The Dream of Love that Lingers

Anacreonta, 1

“That Teian singer, Anacreon,
saw me in a dream
as I was running to kiss and embrace him,
He spoke to me.

He was an old man, but still fine,
Fine and loving still,
His lips scented with wine.
And as he trembled, Love

Led him by the hand.
He lifted the flowers from his crown
And gave them to me–
Oh, they smelled of Anacreon!

Just like the fool I am, I took them
And placed them on my brow
And thanks to that, I never stopped loving
right up to now.”

Ἀνακρέων ἰδών με
ὁ Τήιος μελῳδὸς
ὄναρ λέγων προσεῖπεν,
κἀγὼ δραμὼν πρὸς αὐτὸν

περιπλάκην φιλήσας.
γέρων μὲν ἦν, καλὸς δέ,
καλὸς δὲ καὶ φίλευνος·
τὸ χεῖλος ὦζεν οἴνου,
τρέμοντα δ᾿ αὐτὸν ἤδη

Ἔρως ἐχειραγώγει.
ὁ δ᾿ ἐξελὼν καρήνου
ἐμοὶ στέφος δίδωσι·
τὸ δ᾿ ὦζ᾿ Ἀνακρέοντος.
ἐγὼ δ᾿ ὁ μωρὸς ἄρας

ἐδησάμην μετώπῳ·
καὶ δῆθεν ἄχρι καὶ νῦν
ἔρωτος οὐ πέπαυμαι.

Henri Rousseau. The Dream. 1910. MOMA

Dreaming the World Into Being

Aristotle, On Prophecy in Sleep 463a

“But it is not completely illogical to imagine that some of the fantasies that arise during sleep are to blame for deeds that are related to them.

For just as when we are about to do something or in the middle of some action or have just finished it, we are deeply engaged with those deeds and we also carry them out in a dream–and this is because the inspiration that comes from the events of the day has made space for it–so too the stimulus that arises in sleep may be the initial cause of daytime deeds, because the possibility of doing these things found its own space at night.

This is why dreams can be both indications of things and the causes of them as well.”

Ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ ἔνιά γε τῶν καθ᾿ ὕπνον φαντασμάτων αἴτια εἶναι τῶν οἰκείων ἑκάστῳ πράξεων οὐκ ἄλογον· ὥσπερ γὰρ μέλλοντες πράττειν καὶ ἐν ταῖς πράξεσιν ὄντες ἢ πεπραχότες πολλάκις εὐθυονειρίᾳ τούτοις σύνεσμεν καὶ πράττομεν (αἴτιον δ᾿ ὅτι προωδοποιημένη τυγχάνει ἡ κίνησις ἀπὸ τῶν μεθ᾿ ἡμέραν ἀρχῶν), οὕτω πάλιν ἀναγκαῖον καὶ τὰς καθ᾿ ὕπνον κινήσεις πολλάκις ἀρχὴν εἶναι τῶν μεθ᾿ ἡμέραν πράξεων διὰ τὸ προωδοποιῆσθαι πάλιν καὶ τούτων τὴν διάνοιαν ἐν τοῖς φαντάσμασι τοῖς νυκτερινοῖς. οὕτω μὲν οὖν ἐνδέχεται τῶν ἐνυπνίων ἔνια καὶ σημεῖα καὶ αἴτια εἶναι.

Shakespeare, Hamlet

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.

The Rock Horry Picture Show

Don’t dream it, be it

In a dream by Charles Victor Thirion

Dreams of Food and their Meanings

Hippocrates, Regiments 4. 93 [On Dreams]

“However many strange bodies appear in dreams and frighten a person signal an excess of uncustomary food, a secretion, bile, and a dangerous sickness. An emetic is required followed by the increase over five days of extremely light food–not too much of it or too sharp, nor too dry or hot, along with the kinds of exercises that are natural except for walking after dinner. This really asks for warm baths and relaxation and you need to guard against the sun and the cold.

