The Cumaean Sibyl was the priestess of Apollo who was located at the Oracle of Cumae, a Greek colony near Naples, Italy. Sibyl is a word deriving from the Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. The Cumaean Sibyl was popular mostly among Romans, rather than Greeks, who favoured the Erythraean Sibyl and the Sibyl of Dodona. One of the most important myths of Roman history is the acquisition of the prophetic books of the Sibyl by King Tarquin, the last fabled king of Rome. One day, a mysterious old woman appeared in the court of Rome and asked to speak to the king. She then showed him nine books of prophecies and offered him the chance to buy them for a particularly high price. King Tarquin declined the offer, so the woman burned three of the books, and offered him the remaining books at the same price. The king declined again, and the woman burned another three of the books. Offering the remaining three books at the same high price, the king reluctantly accepted and paid the exorbitant price to the woman, who then disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.
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