogether like our own,
And let us give him life-sustaining breath;
590 Him being yet mortal all things of the world
Shall serve, and unto him formed out of clay
We will subject all things." And thou didst speak
These things by word, and all things came to pass
According to thy heart; and thy command
595 Together all the elements obeyed,


{p. 183}

And an eternal creature was arranged
In mortal figure, also heaven, air, fire,
And earth and water of the sea, sun, moon,
Chorus of stars, hills . . .
600 Both night and day, sleeping and waking up,
Spirit and passion, soul and understanding,
Art, might and strength, and the wild tribes
Of living things both swimming things and fowls,
And of those walking, and amphibia,
605 And those that creep and those of double nature;
For acting in accord with his own will
Under thy leading he arranged all things.
But in the latest times the earth he passed,
And coming late from the virgin Mary's womb
610 A new light rose, and going forth from heaven
Put on a mortal form. First then did Gabriel show
His strong pure form; and bearing his own news
He next addressed the maiden with his voice:
"O virgin, in thy bosom undefiled
615 Receive thou God." Thus speaking he inbreathed
God's grace on the sweet maiden; and straightway
Alarm and wonder seized her as she heard,
And she stood trembling; and her mind was wild
With flutter of excitement while at heart
620 She quivered at the unlooked-for things she heard.
But she again was gladdened and her heart
Was cheered by the voice, and the maiden laughed
And her cheek reddened with a sense of joy,
And spell-bound was her heart with sense of shame.
625 And confidence came to her. And the Word
Flew into the womb, and in course of time
Having become flesh and endued with life
Was made a human form and came to be


{p. 184}

A boy distinguished by his virgin birth;
630 For this was a great wonder to mankind,
But it was no great wonder unto God
The Father, nor was it to God the Son.
And the glad earth received the new born babe,
The heavenly throne laughed and the world rejoiced.
635 And the prophetic new-appearing star
'Was honored by the wise men, and the babe
Born was shown in a manger unto them
That obeyed God, and keepers of the herds,
And goatherds and to shepherds of the lambs;
640 And Bethlehem called by God the fatherland
Of the Word was chosen. . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
And in heart practice lowliness of mind
And cruel deeds hate, and thy neighbor love
Wholly, even as thyself; and from thy soul
645 Love God and do him service. Therefore we
Sprung from the holy race of the heavenly Christ
Are called of common blood, and we restrain
In worship recollection of good cheer,
And walk the paths of piety and truth.
650 Not ever are we suffered to approach
The inmost sanctuary of the temples,
Nor pour libations to carved images,
Nor honor them with prayers, nor with the smells
Much-pleasing of flowers, nor with light of lamps,

[642-669. These lines, which conclude the book, are a fragment, which may have once been naturally connected with what now precedes by intervening lines no longer extant. As they now stand they have no natural connection with the preceding passage, and appear mutilated both at beginning and end. (473-490.)]

{p. 185}

655 Nor yet with shining votive offerings
Adorn them, nor with smoke of frankincense
That sends forth flame of altars; nor do thou,
Adding unto the sacrifice of bulls
And taking pleasure in defilement send
660 Blood of sheep-slaughtering outrage, thus to give
Ransom for penalty beneath the earth;
Nor by the smoke of flesh-consuming pyre
And odors foul pollute the light of heaven;
But joyful with pure minds and cheerful soul,
665 With love abounding and with generous hands,
With soothing psalms and songs that honor God,
We are commanded to sing praise to thee,
The imperishable and without deceit,
All-father God, of understanding mind,
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .


{p. 186}

{p. 187}


{p. 188}


Introduction, 1-6. From the flood to the tower of Babel, 7-22. Egyptian kings and judges, 23-40. The exodus and giving of the law, 41-47. A notable Egyptian king, 48-53. The Persian domination, 54-68. Woes of many nations, 69-89. Rule of the Indian prince, 90-105. The great Assyrian king Solomon, 106-123. Many and mighty kings, 124-136. Alexander's fierce wars, 137-143. Origin of Rome, 144-160. The fall of Ilium, 161-189. Escape of Æneas and founding of the Latin race, 190-216. The wise old minstrel, 217-227. Wars of the nations, 228-236. The terrible invader of Greece, 237-248. Philip of Macedon, 249-259. Alexander the Conqueror, 260-298. The kings of Egypt, 299-315. Egypt an asylum for the Jews, 316-320. The eight kings and treacherous queen of Egypt, 321-344. Reign of the Roman Cæsars, 345-365. Fall of Cleopatra, 366-394. Subjection of Egypt, 395-416. The Sibyl's testimony of herself, 417-429.

{p. 189}


O WORLD of men wide-scattered, and long walls,
The cities huge and nations numberless,
Throughout the east and west and south and north,
Divided off by various languages
5 And kingdoms; other things, the very worst,
Against you I am now about to speak.
    For from the time when on the earlier men
The flood came and the Almighty One himself
Destroyed that race by many waters, then
10 Brought he in yet another race of men
Untiring; and they, setting themselves up
Against heaven, built to height unspeakable
A tower; and tongues of all were loosed again;
And on them hurled came wrath of God most high,
15 By which the tower unutterably great
Fell; and against each other they stirred up
An evil strife. And then of mortal men
Was the tenth race since these things came to pass;

[1. The four following books were first published by Angelo Mai, in 1828, and in the manuscripts and in the editions of Alexandre and Rzach are numbered xi-xiv. There would seem, therefore, to have existed two other books, ix and x, which may yet come to light, as did books xi-xiv after various printed editions of the first eight books had appeared. We deem it better, therefore, to adhere to the numbering of the manuscripts and the two principal editions of the Greek text than with Friedlieb to number these later books as ix-xii. This eleventh book deals largely with matters of Egyptian history, but contains also various oracles against other nations. Its date and authorship are uncertain.

7-20. Comp. book, iii, 117-132.]


{p. 190}

And the whole earth was among foreign men
20 And various languages distributed,
Whose numbers I will tell and in acrostics
Of the initial letter show the name.
    And first shall Egypt royal power receive
Preeminent and just; and then in her
25 Shall many-counseling men be governors;
Moreover then a fearful man shall rule,
Close-fighter very strong; and he shall have
This letter of the acrostic of his name:
Sword shall he stretch out against pious men.
30 And while this one is ruler there shall be
A fearful sign in the Egyptian land,
Which, gladdening very greatly, shall with corn
Souls perishing with famine then supply;
The law-giver, himself a prisoner,
35 The East and offspring of Assyrian men
Shall nourish; and his name know thou . . .
. . . of the measure of the number ten.
But when there shall come from the radiant heaven
Ten strokes of judgment upon Egypt, then
40 Will I again proclaim these things to thee.
Memphis, alas, alas for thee! alas,
Great royal one! the Erythræan sea
Shall thy much people utterly destroy.

[23. First . . . Egypt.--Comp. book iii, 191-195, and the names and order of kingdoms then given with lines 57, 80, 86, 106, 138, and 144.

28. This letter.--Referring to the letter Phi, which begins the next line in the Greek text (in the word {Greek fa'sgana}, sword), the initial of the name Pharaoh.

35. Assyrian.--The Sibyl thinks of the Hebrews as emigrants from Assyria, or the far East. So again in line 106 below.

37. Pen.--The Greek letter for ten is {Greek I}, the initial of the Greek form of the name Joseph.]


{p. 191}

Then when the people of twelve tribes shall leave
45 The fruitful land of ruin by command
Of the Immortal, the Lord God himself
Will also give a law unto mankind.
And o'er the Hebrews then a mighty king
Magnanimous shall rule, and have a name
50 Derived from sandy Egypt, Theban man
Of doubtful native land; and Memphis he,
Dread serpent, will show outward signs of love,
And he will watch o'er many things in wars.
    Now the tenth kingdom being twelve times complete
55 Seven besides and even unto the tenth hundred,
Others being altogether left behind,
Then shall arise the Persian sovereignty.
And then an evil shall befall the Jews,
Famine and pestilence intolerable
60 They do not make escape from in that day.
    But when a Persian shall rule, and a son
Of his son's son shall lay the scepter down,
While years roll round to five fours, and to these
A hundred more, and thou a hundred nines
65 Shalt finish and all things shalt thou repay;
And then unto the Persians and the Medes
Shalt thou be given over as a slave,
Destroyed with blows by reason of hard fights.
    Straightway to Persians and Assyrians
70 And to all Egypt shall an evil come,
And to Libya and the Ethiopians,
And to the Carians and Pamphylians
And to all other mortals. And he then

[48-105. The historical references in these lines are so uncertain that we essay no comments.]


{p. 192}

Shall to the grandsons give the royal power,
75 Who again snatching the whole earth away
Shall plunder races for their many spoils,
Not having fellow-feeling. Mournful dirges
Shall the sad Persians by the Tigris wail,
And Egypt water many a land with tears.
80    And then to thee, O Median land, a man
Of wealth abundant and of Indian birth
Shall many evils do, till thou repay
All things which thou, possessed of shameless soul,
Hast done before. Alas, alas for thee,
85 Thou Median nation; thou shalt afterwards
Be servant unto Ethiopian men
Beyond the land of Meroe; wretched thou
Shalt from the first seven and a hundred years
Complete, and put thy neck beneath the yoke.
90    And then an Indian of dark countenance
And gray hair and great soul shall afterwards
Become lord, who shall many evils bring
Upon the East by reason of hard fights;
And he shall treat thee more despitefully
95 And shall destroy all thy men. But when he
The twentieth and the tenth year shall be king,
Among them, also seven and the tenth,
Then every nation of a royal power
Shall be mad and declare their liberty,
100 And during three years leave their servile blood.
But he shall come again and every nation
Of valiant men shall put their neck again
Under the yoke, serve the king as before,
And of its own free will again obey.
105 There shall be great peace throughout all the world.


{p. 193}

    And then o'er the Assyrians there shall rule
A mighty king, a man preeminent,
And shall persuade all to speak pleasing things,
Which God ordained according to the law;
110 Then all kings arrogant with pointed spears
Timid and speechless shall before him quail,
And him shall very powerful rulers serve
Because of counsels of the mighty God;
For he will carry all things in detail
115 By reason, and all things will he subject,
And he the temple of the mighty God
And lovely altar will himself erect
In his might, and will hurl the idols down;
And gathering tribes together, both the race
120 Of fathers and the helpless little ones,
He shall encompass the inhabitants;
His name shall have two hundred for its number,
And of the eighteenth letter show the sign.
But when for rolling decades two and five
125 He shall rule, going forwards towards the end
Of his time, there shall be as many kings
As there are tribes of men, as there are clans,
As there are cities, and as isles and coasts,
And fields and lands that bring forth goodly fruit.
130 But one of these shall be a mighty king,
A leader among men; and many kings
Of lofty spirit shall submit to him,
And to his sons and grandsons opulent
Give portions on account of royal power.

[107. Mighty king.--Reference to Solomon.

122. Two hundred.--Represented by Sigma, the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and initial of Solomon.

130. Mighty king.--Probable reference to Cyrus.]


{p. 194}

135 Decades of decades, eight ones upon these
Of years shall they rule, and at last shall end.
    But when with cruel Ares there shall come
A powerful wild beast, even then for thee,
O queenly land, shall wrath spring forth again.
140    Alas, alas for thee, then Persian land;
What an outpouring of the blood of men
Shalt thou receive when that stronger-minded man
Comes to thee; then I'll shout these things again.
    But when Italian soil shall generate,
145 Great wonder unto mortals, there shall be
Moans of young children by a fountain pure,
In shady cavern off spring of wild beast
That feeds on sheep, who unto manhood grown
Shall upon seven strong hills with reckless soul
150 Hurl many headlong down, in numbers both
Having a hundred, and their names shall show
A great sign to them that are yet to be;
And they shall build upon the seven hills
Strong walls and wage around them grievous war.
155 And then again shall there be growing up
Revolt of men around thee, then great land
Of fine ears, high-souled Egypt; but again

[135. Decades of decades.--If we take this to mean twice ten decades, and add eight more, we have two hundred and eight, a near approximation of the duration of the Persian monarchy.

138. Wild beast.--Reference to Alexander the Great.

146-148. Comp. book v, 14, 15.

151. A hundred.--Represented by the Greek letter {Greek R}, initial of Romulus and Remus.

152. Great signs.--probably in the thought that the first letter of these names is also the initial of Rome, the eternal city, the symbol of power.]


{p. 195}

I'll cry these things. And yet then shalt receive
A great stroke in thy houses; and again
160 Shall there be a revolt of thine own men.
Now over thee, O wretched Phrygia,
I weep in pity; for to thee from Greece,
Tamer of horses, there shall conquest come
And war and plague by reason of hard fights.
165 Ilium, I pity thee; for there shall come
From Sparta an Erinys to thy halls
Mixed with a deadly sting; and most of all
Shall she bring thee toils, troubles, groans, and wails,
When well-skilled men the battle shall begin,
170 By far the noblest heroes of the Greeks
Who are to Ares dear. And one of these
Shall be a strong brave king; of foulest deeds
He for his brother's sake will go in quest.
And they shall overthrow the famous walls
175 Of Phrygian Troy; when of the rolling years
Twice five shall be filled with the bloody deeds
Of savage war, a wooden artifice
Shall sudden cover men, and on thy knees
Thou shalt receive this, not perceiving it
180 To be an ambush pregnant with the Greeks,
O cause of grievous woe. Alas, alas,
How much in one night Hades shall receive,
And what spoils of the old man weeping much
Shall he bear off! But with those yet to come
185 Shall be undying fame. And the great king,
A hero sprung from Zeus, shall have his name
Of the first letter of the alphabet;

[165. Comp. book iii, 516. The lines following rehearse the story of Troy.

186. Great king.--Agamemnon, who on his return was slain by his wife, Clytemnestra.]


{p. 196}

Homewards shall he in order go. And then
Shall he fall by a treacherous woman's hand.
190    And there shall rule a child sprung from the race
And the blood of Assaracus, renowned
Of heroes, both a strong and valiant man.
And he shall come out of the mighty fire
Of ravaged Troy, fleeing from fatherland
195 By reason of the fearful toil of war;
Bearing his aged father on his shoulders
And also holding his son by the hand
He shall perform a pious work of law,
Who, looking cautiously about him, cleft
200 The onset of the fire of burning Troy,
And hurrying through the multitude in dread
He shall pass over land and fearful sea.
And he shall have a trisyllabic name,
For the beginning of the alphabet
205 Points out this highest man as not unknown.
And then a city for the powerful Latins
He will raise up. And in his fifteenth year,
Destroyed by waters in the depths of sea,
Shall he lay hold on the event of death.
210 But him though dead the nations of mankind
Shall not forget; for his race over all
Shall rule hereafter even to Euphrates
And river Tigris, throughout the mid land
Of the Assyrians, where the Parthians
215 Extended. For those who are yet to come
It shall be, when all these things come to pass.

[190. Child.--Æneas. Comp. book v, 10-12.

208. Destroyed by waters.--According to one tradition, Æneas was drowned in the river Numicus.]


{p. 197}

    And there shall be an old man, minstrel wise,
Whom all shall among mortals call most wise,
By whose good understanding the whole world
920 Shall be instructed; for his chapters he
According to their power of thoughts will write.
And wisely will he write most marvelous things,
At times appropriating words of mine
Measures and verses; for he shall the first
225 My books unfold and after these things bide them
And unto men bring them to light no more
Until the end of baneful death and life.
    But when forthwith these things have been fulfilled
Which I spoke, yet again the Greeks shall fight
230 With one another; and Assyrians,
Arabians and the quiver-bearing Medes,
And Persians and Sicilians shall rise up,
And Lydians, Thracians and Bithynians,
And they who dwell in the land of fair corn
235 Beside the streams of Nile; and among all
Will God the imperishable put at once
Confusion. But exceeding terribly
Shall an Assyrian base-born fiery man
Come suddenly, possessed of beastly soul,
240 And looking cautiously about him cut
Through every isthmus, going against all,
And sailing o'er the sea. Then, faithless Greece,
To thee shall happen very many things.
    Alas, alas for thee, O wretched Greece,
245 How many things thou art obliged to wail!

[217. Old man.--Homer. Comp. book iii, 523-541.

238. Assyrian.--Probably referring to Xerxes. The epithet Assyrian seems to have a broad and loose significance with this writer, who in line 106 above calls Solomon an Assyrian. Comp. also line 35.]


{p. 198}

And during seven and eighty rolling years
Thou shalt the miserable refuse be
Of fearful battle among all the tribes.
    Then shall a Macedonian man again
250 Bring forth for Hellas woe and shall destroy
All Thrace, and toil of Ares on the isles
And coasts and the war-loving Triballi.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
He shall among the foremost fighters be,
And he shall share that name which shows the sign
255 Of numbers ten times fifty. And short-lived
Shall he be; but behind him he shall leave
The greatest kingdom on the boundless earth.
But by base spearman he himself shall fall
While thought to live in quiet as none else.
260    And afterwards shall a great-hearted child
Of this one rule, beginning with his name
The alphabet; but his race shall pass out.
Not of Zeus, not of Amnion shall they call
This one true son, yet still a bastard son
265 Of Cronos as they all imagine him.
And cities he of many mortal men
Shall plunder; and for Europe shall shoot up
The greatest sore. And also terribly
Will he abuse the city Babylon,

[249. Macedonian.--Philip of Macedon, whose initial, Phi ({Greek F}), stands in the Greek numerals for 500.

258. Base spearman.--Pausanias, one of the royal guards, who assassinated Philip on his way to the theater.

259. To live in quiet.--Conjectural reading.

263. Comp. book v, 8, 9. This entire picture of Alexander (lines 260-298) is peculiar to the writer of this book.]


{p. 199}

270 And every land the sun looks down upon,
And he alone shall sail both east and west.
    Alas, alas for thee, O Babylon,
Thou shalt serve triumphs, who wast called a queen;
Down upon Asia Ares comes, he comes
275 Surely and shall thy many children slay.
And then shalt thou send forth thy royal man
Named by the number four, expert with spear
Among the mighty warriors, terrible,
Shooting with bow and arrow. And then famine
280 And war shall hold possession of the midst
Of the Cilicians and Assyrians;
But kings of lofty spirit shall embrace
The dreadful state of heart-consuming strife.
But do thou, fleeing, leave the former king,
285 Be neither willing to remain nor fear
To be unhappy; for on thee shall come
A dreadful lion, a flesh-eating beast,
Wild, strange to justice, wearing on his shoulders
A mantle. Flee the thunder-smiting man.
290 And Asia all shall bear an evil yoke,
And many a murder shall the wet earth drink.
    But when a mighty city prosperous
Ares of Pella shall in Egypt found,
And it shall be named from him, fate and death,
295 By his companions treacherously betrayed
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
For barbarous murder shall destroy this man
Around the tables when he shall have left
The Indians and shall come to Babylon.

[277. Four.--Represented by Delta ({Greek D}), the initial of Darius (Codomannus), who was defeated by Alexander.]