Whenever someone imagines they are eating or drinking customary food or drink while sleeping, it means a lack of food and depression in the soul. Really strong meats are a sign of excess; when they are weaker, there’s less. Just as eating is good, so too is dreaming about it! So, in the case of excess, it is useful to reduce the quantity of food, since excessive consumption is indicated. The dreaming of bread made with cheese and honey means the same thing. There’s no sign of harm in dreaming of water. But drinking other things is a bad sign.

When someone dreams about everyday objects, it signals a dream of the soul. A dream of running away in fear shows that the blood is fixed by dryness. It is advantageous then to cool and moisten the body.”

XCIII. Ὁκόσα δὲ ἀλλόμορφα σώματα φαίνεται ἐν τοῖσιν ὕπνοισι καὶ φοβεῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον, σιτίων ἀσυνήθων σημαίνει πλησμονὴν καὶ ἀπόκρισιν καὶ χολέραν καὶ νοῦσον κινδυνώδεα· ἀλλὰ χρὴ ἔμετον ποιήσασθαι καὶ προσάγειν ἐς ἡμέρας πέντε σίτοισιν ὡς κουφοτάτοισι, μὴ πολλοῖσι μηδὲ δριμέσι, μήτε τοῖσι ξηροῖσι μήτε τοῖσι θερμοῖσι, καὶ τῶν πόνων τοῖσι κατὰ φύσιν μάλιστα, πλὴν τῶν ἀπὸ δείπνου περιπάτων· χρῆσθαι δὲ καὶ θερμολουσίῃ καὶ ῥᾳθυμίῃσιν· ἥλιον δὲ καὶ ψῦχος φυλασσέσθω. ὁκόταν1 δὲ ἐν τῷ ὕπνῳ ἐσθίειν δοκῇ ἢ πίνειν τῶν συνήθων ποτῶν ἢ σιτίων, ἔνδειαν σημαίνει τροφῆς καὶ ψυχῆς ἀθυμίην·† κρέα δὲ τὰ μὲν ἰσχυρότατα, μεγίστης ὑπερβολῆς, τὰ δὲ ἀσθενέστερα ἧσσον· ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐσθιόμενον ἀγαθόν, οὕτω καὶ ὁρεόμενον· ἀφαιρεῖν οὖν τῶν σιτίων συμφέρει· τροφῆς γὰρ ὑπερβολὴν σημαίνει·†4 καὶ ἄρτοι τυρῷ καὶ μέλιτι πεποιημένοι ὡσαύτως σημαίνουσιν. ὕδωρ πινόμενον καθαρὸν οὐ βλάπτει· τὰ δὲ ἄλλα πάντα βλάπτει. ὁκόσα δὲ δοκεῖ ἄνθρωπος θεωρεῖν τῶν συνήθων, ψυχῆς ἐπιθυμίην σημαίνει. ὅσα δὲ φεύγει πεφοβημένος, ἐπίστασιν τοῦ αἵματος σημαίνει ὑπὸ ξηρασίης· συμφέρει δὲ ψῦξαι καὶ ὑγρῆναι τὸ σῶμα. 

Wounds and the Dreams that Cure Them

Cicero, De Divinatione 2.135

 “Alexander fell into a deep sleep while sitting near his friend. The story is that the snake his mother raised appeared to him while he was sleeping carrying a root in its mouth and somehow revealing the name of the place where the root grew nearby.

The snake claimed that the root had so much power that it could easily heal Ptolomaeus. Once Alexander woke up, he told his friends the dream and sent people to find the root. When it was found, it didn’t cure only Ptolomaeus, but many of the soldiers who had been wounded by the same type of arrow.”

