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Cumae Cave 780

The Cumean Cave which was the location of the Cumaean Oracle

The Oracle of Cumae was home to the Cumaean Sibyl, author of the Sibylline Books.

History

SibylCumae

The Sibyl of Cumae

According to the myth, the Cumaean Sibyl came to Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last Roman king, from another country and offered nine books. Seeing how immense the price was, Tarquin simply sent her away and continued doing his work. The Sybil burned three of the books and offered them for the same price, which was promptly rejected. She burned three more and offered the same thing with the same reaction. She burned two more and offered the last one for the same price. King Tarquin was very curious and he could not believe someone would offer him one book for such a huge price and finally decided to buy it. All of the prophecies affecting the Roman Empire were said to have been in these books, but they have been lost for centuries after the Temple of Jupiter burned.

Although she was a mortal, the Cumaean Sibyl lived about a thousand years, at the age of seven hundred she met Aeneas. She was able to live for so long due to Apollo offering her a wish in exchange for her love consent to him. She took a handful of sand and asked to live for as many years as the sand-grains she piled. However, she failed to ask for eternal youth and after she refused the god's love, Apollo allowed her body to wither away. Her body was eventually kept in a jar, ampulla, and soon only her voice was left.

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