{p. 200}

Thereafter other kings, in a few years,
300 Devourers of the people, arrogant
And faithless, shall rule each by his own tribe;
But a great-hearted hero, who shall glean
All fenced Europe, from the time each land
Shall drink the blood of all tribes, shall forthwith
305 Abandon life, unloosing his own fate.
And other kings there shall be, twice four men
Of his race, and the same name to them all.
    And there shall be a bride of Egypt then
Commanding and a noble city great
310 Of Macedonian lord, queen Alexandria,
Famed nourisher of cities, shining fair
She alone shall be the metropolis.
Let Memphis then upbraid them that command.
And peace shall be deep throughout all the world;
315 Then shall the land of black soil have more fruits.
    And then there shall come evil to the Jews,
Nor shall they in that day make their escape
From famine and intolerable plague;
But the new world of black soil and fair corn,
320 Divine land, shall receive much-wandering men.

[302. Hero.--Referring most probably to Antigonus, the most famous of Alexander's immediate successors, who certainly gleaned all western Asia, if not Europe.

306. Twice four men.--The eight famous Ptolemies of Egypt, who were of Macedonian origin.

312. Let Memphis then upbraid.--Because overshadowed and superseded by the Ptolemies, who made Alexandria the sole metropolis. There is in the Greek text here a play on the word Memphis--memphestho Memphis.

316. Evil to the Jews.--Reference to the capture of Jerusalem by Ptolemy I, and the transportation of a great number of Jews to Egypt. See Josephus, Ant., xii, 1.

320. Wandering men.--Scattered by famine and seeking a now and better country. Alexandre reads ruined men.]


{p. 201}

    But marshy Egypt's eight kings shall fill up
The numbers of two hundred years and three
And thirty. Yet shall offspring perish not
Of all of them, but there shall issue forth
325 A female root, a bane of mortal men,
Betrayer of her kingdom. But they shall
According to their evil deeds perform
Their wickedness thereafter, and one here
Another there shall perish; son that wears
330 The purple shall cut off his warlike sire,
And he himself in turn by his own son,
And ere he shall put forth another shoot
He shall cease; but a root shall sprout again
Thereafter of itself; and there shall be
335 A race beside him growing. For a queen
There shall be of the land by Nilus' streams
Which comes down through seven mouths into the sea,
And her name very lovely shall be that
Of the number twenty; and she will demand
340 Numberless things and gather up all goods
Of gold and silver; but from her own men

[322. The period of the eight Ptolemies is commonly reckoned from Ptolemy I (Soter), B. C. 323, to Ptolemy VIII (Soter II), B. C. 81, or about 242 years.

325. Female root.--The famous Cleopatra would seem most obviously intended, but the associated events (lines 346-354) appear to be those of the disorders and crimes of the times following the reign of the eighth Ptolemy. Hence, perhaps, this "betrayer of her kingdom" may best refer to the mother of the eighth Ptolemy (Soter II), who expelled him from Egypt and placed the crown on the head of her favorite son, Alexander.

339. Twenty.--The letter K, initial of the Greek form of the name Cleopatra. Here, without doubt, the last queen of Egypt, the famous daughter of Ptolemy Auletes, is intended.]


{p. 202}

Shall treachery befall her. Then again
For thee, O dusky land, shall there be wars
And battles and great slaughter of mankind.
345    When many over fertile Rome shall rule,
Examples not at all of happy men,
But tyrants, and there be of thousands chiefs
And of ten thousands, and the overseers
Of popular assemblies under law,
350 Then shall the mightiest Cæsars bear the rule
Ill-fated all their days; and of these last
Shall for initial have the number ten,
Last Cæsar stretching on the earth his limbs,
Struck by dire Ares by a hostile man,
355 Whom carrying in their hands the youth of Rome
Shall. bury piously, and over him
Pour out their token for his friendship's sake
Rendering a tribute to his memory.
    But when thou shalt come to an end of time
360 And hast completed twice three hundred years
And twice ten, from the time when he shall rule
Who is thy founder, child of the wild beast,
There shall no longer a dictator be
Ruling a measured period; but a lord
365 Shall become king, man equal to the gods.
    Then, Egypt, know the king that comes to thee;
And dreadful Ares of the glittering helm
Shall surely come. For there shall be for thee,

[351. Last.--In the sense of loftiest, noblest. The Greek initial of Julius is the letter which stands for ten. Comp. book v, 16-19.

360. The date of the foundation of Rome is usually set B. C. 753. Both here and in book xii, 16, the time intervening between this and the first Cæsar is said to be 620 years.

366. Egypt and the queen, Cleopatra, are poetically addressed as one.]


{p. 203}

O widowed one, a capture afterwards;
370 For round the walls of thy land there shall be
Terrible raging mischief-working wars.
But having suffered misery in wars
Thou, wretched, shalt thyself flee from above
Those lately wounded; and then to the couch
375 Shalt thou come to the dreadful man himself;
The wedlock, sharing one bed, is the end.
Alas, alas for thee, ill-wedded bride,
Thy royal power unto the Roman king
Shalt thou give, and thou shalt repay all things,
380 Which thou aforetime didst with masculine hands;
Thou shalt give the whole land by way of dower
As far as Libya and the dark-skinned men
To the resistless man. And thou shalt be
No more a widow, but thou shalt cohabit
385 With a man-eating lion terrible,
A furious warrior. And then shalt thou be
Unhappy and among all men unknown;
For thou shalt leave possessed of shameless soul;
And thee, the stately, shall the encircling tomb
390 Receive . . . is gone . . . living within . . .
Adapted at the summits, beautiful,
Wrought curiously, and a great multitude
Shall mourn thee and the dreadful king shall make
A piteous lamentation over thee.
395    And then shall Egypt be the toiling slave

[373. Here Cleopatra's flight to Julius Caesar seems to have been in the mind of the writer; and throughout this passage the Sibylline poet appears to confound events of different periods, part of which occurred with Antony, part with Julius Cæsar, to whom Cleopatra bore a son.

390, 391. The text is so mutilated at this point as to leave the exact sentiment of the writer quite unintelligible.]


{p. 204}

Who many years against the Indians bears
Her trophies; and she shall serve shamefully,
And with the river, the fruit-bearing Nile,
her tears, for haying gathered wealth
400 And store of all good things, a nourisher
Of cities, she shall feed sheep-eating race
Of fearful men. All, to how many beasts,
O very wealthy Egypt, thou shalt be
Booty and spoil, but giving peoples laws;
405 And formerly delighting in great kings
Thou shalt to peoples be a wretched slave
On account of that people, whom of old
Piously living thou led'st to much woe
Of toils and wailings, and didst put a plow
410 Upon their neck and irrigate the fields
With mortal tears. Therefore the Lord himself,
The imperishable God who dwells in heaven,
Shall utterly destroy and send thee on
To wailing; and thou shalt make recompense
415 For what thou didst unlawfully of old,
    And know at last that God's wrath came to thee.
But I to Python and to Panopeus
Of goodly towers shall go; and then shall all
Declare that 1 am a true prophetess
420 Oracle-singing, yet a messenger
With maddened soul. . . .
And when thou shalt come forward to the books
Thou shalt not tremble, and all things to come

[407. That people.--Referring to the Hebrews and their ancient Egyptian bondage.

417. Python . . . Panopeus.--Shrines of Apollo in Phocis, Greece; Python is put for Delphi, and Panopeus was not far distant.

419-429. Comp. book iii, 1008-1016, and the close of books xii and xiii.]


{p. 205}

And things that were ye shall know from our words;
425 Then none shall call the God-seized prophetess
An oracle-singer of necessity.
But now, Lord, end my very lovely strain,
Driving off frenzy and real voice inspired
And fearful madness, and give charming song.


{p. 206}

{p. 207}


{p. 208}


Introduction, 1, 2. The first Cæsars, 3-46. The mighty warrior, 47-61. The guileful king 62-87. The king of wide sway, 88-100. The dreadful and contemptible king, 101-125. The three kings, 126-130. The royal destroyer of pious men, 131-153. The princes famed for filial devotion, 154-161. The peaceful king, 162-183. The venerable king, 184-189. Another warrior king, 190-204. The Celtic warrior, 205-210. The king with the name of a sea, 211-227. The three rulers, 228-242. The wise and pious king, 243-270. The king that sought to rival Hercules, 271-289. Period of Roman dominion, 290-303. The twentieth king, 303-314. The short-lived king, 315-320. The ruler from the East, 321-328. The wily ruler from the West, 329-344. The youthful Cæsar, 345-354. A time of woes, 356-368. Only those who honor God attain happiness, 369-373. The Sibyl's prayer, 374-382.

{p. 209}


BUT come now, hear of me the mournful time
Of sons of Latium; and first of all
After the kings of Egypt were destroyed,
And the like earth had downwards borne them all,
5 And after Pella's townsman, under whom
The whole East and the rich West were cast down,
Whom Babylon dishonored, and stretched out
For Philip a dead body (not of Zeus,
Of Ammon not true things were prophesied),
10 And after that one of the race and blood
Of king Assaracus, who came from Troy,
Even he who cleft the violence of fire,
And after many lords, and after men
To Ares dear, and after the young babes,
15 The children of the beast that feeds on sheep,
And after the passing of six hundred years
And decades two of Rome's dictatorship,
The very first lord, from the western sea,
Shall be of Rome the ruler, very strong
20 And warlike, the initial of whose name
Begins the letters, and fast binding thee,
O thou of goodly fruit, he shall be full
Of man-destroying Ares; thou shalt pay

[1. This book is in great part a reproduction of the material of the fifth book, and in portions, as, for example, the first fifteen lines, a direct appropriation of the language found at the beginning of that book.

16. Six hundred.--Comp. book xi, 360.

18. The very first.--This differs from book v, 16-18, in making Augustus rather than Julius Cæsar the first imperial ruler.]


{p. 210}

The outrage which thou willing didst force on;
For he, great soul, shall be the best in wars;
25 Before him Thrace and Sicily shall crouch,
With Memphis, Memphis cast headlong to earth
By reason of the wickedness of rulers
And of a woman unenslaved who falls
Under the spear. And laws will he ordain
30 For peoples and put all things under him;
Having great fame he shall wield scepter long;
For no short time shall he last nor shall ever
Be other greater scepter-bearing king
35 Than this one, o'er the Romans, not one hour,
For God did lavish all things upon him,
And also in the noble earth he showed
Great marvelous seasons, and with them showed signs.
    But when a radiant star all like the sun
40 Shall shine forth out of heaven in the mid days,
Then shall the secret Word of the Most High
Come clothed in flesh like mortals; but with him
The might of Rome and of the illustrious Latins
Shall increase. But the mighty king himself
45 Shall under his appointed lot expire,
Transmitting to another royal power.
But after him a man, a warrior strong,
Wearing the purple mantle on his shoulders,
Shall bear rule, and with his initial be
50 Numbers three hundred, and he shall destroy
The Medes and arrow-hurling Parthians;
And he himself by his power shall subvert

[25-30. Identical with book v, 22-27, excepting the word spear in line 29.

39. Star.--The star of Bethlehem. Matt. ii, 2, 9.

41. Word.--The Logos, as in John i, 1.

50. Three hundred.--Designating Tiberius, as in book v, 30.]


{p. 211}

The high-gate city; and again shall come
Evil to Egypt and the Assyrians,
55 And to the Colchian Heniochi,
And to those by the waters of the Rhine,
The Germans dwelling o'er the sandy shores.
And he himself shall ravage afterwards
The high-gate city near Eridanus
60 Which is devising evils. And then he
    Shall forthwith fall down, struck by gleaming iron.
And afterwards shall rule another man
Weaving guile, and the initial of his name
Will show the number three; and he much gold
65 Shall gather; and with him there shall not be
Satiety of wealth, but plundering more
Recklessly he'll put all things in the earth.
But peace shall come, and Ares shall desist
From wars; and he shall make known many things
70 In divination of the greatest things,
Inquiring for the sake of means of life;
Yet there shall be on him the greatest sign:
From heaven down on the king while perishing
There shall flow many little drops of blood.
75 And many lawless things will he perform,
And put around the neck of Romans pain
Trusting in divination; and the heads
Of the assembly he will also slay.
And famine shall seize Cappadocians,
80 And Thracians, Macedonians, and Italians.

[55. Heniochi.--A Sarmatian tribe, near Colchis.

59. City.--Cremona seems intended, but the writer has here apparently confused Tiberius with Vespasian, who destroyed this city by fire.

64. Three.--The letter {Greek G}, denoting Gaius, or Caius Cæsar, commonly called Caligula, a monster of wickedness.]


{p. 212}

And Egypt shall alone feed numerous tribes;
And the king himself beguiling secretly
Shall craftily destroy the virgin maid;
But her the citizens in tearful grief
85 Shall bury; and against the king they all
Holding wrath shall abuse him craftily.
While strong Rome blossoms the strong man shall perish.
    And again there shall rule another lord
Of the number of twice ten; and then shall come
90 Unto the Sauromatians and to Thrace
And the Triballi, famed for hurling darts,
Wars and sad cares; and Roman Ares shall
Tear all in pieces. And a fearful sign
Shall there be when this man shall rule the land
95 Of the Italians and Pannonians;
And there shall be at the mid hour of day
Dark night around them and then from the heaven
A shower of stones; and thereupon the lord
And vigorous judge of the Italians
100 Shall go in Hades' halls by his own fate.
    Again another fearful man shall come
And dreadful, numbering fifty; and from all
The cities many noblest citizens
Born to wealth he shall utterly destroy,
105 A dreadful serpent breathing grievous war,
Who sometime stretching forth his hands shall make
An end of his own race and stir all things,
Acting the athlete, driving chariots,

[89. Twice ten.--Represented by Kappa, initial of Claudius (Klaudios) Comp. book v, 36.

101-114. This description of Nero is nearly identical with that of book v, 39-49.]


{p. 213}

Putting to death and daring countless things;
110 And he shall cleave the mountain of two seas,
And sprinkle it with gore. And out of sight
Shall also vanish the destructive man;
Then making himself equal unto God
Shall he return, but God will prove him naught.
115 And while he rules there shall be peace profound
And not the fears of men; and from the ocean
Flowing, and cleaving by Ausonia,
Shall come untrodden water; and around
Looking with anxious care he will appoint
120 His very many contests for the people,
And he himself an actor will contend
With voice and cithara, and sing a song
Along with harp-string; later he will flee
And leave the royal power, and perishing
125 Illy will he repay the harm he wrought.
    After him three shall rule and two of them
Shall have the number seventy by their names,
And in addition to these shall be one
Of the third letter; and one here, one there,
130 Shall perish by strong Ares' sturdy hands.
Then shall a mighty ruler of men come,
Destroyer of the pious, strong-minded man,
Spear-wielding Ares, whom seven times the tenth
Shall point out clearly; he shall overthrow
135 Ph�nicia and destroy Assyria.
A sword shall come upon the sacred land
Of Solyma even to the utmost bend
Of the Tiberian sea. Alas, alas,
Ph�nicia, O how much shalt thou endure,
140 Grief-laden with thy trophies tightly bound,

[126-131. Comp. book v, 50-53.]


{p. 214}

And every nation shall upon thee tread.
Alas, alas, to the Assyrians
Shalt thou come and shalt see young children serve
Among unfriendly men and with the wives,
145 And every means of life and wealth shall perish;
For on thee God's wrath causing grievous woe
Shall come, because they did not keep his law,
But served all idols with unseemly arts.
And many wars and fights and homicides,
150 Famines, and pestilences, and confusion
Of cities shall be. But the reverend king
Of mighty soul shall at the end of life
Himself fall by a strong necessity.
    Then shall two other chief men, cherishing
155 The memory of their father, great king, rule,
And in contending warriors glory much.
    And (one) of these shall be a noble man
And lordly, whose name shall three hundred hold;
Yet he shall also fall by treachery,
160 Not in the warring companies stretched out,
But struck in Rome's plain by the two-edged brass.
    And after him a powerful warlike man
Of the letter four shall rule the mighty realm,
Whom all men on the boundless earth shall love,
165 And then shall there be over all the world
A rest from war. Yet all, from west to east,
Shall serve him willingly, not by constraint,
And cities shall be under his control
And of themselves be subject. For to him
170 Shall heavenly Sabaoth much glory bring,
The imperishable God who dwells on high.

[154. Two other.--Titus and Domitian, who seem to be also the ones designated by three hundred and four in the lines immediately following.]


{p. 215}

And then shall famine waste Pannonia
And all the Celtic land, and shall destroy
One here, another there. And there shall be
175 For the Assyrians, whom Orontes laves,
Structures and ornament and what may seem
Yet greater anywhere. And the great king
Shall have a fondness for these and love them
Above the others far (and there are many);
180 But he himself shall in mid breast receive
A great wound, and seized at the end of life
Craftily, by a friend, in hallowed house
Of the great royal hall shall he fall down
Wounded; and after him shall be a ruler
185 Numbering fifty, venerable man,
Who above measure shall destroy from Rome
Many inhabitants and citizens;
But he shall rule few; for in Hades' halls
For a former king's sake he shall wounded go.
190    But then another king, a warrior strong,
Who has three hundred for initial sign,
Shall bear rule and lay waste the Thracians' land
Which is much varied, and he shall destroy
The powerful Germans dwelling by the Rhine
195 And the Iberians that shoot the arrow.
Moreover, there shall be unto the Jews
Another greatest evil, and with them
Bedewed with murder shall Ph�nicia drink;
And the walls of the Assyrians shall fall
200 By many warriors. And again a man
Destroying life shall waste them utterly.

[179. The reading of the Greek text of this line is corrupt and doubtful.

185. Fifty.--Designating Nerva.

190. Another.--Trajan. Comp. lines 190-210 with book v, 58-65.]


{p. 216}

And then shall threatenings of the mighty God,
Earthquakes, and great plagues be on every land,
Untimely snow-storms, and strong thunderbolts.
205 And then the great king, mountain-roaming Celt,
Shall for the toil of Ares not escape
A fate unseemly, hastening eagerly
After the strife of battle, but worn out
Shall he be; foreign dust shall hide his corpse,
210 But dust that of Nemea's flower has name.
And after him another shall arise,
A silver-headed man, and of the sea
Shall be his name, and of four syllables,
Ares himself first of the alphabet
215 Presenting. Temples he shall dedicate
In all the cities, watching o'er the world
By his own foot, and bringing gifts away,
Both gold and amber much will he supply
For many; and magicians' mysteries
220 All will he from the sanctuaries keep;
And what is much more excellent for men
Will he place . . . ruling . . . thunderbolt;
And great peace shall be when he shall be lord;
And he shall be a minstrel of rich voice
225 And a participant in lawful things,
And a just minister of what is right;
But he shall fall, unloosing his own fate.
    After him three shall rule, and the third late
Shall rule, three decades keeping; yet again

[211. Another.--Hadrian, Greek {Greek ?Adriano's}, a word of four syllables. Comp. book v, 65-71, and viii, 66-83.

222. Will he place.--Lacuna in the original text here leaves it impossible to complete the sentence, or even indicate the thought with any certainty.

228. Three.--The Antonines. See book v, 72, and viii, 85.]


{p. 217}

230 Of the first unit shall another king
Bear the rule; and another after him
Shall be commander, of tens numbering seven;
And their names shall be honored; and they shall
Themselves destroy men marked by many a spot,
235 Britons and mighty Moors and Dacians
And the Arabians. But when the last
Of these shall perish, fearful Ares then,
He that before was wounded, shall again
Against the Parthians come, and utterly
240 Shall he destroy them. And then shall the king
Himself fall by a treacherous wild beast
Training his hands--excuse itself of death.
    And after him another man shall rule,
In many wise things skilled, and he shall have
245 Himself the name of the first mighty king
Of the first unit; and he shall be good
And mighty; and for the illustrious Latins
Shall this strong one accomplish many things
In memory of his father; and forthwith
250 Shall he adorn the walls of Rome with gold
And silver and ivory; and he shall go
Within the market places and the temples
With a strong man. And sometime direst wound
Shall shoot up like ears in the Roman wars;

[230. First unit.--A, here denoting Antoninus Pius.

