Sibylline Oracles

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Sibylline Oracles - Irterestiso Memoir. At a recent meeting of ihe...
Irterestiso Memoir. At a recent meeting of ihe of Literature, U oecreiary re. - - - - Dy iftC nor v. Roval Socielv rd and admirably argued Memo" - , ,. x : i - t j.. Pahr. - On the Onem of Ihe Latin irac.e, ..n; p. - pie ced in the Year 63 before the Chnrtian bra, a na. a - w . " i I. - V,... . the Monui Pn. lure wa about to wing - " - pie Jiegest JP"A " Jf''" partunere. Ssue - become current in Italy more than sixty years B. C. Ii rTadmheed, aUo, Ibal U bad lU immediate origin from ite.Zl - W. B.hP Harrier bel.evec I ib.i :il.e collection from which it o derived, was that which Tarquia mk! to hare obtained from the Gumean 6ibl; and the teamed prelate concluded, froiu a consideration of dates and oiher circumstances, that the oracle contained in those books were no oiher than corrupted fragments of the most ancient prophecies of the atriarcbal ages. Those ear'.ier sibylline books, however, perished in the conflagration of Ihe Capitol, eighty years before the Christian era; nor have we any reason to suppose that the oracle in question was really conlaineO in iliem. To remedy the loss of the volume of Tarquin. deputies were senl, by a decree of the senate, to various parts in . Italy, Greece, Africa, and Asia, for the purpose of ma king a new collection ; Irotu Ihe result 01 wnosc inquiries and labours in transcribing from the original documents existing in all the most ancient cities of the empire, the Camtol. when rebuilt aud consecrated, was furnished with a collection of sibylline oracles to:al!y ditfer - ent from the former. This took place in the year 66 B. C , and in the year 63, the oracle of the great king' approaching birth first makes its appearance. When this oracle was once known in Kome, it was found loo well to serve the purposes of ambition, or courtly flattery, to be forgotten' Immediately after ifs appearance. Li - mulus, on the authority of the sibylline books, pretended lhat the kingdom of Koine was destined lo three Cornell! ; lhat Svlla and Cinna were ihe two 6rst : and that he himself was the third of those predicted sovereigns. After l.eu - tnllls, the oracle, in form modified according to the existing circumstances, was employed, oy his Haltering friends to further the aspiring designs of Julius Caesar. But the most obvious and best known application of this oracle was that which directed it to Augustus. Augustus it happened was born immediately after the production of the oracle ; and il was as equally natural for admirers to see, and for his flatterers to feign they saw, the undoubted accomplishment if it in his becoming in reality king, or emperor, of the Romans. The question now presents itself how an oracle, that so precisely accords with the OfHnion which i at thai, or a somewiiat subsequent period, so prevalent in the fc - asi. found its way into the later collection of sibylline verses preserved in ihe Human Capitol? In answer lothis, the writer adduced what he deemed " a sufficiency of at least moral evidence ' lo prove, lhat both the western oracle aud the opinion which pervaded the East sprung from the same sourer, viz: from the sacred books of the Jews, through the medium of Greek translation ; various fragments of that version, we learn from Dinnysius. having been conveyed into Italy, a oracles delivered by some one of the reputed ten sybils. This conclusion appear to be strength - cued by the singular resemblance ofthe folliu of Virgil, both in thought and phraseology, to various Hebrew prophecies of the Messiah. A "general idea of the con tents ot the oracle being at thai tune tannliar, it is probable that the learned xH t was induced lo obtain a eight, eitber ol Ihe transcripts, or or the original documents. That he must have had some such means of aiiiheutic information is clear from the fad. that the Polliois no other than a poetical exhibition of the grand outlines ot the prophesy, ol winch the oracle is an epitome, set lor in in a style so mile agreeing with Ihe general spirit of heathen writers, ilia l it might be taken for a true prophecy of the Messiah, or at least for a poem on that sui - iect, in express imitation of the prophets of the Jewish nation. Lastly, and as key to the whole nivslerv. Air. Faber adduced per uasion that pre ailed subsequently to the time of the later collection of ihe sibylline oracles. That collection was thought to have been made from the writings not cf one sibyl only, bu: ot many. I hese mysterious females were originally reputed to have been four in number; but the list was afterwards augmente lo ten. Auwonc of the latter six sibvls, who were added to the original four tros said to have ben a Jettx, who was enrolled among wesioyis oi me Hebrews ol raiestinc. slUirnrum.

Clipped from
  1. The Evening Post,
  2. 13 Aug 1833, Tue,
  3. Page 2

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