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sibyl

sibyl a woman in ancient times supposed to utter the oracles and prophecies of a god; in later times the number of sibyls was usually given as ten, living at different times and places in Asia, Africa, Greece, and Italy. Among them were the Erythraean Sibyl, who was said to have prophesied to Hecuba, and the Cumaean Sibyl, said in Virgil's Aeneid to have been visited by Aeneas.

It was the Cumaean Sibyl who was said to have offered nine books of oracles to Tarquin the Proud (see Tarquinius), the last king of Rome; when he repeatedly refused to pay the price she asked, she burned six of the nine Sibylline books before his eyes.

She was also said to have asked the god Apollo for longevity, which was granted, but to have forgotten at the same time to ask for eternal youth; a character in Petronius's Satyricon says that he has seen her in her extreme old age.
Sibylline books books containing the prophecies of the Cumaean Sibyl, three of which she supposedly sold to Tarquinus Superbus, king of ancient Rome, at the price of the original nine.

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sibyl

sibyl (sĬb´Ĭl), in classical mythology and religion, prophetess. There were said to be as many as 10 sibyls, variously located and represented. The most famous was the Cumaean sibyl, described by Vergil in the Aeneid. When she offered Tarquin her prophetic writings, the so-called sibylline books, he refused to pay her high price. She kept burning the books until finally he bought the remaining three at the original price. Although the historical origins of the books are uncertain, they were actually kept at Rome in the Capitol and were consulted by the state in times of emergency. The books were destroyed in the burning of the Capitol in 83 BC, but a new collection was made. This was burned in AD 405. The sibyls achieved a stature in Christian literature and art similar to that of the Old Testament prophets.

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Sibyl

Sibyl

General term for a prophetess. The original Sibyl was believed to have lived in Asia Minor in the seventh century B.C.E. , but three centuries later various sibyls were claimed in different parts. Sibylline prophecies in hexameters ascribed to Sibyl were current in classical Greece and were referred to by Aristophanes and Plato.

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Sibyl

Sibyl Prophetess of Greek and Roman mythology. The Sibyl of Cumae offered nine books of her prophecies to Tarquinius Superbus of Rome. He refused her price, so she began burning the books until he bought the remaining three for the price she had asked for all nine. They were consulted in times of national emergency.

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sibyl

sib·yl / ˈsibəl/ • n. a woman in ancient times supposed to utter the oracles and prophecies of a god. ∎ poetic/lit. a woman able to foretell the future. DERIVATIVES: sib·yl·line / ˈsibəˌlīn; -ˌlēn/ adj.

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Sibyl

Sibyl woman possessing powers of divination. XIII. — OF. Sibile (mod. Sibylle) or medL. Sibilla, L. Sibylla, Sibulla — Gr. Sibulla.
So Sibylline XVI. — L.; see -INE1.

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sibyl

sibylbill, Brazil, brill, Camille, chill, cookchill, dill, distil (US distill), downhill, drill, Edgehill, Estoril, fill, freewill, frill, fulfil (US fulfill), Gill, goodwill, grill, grille, hill, ill, instil, kill, krill, mil, mill, nil, Phil, pill, quadrille, quill, rill, Seville, shill, shrill, sill, skill, spadille, spill, squill, still, stock-still, swill, thill, thrill, till, trill, twill, until, uphill, will •hwyl • bank bill • handbill • waxbill •playbill, waybill •cranesbill • sibyl • crossbill • sawbill •hornbill • storksbill • shoebill •spoonbill • duckbill • razorbill •gerbil • wind chill • Churchill • idyll •daffodil • back-fill • landfill • monofil •fibrefill (US fiberfill) • chlorophyll •bluegill

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