Thesis for the conclusion of the M.A. programme in Ancient Philology at The Polis Institute, Jerusalem by Michael Zeitler written under the supervision of Prof. Christophe Rico.
Table of Contents
1.1. Artemidorus: Life and dating.
1.2. The Oneirocritica.
1.3. Lexical study: scope and methodology.
2. Lexical study on dreams and dreaming.
2.1. Being awake, sleeping and waking up..
2.1.1. Being awake.
2.1.2. Waking up..
2.2.1. Meaningless and meaningful dreams.
2.2.2. Types of dreams.
2.2.3. Other types of dreams.
2.2.4. Good and bad dreams.
2.3. Percipience in dreams.
2.3.2. To see a dream...
2.3.3. To see something in a dream...
2.3.4. To appear in a dream...
2.4. To dream...
2.5. Dream interpretation..
2.5.1. The dream interpreter.
2.5.2. A dream signifies something..
2.5.3. A dream comes true..
Appendix: Divergences from the 1963 Teubner Text.
The present paper is a lexical study of dreams and dreaming in Greek. Its aim is to provide a survey of relevant lexical expressions and to explain their differences in meaning and usage. The corpus from which all of the expressions proceed is Book 1 of the Oneirocritica, a Greek treatise about the interpretation of dreams that was written by Artemidorus of Daldis. All references are to this work unless otherwise specified. The corpus was searched thoroughly in order to extract as many lexemes, expressions, and phrases as possible so that their semantic nuances and specific complements can be proved in an empirical way.
An introduction will present some necessary information about Artemidorus and the corpus, and about the methodology of creating a lexical study. Then, I will proceed to the analysis, which consists of a systematic compilation arranged according to word-fields that focus on the subject from different perspectives. In the first section, dreaming is discussed in connection with sleep and its opposite, wakefulness. The next chapter deals with different types of dreams according to Artemidorus’ oneirological classification and includes a discussion of how dreams are divided into “good” and “bad.” In the third section, sensory perception in dreams, sight in particular, will be discussed. For lexical reasons, I will also include how “dreamer” and “to appear in a dream” are expressed. The verbs of dreaming and their constructions will then be presented. The last section will describe the interpretation of dreams, the dream interpreter and his methods, the signification, and the dream’s relation to reality, as manifestated in the outcome.
Most items are displayed in tables that contain the Greek original with an English translation and a reference to where the expression can be found in the corpus. Their lexical, semantic, and syntactic peculiarities will also be discussed in these tables. I will conclude by highlightening my main results and their relevance to scholarship.
Artemidorus of Daldis is surely one of the Greek authors that has been least studied. This may be due to the fact that he is simply quite unknown and, moreover, that his work deals with a subject that is no longer considered scientific.
The author of the Oneirocritica, a five-volume treatise on the interpretation of dreams, gives little information about his own life: At the close of Book 3, he states that, in previous works, he identified himself as Artemidorus “of Ephesus.” In the Oneirocritica, he continues, he will use the authorial toponym “of Daldis” in order to avoid confusion with other writers that took the name “of Ephesus” and in honour of Daldis, to which he is connected through his maternal line (3.66).
In Book 1, Chapter 15 of the commentary In Hippocratis de victu acutorum, written by the second-century physician Galen, there is reference to a certain Artemidorus when a Greek augur, in conversation with Galen and an Arab augur, names important authors on augury:
ἐδείκνυε δὲ καὶ <τὰς> Πόλλητος καὶ Ἀθηναίου καὶ Χαιρήμονος καὶ Ἀρτεμιδώρου τοῦ Φωκᾶ ἄλλων τέ τινων οἰωνιστῶν ἐνδόξων βίβλους αὐτῷ συμμαρτυρούσας.
And he showed that <the> books of Polles, Athenaeus, Chaeremon, Artemidorus, son of Phocas and of some other famous augurs bear witness in support of him.
Before proceeding to the question of whether this Artemidorus is identical with our Artemidorus, it is worth clarifying a mistake in Harris-McCoy’s edition that relates to the expression Ἀρτεμιδώρου τοῦ Φωκᾶ in the passage quoted. The apposition τοῦ Φωκᾶ, preceded by a personal name, is the normal way of indicating paternal descent in Ancient Greek and is found widely everywhere, though it is especially frequent in biographies. Plutarch, to give just one example, opens Aristides’ life with the words Ἀριστείδης ὁ Λυσιμάχου φυλῆς μὲν ἦν Ἀντιοχίδος, τῶν δὲ δήμων Ἀλωπεκῆθεν “Aristides, son of Lysimachus, was from the phyle Antiochis and from the community Alopeke.” The name inside this apposition is always in the genitive case since the word for “son,” on which it was formerly dependent, has disappeared. Consequently, Ἀρτεμιδώρου τοῦ Φωκᾶ has to be translated as “of Artemidorus, Phocas’ son” and not at all in Harris-McCoy’s manner “of Phocaea.” The author seems to have confused the Greek proper name Phocas with Phocaea, which is a town in western Lydia. His translation would correspond rather to Ἀρτεμιδώρου τοῦ Φωκαιέος or, in Attic, Ἀρτεμιδώρου τοῦ Φωκαέος which is, however, neither the established text nor a variant reading in the critical edition.
Having clarified this, the next step is to investigate if Artemidorus, Phocas’ son, is identical with our Artemidorus. The Souda, a tenth-century Byzantine lexicon, gives some significant clues. It reports that Artemidorus of Daldis wrote four books on the interpretation of dreams, a work on palmistry, and a treatise on bird-flight divination, the Οἰωνοσκοπτικά (Souda 2045). This identification may not, however, be done without some remarks:
First of all, the Souda incorrectly states the number of books written by Artemidorus, since the Oneirocritica consist of five books that were published in three steps. Second, it attributes a work on palmistry to Artemidorus though he condemns this discipline as pseudoscience in 2.69. Nevertheless, there is still a high probability that Artemidorus of Daldis and Artemidorus, son of Phocas, are one and the same person, given the fact that the author engages in divination, particularly in augury. Some scholars suspect that the treatise on palmistry may have been a very early work before Artemidorus came to disregard this field of divination. The Oneirocritica are surely a work he wrote at a mature age, for he presents himself as an expert with great experience and, in Books 4 and 5, he addresses his son Artemidorus, an apprentice dream interpreter.
In conclusion, investigating the birthplace of Artemidorus seems to be an open question, for the association with Ephesus or Daldis does not imply that he was born in one place or the other. The only thing one can infer is that his life related to Lydia, the western part of Asia Minor. This fact is corroborated by the extensive topographical references to Asia Minor and linguistic elements from this region which are present throughout his work.
Equally difficult is the chronological dating of our author. Useful for this endeavour are two references in Book 1: First, a significant terminus post quem in 1.26:
οἶδα δέ τινα σταδιέα, ὃς μέλλων ἀγωνίζεσθαι Εὐσέβεια τὰ ἐν Ἰταλίᾳ ἀχθέντα πρῶτον ὑπὸ βασιλέως Ἀντωνίνου ἐπὶ τῷ πατρὶ Ἀδριανῷ ἔδοξε τυφλὸς γεγονέναι, καὶ ἐνίκησεν·
And I know some stadium-runner that was going to contend at the Eusebean contests in Italy, which were first instituted by the Emperor Antoninus in honour of his father Hadrian. At that moment he dreamt he had become blind and he won.
Second, a passage found in 1.64 which reads as follows:
οἶδα δέ τινα κιθαρῳδὸν ἐν Σμύρνῃ μέλλοντα ἀγωνίζεσθαι τὸν ἱερὸν ἀγῶνα τὸν Ἀδριανοῦ
And I know some lyre-player that was going to contend at the sacred contest of Hadrian in Smyrna
Both passages refer to the Eusebean games that were inaugurated by the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius in honour of his adoptive father Hadrian in 138 CE. When Artemidorus mentions them, the redaction must have been necessarily after 138 CE. However, it is not possible to specify the chronological proximity between this date and the life of Artemidorus.
Therefore, an external reference to our author is needed, which is found on the part of Galen, a contemporary of our author, as quoted previously. During Galen’s time, Artemidorus had published the book on bird-flight mentioned above, if not others. A rough terminus ante quem is, thus, the late-second to early-third century CE.
From a political point of view, the second century was characterized by stability and prosperity under the Roman Empire to which the Hellenistic world belonged. This was thanks to the fact that the Emperor’s throne was no longer inherited in a dynastic line but was rather given to the best and most capable successor, who was adopted and, after the Emperor’s death, succeeded him. This was the era of the “Adoptive Emperors,” beginning with Nerva (96-98 CE) and continuing with Trajan (98-117 CE), Hadrian (117-138 CE), Antoninus Pius (138-161 CE), Lucius Verus (161-169 CE), and his coregent Marcus Aurelius (161-180 CE). With the exception of Lucius Verus, these rulers are also called the “Five Good Emperors.” 
This political background and the developed infrastructure enabled Artemidorus to travel freely through the Roman Empire, as did other contemporary writers like Aelius Aristides and Lucian of Samosata. Getting in contact with other cultures opened Artemidorus’ mind and prompted him to compose a “universal” work:
Nevertheless, precisely because people tend to make sense of the world based on their particular backgrounds, it is easy to fall prey to a sort of cultural myopia. This is why, in his self-presentation, the attention that Artemidorus gives to Daldis is counterbalanced by his observation that, to gain a sufficient quantity of dreams and outcomes to allow him to write the Oneirocritica, he travelled widely through the Mediterranean and specifically to Greece, Asia, Italy and the ‘most populous of the islands’ (1. pref.; 5. pref.). Though the explicit goal of this travel is to collect dreams, the implication is that travelling outside the homeland provides expanded intellectual opportunities and, as we see from his advice to his son to travel in order to learn the ἔθη τοπικά, contact with a broader spectrum of cultures.
At that time, the geographical limits of the Roman Empire extended from the Iberian Peninsula to as far as the Euphrates. Despite this dispersion, cultural unity resulted from a common Greek education composed of classics and rhetoric. In Artemidorus, we find quotes from Homer, Xenophon, Plato, and others who attest to his education. In language and style, Artemidorus imitates the Attic prose-writers of the fifth and forth centuries BC from whom he takes archaisms: for instance, the Attic imperfect ἑώρα in 1.12.20 and the use of the optative mood. His atticism, however, is not free from some elements of Koine Greek, the language spoken at the time, as the form κατεάσσειν instead of καταγνύναι (1.66.42). In this regard, he turns out to be an Atticist sui generis.
The coexistence of a literary language and a genetically related, but diverging spoken language is known as diglossia. The literary variant, which is considered “higher” than the every-day language, is taught in school and used among the intellectual and social elite. This dichotomy can be seen in the framework of a rhetorical movement of the second century CE, called the Second Sophistic. The term Sophistic, in the sense of “rhetoric,” refers to the Old Sophistic of the fifth century BC, which is the classic model, as stated above. Yet, in the political context of the Roman Empire in the second century, rhetoric could no longer play the same role that it had in the Attic democracy. Rhetoric gradually faded from politics and became a mere exercise, which resulted in the declamatio/μελέτη, the performance of a speech about a fictive topic in front of an audience. This all prompts one to evaluate Artemidorus as a well-educated and well-read writer who lived in a safe and stable time.
The Oneirocritica, Ὀνειροκριτικά, are the only surviving example in Greek of the formerly flourishing discipline of dream-divination. This demonstrates how important this work is in the sense of a source of information. Therefore, one must address what the Oneirocritica actually are and how they should be seen from a literary point of view:
A final way of looking at the Oneirocritica is against the backdrop of the genre of technical or didactic literature, as well as compilatory authors whose texts are not necessarily didactic in nature. In this sense, it can profitably be considered alongside compilatory texts in antiquity. These texts, which are often also didactic in nature, are characterized by the nature of their contents and the way in which they are consumed. They are comprised of many small pieces of information and referred to on the basis of the reader’s particular interests rather than read in a linear fashion from start to finish. Texts of this sort include Varro’s De Lingua Latina, Pliny’s Natural History, Athenaeus’ Deipnosophistae, Aulus Gellius’ Attic Nights, and most didactic works, such as Vitruvius’ On Architecture, Frontinus’ De Aquis, and Columella’s De Re Rustica. This approach to the Oneirocritica allows us to ask a different set of questions such as how data is selected for the inclusion; the author’s definition of what constitutes a complete body of knowledge; how information is organized and rendered accessible to the public; and the rhetorical dimensions of knowledge-organization.
I restrict myself to addressing the last question since it is, for this work, the most vital one. How does Artemidorus organize information? It is evident that he has a systematic approach. For each dream, he always uses the same structure, a feature that makes his style appear formulaic, expository, and repetitive, but that is, at the same time, designed for the transmission of knowledge. It consists of six elements, which have been studied before:
The interpretations in the Oneirocritica are written formulaically, using a combination of six elements, to which a limited vocabulary is applied. These elements are: the dream; its outcome; a verb of signification; a verb of dreaming; a reference to the kind of dreamer to whom the interpretation applies; and its explanation. The six elements can be arranged in different ways. [...] This combination of the elements, with or without the verb of dreaming or explanation, is the most common, although others are often used, apparently only for the sake of variety. [...] The verb of signification and outcome of a dream are sometimes identical (“To imagine being wreathed with onions benefits the observer but harms those around him” 1.77).
The special focus of this work is which verbs of dreaming exist and how they are used. Also of primary interest are the types of dreams profiled. Of secondary interest are outcome, signification, and interpretation. Only relevant phrases for this subject have been included. The content of the dreams themselves are not of any concern to this lexical study, and it is of course this element where the most variety is possible.
At this juncture, one must also address whether or not Artemidorus’ Oneirocritica are scientific. If he dedicated five books to this subject, one could assert, his work must all be based on the assumption that dreams are not mere phantasies. The idea that dreams reveal future events is probably as old as humankind itself, and we have references to dream interpretation in other texts of Antiquity. Well-known are the Biblical dream-interpreters Joseph and Daniel. In Greek literature, dreams feature prominently in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, and Roman authors, such as Cicero and Macrobius, dealt extensively with the subject as well. For this reason, I assert that whoever reads ancient literature fluently, will, sooner or later, encounter the realm of dreams and dream interpreation. It may be part of a biography, as Caesar’s dream recorded by Suetonius. It may be mentioned in historiography, for instance in Dio Cassius, or in philosophy, as in Aristotle’s De insomniis. Based on just a handful examples, it becomes clear how widespread this topic in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin literature. The particularity of Artemidorus is that his entire work is dedicated to the adequate interpretation of dreams based on empirical grounds. In his explanations, he often uses ἐτήρησα “I have observed,” and πεῖρα “personal observation,” and οἶδα τινα “I know someone” when mentioning specific individuals who had experienced dreams.
In this sense, Artemidorus is indeed working scientifically, such that one need not hesitate to include the Oneirocritica among scientific prose. This is also confirmed by the words of Saïd and Trédé who compare Artemidorus with the physician Galen and who set his Oneirocritica in the context of his time.
Artemidorus of Daldis, a contemporary of Galen, also combined personal experience (Artemidorus is a professional dream interpreter) and compilation (‘there is no book on dreams that I do not have’, he writes in his preface) to which he adds knowledge of oral tradition (‘for a great many years I had exchanges with the soothsayers in the public squares’). His Oneirocritica (Interpretation of Dreams), in five books, provide a clear and methodological account of the beliefs of the time in the field of oneiromancy. Like the work of Galen, it addresses both specialists and a wider public. Others such as Marcus Aurelius, Aelius Aristides and Lucian, also attest to the popular interest in dreams during this period.
Whilst classical authors have always received attention, later writers are often studied relatively little. This lack is even worse when one takes into consideration that, in terms of quantity, many more Greek texts were produced in later Greek than in Attic. In order to fill this gap, Christophe Rico has initiated a project to publish a lexicon specialized on Koine Greek. The present paper should thus be seen in the context of this superordinate project.
In order to work with a reasonably-sized data base, it was necessary to define a corpus that would give enough data for a lexical study of dreams and dreaming. I selected Artemidorus since all five of his books were written on precisely that subject. However, his entire body of work would have been too large. Thus, the corpus was restricted to Book 1. Book 1 turns out to be ideal, given the fact that Artemidorus defines therein his terminology and classifies the different types of dreams for isagogical purposes. Creating his own oneirological terminology by defining and contrasting meanings, he ensures that his readers will understand his terms in the way he wants them to be understood. This is certainly a general feature of science, especially when the science is either completely new or when it becomes enriched with new discoveries that do not yet bear names. Additional reasons for this selection are that Artemidorus’ style is formulaic and repetitive, such that all five books would provide many more identical phrases than are actually needed. In fact, in more than a few cases I still had to exclude occurrences in order to keep the tables clear and legible. Whenever I thought that all the semantic and syntactic properties of a given phrase were sufficiently documented, I refrained from overloading with simply redundant data.
Having thus defined a corpus, the next step was to examine the Greek text. Unless otherwise indicated, I reference Pack’s edition of the Oneirocritica, first because it is the most canonical critical edition that is adhered to also, except for some sparse variants, by later editors. It is also this text that is accessible in the digital database Diogenes. The advantage of Diogenes is that it allowed me to search the corpus for a determined phrase. On the other hand, it is not suitable for building up an exhaustive lexical field as I did. Therefore, it is inevitable that one must read through the entire text again and again.
Unfortunately for Pack’s edition, just one year later Toufic Fahd published an Arabic translation of the Oneirocritica from the ninth century, which is two centuries older than the oldest Greek manuscript, the Codex Laurentianus. Pack, who could no longer incorporate this information into his own edition, proposed a number of changes in the following years via a series of articles.
In addition to these changes, my own lexical study has also led me to disagree with Pack in some instances. Therefore, I have prepared an appendix including divergences from his edition.
The most recent edition by Harris-McCoy was also frequently consulted. Since it is a bilingual English-Greek edition, in some cases its translation could elucidate the interpretation of one word or another. Nevertheless, all translations below were done by myself and were, in a few uncertain instances, reasonably inspired by Harris-McCoy’s wording. One of the most valuable assets of the Harris-McCoy edition is its remarkable introduction to Artemidorus and its annotated commentary.
