Dream Interpretations Of Artemidorus

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My paper will be on the dream interpretations of Artemidorus. I will analyze how he interprets dream and how what he says reflects on Roman society as a whole. Dreams in the Roman period were seen to have very specific meanings and Artemidorus wrote this book to help educate the public on what the gods had in store for them. Artemidorus wrote 5 books of “The Interpretation of Dreams.” The first three books are for the general public and the last two books are for his son. He split up the books so that the public would keep on buying them and the last two are just for his son, so that his son still has some secrets and can make a dream interpretation business. This collection of books will be my major primary source, as it is a wealth of…show more content…
Firstly, I will mention about Artemidorus life. I will also mention why he wrote this story and what he hoped to accomplish by making an encyclopedia of dream interpretations. My next topic will be setting the time period of when Artemidorus lived. I will discuss the religious practices and common beliefs of the 2nd century. The next few paragraphs will strictly be based on Artemidorus and his dream analysis. Artemidorus is extremely specific in his dreams. Every single aspect of the dream has a meaning; it can be as small as wearing a certain color or eating pork but there is always a meaning. These dreams also demonstrate what was allowed in roman society and their superstitions. For example, one section of this book is all about sex. Artemidorus goes as far as to say that dreams of having sexual relations with ones mother is totally fine. That specific dream would be an especially good omen if one is estranged with their mother because it will mean the son and mother would get close again. Dreams of homosexual encounters are encouraged as well. Dreams were meant to be very private things, so this guide on dreams gives a very intimate look into the Romans mindset that is often masked by politeness and norms of society. These dream interpretations and how what they reveal about Roman society will be the bulk of my…show more content…
I will compare these dreams to the dream presented from literature during roughly the same time period. The dreams are supposed to be messages from the god Apollo, so it is very interesting to see how the stylized and intentional dreams play out in the books. The dreams in the literary book scan be seen as perfect dreams as they are much clearer in what the dreamer is supposed to understand. The dreams that Artemidorus interpret are often based on small details. In Ethiopian Romance the gods physically come down to the dreamers and relay their message; while in Artemidorus book, the dreamer is lucky to even get to see a god. There is also a difference in the type of messages. In literature, the messages are prophecies and have grandiose meaning. The prophecies foretell the futures main events; the prophecies are stated by mouth rather than looking at the small details. The dreams in actuality tell smaller stories, for example maybe it will be a good day in the market or it is a bad day to travel. The prophecies these dreams portray are much more suited for daily life rather than grand adventures. The difference in these sources our vast. The common people of Rome read all of these sources but the dreams mentioned by both Apuleius and Heliodorus are so much more complex than Artemidorus’ dreams. Which begs the question how did
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