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Unformatted text preview: Artemidorus excerpts from Interpretation of Dreams Artemidorus was a Greek who lived during the mid- to late second century CE. He wrote a book on how to interpret dreams after traveling extensively and interviewing people about their dreams and the outcomes of the dreams. Translations by Robert J. White. Book 1 Artemidorus discusses his method of interpreting dreams: 1.2 "Some dreams, moreover, are theorematic (direct), while others are allegorical. Theorematic dreams are those which correspond exactly to their own dream-vision. For example, a man who was at sea dreamt that he suffered shipwreck, and it actually came true in the way that it had been presented in sleep. For when sleep left him, the ship sank and was lost, and the man, along with a few others, narrowly escaped drowning...Allegorical dreams, on the other hand, are those which signify one thing by means of another; that is, through them, the soul is conveying something obscurely by physical means." 1.8 "Next, common customs differ greatly from individual ones. If anyone has not learned this, he will be deceived by them [in trying to interpret dreams]. These, then, are common customs. To venerate and honor the gods. (For there is no nation without gods, just as there is none without rulers. For different people reverence different gods, but the worship of all is directed towards the same power.) To nurture children, to yield to women and to sexual intercourse with them, to be awake during the day, to sleep at night, to take food, to rest when tired, to live indoors and not in the open air. These, then, are common customs. The others we call individual or ethnic. For example, among the Thracians, the well-born children are tatooed, whereas among the Getae, it is their slaves....And the Mossynes in the territory of Pontus have sexual intercourse in public and mingle with their wives just as dogs do, whereas in the eyes of other men, this behavior is considered to be shameful." 1.9 "It is profitable -- indeed, not only profitable but necessary -- for the dreamer as well as the person who is interpreting that the dream interpreter know the dreamer's identity, occupation, birth, financial status, state of health, and age. Also, the nature of the dream itself must be examined accurately, for the following section will make clear that the outcome is altered by the least addition or omission, so that if anyone fails to abide by this, he must blame himself rather than us if he goes wrong." Artemidorus goes on to provide interpretations of specific dreams, and of particular symbols...
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- Fall '09