Artemidorus Dream Theory: Leading to Christianity and Prophetic Dreams

Artemidorus is one of the first great minds who tried to directly interpret the meaning of dreams in a practical and rational manner. In this manner he differed from his predecessors who viewed dreams as being mystical and spiritual, as if they have been sent from the gods (Coolidge, F. 2006, p. 23). According to McCrudy (1946), “Artemidorus distinguishes first of all between two classes of dreams: the somnium which forecast the future, and the insomnium which refers to contemporary matters” (p.227). This dichotomy between the types of dreams is dependent upon the dreamers own life and the type of symbolism portrayed in the dream.  Furthermore, there are six fundamental questions or aspects that a dream interpreter wants about the occurrences in the dream: natura (natural), lex (lawful), consuetudo (customary for the dreamer), tempus (what was going on at the time of the dream), ars (what the dreamer does for a living), and nomen (the dreamers name), (McCrudy, 1946, p. 228). All of these influence whether the dreams are either prophetic or dealing with contemporary manners along with understanding and knowing the individuals personal information and back ground. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Artemidorus supported the concept of prophetic dreams; because as dream analysis progresses Christianity and other religious groups use dream interpretations in a prophetic manner. However, there are many differences between the Artemidious and the Christian church viewed what dreams mean.

By: David Minnick

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