After first screening the text, relevant phrases were extracted from the Diogenes database and their place in the corpus recorded. I avoided quoting only the Greek phrase out of context for the following reasons: First of all, semantics can never be confirmed without context, which puts each phrase into a concrete situation and, very often, allows the reader to discern synonyms or antonyms. Secondly, entire clauses provide syntactical information, such as arguments and cases. And finally, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to adequately translate single words into English without any connection, especially for nominal forms occuring in oblique cases. Therefore, and in order to give meaningful examples, I quoted as much of the original context as was necessary to illustrate Artemidorus’ usage of each phrase.
Each item is provided with a reference including book, chapter, and line so that readers can confirm that—and where—a given phrase exists. For technical reasons, the indication of a line is approximate and may vary plus-or-minus up to three lines. Nevertheless, I found this method of notation better than just indicating the chapter, for most chapters are quite long. In the case of longer phrases, just their beginning is indicated.
Then, the extracted phrases were arranged in tables and grouped together according to their semantics. Afterwards, I added my own translation. These tables are included in the present paper and annotated with all the necessary information regarding their semantic and syntactic properties.
Since dreams occur most typically during sleep, it makes sense to start this lexical study with sleeping in general, the state of being awake, and the action of waking up.
For the state of being awake, Artemidorus uses the morphological perfect ἐγρήγορα. This verbal form of γρηγορῶ had entered the paradigm of ἐγείρομαι “to wake up” in a process of suppletion to form the perfect tense there.
|ἐγρηγορέναι to be awake|
|ἐγρηγορέναι ἡμέρας||1.8.5||to be awake during day|
|ἔπειτα καὶ εὔηθες ἂν εἴη τὰ τεράστια καὶ οὐδαμῶς ἐνδεχόμενα ἐγρηγορότι συμβαίνειν ταῦτα οὕτως ὡς θεωρηματικὰ προσδέχεσθαι.||4.1.12||Then it would be foolish to consider the prodigious dreams and the ones that by no means are admitted to happen to someone awake in the same way as the theorematic dreams.|
Whenever the process of waking up, rather than the state of being awake, is intended, Artemidorus uses expressions that contain the root ὕπν- which, strictly speaking, means “sleep.”
|διυπνίζομαι ὁ ὕπνος ἀνίησί τινα ἀνίσταμαι ἐξ ὕπνου παυομένων τῶν ὕπνων γίγνεταί τι to wake up|
|I||καὶ διυπνισθεὶς ἐν τῇ χειρὶ ἔτυχε κρατῶν τὸ κάρυον τοῦτο||1.73.10||and when woken up he was holding precisely this walnut in his hand|
|II||αὐτὸν ἀνῆκεν ὁ ὕπνος||1.2.1||Sleep released him|
|III||τὸ δὲ ἀνίστασθαι ἐξ ὕπνου πράξεις καὶ ἐργασίας προαγορεύει||1.81.5||To get up from sleep foretells activities and duties.|
|IV||παυομένων δὲ τῶν ὕπνων ἀφανίζεται||1.1.26||When waking up, it (i.e. the enhypnion) disappears.|
The most common root for sleeping is, as mentioned before, ὕπν-, which is also found in the noun ὕπνος. This noun is the one most frequently used and signifies “sleep.”
|ὁ ὕπνος sleep|
|’Ἔρρωσο’ δὲ καὶ ‘ὑγίαινε’ οὔτε λέγειν οὔτε ἀκούειν ἀγαθόν· οὔτε γὰρ προσιόντες ἀλλήλοις οὔτε μέλλοντές τι πράττειν ταῦτα λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, ἀλλὰ ἀπαλλαττόμενοι ἀλλήλων καὶ πρὸς ὕπνον τρεπόμενοι.||1.82.1||And it is not good to say or to hear “Good bye!” or “Fare well,” because people do not say this when they come together or when they are going to do something, but when they separate from each other and when they turn to sleep.|
|πάσης γὰρ ἀπαλλάττει φροντίδος καὶ παντὸς δέους ὁ ὕπνος.||1.81.5||because sleep sets free from all kind of anxiety and fear.|
For the verbal action of sleeping there is, on the one hand, the verb ὑπνῶ. Artemidorus uses two other verbs as synonyms, καθεύδω and κοιμῶμαι.
The Greek poet Hesiod gives a mythological explanation of the link between sleep and death in his work Theogony (747-761) where he presents Sleep (Hypnos) as the brother of Death (Thanatos) and calls both of them sons of the Night (Nyx).
Whenever the semantic context of death is given, it is likely to be accompanied by the verb κοιμῶμαι instead of ὑπνῶ, as can be confirmed in other Greek texts. For instance, when Iphidamas is killed by Agamenon in the Iliad 11.241, it reads, ὣς ὃ μὲν αὖθι πεσὼν κοιμήσατο χάλκεον ὕπνον, “Thus he fell there and died (literally: and fell into an iron sleep).”
Also in later Greek, this connotation is still present, as in the Gospel according to John 11:11:
ταῦτα εἶπεν, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο λέγει αὐτοῖς, Λάζαρος ὁ φίλος ἡμῶν κεκοίμηται, ἀλλὰ πορεύομαι ἵνα ἐξυπνίσω αὐτόν.
He said that, and after that he says to them, “Lazarus, our friend has fallen asleep, but I am on my way in order to wake him up.”
|ὑπνῶ / καθεύδω/ κοιμῶμαι to sleep|
|I||ἐπεὶ <καὶ> ὄνειρος ὑπνούντων ἔργον ἐστίν||1.1.26||since also the dream is an activity of sleepers|
|I||οὐχ ᾗ ὑπνοῦντες αὐτὸ ὁρῶσι πάντες||1.1.26||not in so far as all sleepers see it (i.e., the meaningless dream)|
|II||καθεύδειν νύκτωρ||1.8.5||to sleep at night|
|II||Αὐτὸ μὲν τὸ καθεύδειν δοκεῖν ἄπρακτον||1.81.1||But to imagine being asleep on its own is unprofitable|
|II||ἐν ἱερῷ δὲ καθεύδειν δοκεῖν νοσοῦντι μὲν ὑγεῖαν, ἐρρωμένῳ δὲ νόσον ἢ μεγάλας φροντίδας προαγορεύει·||1.81.1||and to imagine being sleeping in a sanctuary foretells health for the sick, but for the healthy it announces illness and great worries.|
|III||ὁ πατήρ σου οὐ τέθνηκεν, ἀλλὰ κοιμᾶται.||1.26.45||Your father is not dead; he is just sleeping|
|III||τῶν μὲν ἰδίων ὅσα μὴ διατείνει πρὸς τοὺς πέλας, ἐν μόνοις τοῖς ὁρῶσι καὶ πρὸς μόνους ὄντα καὶ μὴ πρός τινας καὶ διά τινας ἐνεργούμενα, ταῦτα μόνοις τοῖς ὁρῶσιν ἀποβαίνει, ὡς τὸ λέγειν, ὡς τὸ ᾄδειν, [...] κοιμᾶσθαι γελᾶν κλαίειν θεοῖς λαλεῖν καὶ τὰ ὅμοια.||1.2.96||Whatever in personal dreams does not refer to others and is only in the dreamers’ minds and only for them, and does not operate for others and because of others, becomes true for the dreamers alone, as for instance speaking, singing, […], sleeping, laughing, crying, speaking with gods, and similar things.|
Already in antiquity it was known that some external factors may induce sleep. On one occasion, Artemidorus uses the verb κοιμίζω in a passage which is quoted from Xenophon’s Symposium 2.23.
|κοιμίζω to make sleepy|
|ὁ οἶνος τὰς μὲν λύπας ὥσπερ μανδραγόρας ἄνδρας κοιμίζει τὰς δὲ φιλοφροσύνας ὥσπερ ἔλαιον φλόγα ἐγείρει.||1.66.7||Wine puts worries to sleep as mandrake puts men to sleep and it awakens cheerfulness as oil awakens a flame.|
Offering three different lexemes for “dream,” the Greek language is quite rich in this regard: ὄνειρος, ὄναρ, and ἐνύπνιον. It is worth noting that their semantic differences are not universally applicable to the Greek language but were rather coined by Artemidorus himself for his own purposes. So, for instance, ἐνύπνιον in Homer might correspond to what Artemidorus defines as ὄνειρος. This demonstrates that he is working as scientist or, to be more precise, as a professional oneirocrites, a dream interpreter. In the prologue of Book 4, he confesses that in colloquial speech ὄνειρος and ἐνύπνιον are used without difference. Obviously, he has to create a technical vocabulary for his work, by defining meanings and contrasting words—universal characteristics of scientific prose.
In a more than fundamental passage in 1.2.20-25, Artemidorus defines oneiros as a meaningful movement of the soul:
Ὄνειρός ἐστι κίνησις ἢ πλάσις ψυχῆς πολυσχήμων σημαντικὴ τῶν ἐσομένων ἀγαθῶν ἢ κακῶν. τούτου δὲ οὕτως ἔχοντος, ὅσα μὲν ἀποβήσεται χρόνου μεταξὺ διελθόντος ἢ πολλοῦ ἢ ὀλίγου, ταῦτα πάντα δι' εἰκόνων ἰδίων φυσικῶν τῶν καὶ στοιχείων καλουμένων προαγορεύει ἡ ψυχή, ἐν τῷ μεταξὺ χρόνῳ νομίζουσα ἡμᾶς δύνασθαι λογισμῷ διδασκομένους μαθεῖν τὰ ἐσόμενα·
An oneiros is a meaningful movement or composition of the soul, signifying future good and bad things. That being said, whatever will come to happen after some time, be it a long time, be it a short time, the soul prophesies all this through special physical images, which are also called elements. For the soul believes that we can, in the meantime, instructed in the means of reasoning, understand future things.
The word oneiros can thus be translated into English as “meaningful dream,” since it tells with images of things to come. This type of dream can, if interpreted correctly, be understood in such way that the dreamer realizes its prophetic content.
This is not the case for the enhypnion, the “meaningless dream”, which Artemidorus contrasts with oneiros in a passage in 1.01.01-15:
Περὶ μὲν οὖν ἐνυπνίου καὶ ὀνείρου διαφορᾶς τῆς πρὸς ἄλληλα διαίρεσις οὐκ ὀλίγη καὶ ἐν ἄλλοις γέγραπταί μοι καὶ ** ἐπειδὴ ἄκοσμον καὶ ὥσπερ οὐκ ἀπ' ἀρχῆς γενόμενον φανεῖταί σοι τὸ σύγγραμμα, καὶ νῦν ἀπ' αὐτῶν τούτων ἄρξασθαι καλῶς ἔχον εἶναι μοι δοκεῖ. ταύτῃ γὰρ ὄνειρος ἐνυπνίου διαφέρει, ᾗ συμβέβηκε τῷ μὲν εἶναι σημαντικῷ τῶν μελλόντων, τῷ δὲ τῶν ὄντων. σαφέστερον δ' ἂν μάθοις οὕτω. τὰ ποιὰ τῶν παθῶν προσανατρέχειν πέφυκε καὶ προσανατάσσειν ἑαυτὰ τῇ ψυχῇ καὶ τοὺς ὀνειρωγμοὺς ἀποτελεῖν. οἷον ἀνάγκη τὸν ἐρῶντα ὄναρ ἅμα τοῖς παιδικοῖς εἶναι δοκεῖν καὶ τὸν δεδιότα ὁρᾶν ἃ δέδιε, καὶ πάλιν αὖ τὸν πεινῶντα ἐσθίειν καὶ τὸν διψῶντα πίνειν, ἔτι καὶ τὸν πεπλησμένον τροφῆς ἢ ἐμεῖν ἢ πνίγεσθαι [διὰ τὴν γινομένην ἀπόφραξιν δυσαναθυμιάτου τῆς τροφῆς οὔσης]. ἔστι τοίνυν ἰδεῖν ταῦτα καθυποκειμένων ἤδη τῶν παθῶν οὐ πρόρρησιν ἔχοντα τῶν μελλόντων ἀλλ' ὑπόμνησιν τῶν ὄντων […].
Περὶ μὲν οὖν ἐνυπνίου τοσαῦτα εἰρήσθω· τὸ δὲ ὄνομα αὐτὸ κύριον, οὐχ ᾗ ὑπνοῦντες αὐτὸ ὁρῶσι πάντες, ἐπεὶ <καὶ> ὄνειρος ὑπνούντων ἔργον ἐστίν, ἀλλ' ᾗ ἐφ' ὅσον μὲν ἐνύπνιόν ἐστιν ἐνεργεῖ, παυομένων δὲ τῶν ὕπνων ἀφανίζεται· ὁ δ' ὄνειρος ἐνύπνιόν τε ὢν ἐνεργεῖ ἄγων εἰς ἐπίστασιν προαγορεύσεως τῶν μελλόντων, καὶ μεθ' ὕπνον ἐνεργεῖ ἐπάγων τὰς ἐγχειρήσεις ἐγείρειν τε καὶ ὀρείνειν τὴν ψυχὴν πέφυκε, διὰ ταῦτα καὶ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτῷ τεθέντος ἀπ' ἀρχῆς ἢ παρὰ τὸ <τὸ ὂν> εἴρειν, ὅ ἐστι λέγειν, ὡς ὁ ποιητὴς ‘τὰ δέ τοι νημερτέα εἴρω.’ καὶ τὸν πτωχὸν Ἶρον ἐκάλουν οἱ Ἰθακήσιοι ‘οὔνεκ' ἀπαγγέλλεσκε κιών, ὅτε πού τις ἀνώγοι.
Concerning the difference between enhypnion and oneiros, there is quite a large distinction, and I have written about it elsewhere and ** since the writing seems to you disorderly and as if it were not starting from the beginning. And now, it seems to me good to start with precisely these things. Because oneiros is different from enhypnion insofar as the former happens to be significant of future things and the latter of present things. You will understand it better in this way: Some kinds of affections by nature come up to the mind and expand themselves over the soul and cause nocturnal effusions. As it is necessary that a lover dreams to be together with the boys, that a fearing person sees what he fears, that a hungry man eats and a thirsty one drinks, and that someone filled with food either heaves or suffocates [because of the blockage caused when the food is very hard to digest]. Therefore, it is possible to see that these things, when the affections already exist, do not bear a prediction of future events but a reminder of the the present ones […].
So much, then, for the enhypnion. The term itself is important, not insofar as all sleepers see it since <also> the oneiros is an activity of sleepers but insofar as it operates as long as the enhypnion lasts, but once the enhypnion comes to an end it disappears. And the oneiros, being a (type of) enhypnion, operates leading to the knowledge of the prediction of future events. And even after the dream, it brings about active undertakings and naturally awakens and excites the soul. For this reason, from the beginning, it has been given the name of “telling reality,” which is to say, as Homer does, “I will tell you the sure truths.” And the inhabitants of Ithaca called the beggar Iros “because he made announcements walking around wherever somebody commanded him.”
In the last lines of the translation, there are several etymological references in which the noun oneiros is analysed into the present participle ὄν “being, existing” and the future stem εἴρ- “to say” as if it would mean something like “to say something that is real or true.” Artemidorus links this self-serving composition, which is of course no longer accepted by modern scholarship, with a phrase uttered by the prophet Tiresias in the underworld in the Odyssey 11.136, where he predicts the future to Odysseus and with the beggar Arnaios, mentioned in the Odyssey 18.01-07. Though Artemidorus’ etymology cannot hold up against contemporary linguistic standards, readers can still see how he wants this term to be understood.
In conclusion, the fundamental distinction is, in other words, that only oneiros is a meaningful dream that foretells future events whereas enhypnion is just a relatively meaningless reflection of present concerns. Typical for the latter are unclear and unnatural appearances which originate from unreasonable desires, from strong feelings, and from both physical deficiency and excess. This is also the reason why they are alien to moderate people.
The meaningful dreams, on the other hand, are θεόπεμπτα, “sent by the gods” (1.6.8; 1.6.12). Artemidorus does not specify whether the soul by itself has the ability of prediction or if the dreams are induced externally. For his dream interpretation, the oneiros alone is interesting since it needs interpreting in order to be understood. The enhypnion, on the other hand, is more or less excluded from his treatise.
Artemidorus is by far not the first to bring up this distinction between meaningful and meaningless dreams. It is as old as Greek literature is: Already in the Odyssey 19.562-567, Homer says by a play on words that true dreams come through a gate of horn, whereas false dreams come through a gate of ivory. Later, Plato treats false and prophetic dreams in his Republic 571c-572a. Also in Epicurean literature the concept of dreams as a continuation of the day’s activities had a prominent place. In fact, regarding the definition of enhypnion, Artemidorus’ stoic and sceptic dream theory is influenced by Epicureanism.
When an event occurs after and in accordance with an ὄνειρος Artemidorus uses the expression ἐπὶ τούτῳ τῷ ὀνείρῳ. The verb can be either in past tense as an empirical fact or it can be in future tense, such that the outcome is presented as something certain.
|ἐπὶ τούτῳ τῷ ὀνείρῳ after this dream|
|οἶδα δέ τινα, ὃς ἐπὶ τούτῳ τῷ ὀνείρῳ τῆς γυναικὸς ἐστερήθη ὀρθῶς καὶ κατὰ λόγον·||1.78.115||And I know someone, who was deprived of his wife after this dream rightly and according to the theory.|
|ἔτι καὶ ὁ ἀπόδημος εἰς τὴν οἰκείαν ἀνακομιοθήσεται καὶ ὁ περὶ τῆς οὐσίας τῆς μητρῴας ἀμφισβητῶν νικήσει ἐπὶ τούτῳ τῷ ὀνείρῳ||1.79.55||Moreover, he who is abroad will be brought back to his home. And he who quarrels about his mother’s possessions will win after this dream.|
|ἤδη δέ τινες καὶ γυναικὸς καὶ φίλου καὶ οἰκονόμου ἀγαθοῦ ἐπὶ τούτῳ τῷ ὀνείρῳ ἐστερήθησαν καὶ οὐκέτι ἔσχοντὸ ἐπιβλέπον τὰ κτήματα πρόσωπον.||1.35.5||And already some have been deprived of a wife, a friend, or a good caretaker after this dream, and they did not see their possessions any more.|
|γυναῖκά τις ἔχων καὶ παῖδας ἐπὶ τούτῳ τῷ ὀνείρῳ τῆς γυναικὸς ἐστερήθη καὶ τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ παῖδας ἀνεθρέψατο τὴν ἴσην αὐτοῖς παρέχων χρείαν πατρός τε ἅμα καὶ μητρός.||1.16.25||Someone who had a wife and children lost her after this dream and raised his own children, being for them father and mother at the same time.|
The same noun is also used to indicate the topic of a dream, as can be seen in the masculine article of the following example:
|ὁ (ὄνειρος) περί τινος a dream about something|
|Ἐν τοῖς περὶ ἀλλοιώσεως||1.50.01||in dreams about transformation|
The third noun, onar, is never defined by Artemidorus. However, he uses it as a complete synonym of oneiros, the meaningful and prophetic dream, as can be seen from the verbs of signification with which it is combined. This may be partially due to the external similarity of both nouns. Their semantics are so closely related that Artemidorus even switches from one noun to another in his explanation of the five different types of allegoric dreams. In this passage, 1.2.45-75, after describing the nature of ἀλλότριοι (ὄνειροι), he continues with the neutrum κοινά. The noun which must be understood here and in the following explanation is ὀνείρατα.
