Thursday, January 02, 2020

The Sibyl's Pompeii prophecy

OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA WATCH: Could a Jewish author have been first to record destruction of ancient Pompeii? The Sibylline Oracles, likely written by a Jew post-Vesuvius eruption, ostensibly prophecy the city’s devastation as divine retribution for sacking of Second Temple 9 years prior (Julie Masis, Times of Israel).
If the fourth Sibylline Oracle was really written no later than 81 CE, it might predate by several decades the letters of Pliny the Younger, who survived the eruption when he was a teenager and wrote a lengthy account of the experience later on. Pliny published his letters between the years 100 and 109.

Still, the Sibylline Oracle cannot begin to compare with the details included in Pliny’s letters, which provide a first-person account of the disaster.
For more on Pliny's letter about the eruption of Pompeii, see here and here. And for still more posts on Vesuvius and Pompeii, follow the links in the latter post, plus see here. For a post on an apocryphal quote from the Sibylline Oracles on Pompeii, see here.

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