Illustration of Cassandra of Troy.

I’ve always had a thing about Cassandra. My name ‘Sybille’ is from a Latin word meaning ‘prophetess’ (Wiki).

This image is set after the fall of Troy and Cassandra is left with nothing – just a pile of broken bones in front of her and a burning city behind her.

There are variations on what actually happened to Cassandra, but she was given the gift of prophecy by the god Apollo, however, when he tried to get her to sleep with him (or his high priest) in advance for the gift, she refused him. Apollo took part of the gift back – although she still saw what would happen, none of her prophecies would be believed. She foresaw the Trojan horse and warned her people but they discarded her advice and Troy fell.

The phrase I fear the Greeks (even if they are) bearing gifts is from the story of the Trojan War and refers to the Trojan Horse – a ruse to get soldiers into the city of Troy as the wooden horse was filled with soldiers.

I think the phrase should have been ‘I fear the gods, especially when they come bearing gifts’ as the Trojan War started because of a gift Aphrodite gave to Paris – the love of Helena’s love – in exchange for naming her the most beautiful goddess.

Despite the gift of prophecy Cassandra had received she could not prevent the fall of Troy.

And the final gift, the Trojan Horse, prooved to be the downfall of the city.



Both with thanks from Marcus J Ranum

Textures and backgrounds:
Sundel, Backblech 01
Buzillo-Stock, Grunge Textures
Hatestock, Firework 44
Dazzle-Textures, On Crack
Sirius-SDZ, textures
SimplyBackgrounds, Clouds n Sky Stock 12
Teatoo, Fish, net one
Absinthyium-Stock, Flame Textures
Shin-Rhys, Fire Textures

All other textures and stock are my own. The acanthus and Greek key pattern were created specially for this photo manipulation.


209 views March 2010


bones, burning city, cassandra, flames, magpiemagic, manipulation, prophetess, red, sky, sybille sterk, trojan horse, trojan war, troy, war, wooden horse

I am a very creative person and it’s my way of dealing with the world, inside and out. I am only happy when I am making things or painting or writing. There are just not enough hours in the day…. I am into poetry and photo manipulation at the moment and also dabbling in photography. :-)

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  • sandra .
    sandra .over 4 years ago

    Hello Sybille
    Wonderful image and a great sidenote (history) :))
    I love the way Cassandra is sitting, (pensive, meditative maybe)
    sandra x

  • Thank you so much Sandra. :-) I love mythology and the story of Odysseus was always one I loved particularly. It’s full of interesting little side stories. xo

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Cosimo Piro
    Cosimo Piroover 4 years ago

    a beautiful image…and mythology is always a path to opening the mind. xo

  • Thank you Cos. I have a thing about mythology. Use to read lots of it when I was a kid and it’s always stayed with me. :-) xo

    – Sybille Sterk

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimageover 4 years ago

  • Thank you for letting me know Francis. :-)

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Colleen Milburn
    Colleen Milburnover 4 years ago

    Very beautiful work, sweetie :))

  • Thank you so much Colleen. Glad you like it. :-) xo

    – Sybille Sterk

    JUSTARTover 4 years ago


  • Thank you so much. :-) xo

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Rusty Gentry
    Rusty Gentryover 4 years ago

    Great image of one of the most fascinating figures of Greek history.
    I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Casandra. There is perhaps no more horrifying scene in Greek tragedy—other than Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife’s chief reason for wishing to kill the bastard, namely, his sacrificing of their daughter Iphigeneia so that the winds will calm allowing the Greek fleet to sail, than Casandra’s knowledge of what awaits she and Agamemnon. The latter putatively awaits a heroic return to Mycaenae from the Greeks victory in the Trojan war—Agamemnon was the commanding officer. Instead, in a literal representation of his volatile personality, he and his concubine both loose their heads. Clytemnestra, having enlisted the assistance of her lover, Agisthus, carry out this deed. Of course, Cassandra has known of their fates for some time, and tries to warn those who remain loyal to their kind of his fate. One can feel the pathos in her voice as she pleads for the citizens cheering at the gate to come to their senses. It’s just a brilliant scene.
    Also, Sibille, just in case you are unaware, the specific “prophetess” from which your name derives are the various ancient Sibyls, the most famous of which Cumae. In spite of their number, the Sybil at Cumae was to become the most famous as a result of her role in predicting the founding of Rome in Virgil’s The Aenied. I don’t intend to be didactic or condescending here, just informative. The Oracle at Delphi is often related to a Sybil, but in fact the true oracle there was Pythia.
    Again, great image. Rusty

  • I love the stories of Odysseus and the ancient Greek gods and people and used to read the stories all the time when I was a kid. When I was at school we went on a trip to Sorrento in Italy and visited Pompeii, Herculaneum and Cumae – I sat in her cave and people expected me to make predictions because of my name. LOL Not sure if any of them came true… not that I remember the predicitions at all. I did a painting of the cave once. You can see it here

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Rusty Gentry
    Rusty Gentryover 4 years ago

    Sorry for having been didactic. I absolutely love ancient literature. Since you don’t recall the predictions, I would wager that a large percentage of them were absolutely spot on. Thanks for the link; it is absolutely stunning. Wow! Rusty

  • Thank you Rusy. I didn’t mind the lesson at all. I love ancient literature and mythology, too – from the Norns to Zeus to Jupiter to the tales of countries all over the world. Totally fascinating what’s the same and what’s different. :-) I might do a more up-to-date version of the image now I’ve looked at it again. It was done several years ago and I could do better now. :-)

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Rusty Gentry
    Rusty Gentryover 4 years ago

    Thank you, for your forbearance. Like you, I am fascinated by the ancient literature and mythology of the world. Although, I suppose that I would have to amend that statement to include primarily Greek, and more recently Egyptian. I would love to see a reworked version of you image. Show me more. Thanks, Rusty

  • Don’t worry about it. I am into history and mythology so I always like to know more. Egyptian myths are interesting too – but my favourite Egyptian story is the ‘history’ of Echnaton or Akhenaten

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Antanas
    Antanasover 4 years ago

    great work, well done…

  • Thank you so much. :-)

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Charuhas  Images
    Charuhas Imagesover 4 years ago

    Lovely work!

  • Thank you so much. Greatly appreciated. :-)

    – Sybille Sterk

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