However, it should be noted that the paradigm for ὄναρ is quite limited. In most of the occurrences, ὄναρ is used either in the nominative or accusative singular. Other forms used are the nominative plural (in 1.2.60: ἡλίου δὲ καὶ σελήνης καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἀστέρων ἀφανισμὸν ἢ τελείαν ἔκλειψιν γῆς τε καὶ θαλάσσης ἀκόσμους ἀνατροπὰς πάθη μὲν προαγορεύειν κοσμικά, καλεῖσθαι δὲ κυρίως [οὕτως] ὀνείρατα κοσμικὰ **. “The occultation or complete ellipsis of the sun, the moon, and the other stars, and disorderly upheavals of the earth and the sea foretell cosmic events and are [thus] rightly called cosmic dreams **.”) and, in just one instance, the genitive singular ὀνείρατος (in 2.12.35: καὶ διὰ μὲν τὴν πρόρρησιν τοῦ ὀνείρατος παραιτησάμενος τὸν γάμον καὶ μόλις ποτὲ πεισθεὶς ὑπὸ φίλων μετὰ χρόνον τινὰ ἔγημε μὲν τὴν πρώην αὐτῷ μεμνηστευμένην, δεδιὼς δὲ τὸ ὄναρ ἐφύλαττε τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ διὰ πάσης ἀσφαλείας διεγίνετο. “And because of the prediction of the dream, he despised marriage and could hardly be talked into marrying by his friends. After some time, he married his long-before betrothed wife but, fearing the dream, he guarded her and spent all the time in safety.”). Other forms, such as the dative singular and plural, genitive plural, and accusative plural, are always expressed with the corresponding forms of ὄνειρος. In conclusion, ὄναρ is interchangeable with ὄνειρος, but less productive as far as inflection is concerned.
As a second usage, ὄναρ is frequently applied as an adverb which is especially frequent in Greek tragedy. This form is historically an adverbial accusative with the meaning “in a dream/dreaming.” In later Greek, the adverbial use of ὄναρ is reinforced with the preposition κατά, such that we find the expression κατ' ὄναρ which is found, e.g., in the Gospel according to Matthew 1:20:
ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμηθέντος ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου κατ' ὄναρ ἐφάνη αὐτῷ λέγων, Ἰωσὴφ υἱὸς Δαυίδ, μὴ φοβηθῇς παραλαβεῖν Μαριὰμ τὴν γυναῖκά σου· τὸ γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν ἐκ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἁγίου.
After he had reflected about that, behold, an angel of God appeared to him in a dream and said: Joseph, descendent of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, as the child in her is from the Holy Spirit.
In Pack’s edition, the expression κατ' ὄναρ has been questioned in 1.64.55. Even so, I have included it as an alternative expression in the respective table, first of all because it is the transmitted text in almost all manuscripts. Only the Codex Laurentianus from the 11th century has ἀπολέσειεν καθόναρ τούτων, which is evidently a scribe’s mistake. Secondly, the same expression is found in other Greek texts written during the Roman Empire. Even inside the Oneirocritica there are other occurences where the editor has not put this expression in brackets: 1.2.54, 2.29.4, and 2.29.6. In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason to exclude κατ' ὄναρ from the Greek text in 1.64.55.
On the other hand, ὄναρ is obviously a scribal mistake in 1.77.64. In Pack’s edition, the passage is as follows:
πλουσίοις δὲ καὶ δημαγωγοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἄρχειν προῃρημένοις ἀγαθὸν ἐτήρησα τὸν στέφανον [ὄναρ].
“I have observed that the wreath [in a dream] is good for the rich, for leaders, and for those that propose to rule.”
The problem is that the adverb cannot go with the verb ἐτήρησα, which Artemidorus uses only for his own empirical observations about dreams and out-comes, but never for seeing a dream. Consequently, the adverb is not integrated into the clause, nor can it be carried over to the following clause via a change in punctuation. For this reason, I propose an amendment of the respective passage by omitting ὄναρ from the text.
|ὄναρ κατ' ὄναρ in a dream/ dreaming|
|ὅσα τις ἔμαθε καὶ ἐδιδάχθη καὶ ἐπετήδευσε καὶ ποιεῖ ἔργα ἢ τέχνας, ταῦτα ὄναρ ἐργάζεσθαι καὶ ἐπιτηδεύειν καὶ τυγχάνειν τοῦ προκειμένου ἀγαθὸν πᾶσιν·||1.51.5||It is good for all to work, to undertake, and to achieve what is set before, in a dream whatsoever someone has learned or been taught, whatsoever work or skill he undertakes and does.|
|ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν ἤδη στασιαζόντων ὁποτέρου <ἂν> παλαίοντος ὄναρ ἡ νίκη γένηται, τούτου καὶ μεθ' ἡμέραν τὸ κράτος ἔσται||1.60.1||For those who are already in discord, the one who wins in the dream, will also be strong after one day|
|ὅθεν εἴ τις ἀπολέσειέ τι τούτων κατ' ὄναρ ἀνδράποδον ἀπολέσει τῶν πρὸς θεραπείαν ἐπιτηδείων||1.64.52||so that, if someone loses something of these things that are necessary for treatment in a dream, he will lose a slave|
Its antonym “in reality” is ὕπαρ, which in Artemidorus is used only as an adverb and never as a noun.
|ὕπαρ in reality|
|Ἔδοξέ τις εἰς γυμνάσιον τὸ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι ὂν αὐτοῦ εἰσελθὼν ἰδεῖν εἰκόνα ἰδίαν, ἥτις καὶ ὕπαρ ἦν ἀνακειμένη·||5.3.2||Someone dreamt he entered the gymnasium in his fatherland and saw there an image of himself, which was exposed there even in reality|
After making a clear distinction between meaningless and meaningful dreams, Artemidorus narrows down the subject of his treatise in 1.2.1 by differentiating between two types of meaningful dreams:
Ἔτι τῶν ὀνείρων οἱ μέν εἰσι θεωρηματικοὶ οἱ δὲ ἀλληγορικοί. καὶ θεωρηματικοὶ μὲν οἱ τῇ ἑαυτῶν θέᾳ προσεοικότες. οἷον πλέων τις ἔδοξε ναυαγεῖν καὶ διατεθεὶς ἔτυχεν οὕτως. ἐπεὶ γὰρ αὐτὸν ἀνῆκεν ὁ ὕπνος, καταποθὲν ἀπώλετο τὸ σκάφος, αὐτὸς δὲ σὺν ὀλίγοις μόγις ἐσώθη. καὶ πάλιν ἔδοξέ τις τετρῶσθαι ὑπὸ ἀνδρός, ᾧ μεθ' ἡμέραν συνεξελθεῖν εἰς θήραν συνέθετο. καὶ δὴ συνεξελθὼν ἐτρώθη ὑπ' αὐτοῦ παρὰ τὸν ὦμον, ἔνθα καὶ ὄναρ ἔδοξεν. ἔτι δόξας τις ἀργύριον παρὰ φίλου λαβεῖν ἕωθεν παρ' αὐτοῦ λαβὼν μνᾶς δέκα παρακαταθήκην ἐφύλαξε, καὶ πολλὰ ἄλλα ὅσα τοιαῦτα. ἀλληγορικοὶ δὲ οἱ δι' ἄλλων ἄλλα σημαίνοντες, αἰνισσομένης ἐν αὐτοῖς φυσικῶς τι [καὶ] τῆς ψυχῆς.
“Moreover, some dreams are theorematic, others are allegoric. And theorematic are the ones which are similar to their own vision. As for instance, a sailor dreamt he was shipwrecked, and he happened to be mentally prepared for this. And when sleep released him, the boat sank and was lost. He was, however, narrowly rescued with a few friends. And another dreamt he was wounded by a man with whom he had agreed to meet the next day to go hunting. And thus when he met him, he was wounded by him in the shoulder, the place he had dreamt of. And another, having dreamt of taking money from a friend, took from him in the morning ten minas as a deposit and guarded it. And there are many other similar stories. Allegoric dreams, on the other hand, signify one thing by means of another, as [even] the soul physically reveals something in these dreams.”
|types of meaningful dreams|
|ὄνειροι θεωρηματικοί||theorematic or direct dreams|
|ὄνειροι ἀλληγορικοί||allegoric or indirect dreams|
Since the theorematic dreams signify their outcomes in a direct way, their interpretation is clear to all. The outcomes immediately follow the dreams, so that Artemidorus does not have to provide more detail about them. Quite the contrary, he almost seems to skip over them in favor of entering the much more complicated sphere of allegoric dreams, whose interpretation will be the concern of five entire books. It is the nature of allegoric dreams that their outcome is not only different from the dream-vision but moreover distanced in time from the moment in which they were seen. To this group belong necessarily all meaningful dreams whose content cannot come true in the same way as has been observed in the dream, for instance because of the laws of nature. And precisely this point presents a great opportunity for dream interpreters who wish to establish allegorical connections between dream-visions and actual outcomes.
Here it is appropriate to define what an allegory is. Paul Ricœur links this term with metaphor, saying that allegory, just like metaphor, “presents one thought in the image of another that is better suited to making it more tangible or more striking than if it were presented directly and without any sort of disguise. But another trait besides its connection to the proposition distinguishes allegory from metaphor. According to Fontanier, metaphor—even the extended metaphor that he calls ‘allegorism’—has only one true meaning, the figurative meaning; whereas allegory ‘consists in a proposition with a double meaning, having a literal and a spiritual meaning together’”. For the interpretation of dreams, this means that the dream has a literal as well as a spiritual meaning. The literal meaning is the vision itself as it is observed in the dream. Different from this is its spiritual meaning, which is accessible through interpretation.
Next, Artemidorus classifies five types of allegoric dreams in a passage from 1.2.45 to 1.2.75. This classification is done according to five parameters related to the dream’s contents. These are: whether the dreamer observes (1) himself, (2) another person, or (3) himself together with another person; (4) if the dream is happening in public spaces; and finally, (5) if the dream is related to atmospheric or celestial events. It is worth noting that Macrobius reports in his Commentarii in somnium Scipionis, I, 3 exactly the same five types of prophetic dreams that need interpreting and gives them Latin names.
These five parameters have an influence on the interpretation since they indicate for whom the dream will come true.
Ἔτι τῶν ἀλληγορικῶν ὁρίζονταί τινες πέντε εἶναι εἴδη. τοὺς μὲν γὰρ ἰδίους εἶπον, ἐν οἷς ἄν τις ἑαυτὸν ὑπολάβῃ δρᾶν ἢ πάσχειν· ἀποβήσεται γὰρ αὐτῷ τῷ ἰδόντι μόνῳ, εἴτε ἀγαθὰ ὄντα τύχοι εἴτε ἐναντία· τοὺς δὲ ἀλλοτρίους, ἐν οἷς ἂν ἄλλον δοκῇ ἐνεργεῖν ἢ πάσχειν· τῷδε γὰρ ἀποβήσεται μόνῳ, εἴτε ἀγαθὰ ὄντα τύχοι εἴτε ἐναντία, εἴπερ εἰδείη αὐτὸν κἂν ἐπὶ ποσὸν ὄντα συνήθη· ἃ δὲ κοινά, ταῦτα καὶ τὸ ὄνομα σημαίνει τὰ μεθ' οὑτινοσοῦν γνωρίμου πρασσόμενα κατ' ὄναρ. ὅσα δὲ πρὸς λιμένας καὶ τείχη ἀγοράς τε καὶ γυμνάσια καὶ κοινὰ πόλεως ἀναθήματα διατείνει, ταῦτα δημόσια καλοῦσιν. ἡλίου δὲ καὶ σελήνης καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἀστέρων ἀφανισμὸν ἢ τελείαν ἔκλειψιν γῆς τε καὶ θαλάσσης ἀκόσμους ἀνατροπὰς πάθη μὲν προαγορεύειν κοσμικά, καλεῖσθαι δὲ κυρίως [οὕτως] ὀνείρατα κοσμικὰ **.
ἔχει δ' οὐχ οὕτως ἁπλῶς ὁ καθολικὸς λόγος, ἐπειδὴ οὐδὲ τοὺς ἰδίους ἀποβαίνειν συμβέβηκε διηνεκῶς τοῖς ἰδοῦσι μόνοις, ἤδη πολλῶν καὶ εἰς τοὺς πέλας ἀποβάντων. οἷον ἔδοξέ τις ἀποθανεῖν. ἀπέβη τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἀποθανεῖν, ὅσπερ ἦν ἄλλος αὐτὸς τῷ καὶ σώματος καὶ ψυχῆς τῆς αὐτῆς μετέχειν. καὶ πάλιν ἔδοξέ τις τετραχηλοκοπῆσθαι. συνέβη καὶ τούτου τὸν πατέρα ἀποθανεῖν, ὃς καὶ τοῦ ζῆν καὶ τοῦ φωτὸς αἴτιος ἦν, ὥσπερ καὶ ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ παντὸς σώματος. οἷόν [δέ] ἐστι καὶ τὸ τετυφλῶσθαι τέκνοις ὄλεθρον καὶ οὐχὶ τῷ ἰδόντι σημαῖνον καὶ πολλὰ ἄλλα ὅσα τοιαῦτα εἴποι τις ἄν. οὐδὲ τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους μὴ οὐχὶ καὶ αὐτοῖς τοῖς ὁρῶσιν ἀποβαίνειν τις διοριεῖται πείρᾳ διδασκόμενος. οἷον ἔδοξέ τις τὸν πατέρα κατακαιόμενον ἰδεῖν.
ἀπέβη ἀποθανεῖν αὐτὸν τὸν ἰδόντα, ἵνα διὰ τὴν ἐπ' αὐτῷ λύπην ὡς εἰπεῖν δίκην πυρὸς ὑπὸ τοῦ πάθους καιόμενος ὁ πατὴρ διαφθείρηται. καὶ πάλιν ἔδοξέ τις τὴν ἐρωμένην αὐτοῦ τελευτῆσαι. καὶ μετ' ὀλίγον αὐτὸς ἀπεβίω τῆς ἡδίστης αὐτῷ χρήσεως ἀφῃρημένος.
“Moreover, some define that there exist five types of allegoric dreams. They named personal the ones in which one supposes that he himself does or suffers something. It will come true for dreamer alone, be it good or the reverse. And they named alien those in which one imagines that someone else does or suffers something. It will come true for this alien person alone, be it good or the reverse, if the dreamer knows him even if he is to a certain extent intimate. And those which are called commons, signifies the name: things done in a dream with some familiar. Whatsoever dreams belong to the harbours, the city walls, the markets, the gymnasia and to the public statues of a city, are called public. The occultation or complete ellipsis of the sun, the moon and the other stars and disorderly upheavals of the earth and the sea foretell cosmic events and are [thus]) rightly called cosmic dreams**.
But the entire classification is not that simple. For it has not happened that personal dreams come true all the time for the dreamers alone. Already many have come true for others. For instance, one dreamt that he died. It happened that his father died, who was his alter ego insofar as he partook in the same body and soul. And again someone dreamt that he was beheaded. And it happened that his father died who was the cause of his life and light just as it is the head for the entire body.
[And,] likewise, going blind signifies death for the children and not for the dreamer. And many other similar things may one say. Nor will someone that has learnt from experience state that alien dreams do never come true for the dreamers themselves. For instance, one dreamt that he saw his father burning. It happened that the dreamer himself died so that the father was destroyed, so to speak, in the manner of fire being burnt up by his suffering because of the grief about his son. And again one dreamt that his lover died. But after a short time the dreamer himself died, being taken away from his sweetest company.”
|five types of allegoric dreams τῶν ἀλληγορικῶν πέντε εἴδη|
|ἴδιοι (ὄνειροι)||1.2.45||personal dreams|
|ἀλλότριοι (ὄνειροι)||1.2.45||alien dreams|
|κοινά (ὀνείρατα)||1.2.50||common dreams|
|δημόσια (ὀνείρατα)||1.2.50||public dreams|
|κοσμικά (ὀνείρατα)||1.2.55||cosmic dreams|
As a consequence of Artemidorus’ focus on meaningful dreams, we often are not able to fully understand concise mentions of meaningless dreams. This is, for instance, the case with φάντασμα (phantasma), which seems to be a vision observed in a meaningless dream. Artemidorus restricts himself to giving the names of some Greek writers who discussed this phenomenon and whose works, had they been preserved, could surely enlighten us today. Other phenomena observed in meaningful dreams are ὅραμα (horama), whose meaning is also unknown to us, and χρηματισμός (chrematismos). Artemidorus’ succinct statement about them in 1.02.40 is as follows:
ἕπεται δὲ τούτοις τῷ μὲν ἐνυπνίῳ τῷ ἀσημάντῳ τὸ φάντασμα, περὶ οὗ ἄλλοι τε πολλοὶ καὶ δὴ καὶ Ἀρτέμων ὁ Μιλήσιος καὶ Φοῖβος ὁ Ἀντιοχεὺς διειλεγμένοι εἰσί, τῷ δὲ ὀνείρῳ ὅραμά τε καὶ χρηματισμός.
