Tales from the End of Times

Sibylline Book 3 and the Jewish Response to Hellenistic Power: Queens, Poets, and Prophets

Episode Summary

In the final episode of the series Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides returns to the Sibylline oracles, this time in the company of Dr Ashley Bacchi, author of the award-winning book Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (Brill, 2020). The focus this time is on the Alexandrian Jewish community of the Hellenistic period and their adaptation of the ancient Greek Sibyl in response to contemporary cultural agendas. Keen to showcase their cultural pedigree, Alexandrian Jews put forward their own version of Sibyl, a prophetess who challenged the male-dominated Jewish prophetic tradition as much as Homer! Written in Homeric (hexa)meter, this female voice of authority antagonized the poetic and prophetic superiority of the Greeks, lending support to powerful Hellenistic Queens who proved to be notably effective agents of peace and prosperity, far more than their male equivalents.