In Sleep, Dreams Seem Real; Awake…

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.”

Image result for Ancient Roman art dreams

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.

Shakespeare, Hamlet

To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

An Exhortation to Drink Instead of Sleeping

Apollonides, Greek Anthology 15.25

“You are sleeping, friend, but the cup itself calls:
“Wake and do not indulge in mortal fear!”
Don’t abstain, Diodoros! Slip deep into wine,
Drink it unmixed until your knees are weak.
There will be a day when we do not drink, many of them.
Come on: wisdom is touching our temples now.”

῾Υπνώεις, ὠταῖρε· τὸ δὲ σκύφος αὐτὸ βοᾷ σε·
„῎Εγρεο, μὴ τέρπου μοιριδίῃ μελέτῃ.”
μὴ φείσῃ, Διόδωρε· λάβρος δ’ εἰς Βάκχον ὀλισθὼν
ἄχρις ἐπὶ σφαλεροῦ ζωροπότει γόνατος.
ἔσσεθ’, ὅτ’ οὐ πιόμεσθα, πολὺς πολύς· ἀλλ’ ἄγ’ ἐπείγου·
ἡ συνετὴ κροτάφων ἅπτεται ἡμετέρων.

 

grapes

In Sleep Our Dreams Seem Real

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.

Aye. but our waking troubles plague us in sleep too!

Accius, Brutus 29-38

“King, it is not at all a surprise that the things men do in life, what they think
Worry over, see, what they do and pursue while awake, should plague each man
While sleeping too. But in this one, the gods present you something quite unexpected.
Be on guard that the many you consider an imbecile just like a sheep
Might actually possess a heart especially safeguarded with wisdom.
He may supplant you in this kingdom: for the sign which comes to you from the sun
Foretells of a great change in the near future for your people.
May these things actually be a good change for the people.
For, since the most powerful sign moved from left to right in the sky,
It has prophesied that the Roman Republic would reign on high.”

Rex, quae in vita usurpant homines, cogitant curant vident
Quaeque agunt vigilantes agitantque ea si cui in somno accidunt
Minus mirum est, sed di in re tanta haut temere inprovisa offerunt.
Proin vide ne quem tu esse hebetem deputes aeque ac pecus
Is sapientia munitum pectus egregie gerat,
Teque regno expellat; nam id quod de sole ostentum est tibi
Populo conmutationem rerum portendit fore
Perpropinquam. Haec bene verruncent populo! Nam quod ad dexteram
Cepit cursum ab laeva signum praepotens, pulcherrume
Auguratum est rem Romanam publicam summam fore

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.

Bed and Sleep Compounds in Ancient Greek

Inspired by Paul Holdengraber’s tweet:

http://twitter.com/holdengraber/status/741972797380034560

κλινήρης:klinêrês “bed-ridden”

κλινοβατία: klinobatia: “confinement to bed”, lit. “bed-wandering/walking”

κλινοκαθέδριον: klinokathedrion: “easy-chair”, lit. “bed-chair”

κλινοπάλη: klinopalê: “bed-wrestling”

κλινοπηγία: klinopêgia: “bed-making”

κλινοποιός: klinopoios: “bed-maker”

 

Sleep

My four-year old son talks in his sleep. And I don’t mean that he merely makes sounds–he holds entire conversations with himself. Sometimes there are arguments. As I discovered this morning, however, there is no Ancient Greek word for “sleeping-talkng” or “sleep walking”.

Based on the compound “walking on air” (ἀεροβατεῖν) I propose ὑπνολέγειν (“sleep-talking”) and ὑπνοβατεῖν (“sleep-talking”). But I must admit that my faith is a bit rattled. So, here are some sleep-compounds from ancient Greek.

ὑπνομαχέω: (hupnomakheô) “fight against sleep”

ὑπνοποιός: (hupnopoios) “sleep-making”

ὑπνάπατης: (hupnapatês) “cheating of sleep”

ὑπνοφόβης: (hupnophobês) “frightening in sleep”

ὑπνοφόρος: (hupnophoros) “sleep-bringing”

ὑπνοδεσμήτος: (hupnodesmêtos) “bound-by-sleep”

ὑπνοτραπἑζος: (hupnotrapezos) “table-sleeper” (an epithet for a parasite)

 

Gorgias on Sleep and His Brother (Aelian, Varia Historiia 2.30)

“When Gorgias of Leontini was at the end of his life and, extremely old, he was over taken by a certain weakness, he stretched out in his bed slipping off to sleep. When one of his attendants who was looking over him asked how he was doing, Gorgias replied “Sleep is now starting to hand me over to his brother.””

Γοργίας ὁ Λεοντῖνος ἐπὶ τέρματι ὢν τοῦ βίου καὶ γεγηρακὼς εὖ μάλα ὑπό τινος ἀσθενείας καταληφθείς, κατ’ ὀλίγον ἐς ὕπνον ὑπολισθάνων ἔκειτο. ἐπεὶ δέ τις αὐτὸν παρῆλθε τῶν ἐπιτηδείων ἐπισκοπούμενος καὶ ἤρετο ὅ τι πράττοι, ὁ Γοργίας ἀπεκρίνατο ‘ἤδη με ὁ ὕπνος ἄρχεται παρακατατίθεσθαι τἀδελφῷ.’

Gorgias of Leontini was an orator who lived nearly one hundred years. In Greek myth, Sleep (Hypnos) and Death (Thanatos) are brothers. Here’s the Euphronios Krater that shows the pair carrying off the mortally wounded Sarpedon.

Euphronios_krater_side_A_MET_L.2006.10

In Sleep Our Dreams Seem Real: 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.

We Are Masters of our Dreams and Delusions: Lucretius, DRN 4.453-468

“When sleep has conquered our limbs with sweet rest
And our whole body lies in the deepest slumber,
Then our limbs still watch and seem to move
And there in the blind darkness of night we think
We see the sun and the light of day
And instead of our confined space we think
We have the sky, sea, rivers and mountains under our feet
And we hear their sounds, though the cruel silence of night
Hangs everywhere, we speak while staying silent.

We see many marvels beyond this kind
That try to break the faith of our senses
But they do not, since the greatest of them fail
On the opinions of the mind, things we have provided ourselves,
Visions are seen which have not been seen by our senses.
Nothing is more difficult than to separate obvious things
From the dubious, once your own mind has provided them.”

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.
Cetera de genere hoc mirande multa videmus,
quae violare fidem quasi sensibus omnia quaerunt,
ne quiquam, quoniam pars horum maxima fallit
propter opinatus animi, quos addimus ipsi,
pro visis ut sint quae non sunt sensibus visa;
nam nihil aegrius est quam res secernere apertas
ab dubiis, animus quas ab se protinus addit.