232. Tens numbering seven.--O, Greek initial of Verus ({Greek Ou?h~ros}).

235. Moors.--The Mauri, or Mauritanians, on the northwestern coast of Africa.

236-242. The statements of these lines are inexplicably obscure. Dire war was carried on with the Parthians under command of L. Verus, but the statements of lines 240-242 are not applicable to any of the Antonines, either literally or metaphorically.

246. First unit.--Designating Aurelius-that is, Marcus Aurelius.]


{p. 218}

255 And he shall sack the whole land of the Germans,
When a great sign of God shall be displayed
From heaven, and shall for the king's piety
Save men in brazen armor and distress;
For God who is in heaven and hears all things
260 Shall wet him with unseasonable rain
When he prays. But when these things are fulfilled
Of which I spoke, then with the rolling years
Shall also the renowned dominion cease
Of the great pious king; and at the end
265 Of his life, having then proclaimed his son
Succeeding to the kingdom, he shall die
By his own lot and leave the royal power
Unto the ruler with the golden hair,
Who with two tens in his name, born a king
270 From the race of his father, shall receive
Dominion. This man with superior powers
Of mind shall grasp all things; and he shall rival
Great-hearted overweening Hercules,
And be the best in mighty arms and have
275 The greatest fame in chase and horsemanship;
But he shall live in peril all alone.
And while this man is ruler there shall be
A fearful sign: there shall be a great mist
Then in the plain of Rome, so that a man

[256. Great sign.--The marvelous thunder-storm, by aid of which the emperor and his army gained a great victory over the Quadi, and which the Romans ascribed to Jupiter Tonans, who heard Aurelius's prayer, but which the Christians of his army affirmed was in answer to their own prayers.

265. Son.--Commodus, who succeeded him.

269. Two tens.--Represented by {Greek K}, Greek initial of Commodus, specially famous for his skill with the bow and other arms, and boasting himself to be a rival of Hercules.]

{p. 219}

280 May not discern his neighbor. And then wars
Shall come to pass along with mournful cares,
When the king himself, exceeding mad with love,
And weakly, shall come in the marriage-bed
Shaming his youthful offspring, infamous
285 For inconsiderate wedding-songs impure.
And then, in helpless loneliness concealed,
The mighty baneful man held under wrath
Shall in a bath-room suffer evil plight,
Man-slaying Ares bound by treacherous fate.
290    Know then the fatal lot of Rome is near
Because of zeal for power; and by the hands
Of Ares many in Palladian halls
Shall perish. And then Rome shall be bereft
And shall repay all things, which she alone
295 Before accomplished by her many wars.
    My heart laments, my heart within me mourns;
For from the time when thy first king, proud Rome,
Gave good law to thee and to men on earth,
And the Word of the great immortal God
300 Came to the earth, until the nineteenth reign
Shall have been finished Cronos shall complete
Two hundred years, twice twenty and twice two,
With six months added; then the twentieth king,
When smitten with sharp brass he with the sword
305 Shall in thy houses pour out blood, shall make
Thy race a widow, having in his name

[288. Bath-room.--Commodus was assassinated by suffocation in a bath room.

300. Nineteenth.--That is, the nineteenth reign reckoning from Augustus. Comp. line 303.

302. This computation is obviously erroneous, for Commodus was assassinated A. D. 192, to which if we add the thirteen years of Augustus before the date of our era we have only two hundred and five years.]


{p. 220}

The letter which the number eighty shows,
And burdened with old age; but he shall make
A widow of thee in a little time,
310 When many warriors, many overthrows,
And murders, homicides, and deadly feuds
And miseries of conquests there shall be,
And in confusion many a horse and man
Shall, cleft by force of hands, fall in the plain.
315    And then another man shall rule, and have
The sign of his name in the number ten;
And many sorrows shall he bring to pass,
And groans, and he shall plunder many men;
But he himself shall be short-lived and fall
320 By mighty Ares, struck by gleaming iron.
    Another, numbering fifty, then shall come,
A warrior roused up by the East for rule;
A warlike Ares he shall come to Thrace;
And he shall flee thereafter and shall come
325 Into the land of the Bithynians
And the Cilician plain; but brazen Ares
The life-destroyer shall with speedy stroke
Utterly spoil him in the Assyrian fields.
    And then again there shall rule craftily
330 A man skilled in fraud, full of various wiles,
Roused up by the West, and his name shall have
The number of two hundred. And again

[307. Eighty.--Represented by {Greek P}, initial of Pertinax, who was sixty-seven years old when made emperor and lived only eighty-seven days thereafter.

316. Ten.--{Greek I}, here referring to Julianus (Didius Julianus), who after the murder of Pertinax made the highest bid for the empire, but reigned only sixty-six days.

321. Fifty.--{Greek N}, designating Niger, who claimed the empire on the death of Pertinax and was supported by the East, but being repeatedly defeated by the troops of his rival, Severus, he fled for Parthia, but was overtaken and slain.

232. Two hundred.--Represented by {Greek S} and designating Septimius Severus.]


{p. 221}

Another sign: he shall contrive a war
For royal power against Assyrian men,
335 Raise a whole army and subject all things.
And he shall rule the Romans with his might;
But there is much contrivance in his heart,
Impulse of baleful Ares; serpent dire,
And violent in war, who shall destroy
340 All high-born men upon the earth, and slay
The noble for their wealth, and, robber like,
Stripping all earth while men are perishing,
He shall go to the East; and all deceit
Shall be to him . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
345 Then shall a youthful Cæsar with him reign
Having the name of a puissant lord
Of Macedon, by the first letter known;
Bringing in broils around him he shall flee
The hard deception of the coming king
350 In the bosom of the army; but the one
Who rules by his barbaric usages,
A temple-guard, shall perish suddenly
Slain by strong Ares with the gleaming iron;
Him even dead shall people tear in pieces.
355    And then the kings of Persia shall rise up;
And . . . Roman Ares Roman lord.

[347. First letter.--Alexander Severus is denoted, his name reminding the writer of Alexander the Great of Macedon.

352. Temple-guard.--Heliogabalus (or Elagabalus) seems to be here referred to, who was in early youth trained as a priest In the Temple of the Sun at Emesa, and who, after he was made emperor, was wont to wear his pontifical dress and tiara as high-priest of the sun. But he came before, not after, Alexander Severus.

355. Kings of Persia.--The dynasty of the Sassanidæ, or kings of the later Persian Empire, founded by Ardechir Babegan, commonly called Artaxerxes.]


{p. 222}

And Phrygia shall with earthquakes groan again
Wretched. Alas, alas, Laodicea;
Alas, alas, sad Hierapolis;
360 For you first once the yawning earth received.
Of Rome . . . immense Aus . . .
All things as many . . .
Shall wail . . . while men are perishing
In the hands of Ares; and the lot of men
365 Shall be bad; but then by the eastern way
Hastening to look down upon Italy,
Stripped naked he shall fall by gleaming iron,
Acquiring hatred for his mother's sake.
    For seasons are of all sorts; each holds back
370 The other . . . gleaming and this not at once all know;
For all things shall not be (the lot) of all,
But only those shall be for happiness
Who honor God and shun idolatry.
And now, Lord of the world, of every realm
375 Unfeigned immortal King--for thou didst put
Into my heart the oracle divine--
Make thou the word cease; for I do not know
What things I say; for thou art in me he
That speaketh all these things. Now let me rest
380 A little and put from my heart aside
The charming song; for weary is my heart
Foretelling with divine words royal power.

[360. The verses which follow are so fragmentary that no certain meaning can be made out of them. Lines 365-368 appear to refer to the death of Alexander Severus.

374-382. Comp. conclusion of books xi and xiii.]


{p. 223}


{p. 224}


Introduction, 1-8. A time of wars and woes, 9-16. Persian insurrection and the Roman soldier king 17-28. The warrior out of Syria and his son, 29-47. Persian war and the grain-producing land of Nile, 48-65. Another song for Alexandrians announced, 66-71. Wrath on Assyrians and Ægeans, 72-78. Wretched Antioch, 79-84. Cities of Arabia admonished, 85-97. Wars and treachery, 98-106. Roman ruler from Dacia, 107-116. The Syrian robber, 117-135. The Gallic king and dreadful woes, 136-156. Wretched Syria, 157-165. Wretched Antioch, 165-171. Woes on many cities of Asia, 172-189. Murders and wars, 190-208. Allegory of the bull, dragon, stag, lion, and goat, 209-230. Prayer of the Sibyl, 231-232.

{p. 225}


    GREAT word divine he bids me sing again--
The immortal holy God imperishable,
Who gives to kings their power and takes away,
And who determined for them time both ways,
5 Both that of life and that of baneful death.
And these the heavenly God enjoins on me
Unwilling to bring tidings unto kings
Concerning royal power. . . .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
And spear impetuous Ares; and by him
10 All perish, child and the old man who gives
To the assemblies laws; and many wars
And battles there shall be, and homicides,
Famines and pestilences, earthquake-shocks
And mighty thunderbolts, and many ways
15 Of the Assyrians over all the world,
And pillaging and robbery of temples.
    And then an insurrection there shall be
Of the industrious Persians, and with them
Indians, Armenians, and Arabians;
20 And unto these again a Roman king

[1. The twelfth and thirteenth books are as closely connected as are the first and second, and like them are probably the work of one author. After the words "royal power," in the eighth line, there is a noticeable defect in the text.

9. Impetuous Ares.--Reference probably to Maximinus.

18. Persians.--The Sassanidæ, as in book xi, 356.

20. Roman king.--Gordian III, who defeated the Persian army under {footnote p. 226} Sapor on the banks of the Chaboras, a branch of the Euphrates, and was soon afterward killed by Philippus (M. Julius Philippus), who succeeded to the empire.]


{p. 226}

Insatiate in war and leading on
His spearmen against the Assyrians
Shall draw near, a young Ares, and as far
As the deep-flowing silvery Euphrates
25 Shall warlike Ares stretch his deadly spear
Because of . . .
For by his friend betrayed he shall fall down
    In the ranks smitten by the gleaming iron.
And straightway coming out of Syria
30 There shall a purple-loving warrior rule,
Terror of Ares, and also his son,
A Cæsar, shall even all the earth oppress;
And the one name is unto both of them:
On first and twentieth there are to be placed
35 Five hundred. But when these in wars shall rule,
And laws shall be enacted, there shall be
A little rest from war, not for long time;
But when a wolf shall to a flock of sheep
Pledge solemn oaths against the white-toothed dogs,
40 Then, having misled, he will tear in pieces
The woolly sheep, and cast his oaths aside;

[26. Here the Greek text is somewhat corrupt and uncertain.

29. Out of Syria.--The reference is to M. Julius Philippus, who was called the Arabian because of his birth in Bostra, Syria, somewhere to the south of Damascus.

31. His son.--Philippus associated his son, of the same name, with him in the empire.

34, 35. The Greek letter for five hundred is {Greek F}, initial of Philippus. The "one and twenty" is to be understood as denoting the initials (A=1 and K=20) of Augustus, the title assumed by the father, and Cæsar (Kaisar), the name of his son.

38, 39. Comp. book xiv, 448, 449.]


{p. 227}

And then shall there be an unlawful strife
Of haughty kings in wars, and Syrians
Shall perish terribly, and Indians
45 And the Armenians and Arabians,
The Persians and the Babylonians
Shall one another by hard fights destroy.
    But when a Roman Ares shall destroy
A German Ares ruinous of life
50 Triumphing on the ocean, then is war
Of many years for haughty Persian men,
But for them there shall not be victory;
For as a fish swims not upon the point
Of a high many-ridged and windy rock
55 Precipitant, nor does a tortoise fly,
Nor does an eagle into water come,
So also are the Persians in that day
Far off from victory, while the fond nurse
Of the Italians, in the plain of Nile
60 Reposing by the sacred water's side,
Sends forth the appointed lot to seven-hilled Rome.
Now these things are; and while the name of Rome
Shall hold in numbers of revolving time,
So many years shall the great noble city
65 Of Macedon's lord, willing, deal out corn.
    Another much-distressing pain I'll sing
For Alexandrians who are destroyed
By reason of the strife of shameful men.
Strong men who were aforetime terrible

[48. Roman Ares.--Comp. book xii, 355, 356.

58, 59. Nurse of the Italians.--Alexandria, as representing Egypt and source of the grain supply of Italy and the Roman world.

62. Name of Rome.--Comp. book viii, 195, and the note on the numerical value of the letters of the name.]


{p. 228}

70 Being then impotent shall pray for peace
By reason of the wickedness of chiefs.
    And there shall come wrath of the mighty God
On the Assyrians and a mountain stream
Shall utterly destroy them, which shall come
75 To Cæsar's city and harm Canaanites.
    The Pyramus shall irrigate the city
Of Mopsus; then shall the Ægæans fall
Because of strife of very mighty men.
    Thee, wretched Antioch, shall Ares strong
80 Leave not while round thee an Assyrian war
Is pressing, for a chief of men shall dwell
Within thy houses who shall fight with all
The arrow-hurling Persians, he himself
Having obtained of Romans royal power.
85    Now, cities of Arabians, deck yourselves
With temples and with places for the race,
And with broad markets and with splendid wealth,
With images, gold, silver, ivory;
And thou who art of all most fond of learning,
90 Bostra and Philippopolis, that thou may'st come
Into great sorrow; and the laughing spheres
Of the zodiacal vault, Aries,
Taurus, and Gemini, and as many stars
Ruling hours as with them in heaven appear

[15. Cæsar's city.--Perhaps referring to Cæsarea Philippi.

76. Pyramus.--River of Cilicia.

77. Mopsus.--More commonly called Mopsuestia, a town situated on the Pyramus. Ægæans.--Inhabitants of the city of Ægæ, near the mouth of this same river.

79. Wretched Antioch.--Comp. line 165, and book iv, 181.

90. Bostra.--Situated some fifty miles to the south of Damascus.

91-95. These allusions to the constellations may imply notable devotion to astrology on the part of the people of Arabia.]


{p. 229}

95 Shall benefit thee not; thou, wretched one,
Hast trusted many, when that very man
Shall afterwards bring near that which is thine.
    And now for Alexandrians loving war
Will I sing wars most dreadful; and much people
100 Shall perish while their cities are destroyed
By citizens against each other matched
And fighting for the sake of hateful strife,
And round them horrid Ares, rushing on,
Shall cease from war. And then one of great soul
105 Along with his own mighty son shall fall
By treachery on the older king's account.
    And after him there shall rule powerfully
O'er fertile Rome another great-souled lord
Versed in war, coming from the Dacians
110 And numbering three hundred; he shall have
Also the letter of the number four,
And many shall be slay, and then the king
Shall all his brothers and his friends destroy
Even while the kings are cut off, and straightway
115 Shall there be fights and pillagings and murders
Suddenly on the older king's account.
Then, when a wily man shall summoned come,

[104-106. The father and son here referred to are the same as those described in lines 29-33.

107-112. This seems to describe Trajan of Pannonia, who is better known as Decius. Sent by the emperor Philip against M�sia, the troops proclaimed him emperor, and he exercised the imperial power for about two years. The names Trajan and Decius are represented by their initial letters, which are the Greek numerals respectively for three hundred and four.

116. Comp. line 106 above. The older king is here apparently intended for Philip.

117. Wily man.--Referring perhaps to Cyriades, one of the so-called "thirty tyrants" who arose in various parts of the empire about this time.]


{p. 230}

A robber and a Roman not well known
From Syria appearing, he by guile
120 Into a race of Cappadocian men
Shall drive through and, besieging, shall press hard,
Insatiate of war. And then for thee,
Tyana and Mazaka, there shall be
A capture; thou shalt be enslaved and put
125 Upon thy neck again a fearful yoke.
Arid Syria shall mourn for men destroyed
And then Selenian goddess shall not guard
Her holy city. But when he by flight
From Syria shall before the Romans come,
130 And shall pass over the Euphrates' streams,
No longer like the Romans, but like fierce
Dart-shooting Persians, then, fulfilling fate,
Down shall the ruler of the Italians fall
In the ranks smitten by the gleaming iron;
135 And close upon him shall his children perish.
    But when another king of Rome shall reign,
Then also to the Romans there shall come
Unstable nations, on the walls of Rome
Destructive Ares with his bastard son;
140 Then also shall be famines, pestilence,
And mighty thunderbolts, and dreadful wars,

[123. Tyana and Mazaka.--Chief cities of Cappadocia.

127. Selenian goddess.--Goddess of the moon. Her holy city maybe understood as Seleucia on the Tigris, once noted for the worship of the moon.

133. Ruler of the Italians.--Decius Trajan, described in lines 107-112 above, who was smitten down under a shower of darts while fighting the Goths.

136. Another king.--Gallus Trebonianus, who was proclaimed emperor by the legions on the death of Decius.

139. Bastard son.--Reference to Volusianus, son of Gallus.

140. Comp. lines 11-14 above, and book xii, 149, 150, 202-204.]


{p. 231}

And anarchy in cities suddenly;
And the Syrians shall perish fearfully;
For there shall come upon them the great wrath
145 Of the Most High and straightway an uprising
of the industrious Persians, and mixed up
With Persians shall the Syrians destroy
The Romans, but by the divine decree
They shall not make a conquest of their laws.
150    Alas, how many with their goods shall flee
Front the East unto men of other tongues
Alas, the dark blood of how many men
The land shall drink! For that shall be a time
In which the living uttering o'er the dead
155 A blessing shall by word of mouth pronounce
Death beautiful and death shall flee from them.
And now for thee, O wretched Syria,
I weep in sorrow; for to thee shall come
A dreadful blow from arrow-shooting men,
160 Which thou didst never think would come to thee.
Also the fugitive of Rome shall come
Bearing a great spear, Crossing on his way
Euphrates with his many myriads,
And he shall burn thee, and dispose all things
165 In a bad way. O wretched Antioch,
And thee a city they shall never call,
When by thy lack of prudence thou shalt fall
Under the spears; and stripping off all things
And making naked he shall leave thee thus
170 Coverless, houseless; and when anyone

[156. Comp. books ii, 376, and viii, 468.

158-160. Comp. book iii, 387-389.

161. The fugitive.--Nero. Comp. book v, 118-180.

165-168. Comp. book iv, 181-183.]


{p. 232}

Sees he shall of a sudden weep for thee.
And thou shalt be, O Hierapolis,
A triumph, also thou, Ber�a; weep
At Chalcis over lately wounded sons.
175    Alas, how many by the steep high mount
Of Casius shall dwell and by Amanus
How many, and how many Lycus laves,
And Marsyas as many and Pyramus
The silver-eddying; for even to the bounds
180 Of Asia they shall treasure up their spoils,
Make cities naked, and bear idols off
And cast down temples on much-nourishing earth.
And sometime to Gauls and Pannonians,
To Mysians and Bithynians there shall be
185 Great sorrow when a warrior shall have come.
    O Lycians, Lycians, there shall come a wolf
To lick thy blood, when Sannians shall come
With city-wasting Ares and the Carpians
Shall draw near with Ausonians to fight.
190    And then by his own shameless recklessness
The bastard son shall put the king to death,
And he himself for his impiety
Shall straightway perish. And again shall rule
After him yet another whose name shows

[172-174. Hierapolis . . . Ber�a . . . Chalcis.--Cities of Syria, eastward from Antioch.

