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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Anon., Sibylline Oracles, 5.298-5.305

nanHe also shall destroy and smite thy land

nanAs it hath been appointed. For to him

nan300 God gave strength to accomplish that which could

nanNo earlier of all the kings together.

nanAnd first with sickle cleaving off the root

nanFrom three heads he shall give food in exce

nanTo others, so that kings unclean shall eat

nan305 The flesh of parents. For unto all men

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1. Anon., Sibylline Oracles, 5.1-5.287, 5.289, 5.294-5.296, 5.299-5.305, 5.324-5.332, 5.344-5.345, 5.349-5.370, 5.381, 5.386-5.448, 5.483-5.488, 5.492-5.530 (1st cent. BCE - 5th cent. CE)

5.1. BUT come, now, hear of me the mournful time 5.2. of sons of Latium. And first of all 5.3. After the kings of Egypt were destroyed 5.4. And the like earth had downwards borne them all 5.5. 5 And after Pella's townsman, under whom 5.6. The whole East and the rich West were cast down 5.7. whom Babylon dishonored, and stretched out 5.8. For Philip a dead body (not of Zeus 5.9. of Ammon not true things were prophesied) 5.10. 10 And after that one of the race and blood 5.11. of king Assaracus, who came from Troy 5.12. Even he who cleft the violence of fire 5.13. And after many lords, and after men 5.14. To Ares dear, and after the young babes 5.15. 15 The children of the beast that feeds on sheep 5.16. The very first lord shall be, who shall sum 5.17. Twice ten with the first letter of his name; 5.18. In wars exceeding powerful shall he be; 5.19. And he shall have the initial sign of ten; 5.20. 20 And in like manner after him to reign 5.21. Is one who has the alphabet's first letter; 5.22. Before him Thrace and Sicily shall crouch 5.23. Then Memphis, Memphis cast headlong to earth 5.24. By reason of the cowardice of ruler 5.25. 25 And of a woman unenslaved who fall 5.26. Upon the wave. And laws will he ordain 5.27. For peoples and put all things under him; 5.28. But after a long time shall he transmit 5.29. His power unto another, who shall have 5.30. 30 Three hundred for his first initial sign 5.31. And of a river the beloved name 5.32. And the Persians he shall rule and Babylon; 5.33. And then shall he smite Medians with his spear. 5.34. Then shall one rule who has the initial sign 5.35. 35 of the number three. And then shall be a lord 5.36. Who shall for first initial have twice ten; 5.37. And he shall come to Ocean's utmost water 5.38. And by Ausonia cleave the refluent tide. 5.39. And one whose mark is fifty shall be lord 5.40. 40 A dreadful serpent breathing grievous war 5.41. Who sometime stretching forth his hands shall make 5.42. An end of his own race and stir all things 5.43. Acting the athlete, driving chariots 5.44. Putting to death and daring countless things; 5.45. 45 And he shall cleave the mountain of two sea 5.46. And sprinkle it with gore; but out of sight 5.47. Shall also vanish the destructive man; 5.48. Then, making himself equal unto God 5.49. Shall he return; but God will prove him naught. 5.50. 50 And after him shall three kings be destroyed 5.51. By one another. Then a great destroyer 5.52. of pious men shall come, whom seven times ten 5.53. Shall point out clearly. But from him a son 5.54. Whom the first letter of three hundred proves 5.55. 55 Shall take the power. And after him shall be 5.56. A ruler, of the initial sign of four 5.57. A life-destroyer. Then a reverend man 5.58. of the number fifty. Next, succeeding him 5.59. Who has the first mark of the initial sign 5.60. 60 Three hundred, shall a Celtic mountaineer 5.61. Into the strife of battle pressing on 5.62. Escape not fate unseemly, but shall be 5.63. Worn weary unto death; him foreign dust 5.64. But dust that of Nemea's flower has name 5.65. 65 Shall hide a corpse. And after him shall rule 5.66. Another man, with silver helmet decked; 5.67. And unto him shall be the name of a sea; 5.68. And he shall be a man the best of all 5.69. And in all things discreet. And upon thee 5.70. 