Cumaen Sibyl

Cumaen Sibyl

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Inlaid marble mosaic of the Cumaean Sibyl, one of the ten Sibyls set in the floor of the Duomo of Siena. Though these mosaics were created in 1482-3, the legendary Sibyls date from the myths of ancient Greece. Their role was that of prophetess, acting as oracles at the various holy sites of classical antiquity. These Siena Sibyls, each named after their locality, are now associated with Christian concepts. The Cumaean Sibyl presided over the oracle at the Greek colony of Cumae, near present-day Naples.She prophesied the coming of a saviour who some Christians interpreted as foretelling the birth of Christ, however, the scroll in her right hand refers to the Resurrection.

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Keywords: ancient greece, antiquity, apollo, apollonian, cathedral, christian, crucifixion, cumae, duomo, greek colony, legend, marble, mosaic, myth, naples sibyls, oracle, pagan, prophetess, sibyl, siena

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