176. Casius.--Rising to the south of Antioch. Amanus.--A mountain range north of Antioch and overlooking the valley of Pyramus.

177. Lycus.--River of Pontus.

178. Marsyas.--A river of Syria, a branch of the Orontes.

183-189. The mention of these widely separated provinces depicts the broad range of the desolating wars of this period.

191. Bastard son.--The same as in line 139.]


{p. 233}

195 First letter; but he too shall quickly fall
By mighty Ares, struck by gleaming iron.
    And yet again the world shall be confused,
Men perishing by pestilence and war.
And the Persians maddened by the Ausonians
200 Shall in the toil of Ares yet again
Force their way. And then there shall be a flight
Of Romans; and thereafter there shall come
The priest heard of all round, sent by the sun,
From Syria appearing and by guile
205 Shall he accomplish all things. And then too
The city of the sun shall offer prayer;
And round about her shall the Persians dare
The fearful threatenings of the Ph�nicians.
    But when two chiefs, men swift in war, shall rule
210 The very mighty Romans, one of whom
Shall have the number seventy, and the other
The number three, even then the stately bull,
That digs the earth with his hoofs and stirs up
The dust with his two horns, shall many ills
215 Upon a dark-skinned reptile perpetrate--
Which draws a trail with his scales; and besides,

[195. First letter.--Evidently denoting Æmilianus, who was himself in turn cut off before he had reigned four months.

199. Persians . . . again.--Under Sapor, who captured Valerian, put the Romans to flight, and spread destruction over Syria and Cappadocia.

203. Priest.--Odenatus.

206. City of the sun.--Here referring to Palmyra.

211. Seventy . . . three.--The first is represented by {Greek O}, initial of the Greek form of the name Valerian [{Greek Ou?alh~rianos}], and the second by {Greek G}, initial of Gallienus.

212. Bull.--Here representing Valerian, who dealt out many ills to the Persians, but was himself destroyed.

215. Dark-skinned reptile.--Sapor, King of the Persians.]


{p. 234}

Himself shall perish. And yet after him
Again shall come another fair-horned stag,
Hungry upon the mountains, striving hard
220 To feed upon the venom-shedding beasts
Then shall a dread and fearful lion come,
Sent from the sun, and breathing forth much flame.
And then too by his shameless recklessness
Shall he destroy the well-horned rapid stag,
225 And the most mighty venom-shedding beast
So dread, that sends forth many piping sounds,
And the he-goat that sideways moves along,
And after him fame follows; he himself
Sound, unhurt, unapproachable, shall rule
230 The Romans, and the Persians shall be weak.
    But, Lord, King of the world, O God, restrain
The song of our words, and give charming song.

[218. Stag.--Macrianus, the Roman general.

221. Lion.--Odenatus.

225. Most mighty . . . beast.--The Persians.

227. He-goat.--Reference doubtful. Alexandre suggests Balista, one of the so-called "thirty tyrants," who made pretension to the throne in the reign of Gallienus. Comp. Dan. viii, 5, for the same figure.

228. He himself.--Odenatus.

231, 232. Comp. conclusion of books xi and xii.]


{p. 235}


{p. 236}


Warning against the lust of power, 1-14. The bull-destroyer, 16-22. The man known by the number one, 23-27. Two rulers of the number forty, 28-34. Young ruler of the number seventy, 115-55. Ruler of the number forty, 66-61. Wolf from the West, 62-65. Ruler known by the letter A, 66-73. Three kings of haughty soul, of the numbers one, thirty, and three hundred, 74-93. King known by the number three, 94-98. The old king of the number four, 99-101. Wars and woes on various peoples, 102-120. The venerable king of the number five, 121-134. Two kings of the numbers three hundred and three, 115-147. The king of many schemes, 148-159. King of the number three hundred, 160-172. King like a wild beast, of the number thirty, 173-188. Ruler of the number four, 189-200. Great sign from heaven, 201-205. Ruler out of Asia, of the number fifty, 206-216. Ruler out of Egypt, 217-223. The man of potent signs and the peaceful king of the number five, 224-245. Many tyrants and the holy king known by the letter A, 246-261. Burning and restoration of Rome, 262-271. Woo for various Greeks, 272-278. The fratricide, 279-283. The fierce king of the number eighty and the terrors of his time, 284-508. Many obtain royal power, 309-312. Three kings and their destruction, 313-329. Many spearmen, 330-335. God's judgment on the shameless, 336-343. Rome's wretched plight and the last race of Latin kings, 344-358. Egypt and her prudent king, 359-375. The Alexandrians, 376-381. Fearful nameless woe, 382-398. The Sicilians, 399-406. The lion and lioness, 407-418. The dragon and the ram, 419-425. Second war in Egypt, 426-433. Destructive slaughter, 434-447. The Messianic era, 448-468.

{p. 237}


    O MEN, why do ye vainly think on things
Too lofty, as if ye immortal were?
And ye are ruling but a little time,
And over mortals all desire to reign,
5 Not understanding that God himself hates
The lust of rule, and most of all things hates
Insatiate kings fearful in wickedness,
And over them he stirs up what is dark;
Wherefore, instead of good works and just thoughts,
10 Ye all choose for your garments purple robes,
Desiring wretched fights and homicides
Them God imperishable who dwells in heaven
Shall make short-lived, destroy them utterly,
And overthrow one here, another there.
15    But when there shall a bull-destroyer come

[1. This book is the most obscure and inexplicable of the entire collection. Its date and authorship are quite uncertain. After the opening lines against the lust of power (1-14) there appears to be an allusion to the closing part of the preceding book; but the writer goes on to designate a long succession of emperors and conquerors, giving the initial letter of most of the names, as in previous books, and otherwise describing them, yet so inconsistently with what we know of history as to leave it impossible to identify with any certainty the individuals and events intended. Ewald has attempted to identify most of these names with known characters of Roman and Byzantine history (Abhandlung, pp. 99-111), but the results of his study have commanded no following, In the following notes we insert for the benefit of the reader his more plausible conjectures, but with no conviction that they represent the persons intended by the author.

15. Bull-destroyer.--That is, the lion mentioned in book xiii, 221, symbolizing Odenatus.]


{p. 238}

Trusting in his own might, thick-haired and grim,
And shall destroy all, he shall also tear
Shepherds in pieces, and no victory
Shall be theirs unless soon, with speed of feet
20 Pursuing eagerly through wooded glens,
Young dogs shall meet in conflict; for a dog
Pursued the lion which destroys the shepherds.
    And then there shall be a lord confident
In his might, and named with four syllables,
25 And shown forth clearly from the number one;
But him shall brazen Ares quickly slay
Because of conflict with insatiate men.
    Then shall two other princely men bear rule,
Both of the number forty; and with them
30 Shall great peace be in the world and to all
The people law and right; but them in turn
Shall men with gleaming helmet, needing gold
And silver, impiously put to death
For these things, catching them by their deft plans.
35    And then again a dreadful lord shall rule,
Young, fighting hand to hand, whose name shall show
The number seventy, life-destroying, fierce,
Who to the army basely shall betray
The people of Rome, slain by wickedness
40 Because of wrath of kings, and he shall hurl

[18. Shepherds.--Chiefs of the various tribes and nations whom Odenatus subdued.

21. A dog.--Mæonius, the assassin of Odenatus. Comp. book viii, 208.

24. Four syllables.--Aureolus.

29. Both . . . forty.--Macrianus, father and son of same name. But from this point onward the identification of the persons intended is purely conjectural and uncertain.

37. Seventy-Represented by O, and possibly denoting the Achaian pretender, Valens.]


{p. 239}

Down every city and hut of the Latins.
And Rome is no more to be seen or heard,
Such as of late another traveler saw;
For all these things shall in the ashes lie,
45 Nor shall there be a sparing of her works;
For hurtful he himself shall come from heaven,
God the immortal from the sky shall send
Lightnings and thunderbolts upon mankind;
And some he will destroy by lightnings burned,
50 And others with his mighty thunderbolts.
And Rome's strong children and the famous Latins
Shall then the shameless dreadful ruler slay.
Around him dead the dust shall not lie light,
But he shall be a sport for dogs and birds
55 And wolves, for he a martial people spoiled.
    After him, numbering forty, there shall rule
Another, famous Parthian-destroyer,
German-destroyer, putting down dread beasts
That kill men, which upon the ocean's streams
60 And the Euphrates press continuous on.
And then shall Rome again be as before.
    But when there comes a great wolf in thy plains,
A ruler marching onward from the West,
Then shall he under powerful Ares die
65 Being cleft asunder by the piercing brass.
    And o'er the very mighty Romans then
Shall there rule yet again another man
Of great heart, from. Assyria brought to light,
Of the first letter, and he shall himself
70 By means of wars put all things under him,

[67. Parthian-destroyer.--Macrinus (M = 40).

62. Wolf.--Reference, perhaps, to Quintilius, the brother of Claudius.

66-73. Aurelian.]


{p. 240}

And by his armies at once power display
And lay down laws; but him shall brazen Ares
Quickly destroy by treacherous armies falling.
    After him three of haughty heart shall rule,
75 One having the first number, one three tens,
And the other with three hundred shall partake,
Cruel, who gold and silver in much fire
Shall melt in statues of gods made with hands,
And to the armies they, equipped for war,
80 Will, for the sake of victory, moneys give,
Dividing many costly things and goods;
And in like manner, striving eagerly
After power, they shall barm disastrously
The arrow-shooting Parthians of the deep
85 And swift Euphrates, and the hostile Medes,
And the soft-haired warlike Massagetæ
And Persians also, quiver-bearing men.
But when the king shall his own fate unloose
Leaving unto his sons more fit for arms
90 The royal scepter and entreating right,
Then they, forgetful of their father's words
And having their hands all prepared for war,
Shall rush in conflict for the royal power.
    And then another lord, of the third number,
95 Shall rule alone, and smitten by a sword
Shall quickly see his fate. Then after him
Shall many perish at each other's hands,
Being very valiant for the royal power.
    Moreover a great-hearted one shall rule

[74. Three.--Their names beginning with A, L (A = 30), and T (= 800), the reference might be to Achilleus, whom the people of Palmyra invested with the purple, and Lollian and Tetricus, who, however, belonged to the western provinces.]


{p. 241}

100 The very mighty Romans, an old lord,
Of the number four, and manage all things well.
    And then upon Ph�nicia shall come war
And conflict, when there shall come nations near
Of arrow-shooting Persians; ah, how many
105 Shall before men of barbarous speech fall down!
Sidon and Tripolis and Berytus
The loudly-boasting shall behold each other
Amid the blood and bodies of the dead.
    Wretched Laodicea, round thyself
110 Thou shalt a great and unsuccessful war
Stir up through the impiety of men,
    Ah, hapless Tyrians, ye shall gather in
An evil harvest; when in the day-time
The sun that lighteth mortals shall withdraw,
115 And his disk not appear, and drops of blood
Thick and abundant shall flow down from heaven
Upon the earth. And then the king shall die,
Betrayed by his companions. After him
Shall many shameless leaders still promote
120 The wicked strife and one another kill.
    And then shall there a reverend ruler be,
Of much skill, with a name that numbers five,
Confiding in great armies, whom mankind
Will fondly love because of royal power;
125 And having the good name he shall thereto
Add by good deeds. But while he reigns there shall
'Twixt Taurus and snow-clad Amanus be
A fearful sign. From the Cilician land
A city new and beautiful and strong

[101. Four.--Possibly denoting Diocletian.

113-117. Comp. book ii, 21; iii, 991-1002; xii, 72-74.

122. Five.--The letter E, denoting Eugenius.]


{p. 242}

130 Shall by the deep strong rivers be destroyed.
And in Propontis and in Phrygia
Shall there be many earthquakes. And the king
Of great renown shall under his own lot
By wasting deadly sickness lose his life.
135    And after him shall rule two lordly kings,
One numbering three hundred, and one three;
And many shall he utterly destroy
In defense of the seven-hill city Rome,
And for the sake of powerful sovereignty.
140 And then shall evil to the senate come,
Nor shall it from the angry king escape
While he holds wrath against it. And a sign
Shall then appear to all men upon earth;
And fuller shall the rains be, snow and hail
145 Shall ruin field-fruits o'er the boundless earth.
But they shall fall in wars, slain by strong Ares
In behalf of the war for the Italians.
    And then again another king shall rule,
Full of devices, gathering all the army,
150 And for the sake of war distributing
Money to those with brazen breastplate clad;
But thereupon shall Nilus, rich in corn,
Beyond the Libyan mainland irrigate
For two years the dark soil and fruitful land
155 Of Egypt; but all things shall famine seize
And war and robbers, murders, homicides.
And many cities shall by warlike men
Be thrown down headlong by the army's hands;
And he, betrayed, shall fall by gleaming iron.

[136. Three hundred.--Represented by T, and, according to Ewald's conjecture, here designating Theodosius by his Latin initial. Three.--{Greek G}, initial of Gratian.]

{p. 243}

160    After him one whose number is three hundred
Shall rule the Romans, very mighty men;
He shall stretch forth a life-destroying spear
Against the Armenians and the Parthians,
The Assyrians and the Persians firm in war.
165 And then anew shall a creation be
Of splendidly built Rome with gold and amber
And silver and ivory in order raised;
And in her many people shall abide
From all the East and from the prosperous West;
170 And the king shall make other laws for her;
But then shall death destructive and strong fate
In turn receive him in a boundless isle.
    And there shall rule another, of ten triads,
A man like a wild beast, fair-haired and grim,
175 Who shall be a descendant of the Greeks.
And then a city of Molossian Phthia
Feeding much, and Larissa shall be bent
Down on Peneus's overhanging brows;
And then too in horse-feeding Scythia
180 Shall be an insurrection. And dire war
Shall be hard by the waters of the lake
Mæotis at streams by the utmost mouth
Of the fount of watery Phasis on the mead
Of asphodel; and there shall many fall
185 By powerful warriors. Ah, how many men
Shall Ares with strong brass receive! And then,

[160. Three Hundred.--If the T of line 136 could represent Theodosius, this would most naturally refer to Theodosius the Younger, whom Gratian invested with the purple.

173. Ten triads.--A, initial of Leo, who was acknowledged emperor of the East in A. D. 457.]


{p. 244}

Having destroyed a Scythian race, the king
Shall die in his own lot unloosing life.
    And yet another of the number four
190 Shall rule thereafter, openly made known
A dreadful man, whom all Armenians,
Who drink the best ice of the flowing stream
Araxes, and the Persians of great soul
Shall fear in wars. And between Colchians
195 And very strong Pelasgi there shall be
Wars, fights, and homicides. And those who hold
The cities of the land of Phrygia
And those of the Propontis, and make bare
From out their scabbards the two-edged swords,
200 Shall smite each other through sore impiousness.
    And then shall God to mortal men display
From heaven a great sign with the rolling years,
A bat, the portent of bad war to come.
And then the king shall not escape stern fate,
205 But die by hand, slain by the gleaming iron.
    After him, numbering fifty, there shall rule
Again another coming out of Asia,
A dreadful terror, fighting hand to hand;
And he shall set war on Rome's stately walls,
210 And among Colchians, and Heniochi,
And the milk-drinking Agathyrsians
By Euxine sea, at Thracia's sandy bay.
And then the king shall not escape stern fate,
And they will tear in pieces his dead corpse.

[189. Four.--{Greek D}, representing, as Ewald suggests, Dreskyllas, another form of the name Threskyllas.

203. A bat.--The Greek work is {Greek fa'lkh}. Can it mean a falcon?

206. Fifty.--N, initial of Nepos, emperor in A. D. 474.]


{p. 245}

215 And then, the king slain, man-ennobling Rome
Shall be a desert, and much people perish.
    And then again one terrible and dread
From mighty Egypt shall rule, and destroy
Great hearted Parthians and Medes and Germans,
220 And Agathyrsians of the Bosporus,
Iernians, Britons, and Iberians
That bear the quiver, bent Massagetæ,
And Persians thinking themselves more than men.
    And then a famous man shall look upon
225 All Hellas, acting as an enemy
To Scythia and windy Caucasas.
And there shall be a dread sign while he rules:
Crowns altogether like the shining stars
Shall from heaven in the south and north appear.
230 And then shall he bequeath the royal power
To his son whose initial letter heads
The alphabet, when in the halls of Hades
The manly king in his own lot shall go.
But when the son of this man in the land
235 Of Rome shall rule, shown by the number one,
There shall be over all the earth great peace
Much longed for, and the Latins will love him
As king because of his own father's worth;
Him, eager to go both to East and West,
240 The Roman people shall against his will
Retain at home and in command of Rome,
For among all there is a friendly heart

[217-223. The reference is unknown, and the allusions of the rest of the book defy even the ingenuity of Ewald to make even plausible.

227. Comp. lines 126-128 above, and book xi, 30, 81; xii, 93, 94, 277, 278.

236. Great peace.--Comp. book iii, 940; xi, 105; xii, 223.]


{p. 246}

Felt for their royal and illustrious lord.
But baneful death shall snatch him out of life,
245 Short-lived, abandoned to his destiny.
    But others afterwards again shall smite
Each other, powerful warriors, carrying on
An evil strife, not holding kingly power,
But being tyrants. And in all the world
250 Shall they bring many evil things to pass,
But chiefly for the Romans till the time
Of the third Dionysus, until armed
With helmet Ares shall from Egypt come,
Whom they shall surname Dionysus lord.
255 But when the famous royal purple cloak
A murderous lion and murderous lioness
Shall rend, together they shall grasp the lungs
Of the changed kingdom; then a holy king,
Whose name has the first letter, pressing hard
260 For victory, shall cast down hostile chiefs
To be the food of dogs and birds of prey.
    Alas for thee, O city burned with fire,
O powerful Rome! How many things must thou
Needs suffer when all these things come to pass!
265 But the great far-famed king shall afterward
Raise thee all up again with gold and amber
And silver and ivory, and in the world
Thou shalt in thy possessions foremost be,
Also in temples, market-places, wealth,
270 And race-grounds; and then shalt thou be again
A light for all, even as thou wast before.
Ah, wretched Cecropes and Cadmeans

[266, 267. Comp. lines 166, 167 above, and book xii, 218; xiii, 88.

272. Cecropes . . . Cadmeans . . . Laconians.--Named respectively for Athenians, Thebans, and Spartans.]


{p. 247}

And the Laconians, who are situate
Around Peneus and Molossian stream
275 Thick grown with rushes, Tricca and Dodona,
And high-built Ithome, Pierian ridge
Around the summit of Olympian mount,
Ossa, Larissa, and high-gate Calydon.
    But when God shall for mortals bring to pass
280 A great sign, day dark twilight round the world,
Even then to thee, O king, the end shall come,
Nor is it possible that thou escape
A brother's piercing dart against thee hurled.
    And then again shall rule a life-destroyer,
285 A fiery eagle from the royal race,
Who shall of Egypt's offspring take fast hold,
Younger, but than his brother much more strong,
Who has for his first sign the number eighty.
And then the whole world shall for honor's sake
290 Bear in its lap the soul-distressing wrath
Of the immortal God; and there shall come
On mortal men, the creatures of a day,
Famines and plagues and wars and homicides,
And an incessant darkness o'er the earth,
295 Mother of peoples, and relentless wrath
From heaven, and disorder of the times,
And earthquake shocks, and flaming thunderbolts,
And stones and storms of rain and squalid drops.
And the high summits of the Phrygian land
300 Feel the shock, bases of the Scythian hills
Feel the shock, cities tremble, and all earth
Trembles at the cliffs of the land of Greece.
And many cities, God being very wroth,

[286. Fiery eagle.--Comp. book iii, 769.

