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Prophecy in Sibylline Books

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Colossus of Barletta
The ruins of the Colosseum from the inside

At the end of the Pontic War, in 85 BCE, Mitrydates – king of Pontus and Sulla – Roman commander, being somewhat “against the wall” they made a compromise peace between the two countries.

Pursuant to this treaty, Pontus was to return its borders to the state from before the war, i.e. 89 BCE and pay contributions to the winner of 3,000 talents and give him part of his Aegean fleet. After the conclusion of the agreement, Sulla set off against the forces somehow sent by the popular under the command of Fimbria and won without losses, because the army of Fimbria refused to fight him, so the commander committed suicide, and his soldiers went to the side of Sulla.

End of 85 and part of 84 BCE Sulla spent in Asia. He punished opponents of the Romans and perpetrators of the Italics of 88 in Ephesus. The abolition of debts and the liberation of slaves proclaimed by Mithridates was cancelled. Sulla demanded that the Asian provinces of Rome cover unpaid taxes over the last five years, or about 20,000 talents, which undermined Asian prosperity. Dissatisfied with Roman rule and desperate inhabitants of Asia could only seek solace in their dreams of a better future, which was reflected in the Sibylline Books. One of them says: “three times as much as Rome received from paying tribute Asia, will receive Asia from Rome and will take revenge on him for his pride. Twenty times as many as Asians served in Italian homes, will serve Italics in poverty in Asia and humiliation will take place all over Asia and then in Europe. Law and justice will flow down from heaven and all will live in harmony”.

This prophecy could be attached to modern times due to the increase in immigration of Syrians (and not only them) from Asia to Europe, and the related tolerance of the West, the effects of which can be seen e.g. in Sweden, but this is only my own a suggestion, which seems to be worth considering, even if someone does not believe in such “stupidity”. You might also think that the fall of Constantinople in 1453 is a fulfilment of this prophecy, but Mehmed II and his successors considered themselves the legitimate heirs of the Byzantine Empire until the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, as evidenced by his adoption of the title of Kaizer-i Rum (Caesar of Rome). So, believing or not believing in prophecies, one has to admit that some of them can be fulfilled by strange luck, or at least just like “History” itself, can be a kind of warning, a warning.

Author: Adam Zawojak
  • N. A. Maszkin, Historia Starożytnego Rzymu, Warszawa 1953

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