The Cumaean Sybil was the priestess presiding over the oracle at Cumae, located near Naples, Italy. She owned nine books of prophecies and gave them to King Tarquin of Rome. He didn't like the price she offered; she threw three books into a fire and doubled the price. He still refused and she did the same. He was then forced to by the last three books at four times the original price.

The word Sybil is derived from the more ancient Greek term Kybele, and there were many Sybils in the ancient world, but because of the importance of the Cumaean Sybil in the legends of early Rome, she became one of the most noted and famous.

It was said in some of the ancient poems that the whispers of the Sybil would be heard for a thousand years, and some have said that they will resound and echo for all eternity.