293. Comp. book xii, 149, 150; xiii, 140, 141.]


{p. 248}

Shall fall prone under burning thunderbolts
305 And with bewailings, and to shun the wrath
And make escape is not even possible.
And then the king shall by a strong hand fall,
Struck as if he were no one by his men.
    After him of the Latins many men
310 Wearing the purple mantle on their shoulders
Shall be again raised up, who shall by lot
Desire to lay hold on the royal power.
    And then upon the stately walls of Rome
Shall be three kings, two having the first number,
315 And one the eponym of victory
Bearing as no one else. They shall love Rome
And all the world, concerned for mortal men;
But they shall not accomplish anything;
For God has not been gracious to the world
320 Neither will he be gentle with mankind,
Because they have done many evil things.
Therefore to kings shall he a mean soul bring
Still worse than that of leopards and of wolves;
For harshly seizing them with their own hands,
325 Like feeble women who are idly slain,
Shall men in brazen breastplate utterly
Destroy the kings together with their scepters.
Ah, wretched lofty men of glorious Rome,
Trusting in false oaths ye shall be destroyed.
330    And then shall many masters with the spear,
Men rushing not in order furious on,
Take away offspring of the first-born men

[314. Three kings.--Could these be, as Ewald (p. 111) propounds, Anastasius (Byzantine emperor, A. D. 491-518) and the infamous and insolent Harmatius Achilles and Basiliscus, the usurpers who preceded him, the last name being supposed to be equivalent to the Latin Victorinus?]


{p. 249}

In their blood. . . . Therefore thrice
Shall the Most High then bring on dreadful doom,
335 And all men with their works shall he destroy.
But into judgment yet again shall God
Cause them to come that have a shameless soul,
As many as determined evil things;
And they themselves are fenced in, falling one
340 Upon another, and given over there
Into that condemnation of wickedness.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
All one by one, yet a brilliant comet
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Of much to come, of war and battle strife,
    But at the time when one about the isles
345 Shall gather many oracles that speak
To strangers of fight and of battle strife,
And grievous harm of temples, he shall bid
One in great haste to gather in Rome's halls
For twelve months wheat and barley in abundance,
350 And this most quickly. And in wretched plight
The city shall be those days, and straightway
Shall it again be prosperous not a little;
And rest shall be when that rule is destroyed.
And then the last race of the Latin kings
355 Shall be, and after it again shall grow
Dominion, children and the children's race
Shall be unshaken; for it shall be known,
Since of a surety God himself is king.
    There is a land dear, nourisher of men,
360 Situate in a plain, and round it Nile

[333. Thrice.--Comp. line 386 below.

342, 343. Comp. book viii, 252-254.

359-361. Comp. book viii, 58-61.]


{p. 250}

Marks off the boundary and separates
All Libya and Ethiopia.
And Syrians short-lived, one from one place,
Another from another, from that land
365 Shall snatch away all movable effects;
A great and careful lord shall be their king,
Training up youth and sending off for men,
And planning something fearful about those
Most fearful, above all he shall send forth
370 A powerful helper of all Italy
The lofty-minded. And when he shall come
Unto the dark sea of Assyria
He shall despoil Ph�nicians in their homes,
And fastening evil war and battle dire
375 Shall be one lord of the two lords of earth.
    And now will I for Alexandrians sing
Their grievous end; alas, barbarians
Shall possess sacred Egypt, land unharmed,
Unshaken, when wrath from the gods shall come.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
380 . . . making winter summer,
    Then shall the oracles be all fulfilled.
But when three youths in the Olympian games
Shall conquer, and thou shalt bid them that know
The oracles that call on God to cleanse
385 First by the blood of sucking quadruped,
Thrice therefore shall the Most High then bring on
A fearful lot, and be shall over all
Brandish the mournful long spear; then much blood

[366-362. The Greek text is here corrupt and the sense uncertain.

376. Comp. book viii, 66-68,98, 99.

380, 381. Comp. book viii, 281, 282.

386. Thrice.--Comp. line 333 above, and book viii, 226, 226.]


{p. 251}

Barbarian shall be poured out in the dust
390 When the city shall be plundered utterly
By inhospitable strangers. Happy he
Who is dead, also happy any one
Who is without a child; for he who once
Was leader surnamed for them that are free,
395 Far-famed in song, no longer in his mind
Revolving earlier plans, shall place their neck
Under a servile yoke; such slavery,
Cause of much weeping, shall a lord impose.
    And then straightway an army of Sicilians
400 Ill-fated shall come, carrying dismay,
When a barbarian nation shall again
Come suddenly; and the fruit, when it grows,
They from the field shall sever. Upon them
Shall God the lofty Thunderer bestow
405 Evil instead of good; continually
Shall stranger pluck from stranger hateful gold.
    But now when all shall look upon the blood
Of the flesh-eating lion and there comes
Upon the body a murderous lioness,
410 Down from his head will be the scepter cast
Away from him. And as in friendly feast
In Egypt when the people all partake,
They perform valiant deeds, and one restrains
Another, and among them there is much
415 Shouting aloud; so also shall there be
Upon mankind the fear of furious strife,
And many shall be utterly destroyed
And others kill each other by hard fights.

[401. Comp. book iii, 657.

408. Lion.--Comp. book xi, 287; xiii, 221.]


{p. 252}

    And then one, covered with dark scales shall come;
420 Two others shall come acting in concert
With one another, and with them a third
A great ram from Cyrene, whom before
1 spoke of as a fugitive in war
Beside the streams of Nile; but in no wise
425 An unsuccessful way do all complete.
    And then the lengths of the revolving years
Shall be exceeding quiet; yet again
Thereafter shall a second war for them
In Egypt be stirred up, and there shall be
430 A battle on the sea, but victory
Shall not be theirs. Ah, wretched ones, there shall
A conquest of the famous city be,
And it shall be a spoil of war not long.
    And then men having common boundaries
435 Of much land shall flee wretched, and shall lead
Their wretched parents. And they shall again
Having great victory light on a land,
And shall destroy the Jews, men staunch in war,
Wasting by wars far as the hoary deep,
440 On both sides, fighting in the foremost ranks
For father-land and parents. And a race
Of trophy-bearing men shall for the dead
Be reckoned. Ah, how many men shall swim
About the waves! For on the sandy beach
445 Many shall lie; and heads of golden hair
Shall fall beneath Egyptian winged fowls.
And then for the Arabians mortal blood

[419. Dark, scales.--Comp. book xiii, 215.

422. Ram.--Comp. he-goat of book xiii, 227.

443. The text is corrupt and doubtful here.]


{p. 253}

Shall go in quest. But when wolves shall with dogs
Pledge in a sea-girt island solemn oaths,
450 Then shall there be the raising of a tower,
And the city that suffered very many things
Men shall inhabit. For deceitful gold
Shall no more be nor silver, nor acquiring
Of the earth, nor much-laboring servitude;
455 But one fast friendship and one mode of life
With cheerful soul; and all things shall be common
And equal light among the means of life.
And wickedness shall sink down from the earth
Into the vast sea. And then near at hand
460 Is come the harvest-time of mortal men.
There is imposed a strong necessity
That these things be fulfilled. And at that time
There shall not any other traveler say,
In this conjecturing, that the race of men
465 Though perishable shall ever cease to be.
And then a holy nation shall prevail
And hold the sovereignty of all the earth
Unto all ages with their mighty sons.

[448, 449. Comp. book xiii, 38, 39.

459, 460. Comp. book ii, 208.

461, 462. Comp. book iii, 721-724.

466-468. Comp. book iii, 58-60; viii, 223-226.]


{p. 254}

{p. 255}


{p. 256}

{p. 257}




YE mortal men and fleshly, who are naught,
How quickly are ye puffed up, seeing not
The end of life! Do ye not tremble now
And fear God, him who watches over you,
5 The one who is most high, the one who knows,
The all-observant witness of all things,
All-nourishing Creator, who has put



This fragment is found in the writings of Theophilus, a bishop of Antioch, who lived in the latter half of the second century. Near the close of his second book, addressed to his friend Autolycus [chap. xxxvi; Migne, G., 6, 1109], Theophilus introduces these lines (thirty-five in number in the Greek) with the following words: "Now the Sibyl, who among the Greeks and other nations was a prophetess, in the beginning of her prophecy upbraids the race of men, saying." From this statement it has been inferred that the lines stood originally at the beginning of our third book, which contains the oldest portions of our present collection; for Lactantius attributes the passages which he cites from this fragment to the Erythræan Sibyl, to whom he attributes elsewhere citations from the third book only. Citations from other books he refers to other Sibyls.

1. This first line is cited by Clement of Alexandria, Strom., iii, 3 [Migne, G., 8, 1117], who also in the same connection quotes a similar passage from Empedocles. Comp. Homer, Od., xviii, 130: "Earth nourishes nothing feebler than man."

7-9. These lines are quoted by Lactantius, iv, 6 [L., 6, 462], who, however, {footnote p. 258} inserts the word God. He observes: "The Erythræan Sibyl in the beginning of her song, which she commenced by the help of the Most High God, proclaims the Son of God as leader and commander of all in these verses:

"All-nourishing Creator, who in all
Sweet breath implanted, and made God the guide of all."



{p. 258}

In all things his sweet Spirit and has made
Him leader of all mortals? God is one,
10 Who rules alone, supremely great, unborn,
Almighty and invisible, himself
Alone beholding all things, but not seen
Is he himself by any mortal flesh.
For what flesh is there able to behold
15 With eyes the heavenly and true God divine,
Who has his habitation in the sky?
Not even before the bright rays of the sun
Can men stand still, men who are mortal born,
Existing but as veins and flesh on bones.
20 Him who alone is ruler of the world,
Who alone is forever and has been
From everlasting, reverence ye him,
The self-existent unbegotten one
Who rules all things through all time, dealing out
25 Unto all mortals in a common light
The judgment. And the merited reward

[9-12. God is one.--Quoted by Justin Martyr, ad Gr., 16 [G., 6, 272]. Comp. Theodoret, Hist. Eccl., i, 3 [G. 82, 904]; Basil, adv. Eunom., iii [G., 29, 6681; Greg. Naz., Orat., xxvi, 19 [G., 35, 1252]; Lact., i, 6 [L., 6, 140]; Orphica, ed. Hermann, Frag. i, 10; ii, 11.

14-19. Cited by Clem. Alex., Strom., v, 14 [G., 9, 165], and Eusebius, Præp., xiii, 13 [G., 21, 1121]. Comp. Cyril, Contr. Jul., i, 82 [G., 76, 549]; Philemon in Just. Mar., de Monarch, 2 [G., 6, 316]; Xenophon, Memor., iv, 3, 13; Cicero, de Nat. Decorum, i, 12.

20-22. Cited by Lact., de fals. Relig., vi [L., 6, 141].

25. Common light.--An allusion to the universal moral sense of men. Comp. book i, 409; iii, 588; John i, 9.]


{p. 259}

Of evil counseling shall ye receive,
For ceasing the true and eternal God
To glorify, and holy hecatombs
30 To offer him, ye made your sacrifice
Unto the demons that in Hades dwell.
And ye in self-conceit and madness walk,
And having left the true, straightforward path
Ye went away and roamed about through thorns
35 And thistles. O ye foolish mortals, cease
Roving in darkness and black night obscure,
And leave the darkness of night, and lay hold
Upon the Light. Lo, he is clear to all
And cannot err; come, do not always chase
40 Darkness and gloom. Lo, the sweet-looking light
Of the sun shines with a surpassing glow.
Now, treasuring wisdom in your hearts, know ye
That God is one, who sends forth rains and winds,
Earthquakes and lightnings, famines, pestilence,
45 And mournful cares, and storms of snow, and ice.
But why do I thus speak them one by one?
He guides heaven, rules earth, over Hades reigns.


Now if gods beget offspring and remain
Immortal there had been more gods than men,
And there had never been sufficient room
For mortals to stand.

[38-47. Cited by Clem. Alex., Cohort., viii [G., 8, 97]. Line 34 is also cited in Strom., v, 14 [G., 9, 173].


This passage, which appears nowhere in the twelve books of our collection, is found in Theophilus, ad Antol., ii, 3 [G., 6, 1049].]


{p. 260}


Now if all that is born must also perish,
It is not possible for God to be
Formed from the thighs of man and from a womb;
But God alone is one and all-supreme,
5 Who made heaven and the sun and stars and moon,
Fruit-bearing earth and billows of the sea,
And lofty hills and mouth of lasting springs.
He also bringeth forth great multitude
Of creatures that amid the waters live
10 Innumerable, and the creeping things
That move upon earth he sustains with life,
And dappled, delicate, shrill-twittering birds,
That ply the air shrill-whirring with their wings.
And in the glens of mountains wild be placed
15 The race of beasts, and to us mortals made
All cattle subject, and the God-formed one
He constituted ruler of all things,
And unto man all variegated things
Made subject, things incomprehensible.
20 For all these things what mortal flesh can know?
For he himself alone, who made these things
At the beginning, knows, the incorrupt
Eternal Maker, dwelling in the heaven,
Bringing unto the good good recompense
25 Much more abundant, but awakening wrath



This excerpt, which numbers forty-nine lines in the Greek text, is preserved to us in Theophilus, and is placed by him immediately after the first fragment with the following introductory words: "Also in regard to those (gods) who are said to have been born, she thus speaks."

1, 2. Cited by Lact., i, 8 [L., 6, 1541.

4-7. Cited by Lact., i, 6 [L., 6, 147].

21-26. Cited by Lact., de Ira Dei, xxii [L., 1, 143].



{p. 261}

And anger for the evil and unjust,
And war and pestilence, and tearful woes.
O men, why, vainly puffed up, do ye root
Yourselves out? Be ashamed to deify
30 Polecats and monsters. Is it not a craze
And frenzy, taking sense of mind away,
If gods steal plates and carry off earthen pots?
Instead of dwelling in the golden heaven
In plenty, see them eaten by the moth
35 And woven over with thick spider-webs!
O fools, that bow to serpents, dogs and cats,
And reverence birds and creeping beasts of earth,
Stone images and statues made with bands,
And stone-heaps by the roads--these ye revere,
40 And also many other idle things
Which it would even be a shame to tell;
These are the baneful gods of senseless men,
And from their mouth is deadly poison poured.
But of Him is life and eternal light
45 Imperishable, and he sheds a joy
Sweeter than honey sweet on righteous men,
And to him only do thou bow thy neck,
And among pious lives incline thy way.
Forsaking all these, in a spirit mad
50 With folly ye did all drain off the cup
Of judgment that was filled full, very pure,
Closely pressed, weighed down, and withal unmixed.
And ye will not wake from your drunken sleep
And come to sober reason, and know God
55 To be the king who oversees all things.

[27. Tearful woes.--Comp. Clem. Alex., Strom., v, 14 [G., 9, 188]; Just. Martyr, de Monarch, ii [G., 6, 316]; Cohort., xv [G., 6, 272]; Euseb. Præp., xiii, 12 [G., 21, 1100].]


{p. 262}

Therefore on you the flash of gleaming fire
Is coming, ye shall be with torches burned
The livelong day through an eternal age,
At your false useless idols feeling shame.
60 But they who fear the true eternal God
Inherit life, and they forever dwell
Alike in fertile field of Paradise,
Feasting on sweet bread from the starry heaven.


Hear me, O men, the King eternal reigns.


He only is God, Maker uncontrolled;
He fixed the pattern of the human form,
And did the nature of all mortals mix
Himself, the generator of (all) life.


Whenever he shall come
A smoky fire shall be in mid-night dark.

[60-64. Cited by Lact., ii, 13 [L., 6, 324]. In these last verses we may note allusions to such passages of Scripture as Matt. xix, 29; Luke xxiii, 43; 2 Cor. xii, 4; Rev. ii, 17; Psa. lxxviii, 24; cv, 40; John vi, 31.


This fragment, consisting of but a single line, is found in Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 24 [L., 6, 808].


These lines are found in Lactantius, Div. ii, 12 [L., 6, 319], and also in the Anonymous Preface.


This fragment is also found in Lactantius, Div. Inst., vii, 19 [L., 6, 797].]


{p. 263}


The Erythræan Sibyl, addressing God, says: Why dost thou, O Lord, enjoin on me the necessity of prophesying, and not rather take me aloft from the earth and preserve me unto the most blessed day of thy coming?



This, which Rzach calls a "doubtful fragment," is cited as a saying of the Erythræan Sibyl in Constantine's Oration to the Assembly of the Saints, chap. xxi [G., 20, 1300].]

{p. 264}


IF the labor bestowed upon the reading of the writings of the Greeks brings much advantage to them that perform it, since it is able to make those who labor on these things very learned, much more is it fitting that they who are possessed of good understanding devote their leisure continually to the Holy Scriptures, which tell about God and the things which minister profit to the soul, thence gaining the double benefit of ability to profit both themselves and their readers. It seemed good to me, therefore, to set forth in one connected and orderly series the so-called Sibylline Oracles, which are found scattered and in a confused condition, but which are helpful to the reading and understanding of those (Holy Scriptures), so that being easily brought together under the eye of the readers they may bring to these (readers) by way of reward the advantage that is to be derived from them, setting forth not a few necessary and useful things, and also rendering their study more valuable and varied. For (these oracles) also speak clearly of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the sacred and life-originating Trinity, and of the incarnate dispensation of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, I mean his birth from a virgin without emanation, and of

[1. This Preface or Prologue assumes to have been prepared by the person who collected and arranged these pseudepigraphical oracles in the order in which they have come down to us. The exact time of his writing is unknown. Alexandre (Excursus ad Sibyllina, chap. xv, pp. 421-433) argues that it was probably written in the sixth century, during the reign of Justinian.]

{p. 265}

the acts of healing performed by him, as also of his life giving passion, and of his resurrection from the dead on the third day, and of the judgment to come, and of recompense for what we all have done in this life; furthermore (these oracles) distinctly set forth what is made known in the Mosaic, writings and in the books of the prophets concerning the creation of the world, and the formation of man, and his expulsion from the garden and of his now formation hereafter. With regard to certain things which have been or perhaps are yet to be, they prophesy in various ways; and in a word, they are able in no small measure to profit their readers.

