The Sibylline Prophecies were a miscellaneous collection of Jewish and Christian portents of future disasters and were accumulated among Christians of Late Antiquity
And the race of the Lydians rich in gold.
And then shall Hellenes, proud and impure,
Then shall a Macedonian nation rule,
210 Great, shrewd, who as a fearful cloud of war
Shall come to mortals. But the God of heaven
Shall utterly destroy them from the depth.
And then shall be another kingdom, white
And many-headed, from the western sea,
215 Which shall rule much land, and shake many men,
And to all kings bring terror afterwards,
And out of many cities shall destroy
Much gold and silver; but in the vast earth
There will again be gold, and silver too,
220 And ornament. And they will oppress mortals;
And to those men shall great disaster be,
When they begin unrighteous arrogance.
And forthwith in them there shall be a force
Of wickedness, male will consort with male,
225 And children they will place in dens of shame;
And in those days there shall be among men
A great affliction, and it shall disturb
All things, and break all things, and fill all things
With evils by a shameful covetousness,
230 And by ill-gotten wealth in many lands,
[208. Hellenes.–The Græco-Macedonian kingdom is here evidently intended.
213. Another kingdom.–That of Rome, here called white, or brilliant, in allusion to the white toga worn by the Roman magistrates. Competitors for office were called candidati, because of the white robe in which they presented themselves. Martial (Epig., viii, 65, 6) speaks of candida cultu Roma–“Rome white in apparel,” The epithet many-headed has been supposed to point to Rome while she was yet a republic and had her hundred or more senators as rulers. But there may be an allusion to the biblical symbolism of Dan. vii, 6, and Rev. xiii, 1.]
But most of all in Macedonia.
And it shall stir up hatred, and all guile
Shalt be with them even to the seventh kingdom,
Of which a king of Egypt shall be king
235 Who shall be a descendant from the Greeks.
And then the nation of the mighty God
Shall be again strong and they shall be guides
Of life to all men. But why did God place
This also in my mind to tell: what first,
240 And what next, and what evil last shall be
On all men? Which of these shall take the lead?
First on the Titans will God visit evil.
For they shall pay to mighty Cronos’s sons
The penal satisfaction, since they bound
245 Both Cronos and the mother dearly loved.
Again shall there be tyrants for the Greeks
And fierce kings overweening and impure,
Adulterous and altogether bad;
And for men shall be no more rest from war.
250 And the dread Phrygians shall perish all,
And unto Troy shall evil come that day.
And to the Persians and Assyrians
Evil shall straightaway come, and to all Egypt
And Libya and the Ethiopians,
255 And to the Carians and Pamphylians–
[233. Seventh kingdom.–Or seventh king (comp. line 765) of the Greek Egyptian dynasty. This would point to Ptolemy Philometer it we reckon Alexander the Great as the first king, but Ptolemy Physcon if the line of the Ptolemies alone are reckoned. Ewald adopts this latter view, Alexandre the former. All the Ptolemies were of Greek (or Macedonian) origin.
237. Again strong.–The writer seems in the spirit and hope of Old Testament prophets to conceive a triumph for the chosen people, is following hard upon the evils of his own time.
242-245.–This passage is in part a repetition of lines 188-190 above.]
765 The seventh of Egypt, shall rule his own land,
Reckoned from the dominion of the Greeks,
Which countless Macedonian men shall rule
910 And a great store of bows and arrows barbed;
For forest wood shall not be cut for
But, wretched Hellas, stop thy arroganceAnd be wise; and entreat the Immortal One
Magnanimous, and be upon thy guard.
[900-903. Cited by Justin Martyr, Cohort. ad Græcos, xvi [G., 6, 273].
907-911. Comp. lines 815-816 above, and note.
912. Wretched Hellas.–Addressed apparently to the Greek dominion of Egypt under the Ptolemies.
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