The Sibylline Oracles: Revised and Updated

The Sibylline Oracles: Revised and Updated by Michael D. Fortner

 

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Revised Edition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Dedication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Sibylline Oracles Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Book One. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Book Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Book Three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
Book Four . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94
Book Five . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Book Six . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
Book Seven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Book Eight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

Appendix:
A Few Objections Answered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161
Vossius’s Objections Collected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164
An Answer to du Pin and his English Commentator. . . . . . . . .167
These Absurdities Follow from du Pin's Opinion . . . . . . . . . . 168
Reasons Why Muhammad is the Antichrist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170
Reasons Why the Pope is not the Antichrist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

 

 

Introduction to the Revised Edition

Since there are only two other translations of the Sibylline Oracles in English, (Milton Terry 1899, and H. N. Bate 1918) this volume makes a worthwhile contribution, especially because the author also presents interpretation which any student of the oracles will appreciate. Though you may not agree 100% with his conclusions, his insights into interpretation are invaluable to anyone seeking to understand the meaning of the oracles.

Floyer’s translation only contains books 3-8 because it was the first English translation, and was originally published in 1713, before the other books were found and published in the 1800s. This book was originally written in early modern English, making it difficult for readers of modern English, therefore, I updated the spelling and grammar to make it readable. I also replaced a few archaic words with modern words and changed some punctuation to keep sentences from being the length of whole paragraphs.

Critics of the oracles call them faked because they clearly speak of one God and predict the coming of Christ and the coming Day of Judgment, but Floyer presents evidence for their existence long before the Christian era. He gives a strong defense of their genuineness, such as details of the numerous quotes from the oracles in other writings, including the Early Church Fathers, showing that they believed the oracles had long existed and to be genuine.

One critic, Milton Terry, though he calls them faked, yet states that Josephus quotes from the third book: “The citation from the Sibyl which appears in Josephus (Ant. 1, iv, 3) shows that the oldest portion of our present third book must have been current before the beginning of the Christian era.

The original Sibylline Oracles were collected at Rome, but were lost in a fire. A decree went out to find other copies and another collection was made, which is what we have available to us today. But just because some of these oracles were not part of the original collection does not make them faked. They need not have all been written by the first Sibyl to be genuine oracles made by female prophets. There are over a dozen named Sibyls, and likely were many more. All of which could have written genuine oracles.

Readers will greatly increase their understanding of the oracles by also reading the Terry and Bate translations, and comparing one with the other. If you wonder about the wording used in Terry’s or Bate’s translations, you can now compare their texts with Floyer’s. The introductions and footnotes of those translations also contain useful information. Both are available free online at various web sites such as www.futurerevealed.com and Google Books. Another translation and vindication of the oracles was published in 1715 by William Whiston, written for scholars.

Should the reader desire to compare this text with the text as originally published, the original page numbers are included from the top of each page. No line numbers are included in Floyer’s translation, but line numbers are of little use since both Terry and Bate (books 3-5) use different line numbering.

Comments added in the text by Floyer are included in these brackets [ ], comments added by myself are in these brackets { }. Floyer’s notes are stated simply as “Note” while mine are stated as “Editor’s Note.” Notes that are in boxes were originally in the margins. Those of you not familiar with English grammar may not recognize {sic} which is used when the reader may doubt if the word or spelling is a typo or if it was literally printed that way; it means what precedes {sic} is correct and literally that way in the text. A few margin notes were unreadable because some words were cut off during the scanning process by Google Books.

About the Author
Sir John Floyer (1649 - 1734) was a physician to Queen Anne. He invented a watch with a second hand to allow physicians to take a patient’s pulse count, and second hands have been on watches ever since.

BUY THIS BOOK


You can Download other translations at these links:


While gathering information for this web site, I came across another English translation of the Sibylline Oracles inside a book on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: by J. J. Collins, in The Old Testament Pseudoepigrapha, by James H. Charlesworth, New York: Doubleday, 1983.

I have only included Book Two of this translation, as it is copyrighted.


Articles About the Sibylline Oracles or quotes about the oracles from books

 

 
Send comments and questions to: okmike77 at yahoo dot com.