Alexander assidens somno est consopitus. Tum secundum quietem visus ei dicitur draco is, quem mater Olympias alebat, radiculam ore ferre et simul dicere, quo illa loci nasceretur (neque is longe aberat ab eo loco), eius autem esse vim tantam, ut Ptolomaeum facile sanaret. Cum Alexander experrectus narrasset amicis somnium, emissi sunt, qui illam radiculam quaererent; qua inventa et Ptolomaeus sanatus dicitur et multi milites, qui erant eodem genere teli vulnerati.

Hercules and Telephus, National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy

Aristotle, On Marvellous things heard, 86 [=837a]

“People claim that among the Celts there is a drug which they call the “arrow” [toxikon]. They report that it induces so quick a death that the Celts’ hunters, whenever they have shot a deer or some other animal, rush ahead to cut off its flesh before it is penetrated completely by the drug both for the sake of using the meat and so that the animal might not rot.

They also claim that the oak tree’s bark has been found to be an antidote for the poison. But others claim that there is a leaf which that call “raven’s leaf” because they have seen ravens, once they taste the poison mentioned before and start to feel the drug’s effect, rush to this leaf and stop their suffering by eating it.”

Φασὶ δὲ παρὰ τοῖς Κελτοῖς φάρμακον ὑπάρχειν τὸ καλούμενον ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν τοξικόν· ὃ λέγουσιν οὕτω ταχεῖαν ποιεῖν τὴν φθορὰν ὥστε τῶν Κελτῶν τοὺς κυνηγοῦντας, ὅταν ἔλαφον ἢ ἄλλο τι ζῷον τοξεύσωσιν, ἐπιτρέχοντας ἐκ σπουδῆς ἐκτέμνειν τῆς σαρκὸς τὸ τετρωμένον πρὸ τοῦ τὸ φάρμακον διαδῦναι, ἅμα μὲν τῆς προσφορᾶς ἕνεκα, ἅμα δὲ ὅπως μὴ σαπῇ τὸ ζῷον. εὑρῆσθαι δὲ τούτῳ λέγουσιν ἀντιφάρμακον τὸν τῆς δρυὸς φλοιόν· οἱ δ᾿ ἕτερόν τι φύλλον, ὃ καλοῦσι κοράκιον διὰ τὸ κατανοηθῆναι ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν κόρακα, γευσάμενον τοῦ φαρμάκου καὶ κακῶς διατιθέμενον, ἐπὶ τὸ φύλλον ὁρμήσαντα τοῦτο καὶ καταπιόντα παύσασθαι τῆς ἀλγηδόνος.

 

Toxic Dictionary
OED is missing this etymology

This comes from the Greek nominal root for bow:

toxos

Greek Anthology 5.225

“I have a wound from love: from it pours not blood
But tears and a scar will never close it.
I am undone by this evil and not even Makhaon
Could heal me by applying his gentle drugs.
I am Telephos, girl—be my faithful Achilles:
Stop this longing you caused with your beauty.”

Achilles, heal my wounds! (Vase Image: Achilles Heals Patroklos)
Achilles, heal my wounds! (Vase Image: Achilles Heals Patroklos)

῞Ελκος ἔχω τὸν ἔρωτα· ῥέει δέ μοι ἕλκεος ἰχὼρ
δάκρυον, ὠτειλῆς οὔποτε τερσομένης.
εἰμὶ καὶ ἐκ κακότητος ἀμήχανος, οὐδὲ Μαχάων
ἤπιά μοι πάσσει φάρμακα δευομένῳ.
Τήλεφός εἰμι, κόρη, σὺ δὲ γίνεο πιστὸς ᾿Αχιλλεύς·
κάλλεϊ σῷ παῦσον τὸν πόθον, ὡς ἔβαλες.

A few notes to make this make sense: In the Iliad Makhaon is a healer who ministers to the wounded captains. In myth, Telephos, a son of Herakles, is wounded by Achilles’ spear and can only be healed by the man who hurt him. Achilles encounters Telephos at the beginning of the war when the Greeks mistakenly attack Mysia (believing it to be Troy!). He is later healed in exchange for leading the Greeks to Troy.

