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May 2022

Dream interpretation in ancient civilizations

Journal/Book: Dreaming. 2000; 10: 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013-1578, USA. Kluwer Academic-Human Sciences Press. 7-18.

Abstract: Dream interpretation was regarded by ancient peoples in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and pome as an art requiring intelligence and, sometimes, divine inspiration. It became a motif in literature. It was treated as a science by philosophers and physicians. Dreams were thought to come either as clear messages, or as symbols requiring interpretation. In a method called incubation, the dreamer could sleep in a sacred place in expectation of a dream that would elucidate a problem for which the dreamer desired guidance. Dream-books listing images and their meanings were popular Historians reported leaders' famous dreams that affected the course of events. Very few ancient writers were skeptical of dreams; Cicero was one. Dream interpretation was an honored profession with exponents such as Artemidorus of Daldis. Ancient dream traditions and beliefs can provide perspective for consideration of more recent theories of dream interpretation.

Note: Article Hughes JD, Univ Denver, Dept Hist, Denver,CO 80208 USA

Keyword(s): ancient; Mesopotamia; Egypt; Greece; Rome

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