"Friend of Heroes." The daughter of Zeus by Lamia. It was said that she was the first woman to chant oracles, and that the name Sibyl was given her by the Libyans. She foretold in her oracles that Helen would be brought up in Sparta to be the ruin of Asia and of Europe, and that for her sake the Greeks would capture Troy.

In a hymn she composed to Apollo, she calls herself not only Herophile but also Artemis, and the wedded wife of Apollo, saying too sometimes that she is his sister, and sometimes that she is his daughter. These statements she made in her poetry when in a frenzy and possessed by the god. Elsewhere in her oracles she states that her mother was an immortal, one of the nymphs of Ida, while her father was a human.

The inhabitants of Alexandria, in the Troad, say that Herophile became the attendant of the temple of Apollo Smintheus, and that on the occasion of Hecabe's dream she uttered the prophecy which we know was actually fulfilled. Herophile passed the greater part of her life in Samos, but she also visited Clarus in the territory of Colophon, Delos and Delphi. Her tomb is in the grove of the Sminthian.

The Erythraeans claim that Herophile was born in a cave on Mount Corycus, saying that she was a daughter of Theodorus, a shepherd of the district, and of a nymph.



  • Pausanias. Description of Greece x, 12.1-3.

This article incorporates text from Description of Greece by Pausanias, which is in the public domain.