Artemidorus at the dream gates: Myth, theory, and the restoration of liminality

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Ancient conceptualization of dreams is based on a duality that splits the oneiric field into two hierarchically ordered modalities. The opposition between these dream categories finds its clearest expression in Artemidorus' Oneirocritica, in the distinction between oneiros and enhypnion. This article critically examines Artemidorus' dualistic terminology. Uncovering the Oneirocritica's internal inconsistencies, the article aims to show how Artemidorus' systematization of dreams attempts to resolve an ambiguity that was essential to the Greek experience. As a case study, I examine three Homeric dreams in such a way as to restore the ambiguity suppressed by Artemidorus' logic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-218
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by Johns Hopkins University Press.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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