70 Thou best of all, above all, dark-haired one 5.71. And upon thy shoots shall be all these days. 5.72. After him three shall rule; but the third one 5.73. Shall at a late time hold the royal power. 5.74. Worn out am I, thrice-miserable one 5.75. 75 Sister of Isis, to lay up in heart 5.76. An evil message, and an inspired song 5.77. of oracles. First Mænades shall dart 5.78. Around thy much-lamented temple's steps 5.79. And thou shalt be in evil hands that day 5.80. 80 When the Nile some time shall fill the whole land 5.81. of Egypt even to sixteen cubits deep; 5.82. It shall wash all the land, and water it 5.83. For mortals; and the pleasure of the land 5.84. Shall be still and the glory of her face. 5.85. 85 Memphis, thou most shalt over Egypt wail; 5.86. For of old ruling mightily the land 5.87. Thou shalt become poor, so that out of heaven 5.88. The Thunderer shall himself with great voice cry: 5.89. “O mighty Memphis, who didst boast of old 5.90. 90 O'er craven mortals greatly, thou shalt wail 5.91. Full of pain and all-hapless, so that thou 5.92. Thyself shalt the eternal God perceive 5.93. Immortal in the clouds. Where among men 5.94. Is now thy mighty pride? Because thou didst 5.95. 95 Against my God-anointed children rave 5.96. And didst urge evil forward on good men 5.97. Thou shalt for such things suffer penalty 5.98. In some like manner. No more openly 5.99. For thee shall there be right among the blessed; 5.100. 100 Fallen from the stars, thou shalt not rise to heaven.” 5.101. Now these things unto Egypt God bade me 5.102. Speak out for the last time, when men shall be 5.103. Utterly evil. But they labor hard 5.104. Evil men evil things awaiting, wrath 5.105. 105 of the immortal Thunderer in heaven 5.106. Worshiping stones and beasts instead of God 5.107. And also fearing many things beside 5.108. Which have no speech, nor mind, nor power to hear; 5.109. Which things it is not right for me to mention 5.110. 110 Each one an idol, formed by mortal hands; 5.111. of their own labors and presumptuous thought 5.112. Did men receive gods made of wood and stone 5.113. And brass, and gold and silver, foolish too 5.114. Without life and dumb, molten in the fire 5.115. 115 They made them, vainly trusting such things. . . . 5.116. Thmois and Xois are in sore distress 5.117. And smitten is the hall of Heracle 5.118. And Zeus and Hermes (king). And as for thee 5.119. O Alexandria, famed nourisher 5.120. 120 (of cities) war shall not leave, nor (plague) . . . 5.121. For thy pride thou shalt pay as many thing 5.122. As thou before didst. Silent shalt thou be 5.123. A long age, and the day of thy return . . . 5.124. . . . . . . . 5.125. No more for thee shall flow luxurious drink . . . 5.125. 12 5 For there shall come a Persian on thy dale 5.126. . . . . . . . 5.126. And like hail shall he all the land destroy 5.127. And artful men, with blood and corpses. . . . 5.128. By sacred altars one of barbarous mind 5.129. Strong, full of blood and raging senselessly 5.130. 130 With countless numbers rushing to destruction. 5.131. And then shalt thou, in cities very rich 5.132. Be very weary. Falling on the earth 5.133. All Asia shall wail on account of gift 5.134. Crowning her head with which she was by thee 5.135. 135 Delighted. But, as he himself obtained 5.136. The Persian land by lot, he shall make war 5.137. And killing every man destroy all life 5.138. So that there shall remain for wretched mortal 5.139. A third part. But with nimble leap shall he 5.140. 140 Himself speed from the West, and all the land 5.141. Besiege and waste. But when he shall posse 5.142. The height of power and odious reverence 5.143. He shall come, wishing to destroy the city 5.144. Even of the blessed. And a certain king 5.145. 145 Sent forth from God against him shall destroy 5.146. All mighty kings and bravest men. And thu 5.147. Shall judgement by the Immortal come to men. 5.148. Alas, alas for thee, unhappy heart! 