I don’t know the entire history of the legendary Cumaean Sibyl, but in a scenario related to his VALIS experience Dick imagines the Sibyl as a prophetess who is visited by two aliens from the star Albemuth, and then sees himself as taking up her mantle in the present day.
At the beginning of the story the priest Philos Diktos witnesses the Sibyl talking with two Immortals who predict two thousand years of darkness and ignorance. Jumping forward to 1974 Philip remembers growing up and his desire to be a science fiction author all the while having dreams and visions of ancient Rome. One night when he is an old man he is visited by the two aliens who tell him they now work through mortals to wake people up and bring springtime to the winter world. Back in Rome we find all that was an account of Philos Diktos who had traveled into the future. He documents this in a scroll to his fellow Romans along with the poet Virgil’s declaration that the tyranny in the future will eventually come to an end and springtime will be reborn.
Cast of characters
- Philos Diktos / Philip Dick – a Roman priest / twentieth-century sci-fi author
- The Cumaean Sibyl
- Carol Heims – Philip’s psychologist
- J’Annis and F’fr’am – the Immortals from Albemuth