After a meaningless dream there follows a phantasma about which many others have written, such as Artemon of Miletus and Phoebus of Antioch. After a meaningful dream, a horama and a chrematismos follow.
In order to understand the meaning of these phenomena, it is enlightening to compare Artemidorus’ terminology with Macrobius’ division of dreams, given in his Commentarii in somnium Scipionis, I, 3: 
omnium quae videre sibi dormientes videntur quinque sunt principales et diversitates et nomina. aut enim est ὄνειρος secundum Graecos quod Latini somnium vocant, aut est ὅραμα quod visio recte appellatur, aut est χρηματισμός quod oraculum nuncupatur, aut est ἐνύπνιον quod insomnium dicitur, aut est φάντασμα quod Cicero, quotiens opus hoc nomine fuit, visum vocavit. ultima ex his duo cum videntur, cura interpretationis indigna sunt, quia nihil divinationis adportant, ἐνύπνιον dico et φάντασμα. est enim ἐνύπνιον quotiens cura oppressi animi corporisve sive fortunae, qualis vigilantem fatigaverat, talem se ingerit dormienti […]. haec et his similia, quoniam ex habitu mentis quietem sicut praevenerant ita et turbaverant dormientis, una cum somno avolant et pariter evanescunt. hinc et insomnio nomen est non quia per somnium uidetur — hoc enim est huic generi commune cum ceteris — sed quia in ipso somnio tantum modo esse creditur dum videtur, post somnium nullam sui utilitatem vel significationem relinquit. falsa esse insomnia nec Maro tacuit:
sed falsa ad caelum mittunt insomnia manes, caelum hic vivorum regionem vocans quia sicut di nobis, ita nos defunctis superi habemur. [...]
φάντασμα vero, hoc est visum, cum inter vigiliam et adultam quietem in quadam, ut aiunt, prima somni nebula adhuc se vigilare aestimans, qui dormire vix coepit, aspicere videtur irruentes in se vel passim vagantes formas a natura seu magnitudine seu specie discrepantes variasque tempestates rerum vel laetas vel turbulentas. in hoc genere est ἐπιάλτες quem publica persuasio quiescentes opinatur invadere et pondere suo pressos ac sentientes gravare. his duobus modis ad nullam noscendi futuri opem receptis, tribus ceteris in ingenium divinationis instruimur.
et est oraculum quidem cum in somnis parens vel alia sancta gravisve persona seu sacerdos vel etiam deus aperte eventurum quid aut non eventurum, faciendum vitandumve denuntiat.
visio est autem cum id quis videt quod eodem modo quo apparuerat eveniet. amicum peregre commorantem quem non cogitabat visus sibi est reversum videre, et procedenti obvius quem viderat venit in amplexus. depositum in quiete suscepit et matutinus ei precator occurrit mandans pecuniae tutelam et fidae custodiae celanda committens.
somnium proprie vocatur quod tegit figuris et velat ambagibus non nisi interpretatione intellegendam significationem rei quae demonstratur, quod quale sit non a nobis exponendum est, cum hoc unus quisque ex usu quid sit agnoscat.
“Principally, there are five different names for all these things that sleeping persons seem to see. For there is either oneiros in Greek, which in Latin is called somnium, or horama that is rightly called visio, or chrematismos, which is called oraculum, or enhypnion that is called insomnium, or phantasma, which Cicero called visum whenever he needed this term. When the latter two, i.e. enhypnion and phantasma, appear, they are not worth interpreting because they do not bring about any divination. Namely, there is an enhypnion whenever mental or physical distress or anxiety about the future affects somebody sleeping in the same way it disturbs him when he is awake. […]. These and similar apparitions flee together with sleep and likewise disappear since they prevent mental rest in the same way they disturb the rest of one who is sleeping. Therefore, it has the name insomnium: Not because it is seen in a dream (for this is a common feature of this kind with the others), but because it is believed to exist only during the dream itself, as long as it appears, and after the dream it does not leave behind any utility or meaning. And even Virgil says clearly that insomnia are meaningless: ‘But the ghosts of the dead send wrong insomnia to the sky.’ Here, he calls the place of the living humans ‘sky’ because we are considered superior to the dead, just as the gods are superior to us. [...]
But when somebody between wakefulness and slumber hardly has started to sleep and in some so-called ‘first mist of sleep’ believes that he is still awake, a phantasma, i.e. visum, appears. It consists of forms rushing him or wandering around, differing from nature in size and shape, and of different commotions, either delightful or disturbing. To this kind belongs the epialtes. According to popular belief, it attacks and weighs down those who are resting, such that they are pressed by its weight and feel it. Whilst these two kinds do not bear any help of knowing the future, with the three other ones we are prepared for the capacity of divination.
And there is an oraculum when in a dream a parent, a religious, or influential person or priest or even god declares openly that something will happen or not, that something has to be done or not be done.
But a visio is when one sees something that will come true in the same way as it had appeared. One who had not thought about his friend who was living abroad dreamt that he saw him coming back. And he met him when he came back and embraced him. Or one agreed to accept a deposit and in the morning an intercessor came across, charged him with safekeeping his money, and committed secrets to his trust.
Somnium is rightly called that which conceals with figures and ambiguity the meaning which is only understandable by means of an interpretation of the thing that is shown. We do not have to explain what that is, since everyone knows it from experience.”
In the table below, I have gathered the Greek and Latin names of the various types of dreams. A short explanation sums up the most fundamental points of each.
|ὄνειρος||prophetic dream||ὄνειρος/ somnium||prophetic, allegoric (=indirect) dream|
|ὅραμα||? linked with meaningful dreams||ὅραμα/ visio||prophetic, theorematic (=direct) dream|
|χρηματισμός||? linked with meaningful dreams||χρηματισμός/ oraculum||prophetic dream in which a person or a god gives instructions on what to do|
|ἐνύπνιον||non-prophetic reflection of the individual’s physical and mental condition||ἐνύπνιον/ insomnium||non-prophetic reflection of the individual’s physical and mental condition|
|φάντασμα||? linked with meaningless dreams||φάντασμα/ visum||non-prophetic, bizarre hallucinations seen at the threshold of falling asleep|
|ἐπιάλτες||special type of φάντασμα/ visum, in which the dreamer feels pressure on his chest|
Examining the taxonomy that both authors use, it is striking that they agree on the five main types of dreams. Yet, Macrobius diverges from Artemidorus on one crucial point: He defines ὄνειρος as an allegoric dream and ὅραμα as a theorematic dream. In Artemidorus’ taxonomy, both allegoric and theorematic dreams are comprised by the term ὄνειρος. The question is thus what Artemidorus’ ὅραμα actually is. In the Septuagint, ὅραμα is used on several occasions. One occurrence is in Gen. 15:1 when God speaks with Abraham in a vision. In the Masoretic Text, it corresponds to the Hebrew מַּחֲזֶה “vision” which is, from an etymological point of view, close to the Greek word. Furthermore, Abraham is awake during the vision and even prepares sacrifices, such that this could be a vision observed whilst awake. Other occurences are found in Dan. 2. There, it is used as a synonym of ἐνύπνιον and designates a prophetical dream. The Hebrew and Aramaic text always have forms derived from חֲלוֹם “dream” and, respectively, חֶלְמָא “the dream.” Eyecatching is, at least, the correspondence between συνέβη εἰς ὁράματα καὶ ἐνύπνια ἐμπεσεῖν τὸν βασιλέα, “it happened that the King fell into visions and dreams” (Dan. 2:1) and ᾿Ενύπνιον ἑώρακα, “I have seen a dream” in the sense of, “I have dreamt and seen something” (Dan. 2:3). The ἐνύπνιον seems to emphasize the part of dream that is related to sleep, whereas ὅραμα stresses the visual part.
Here it becomes clear that Artemidorus’ classification is not universal, since the Septuagint’s use of ἐνύπνιον is also different from Artemidorus’ definition. As a result, it remains unclear what Artemidorus’ ὅραμα is, whereas Macrobius’ explanations for the meaning of chrematismos and phantasma may be accepted.
Moreover, Macrobius’ ἐπιάλτες is a nightmare. The Greek physician Oribasius tells that it suffocates people: τοῖς νύκτωρ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἐφιάλτου πνιγομένοις, “for those who are suffocated by the ephialtes at night” in his Collectiones medicae, book 7, chapter 26, section 177; καὶ ἐφιάλται συνεχῶς πνίγοντες, “and ephialtes that have suffocated continously” in Libri ad Eunapium Book 4, chapter 117, section 1). But even more important is his statement in Synopsis ad Eustathium filium Book 8, Chapter 2:
Οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ καλούμενος ἐφιάλτης δαίμων κακός, ἀλλ' ὁ μέν τις νόσος ἰσχυρά, ὁ δ' ὑποφήτης ἱερὸς καὶ θεράπων Ἀσκληπιοῦ· προοίμια δ' ἐφιάλτου ταῦτα· πνίξ, ἀφωνία, βάρος.
“The so called ephialtes is not a bad demon, but either a severe illness or a holy suggester and servant of Asclepius. It begins with suffocating, speechlessness, and pressure.”
In the Oneirocritica, there are two references to ephialtes, though Artemidorus uses a different form, once in 2.34.12 and another time in 2.37.20. In both occasions, Ἐπιάλτης refers to the divinity that Oribasius places in the context of Asclepius.
In the following sections, I will analyze which adjectives are combined with the noun “dream” in order to qualify it as either good or bad. I will also examine which adjectives are applied when the content, rather than the dream itself, is qualified.
Sometimes phantastic dream contents may confuse or even frighten the dreamer. When Artemidorus expresses that a dream does not give any reason to be anxious, he uses the adjective ἄφοβος “unfearful.” The person for whom it is unfearful is expressed in dative.
|ὄνειρος ἄφοβος ὄναρ ἄφοβον unfearful dream|
|ἄφοβος ὁ ὄνειρος||1.13.30||the dream does not cause fear|
|φοβουμένῳ δὲ δεθῆναι οὐκ ἄφοβον τὸ ὄναρ.||1.42.5||For one fearing to be bound the dream is terrible|
|I||ὅθεν αἱ πλαζόμεναι τῶν ἑταίρων λυσιτελέστεραι ὄναρ ὀφθῆναι.||1.78.30||Therefore, the prostitutes who wander around are more profitable to be seen in a dream.|
|II||περαίνεσθαι δὲ ὑπό τινος γνωρίμου γυναικὶ μὲν [ἡδὺ καὶ] λυσιτελές||1.78.63||To be penetrated by a known person is [sweet and] profitable for a woman|
A third possibility is that greater dream content is reported with an infinitive or with a subordinated clause introduced with εἰ. When this is evaluated as good for someone, Artemidorus uses the adjectives ἀγαθόν and καλόν. The neuter sums up everything that has been stated before, and the person for whom the dream is good is expressed in dative.
|ἀγαθόν τινι καλόν τινι good for someone|
|εἰ δέ τις γυναῖκα ἣν οὐκ οἶδεν ὑπολάβοι περαίνειν, εἰ μὲν εὔμορφος εἴη καὶ χαρίεσσα καὶ σκευὴν ἔχουσα ἱματίων πολυτελῶν καὶ μαλακῶν καὶ ὅρμων χρυσέων καὶ ἑαυτὴν παρέχουσα, καλὸν τῷ ἰδόντι||1.78.35||And if someone dreams that he penetrates an unknown woman, and if she is shapely and graceful and has an outfit of expensive, soft clothes and golden collars, and if she offers herself, it is good for the dreamer|
|εἰ μὲν εἰς γυναῖκα μεταβάλοι ἀνήρ, πένητι μὲν ἀγαθὸν καὶ δούλῳ·||1.50.20||If a man should [any time] transform into a woman, it is good for the poor man and the slave|
|ἀνδρὶ δὲ ὑπὸ πλουσιωτέρου καὶ πρεσβυτέρου περαίνεσθαι ἀγαθόν·||1.78.65||To be penetrated by a richer or older person is good for a man.|
More frequently, the positive effects of a dream are expressed with verbs of helping, whose subject can either be a dreaming noun or any content of the dream. The complements of συλλαμβάνει and συμφέρει are in dative, of ὠφελεῖ in accusative. The single ocurrence of προσήκει is without complement. The semantics of these four verbs are congruent due to the formulaic style of the Oneirocritica. The meaning is always “the dream benefits someone, is good for someone.”
|συλλαμβάνει τινί συμφέρει τινί ὠφελεῖ τινα προσήκει it benefits (someone)|
|καὶ τοῖς [ἐπὶ τὸ ἄρχειν ὁρμωμένοις καὶ] ἀθληταῖς συλλαμβάνουσι καὶ πένησιν·||1.77.40||and it benefits [those who are setting out for public office and] athletes and the poor.|
|ἀμπέλου δὲ καὶ κισσοῦ μόνοις τοῖς περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον τεχνίταις συμφέρει||1.77.65||(A wreath) of grape-vine and ivy is good only for theatrical artists and the Dionysiac troupe|
|κρομμύοις δὲ ἐστεφανῶσθαι δοκεῖν τὸν μὲν ἰδόντα ὠφελεῖ, τοὺς δὲ περὶ αὐτὸν βλάπτει.||1.77.70||but dreaming to be crowned with onions benefits the dreamer and harms those around him.|
|πολλάκις δὲ τὸ τοιοῦτον ὄναρ καὶ ἐν μυστηρίοις τῆς γυναικὸς γενόμενον τὸν ἰδόντα ὠφέλησε·||1.78.60||this dream has often benefited the dreamer, for he got inside the secret of the woman.|
|χάλκεον δὲ ἢ σιδήρεον ἢ λίθινον μέτωπον δοκεῖν ἔχειν τελώναις καὶ καπήλοις καὶ τοῖς μετὰ ἀναιδείας ζῶσιν μόνοις συμφέρει||1.23.5||Dreaming to have a forehead of bronze, iron, or stone is good only for collectors of tariffs, dealers, and those who live in shamelessness|
|τούτου δ' ἕνεκεν προσήκει τὸ αὐτάρκη καὶ ὀλίγον δοκεῖν πίνειν.||1.66.10||For this reason, it is proper to dream of drinking enough and of drinking little.|
This section contains ways in which dreams are classified as bad. Often, Artemidorus just negates the expression that he uses for good dreams. These instances are not included here; rather, more suitable expressions are included.
When Artemidorus says that a dream is bad, he uses the adjectives κακός and πονηρός. The person for whom it is bad is expressed in dative. A bad dream in the sense of “terrible” is called δεινός. The reason why it is bad is often attached to the preposition διά.
|τὸ ὄναρ πονηρόν τινι τὸ ὄναρ κακόν τινι δεινὸς ὁ ὄνειρος the dream is bad (for someone)|
|χρεώστῃ δὲ πονηρὸν ὁμοίως διὰ τὰς ψήφους.||1.26.55||for a debtor it is equally grievous because of the stones|
|δεινὸς ὁ ὄνειρος||1.13.30||the dream is terrible|
|κακὸν δὲ δούλῳ τὸ ὄναρ καὶ δίκην ἔχοντι ἐγκαλοῦντί τε καὶ ἐγκαλουμένῳ·||1.24.5||the dream is bad for a slave and for someone who has a trial, for both plaintiff as well as for the accused.|
When the action that is performed in a dream is classified as bad, there is a series of expressions at hand. Their semantics are not greatly different from each other. It is, however, worth noting that Artemidorus makes use of the adjective ἄτοπος in the sense of “bad, ill-omened,” which elsewhere means “out of place, strange, unnatural.” The form βλάπτον, which is morphologically a participle, is used as an adjective, maybe influenced by constructions with the etymologically related adjective βλαβερόν. But it still preserves the accusative case with which the verb βλάπτω is combined. The superlative forms δεινότατον and σκαιότατον, together with the partitive genitive πάντων, indicate that dreams are very bad.
|τὸ ποιεῖν τί τινα βλάπτον ποιεῖν τί τινι βλαβερόν ποιεῖν τί τινι ἄτοπον πάντων δεινότατον τὸ δοκεῖν ποιεῖν τι πάντων ἂν εἴη σκαιότατον τὸ ποιεῖν τι τὸ δοκεῖν ποιεῖν τι ἄπρακτον (καὶ πονηρόν) to do something is bad|
|αἷμα φερόμενον ἰδεῖν ἄτοπον τῷ λανθάνειν βουλομένῳ·||1.33.15||To see flowing blood is harmful for everybody who whishes to hide himself|
|Ἀφῃρῆσθαι δὲ δοκεῖν τῆς κεφαλῆς εἴτε ἐκ καταδίκης εἴτε ὑπὸ λῃστῶν εἴτε ἐν μονομαχίᾳ εἴτε οἱῳδήποτε τρόπῳ (οὐ γὰρ διαφέρει) πονηρὸν τῷ γονεῖς ἔχοντι καὶ τῷ τέκνα·||1.35.1||And to dream of being beheaded either by death sentence or by robbers or in a single battle or in any other way (for it does not matter) is grievous for a person who has parents and children.|
|τὸ δὲ δοκεῖν ἐκκρίνεσθαι πάντας βλάπτον ἔτι καὶ τοὺς νοσοῦντας ἀναιρεῖ||1.59.5||and dreaming to be excluded is also bad for all and kills the sick|
|Πυκτεύειν παντὶ βλαβερόν·||1.61.1||To box is harmful for everybody|
|πάντων δὲ δεινότατον ἐτήρησα τὸ δοκεῖν ὑπὸ τῆς μητρὸς ἀρρητοποιεῖσθαι·||1.79.105||I have observed that dreaming of being fellated bys one’s mother is the most terrible of all|
|Αὐτὸ μὲν τὸ καθεύδειν δοκεῖν ἄπρακτον, καὶ τὸ μέλλειν ὑπνοῦν καὶ αὐτὸ ἄπρακτον καὶ πονηρὸν πᾶσι πλὴν τῶν φοβουμένων ἢ βασάνους προσδοκώντων·||1.81.1||And simply dreaming that you are sleeping is unprofitable, and to be sleepy is likewise unprofitable and bad for all except for those who fear or expect torture.|
|κοινῇ δὲ πᾶσιν ἄτοπον τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι ἱδροῦν ἢ ὕπαιθρον τὸ βαλανεῖον γενόμενον ἰδεῖν ἀπολέσαν τὴν ὀροφὴν ἢ μὴ εὑρίσκειν ὕδωρ ἐν ταῖς δεξα- μεναῖς· τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ παντελῶς ἄτοπον.||1.64.33||and it is commonly bad for all not to be able to sweat or to see a bath which has become open to the sky when the ceiling is demolished or not to find water in the receptacles. For this is absolutely bad.|
|πάντων δ' ἂν εἴη σκαιότατον τὸ παιδὸς ἰδίου σάρκας ἐσθίειν||1.70.25||It would be the most ill-omened of all to eat the flesh of one's own child|
Since the action of dreaming resembles a visual process, it is generally expressed with verbs of seeing and not with proper verbs of dreaming. In 1.16 the author of the Oneirocritica gives an exhaustive description of seeing in dreams, with expressions like ὀξὺ ὁρᾶν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς, “to see sharply with the eyes,” ἀμβλυώττειν, “to be short-sighted,” τετυφλῶσθαι ἀμφοτέρους τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς, “to be blind in both eyes.” All these expressions are also found in a context which does not refer to dreaming but to the process of perceiving with the eyes in reality, which is commonly called seeing. Thus, it is easy to understand that there is no lexical distinction between seeing in reality or in a dream. This is also true for other sensory perceptions. In 1.56.15 Artemidorus mentions a dream in which the sound of an instrument is perceived: οἵῳ δ' ἂν ὀργάνῳ σαλπίζοντός τινός τις ἀκούσῃ, ταραχθήσεται· “When somebody hears someone playing this instrument, he will be disturbed.” The verb is, as expected, ἀκούω, “to hear.”
