Dream Interpretation

Studies | Texts | Bibliographies | Other


Amazon. Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning and the Gods by Jean Bottero. See the Chicago UP blurb for more info.

The full text of Jean Bottero's "Oneiromancy" from Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning and the Gods (1992). Seminal. Bottero's essay on Mesopotamian deam interpretation is as refreshing as his work on the "Code" of Hammurabi and his essay on "Divination and the Scientific Spirit." I suppose the Near Eastern people all know him, but Classics hasn't taken his work up yet.

Catholic Encylopedia: "Interpretation of Dreams" by Charles L. Souvay. Lengthy.

"Traume in der romischen Kaiserzeit. Normalitat, Exzeptionalitat und Signifikanz" by Dr. Gregor Weber. Conference talk given in Frankfurt in 1998.

"Dreams and Dream Interpretation" from the Encyclopaedia Iranica by Hossein Ziai.

"Magic and Religion Revisited: Gender and Dream Divination in the Ancient Mediterranean" by Rev. Laurel Holmstrom.

"Traum und Alltag in hellenistischer Zeit" by Gregor Weber, ZRGG 50, Heft 1, 1998, S. 22-39.

Web Archive: "An Index of All Occurences of the Terms Dream and Sleep in Cicero's De divinatione" by Bob Hutchins (student project).

Web Archive: "Gender in the Roman World" , online essay by Dr. Dominic Montserrat (University of Warwick).

Editor's comments: Montserrat starts with a passage from Artemidorus and later quotes Ptolemy and Polemo (adapted from Gleason, who translates the Latin from Foerster's edition, which translates the Arabic, itself a translation and reworking of the lost Greek). The new, much ballyhoed "interest" in these authors is generally restricted to forays like this, which take passages from here and there without understanding their authors to any great extent. Artemidorus is certainly a valuable source for understanding the commonly-held assumptions of antiquity, but just as nobody today thinks that history can be extracted from Homer without careful thinking about the genre of epic poetry, those interested in gender studies must make similar efforts with divinatory literature. For starters: To what extent can Artemidorus be used to reconstruct Roman, as opposed to Greek, thinking? How can we evaluate Artemidorus' work in light of his ancient sources and the advice to his son on the performative advantages of some explanations? As concerns the quote he gives, I note the exclusion of Artemidorus' reasoning, which opens a lot of false interpretive whitespace.

That's enough; I'm out of academia now, but who knows when I'll need the good will? It's good to see divinatory authors mentioned in print.

Dream ("Roya") by Hossein Ziai for the Encyclopaedia Iranica.

Ancient Library: Anthon, A Manual of Greek Literature on Artemidorus and his Oneirocritica (p. 535)

Summary of "Artemidor von Daldis und sein 'Publikum'", by Dr. Gregor Weber. Published in Gymnasium 106/3, 1999, 209-229.

"Dreams in Ancient Medicine" by Lee T. Pearcy from Ancient Medicine/Medicina Antiqua.

"Philo Alexandrinus's De Somniis: an attempt at reconstruction" by Sofia Torallas Tovar. This article is a translation and abridgement of part of her dissertation,"El De Somniis de Filon de Alejandria", Madrid (Universidad Complutense, 1995). Connected to an astounding set of Philo links.

"Women's Dreams in Ancient Greece" by Robert Rouselle, The Journal of Psychohistory (1998). I don't care for the interpretations, but he digs up some good sources.

Amazon. P. Miller, Dreams in Late Antiquity: Studies in the Imagination of a Culture, also available in hardcover. . Princeton UP blurb:

"In this book, Patricia Cox Miller draws on pagan, Jewish, and Christian sources and modern semiotic theory to demonstrate the integral importance of dreams in late-antique thought and life. She argues that Graeco-Roman dream literature functioned as a language of signs that formed a personal and cultural pattern of imagination and gave tangible substance to ideas such as time, cosmic history, and the self."

Amazon. A Byzantine Book on Dream Interpretation: The Oneirocriticon of Achmet and Its Arabic Sources by Maria Mavroudi (Medieval Mediterranean, 36). See the publisher's page and Byzatine Books for descriptions. Mavroudi is also coming out with a modern Greek translation of Artemidorus.

