Dreams in Late Antiquity: Studies in the Imagination of a Culture

Dreams in Late Antiquity: Studies in the Imagination of a Culture

Paperback Mythos (Paperback)

By (author) Patricia Cox Miller

$30.89
List price $36.06
You save $5.17 14% off

Free delivery worldwide
Available
Dispatched in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 234mm x 20mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 11 January 1998
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691058350
  • ISBN 13: 9780691058351
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,594,992

Product description

Dream interpretation was a prominent feature of the intellectual and imaginative world of late antiquity, for martyrs and magicians, philosophers and theologians, polytheists and monotheists alike. Finding it difficult to account for the prevalence of dream-divination, modern scholarship has often condemned it as a cultural weakness, a mass lapse into mere superstition. In this book, Patricia Cox Miller draws on pagan, Jewish, and Christian sources and modern semiotic theory to demonstrate the integral importance of dreams in late-antique thought and life. She argues that Graeco-Roman dream literature functioned as a language of signs that formed a personal and cultural pattern of imagination and gave tangible substance to ideas such as time, cosmic history, and the self. Miller first discusses late-antique theories of dreaming, with emphasis on theological, philosophical, and hermeneutical methods of deciphering dreams as well as the practical uses of dreams, especially in magic and the cult of Asclepius. She then considers the cases of six Graeco-Roman dreamers: Hermas, Perpetua, Aelius Aristides, Jerome, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianus. Her detailed readings illuminate the ways in which dreams provided solutions to ethical and religious problems, allowed for the reconfiguration of gender and identity, provided occasions for the articulation of ethical ideas, and altogether served as a means of making sense and order of the world.

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Review quote

"Patricia Cox Miller should be commended for having cast her net wide. Her book, indeed, represents the first sustained effort to present and analyze the place of dreams in the culture of the Roman Empire, from the second to the fifth centuries... By studying together pagan and Christian dreams, Cox Miller hopes to reach a better understanding of some fundamental patterns of late antique culture."--Guy G. Stroumsa, The Journal of Religion "A fluent and discursive text... This is an adventurous exploration of a range of material which deserves to be more widely known."--Gillian Clark, The Classical Review

Back cover copy

Dream interpretation was a prominent feature of the intellectual and imaginative world of late antiquity, for martyrs and magicians, philosophers and theologians, polytheists and monotheists alike. Finding it difficult to account for the prevalence of dream-divination, modern scholarship has often condemned it as a cultural weakness, a mass lapse into mere superstition. In this book, Patricia Cox Miller draws on pagan, Jewish, and Christian sources and modern semiotic theory to demonstrate the integral importance of dreams in late-antique thought and life. She argues that Graeco-Roman dream literature functioned as a language of signs that formed a personal and cultural pattern of imagination and gave tangible substance to ideas such as time, cosmic history, and the self. Miller first discusses late-antique theories of dreaming, with emphasis on theological, philosophical, and hermeneutical methods of deciphering dreams as well as the practical uses of dreams, especially in magic and the cult of Asclepius. She then considers the cases of six Graeco-Roman dreamers: Hermas, Perpetua, Aelius Aristides, Jerome, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus. Her detailed readings illuminate the ways in which dreams provided solutions to ethical and religious problems, allowed for the reconfiguration of gender and identity, provided occasions for the articulation of ethical ideas, and altogether served as a means of making sense and order of the world.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Ch. 2Theories of Dreams Ch. 3Interpretation of Dreams Ch. 4Dreams and Therapy Pt. IIDreamers Ch. 6Perpetua and Her Diary of Dreams Ch. 7Aelius Aristides and The Sacred Tales Ch. 8Jerome and His Dreams Ch. 9The Two Gregorys and Ascetic Dreaming Bibliography Index