The same is true for seeing in a dream. The connection of seeing and dreaming is so strong that the verbs are interchangeable. It makes no semantic difference whether something is seen in a dream or in reality. The vision of something per se, seen in a dream, is called ὄψις, as in the following example:
|ὄψεις κακαί||1.5.30||bad visions|
|μετὰ τὴν ὄψιν αὐτήν||1.2.35||after the vision itself|
This noun can be combined with the verb ἀναδέξασθαι to form the expression, “to receive a vision.” The topic is indicated with the preposition ὑπέρ and the genitive “to receive a vision about something.” An alternative expression is ἀναδέξασθαι θέαν, with the pure genitive syntactically dependent on the noun θέαν, “to receive a vision of something.”
|ἀναδέξασθαι ὄψιν ὑπέρ τινος ἀναδέξασθαι θέαν τινός to receive a vision of something|
|τὸ δὲ παρὰ δύναμιν ἀναδέξασθαι μικρὸν ὄντα μεγάλων πραγμάτων θέαν ἀδύνατον·||1.2.118||But that an insignificant man receives, contrary to his ability, a vision about important things is impossible|
|καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ὄψιν ἀναδέξασθαι δύνανται οὐχ ὡς ἰδιῶται μικρὰ πεπιστευμένοι||1.2.120||And they can receive a vision about these matters because they are not entrusted with insignificant matters as private persons are|
All other visions that appear in a dream are commonly expressed with the neuter plural of ἐφιστάμενα, ἐπιφαινόμενα, and σημαινόμενα. These nominalized participles signify visions in the sense of apparitions.
|τὰ ἐφιστάμενα τὰ ἐπιφαινόμενα τὰ σημαινόμενα apparitions|
|τὰ δὲ <τοῖς> περὶ μηδενὸς φροντίζουσιν ἐφιστάμενα||1.6.5||apparitions coming to persons who are not worried about anything|
|Ἐννοῆσαι δὲ χρὴ ὅτι τὰ μὲν τοῖς φροντίζουσι περί τινος καὶ αἰτησαμένοις ὄνειρον παρὰ θεῶν ἐπιφαινόμενα οὐχ ὅμοια ταῖς φροντίσι [σημαίνοντα δέ τι περὶ τῶν προκειμένων] γίνεται||1.6.1||It is necessary to keep in mind that apparitions of those who are worried about something and request a dream from the gods are not equal to the worries [but signify something about the present situation].|
|ἀλλ' εἰ μὲν εἴησαν φίλοι καὶ τὰ σημαινόμενα ἀγαθά, γίνοιντ' ἂν ἐκείνοις ἡμῖν τε ἀπὸ μέρους χαρά τε καὶ ἡδονή·||1.2.110||But if there are friends, and if the things appearing in the dream are good, they and ourselves will achieve in part joy and pleasure.|
It has already been mentioned that a “dreamer” is “someone seeing a dream.” And in the same way, Artemidorus employs a verb of seeing, sometimes in combination with the direct object “a dream,” but more frequently without it. His language is so formulaic that, in many instances, “to see” equals “to dream.” The Greek language is quite rich in the semantic field of seeing. The verb most frequently used is ὁρῶ.
|ὁρῶ (ὄνειρον) περί τινος to see a dream about something|
|καὶ εἴ τις ἀπολωλός τι ζητῶν ἴδοι τὸν ὄνειρον τοῦτον, οὐκ ἂν εὕροι, οὐδὲ δραπέτην διώκων καταλάβοι.||1.26.30||And if somebody is seeking something he has lost and sees this dream, he will not find it, and someone pursuing a runaway slave will not capture him.|
|τὰ μὲν ὑπὲρ ὧν τις οὐ πεφρόντικεν, ὑπὲρ τούτων οὐδὲν ὄψεται, ἐπεὶ καὶ ὑπὲρ ἰδίων ἤδη τινὲς μὴ φροντίσαντες ὀνείρους <οὐκ> εἶδον·||1.2.115||And things someone has not thought about—about these things he will not see anything, because some have not seen dreams about relatives when they were not thinking about them.|
|κυβερνήτῃ δὲ ἰδόντι τὸ ὄναρ γαλήνην σημαίνει·||1.48.5||and for a captain who has seen this dream, it signifies stillness of the sea|
Koine Greek certainly does have a proper noun to signify “dreamer,” ἐνυπνιαστής, which was coined by the tranlators of the Septuagint in order to translate the Hebrew בַּעַל הַחֲלֹמוֹת as it was applied to Joseph. The passage reads as follows: εἶπαν δὲ ἕκαστος πρὸς τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ Ἰδοὺ ὁ ἐνυπνιαστὴς ἐκεῖνος ἔρχεται, “The brothers said to each other, ‘Look, that dreamer is coming.’” (Septuagint Gen. 37:19). Another occurrence is found in Philo’s book De somniis 2.42, where it is also applied to Joseph. This noun is, however, never used by Artemidorus, but there are other ways to express this concept. The basic principle is to use a substantival participle of the verb ὁρῶ, “to see,” which can, for the sake of clarity, take the complement τὸν ὄνειρον. But often it is simply omitted. The selected corpus gives plenty of instances with this substantival participle, such that it would be too exhaustive to list all occurrences here. Its use is obvious from just a few examples. Most of the substantival participles are in aorist, some in present, and a rare few in perfect tense. The tenses express an aspectual difference.
|ὁ ὁρῶν (τὸν ὄνειρον)/ ὁ ἰδών (τὸν ὄνειρον) / ὁ ἑορακώς (τὸν ὄνειρον) the dreamer|
|οἷόν [δέ] ἐστι καὶ τὸ τετυφλῶσθαι τέκνοις ὄλεθρον καὶ οὐχὶ τῷ ἰδόντι σημαῖνον||1.2.65||As [also] being blind is an indication of death for the children and not for the dreamer|
|οὐδὲ τοὺς ἀλλοτρίους μὴ οὐχὶ καὶ αὐτοῖς τοῖς ὁρῶσιν ἀποβαίνειν τις διοριεῖται πείρᾳ διδασκόμενος.||1.2.70||neither will someone, taught by his experience, declare that alien dreams would surely not affect even the dreamers themselves.|
|Λυσιτελὲς δ' ἂν εἴη, οὐ μόνον δὲ λυσιτελὲς ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀναγκαῖον τῷ τ' ἰδόντι τὸν ὄνειρον καὶ τῷ ὑποκρινομένῳ, ἐπίστασθαι τὸν ὀνειροκρίτην τίς τέ ἐστιν ὁ ἰδὼν τὸν ὄνειρον καὶ ὅ τι πράσσει καὶ ὅπως γέγονε καὶ ὅ τι ἔχει κτῆμα καὶ ὅπως ἔχει σώματος καὶ ἧστινος ἡλικίας γέγονε.||1.9.1||It would be advantageous, not only advantageous, but also necessary, for the dreamer and for the dream-interpreter to know who the dreamer is, what he is doing, how he was born, what possessions he has, what bodily condition he has, and how old he is.|
|εἰ δέ τις πλέων ἴδοι τὸν ὄνειρον τοῦτον, ἀπολεῖσθαι τοῦ πλοίου τὴν ἱστοκεραίαν σημαίνει, εἰ μὴ τῶν ναυτῶν τις εἴη ὁ ἑορακώς·||1.35.30||But if someone should see this dream when he is sailing, it means that the sailyard of the ship will be lost, unless the dreamer is one of the sailors.|
Among the numerous verbs of seeing that the Greek language has is also θεωρῶ, which is used most typically in passive voice, as in the example below.
|(ὀνείρατα) θεωροῦμενα dreams that are seen|
|ἅμα θεωρούμενα καὶ ἀποβαίνοντα||1.2.35||They come true while they are seen|
Above, I have already mentioned how Artemidorus says “to see a dream,” using the generic verb ὁρῶ. This verb is also used in other instances where the complement is not “a dream,” but the content of the dream itself. This can be a person, an item, or a reference to another action. The direct object can be combined with a participle to build the so-called accusativus cum participio, which designates a verbal process.
|ὁρῶ τι ὁρῶ τινα to see something in a dream to see someone in a dream|
|διὸ χρὴ ἐπερωτᾶν καθ' ἕκαστον εἴτε ἡδέως εἴτε ἀηδῶς τοῦτο ἑώρα.||1.12.20||For this reason, it is necessary to ask each person whether he saw this with or without pleasure.|
|ἔτι καὶ τὸ φίλους ὁρᾶν, [καὶ] εἰ μὲν λυποῖντο, λύπας παρέχει, εἰ δὲ χαίροιεν, ἡδονάς.||1.2.80||In addition, to see friends, [even] if they are grieving, brings about grief, and if they are happy, brings about pleasures.|
|οἶδα δέ τινα, ὃς ἔδοξεν ἐκ τοῦ γόνατος τοῦ δεξιοῦ ἰδεῖν πεφυ- κότα κάλαμον||1.47.10||And I know someone who dreamt that he saw a reed having grown out of his right knee|
Moreover, there is also the verb of seeing θεῶμαι that, semantically, gives the presentation of a whole scene. It appears two times in Book 1 in the formula θεασάμενός τις ἐν ὕπνοις τι, which was questioned by Pack. In fact, the plural ὕπνοις instead of singular is unusual for Artemidorus’ style and reminds one a bit of Biblical Greek. Maybe it must be understood literally, as “in dreams,” i.e., in recurring dreams. Furthermore, the verb θεῶμαι, which is common in any Greek text, is not often found in the Oneirocritica. Nevertheless, the expression occurs two times in the corpus, and the verb θεῶμαι is also used in 3.2.6, where the editor did not put square brackets. For that reason, I have included the expression in this lexical study. It can take as a complement either the accusative or an infinitive.
|θεασάμενός τις ἐν ὕπνοις τι someone having seen something in a dream|
|ἔλεγε δέ τις ὅτι ποτέ τινι θεασαμένῳ ἐν ὕπνοις ὀφθαλμοὺς κατὰ πάντας τοὺς δακτύλους ἔχειν τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ προεῖπε τύφλωσιν.||1.26.80||And someone said he had foretold blindness to someone who saw in a dream that he had eyes on every single finger of his hand.|
|ἐγὼ δέ ποτέ τινα τῶν γνωρίμων ἐν ἀρχῇ καταστάντα καὶ τὴν ἄλλην εὐπραγίαν εὐτυχήσαντα ἐν ὕπνοις θεασάμενος ἐν τῇ πόλει προπεμπόμενον ὑπὸ τῆς ὑποβεβλημένης αὐτῷ τάξεως ἀνίκμους ἔχοντα καὶ κουριώσας τὰς τρίχας τῆς κεφαλῆς ἐπέβαλον μὲν ὡς λύπης αὐτῷ δηλωτικὸν εἴη τὸ ὄναρ·||1.19.5||And once I have seen some familiar person in a dream who had taken a position in the government and who succeeded luckily in his affairs. He was sent out, with dry and untrimmed hair on his head, through the city by the company which was placed under his command. I interpreted the dream as revealing grief for him.|
Appearing in a dream is closely related to seeing in a dream. In fact, the verbal form ὁρᾶται, “it is seen, it appears,” is just the passive voice of ὁρῶ, “to see.” The agent is omitted in this case. Likewise, in Latin we find the verb video for “to see something in a dream” and its passive form videtur, meaning, “it is seen, it appears,” as in the following passage taken from Caesar’s biography by Suetonius, Chapter VII:
Etiam confusum eum somnio proximae noctis (nam visus erat per quietem stuprum matri intulisse) coiectores ad amplissimam spem incitaverunt, arbitrium terrarum orbis portendi interpretantes, quando mater, quam subiectam sibi vidisset, non alia esset quam terra, quae omnium parens haberetur.
Moreover, he was puzzled because of a dream he had had the night before (for he appeared in his dream and violated his own mother at night). The dream-interpreters gave him great hope. According to their interpretation, world domination was predicted for him, since the mother, whom he had seen subjected to him, was precisely the earth, which is considered to be the mother of everything.
|ὁρᾶται τι something appears in a dream|
|Ἐγὼ δ' οἶμαι δεῖν καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν αὐτῶν (...) καθ' ἣν οὕτως ὁρῶνταί τε καὶ ἀποβαίνουσι (...) εἰπεῖν.||1.2.15||But I believe it is necessary to tell the reason they appear and become fulfilled in this way.|
|τῶν σωματικῶν ἃ μὲν δι' ἔνδειαν ἃ δὲ διὰ περισσότητα ὁρᾶται, τῶν δ' αὖ ψυχικῶν ἃ μὲν διὰ φόβον ἃ δὲ δι' ἐλπίδα.||1.1.25||Of the dreams relating to the body, some appear because of deficiency, and others because of excess; and of the dreams relating to the soul, some appear because of fear, others because of hope.|
One of the most important scopes of the present lexical study is to discover how Artemidorus says, “to dream.” Even more surprising is the answer: He does not even use a proper verb. Instead, he recurs to verbs of believing and thinking. Their lexical nuances are minimal. This is due to Artemidorus’ formulaic style.
First, when the person who dreams is identical to the person who does something in the dream, the infinitive is used. Grammatically, it is an obligatory constituent of the verb. These verbs are the following ones:
|δοκεῖ τις ποεῖν τι οἴεταί τις ποεῖν τι ὑπολαμβάνει τις ἑαυτὸν ποεῖν τι νομίζει τις ποεῖν τι to dream to do something|
|I||ὅσοι δὲ μέλανας ἢ σεσηπότας ἢ κολοβοὺς ἔχοντες ὀδόντας ὄναρ ἔδοξαν ἀποβεβληκέναι||1.31.60||Whoever imagined, in a dream, having black, rotten, or broken teeth and losing them|
|I||ἀνάγκη τὸν ἐρῶντα ὄναρ ἅμα τοῖς παιδικοῖς εἶναι δοκεῖν||1.1.5||The lover dreams necessarily that he is together with his boy|
|I||οἷον ἔδοξέ τις ἀποθανεῖν||1.2.63||For instance, someone dreamt that he died|
|I||καὶ πάλιν ἔδοξέ τις τετρα-χηλοκοπῆσθαι.||1.2.65||And again someone dreamt that his throat was cut|
|II||κατὰ κρημνῶν πεσεῖν οἴεσθαι ἢ λῃστηρίῳ περιπεσεῖν ἢ Κύκλωπα ἰδεῖν ἢ τὸ ἄντρον αὐτοῦ <ἢ> παραλελύσθαι ἢ νοσεῖν ἢ ἀπολλύειν τι τῶν ἐσπουδασμένων||1.5.15||to dream of falling from cliffs, of encountering a band of pirates, of seeing a Cyclop or his cave, of having become paralysed, of being sick or of losing something that has been zealously pursued|
|III||ἐὰν δὲ ἐπὶ τῇ ἐκβολῇ ἀλγεῖν νομίσῃ, ἀποδόμενός τι τῶν οἴκοθεν.||1.31.35||when someone dreams that he has pain because of teeth falling out, giving back something of his property.|
|III||Ὅ τι δ' ἂν περὶ τὸν τράχηλον ἢ τὴν ὑπήνην ἕλκος ἢ πάθος ὄναρ ἔχειν νομίσῃ τις, νόσον ἐπίσης πᾶσι προαγορεύει·||1.34.1||When somebody thinks that he has, in a dream, a wound or another ailment around the throat or upper lip|
|III||σύντομον γὰρ ὄλεθρον μαντεύεται, εἰ μὴ ἄρα τις ἀπὸ τοιούτων ἐσθίειν νομίσειε μερῶν τοῦ παιδός||1.70.30||since it foretells a sudden calamity, unless one dreams that he eats from these parts of the child|
|IV||Εἰ δέ τις ἑαυτὸν ὑπολάβοι κυεῖν||1.14.1||If someone should dream that he himself is pregnant|
|IV||εἰ δέ τις ὑπολάβοι καταφιλεῖν τὸ ἑαυτοῦ αἰδοῖον, εἰ μὲν ἄπαις εἴη, παῖδες ἔσονται αὐτῷ·||1.80.6||But if someone dreams that he caresses his own privy parts and if he is childless, he will have children.|
If the person who does something in the dream is not co-referential with the dreamer, a different construction is used, the so-called accusativus cum infinitvo: the subject of the infinitive is put in the accusative. In these cases, the accusativus cum infinitvo depends syntactically on the verbs of thinking δοκῶ and νομίζω.