Review of Gregor Weber's Kaiser, Traume und Visionen in Prinzipat und Spatantike. Reviewed by Thomas M. Banchich, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2001. Review in English.

"Another factor to which Weber is especially attentive is the dependence of the form taken by dreams and visions in texts on what individual authors thought would be important to and be accepted by those they addressed. From these chapters emerges a subtle picture of how accounts of dreams and visions confirmed the special status of rulers, all the while being contingent on that very status."

"Distinguishing between dreams and visions in ninth-century hagiography" by Margaret Kenny, Gouden Hoorn 4.1.

Web Archive: "Dreams and Dreamers in Herodotus" by Laurel Bowman (conference paper abstract, scroll down).

Amazon. Dream Cultures: Explorations in the Comparative History of Dreaming edited by David Shulman, Guy G. Stroumsa and Gedaliahu A. G. Stroumsa

Web Archive: Dissertation abstract: "The Perception of Dreams and Nightmares in Ancient Egypt: Old Kingdom to Third Intermediate Period" by Kasia Maria Szpakowska. Also see her much longer dissertation proposal, PDF: "Dreams and Nightmares in Ancient Egyptian Thought" . See also: abstract, "Sleep, Dreams, and the Dead in Ancient Egypt" from "Thanatos" (a UWash conference).


Web Archive: Selections from Artemidorus, Interpretation of Dreams (trans. Robert J. White). From Anne Duncan's "Introduction to Classical Mythology" (UT Austin).

Web Archive: Aristotle, On Prophesying by Dreams, translated by J. I. Beare. Courtesy Aristote in Bjorn's Guide to Philosophy.

Galen, "On diagnosis in dreams." Translated by Lee T. Pearcy from Ancient Medicine/Medicina Antiqua.

Amazon. Artemidorus, "The Interpretation of Dreams" (trans. Robert J. White) -- No, it's not out of print. It's merely being published for new-agers and other weirdos. Who cares. Although the original edition was repaginated somewhat, the text is the same. Hey, why not let the idiots pay to print classics books? Original Books blurb.

The Dreambook of Astrampsychus (9c.), translated by Monty Cantsin, "a pseudonym of Luther Blissett," who subscribes to some sort of artistic movement called "Neoism." I have not read the work and cannot vouch for the translation.


Dreams in Antiquity. An enormous, searchable database of bibliographic entries on divination, especially dreams. The site is in German (despite the title); an English version is in the works. Here, for example is a search on "Artemidorus," which turns up 138 entries. (Gregor Weber, Katholische Universitat Eichstatt)

Bibliography of Dream Books & Articles, collected by Richard Wilkerson. A large bibliography, not predominantly ancient.


"Dreams and Dream Interpretations" a freshman seminar at UPenn, taught by Peter Struck. Includes a reading list and exam review sheet. It warms the cockles of my heart that such subjects are taught, but I dislike these "freshman seminars in obscure subjects." Give the kids the Homer before the Artemidorus!

Classical Studies Course: "Dreams and Dream Interpretations." Peter Struck, University of Pennsylvania.

Web Archive: Dreams and their Interpretation, A Two-Year Panel Proposal submitted to the AAR Comparative Studies in Religion Section, by Kelly Bulkeley. Visit the author's homepage for more about his many dream-related projects.

"Coleridge, Wordplay, and Dream" by L. R. Kennard, University of Calgary. Coleridge apparently read Artemidorus. From the Association for the Study of Dreams.

Ancient dream interpreters and dream interpretation. A project directed by Prof. Dr. B. Naf (University of Zurich). Details on a research proposal which will lead to a book in the years ahead.

PDF: Reflections on the Dream Tradition of Islam by Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D., Sleep and Hypnosis 2002.

Romanian book on/translation of Artemidorus' Oneirocriticon?

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may also like these other sites by me:

The Oracle of Delphi and Ancient Oracles. Covers physical oracles, including academic information and site photos.

Ancient Library. Exciting new project, putting dozens of classical dictionaries and other resources online. There is a category for Ancient Divination.

Angels on the Web. Angels in culture, theology and art. Includes over 550 categorized images.

Hieroglyphics! Comprehensive guide and web directory to Egytian hieroglyphics.