5.149. Why dost thou move me to declare these things 5.150. 150 The painful rule of Egypt over many? 5.151. Go to the East, to races of the Persian 5.152. Who lack in understanding, and show them 5.153. That which is now and that which is to be. 5.154. The river of Euphrates shall bring on 5.155. 155 A deluge, and it shall destroy the Persians 5.156. Iberians and Babylonian 5.157. And the Massagetæ that relish war 5.158. And trust in bows. All Asia fire-ablaze 5.159. Shall to the isles beam brightly. Pergamos 5.160. 160 Revered of old, shall perish from its base 5.161. And Pitane among men shall appear 5.162. All-desolate. All Lesbos shall sink deep 5.163. Into the deep, and thus shall be destroyed. 5.164. Smyrna, whirled down her cliffs, shall wail aloud 5.165. 165 She that was once revered and given a name 5.166. Shall perish utterly. Bithynian 5.167. Shall over their own country, then reduced 5.168. To ashes, wail, and o'er great Syria 5.169. And o'er Phœnicia that bas many tribes. 5.170. 170 Alas, alas for thee, O Lycia; 5.171. How many evils does the sea contrive 5.172. Against thee, mounting up of its own will 5.173. Upon the painful land! And it shall dash 5.174. With evil earthquake and with bitter stream 5.175. 175 On the rough Lycian land that once breathed perfume. 5.176. And there shall be for Phrygia fearful wrath 5.177. Because of sorrow for which Rhea came 5.178. Mother of Zeus, and there continued long. 5.179. The sea shall overthrow the Centaur race 5.185. 185 (Pretending once to bear the forms, of beasts). 5.186. Hellas thrice wretched shall the poets weep 5.187. When one from Italy shall smite the neck 5.188. of the isthmus, mighty king of mighty Rome 5.189. A man made equal to God, whom, they say 5.190. 190 And barbarous nation, and beneath the earth 5.190. 190 Zeus himself and the august Hera bore 5.191. Shall tear away the Lapithæan land. 5.191. He, courting by his voice all-musical 5.192. The river of deep eddies and deep flow 5.192. Applause for his sweet Songs, shall put to death 5.193. Peneus, shall destroy Thessalian land 5.193. With his own wretched mother many men. 5.194. Snatching men from the earth. Eridanu 5.194. From Babylon shall flee the fearful lord 5.195. 195 And shameless whom all mortals and best men 5.196. Abhor; for he slew many and laid hand 5.197. Upon the womb; against his wives he sinned 5.198. And of men stained with blood had he been formed. 5.199. And he shall come to monarchs of the Mede 5.200. 200 And Persians, first whom he loved and to whom 5.201. He brought renown, while with those wicked men 5.202. He lurked against a nation not desired 5.203. And on the temple made by God he seized 5.204. And citizens and people going in 5.205. 205 of whom I justly sang the praise, he burned; 5.206. For when this man appeared the whole creation 5.207. Was shaken and kings perished–and yet power 5.208. Remained among them, and they quite destroyed 5.209. The mighty city and the righteous people. 5.210. 210 But when the fourth year a great star shall shine 5.211. Which alone shall the whole earth overpower 5.212. Because of honor, which was first assigned 5.213. To lord Poseidon; then a great star shall come 5.214. From heaven into the dreadful sea and burn 5.215. 215 The vasty deep, and Babylon itself 5.216. And the land of Italy, because, of which 5.217. There perished many holy faithful men 5.218. Among the Hebrews and a people true. 5.219. Thou shalt be among evil mortals made 5.220. 220 To suffer evils, but thou shalt remain 5.221. All-desolate whole ages by thyself 5.222. Hating thy soil; for thou didst have desire 5.223. For sorcery, adulteries were with thee 5.224. And lawless carnal intercourse with boys 5.225. 225 Thou evil city, womanish, unjust 5.226. Ill-fated above all. Alas, alas! 5.227. Thou city of the Latin land, unclean 5.228. In all things, Mænad having joy in snakes 5.229. Over thy banks a widow shalt thou sit 5.230. 