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Page 11. " I went to Cumae "
The Cave of the Sibyl at Cumae
Creative Commons AttributionThe Cave of the Sibyl at Cumae - Credit: Bobbylamouche
Cumae, on the south-west coast of Italy, played an important part in Roman literature and mythology. A colony is believed to have been founded there by Euboean Greeks in the 8th Century BC. Roman mythology held that there was an entrance to the Underworld at the nearby crater-lake of Avernus. Aeneas's descent into Hades via this route is described in Book VI of Virgil's Aeneid:


Obscure they went, thro' dreary shades, that led
Along the waste dominions of the dead
Thus wander travellers in the woods by night,
By the moon's doubtful and malignant light,
When Jove in dusky clouds involves the skies,
And the faint crescent shoots by fits before their eyes...


Aeneas descends with the help of the Cumaean Sibyl, and it is her successor who reveals to Graves's Claudius his own destiny.

The cave itself was discovered by Italian archaeologists in 1932.