Sibyl is a Latin word meaning prophetess, or rather soothsayer; hence the female soothsayers were called by one name. Now Sibyls, according to many writers, have arisen in different times and places, to the number of ten. There was first the Chaldean, or rather the Persian (Sibyl), whose proper name is Sambethe. She was of the family of the most blessed Noah, and is said to have foretold the exploits of Alexander of Macedon; Nicanor, who wrote the life of Alexander, mentions her. The second was the Libyan, of whom Euripides makes mention in the preface of (his play) the Lamia. The third was the Delphian, born at Delphi, and spoken of by Chrysippus in his book on divination. The fourth was the Italian, in Cimmerium in Italy, whose son Evander founded in Rome the shrine of Pan which is called the Lupercal. The fifth was the Erythræan, who predicted the Trojan war, and of whom Apollodorus the Erythræan bears positive testimony. The sixth was the Samian, whose proper name is Phyto, of whom Eratosthenes wrote. The seventh was the Cumman, called Amalthea, also Herophile, and in some places Taraxandra. But Vergil calls the Cumæan Sibyl Deiphobe, daughter of Glaucus. The eighth was the Hellespontine, born in the

{p. 266}

village of Marpessus near the small town of Gergithion, which, according to Heraclides of Pontus, was formerly, in the time of Solon and Cyrus, within the boundaries of the Troad. The ninth was the Phrygian, and the tenth the Tiburtine, named Albunæa.

It is said, moreover, that the Cumæan Sibyl once brought nine books of her oracles to Tarquinius Priscus, who was at that time king of the Romans, and demanded for them three hundred pieces of gold. But having been disdain fully treated, and not even questioned as to what they were, she committed three of them to the fire. Again, in another audience with the king she brought forward the six remaining books, and still demanded the same amount. But not being deemed worthy of attention, again she burned three more. Then a third time bringing the three that were left, and asking the same price, she said that if he would not procure them, she would burn these also. Then, it is said, the king examined them and was astonished, and gave for them a hundred pieces of gold, took them in charge and made request for the others. But she declared that neither had she the like of those that were burned nor had she any such knowledge apart from inspiration, but that certain persons from various cities and countries had at times excerpted what was esteemed by them necessary and useful, and that out of these excerpts a collection ought to be made. And this (the Romans) did as quickly as possible. For that which was given from God, though truly laid up in a corner, did not escape their search. And the books of all the Sibyls were deposited in the capitol of ancient Rome. Those of the Cumæan Sibyl, however, were hidden and not made known to many, because she proclaimed more especially and distinctly things that were to happen in Italy, while the others became known to all. But those that were written by the Erythræan Sibyl have the name that

{p. 267}

was given her from the place; while the other books are without inscription to mark who is the author of each, but are without distinction (of authorship).

Now Firmianus,[1] being an esteemed philosopher and a priest of the aforementioned capitol, having looked unto the Christ, our eternal Light, set down in his own works the things spoken of by the Sibyls concerning the ineffable glory, and ably exposed the senselessness of Hellenic error. His forcible exposition is in the Italian tongue, but the Sibylline verses were published in the Greek language. And that this may not appear incredible, I will produce the testimony of the man before mentioned,[2] which is after this manner:

"Inasmuch as the Sibylline Oracles which are found in our city not only, as being very plentiful, are held in low esteem by those of the Greeks who are cognizant of them (for it is things which are rare that are held in honor), but also since not all of the verses keep to the precision of the meter, their credit is lower. But this is the fault not of the prophetess, but of the shorthand writers who could not keep up with the rush of the Sibyl's words, or who were uneducated; for her remembrance of the things she had spoken ceased with the spell of inspiration. Which fact Plato also had in view when he said that (the prophets) treat correctly many and great matters while they know nothing, of the things of which they speak."

[1. Reference to Firmianus Lactantius, contemporary with Diocletian and Constantine (cir. A. D. 284-325), noted for his numerous citations from the Sibylline Oracles. See the Index to this volume.

2. This reference seems to be to the Firmianus Lactantius just mentioned, but the passage cited is not found in the writings of that author; it is rather a free reproduction of the concluding portion of the thirty-seventh chapter of Justin Martyr's Hortatory Address to the Greeks. The reader will find this entire chapter on pp. 272, 273, of this Appendix.]

{p. 268}

We shall, accordingly, from those oracles which were brought to Rome by the ambassadors (of Tarquin), produce, as much as possible. Now, concerning the God who is without beginning one declared these things:

One God, who rules alone, immense, unborn.
But God alone is one, highest of all,
Who made the heaven and sun and stars and moon,
Fruit-bearing earth and billows of the sea.
He only is God, Maker uncontrolled;
He fixed the pattern of the human form,
And did the nature of all mortals mix
Himself, the generator of (all) life.

This (the Sibyl) has said either on the ground that being joined together (husband and wife) become one flesh, or with the thought that out of the four elements which are opposite to each other God fashioned both the world and man.

{p. 269}


ONE of the fullest accounts of the Sibyls which we possess is that which is found in the writings of Firmianus Lactantius (Divine Institutes, book i, chap. vi; Migne, L. P., vol. vi, 140-147). The author of the foregoing "Anonymous Preface" probably derived his account of the Sibyls from this Latin father, who flourished about the close of the third century of our era, and who refers to Varro as his authority. This passage seems also to have been the principal source of information for later writers, and we here furnish the reader with a translation from the Latin text of Migne:

"Marcus, Varro, than whom no one more learned ever lived, neither among the Greeks, nor even among the Latins, in books on sacred subjects which he wrote to Caius Cæsar, the chief pontiff, when he was speaking of the Quindecemviri,[1] says that the Sibylline books were not the work of one Sibyl, but were called by one name, Sibylline, since all female prophets were called Sibyls by the ancients, either from the name of the one at Delphi, or from their announcing the counsels of the gods. For in the Æolic manner of speaking they call the gods sious ({Greek siou's}), not theous ({Greek ðeou's}) and counsel is not boule ({Greek boulh'}), but bule ({Greek bulh'}); and so Sibyl is pronounced as siobule ({Greek siobulh'}). But the Sibyls were ten in number, and all these he enumerated under authors who had written of each one. And first there was the Persian of whom mention is made by Nicanor, who wrote the history of Alexander of Macedon; the second was the Libyan, whom Euripides mentions in the prologue of the Lamia; the third was the Delphian, of whom Chrysippus speaks in that book which he composed on divination; the fourth was the Cimmerian in Italy, whom Nævius in his books of the Punic War and Piso in his annals names, the fifth was the Erythræan, whom Apollodorus of Erythræa affirms to have been his own countrywoman and to have prophesied to the Greeks who were moving against Ilium both that Troy

[1. The Quindecemviri were a college, or board of fifteen priests, to whom the care of the Sibylline books was intrusted at Rome.]

{p. 270}

would be destroyed and that Homer would write falsehoods; the sixth was the Samian, of whom Eratosthenes writes that he had found something written in the ancient annals of the Samians; the seventh was the Cumæan, by name Amalthea, who is by others called Demophile or Herophile. She brought nine books to King Tarquinius Priscus, and asked three hundred pieces of gold for them, but the king spurned the greatness of the price and laughed at the insanity of the woman. She thereupon in sight of the king burned three of them, and for the rest asked the same price; but Tarquinius all the more thought the woman was insane. But when again, having destroyed three more, she persisted in the same price, the king was moved, and bought what was left for three hundred pieces of gold., Afterward their number was increased, the capitol being rebuilt, for they were collected out of all the cities both of Italy and Greece, and especially of Erythræa, and brought to Rome in the name of whatever Sibyl they chanced to be. The eighth Sibyl was the Hellespontine, born in the Trojan country, in the village of Marpessus, near the town of Gergitha. Heraclides of Pontus writes that she lived in the times of Solon and Cyrus. The ninth was the Phrygian, who prophesied at Ancyra; the tenth was the Tiburtine, by name Albunea, who is worshiped at Tibur as a goddess, near the banks of the river Anio, in which stream her image is said to have been found, holding a book in her hand. Her oracular responses the Senate transferred into the capitol."

So far Lactantius appears to quote substantially from Varro, and then he adds, as if contributing further information, the following:

Of all these Sibyls the songs are both made public and held in use except those of the Cumman, whose books are kept secret by the Romans; neither do they hold it lawful for them to be inspected by anyone except the Quindecemviri. And there are single books of each which, because they are inscribed by the name of a Sibyl, are believed to be the work of one; and there are also confused ones, nor is it possible to discern and assign to each its own except that of the Erythræan, who both inserted her own true name in her song and foretold that she would go by the name of the Erythræan, although she was born in Babylon. . . . All these Sibyls proclaim one God, but especially the Erythræan, who is held among the others to be more distinguished

[1. Dionysius Halicarnasseus also records this story of Tarquin and the Sibyl, and adds that, having delivered over the books, she disappeared from among men.--Antiq. Rom., iv, 62.]

{p. 271}

and noble, since indeed Fenestella, a most careful writer, speaking of the Quindecemviri says that upon the restoration of the capitol the consul Caius Curio proposed to the Senate to send ambassadors to Erythræ, who should search for the songs of the Sibyl and bring them to Rome. And so Publius Gabinius, Marcus Otacilius, and Lucius Valerius were sent, and they brought to Rome about a thousand verses written down by private persons."

{p. 272}


THE following account of the Sibyl and her oracles constitutes the entire thirty-seventh chapter of a treatise entitled a Hortatory Address to the Greeks ({Greek Lo'gos parainetiko`s pro`s E`'llhnas}), usually published among the works of Justin Martyr. It appears in Migne's Greek Patrology, vol. vii 308, 309. The author of the "Anonymous Preface" cites the substance of the closing portion and seems to have regarded it as a testimony of Firmianus Lactantius. Its real authorship is uncertain.

You may very easily learn the true religion, in some part at least, from the ancient Sibyl, who teaches you through her oracles by a certain powerful inspiration things which seem to be near to the teaching of the prophets. They say that she was of Babylonian origin, being the daughter of Berosus, who wrote the Chaldean history; and when she had crossed over (I know not how) into the parts of Campania she uttered her oracles there in a city called Cumæ, six miles distant from Baiæ, where the hot springs of Campania are to be found. Being in that city, we saw also a certain place, in which was shown a very great basilica made out of one stone, a very great affair, and worthy of all admiration. There they, who received it as a tradition from their forefathers, say that the Sibyl announced her oracles. And in the middle of the basilica they showed us three reservoirs made out of one stone, in which when they were filled with water they said she bathed, and having put on her garment again, she was wont to go into the innermost room of the basilica, which is made out of the one stone, and sitting in the middle of the room on a lofty platform and on a throne, she thus proclaimed her oracles. Of this Sibyl as a prophetess many other writers have also made mention, and Plato also in his Phædrus. And Plato, when he read her oracles, seems to me to have regarded the reciters of oracles as divinely inspired. For he saw that the things which had been spoken of old by her were actually fulfilled; and therefore in the dialogue with Meno [99], expressing admiration and eulogy of the prophets for their sayings, he has thus written: "We might truly name as divine those whom we call

{p. 273}

prophets. Not least should we say that they are divine and profoundly inspired and possessed of God when they truly speak of many and great matters, knowing nothing of the things of which they speak; "clearly and obviously referring to the oracles of the Sibyl. For she was unlike the poets, who after the writing of their poems have power to correct and polish, especially the accuracy of the meters, but at the time of her inspiration she was filled with the matters of her prophecy, and when the spell of inspiration ceased her memory of the things spoken also ceased. This accordingly is the reason why all the meters of the verses of the Sibyl have not been preserved. For we ourselves, being in the city, learned from the guides who showed us the places in which she uttered her oracles that there was also a vessel made of bronze in which they said her remains were preserved. And besides all other things which they narrated, they also told us this, as having heard it from their forefathers, that they who received the oracles at that time, being without education, often utterly missed the accuracy of the meters, and this they said was the reason for the want of meter in some of the verses, the prophetess after the ceasing of her possession and her inspiration having no remembrance of what she had said, and the writers having failed for want of education to preserve the accuracy of the meters. Therefore it is evident that Plato said this about the reciters of oracles in reference to the oracles of the Sibyl; for he thus said: "When they truly speak of many and great matters, knowing nothing of the things of which they speak."[1]

[1. Plato, Meno, 99.]

{p. 274}


THE acrostic in book viii, 284-330 (Greek text, 217-250), is of a nature to attract special attention and interest. Not a few of the earliest published monographs touching the Greek Sibylline verses gave the text of this acrostic with explanatory observations upon it. Augustine in the eighteenth book of his de Civitate Dei (chap. xxiii) cites the first twenty-seven lines in a Latin translation which aims to retain the acrostic form of the Greek text. He further observes that "the verses are twenty-seven, which is the cube of three. For three times three are nine, and nine itself, if tripled, so as to rise from the superficial square to the cube, comes to twenty-seven. But if you join the initial letters of the five Greek words ({Greek I?hsou~s Xristo's Ðeou~ ui'o`s Swth'r}}) which mean, 'Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Saviour,' they will make the word {Greek i?xðu's}, that is, fish, in which word Christ is mystically understood, because he was able to live, that is, to exist, without sin in the abyss of this mortality as in the depth of waters."

The following version of the twenty-seven lines spoken of above is taken from Marcus Dods's translation of Augustine's de Civitate Dei in the "Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers." The reader will notice that the name of Christ is written in the lengthened Greek form {Greek Xreisto's}.

{Greek I} Judgment shall moisten the earth with the sweat of its standard,
{Greek H} Ever enduring, behold the king shall come through the ages,
{Greek S} Sent to be here in the flesh, and judge at the last of the world.
{Greek O} O God, the believing and faithless alike shall behold thee
{Greek U} Uplifted with saints, when at last the ages are ended,
{Greek S} Sisted before him are souls in the flesh for his judgment

{p. 275}

{Greek X} Hid in thick vapors, the while desolate lieth the earth,
{Greek R} Rejected by men are the idols and long-hidden treasures;
{Greek E} Earth is consumed by the fire, and it searcheth the ocean and heaven;
{Greek I} Issuing forth, it destroyeth the terrible portals of hell.
{Greek S} Saints in their body and soul freedom and light shall inherit
{Greek T} Those who are guilty shall burn in fire and brimstone forever.
{Greek O} Occult actions revealing, each one shall publish his secrets
{Greek S} Secrets of every man's heart God shall reveal in the light.

{Greek Ð} Then shall be weeping and wailing, yea, and gnashing of teeth;
{Greek E} Eclipsed is the sun, and silenced the stars in their chorus.
{Greek O} Over and gone is the splendor of moonlight, melted the heaven.
{Greek U} Uplifted by him are the valleys, and cast down the mountains.

{Greek U} Utterly gone among men are distinctions of lofty and lowly.
{Greek I} Into the plains rush the hills, the skies and oceans are mingled.
{Greek O} O, what an end of all things! earth broken in pieces shall perish;
{Greek S} Swelling together at once shall the waters and flames flow in rivers.

{Greek S} Sounding, the archangel's trumpet shall peal down from heaven,
{Greek W} Over the wicked who groan in their guilt and their manifold sorrows.
{Greek T} Trembling, the earth shall be opened, revealing chaos and hell.
{Greek H} Every king before God shall stand in that day to be judged.
{Greek R} Rivers of fire and brimstone shall fall from the heavens.

The following version of the same twenty-seven lines are from the Christian Review, vol. xiii, 1848, p. 99.

{Greek I} Judgment impends. Lo! the earth reeks with sweat;
{Greek H} He, the destined King of future ages, comes;
{Greek S} Soon he descends--the Judge in human form.
{Greek O} On speeds the God--his friends and foes behold him.
{Greek U} Vengeance he wears, enthroned with his holy ones.
{Greek S} See how the dead assume their ancient forms.

{Greek X} Choked with thorny hedges lies the waste, dreary world
{Greek R} Ruined are the idol gods; they scorn their heaps of gold.
{Greek E} Even land and sea and sky shall raging fire consume.
{Greek I} Its penetrating flames shall burst the gates of hell.
{Greek S} Shining in light behold the saints immortal.
{Greek T} Turn to the guilty, burning in endless flames.
{Greek O} O'er hidden deeds of darkness no veil shall be spread.
{Greek S} Sinners to their God will reveal their secret thoughts.

{p. 276}

{Greek Ð} There will be a bitter wailing; there they gnash with their teeth.
{Greek E} Ebon clouds veil the sun; the stars their chorus cease;
{Greek O} O'er our heads the heavens roll not,--the lunar splendors fade.
{Greek U} Underneath the mountains lie; the valleys touch the sky.

{Greek U} Unknown the heights or depths of man,--since all shall prostrate lie.
{Greek I} In the ocean's dark gulf sink the mountains and the plains.
{Greek O} Order casts away her empire; creation ends in chaos.
{Greek S} Swollen rivers and leaping fountains are consumed in the flames.

{Greek S} Shrill sounds the trumpet; its blast rends the sky.
{Greek W} O, fearful are the groanings, the sorrows of the doomed.
{Greek T} Tartarean chaotic depths the gaping earth reveals.
{Greek H} Earth's vaunted monarchs shall stand before the Lord.
{Greek R} Rivers of sulphur roll along and flames descend the sky.

The following version from the Christian Remembrancer, vol. xlii, 1861, p. 287, accords with the order of initial English letters of the words, JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, THE SAVIOUR, THE CROSS:

Judgment at hand, the earth shall sweat with fear
Eternal King, the Judge shall come on high;
Shall doom all flesh; shall bid the world appear
Unveiled before his throne. Him every eye
Shall, just or unjust, see in majesty.

Consummate time shall view the saints assemble,
His own assessors; and the souls of men
Round the great judgment seat shall wail and tremble
In fear of sentence. And the green earth then
Shall turn to desert; they that see that day
To moles and bats their gods shall cast away.

Sea, earth, and heaven, and hell's dread gates shall burn;
Obedient to their call, the dead return;
Nor shall the Judge unfitting doom discern;

Of chains and darkness to each wicked soul;
For them that have done good, the starry pole.

Gnashing of teeth, and woe and fierce despair
Of such as hear the righteous Judge declare
Deeds long forgot, which that last day shall bare.

{p. 277}

Then, when each darkened breast he brings to sight,
Heaven's stars shall fall; and day be turned to night;
Effaced the sun-ray, and the moon's pale light.

Surely the valleys he on high shall raise;
All hills shall cease, all mountains turn to plain;
Vessel shall no more pass the watery ways;
In the dread lightning parching earth shall blaze,
Ogygian rivers seek to flow in vain;
Unutterable woe the trumpet blast,
Re-echoing through the ether, shall forecast.

Then Tartarus shall wrap the world in gloom,
High chiefs and princes shall receive their doom,
Eternal fire and brimstone for their tomb.

Crown of the world, sweet Wood, salvation's horn,
Rearing its beauty, shall for man be born;
O Wood, that saints adore, and sinners scorn!
So from twelve fountains shall its light be poured;
Staff of the Shepherd, a victorious sword.

{p. 278}



ALEXANDRE, C.--{Greek XRHSMOI SIBULLIAKOI}. Oracula Sibyllina. Textu ad Codices Manuscriptos recognito, Maianis supplementis aucto; cum Castalionis versione metrica, innumeris pæne locis emendata, et, ubi opus fuit, suppleta; commentario perpetuo, excursibus et indicibus. Volumen prius. Paris, 1841.

.... Voluminis I, Pars II, continens libros quatuor ultimos, cum curia in onmes libros posterioribus et nova libri quarti recensione. Paris, 1853.

.... {Greek XRHSMOI SIBULLIAKWN XRHSMWN LOGOI OKTW}. Oracula Sibyllina. Editio altera ex priore ampliore contracta, integra tamen et passim aucta, multisque locis retractata. Paris, 1869.

