Hellespontic Sibyl

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Hellespontische Sibylle, Jörg Syrlin (1455–1521), Ulm Minster , choir stalls
Sibilla hellespontica, from Schedel's world chronicle , 1493

The Hellespontic sibyl is one of the ten sibyls that are provided with a geographical epithet . These additional names are based on Laktanz on Varro , a Roman writer of the 1st century BC. Chr., Traced back.

According to ancient legend, the place of the oracle of a Hellespontic Sibyl was on the Hellespont on the coast of Asia Minor. Among other things, the town of Marpessos claimed to have one of the oldest sibyl sanctuaries ( Temenos ). However, there is hardly any direct reference to a sibyl especially at this location in preserved sources from Greek and Roman antiquity .

Based on lactance, the Christian Middle Ages and the Renaissance understood the Hellespontic sibyl as a pagan herald of an expectation of God, almost on a par with the prophets . At that time two more from Asia Minor were listed among the sibyls , the Sami Sibyl and the Sibyl of Erythrai . Because of their geographical proximity, the three sibyls who, according to legend, prophesy in this region are often exchanged or equated with one another.

A separate Hellespontic sibyl is usually represented in Gothic and Renaissance art based on the Varro listing as one in a series of sibyls, often in contrast to an often equal number of prophets from the Old Testament. In the probably best-known pictorial representation of five Sibyls by Michelangelo in the fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel , however, no 'Hellespontica' is contained, it is an 'Erithrea'.

In numerous other groups of sibyls, however, there is now and then a 'Hellespontica' identified by name, e.g. B. in the following locations:

  • Ulm , Gothic half-sculpture in the choir stalls of the Ulm Minster , as one of ten Sibyls, in the total work of art with numerous ancient scholars and prophets
  • Trescore, Lombardy , Renaissance fresco in the Oratorio Suardi, in a series of seventeen medallions with sibyls and prophets by Lorenzo Lotto

Web links

Commons : Sibyl of the Hellespont  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Des Lucius Caelius Firmianus Lactantius writings . Translated from Latin by Aloys Hartl. (Library of the Church Fathers, 1st row, Volume 36) Munich 1919. Chapter 5.
  2. See e.g. BF Härle: The choir stalls in Ulm Minster - history of faith carved in oak. Ulm 2000, ISBN 3-88360-115-2 .
  3. See especially W. Stumpfe: Sibyl representation in Italy in the early modern period. About the identity and meaning of a pagan Christian figure. Diss. University of Trier 2005.