230 And the river Tiber shall lament for thee 5.231. His consort thee, who hast a blood-stained heart 5.232. And impious soul. Didst thou not understand 5.233. What God can do, and what he doth devise? 5.234. But thou saidst, “I'm alone, and me no one 5.235. 235 Shall sack.” But now shall God, who ever is 5.236. Thee and all thine destroy, and in that land 5.237. No longer shall thy ensign yet remain 5.238. As of old, when the mighty God received 5.239. Thy honors. Stay, O lawless one, alone 5.240. 240 And mixed with burning fire inhabit thou 5.241. In Hades the Tartarean lawless land. 5.242. And now again, O Egypt, I bewail 5.243. Thy blind delusion; Memphis, first in toils 5.244. Thou shalt be filled up with the dead; in thee 5.245. 245 The pyramids shall speak a ruthless sound. 5.246. O Python, who wast justly called of old 5.247. The double city, be for ages silent 5.248. So that thou mayest cease from wickedness. 5.249. Reckless in evils, treasury of toils 5.250. 250 Much-wailing Mænad, suffering, dire ills 5.251. Much-weeping, thou a widow shalt remain 5.252. Through all time. Thou didst full of years become 5.253. While thou alone wast ruling o'er the world; 5.254. But when the white dress Barea round herself 5.255. 255 Shall put on over that which is defiled 5.256. Would that I neither were nor had been born 5.257. O Thebes, where is thy great strength? A fierce man 5.258. Shall slay the people; but thou, wretched one 5.259. Grasping thy dusky dress shalt wail alone 5.260. 260 And thou shalt make atonement for all thing 5.261. Which thou aforetime with a shameless soul 5.262. Didst perpetrate. They also shall behold 5.263. A mourning on account of lawless deeds. 5.264. And a mighty man of the Ethiopian 5.265. 265 Shall overthrow Syene; by their might 5.266. Shall swarthy Indians occupy Teucheira. 5.267. Pentapolis, a man of mighty, strength 5.268. Shall burn thee whole. All-tearful Libya 5.269. Who shall explain thy follies? And Cyrene 5.270. 270 of mortals who shall pitiably weep 5.271. For thee? Thou shalt not even to the time 5.272. of thy destruction cease thy hateful wail. 5.273. Among the Britons and among the Gauls 5.274. Rich in gold, Ocean shall be roaring loud 5.275. 275 Filled with much blood; for evil thing 5.276. Did they unto God's children, when a king 5.277. of the Sidonians, a Phœnician, led 5.278. A mighty Gallic host from Syria; 5.279. And he shall slaughter thee, thyself, Ravenna 5.280. 280 And unto slaughter shall he lead the way. 5.281. O Indians and great-hearted Ethiops 5.282. Together fear; for when with these the course 5.283. of Capricorn and Taurus in the Twin 5.284. Shall wind about the middle of the heaven 5.285. 285 Virgo then rising, and about his front 5.286. Fastening a belt the sun shall lead all heaven 5.287. There shall be moving downwards to the earth 5.289. And a new nature in the warlike stars 5.294. The Fates three sisters, spinning shall aloft 5.295. 295 Lead him who flees by guile against the voice 5.296. of the isthmus, until all shall look at him 5.299. As it hath been appointed. For to him 5.300. 300 God gave strength to accomplish that which could 5.301. No earlier of all the kings together. 5.302. And first with sickle cleaving off the root 5.303. From three heads he shall give food in exce 5.304. To others, so that kings unclean shall eat 5.305. 305 The flesh of parents. For unto all men 5.324. There was once among men the sun's bright light 5.325. 325 The prophets' common ray being spread abroad; 5.326. Speech dripping honey, fair drink for all men 5.327. Appeared and grew, and day arose on all. 5.328. Because of this, thou narrow-minded one 5.329. Leader of greatest evils, both a sword 5.330. 330 And grief shall come in that day. For mankind 5.331. Both a beginning and great end of toil,– 5.332. of suffering creation and of part 5.344. Shall they be cut off; but they shall set up 5.345. 345 Their trophies for an age of evil men. 5.349. Who at one time did make the sun stand still 5.350. 