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May 30, 2006

Solvet saeclum in favilla/Teste David cum Sybilla

You know that line about the Sybil in the Dies Irae?  Why is she in there?  In a post some time ago I mentioned that she was rather notable back in the day - she was even painted off to the side sometimes on medieval Jesse Trees.

For the details, see Book XVIII, Chapter 23 of De Civitate Dei.

Posted by Thomas A. on May 30, 2006 at 11:05 AM | Permalink


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"If any particular Sibyl is meant it is the Erythraean Sibyl, the author of the well-known acrostic on the name of Christ. However, 'David and the Sibyl' here stand for Jew and Gentile, the witnesses respectively of inspiration and of mere natural religion."

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal, by Matthew Britt, O.S.B. 209

If I had room I would diddle in the whole discussion of the hymn; it is quite amazing, and well deserves wider knowledge.

Posted by: DoctorThursday | May 30, 2006 5:57:36 PM

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