So, this odd epigram becomes a tad bit odder thanks to knowing the references. It is ascribed to a poet named Macedonius and is in book 5 of The Greek Anthology (the Erotic Epigrams).

Dreaming of the Catalog of Ships?

Philostratus, Heroicus 6. 3-4

“I am sailing from Egypt and Phoenicia for twenty-five days at this point, somehow. As the ship was drawing up into Elaious, I dreamed I was reading the words of Homer when he describes the catalog of the Achaeans and that I was inviting all the Achaeans to get on to my ship as if it were large enough to hold them all!

When I was waking from the dream because some shiver had spread over me, I supposed that it prophesied a slow and long journey. For visions of the dead are bad signs for eager people.”

ΟΙΝ. Πλέω μὲν ἐξ Αἰγύπτου καὶ Φοινίκης πέμπτην καὶ τριακοστὴν ἤδη που ταύτην ἡμέραν. κατασχούσης δὲ τῆς νεὼς εἰς Ἐλεοῦντα τοῦτον ἔδοξα τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη ἀναγινώσκειν, ἐν οἷς τὸν κατάλογον τῶν Ἀχαιῶν φράζει, καὶ ξυνεκάλουν τοὺς Ἀχαιοὺς ἐμβῆναι τὴν ναῦν ὡς ἀποχρῶσαν ὁμοῦ πᾶσιν. 4ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐξέθορον τοῦ ἐνυπνίου (καὶ γάρ με καὶ φρίκης τι ὑπεληλύθει), ξυνεβαλόμην μὲν αὐτὸ ἐς βραδυτῆτα τοῦ πλοῦ καὶ μῆκος· αἱ γὰρ τῶν ἀποθανόντων ὄψεις ἀργοὶ τοῖς ἐσπουδακόσι.

Detail showing a painting of ships in a harbour from the illuminated border of the Treaty of Amiens between England and France, 18 August 1527. Catalogue reference E 30/1113. The full image is available through our Image Library.
From the UK National Archives

Talking Dreams in Silent Speech

Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 4.453-461

“And when sleep has bound our limbs with sweet
slumber and the whole body lies in deep repose,
we still seem to ourselves to be awake and to move
our limbs—in the obscure darkness of night.
We think that we see the sun and the light of day;
we seem to trade a closed room or the sky, sea,
rivers and mountains—-we cross fields on our feet.
We hear sounds when the heavy quiet of night
hangs over everything; we utter words while staying silent.”

Denique cum suavi devinxit membra sopore
somnus et in summa corpus iacet omne quiete,
tum vigilare tamen nobis et membra movere
nostra videmur, et in noctis caligine caeca
cernere censemus solem lumenque diurnum,
conclusoque loco caelum mare flumina montis
mutare et campos pedibus transire videmur,
et sonitus audire, severa silentia noctis
undique cum constent, et reddere dicta tacentes.

 

Image result for Ancient Roman Dreams

The Dreamer and Majority Opinion: Some Passages and Words

Philo, On Dreams, 1.1

“The first dream proper to this category is the one which appeared to the dreamer on the stairway to heaven.”

 ὄναρ δ᾿ ἐστὶ πρῶτον οἰκεῖον εἴδει τῷ σημαινομένῳ τὸ φανὲν ἐπὶ τῆς οὐρανοῦ κλίμακος τόδε. [the dream he discusses is Gen. xxviii. 12–15]

107

“And I, when I am just a little free of my drunkenness, I am so allied with those men that I share the same enemy and friend. And even now I reject and hate the dreamer no less because those people hate him. No one who is reasonable can fault me for this because the opinions and the votes of the majority always prevail.”

ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἐκείνοις, ὅταν μικρὸν ἀνεθῶ τῆς μέθης, οὕτως εἰμὶ ἔνσπονδος, ὡς τὸν αὐτὸν ἐχθρὸν καὶ φίλον εἶναι νομίζειν. καὶ νῦν οὐδὲν ἧττον τὸν ἐνυπνιαστήν, ὅτι γε καὶ ἐκεῖνοι, προβαλοῦμαι καὶ στυγήσω· καὶ οὐδεὶς εὖ φρονῶν ἐπὶ τούτῳ μέμψαιτ᾿ ἄν με τῷ τὰς πλειόνων γνώμας τε καὶ ψήφους ἀεὶνικᾶν.

Some Words

ὕπαρ, τὸ: “day-dream”

ἐνύπιον, τὸ: “dream”

ἐνυπνιαστής: “dreamer”

ὄναρ, τὸ: “dream”

ὄνειρος, ὁ: “dream”

ὀνείρειος: “dreamy”

ὀνειρογενής: “dream-producing”

ὀνειροδάτις: “dream-giving”

ὀνειροκρίτης: “dream-judge”

ὀνειρόπληκτος: “dream-struck” (“frightened by dreams”)

ὀνειροπόλος: “dreamer, dream interpreter”

ὀνειρόσοφος: “wise in dreams”

ὀνειροφαντασία: “dream illusion”

Image result for Ancient Greek dream
From the Piraeus Archaeological Museum

Note ancient Greek does not have:

ὀνειροφόνος: “dream slayer”

ὀνειροκτόνος: “dream killer”

 

Aelian, Varia Historia 3.1

“The Peripatetics say that at day the soul is a slave encased by the body and it is not able to see the truth clearly. At night, it is freed from its service and, after takes the shape of a sphere in the area around the chest, it becomes somewhat prophetic: this is where dreams come from.”

Οἱ περιπατητικοί φασι μεθ’ ἡμέραν θητεύουσαν τὴν ψυχὴν τῷ σώματι περιπλέκεσθαι καὶ μὴ δύνασθαι καθαρῶς τὴν ἀλήθειαν θεωρεῖν• νύκτωρ δὲ διαλυθεῖσαν τῆς περὶ τοῦτο λειτουργίας καὶ σφαιρωθεῖσαν ἐν τῷ περὶ τὸν θώρακα τόπῳ μαντικωτέραν γίνεσθαι, ἐξ ὧν τὰ ἐνύπνια.

Arsenius, 17.66

“Windblown dreams and shadows of glory”: A proverb applied to those hoping for things in vain.

῾Υπηνέμια ὀνείρατα καὶ ἐπαίνων σκιαί: ἐπὶ τῶν μάτην ἐλπιζόντων.

Image result for medieval manuscript dream
Dream of Astyages Speculum humanae salvationis, France 1470-1480 Marseille, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 89, fol. 4v

The Dreamer and Majority Opinion: Some Passages and Words

Philo, On Dreams, 1.1

“The first dream proper to this category is the one which appeared to the dreamer on the stairway to heaven.”

 ὄναρ δ᾿ ἐστὶ πρῶτον οἰκεῖον εἴδει τῷ σημαινομένῳ τὸ φανὲν ἐπὶ τῆς οὐρανοῦ κλίμακος τόδε. [the dream he discusses is Gen. xxviii. 12–15]

107

“And I, when I am just a little free of my drunkenness, I am so allied with those men that I share the same enemy and friend. And even now I reject and hate the dreamer no less because those people hate him. No one who is reasonable can fault me for this because the opinions and the votes of the majority always prevail.”

ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἐκείνοις, ὅταν μικρὸν ἀνεθῶ τῆς μέθης, οὕτως εἰμὶ ἔνσπονδος, ὡς τὸν αὐτὸν ἐχθρὸν καὶ φίλον εἶναι νομίζειν. καὶ νῦν οὐδὲν ἧττον τὸν ἐνυπνιαστήν, ὅτι γε καὶ ἐκεῖνοι, προβαλοῦμαι καὶ στυγήσω· καὶ οὐδεὶς εὖ φρονῶν ἐπὶ τούτῳ μέμψαιτ᾿ ἄν με τῷ τὰς πλειόνων γνώμας τε καὶ ψήφους ἀεὶνικᾶν.

