Cover: Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity, from Harvard University PressCover: Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity in HARDCOVER

Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity

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Product Details


$68.50 • £54.95 • €61.50

ISBN 9780674032972

Publication Date: 06/15/2009


352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

9 halftones


  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction: Then and Now
  • I. From Epiphany to Episode: A Revolution in the Description of Dreams
    • Epiphany or Messenger Dreams
    • Definition and Origin of the Epiphany Dream
    • Varieties of the Epiphany Dream
    • Distinguishing the Epiphany Dream from the Modern Dream
    • Other Kinds of Greek and Roman Dream Reports
    • The Force of Convention
    • Actual Epiphany Dreams?
    • The Epiphany Dream in DangerGalen and Aelius Aristides
    • Late-antique Stimuli
    • Epiphany Dreams in the Middle Ages
    • The Early-Modern Demise
    • Explaining the Change
  • II. Greek and Roman Dreams That Were Really Dreamt
    • Is this Tale Tall?
    • An Essential Question
    • The Matter of Authenticity
    • The Problem of Memory
    • Dream-like Dreams
    • Mendacious Historians and Biographers
    • Some Strong Candidates
    • Perpetua
    • Artemidorus
    • Constantine
    • Augustine
    • Aelius Aristides
    • Writing Good Stories
  • III. Greek and Roman Opinions about the Truthfulness of Dreams
    • What They Believed and What We Believe
    • Truth
    • Belief
    • The Interpreters
    • Metaphors
    • The Greeks before the Sophists
    • Fifth-century Athens
    • Ordinary and Extraordinary Athenians in the Fourth Century
    • Plato and Aristotle
    • Hellenistic Impressions
    • Predictive Dreams in the Context of Greek Divination
    • The Roman Republic down to Sulla
    • Lucretius, Cicero and the Late Republic
    • Incubation and the Doctors
    • Augustus to the Flavians
    • A Victory for Religion?100–250 AD
    • What Dreams Were Good for under the Roman Empire
    • Late Antiquity
    • A Conclusion
  • IV. Naturalistic Explanations
    • Introduction
    • The Origins of Naturalistic Thinking about Dreams
    • The Preplatonic Philosophers
    • ‘Hippocratic’ Doctors
    • Back to Plato
    • Aristotle Uncertain
    • The Epicureans
    • Other Hellenistic Voices
    • The Reasons for a Failure
    • A Note on Galen
    • What Does a Swallow Mean?
    • A Complete Halt
  • Conclusions
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Illustrations

Awards & Accolades

  • William V. Harris Is Recipient of the 2007 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award
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