Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: Greek Oneiroi.
According to Hesiod, Dreams are the children of Night, and brothers and sisters of Death and Sleep. Like these they are represented in the Odyssey as dwelling in the far West, near Oceanus, in the neighbourhood of the sunset and the kingdom of the dead. Deceptive dreams issue from a gate of ivory, true dreams through a gate of horn. The gods above, especially Hermes, have authority over these dream-gods, and send sometimes one, sometimes another, to mankind. On some occasions they create dream-figures themselves, or appear in person under different shapes, in the chamber of the sleeper. The spirits of the departed, too, so long as they are not in the kingdom of Hades, have the power of appearing to the sleeper in dreams. These, the ideas of the Homeric age, survived in the later popular belief. Later poets call dreams the sons of Sleep, and give them separate names. Morpheus, for instance, only appears in various human forms. Ikelos, called also Phobetor, or Terrifyer, assumes the shapes of all kinds of animals as well as that of man: Phantasos only those of inanimate objects. A god of dreams was subsequently worshipped, and represented in works of art, sometimes with Sleep, sometimes alone. He was honoured especially at the seats of dream-oracles and the health-resorts of Asclepius. (See ARTEMIDORUS, 2; INCURATIO; and MANTIC ART.)
Type: Standard
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