Some Words

ὕπαρ, τὸ: “day-dream”

ἐνύπιον, τὸ: “dream”

ἐνυπνιαστής: “dreamer”

ὄναρ, τὸ: “dream”

ὄνειρος, ὁ: “dream”

ὀνείρειος: “dreamy”

ὀνειρογενής: “dream-producing”

ὀνειροδάτις: “dream-giving”

ὀνειροκρίτης: “dream-judge”

ὀνειρόπληκτος: “dream-struck” (“frightened by dreams”)

ὀνειροπόλος: “dreamer, dream interpreter”

ὀνειρόσοφος: “wise in dreams”

ὀνειροφαντασία: “dream illusion”

Image result for Ancient Greek dream
From the Piraeus Archaeological Museum

Note ancient Greek does not have:

ὀνειροφόνος: “dream slayer”

ὀνειροκτόνος: “dream killer”

 

Aelian, Varia Historia 3.1

“The Peripatetics say that at day the soul is a slave encased by the body and it is not able to see the truth clearly. At night, it is freed from its service and, after takes the shape of a sphere in the area around the chest, it becomes somewhat prophetic: this is where dreams come from.”

Οἱ περιπατητικοί φασι μεθ’ ἡμέραν θητεύουσαν τὴν ψυχὴν τῷ σώματι περιπλέκεσθαι καὶ μὴ δύνασθαι καθαρῶς τὴν ἀλήθειαν θεωρεῖν• νύκτωρ δὲ διαλυθεῖσαν τῆς περὶ τοῦτο λειτουργίας καὶ σφαιρωθεῖσαν ἐν τῷ περὶ τὸν θώρακα τόπῳ μαντικωτέραν γίνεσθαι, ἐξ ὧν τὰ ἐνύπνια.

Arsenius, 17.66

“Windblown dreams and shadows of glory”: A proverb applied to those hoping for things in vain.

῾Υπηνέμια ὀνείρατα καὶ ἐπαίνων σκιαί: ἐπὶ τῶν μάτην ἐλπιζόντων.

Image result for medieval manuscript dream
Dream of Astyages Speculum humanae salvationis, France 1470-1480 Marseille, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 89, fol. 4v

The Dreamer and Majority Opinion: Some Passages and Words

Philo, On Dreams, 1.1

“The first dream proper to this category is the one which appeared to the dreamer on the stairway to heaven.”

 ὄναρ δ᾿ ἐστὶ πρῶτον οἰκεῖον εἴδει τῷ σημαινομένῳ τὸ φανὲν ἐπὶ τῆς οὐρανοῦ κλίμακος τόδε. [the dream he discusses is Gen. xxviii. 12–15]

107

“And I, when I am just a little free of my drunkenness, I am so allied with those men that I share the same enemy and friend. And even now I reject and hate the dreamer no less because those people hate him. No one who is reasonable can fault me for this because the opinions and the votes of the majority always prevail.”

ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἐκείνοις, ὅταν μικρὸν ἀνεθῶ τῆς μέθης, οὕτως εἰμὶ ἔνσπονδος, ὡς τὸν αὐτὸν ἐχθρὸν καὶ φίλον εἶναι νομίζειν. καὶ νῦν οὐδὲν ἧττον τὸν ἐνυπνιαστήν, ὅτι γε καὶ ἐκεῖνοι, προβαλοῦμαι καὶ στυγήσω· καὶ οὐδεὶς εὖ φρονῶν ἐπὶ τούτῳ μέμψαιτ᾿ ἄν με τῷ τὰς πλειόνων γνώμας τε καὶ ψήφους ἀεὶνικᾶν.

