Artemidorus’ Interpretation of the Gods


1 Introduction

The dream interpreter Artemidorus’ Onirocritica is a massive and very insightful work, regardless of whether one believes in the validity of divination. As such, the present selection, in which he discusses the meaning of the gods in symbolic (non-literal) dreams is of interest both to the believer and the student of how the gods were conceptualized; for Artemidorus uses generally current ideas throughout in constructing his interpretations.

2 Translation of the chapter on gods

(Onirocritica 2.34) […] Of the aforementioned gods, seeing the Olympians is good luck for powerful men and women, the celestials for the middling, the terrestrials for the poor.

The chthonic gods are mostly good only for farmers and those who attempt to hide, and the marine and riverine gods to those who sail or make their living from or through water.

Those around these are harmful for all except philosophers ‹and diviners›, since these stretch their mind out toward the limit of all things.

But it seems more instructive to me to speak about each of them individually. Now, I will give the account of the Olympians first.

(2.35) [Work in Progress]

(2.36) [Work in Progress]

(2.37) [Work in Progress]

(2.38) [Work in Progress]

(2.39) [Work in Progress]

(2.40) [Work in Progress]

3 Miscellaneous passages

[Work in Progress]