|δοκεῖ τις γενέσθαι τι νομίζει τις γενέσθαι τι to dream that something happens|
|καὶ πάλιν ἔδοξέ τις τὴν ἐρωμένην αὐτοῦ τελευτῆσαι.||1.2.75||and again someone dreamt that his beloved died.|
|οἷόν [δέ] ἐστι καὶ τὸ δοκεῖν νοσεῖν τὴν μητέρα ἢ τὴν γυναῖκα||1.2.78||[and] as it is the case when somebody dreams that his mother or wife is sick|
|εἰ δέ τις ἐκβαλὼν τοὺς προτέρους ὀδόντας ἄλλους ἀναφύεσθαι νομίσειεν, ἀλλαγὴν αὐτῷ τοῦ παντὸς βίου σημαίνει τὸ ὄναρ||1.31.75||But if one dreams that he casts out the first teeth and that others sprout, the dream signifies for him a change of his entire life|
A last possibility is to express the dream in the indicative without any verb of dreaming. The advantage of this is that it makes the text easier to read and avoids repetitions. The disadvantage of this is that the dream is no longer recognizable as such. This may lead to confusion with the outcome of the dream. The context is thus essential.
|γίγνεταί τι (to dream that) something happens/something happens (in a dream)|
|εἰ μὲν εἰς γυναῖκα μεταβάλοι [ποτὲ] ἀνήρ, πένητι μὲν ἀγαθὸν καὶ δούλῳ||1.50.20||If a man should [some time] transform into a woman, it is it good for the poor man and the slave.|
|τὸ δὲ κηρύσσειν τὰ αὐτὰ τῷ σαλπίζειν σημαίνει||1.56.15||Dreaming of announcing something signifies the same as sounding the trumpet|
|ἐὰν οὖν τι περὶ τὸν ὀμφαλὸν δυσχερὲς γένηται, στερηθῆναι γονέων ἢ τῆς πατρίδος σημαίνει||1.44.1||Whenever something unpleasant concerning the navel happens (in a dream), it signifies a separation from the parents or from the home country|
|αὐλεῖν δὲ Πυθικοῖς αὐλοῖς πένθος ἢ ἀνάλογον πένθει λύπην σημαίνει καὶ τοὺς νοσοῦντας ἀναιρεῖ.||1.56.17||dreaming of playing the Pythic flutes signifies sorrow and, equivalent to sorrow, grief. And it kills the sick.|
This last section is reserved for the field of dream interpretation. It would be absurd to build up a lexical study on dreaming based on Artemidorus’ Oneirocritica without entering this sphere. In the end, this is what his work is all about, and, as such, it provides plenty expressions.
The professional dream-interpreter is called ὀνειροκρίτης. Another Greek noun, which is not found in the corpus, is ὀνειρόπολος. Instead, Artemidorus also employs the nominalized participle ὁ ὑποκρινόμενος for the sake of variety.
|ὁ ὑποκρινόμενος ὁ ὀνειροκρίτης the dream interpreter|
|Λυσιτελὲς δ' ἂν εἴη, οὐ μόνον δὲ λυσιτελὲς ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀναγκαῖον τῷ τ' ἰδόντι τὸν ὄνειρον καὶ τῷ ὑποκρινομένῳ, ἐπίστασθαι τὸν ὀνειροκρίτην τίς τέ ἐστιν ὁ ἰδὼν τὸν ὄνειρον καὶ ὅ τι πράσσει καὶ ὅπως γέγονε καὶ ὅ τι ἔχει κτῆμα καὶ ὅπως ἔχει σώματος καὶ ἧστινος ἡλικίας γέγονε.||1.9.1||It would be advantageous, not only advantageous, but also necessary, for the dreamer and for the dream-interpreter to know who the dreamer is, what he is doing, how he was born, what possessions he has, what bodily condition he has, and how old he is.|
|Ἡ περὶ ὀδόντων κρίσις πολλὴν ἐπιδεχομένη διαίρεσιν παρ' ὀλίγων πάνυ κατώρθωται τῶν καθ' ἡμᾶς ὀνειροκριτῶν||1.31.1||The interpretation of the teeth, which have a complex sub-division, has been accomplished successfully by exceedingly few contemporary dream-interpreters|
|τοὺς πολλοὺς ἔλαθε τῶν ὀνειροκριτῶν||1.48.28||it was deprived from the knowlege of most dream-interpreters|
A more universal expression, which does not necessarily always belong to the field of dream interpretation, is the following:
|οἱ περὶ ταῦτα δεινοί the experts in this field|
|οἱ περὶ ταῦτα δεινοί||1.3.1||The experts in this field|
Artemidorus has a variety of abusive words at hand with which dream-interpreters are refered to in a pejorative way. They belong semantically to the field of magic or stealing, as μάντις, “seer,” γόης, “sorcerer,” βωμολόχος, “one who steals from the altars,” and προΐκτης, “beggar.”
|μάντις γόης προΐκτης βωμολόχος cheat, swindler|
|τοῦτο δὲ καὶ σφόδρα διαβεβλημένων τῶν ἐν ἀγορᾷ μάντεων, οὓς δὴ προΐκτας καὶ γόητας καὶ βωμολόχους ἀποκαλοῦσιν οἱ σεμνοπροσωποῦντες καὶ τὰς ὀφρῦς ἀνεσπακότες, καταφρονήσας τῆς διαβολῆς ἔτεσι πολλοῖς ὡμίλησα,||1.prol.35||But I have been together many years with the seers of the marketplace who are much maligned. Those who assume a grave countenance and raise their eyebrows call them beggars, sorcerers, and altar-thieves. But I have rejected their defamation.|
On hand, a professional dream interpreter should have manuals and other books in which he can look up meanings and outcomes— the five books of Artemidorus’ Ὀνειροκριτικά amongst these, of course.
|συγγράμματα ὀνειροκριτικά βιβλίον ὀνειροκριτικόν writings about the interpretation of dreams a dream book|
|εἰ συγγράμματα καταλίποιεν ὀνειροκριτικά||1.prol.25||if they would leave behind writings about the interpretation of dreams|
|βιβλίον οὐκ ἐκτησάμην ὀνειροκριτικόν||1.prol.35||I did not prepare a book about the interpretation of dreams|
The dream-interpreter, before giving the interpretation, often needs some improvisation skills. This is especially true when he has to “fill in the gaps” of dreams, because the dreamer remembers only parts of them, or because the dreamer saw things which are not explained in the dream books.
|ἀποσχεδιάζειν (ὀνείροις) παρ' ἑαυτοῦ τι προσφιλοτεχνεῖν to extemporize/to complete an incomplete dream|
|δεῖ δὲ καὶ τοῖς καταπήροις καὶ ὥσπερ οὐκ ἔχουσι λαβὰς ὀνείροις παρ' ἑαυτοῦ τι προσφιλοτεχνεῖν||1.11.5||It is necessary to fill in incomplete dreams by means of expert knowledge and to those that somehow do not have anything to hold on to|
|περὶ τούτων οὐ χρὴ ἀποφαίνεσθαι οὐδὲ ἀποσχεδιάζειν||1.12.15||One has neither to give account of these things nor to extemporize|
|περὶ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων σκευῶν μακρὸν ἂν εἴη λέγειν καὶ ταῦτα ἀπαιτοῦντα παρὰ τῶν ἐντυγχανόντων τοῖς βιβλίοις τὸ μὴ ἀβασανίστως ἀναγνόντας παρ' αὑτῶν τι προσφιλοτεχνεῖν.||1.74.35||It would take too long to speak about the other household goods, such that I ask my readers not to read uncritically the books and to employ further knowledge by themselves.|
The most common way of saying, “to interpret a dream” is the verb κρίνω, which is also an element of the compound noun ὀνειροκρίτης. An alternative verb is ἐκλαμβάνω, which is used in the same way as the former. The verbal object can be τοὺς ὀνείρους, but the verb is also used absolutely. It is also possible to indicate the topic of the interpretation with the preposition περί and the genitive case. The standard according to which an interpretation is drawn is given with the preposition κατά and the accusative. Frequently used is the expression κατὰ ταὐτὰ, with the dative for “in the same way as,” when two different dreams result in the same interpretation. λαμβάνω can also mean, “to interpret,” but only when it occurs in the verbal adjective form ληπτέον.
|κρίνω τι κατά τι ἐκλαμβάνω τι κατά τι τί πρός τι ληπτέον ἐστί to interpret something in some way something has to be interpreted as|
|Ἑξῆς ὑποθησόμεθα πῶς δεῖ κρίνειν τοὺς ὀνείρους.||1.10.1||In order, we will expose how dreams are to be interpreted.|
|Χρὴ δὲ κρίνειν τοὺς ὀνείρους ποτὲ μὲν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς εἰς τέλος ἀποβλέποντα τὸν ὀνειροκρίτην [καὶ ὅταν ᾖ τὰ θεωρήματα διαλελυμένα ἀπ' ἀλλήλων] ποτὲ δὲ ἀπὸ τέλους εἰς ἀρχήν·||1.11.1||Sometimes the dream-interpreter has to interpret the dreams, considering them from the beginning to the end [and whenever the visions may be separated one from another], sometimes from the end to the beginning.|
|Περὶ δὲ τῆς παρανόμου συνουσίας οὕτω κρίνειν δέον ἐστίν.||1.78.80||Concerning illegal intercourse, it is necessary to interpret it in this way|
|καὶ τῶν νῦν τινες ἀκολουθοῦντες τῇ παλαιᾷ γνώμῃ κατὰ ταὐτὰ κρίνουσι πεπλανημένοι καὶ μὴ τῇ πείρᾳ ἀκολουθοῦντες.||1.64.10||Even among contemporary dream- interpreters, some follow the ancient opinions and interpret in the same way, erring and without following experience.|
|ὅτι δεῖ κρίνειν αἴσια τὰ φύσει καὶ νόμῳ καὶ ἔθει καὶ τέχνῃ καὶ ὀνόμασι καὶ χρόνῳ ὁρώμενα||1.3.1||That it is necessary to interpret everything seen through nature, law, custom, art, names, and time as auspicious|
|ὅθεν χρὴ κατὰ ταὐτὰ τοὺς βουβῶνας τοῖς αἰδοίοις ἐκλαμβάνειν.||1.46.1||Hence it is necessary to interpret groins in the same way as genitals|
|ἀκολούθως δὲ περὶ τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων κατὰ τὸ οἰκεῖον ἐκ- λαμβάνειν δεῖ.||1.24.30||Consequently, about other animals one has to derive his interpretation from their characteristics|
|Τὰ γόνατα πρός τε ἰσχὺν καὶ εὐανδρίαν ἐστὶ ληπτέα καὶ πρὸς κινήσεις καὶ πράξεις.||1.47.1||The knees must be taken for strength, manliness, movements, and actions.|
|Τὰς δὲ σιαγόνας πρὸς ἀποθήκας ἐστὶ ληπτέον καὶ τὰ χείλη πρὸς τοὺς ἑκάστοτε προσιόντας καὶ φιλοῦντας.||1.29.1||The jaws must be taken for storehouses and the lips for those who always come to us and kiss us.|
Also related to the verb κρίνω is κρίσις, the “interpretation.” The topic is added with the preposition περί and the genitive.
|ἡ περί τινος κρίσις the interpretation of something|
|Ἡ περὶ ὀδόντων κρίσις||1.31.1||the interpretation of the teeth|
The noun κρίσις is found several times in the expressions ἀπό τινος τὰς κρίσεις τεκμαίρεσθαι and similar ones, which all mean, “to formulate an interpretation on the basis of something.” Conceptually, they belong to the dream-interpreter’s job of creating an interpretation based on elements that appeared in a dream.
|ἀπό τινος τὰς κρίσεις τεκμαίρεσθαι ἀπό τινος τὰς κρίσεις/ τὴν κρίσιν ποιεῖσθαι to formulate an interpretation on the basis of something|
|ἀπὸ τῆς τοῦ θηρίου φύσεως τεκμαίρεσθαι δεῖ τὰς κρίσεις||1.50.55||The formulation has to be done on the basis of the growth of the animal|
|δεῖ δὲ μὴ ἀπὸ τῶν σπανίων ἀλλὰ τῶν ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ ἐχόντων τὰς κρίσεις ποιεῖσθαι.||1.45.25||And interpretations should not be formulated and based on rare cases, but on frequent ones.|
|ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων πεμμάτων τῶν ἐν ἑορταῖς καὶ θυσίαις γινομένων τὰς κρίσεις ἀπὸ τοῦ λόγου τῶν ἑορτῶν ποιητέον.||1.72.5||And concerning the other cakes prepared for feasts and sacrifices, the interpretation is to be done according to the meaning of the feasts.|
|ὁπόταν δὲ τῶν ᾀσμάτων μεμνημένος ᾖ τις, ἀπ' αὐτῶν τῶν ᾀσμάτων χρὴ ποιεῖσθαι τὴν κρίσιν.||1.76.50||And whenever someone remembers the songs, it is necessary to draw the interpretation from the songs themselves.|
As stated in the introduction, one element of Artemidorus’ treating the subject is a verb of signification that expresses the meaning of a dream. In this position, verbs with revelatory (προαγορεύω, δηλῶ, δείκνυμι), semiotic (σημαίνω, προσημαίνω), or mantic (προμαντεύομαι, μαντεύομαι) valences are found. The most frequent verb here is σημαίνει, but, for the sake of variety, other simple and prefixed verbs are used. Often, these expressions are combined with a complement in the dative that specifies for whom a dream bears concrete meaning.