350 When he spoke with fair word and holy lips 5.351. No longer vex thy soul within thy breast 5.352. By reason of the sword, rich child of God 5.353. Flower longed for by him only, goodly light 5.354. And noble branch, a scion much beloved 5.355. 355 Pleasant Judea, city beautiful 5.356. Inspired by hymns. No more shall unclean foot 5.357. of Greeks keep revel round about thy land 5.358. Who held within their breast a lawless mind; 5.359. But thee shall glorious children honor much 5.360. 360 [And be expert in songs and holy tongues] 5.361. With sacrifices of all kinds and prayer 5.362. Honored of God. All who endure the toil 5.363. of small affliction and the just shall have 5.364. More that is altogether beautiful; 5.365. 365 But the wicked, who to heaven sent lawless speech 5.366. Shall cease their speaking one against another 5.367. And hide themselves until the world be changed. 5.368. And there shall be a rain of gleaming fire 5.369. From the clouds; and no more shall mortals reap 5.370. 370 The fair corn from the earth; all things unsown 5.381. One Father, who alone is glorious 5.386. And Carians and Lydians rich in gold. 5.387. Alas, alas for thee, O Sardis; and ala 5.388. For Trallis much beloved; alas, alas 5.389. Laodicea, city beautiful; 5.390. 390 Thus shalt thou be by earthquakes overthrown 5.391. And ruined, and be also changed to dust. 5.392. And to Asia gloomy. . . . 5.393. Artremis' temple fixed at Ephesus . . . 5.394. By chasms, and earthquakes come headlong down 5.395. 395 Sometime into the dreadful sea, is storm 5.396. Overwhelm ships. And up-turned Ephesu 5.397. Shall wail aloud, lament beside her banks 5.398. And for her temple search which is no more. 5.399. And then incensed shall God the imperishable 5.400. 400 Who dwells on high, hurl thunderbolts from heaven 5.401. Down on the head of him that is impure. 5.402. And in the place of winter there shall be 5.403. In that day summer. And to mortal men 5.404. Shall then be great woe; for the Thunderer 5.405. 405 Shall utterly destroy all shameless men 5.406. And with his thunders and with lightning-flame 5.407. And blazing thunderbolts men of ill-will 5.408. And thus shall he destroy the impious ones 5.409. So that there shall remain upon the earth 5.410. 410 Dead bodies more in number than the sand. 5.411. For Smyrna also, weeping her Lycurgus 5.412. Shall come unto the gates of Ephesu 5.413. And she herself shall perish even more. 5.414. And foolish Cyme with her inspired stream 5.415. 415 Cast down by hands of godless men unjust 5.416. And lawless, shall to heaven not so much 5.417. As a word utter; but she shall remain 5.418. Dead in Cymæan streams. And then shall they 5.419. Together weep, awaiting evil things. 5.420. 420 Cyme's rough populace and shameless tribe 5.421. Having a sign, shall know for what they toiled. 5.422. And then, when they shall have bewailed their land 5.423. Reduced to ashes, by Eridanu 5.424. Shall Lesbos be forever overthrown. 5.425. 425 Alas, Corcyra, city beautiful 5.426. Alas for thee, cease from thy revelry. 5.427. Thou also, Hierapolis, sole land 5.428. With riches mixed, what thou hast longed to have 5.429. Thou shalt have, even a land of many tears 5.430. 430 Since thou wast angry towards a land beside 5.431. Thermodon's streams. Rock-clinging Tripolis 5.432. Beside the waters of Mæander, thee 5.433. Shall by the nightly surges under shore 5.434. God's wrath and foresight utterly destroy. 5.435. 435 Take me not, willing, to the neighboring land 5.436. of Phœbus; sometime shall a thunderbolt 5.437. Dainty Miletus from above destroy 5.438. Because she seized on Phœbus' crafty song 5.439. And the wise care and prudent plan of men. 5.440. 440 Father of all, be gracious to the land 5.441. of Judah, well fed, fruit-abounding, great 5.442. In order that thy judgments we may see. 5.443. For thou, O God, in kindness didst regard 5.444. This land first that it might appear to be 5.445. 445 Thy gracious gift unto all mortal men 5.446. And to hold fast what God put in their charge. 