The Cumaean Sibyl – A Priestess
These Greeks used a local variant of the Greek alphabet; the Euboean alphabet which later developed into the Latin alphabet and became the world’s most widely used phonemic script. It was first adopted and modified by the Etruscans in 800 to 100 BC and later by the Romans in 300 -100 BC.
The Cumaeon Sibyl was known to be a priestess who presided over the Apollonian oracle at Cumae, the first Greek colony situated near Naples, Italy. Sibyl word is derived from the ancient Greek word sibylla which means prophetess.
It is said that there are many sibyls in different areas throughout the ancient world and due to the importance of the Cumaean Sibyl in the legend of early Rome as in Virgil’s Aeneid VI and also due to her proximity to Rome, the Cumaean Sibyl came to be very popular among the Romans.
Powerful Dominating Presence
There are several other names for the Cumaean Sibyl besides the Herophile of Pausania and Lacantius or the Aeneid’s Deiphobe, daughter of Glaucus, Amaltheia, Demophile or Taraxandra which are all portrayed in different references.
Rock/Sanctuary Carved from Huge Rock
According to Herodotus, the Erythraean Sibyls from modern day Turkey was famed among the Greeks and was the oldest Hellenic oracle while the Sibyls of Dodona most probably dating to the second millennium BC was favoured in the east.
According to the epic, these ancient texts relate about what the Aeneas and the men accompanying him felt and what the ancient people felt when they approached the cave of the prophetess.
Owned Nine Books of Prophecies
The earliest of the Sibyls was believed to be residing at Cumae and according to traditions, owned nine books of prophecies. When the Roman King Targuin was interested in purchasing her books, he was hesitant due to her high price she had quoted.
The Cumae is most famous as the seat of the Cumaean Sibyl and her sanctuary is presently open for tourist.