Syntactically, either a noun (nominal phrase) or an infinitive (verbal phrase) can be in the position of the subject or the direct object. The following rules can be observed:
|ὁ ὄνειρός τι σημαίνει/ προσημαίνει ὁ ὄνειρός τι προαγορεύει/ ὑπαγορεύει ὁ ὄνειρός τι δηλοῖ/ προδηλοῖ ὁ ὄνειρός τι προμαντεύεται/ μαντεύεται ὁ ὄνειρός τι δείκνυσι the dream signifies something|
|ὀνείρους, οἳ σημαίνουσι τὸ μέλλον ἄλλος ἀλλοίᾳ καὶ διαφόρῳ ὄψει.||1.2.145||dreams which signify, each one in a different way and with a different vision, the future|
|Τῶν ὀνείρων οἱ μὲν πολλὰ διὰ πολλῶν προαγορεύ-ουσιν, οἱ δὲ ὀλίγα δι' ὀλίγων, οἱ δὲ πολλὰ δι' ὀλίγων, οἱ δὲ ὀλίγα διὰ πολλῶν.||1.4.1||Some dreams foretell many things through many things, others few things through few things, others many things through few things, others few things through many things.|
|τὰ δὲ τῆς καθ' ἡμᾶς κωμῳδίας τὰ μὲν ἄλλα ἴσα τῇ τραγῳδίᾳ σημαίνει, τὰ δὲ τέλη χρηστὰ καὶ ἀγαθὰ ὑπαγορεύει·||1.56.35||elements of contemporary comedy signify in general the same as tragedy, and they foretell useful and good outcomes.|
|τούτων γὰρ ὁ μὲν πλοῦτον ὁ δὲ ἐλευθερίαν, ὁ δὲ πλοῦν οὔριον, ὁ δὲ γάμον προσημαίνει.||1.5.32||Since one of them signifies richness, another one freedom, another one a prosperous voyage, and another one marriage.|
|ταῦτα γὰρ καὶ ὁ τυρὸς προαγορεύει.||1.72.1||since cheese signifies these things, too.|
|ὅσοι τῶν ὀνείρων κακόν τι σημαίνουσι||1.12.15||all dreams which signify something bad|
|τῷ δὲ ἐπὶ ξένης ὄντι τὴν εἰς οἶκον ἀνακομιδὴν σημαίνει, ἵνα ἐπ' ἀρχὴν ἔλθῃ, ὡς καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον·||1.13.20||And for one abroad, it signifies the return to his home, such that he returns to his origins, just like a baby.|
|τῷ δὲ νοσοῦντι θάνατον προαγορεύει τὸ ὄναρ||1.13.20||the dream foretells death for the sick|
|δανειστῇ δὲ καὶ τραπεζίτῃ καὶ ἐρανάρχῃ πλείονα τὴν τῶν χρημάτων συλλογὴν μαντεύεται.||1.17.7||For a creditor, a banker, and collector of an eranos, it prophesies a greater accumulation of possessions.|
|παντελῶς δὲ μικρᾷ καὶ πρὸ πολλοῦ τῆς ὥρας τῶν γάμων οὔσῃ θάνατον ρομαντεύεται·||1.16.16||when it is completely small and occurs long before the time of wedding, it prophesies death|
|αἱ δὲ μεγάλαι μὲν ἀτημέλητοι δὲ τρίχες, ὡς μὴ δοκεῖν κόμην εἶναι ἀλλὰ τρίχωμα, πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις πένθη τε καὶ λύπας δηλοῦσι·||1.19.1||And long but uncared-for hairs that resemble tufts rather than hair disclose grief and sorrow for all people.|
|τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς θάνατον προαγορεύει τὸ ὄναρ·||1.24.20||But for all others, the dream foretells death|
|πλέουσι δὲ διαρρήδην ναυάγιον σημαίνει καὶ νοσοῦσιν εἰς ἔσχατον ἐλάσαι κίνδυνον πλὴν οὐκ ἀποθανεῖν·||1.22.5||and it explicitly signifies shipwreck for those who are sailing, and for the sick it signifies that they will experience extreme danger without dying.|
|τῶν γὰρ ἐν ποσὶ κακῶν παῦλαν προσημαίνει·||1.44.10||it foretells an end to ailments of the feet|
|τὸ δὲ μὴ δύνασθαι φθέγγεσθαι ἢ τὴν γλῶσσαν δεδεμένην ἔχειν ἀπραξίαν ἅμα καὶ πενίαν σημαίνει·||1.32.5||not being able to speak or having the tongue bound signifies at the same time a lack of activity and poverty.|
|Παλαίειν τινὶ τῶν ἀφ' αἵματος ἢ φίλῳ στασιάσαι πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ φιλονεικῆσαι σημαίνει·||1.60.1||To wrestle with someone related by blood or with a friend signifies discord with this person and rivalry|
|πρὸς γὰρ ταῖς αἰσχύναις καὶ βλάβας σημαίνει·||1.61.1||In addition to dishonours, it also signifies damages|
|ὅπερ ἐσήμαινεν αὐτῷ τὸ ὄναρ||1.64.40||what precisely the dream signified for him|
|ὅθεν εἰ κατεάσσοιτο, τούτων τινὰς ἀποθανεῖσθαι δηλοῖ. εἰ <δέ> τις εἴη μόνος, αὐτῷ θάνατον σημαίνει. τοῦτο δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἐτήρησα. τοῖς δὲ πλέουσι τὸ δοκεῖν κατεάσσειν ποτήρια ναυάγιον προαγορεύει.||1.66.40||Hence if it breaks, it signifies that some of them will die. <And> if someone is alone, it signifies death for him. And I have observed that myself. And for those who are sailing, dreaming of breaking cups foretells shipwreck.|
|σταφυλὴ δὲ καὶ παρὰ τὸν καιρὸν ἀγαθὴ καὶ κατὰ τὴν ὥραν, ὡς δὲ ἐπὶ τὸ πλεῖστον τὰς διὰ γυναικῶν ἢ ἀπὸ γυναικῶν ὠφελείας σημαίνει·||1.73.25||A bunch of grapes is good both in the off-season and in the season, and it signifies most of the time benefits through or from women.|
|καὶ τούτων οἱ μὲν ἐκ τῶν λευκῶν ἴων φανερὰ τὰ δύσχρηστα καὶ ἐπίσημα σημαίνουσιν, οἱ δὲ ἐκ τῶν κροκέων ἀσημότερα, οἱ δὲ ἐκ τῶν πορφυρῶν καὶ θάνατον σημαίνουσιν·||1.77.10||And those which are made from white violets signify clear and conspicuous inconveniences. Those which are made from saffron signify unperceived inconveniences. And those which are made from purple violets also signify death.|
|σημαίνει <δὲ> ὁ ὄνειρος τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν τοιούτων ὠφέλειαν·||1.78.10||<And> the dream signifies a profit from such things.|
|πλουσίῳ δὲ τὸ μὴ κρατεῖν τῆς οἰκίας σημαίνει ἀλλ' ὑπό τινων ἄρχεσθαι ὧν οὐ βούλεται·||1.13.5||for a rich person it signifies that he does not control his house, but that he will be governed by someone whom he does not like.|
|ἔτι τῷ ἔχοντι ἔγκυον γυναῖκα σημαίνει παῖδα αὐτῷ γενήσεσθαι ὅμοιον κατὰ πάντα||1.13.10||Moreover, for one whose wife is pregnant, it signifies that a child equal to him in every aspect will be born|
|τὸ δὲ δοκεῖν ἐν τοῖς ἰδίοις μασθοῖς γάλα ἔχειν γυναικὶ μὲν νέᾳ συλλαβεῖν σημαίνει καὶ τελεσφορῆσαι καὶ ἀποτεκεῖν||1.16.11||And dreaming of having milk in one’s own breasts signifies for a young woman that she will conceive, bear perfect offspring, and give birth|
|ἀνδρὶ δὲ γυναῖκα ἔχοντι μὴ ἔγκυον σημαίνει τῆς γυναικὸς στερηθῆναι·||1.13.5||for a man with a wife who is not pregnant, it signifies being deprived of his wife|
|τροχοπαικτεῖν δὲ ἢ μαχαίραις περιδινεῖσθαι ἢ ἐκκυβιστᾶν τοῖς μὲν ἔθος ἔχουσιν οὐ πονηρόν, τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς εἰς ἔσχατον ἐλάσαι κίνδυνον προσημαίνει.||1.76.37||and to play with hoops, tο whirl around with daggers, or to perform a somersault signifies nothing bad for those who do that by habit. For all others, it signifies being exposed to extreme danger.|
|ἀλλὰ τὸν μὲν νοσοῦντα δηλοῖ ἀποθανεῖν ταχέως||1.14.10||but it discloses that a sick person will die soon|
|καλὸν τῷ ἰδόντι καὶ οὐ μικρὸν τελεσθησόμενον δείκνυσιν·||1.78.36||it is good for the dreamer and indicates that no small thing will be fulfilled|
|ὅσα δὲ ἀπευθύνει, ἢ τὴν εὐθεῖαν δείκνυσι, τὰ κρυπτὰ ἐλέγχει||1.52.15||And whatsoever restores or indicates straightness exposes the secrets|
Often, periphrastic expressions occur that consist of a verbal form of εἰμί or καθίσταμαι and a nominal phrase. The head of the nominal phrase can be an adjective (σημαντικόν, προαγορευτικόν), a noun (σημεῖον, σύμβολον), or even a participle (σημαῖνον). It governs another noun in the genitive or accusative which contains the meaning of the dream.
These expressions are very similar to the verbs of meaning stated before: They have revelatory and semiotic valences. And they are frequently combined with the dative case in order to express for whom a given signification is relevant. An eye-catching difference is, however, that as far as syntax is concerned, they are quite simple in terms of structure.
|σημαῖνόν τί ἐστι σημεῖόν τινός ἐστι σημαντικόν/ προαγορευτικόν/ σύμβολόν τινός ἐστι σημαντικόν τινος καθίσταται to be significant of something/to signify something|
|οἷόν [δέ] καὶ τὸ τετυφλῶσθαι τέκνοις ὄλεθρον καὶ οὐχὶ τῷ ἰδόντι σημαῖνον καὶ πολλὰ ἄλλα ὅσα τοιαῦτα εἴποι τις ἄν.||1.2.70||And someone might say that, for instance, being blind signifies doom for the children and not for the dreamer, and there are many other similar cases.|
|ἰδίως δὲ αἱ ξύστραι καὶ βλάβης εἰσὶ σημαντικαὶ διὰ τὸ ἀποξύειν τὸν ἱδρῶτα καὶ μὴ προστιθέναι τι τῷ σώματι·||1.64.54||specifically, scrapers signify harm, for they scrape sweat but do not add anything to the body|
|χρὴ δὲ καὶ τοῦτο σκοπεῖν, ὅτι τῶν ποτηρίων τὰ μὲν χρυσᾶ καὶ ἀργυρᾶ καὶ ὀστράκινα πᾶσιν ἀγαθὰ καὶ ἀσφαλείας πολλῆς σημαντικὰ καθίσταται, τὰ μὲν ὡς ἐξ ὕλης στερεᾶς, τὰ δ'ὡς ἐκ συντρόφου.||1.66.30||And it is also necessary to observe this, that golden, silver, and earthenware cups are good for all and signify great safety because these are made of a solid material, the others of an everyday material.|
|ἔστι δ' ὅτε καὶ κινδύνων προαγορευτικὰ διὰ τὸ εὐκατέακτον||1.66.35||sometimes they are prophetic of dangers because of the fragility|
|κεφαλωτὰ δὲ καὶ σταφυλῖνοι καὶ ὅσα <ἄλλα> ἐστὶ τρόφιμα ὠφελειῶν ἐστι σημαντικά, μόνοις δὲ ἐναντιοῦται τοῖς περὶ γῆς δικαζομένοις·||1.67.12||Plants with a head, carrots, and all <others> which are nutritious are signify profits. But they are only adverse for those who are involved in a trial over land.|
|τὸ δὲ πονηρῶς καὶ ἀφώνως ᾄδειν ἀπραξιῶν ἐστι καὶ πενίας σύμβολον.||1.76.45||Singing badly and unharmoniously is a sign of a lack of action and poverty.|
|ὅτι τὰ μὲν ἐγχώρια ἀγαθῶν ἐστὶ σημεῖα, τὰ δὲ ξενικὰ κακῶν||1.8.30||because the local ones are omens of good outcomes, the foreign ones are omens of bad outcomes|
|συγγενῶν μὲν γάρ ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ σημαντική||1.21.15||because the head is a symbol of the relatives|
|ἔσχε γὰρ ἐν ταῖς χερσὶ τὸ τοῦ δεσπότου αἰδοῖον ὂν τῶν ἐκείνου τέκνων σημαντικόν.||1.78.76||because he holds in his hands his lord’s penis which signifies his children.|
Also the verbs of saying φημί and λέγω can indicate signification. Apart from one direct speech in 1.42.45, all other examples show that their semantics and syntax are similar to the group of verbs σημαίνω, προαγορεύω, δηλῶ, δείκνυμι, etc.
|τὸ ὄναρ φησί τὸ ὄναρ λέγει the dream says|
|φησὶ γὰρ δεῖν αὐτῷ ὀφθαλμῶν πολλῶν.||1.26.60||For it says that he has many eyes missing.|
|τρόπον γάρ τινά φησιν αὐτῷ τὸ ὄναρ ‘δεῖ σοι χειρῶν πλειόνων διὰ τὸ τῶν ἔργων πλῆθος.’||1.42.45||For somehow the dream says to him, “You have more hands missing because of the amount of tasks.”|
|τοῖς δὲ τρέχουσιν ἧτταν σημαίνει, οὐ γὰρ ἱκανοὺς εἶναι τοῖς ποσὶ τοῖς ἰδίοις χρῆσθαί φησι τὸ ὄναρ.||1.56.60||For the runners it signifies defeat, for the dream says that they are not able to use their own feet.|
|τὸ δὲ κηρύσσειν τὰ αὐτὰ τῷ σαλπίζειν σημαίνει, πλὴν ὅτι τοὺς δούλους οὐ χάριτι τῶν δεσποτῶν ἀλλὰ ἀναφωνήσαντας ἐλευθερωθῆναι λέγει.||1.56.15||To announce signifies the same as to play the trumpet, with the exception that it says that the servants are not set free by their lord's grace, but only after their claiming liberty.|
To signify something in the sense of “to cause” is expressed with the verbs περιποιῶ and ποιοῦμαι. The subjects are the things seen in a dream.
|περιποιεῖ τι ποιεῖται τι (something seen in a dream) causes something|
|μεγάλας γὰρ καὶ περιβοήτους ἀσχημοσύνας ποιοῦνται.||1.76.30||because they cause big and notorious disgraces.|
|φοίνικος δὲ καὶ ἐλαίας στέφανοι γάμους ἐλευθέρων περιποιοῦσι γυναικῶν διὰ τὴν πλοκὴν καὶ τέκνα προαγο-ρεύουσι πολυχρόνια διὰ τὸ ἀειθαλές·||1.77.40||wreaths of date-palm and olive-tree secure weddings of free women because of the interweaving, and they foretell long-living children because they are evergreen.|
|ἀγαθὰς γὰρ ἱερωσύνας αὐταῖς περιποιεῖ·||1.56.65||since it will cause for them good priesthoods.|
|οὐχ ἡ μίξις αὐτὴ καθ' ἑαυτὴν ἱκανή ἐστι τὰ σημαινόμενα δεῖξαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ αἱ συμπλοκαὶ καὶ τὰ σχήματα τῶν σωμάτων διάφορα ὄντα διαφόρους τὰς ἀποβάσεις ποιεῖ.||1.79.4||Sex itself is not not enough to demonstrate the meaning, but also the ways of intertwining and the different forms of the bodies cause different outcomes.|
As stated before, dream interpretation is done based on the principle of allegory, such that signification is often expressed through resemblance. Therefore, the verb ἔοικε, “it resembles,” takes on the meaning, “it signifies something because of resemblance.”
|ἔοικέ τί τινι it resembles something/signifies something because of resemblance|
|Τὸ αἰδοῖον ἔοικε γονεῦσι μέν, ἐπεὶ τὸν σπερματικὸν ἐπέχει λόγον· τέκνοις δέ, ἐπεὶ καὶ αὐτὸ τέκνων αἴτιον.||1.45.1||The genital resembles, on the one, hand the parents, as it has a relationship with the seed and, on the other hand, the children, as it is the cause of children.|
|ἰδίως γὰρ ἡ γαστὴρ καὶ τὰ ἔντερα δανειστῇ ἔοικε.||1.67.11||Particularly, the stomach and insides resemble a creditor|
|χλωρός τε γὰρ ὁ χρυσὸς καὶ βαρὺς καὶ ψυχρός, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο θανάτῳ προσείκασται.||1.77.60||Because gold is pale, heavy, and cold, and for that reason it resembles death.|
|ἐοίκασι γὰρ οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ παισίν, ὅτι καὶ ποθεινοί εἰσι καὶ τοῦ σώματος ὁδηγοὶ καὶ ἡγεμόνες, ὥσπερ καὶ οἱ παῖδες ἐν γήρᾳ γενομένων τῶν γονέων.||1.26.05||For eyes resemble children because they are desirable, guides and leaders of the body. And so are children, once their parents have become old.|
|εἰκότως οὖν ὁ τόπος οὗτος ἔοικε θανάτῳ.||1.78.25||Of course, this place resembles death.|
Other verbs that can indicate the meaning of a dream but that occur less frequently are ἐπάγει (1.22.04; 1.31.75), ἐπιτρέπει (1.47.03), ἐπιφέρει (1.60.12), and φέρει (1.70.19), “it brings about”; παρίστησι (1.31.70) and παρέχει, (1.2.83), “it brings”; ὑπισχνεῖται (1.66.47), “it promises.” Also rare are the expressions τὰ κρυπτὰ ἐλέγχει, “it exposes the secrets” (1.66.35); ὅσα μὴ διατείνει πρὸς τοὺς πέλας, “what does not relate to the neighbors” (1.2.90); σχολὴν πρὸς λόγους ἡ γλῶσσα ἔσχε, “the tongue refers to inactivity in speech” (1.32.20) with the gnomic aorist ἔσχε; and συμπάθειαν πρὸς τὸν θάνατον ἔχει, “it has some affinity towards death” (1.77.15).
A final possibility is to express negative significations, i.e., outcomes that will not happen. These can also be expressed with verbs of prevention or with negated verbs of saying and allowing. Mostly, they are combined with an infinitive, except for κατέχει.
|(τὸ ὄναρ) κατέχει τινά τὸ ὄναρ κωλύει ποιεῖν τι τὸ ὄναρ οὔ φησιν ποιεῖν τι ὁ ὄνειρος οὐκ ἐᾷ ποιεῖν τι the dream prevents from doing something the dream retains someone|
|τούτοις γὰρ εἰς ἐκείνην τὴν γῆν ἀνακομιδὴν μαντεύεται. καὶ τοὺς [ἐκ] τῆς γῆς τῆς ἑαυτῶν ἀπαλλακτιῶντας κατέχει.||1.80.55||For those it prophesies the return to that country. And it retains those wishing to be delivered from their own country.|
|ἀποδημεῖν δὲ κωλύει τὸ ὄναρ καὶ τὸν ἀπόδημον οὔ φησιν ἐπανήξειν εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ·||1.26.19||The dream prevents the one from going abroad and, for the one abroad, prevents turning back to his home country.|
|ὅσα δὲ τῶν ἐργαλείων ἑνοῖ ἢ συνδεῖ, ταῦτα ὠφελείας καὶ γάμους καὶ κοινωνίας προαγορεύει, ἀποδημεῖν δὲ κωλύει·||1.52.13||and tools that can unite or tie together foretell profits, weddings, and partnerships, but they prevent one from going abroad|
|καὶ τὸν ἀποδράσαι πειρώμενον οὐκ ἐᾷ διαφυγεῖν οὐδὲ τὸν ἀποδημεῖν θέλοντα ἐᾷ τῆς οἰκείας ἐξελθεῖν οὗτος <ὁ> ὄνειρος·||1.13.25||and for the one who attempts to escape, this dream does not allow him to run away. And for the one who wants to go abroad, it does not allow him to leave his home.|
The coming true of a dream is its fulfillment in reality according to the principles of interpretation. Artemidorus often presents outcomes to give empirical proof that his theory is consistent. The outcome is also closely connected to the signification. For that reason, this section has been included under the topic dream interpretation.
The outcomes of dreams are just as varied as the dreams themselves. For instance, in 1.79.35, there is record of a dream that healed the dreamer. Because of this inherent variety of dreams, it is not possible to give account of every single outcome. Instead, this section is restricted to the general ways in which the writer of the Oneirocriticon presents the outcomes of dreams.