Some Words

ὕπαρ, τὸ: “day-dream”

ἐνύπιον, τὸ: “dream”

ἐνυπνιαστής: “dreamer”

ὄναρ, τὸ: “dream”

ὄνειρος, ὁ: “dream”

ὀνείρειος: “dreamy”

ὀνειρογενής: “dream-producing”

ὀνειροδάτις: “dream-giving”

ὀνειροκρίτης: “dream-judge”

ὀνειρόπληκτος: “dream-struck” (“frightened by dreams”)

ὀνειροπόλος: “dreamer, dream interpreter”

ὀνειρόσοφος: “wise in dreams”

ὀνειροφαντασία: “dream illusion”

Image result for Ancient Greek dream
From the Piraeus Archaeological Museum

Note ancient Greek does not have:

ὀνειροφόνος: “dream slayer”

ὀνειροκτόνος: “dream killer”

 

Aelian, Varia Historia 3.1

“The Peripatetics say that at day the soul is a slave encased by the body and it is not able to see the truth clearly. At night, it is freed from its service and, after takes the shape of a sphere in the area around the chest, it becomes somewhat prophetic: this is where dreams come from.”

Οἱ περιπατητικοί φασι μεθ’ ἡμέραν θητεύουσαν τὴν ψυχὴν τῷ σώματι περιπλέκεσθαι καὶ μὴ δύνασθαι καθαρῶς τὴν ἀλήθειαν θεωρεῖν• νύκτωρ δὲ διαλυθεῖσαν τῆς περὶ τοῦτο λειτουργίας καὶ σφαιρωθεῖσαν ἐν τῷ περὶ τὸν θώρακα τόπῳ μαντικωτέραν γίνεσθαι, ἐξ ὧν τὰ ἐνύπνια.

Arsenius, 17.66

“Windblown dreams and shadows of glory”: A proverb applied to those hoping for things in vain.

῾Υπηνέμια ὀνείρατα καὶ ἐπαίνων σκιαί: ἐπὶ τῶν μάτην ἐλπιζόντων.

Image result for medieval manuscript dream
Dream of Astyages Speculum humanae salvationis, France 1470-1480 Marseille, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 89, fol. 4v

Dreaming of the Catalog of Ships?

Philostratus, Heroicus 6. 3-4

“I am sailing from Egypt and Phoenicia for twenty-five days at this point, somehow. As the ship was drawing up into Elaious, I dreamed I was reading the words of Homer when he describes the catalog of the Achaeans and that I was inviting all the Achaeans to get on to my ship as if it were large enough to hold them all!

When I was waking from the dream because some shiver had spread over me, I supposed that it prophesied a slow and long journey. For visions of the dead are bad signs for eager people.”

ΟΙΝ. Πλέω μὲν ἐξ Αἰγύπτου καὶ Φοινίκης πέμπτην καὶ τριακοστὴν ἤδη που ταύτην ἡμέραν. κατασχούσης δὲ τῆς νεὼς εἰς Ἐλεοῦντα τοῦτον ἔδοξα τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη ἀναγινώσκειν, ἐν οἷς τὸν κατάλογον τῶν Ἀχαιῶν φράζει, καὶ ξυνεκάλουν τοὺς Ἀχαιοὺς ἐμβῆναι τὴν ναῦν ὡς ἀποχρῶσαν ὁμοῦ πᾶσιν. 4ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐξέθορον τοῦ ἐνυπνίου (καὶ γάρ με καὶ φρίκης τι ὑπεληλύθει), ξυνεβαλόμην μὲν αὐτὸ ἐς βραδυτῆτα τοῦ πλοῦ καὶ μῆκος· αἱ γὰρ τῶν ἀποθανόντων ὄψεις ἀργοὶ τοῖς ἐσπουδακόσι.

Detail showing a painting of ships in a harbour from the illuminated border of the Treaty of Amiens between England and France, 18 August 1527. Catalogue reference E 30/1113. The full image is available through our Image Library.
From the UK National Archives