This week Eirini Apanomeritaki introduces a discussion of adaptations of the myth of the Sibyl in literature.
In the session, we will discuss the ‘afterlife’ of the myth of the Cumaean Sibyl, the prophetess, who appears in both Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Sibyl guides Aeneas to the Underworld in Virgil’s epic, while in Ovid she tricks Apollo and she is, therefore, punished by the god; she is granted a long life but not eternal youth. Inspired by Ovid’s rendition of the myth, Margaret Atwood re-imagines the Sibyl in the modern world and narrates the aftermath of her affair with Apollo in her short story ‘The Elysium Lifestyle Mansions’.
Atwood, Margaret, ‘The Elysium Lifestyle Mansions’, in Ovid Metamorphosed, ed. by Philip Terry (London: Chatto & Windus, 2000), pp. 206-213
Ovid, ‘Aeneas and the Sibyl of Cumae’, in Metamorphoses, Book XIV, 101-153
Virgil, ‘The Cumaean Sibyl’, in Aeneid, Book 6
Poster and texts: