The Collaborative International Dictionary
Sibylline \Sib"yl*line\, a. [L. sibyllinus.] Pertaining to the sibyls; uttered, written, or composed by sibyls; like the productions of sibyls. Sibylline books.
(Rom. Antiq.) Books or documents of prophecies in verse concerning the fate of the Roman empire, said to have been purchased by Tarquin the Proud from a sibyl.
Certain Jewish and early Christian writings purporting to have been prophetic and of sibylline origin. They date from 100 b. c. to
The Sibylline Books were a collection of oracular utterances, set out in Greek hexameters, that according to tradition were purchased from a sibyl by the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, and were consulted at momentous crises through the history of the Republic and the Empire. Only fragments have survived, the rest being lost or deliberately destroyed.
The Sibylline Books should not be confused with the so-called Sibylline Oracles, twelve books of prophecies thought to be of Judaeo-Christian origin.
Usage examples of "sibylline books".
The Sibylline Books prophesied that an enemy of Rome would perish on the day of the battle, and of course Maxentius said it must be me, and the astrologers were muttering darkly about a conjunction of Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus in Capricorn.
Also, besides the manuscripts, I have letters that offer revelations on the connections between Joan of Arc and the Sibylline Books, between Lilith the Talmudic demon and the hermaphroditic Great Mother, between the genetic code and the Martian alphabet, between the secret intelligence of plants, cosmology, psychoanalysis, and Marx and Nietzsche in the perspective of a new angelology, between the Golden Number and the Grand Canyon, Kant and occultism, the Eleusian mysteries and jazz, Cagliostro and atomic energy, homosexuality and gno-sis, the golem and the class struggle.
As neither a cause nor a cure could be found for its fatal ravages, the senate ordered the Sibylline Books to be consulted.
Servilius, the Pontifex Maximus, was instructed to search in the pontifical rolls for the method of appeasing the wrath of the gods, and the Keepers of the Sacred Books were to examine their Sibylline Books.
Owing to the unusual number of showers of stones which had fallen during the year, an inspection had been made of the Sibylline Books, and some oracular verses had been discovered which announced that whenever a foreign foe should carry war into Italy he could be driven out and conquered if the Mater Idaea were brought from Pessinus to Rome.