BETULEIUS, XYSTUS.--{Greek SIBULLIAKWN XRHSMWN LOGOI OKTW}. Sibyllinorum Oraculorum Libri Octo, multis bucusque seculis abstrusi, nuncque primum in lucem, cum annotationibus. Basiliæ, 1546.

.... {Greek SIBULLIAKWN XRHSMWN LOGOI OKTW}. Sibyllinorum Oraculorum Libri viii. Addita Sebastiani Castalionis interpretatione Latina, cum annotationibus Xysti Betuleji in Græca Sibyllina Oracula, et Sebastiani Castalionis in translationern suam. Basiliæ, 1555.

DE LA BIGNE, M.--Sibyllinorum Oraculorum Libri Octo, adjectis quibusdam earundem Sibyllarum Oraculis ex Lactantio et aliis. Magna Bibliotheca Patrum. Tomus xiv. Paris, 1654.

FRIEDLIEB, J. H.--{Greek XRHSMOI SIBULLIAKOI}. Oracula Sibyllina ad fidem Codd. Mscr. quotquot extant recensuit, prætextis prolegomenis illustravit, versione Germanica instruxit, annotationes criticas et rerum indicem adjecit. Lipsiæ, 1852.

GALLÆUS, SERVATIUS (Servais Gallè).--{Greek SIBULLIAKOI XRHSMOI}: hoc est, Sibyllina Oracula, ex veteribus codicibus emendata, ac restituta et commentariis diversorum illustrata. Accedunt etiam oracula magica Zoroastris, Iovis, Apollinis, etc. Amstelodami, 1689.

GALLANDIUS, ANDREA.--Sibyllinorum Oraculorum Libri Octo. Accessit Appendix e Palæographia Græca Bernardi de Montfaucon. Bibliotheca veterum Patrum, vol. i. Prolegomena, pp. lxxvi-lxxxii, and 833-410. Venetiis, 1765.

{p. 279}

MAI, ANGELO.--{Greek SIBULLHS LOGOS id'} W. Sibyllæ Liber xiv. Græca at Latina. Additur sextus liber et pars octavi, cum multa vocum at versuum varietate. Mediolani, 1817.

.... Libri xi-xiv. Scriptorum veterum nova Collectio, vol. iii, pp. 202-216. 1828.

ORSOP�US, JOHANNIS (John Koch).--{Greek SIBULLIAKOI XRHSMOI}, hoc est, Sibyllina Oracula ex veteribus Codd. aucta, renovata et notis illustrata a D. Ionne Opsop�o Brettano. Cum interpretatione Latina Sebastiani Castalionis, et Indice. Paris, 1599.

RZACH, ALOISIUS.--{Greek SIBULLIAKOI XRHSMOI}. Oracula Sibyllina. Vindobonæ, 1891.]



FLOYER, JOHN.--The Sibylline Oracles. translated from the best Greek copies and compared with the sacred prophecies, especially with David and the Revelation, and with as much history as plainly shows that many of the Sibyl's predictions are exactly fulfilled. With answers to objections made against them. London, 1731.

TERRY, MILTON S.--The Sibylline Oracles. Translated from the Greek into English blank verse. New York, 1890.


BOUCHÉ-LECLERQ.--In Revue de l'histoire des religions, vol. vii, 1888, pp. 236-248; vol. viii, pp. 619-634; vol. ix, pp. 220-223.

CHAMPIER, S.--Oracles de la Sibylle, tractuits par Simphorien Champier at JEAN ROBERTET. 1702,1703.


FRIEDLIEB, J. H.-Die sibyllinischen Weissagungen vollständig gesammelt, nach neuer Handschriften-Vergleichung, mit kritischem Commentare und metrischer deutscher Uebersetzung. Leipzig, 1862.

NEHRUNG, J. C.--Neun Bücher sibyllinische Propheceiungen aus der griechischen in die deutsche Sprache übersetzt, von den unterschobenen Glossen unterschieden, mit Ammerkungen erläutert, und nebst einer Einleitung von der wahren Historie der Sibyllen und ihren Propheceiungen, in welchen die falschen Auflagen Schaligeri, Casauboni, Capelli, Opsop�i, Blondelli, und andere, die sie für erdichtet ausgeben, gründlich widerleget werden. Halle, 1819. (First ed., 1702.)

{p. 280}


ANTOLINI, V.--Oracoli Sibilini, tradotti dal Greco in versi Italialli. Viterbo, 1775.


CASTALIO, SEBASTIAN.--Sibyllina Oracula de Græco in Latinum conversa et in eadem annotationes. Basil, 1546.

MAI, ANGELO.--See under Editions of the Text.


PORENO, BALTASAR.--Oraculos de las doze Sibilas. Profetisas de Christo ñro Señor entre los Gentiles. Cuenca, 1621.


ALEXANDRE, C.--Excursus ad Sibyllina, seu de Sibyllis, earumque vel tanquam earum carminibus profanis, judaicis, christianisve, dissertationes VII, insertis Græce et Latine, commentarioque auctis Sibyllinorum gentilium fragmentis quod supersunt. Paris, 1856.

ANTON, CAROLUS THEOPHILUS.--Præmittitur brevis dissertatio de Sibyllis et Sibyllino oraculo Jesum Christum prænunciante, quod in codice bibliothecæ Milichianæ manuscripto reperitur. Gorlicii, 1852.

BADT, T.--De Oraculis Sibyllinis a Judæis compositis. Pars I. Dissertatio inauguralis. Vratislaviæ, 1869.

.... Ueber das vierte Buch des sibyllinischen Orakel. Breslau, 1878.

BANG, A. C.--Voluspa und sibyllinische Orakel. (Translated from the Danish.) Wien, 1880.

BERNHARDY, G.--Grundriss der griechischen Literatur. II, 1, pp. 376-386. Halle, 1856.

BESANÇON, G.--De l'emploi que les pères de l'église ont fait des Oracles Sibyllins. Montaubon, 1851.

BLEEK, F.--Ueber die Entstehung und Zusammensetzung, der uns in 8 Büchern erhaltenen Sammlung sibyllinischer Orakel. Theologische Zeitschrift herausgegeben von Schleiermacher, De Wette, un{illegible}cke. Vol. i, 1819, pp. 120-246; Vol. ii, 1820, pp. 172-239.

BLONDEL, DAVID.--Des Sibylles célèbres tant par l'antiquité payenne que par les S. Pères. Charenton, 1649. (English translation by Davies, q. v.)

BOUCHET, LAURENT.--Les Oracles des Sibylles et leurs profonds respects envers Jesus Christ naissant en Bethlehem. Paris, 1646.

BOUSSET, WILHEM.--Der Antichrist in der Ueberlieferung des Judentums, des neuen Testaments und der alten Kirche, pp. 69-63. Göttingen, 1895.

{p. 281}

BRADLEY, JOHN.--An Account of the Oracles of the Sibyls. Impartial View of the Truth of Christianity. London, 1699.

BURESCH, KARL.--Die pseudo-sibyllinischen Orakel und ihre letzte Bearbeitung Jahrbücher für classische Philologie, 1891. Heften 8 und 9, pp. 529-555.

.... Zu den pseudo-sibyllinischen Orakeln. Jahrb. für classische Philologie, 1892. Heften 4 und 5, pp. 213-308.

.... Kritischer Brief über die falschen Sibyllinen. (An O. Crusius in Tübingeu.) Philologus, 1892. LI. pp. 84-112 and 422-464.

.... Pseudo-sibyllinisches. Rheinische Museum für Philologie. Band xlvii, pp. 329-358.

CALL, W. M. W.--The Sibyl. Theological Review, vol. vii, pp. 466-488.

CRASSET, J.--Dissertation sur les Oracles doe Sibylles, augmentée d'une résponse à la critique de Jean Marckius. Paris, 1684.

Christian Remembrancer.--The Sibylline Oracles. Vol. xlii, 1861, pp. 277-296.

Christian Review.--Sibylline Oracles (signed J. M. S.). Vol. xiii, 1848, pp. 81-107.

CUDWORTH, RALPH.--Sibylline Oracles. Intellectual System. Vol. i, pp. 377-381. Andover, 1837.

DÆHNE, ALEXANDRE.--Sibyllinische Orakel. Religionsphilosophie. II, p. 228. 1834.

DAVIES, JOHN.--A Treatise of the Sibyls. (Englished by J. D.) London, 1661. See Blondel.

DEANE, WILLIAM.--The Sibylline Oracles. Pseudepigrapha, pp. 276-344.

DECHANT, H.--Ueber das erste, zweite und elfte Buch der sibyllinischen Weissagungen. Frankfurt, 1873.

.... Character und Geschichte der altchristlichen Sibyllenschriften. Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte. Vol. ii, 1878, pp. 481-509.

DELAUNAY, F.--Moines et Sibylles dens l'antiquité judéo-greque. Paris, 1874.

DELITZSCH, FRANZ.--Versuchte Lösung eines sibyllischen Räthsels. Zeitschrift für Luth. Theologie, 1877, pp. 216-218.

DIELS, HERMANN.--Sibyllinische Blätter. Berlin, 1890.

DRUMMOND, JAMES.--The Jewish Messiah, pp. 10-17. London, 1877.

Edinburgh Review.--The Sibylline Books, pp. 2-67. July, 1877.

EWALD, HEINRICH.--Abhandlung über Entstehung, Inhalt, und Werth der sibyllischen Bücher. Göttingen, 1858.

FABRICIUS, JOHANNES ALBERT.--Bibliotheca Græca, vol. i, pp. 257-289.

FEHR, EMIL.--Studia in Oracula Sibyllina. Upsaliæ, 1893.


FLODER, J.--Dissertatio indicans vestigia p�seos Homericæ et Hesiodeæ in Oraculis Sibyllinis. Lemgov., 1774.

FRANKEL.--Alexandrinische Messiashoffnungen. Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, 1859, pp. 241-261; 285-308; 359-364.

FRIEDLIEB, J. H.--De codicibus Sibyllinorum manuscriptis in usum criticum nondum adhibitis commentatio. Vratislaviæ, 1847.

GALLÆUS, SERVATIUS.--Dissertationes de Sibyllis, earumque Oraculis, cum figuris æneis. Amstelodami, 1688. (Companion volume to his edition of the text.)

GE�RRER, AUGUST.--Philo und die alexandrinische Theosophie. Zweite Theil, pp. 121-173. Stuttgart, 1831.

GREEN, G.--Dissertationes I et II de Sibyllis. Viteb., 1661.

HAMMERMUELLER, H. C.--Dissertatio de Sibyllis. Lips., 1674.

HEMBREEDE, H. F.--De Sibyllis dissertatio inauguralis philosophica. Berolini, 1835.

HENDESS, RICHARDUS.--Oracula Græca, quæ apud scriptores Græcos Romanosque extant, collegit paucasque observationes selectas præmisit. Halle, 1877.

.... Observationes in Oraculorum Fragmenta. Dissertatio philologica. Halis Saxonum, 1877.

.... Untersuchunggen über die Echtheit einiger delphischer Orakel. Guben, 1882.

HERWERDEN, H. VAN.--Ad Oracula Sibyllina. Bibliotheca Philologica, pp. 346-372. Batavia. Vol. xix. 1891.

HILDEBRANDT.--Das Römische Antichristenthum zur Zeit der Offenbarung Johannis und des fünften sibyllinischen Buches. Zeitschrift fir wissenschaftliche Theologie, xvii, 1874, pp. 57-95.

HILGENFELD, ADOLF.--Die jüdische Sibylle.--Die jüdische Apokalyptik in ihren geschichtlichen Enewickelung, pp. 51-90. Jena, 1857.

.... Die jüdische Sibyllen-Weissagung. Zeitschrift fir wissenschaftliche Theologie, iii, 1860, pp. 313-319.

.... Die jüdische Sibyllen und der Essenismus. Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie, xiv, 1871, pp. 30-50.

HIRSCH, S. A.--The Jewish Sibylline Oracles. Jewish Quarterly Review, 1890, pp. 406-429.

HOFFMANN, F.--Das Orakelwesen im Alterthume. Zum Selbstunterricht. Stuttgart, 1877.

HOLMES, G. F.--The Sibyls and their Oracles. Southern Magazine, xiv, 1874, pp. 159-366.

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JORTIN, JOHN.--The Sibylline Oracles examined, and rejected as forgeries and impostures. Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, Vol. i, pp. 183 208. London, 1805.

KROLL, GUILELMUS.--De Oraculis Chaldaicis. Breslau, 1894.

LANGEN, JOSEPH.--Das Judenthum in Palæstina zur Zeit Christi, pp. 169 174. Freiburg, 1866.

LARDNER, N.--Sibylline Verses. Credibility of the Gospel History, chap. xxix, 2. London, 1788.

LAROCQUE, JEAN.--Sur ]a date du troisième livre des Oracles Sibyllins. Revue archéologique, 1869, pp. 261-270.

LECANU.--Les Sibylles et les livres Sibyllins. Thèse pour le doctorat in Theologie. Paris, 1857.

LIBANUS G.--Carmina Sibyllæ Erythrææ Græce cum interpretatione Latina et scholiis grammaticis (The Acrostic). Cracoviæ, 1527. New ed., 1535.

LUDWICH, A.--Zu den sibyllinischen Orakeln. Neue Jahrbücher für Philologie und Pädagogik, 1878, pp. 240-245.

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LUECKEN, H.--Die sibyllinischen Weissagungen und ihr Nachhall bis in unsere Zeit, oder die Volkspropheten aller Zeiten in ihrem Zusammenhang. Meppen, 1871.

.... Die sibyllinischen Weissagungen, ihr Ursprung und ihr Zusammenhang mit den alterprophetischen Darstellungen christlicher Zeit. Katholische Studien, No. v. Würzburg, 1875.

MAAS, ERNESTUS.--De Sibyllarum indicibus. Dissertatio inauguralis philologica. Gryphiswaldiæ, 1879.

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Methodist Quarterly Review (October, 1854).--The Sibylline Oracles, pp. 489-526.

MONTFAUCON, BERNARD DE.--Palæographia Græca, iii, chap. vii, pp. 243 247.

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�HLER, F.--Zu den griechischen Orakeln. Philologus, 1868, pp. 762, 753; 1860, p. 328.

{p. 284}

PETTIT, P.--De Sibylla, Libri Tres. Lipsiæ, 1686.

PRIDEAUX, HUMPHREY.--The Sibyls and their Prophecies. Old and New Testament Connected, Vol. ii, pp. 397-406. New York, 1852.

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REISKE, J.--De vaticiniis Sibyllinis exercitationes, pluribusque quotquot Christi natalem præcessisse leguntur, ad libellum I. Vossii conscriptæ. Accessit de numis duobus Sibyllinis dissertatio. Lipsiæ, 1688.

REUSS, EDUARD.--Die Geschichte der heiligen Schriften alten Testaments, pp. 607-609; 661, 662.

.... Sibyllen. Herzog's Real-Encyclopædia. Ed. 1861, Vol. xiv, pp. 315 329; ed. 1884, Vol. xiv, pp. 179-191.

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RZACH, ALOIS.--Zur Kritik der sibyllinischen Weissagungen. Wiener Studien, iv, 1882, pp. 121-129.

.... Sibyllinische Analecta. Wiener Studien, 1890, pp. 190-205.

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.... Zu den sibyllinischen Orakeln. Wiener Studien, xviii, 1896, pp. 310 314.

SACKUR, E.--Sibyllinische Texte und Forschungen. Pseudo-methodius, Adso und die tiburtinische Sibylle. Halle, 1898.

SCHIEFERDECKER, JOHANNES DAVID.--De {Greek SIBULLAIS}, hoc est, Sibyllis, earumque oraculis dissertatio. Lipsiæ, 1690.

SCHMID, ERASMUS.--Sibyllina, in tria {Greek tmh'mata} distributa: I, de Sibyllis ipsis; II, de libris Sibyllinis in genere; III, de librorum Sibyllinorum qui adhuc extant, auctoritate. Vitemb., 1618.

SCHUERER, EMIL.--Die Sibyllinen. Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi. Band iii, pp. 421-450. Leipzig, 1898.

.... English translation. Vol. iii, pp. 271-292. Edinburgh, 1886.

{p. 285}

SCHULTESS, KARL.--Die sibyllinische Bücher in Rom. Hamburg, 1895.

SIMSON, E.--De Sibyllinis vaticiniis diquisitio. Oxoniæ, 1652.

STRUVE, C. L.--Fragmenta librorum Sibyllinorum quæ apud Lactantium reperiuntur. Regiomonti, 1817.

.... Oracula Sibyllina emendata e schedis ineditis. Lipsiæ, 1854.

STUART, MOSES.--The Sibylline Oracles. Commentary on the Apocalypse, Vol. i, pp. 87-107. Andover, 1845.

THORLACIUS, BIRGER.--Libri Sibyllistarum veteris ecclesiæ crisi, quatenus monuments, Christiana sunt, subjecti. Hauniæ, 1815.

.... Doctrinæ Christianæ in libris Sibyllinis Facies. Hauniæ, 1816.

VERNES, M.--Histoire des idées messianiques depuis Alexandre jusqu'à l'empereur Hadrien. Paris, 1874.

VERFORST, FIRMAN.--De carminibus Sibyllinis apud sanctos Patres quæ passim occurrunt, in confirmationem veritatis adhibita. Paris, 1844.

VOGT, FRIEDRICH.--Ueber Sibyllenweissagung. Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutchen Sprache und Literatur, Vol. i v, 1877, pp. 48-100.

VOLKMANN, RICARDUS.--De Oraculis Sibyllinis dissertatio. Supplementum editionis a Friedliebio exhibitæ. Leipzig, 1853.

.... Specimen novæ Sibyllinorum Oraculum editionis. Sedini, 1854.

.... Lectiones Sibyllinæ. Pyritz, 1861.

Vossius, G. J.--De veterum poetarum temporibus libri duo, qui sunt de poetis Græcis et Latinis. Amstelædami, 1654.

Vossius, ISAAC.--De Sibyllinis aliisque quæ Christi natalem præcessere Oraculis. Accedit ejusdem responsio ad objectiones nuperæ criticæ sacræ. Oxoniæ, 1679. Leyden, 1680.

.... Exercitationes do vaticiniis Sibyllinis, etc. 1688.

WHISTON, WILLIAM.--A Vindication of the Sibylline Oracles. To which are added the genuine oracles themselves; with the ancient citations from them, in their originals and in English, and a few brief notes. London, 1715.

WIRTH.--Das vierzehnte Buch der Sibyllinen. Wiener Studien, xiv, 1892, pp. 35-50.

WOLFF, G.--De ultima oracularum ætate. Berolini, 1864.

WOLYNSKI, A.--De Sibyllis seu ethnicorum pro Christiana religione testimonium. Paris, 1870.

ZAHN, T.--Ueber Ursprung und religiösen Character del sibyllinischer Bücher iv, v, viii, 1-216, xii, xiii. Zeitschrift für kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliche Leben. 1886, pp. 32-45; 77-87.

ZUENDEL, D.--Kritische Untersuchungen über die Abfassungzeit des Buches Daniel, pp. 140-172. Basel, 1861.