5.447. The works thrice wretched of the Thracian 5.448. I yearn to see, and wall between two sea 5.483. It doth behoove them faithfully to love 5.484. The Father, the wise God who ever is. 5.485. 485 In the last time, at the turning of the moon 5.486. There shall be raging through the world a war 5.487. And carried on with cunning, and in guile. 5.488. And from the limits of the earth shall come 5.492. And see all things more wisely than all men; 5.493. And that for whose sake he himself was slain 5.494. Shall he seize forthwith. And he shall destroy 5.495. 495 Many men and great tyrants and shall burn 5.496. All of them, as none other ever did 5.497. And he shall raise up them that are afraid 5.498. For emulation's sake. And from the West 5.499. Much war shall come to men, and blood shall flow 5.500. 500 Down hill till it becomes deep-eddying streams. 5.501. And in the plains of Macedonia 5.502. Shall wrath distil and give help from the West 5.503. But to the king destruction. And a wind 5.504. of winter then shall blow upon the earth 5.505. 505 And the plain be filled with evil war again. 5.506. For fire shall rain down from the heavenly plain 5.507. On mortals, and therewith blood, water, flash 5.508. of lightning, murky darkness, night in heaven 5.509. And waste in war and o'er the slaughter mist 5.510. 510 And these together shall destroy all king 5.511. And noblest men. Thus shall be made to cease 5.512. Then the destruction pitiable of war. 5.513. And no more shall one fight with swords or iron 5.514. Or even darts, which things shall not again 5.515. 515 Be lawful. But wise people shall have peace 5.516. Who were left, having made proof of wickedness 5.517. That they might at the last be filled with joy. 5.518. Ye matricides, leave off your impudence 5.519. And evil-working boldness, who of old 5.520. 520 provided lawlessly lewd couch with boys 5.521. And placed as harlots maidens pure before 5.522. In brothels by assault and punishment 5.523. And by much-laboring indecency. 5.524. For in thee mother with her child did hold 5.525. 525 Unlawful intercourse, and daughter wa 5.526. With her own father wedded as a bride; 5.527. And in thee kings have their ill-fated mouth 5.528. Polluted, and in thee have wicked men 5.529. Found couch with cattle. Be in silence hushed 5.530. 530 Thou wicked city all-bewailed, possessed

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
discipline Dobroruka, Second Temple Pseudepigraphy: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Apocalyptic Texts and Related Jewish Literature (2014) 97
divine judgment Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 177
ecstatic Dobroruka, Second Temple Pseudepigraphy: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Apocalyptic Texts and Related Jewish Literature (2014) 97
egypt Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 177
medium Dobroruka, Second Temple Pseudepigraphy: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Apocalyptic Texts and Related Jewish Literature (2014) 97
oniad authorship Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 216
onias temple Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 216
prophecy/prophetic' Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 216
roman, period Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 216
roman Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 216
rome Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 177
sibylline oracles, fifth book Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 216
sibylline oracles, third book Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 216
sibyls, jewish/christian sibyls Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 177
spirits Dobroruka, Second Temple Pseudepigraphy: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Apocalyptic Texts and Related Jewish Literature (2014) 97
violence, divine violence Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 177
violence Lester, Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4-5 (2018) 177