Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Sibyl, a name given to certain prophetic virgins - ten or more in number - of ancient times, the most noted of whom was She of Cumae. This sibyl it is who is said to have offered the nine sibylline books, prophetic of the fortunes of Rome, to King Tarquin at a certain price. He demurred, whereupon she burnt three, finally making over to him the three left at the original price. Priests were appointed to take charge of them and study their interpretation. These were afterwards increased to fifteen. In B.C. 83 the books with the temple that contained them were burnt. Researches were made in different directions, the result being that about 1,000 sibyllin utterances were discovered. They were revised from time to time to eliminate forgeries, and were more than once again destroyed by fire; and even as late as 270 A.D. it was proposed that they should be consulted. A supposed collection of those remaining was published at Amsterdam in 1689.