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Archiv für Religionsgeschichte

Ed. by Bickel, Susanne / Frankfurter, David / Johnston, Sarah Iles / Pironti, Gabriella / Rüpke, Jörg / Scheid, John / Várhelyi, Zsuzsanna

Together with Beard, Mary / Bonnet, Corinne / Borgeaud, Philippe / Henrichs, Albert / Knysh, Alexander / Lissarrague, Francois / Malamoud, Charles / Maul, Stefan / Parker, Robert C. Y. / Shaked, Shaul / Stroumsa, Gedaliahu Guy / Tardieu, Michel / Volokhine, Youri


CiteScore 2018: 0.26

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.132
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.435

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1868-8888
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Narrative and Divination: Artemidorus and Aelius Aristides

Janet Downie
Published Online: 2014-03-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/arege-2013-0008

Abstract

Most ancient evidence for divinatory dreams elides the hermeneutic process. However, the two most expansive literary sources on ancient dreaming, both from the second century CE, focus attention on precisely that issue. Artemidorus’ Oneirocritica and Aelius Aristides’ Hieroi Logoi have very different aims, but both writers grapple with the hermeneutic challenges that dreams pose, and both attribute these challenges to dreams’ narrative quality. Artemidorus views the narrative complexity of dreams as an impediment to interpretation. In his technical treatise, therefore, he distills dream visions to their symbolic elements, and offers guidance on correlating those with the dreamer’s personal narrative. Aristides, by contrast, revels in the narrative abundance of divine dreams. The stories they tell allow him to claim divine endorsement for his self-portrait. For both Aristides and Artemidorus- to different effect in each case-the narrative mode is what distinguishes dreams from other methods of divination.

About the article

Published Online: 2014-03-26

Published in Print: 2014-03-01


Citation Information: Archiv für Religionsgeschichte, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 97–116, ISSN (Online) 1868-8888, ISSN (Print) 1436-3038, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/arege-2013-0008.

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