Variant title
The Sibylls
Author: Bouzek, Jan
Source document: Religio. 1996, vol. 4, iss. 2, pp. [121]-126
  • ISSN
    1210-3640 (print)
    2336-4475 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
Many Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age female figurines show completely or half-closed eyes, showing some inner concentration, while they are resting in a quiet position. Cycladic idols are generally represented as lying, reclining, some of Maltese female figurines either in the usual Oriental meditating position sitting with legs crossed or lying on a sofa. These women seem to be represented in some kind of dreaming, perceiving some divine inspiration, and this attitude may be connected with the tradition of ancient prophetesses, Sibyllae, known from many written sources, both Latin and Greek. Most of pre-Christian religions knew besides priests also priestesses, but the prophecing was often, through the Sibyllae, a specific female role in antiquity.