The proper verb for “to come true” is ἀποβαίνω. Its subject can either be one of the nouns for “dream” or for anything that was seen in the dream. The person affected by the outcome can be added in the dative case, or with the prepositon εἰς, as in 1.2.60.
|τὸ ὄναρ ἀποβαίνει the dream comes true|
|Ἐγὼ δ' οἶμαι δεῖν καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν αὐτῶν (...) καθ' ἣν οὕτως ὁρῶνταί τε καὶ ἀποβαίνουσι (...) εἰπεῖν.||1.2.15||I think that it is also necessary (...) to explain the reason (...) why they appear and come true in this way.|
|ἐπειδὴ οὐδὲ τοὺς ἰδίους ἀποβαίνειν συμβέβηκε διηνεκῶς τοῖς ἰδοῦσι μόνοις, ἤδη πολλῶν καὶ εἰς τοὺς πέλας ἀποβάντων.||1.2.60||For not even private dreams have always ended up coming true for the dreamers alone, since already many dreams have come true for their neighbours|
|νυνὶ δὲ πολλάκις ἀποβὰν εἰς ἡμᾶς ἦλθεν ὄναρ τοιοῦτον·||1.66.45||Now, a dream of this kind has often come true even up to our time.|
|μόνοις δὲ τοῖς νοσοῦσι διαφόρως τὰ κρόμμυα ἀποβαίνει.||1.67.30||only for the sick the onions have a different result|
The nouns that signify general outcomes are ἀπόβασις, which occurs mostly in plural form, and ἀποτέλεσμα.
|ἡ ἀπόβασις τὸ ἀποτέλεσμα the outcome|
|ἀκούειν παλαιοὺς ὀνείρους καὶ τούτων τὰς ἀποβάσεις·||1.prol.35||to hear about old dreams and their fulfillment|
|ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν αὐτῶν ἔστι καὶ τοὺς κοινοὺς διελέγχειν ὀνείρους, ὧν καὶ αὐτῶν ἀντὶ κοινῶν ἰδίας ἤδη τινὲς ἔσχον τὰς ἀποβάσεις||1.2.80||For the same reason it is also possible to refute common dreams. Some already have had the effect of a personal dream instead of the common dream itself|
|τῷ τὰς ἀποβάσεις ἐοικέναι τοῖς ὀνείροις||1.2.135||Through the outcome being similar to the dreams|
|οἷαι γὰρ αἱ παθητικαὶ διαθέσεις γίνονται τῆς ψυχῆς κατὰ τὴν θέαν αὐτῶν, τοιαύτας ἀνάγκη καὶ τὰς ἀποβάσεις γίνεσθαι.||1.5.15||for just as the emotional dispositions of the soul are according to the vision of them, thus occur necessarily the events, as well|
|ἀποβάσεις ἀγαθαί||1.5.30||good outcomes|
|ἡγοῦμαι (...) μοι ἐκ τοῦ τοιούτου περιέσεσθαι (...) ἀντιτάξεσθαι φέρων εἰς <τὸ> μέσον τὴν πεῖραν καὶ τὴν τῶν ἀποτελεσμάτων μαρτυρίαν, ἣ πᾶσιν ἱκανὴ γένοιτ' ἂν ἀντισχεῖν ἀνθρώποις||1.prol.14||I think that (...) for that reason it remains for me (...) to object. I bring forward the proof and the testimony of the outcomes, which should be sufficient to hold out against everyone|
|τούτων ἐγένετο πάντων [τὸ σημαινόμενον] ἓν ἀποτέλεσμα·||1.4.32||There occurred one outcome [that was signified] of all those.|
|πλὴν εἰ μή τι τῶν παρόντων τὴν ἀπόβασιν ἀλλαχόσε τρέποι.||1.8.29||unless one of the present circumstances should turn the outcome to something else.|
|ὅτι <γὰρ> μικρᾷ προσθέσει ἢ ἀφαιρέσει ἀλλοιοῦται τὸ ἀποτέλεσμα||1.9.06||because the outcome is changed when something little is added or subtracted|
|καὶ αἱ μέλαιναι μὲν θᾶττον ἐπάγουσιν, αἱ δὲ λευκαὶ βράδιον τὰ ἀποτελέσματα.||1.32.19||And black hair brings the outcomes quickly, white hair brings them slowly.|
|τραγῳδεῖν δὲ ἢ τραγικὰ ἔχειν δράματα ἢ ἀναπλάσματα ἢ τραγῳδῶν ἀκούειν ἢ ἰαμβεῖα λέγειν μεμνημένῳ μὲν τῶν εἰρημένων κατὰ τὴν περιοχὴν τὰ ἀποτελέσματα γίγνεται||1.56.25||And to act in a tragedy, to have tragic dramas or representations, to hear performer of a tragedy, or to say iambic verses results in outcomes according to the content when one remembers the words|
As a final note, it should be asserted that the corpus of Artemidorus’ Oneirocritica has been more than fruitful. Such a specialized, scientific treatise has provided us with an immense number of lexemes and lexical expressions related not only to the field of dreaming, but also to closely related fields such as sleeping, wakefulness, and interpreting dreams.
The lucky fact that Artemidorus defines his own terminology has ensured that the focus of this study has been on the Greek text. Key terms like ὄνειρος (oneiros) and ἐνύπνιον (enhypnion) have been explained internally, with Artemidorus’ own words. This justifies the direct quotations of the respective passages.
Referring to external Greek, Roman, and Hebrew sources was only necessary when our author was not sufficiently clear or when I thought that a comparison could provide a more global insight on the subject. For instance, in Greek ὁρᾶται, “to appear in a dream,” is morphologically the passive voice of ὁρῶ, “to see,” just as videtur is in Latin.
Apart from this concrete similarity, it has become clear that there are cross-linguistically striking similarities, although we are talking about three different languages with their own distinct cultural backgrounds. This is due to the fact that there is a common basis in antiquity: the belief that a human being is able to foresee the future in his dreams whenever he enters the mystic dimension of a higher consciousness which is akin to the divine, but also, through its connection with sleep, to death.
Furthermore, the comparison with Macrobius has contributed to a deeper understanding of the different types of dreams. Though the meaning of ὅραμα (horama) has not become satisfyingly clear, it has enlightened the meaning of χρηματισμός (chrematismos) and φάντασμα (phantasma).
A next step to take would be to extend this study to the remaining four books of the Oneirocritica and to other Greek works that deal with the same subject. Especially relevant are Aristotle’s De insomniis, De divinatione per somnum, and De somno et vigilia; Philo’s three books of De somniis; some passages in Greek physicians, as Oribasius; Aelius Aristides’ Sacred discourses; and finally, different remaining Greek fragments that have been edited by Dario del Corno.
The benefits of such an exhaustive study are multiple: First of all, it opens the field of dream interpretation which had a prominent place in antiquity and which is, nowadays, foreign to most people. It also sharpens the mind for allegorical interpretations, insofar as it reveals the deeper meanings of dreams that differ from the literal level.
Moreover, it has an influence on both preparing and reading critical editions, for this lexical study proves empirically which forms occur more frequently and which occur just once. Single occurrences, however, must not be excluded automatically. Instead, it is necessary to explain strange forms, on the one hand through the text and, on the other, to compare them with external Greek sources. This approach can deliver arguments for and against a certain reading, for instance the adverbial use of κατ' ὄναρ versus ὄναρ.
Yet, the crucial point of such a study is that the results may not be taken as universal. In the long history of the Greek language, several semantic changes have occurred. Furthermore, the literary genre, be it prose or poetry, is an issue as in the case of ἐνύπνιον, which is used in epics as a synonym of ὄνειρος without any notion whether the dream is prophetic or not.
Finally, concerning the possibility whether the future can be foreseen or not, all may believe what they wish. Already in antiquity there were critical voices, as the set of pejorative designations for dream interpreters has evidenced. But one should consider two important points: First, the realm of dreams is so widely spread throughout antique literature that it is almost impossible not to encounter this topic when the classics are studied. Or, at least, therefore, one should acquire some basic knowledge of this field. Secondly, Artemidorus’ work should be considered science. One characteristic of science is progress. When we read, for instance, medical treatises from antique authors, we may sometimes laugh at some of their opinions and theories. For instance, Oribasius recommends bloodletting and parsley against nightmares, a treatment that no current physician or psychologist of the Occident would prescribe today; nowadays, we know better. But that does not invalidate all of the ancients’ discoveries. Not for no reason do we still admire the advanced civilisation of Ancient Greece, with its great achievements in architecture, arts, literature, and natural science. And one can be sure that, in his day, Artemidorus wrote to the best of his knowledge.
The text on which this lexical study is based is that of Pack’s 1963 Teubner edition. Divergences from his edition which are relevant for the present thesis are listed below:
|reference||Pack (1963)||new reading|
|1.19.05||[ἐγὼ δέ ποτέ τινα τῶν γνωρίμων ἐν ἀρχῇ καταστάντα καὶ τὴν ἄλλην εὐπραγίαν εὐτυχήσαντα ἐν ὕπνοις θεασάμενος ἐν τῇ πόλει προπεμπόμενον ὑπὸ τῆς ὑποβεβλημένης αὐτῷ τάξεως ἀνίκμους ἔχοντα καὶ κουριώσας τὰς τρίχας τῆς κεφαλῆς ἐπέβαλον μὲν ὡς λύπης αὐτῷ δηλωτικὸν εἴη τὸ ὄναρ· οὐ πολλῶν δὲ διελθουσῶν ἡμερῶν ἐπαύθη τῆς ἀρχῆς, ὅπερ ἦν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐπιζήμιον πάνυ καὶ ἐπίλυπον.]||ἐγὼ δέ ποτέ τινα τῶν γνωρίμων ἐν ἀρχῇ καταστάντα καὶ τὴν ἄλλην εὐπραγίαν εὐτυχήσαντα ἐν ὕπνοις θεασάμενος ἐν τῇ πόλει προπεμπόμενον ὑπὸ τῆς ὑποβεβλημένης αὐτῷ τάξεως ἀνίκμους ἔχοντα καὶ κουριώσας τὰς τρίχας τῆς κεφαλῆς ἐπέβαλον μὲν ὡς λύπης αὐτῷ δηλωτικὸν εἴη τὸ ὄναρ· οὐ πολλῶν δὲ διελθουσῶν ἡμερῶν ἐπαύθη τῆς ἀρχῆς, ὅπερ ἦν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐπιζήμιον πάνυ καὶ ἐπίλυπον.|
|1.26.82||[ἢ ἄλλην τινὰ εὐεργεσίαν μεγάλην. ἔλεγε δέ τις ὅτι ποτέ τινι θεασαμένῳ ἐν ὕπνοις ὀφθαλμοὺς κατὰ πάντας τοὺς δακτύλους ἔχειν τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ προεῖπε τύφλωσιν. καὶ οὕτως ἀπέβη διὰ τὸ ἐπίτηδες προπέμπειν τὰς χεῖρας τοὺς πεπηρωμένους.]||ἢ ἄλλην τινὰ εὐεργεσίαν μεγάλην. ἔλεγε δέ τις ὅτι ποτέ τινι θεασαμένῳ ἐν ὕπνοις ὀφθαλμοὺς κατὰ πάντας τοὺς δακτύλους ἔχειν τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ προεῖπε τύφλωσιν. καὶ οὕτως ἀπέβη διὰ τὸ ἐπίτηδες προπέμπειν τὰς χεῖρας τοὺς πεπηρωμένους.|
|1.56.18||πενθικοῖς αὐλοῖς||Πυθικοῖς αὐλοῖς|
|1.64.53||[κατ' ὄναρ]||κατ' ὄναρ|
|1.77.64||πλουσίοις δὲ καὶ δημαγωγοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἄρχειν προῃρημένοις ἀγαθὸν ἐτήρησα τὸν στέφανον [ὄναρ]||πλουσίοις δὲ καὶ δημαγωγοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἄρχειν προῃρημένοις ἀγαθὸν ἐτήρησα τὸν στέφανον|
Artemidorus: Consulted Editions, Translations and Commentary
Artemidori Daldiani Onirocriticon libri V. (R. A. Pack, ed.). Leipzig: Teubner, 1963.
Artemidorus’ Oneirocriticon. Text, Translation and Commentary by D. Harris-McCoy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
The interpretation of dreams. Oneirocritica by Artemidorus. Translation and Commentary by Robert J. White. Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Press, 1975.
Other primary sources
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (4th ed.). (K. Elliger – W. Rudolph, edd.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Biblegesellschaft, 1990.
del Corno, Dario (ed.). Graecorum de re onirocritica scriptorum reliquiae. Testi e documenti per lo studio dell’ antichità XXVI, Milan: Cisalpino, 1969.
Claudii Galeni opera omnia. Tomus XV. (C. G. Kühn, ed.). Leipzig: Car. Cnoblochii, 1828.
Ambrosii Theodosii Macrobii Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis (2nd ed.). (I. Willis, ed.). Leipzig: Teubner, 1970.
Novum Testamentum Graece (27th ed.). (B. and K. Aland et alii, edd.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993.
Oribasii collectionum medicarum reliquiae. (J. Raeder, ed.). Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1964; Corpus medicorum Graecorum, vol. 1.
Oribasii synopsis ad Eustathium et libri ad Eunapium. (J. Raeder, ed.). Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1964; Corpus medicorum Graecorum, vol. 6.3.
Septuaginta. Id est Vetus Testamentum graece iuxta LXX interpretes (2nd ed). (A. Rahlfs- R. Hahnhart, edd.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006.
C. Suetonii Tranquilli opera. Vol. 1. De vita Caesarum libri VIII. Editio minor. (M. Ihm, ed.). Stuttgart: Teubner, 1993.
Secondary sources on the topic
Büchsenschütz, B. (1868). Traum und Traumdeutung im Alterthume. Berlin: S. Calvay et Comp.
Cancik, H./ Schneider, H. et alii (edd.) (1995-2015). Der Neue Pauly. Enzyklopädie der Antike. Stuttgart- Weimar: Metzler.
Cappelletti, A. (1989). Las teorías del sueño en la filosofia antigua (2nd ed.). Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica.
Christ, K. (1991). Das Adoptivkaisertum. In A. Patzer (ed.), Streifzüge durch die antike Welt: Ein historisches Lesebuch (2nd ed., pp. 310–319). Munich: Beck.
Eck, W. (1996). Adoptivkaiser. In Der neue Pauly: Enzyklopädie der Antike, vol.1. Stuttgart-Weimar: Metzler (column 124–127).
Horrocks, G. C. (2010). Greek. A History of the Language and its Speakers (2nd ed.). Oxford - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Lesky, A. (1999). Geschichte der griechischen Literatur (3rd ed.). Munich: Saur.
Patzer, A. (ed.) (1991). Streifzüge durch die antike Welt. Ein historisches Lesebuch (2nd ed.). Munich: Beck.
Ricœur, P. (2003). The rule of metaphor. Oxford: Routledge.
Saïd, S./ Trédé, M. (1999). A short history of Greek literature. London: Routledge.
Consulted dictionaries and Grammars
Bornemann, E./ Risch, E. (1978). Griechische Grammatik (2nd ed.). Braunschweig: Diesterweg.
Chantraine, P. (1970). Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: Histoire des mots. Paris: Klincksieck.
Frisk, H. (1973). Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2 voll. Heidelberg: Winter.
 Quoted according to Claudii Galeni opera omnia. Tomus XV. (C. G. Kühn, ed.). Leipzig: Car. Cnoblochii, 1828, p. 444, line 5.
 See Bibliographic references.
 Harris-McCoy (2012, 1).
 Cfr. Harris-McCoy (2012, 19).
 Cfr. Harris-McCoy (2012, 1-3 and 30-31); The interpretation of dreams. Oneirocritica by Artemidorus. Translation and Commentary by Robert J. White. Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Press, 1975, p. 1-12.
 Cfr. Harris-McCoy (2012, 2).
 Cfr. Harris-McCoy (2012, 2); Saïd, S./ Trédé, M. (1999). A short history of Greek literature. London: Routledge, p. 148.
 Cfr. Christ, K. (1991). Das Adoptivkaisertum. In A. Patzer (ed.), Streifzüge durch die antike Welt: Ein historisches Lesebuch (2nd ed., pp. 310–319). Munich: Beck; Eck, W. (1996). Adoptivkaiser. In Der neue Pauly: Enzyklopädie der Antike, vol.1. Stuttgart-Weimar: Metzler (column 124–127).
 Harris-McCoy (2012, 31).
 Cfr. Saïd/ Trédé (1999, 120-150); Lesky, A. (1999). Geschichte der griechischen Literatur (3rd ed.). Munich: Saur, p. 926-942; Horrocks, G. C. (2010). Greek. A History of the Language and its Speakers (2nd ed.). Oxford - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 133-137.
 Harris-McCoy (2012, 40-41).
 Harris-McCoy (2012, 9-10).
 Cfr. Cappelletti, A. (1989). Las teorías del sueño en la filosofía antigua (2nd ed.). Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, p. 7-13; Harris-McCoy (2012, 35-38).
 Saïd/ Trédé (1999, 148).
 Artemidori Daldiani Onirocriticon libri V. (R. A. Pack, ed.). Leipzig: Teubner, 1963.
 See Bibliographic References.
 Chantraine, P. (1970). Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque : Histoire des mots. Paris: Klincksieck, s.v. δια.
 Cfr. White (1975, 7).
 Cfr. Büchsenschütz, B. (1868). Traum und Traumdeutung im Alterthume. Berlin: S. Calvay et Comp., p. 56-57.
 Cfr. Harris-McCoy (2012, 13); White (1974, 8-9).
 See Chapter 2.5.2 A dream signifies something.
 Cfr. Frisk, H. (1973). Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd vol. Heidelberg: Winter, s.v. ὄναρ; Chantraine (1970, s.v. ὄναρ).
 See Appendix: Divergences from the 1963 Teubner Text.
 Cfr. Büchsenschütz (1868, 61-62).
 Ricœur, P. (2003). The rule of metaphor. Oxford: Routledge, p. 68.
 Cfr. Büchsenschütz (1868, 62-63).
 Cfr. Büchsenschütz (1868, 51-52; 60-62); Harris-McCoy (2012, 14).
 Quoted according to Ambrosii Theodosii Macrobii Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis (2nd ed.). (I. Willis, ed.). Leipzig: Teubner, 1970.
 Cfr. the verb χρηματίζω means in oracular contexts “to give a response”.
 Quoted according to Oribasii collectionum medicarum reliquiae. (J. Raeder, ed.). Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1964; Corpus medicorum Graecorum, vol. 1
 Quoted according to Oribasii synopsis ad Eustathium et libri ad Eunapium. (J. Raeder, ed.). Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1964; Corpus medicorum Graecorum, vol. 6.3.
 Quoted according to Oribasii synopsis ad Eustathium et libri ad Eunapium. (J. Raeder, ed.). Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1964; Corpus medicorum Graecorum, vol. 6.3.
 The same phenomenon can be observed in σημαῖνον τί ἐστι instead of σημαίνει τι. See chapter 2.5.2 A dream signifies something.
 Quoted according to C. Suetonii Tranquilli opera. Vol. 1. De vita Caesarum libri VIII. Editio minor. (M. Ihm, ed.). Stuttgart: Teubner, 1993.
 For the conditional clause see also chapter 184.108.40.206. Good dreams.
 Cfr. Bornemann, E./ Risch, E. (1978). Griechische Grammatik (2nd ed.). Braunschweig: Diesterweg, §275, 2b.
 del Corno, Dario (ed.). Graecorum de re onirocritica scriptorum reliquiae. Testi e documenti per lo studio dell’ antichità XXVI, Milan: Cisalpino, 1969.