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What are the ancient sibyls?

Sibyls are known to be women that were believed to be oracles by the ancient Greeks. The word Sibyl was derived from the Old French, Sibile, and the Latin word, Sibylia.  They associate themselves with prophecies that were affected and altered by the divine inspiration from a supreme being or deities. Today, a lot of people had stated and are showing proof that sibyls existed in Greece, Italy and Asia Minor.

Basically, Sibyls are known as prophetesses in Greek mythology and it is believed that they were connected to springs and caves, where the people think that those are symbolic places that are serves as a junction to the underworld and the Earth. Sibyls can appear as young maidens or old women.

In the 4th century, Sibyls have multiplied and they were kept in an areas associated with Apollo such as the oracle centers, known to be a place for prophets.  The prophecies seen by the Sibyls can emerge as riddles which are believed to be influenced by Apollo, the God of the Sun, and many other deities.

There was once an extremely popular Sibyl from Cumae, it was known that Apollo tendered to grant any wish that her heart desired in exchange of making love to him. She then scooped a handful of sand and asked to live a year for every bit of sand that she had held in her hands. Apollo obeyed as this is what she wished but then the woman refused to make love to him. Frustrated and angry, Apollo chastised her with eternal life but not youth, so she continued to age physically but she may never die.

The same Sibyl was also believed to have led Aeneas, one of the Greek heroes, to travel to the underworld to cross paths and have an encounter with his dead father named Anchises. He told his son that his descendants would make the most eminent and grandest empire in whole world that no one has ever seen yet. It is believed that his descendants founded Rome.

Here is a list of specific sibyls:

  1. Delphic sibyl – known to be as a mythical woman from the 11th century BC.


  1. Persian sibyl – a prophetic priestess who was in charge with the Apollonian Oracle. She was confused for being the Babylonian sibyl and the Egyptian sibyl.

  1. Erythraean sibyl – a sibyl located at Erythrae inside the town of Ionia, she was the one who had foreseen the Trojan War, the destruction of Troy and the false story written by Homer. It is believed that her prophecies are in relation to the term – acrostic, as her prophecies can be seen written on the leaves and are arranged so that it forms a word.


  1. Libyan sibyl – a prophetic priestess who was in charge with the ancient Zeus-Amon. The Libyan sibyls mother was the daughter of Poseidon, Lamia.

  1. Cumaean sibyl – the Romans were concerned most about the Cumaean sibyl, as she had foreseen the coming of a savior. The Christians have found and identified the savior as Jesus Christ.

  1. Tiburtine sibyl – her name was known to be Albunea, and she was worshipped as a Goddess at Tibur. Her prophecy claims the birth of the last emperor, Constans, who would defeat the adversaries of Christianity and the end of Paganism.


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