{p. 286}

{p. 287}



Acheron, 28, 52, 139.
Achilles, 77
Achilleus, 240.
Acrostic, 171-173, 274-277.
Adam, 56.
Ægeans 288.
Æmilianus 233.
Æneas, 76, 196, 209.
Ætolian, 77.
Agamemnon, 195.
Agathyrsians, 244, 245.
Alexander, 103, 113, 194, 198.
Alexander Severus, 221, 222.
Alexandre, 38, 65, 66, 70, 73, 75, 124, 124, 140, 189, 200, 234, 264.
Alexandria, 72, 118, 200, 227, 229, 250.
Alps, 154.
Amalek, 173.
Amanus, 232, 241.
Ammon 113, 198, 209.
Anastasius, 248.
Angels, 46, 47, 49, 50.
Antichrist, 124,168.
Antigone, 72.
Antigonus, 200.
Antinous, 163.
Antioch, 72, 107, 228, 231.
Antiochus Epiphanes, 75, 85, 88.
Antiochus Theos, 79.
Antonines, 116, 164, 167, 216.
Antony, 58, 59, 151, 203.
Aphrodite, 43, 61.
Apis, 150.
Apollo, 204 (see Ph�bus).
Apostles, Creed of, 176.
Apostles, Teaching of, 180.
Apostolical Constitutions, 30, 109.
Arabian, 81, 217, 225, 227, 228, 252
Arakiel, 46.
Ararat, 27.
Aratus, 19.
Araxes, 14
Ares, 75, 77, 113, 150, 152, 167, 168, 194, 195, 198, 199, 202, 209, 211, 212, 213, 216, 217, 220, 221, 222, 226, 229, 230, 232, 233, 238, 239, 240, 243, 246.
Armenia, 105, 225, 227, 243, 244.
Arnobius, 157.
Artemis, 129,130.
Asia, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 85, 99, 102, 107, 119, 120, 129, 130, 137, 138, 139, 164, 199, 232, 244.
Assaracus, 113, 196, 209.
Assyria, 45, 63, 65, 68, 70, 94, 101, 132, 161, 190, 191, 192, 196, 197, 199, 211, 213, 214, 215, 220, 221, 225, 226, 228, 239, 243, 250.
Astypalaia, 72.
Athenagoras, 61.
Augustine, 56, 171, 274.
Augustus, 114, 209.
Aurelian, 239.
Aurelius, 217.
Aureolus, 238.
Ansonia, 114, 213, 232, 233.
Autolycus, 257.
Azael, 46.

BABEL, Tower of, 60, 161, 189.
Babylon, 60, 63, 70, 74, 94, 104, 113, 114, 120, 121, 122, 137, 161, 198, 199, 209, 227.
Bactria, 104.
Badt, 102.
Balista, 234.
Baptism, 30, 108, 173.
Barca, 124.
Basil, 258.
Basilis, 72.
Basiliscus, 248.
Beliar, 44, 58, 59.
Ber�a, 232.
Berytus, 152, 241.

{p. 288}

Bethlehem, 184
Bithynia 120, 197, 220, 232.
Bosporus 245.
Bostra, 228.
Britons, 245.
Byzantium, 77.

Cæsarea-Philippi, 228.
Cæsars, 113, 202.
Caligula, 114, 211.
Calydon, 247.
Camarina, 91.
Campania, 79.
Canaanites, 228.
Capella, 22.
Cappadocia 81 211, 230.
Caria, 63, 65, 79, 81, 103, 107, 129, 191.
Carpians, 232.
Carthage, 105.
Casius, 232.
Caucasus, 245.
Cebren, 72.
Cecropes, 246.
Celt, 115, 216.
Celtic land, 154, 215.
Centaur, 121.
Chalcedon, 77, 80.
Chalcis, 232.
Chaldean, 66, 137.
Chios, 77.
Christ, 31, 32, 39, 57, 145, 150, 152, 171-177, 182, 183, 184 (see Messiah).
Cibyra, 104.
Cicero, 108, 258.
Cilicia, 199, 220, 241.
Circe, 94.
Claudius Cæsar, 114, 212.
Clement of Alexandria 85, 99, 100, 123, 130, 176, 257, 258, 259, 261.
Clement of Rome, 167.
Cleopatra, 59, 114, 201, 202, 203, 210.
Clitor, 72.
Clytemnestra, 195, 196.
C�le-Syria, 152.
Colchis, 211, 244.
Colophon, 72, 152.
Comet, 72, 170, 249.
Commodus, 218.
Constantine, 263.
Constellations, 125, 141, 228.
Corcyra 131.
Corfu, 131.
Corinth, 80, 104, 115, 126, 152.
Corsica, 79.
Cragus, 77
Crassus, 151.
Creation, 15, 260.
Creation of man, 182.
Crete, 62, 81, 138, 163
Crobyzi, 79.
Cronos, 28, 61, 62, 63, 65, 74, 163, 198, 219.
Cross, The, 146, 173.
Croton, 103.
Ctesiphon, 137.
Cyme, 130, 131.
Cypris, 43.
Cyprus, 78, 106, 107, 138, 149.
Cyrene, 125, 252.
Cyriades, 229.
Cyril, 258.
Cyrus, 69, 87, 193.
Cyzicus, 77, 104.

DACIA, 217, 229.
Daians, 81.
Daniel, 48.
Dardanus, 81.
Darius Codomannus, 199.
David, 146, 150, 173.
Decius, 229, 230.
Delos, 74, 104, 149, 169.
Deluge, The, 25, 149.
Demeter, 61.
Diana, 129.
Dies iræ, 172.
Diocletian, 241.
Dione, 61.
Dionysius Halicarnasseus, 270.
Dionysus, 246.
Dodona, 62, 247.
Domitian, 115, 214.
Don, 72.
Dorylæum, 76.
Dreskyllas, 244.

EGYPT, 31, 57, 63, 65, 67, 70, 72, 85, 86, 102, 113, 117, 118, 119, 123, 129, 132, 138, 139, 140, 150, 161, 168, 190, 191, 192, 194, 199, 200, 201, 202, 204, 209, 211, 212, 242, 245, 246, 247, 250, 251, 252.
Elijah, 45, 48.
Elysian field, 51.
Empedocles, 257.
Empiricus, 161.
Enoch, Book of, 46.
Ephesus, 72, 78, 130.
Erebus, 20, 88.
Eridanus, 121, 131, 211.
Erinys, 76, 195.

{p. 289}

Erythre, 94.
Ethiopia 63, 65, 71, 81, 124, 125, 126, 140, 150, 161, 191, 192, 250.
Etna, 103.
Eugenius, 241.
Euphrates, 101, 105, 120, 137, 196, 230, 239, 240.
Europe, 72, 74, 76, 78, 99, 198, 200.
Europus, 62.
Eusebius, 28, 60, 171, 258, 261.
Euxine, 244.
Ewald, 65, 69, 73, 74, 79, 80, 150, 237, 242, 244, 245, 248.

Fates, The, 126.
Fenestella, 271.
Friedlieb, 189.

Gaia, 61
Galatians 80, 81, 85, 132.
Galba 115, 213.
Gallienus 234.
Gallus Trebonianus, 230.
Gauls, 125, 282.
Gaza, 72.
Gehenna, 15, 19, 49, 109.
Germans, 211, 215, 218, 239, 245.
Giants, 20.
Glaucus, 94.
Gnostos, 94.
Gog, 71, 81.
Gomperz, 72.
Gordian, 225.
Gratian, 242, 243.
Greece, 195, 247 (see Hellas).
Greeks, 82, 83, 85, 128, 166, 197, 243 (see Hellenes).
Gregory Nazianzen, 258.

Hades, 15, 18, 19, 20, 28, 32, 46, 47, 52, 75, 78, 80, 123, 165, 166, 168, 170, 172, 176, 195, 212, 245, 259
Hadrian, 75, 116, 163, 216.
Hæmus, 79.
Harmatius Achilles, 248.
Hebrews, 66, 67, 84, 100, 122, 156, 167, 190, 191, 193.
Hector, 77.
Helen, 76.
Heliogabalus, 221.
Hellas 81, 82, 83, 84, 87, 90, 102, 103, 104, 121, 198, 245 (see Greece).
Hellenes, 64, 65 (see Greeks).
Hellespont, 102, 132.
Heniochi, 211, 244.
Hera, 121.
Heracles, 118.
Hercules, 218.
Hermæ, 133.
Hermas, 153.
Hermes, 118.
Herodotus, 24, 99, 101, 102, 118, 132, 167, 179.
Hesiod, 15, 19, 44, 51, 56, 61, 131.
Hestia, 61.
Hierapolis, 72, 131, 222, 232.
Hippolytus, 126.
Homer, 15, 20, 23, 25, 51, 62, 76, 77, 196, 257.
Horace, 71.

IAPETUS, 28, 61.
Iassus, 72.
Iberians, 120, 215, 245.
Iernians, 245.
Ilias, 151.
Ilium, 76, 77, 195.
Ilus, 76.
India, 125, 192, 199, 204, 225, 227.
Ionians, 129.
Irenæus, 176.
Isaac, 48.
Iselastic contest, 38, 43.
Isis, 116, 139.
Italy (Italians), 73, 79, 104, 105, 106, 122, 132, 138, 150, 161, 194, 211, 212, 222, 227, 230, 242.
Ithome, 247.

JACOB, 48.
Jeremiah, 48.
Jerusalem, 105, 126, 128.
Jews, 106, 125, 127, 200, 215, 252.
Jonah, 48.
Joppa, 128.
Jordan, 145, 152.
Josephus, 22, 60, 94, 125, 140, 153, 200.
Joshua, 48, 128.
Judah, 69, 131.
Judea, 128, 146.
Judgment, 46, 47, 48, 59, 94, 101, 109, 133, 134, 155, 156, 165, 166, 170, 171, 172, 178, 179, 181.
Julianus, 220.
Julius Cæsar, 59, 114, 202.
Justin Martyr, 30, 90, 100, 108, 176, 258, 261, 267, 272.
Juvenal, 19.

KOPP, 22.


{p. 290}

Lactantius, 17, 29, 31, 73, 74, 83, 86, 87, 92, 93, 94, 101, 108, 116, 119, 122, 127, 129, 133, 136, 141, 145, 146, 155, 161, 163, 164, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 181, 257, 258, 260, 262, 267, 269 270.
Laodicea, 79, 105, 129, 150, 222, 241.
Lapithæ, 121.
Larissa, 243, 247.
Latin kings, 167.
Latins, 85, 123, 196, 210, 217, 245, 248, 249.
Latium, 113, 209.
Leo, 243.
Leontopolis, 140.
Lepidus, 58, 59.
Lesbos, 120, 131.
Libya, 65, 71, 125, 138, 191, 203, 242, 250.
Locri, 77.
Lollian, 240.
Lycia, 77, 81, 105, 120, 132.
Lycurgus, 130.
Lycus, 79, 150, 232.
Lydia, 64, 78, 81, 129, 132, 197.
Lysimachus, 132.

MACEDONIA., 63, 64, 65, 74, 85, 103, 104, 132, 134, 138, 154, 161, 198, 200, 211, 221.
Macrianus, 234, 238.
Macrinus, 239.
Mæander, 107, 131.
Mænad, 116, 123, 124, 139.
Mæotis, 72, 243.
Magian shrines, 163.
Magnesia, 72.
Magog, 71, 81.
Mai, Angelo, 189.
Mardians, 81.
Marsyas, 27, 232.
Martial, 64.
Mary, 183.
Massagetæ, 120, 240, 245.
Maximinus, 225.
Mazaka, 230.
Medes, 63, 101, 102, 114, 122, 137, 161, 191, 192, 197, 210, 240, 245.
Memphis, 114, 117, 123, 190, 191, 200,
Mendelssohn, 27, 40, 78, 84, 105, 108, 122.
Meroe, 192.
Meropeia, 72.
Messiah, 30-32, 39, 45, 57, 69, 119, 128, 136, 150, 169, 177 (see Christ).
Michael, 46, 210.
Miletus, 131.
Millennial glory, 50, 51, 89, 90, 92, 93, 136, 156, 171, 253 (see Messiah and Christ).
Molossia, 243, 247.
Mopsus, 228.
Moses, 48, 67, 128, 173, 217.
Mygdonia, 154.
Mykene, 72.
Myra, 105.
Myrina, 72.
Mysia, 63, 80, 81, 132.
Mystic name, 21, 30, 56, 164.

NEMEA, 115, 216.
Nepos, 244.
Nereus, 25.
Nero, 79, 99, 105, 106, 115, 119, 121, 126, 133, 134, 136, 164, 168, 212, 231.
Nerva, 115, 215.
Nicæa, 72.
Niger, 220.
Nile, 102, 117, 139, 150, 197, 201, 204, 227, 242, 249, 252.
Noah, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 149.

Octavius, 58, 59.
Odenatus, 233, 234, 237.
Oiantheia, 72.
Olympian games, 250.
Olympus, 154, 247.
Origen, 51, 176.
Ossa, 247.
Otho, 115, 213.
Ovid, 19, 107, 108.

PALLADIUM, 163, 219.
Palladius, 74.
Palmyra, 233, 240.
Pamphylia, 63, 65, 81, 132, 138, 191.
Pandonia, 72.
Pannonia, 212, 215, 232.
Panopeus, 204.
Paphos, 106, 138.
Paradise, 16, 262.
Parthia, 106, 137, 196, 210, 217, 239, 240, 243, 245.
Patara, 77, 105.
Pausanias, 198.
Pelasgi, 244.
Peleus. 77.
Pella, 113, 199, 209.
Peloponnesian War, 103.
Peneus, 62, 121, 248, 247.
Pergamos, 120.
Perseus, 74.

{p. 291}

Persians, 63, 65, 69, 78, 85, 102, 103, 114, 119, 120, 122, 127, 132, 137, 150, 161, 169, 191, 192, 194, 197, 221, 225, 227, 228, 230, 231, 233, 234, 240, 241, 243, 244, 245.
Pertinax, 220.
Phasis, 243.
Phenix, 167.
Philemon, 258.
Philip 113, 198, 209, 229.
Philippopolis, 228.
Philippus, 226.
Phocylides, 39.
Ph�bus, 99, 131.
Ph�nicia, 63, 80, 85, 120, 125, 152, 213, 215, 241, 250.
Phraates, 137.
Phrygia, 24, 26, 62, 63, 65, 75, 76, 81, 102, 121, 149, 195, 222, 242, 244, 247.
Phthia, 243.
Pierian, 247.
Pisidians, 132.
Pitane, 120.
Plato, 18, 37, 267, 272, 273.
Pliny, 38, 167.
Plutarch, 161.
Pluto, 62.
Poseidon, 23, 76, 122.
Priam, 77.
Propontis, 77, 242, 244.
Ptolemies, 65, 70, 85, 90, 200, 201.
Punishment, Future, 51, 262.
Pyramids, 123.
Pyramus, 104, 228, 232.
Python, 124, 204.

Quintilius, 239.

Ramiel, 46.
Raphael, 46.
Ravenna, 125.
Rawlinson, 137.
Remus, 113, 194.
Resurrection, 109, 171, 172, 175, 181.
Rhea, 61, 62, 63, 75, 121, 163.
Rhine, 211, 215.
Rhodes, 78, 104, 149, 168.
Rhyndacus, 77.
Rome, 57, 58, 63, 64, 71, 72, 73, 74, 106, 107, 121, 126, 127, 137, 138, 154, 155, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 202, 209, 210, 212, 214, 215, 217, 219, 221, 222, 227, 229, 230, 231, 233, 234, 238, 239, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 248, 249.
Romulus, 113, 194, 202.
Rufael, 46
Rzach, 189, 263.

Salamis, 106, 138.
Samaria, 58.
Samians, 78.
Samiel, 46.
Samos, 74, 79, 104, 109.
Samians, 232.
Sapor, 233.
Sarapis, 139.
Saraquel, 46.
Sardinia, 79, 154.
Sardis, 129.
Sardonic smile, 23.
Sassanidæ, 221, 225.
Sauromatians, 212.
Scipio, 79.
Scyros, 107.
Scythia, 243, 244, 245, 247.
Sebastenes, 58.
Seleucia, 230.
Seleucus Ceraunus, 75.
Seneca, 106.
Septemius Severus, 167.
Severus, 167, 220, 221, 222.
Sibyl, Self-testimony of 15, 37, 52, 55, 63, 65, 66, 70, 80, 89, 94, 95, 100, 116, 119, 157, 168, 179, 204, 205, 222, 225.
Sibyls, Traditions of, 265, 266, 269, 270, 272.
Sicily, 103, 114, 149, 197, 210, 251.
Sicyon, 80.
Sidon, 78, 125, 241.
Sinai, 67.
Sinope, 72.
Sirens, 138.
Smyrna, 72, 73, 120, 130.
Socrates, 37.
Sodom, 146.
Solomon, 32, 33, 63, 66, 193.
Solyma, 105, 166, 213.
Sozomen, 146.
Sparta, 76, 195.
Spartacus, 123.
Strabo, 62, 79, 104, 118, 130, 131, 152.
Styx, 62, 109.
Suetonius, 113.
Suicer, 30.
Surjan, 46.
Susa, 104.
Syagra, 72.
Syene, 124.
Syria, 63, 120, 125, 155, 166, 227, 230, 231, 233, 250.

{p. 292}

TACITUS, 125, 167.
Tanagra, 72.
Tanais, 72.
Tarquin and the Sibyl, 266, 270.
Tartarus, 15, 19, 20, 49, 50, 109, 123, 173, 179.
Taurus, 241.
Temple, The, 32, 33, 66, 69, 71, 84, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 105, 106, 122, 135, 140, 141, 193.
Tenedos, 80.
Tertullian, 61, 74, 176.
Tethys, 56.
Tetricus, 240.
Teucheira, 125.
Thales, 102.
Thebes, 103, 124, 155, 168.
Theodoret, 258.
Theodosius, 242, 243.
Theophilus, 22, 60, 257, 259, 260.
Thessaly, 121, 152.
Thmois, 118.
Thrace, 81, 114, 132, 139, 197, 198, 210, 211, 212, 215, 220, 244.
Tiber, 123, 164.
Tiberian sea, 213.
Tiberius, 114, 210.
Tigris, 102, 196.
Tishbite, 45.
Titan, 28, 61.
Titans, The, 29, 47, 62, 63, 65.
Titus 32, 106, 115, 213, 214.
Trajan, 115, 215, 229, 230.
Trallis, 78, 129.
Trebonianus, 230.
Triballi, 140, 198, 212.
Tricca, 247.
Tripolis, 131, 240.
Triumvirate, 58.
Trojan car, 168.
Troy, 65, 113, 195, 196, 209.
Tyana, 230.
Tyre, 103, 138, 152, 241.

UR, 66.
Uranus, 61.
Uriel, 46, 47.
Urjan, 46.

VALENS, 238.
Valerian, 233.
Varro, 269, 270.
Vergil, 15, 28, 76, 91, 94.
Verus, 217.
Vespasian, 106, 115, 125, 211, 213.
Vestal virgins, 135.
Vesuvius, 79, 106.
Victorinus, 248.
Virgin, 50, 174, 175, 183, 184.
Vitellius, 115, 213.
Volusianus, 230, 232.
Vulcan, 38.

WOMAN, Rule of, 59, 170.
Wood (cross), 146, 173, 277.
Word, The, 174, 175, 183, 184, 210, 219.

Xerxes, 103, 197.
Xois, 118.

ZEUS, 61, 62, 113, 118, 195, 198, 209.

The Sibylline Oracles
Translated from the Greek into English
by Milton S. Terry, Professor in Garrett Biblical Institute


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