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Headword: Sibulla Chaldaia
Adler number: sigma,361
Translated headword: Chaldaean Sibyl
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
She is called Hebrew by some, also Persian, and she is called by the proper name Sambethe from the race of the most blessed Noah; she prophesied about those things said with regard to Alexander [sc. the Great] of Macedon; Nikanor, who wrote a Life of Alexander, mentions her;[1] she also prophesied countless things about the lord Christ and his advent. But the other [Sibyls] agree with her, except that there are 24 books of hers, covering every race and region. As for the fact that her verses are unfinished and unmetrical, the fault is not that of the prophetess but of the shorthand-writers, unable to keep up with the rush of her speech or else uneducated and illiterate; for her remembrance of what she had said faded along with the inspiration. And on account of this the verses appear incomplete and the train of thought clumsy -- even if this happened by divine management, so that her oracles would not be understood by the unworthy masses.
[Note] that there were Sibyls in different places and times and they numbered ten.[2] First then was the Chaldaean Sibyl, also [known as] Persian, who was called Sambethe by name. Second was the Libyan. Third was the Delphian, the one born in Delphi. Fourth was the Italian, born in Italian Kimmeria. Fifth was the Erythraian, who prophesied about the Trojan war. Sixth was the Samian, whose proper name was Phyto; Eratosthenes wrote about her.[3] Seventh was the Cumaean, also [called] Amalthia and also Hierophile. Eighth was the Hellespontian, born in the village of Marmissos near the town of Gergition -- which were once in the territory of the Troad -- in the time of Solon and Cyrus. Ninth was the Phrygian. Tenth was the Tiburtine, Abounaia by name. They say that the Cumaean brought nine books of her own oracles to Tarquinus Priscus, then the king of the Romans; and when he did not approve, she burned two books. [Note] that Sibylla is a Roman word, interpreted as "prophetess", or rather "seer"; hence female seers were called by this one name. Sibyls, therefore, as many have written, were born in different times and places and numbered ten.
Greek Original:
Sibulla Chaldaia, hê kai pros tinôn Hebraia onomazomenê, hê kai Persis, hê kuriôi onomati kaloumenê Sambêthê, ek tou genous tou makariôtatou Nôe: hê tôn kata Alexandron ton Makedona legomenôn proeirêkuia: hês mnêmoneuei Nikanôr ho ton Alexandrou bion historêsas: hê peri tou despotou Christou muria prothespisasa kai tês autou parousias. alla kai hai loipai sunaidousin autêi, plên hoti tautês eisi biblia kd#, peri pantos ethnous kai chôras periechonta. hoti de hoi stichoi autês ateleis heuriskontai kai ametroi, ou tês prophêtidos estin hê aitia, alla tôn tachugraphôn, ou sumphthasantôn têi rhumêi tou logou ê kai apaideutôn genomenôn kai apeirôn grammatikôn: hama gar têi epipnoiai epepauto hê tôn lechthentôn mnêmê. kai dia touto heuriskontai kai hoi stichoi ateleis kai dianoia skazousa, eite kai kat' oikonomian theou touto gegonen, hôs mê ginôskointo hupo tôn pollôn kai anaxiôn hoi chrêsmoi autês. hoti Sibullai gegonasin en diaphorois topois kai chronois ton arithmon deka. prôtê oun hê Chaldaia hê kai Persis, hê kuriôi onomati kaloumenê Sambêthê. deutera hê Libussa. tritê Delphis, hê en Delphois techtheisa. tetartê Italikê, hê en Kimmeriai tês Italias. pemptê Eruthraia, hê peri tou Trôïkou proeirêkuia polemou. hektê Samia, hê kuriôi onomati kaloumenê Phutô: peri hês egrapsen Eratosthenês. hebdomê hê Kumaia, hê kai Amalthia, hê kai Hierophilê. ogdoê Hellêspontia, techtheisa en kômêi Marmissôi, peri tên polichnên Gergition, hai tês enorias pote Trôiados etunchanon, en kairois Solônos kai Kurou. enatê Phrugia. dekatê hê Tigourtia, onomati Abounaia. phasi de hôs hê Kumaia ennea biblia chrêsmôn idiôn prosekomise Tarkuniôi Priskôi tôi tênikauta basileuonti tôn Rhômaiôn: kai toutou mê prosêkamenou, ekause biblia b#. hoti Sibulla Rhômaïkê lexis estin, hermêneuomenê prophêtis, êgoun mantis: hothen heni onomati hai thêleiai mantides ônomasthêsan. Sibullai toinun, hôs polloi egrapsan, gegonasin en diaphorois topois kai chronois ton arithmon i#.
Notes:
For the block of Suda entries (mainly from Hesychius of Miletus) on Sibyls see sigma 254 though sigma 362; and generally OCD4 1360-61.
[1] FGrH 146 F1.
[2] This seems to be a modified version of Varro's list of the Sibyls.
[3] FGrH 241 F26b.
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; historiography; history; meter and music; religion; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 18 February 2000@23:25:51.
Vetted by:
William Hutton on 19 February 2000@10:33:25.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 16 January 2001@06:34:44.
David Whitehead (added keywords; restorative cosmetics) on 3 October 2002@09:58:47.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 4 May 2011@05:37:52.
David Whitehead on 24 December 2013@04:54:43.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@10:35:22.
David Whitehead (coding) on 25 May 2016@10:45:12.

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