Research advances in old Italian legends fostered by new finding in ancient Vatican manuscript

Italian writer Michele Sanvico unveils an exciting new discovery that establishes an unprecedented connection between two most celebrated Italian mysteries of old: the Apennine Sibyl and the enigmatic inscription carved on the "Stone of Bologna".
By: Michele Sanvico - Italian Writer
ROME - April 7, 2017 - PRLog -- An extraordinary finding was announced today by Michele Sanvico, an Italian writer of literary fiction and creative nonfiction, who has been working on the Apennine Sibyl's legend and lore for years. After centuries of investigation on the legendary tale carried out by dozens of scholars throughout Europe, fresh new light over the Sibyl's eerie mystery was cast today by Mr Sanvico's discovery of a link to another much-debated Italian enigma: the so-called "Stone of Bologna".

«I stumbled upon this amazing result while I was perusing an old sixteenth-century manuscript, now stored at the Vatican Apostolic Library in Rome, one of the most ancient libraries in the world», says Michele Sanvico who published his finding on his dedicated website "The Apennine Sibyl - A Mystery and a legend". The manuscript, indexed as 'Vat Lat 5241', is known to researchers since mid-1980s, when an incredible diagram of the Monti Sibillini in Italy as they appeared in year 1566 was detected amid hundreds of pages depicting antique Roman inscriptions. In it, geographical features like Mount Sibyl, Norcia, Castelluccio and the Lakes of Pilatus had been accuratey drawn by an unknown hand, a precious document which shows the remarkable fame achieved by the Apennine Sibyl and her traditional territory in past centuries.

«What researchers did not notice at the time, I could see a few week ago by taking advantage of the powerful digital features made available by the Vatican Apostolic Library: the whole manuscript is now fully digitized and it can be easily scrutinised on a PC screen for remote investigation», added Mr. Sanvico. «To my great surprise, only a few pages away from the Sibyl's diagram a few manuscripted lines stood out on the antique sheet: it took me only a few minutes to understand that they were words taken from the enigmatic "Stone of Bologna"».

The "Stone of Bologna" is another sixteenth-century mystery that was once famous among all men of letters throughout Europe: they are written on a slate now preserved at the Lapidarium of the Middle-Age Town Museum in Bologna. The sinister lines, written in Latin and resembling an epitaph dedicated to "Aelia Lelia Crispis", have baffled scores of scholars for centuries: a sort of riddle built by using an alternation of positive and negative statements, with an unclear, arcane character.

«No one had ever established any connections between the two gloomy mysteries, the Apennine Sibyl and the "Stone of Bologna"», says Michele Sanvico, «and yet, when I saw them side by side only a few pages apart in a same old manuscript, including only ancient funerary inscriptions as to all other pages, I realised that the unnamed author of the manuscripted diagram and lines had not positioned them so close just by mere chance».

Mr Sanvico, who wrote a literary novel on the Apennine Sibyl and manages one of the most informed websites on the topic, began a thorough scrutiny of the "Bologna" lines and found out that they corresponded to a very antique version of the puzzling enigma, of which only one instance had been retrieved in past studies. «Textual analysis», reckons Michele Sanvico, «shows that the text might actually be related to the Apennine Sibyl and her legendary cavern located on a mountain-top in Italy. In my opinion, the riddle was possibly carved on a slate and positioned, in antiquity, at the entrance of the oracular cavern, welcoming the visitors in search of prophetical responses».

With his competence in computer analysis and perseverance in the exploration of ancient manuscripts, writer Michele Sanvico outwitted contemporary scholars, who have often mentioned 'Vat Lat 5241' in published scientific works, but totally overlooked the presence of the "Stone of Bologna"'s lines in close proximity to the Sibyl's diagram.

«I hope my successful finding may foster further studies on the manuscript», said Michele Sanvico. «A new promising research field is now open on both the Apennine Sibyl's myth and the arcane words that occupied the minds of scores of scholars for centuries. The wording from the manuscript will have to be carefully scrutinised to confirm or discard my thrilling conjecture».

The quest has just started now. After years of latency, the research on the Apennine Sibyl's legend may now undergo stimulating advancements and produce new exciting results, if all threads linking the two Italian mysteries are investigated thoroughly and unswervingly by professional scholars. A potential outcome that arises from the work and engagement of a unique Italian author, Michele Sanvico, who promotes the culture and legendary tales of Italy worldwide.

For more information, visit Michele Sanvico's website dedicated to the mystery of Mount Sibyl ( and the page specifically reporting on the "Stone of Bologna" (

Michele Sanvico
Source:Michele Sanvico - Italian Writer
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