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Artemido'rus DALDINUS

4. DALDINUS, was a native of Ephesus, but is usually called Daldianus (Δαλδιανός), to distinguish him from the geographer Artemidorus (Lucian, Philopatr. 22), since his mother was born at Daldia or Daldis, a small town in Lydia. Artemidorus himself also preferred the surname of Daldianus (Oneirocr. 3.66), which seems to have been a matter of pride with him, as the Daldian Apollo Mystes gave him the especial commission to write a work on dreams. (Oncirocr. 2.70.) He lived at Rome in the reign of Antoninus Pius and M. Aurelius, as we may infer from several passages of his work (1.28, 66, 4.1), though some writers have placed him in the reign of Constantine, and others identify him with the friend of Pliny the younger, and son-in-law of Musonius. (Plin. Ep. 3.11.) But the passages of Artemidorus's own work cited above, place the question beyond all doubt.


On the Interpretation of Dreams

Artemidorus is the author of a work on the interpretation of dreams (Ὀνειροκριτικά), in five books, which is still extant. He collected the materials for this work by very extensive reading (he asserts that he had read all the books on the subject), on his travels through Asia, Greece, Italy, and the Grecian islands. (Oneir. Prooem. lib. i.) He himself intimates that he had written several works, and from Suidas and Eudocia we may infer, that one was called οἰωνοσκοπικά, and the other χειροσκοπικά. Along with his occupations on these subjects, he also practised as a physician. From his work on dreams, it is clear that he was acquainted with. the principal productions of more ancient writers on the subject, and his object is to prove, that in dreams the future is revealed to man, and to clear the science of interpreting them from the abuses with which the fashion of the time had surrounded it. He does not attempt to establish his opinion by philosophical reasoning, but by appealing to facts partly recorded in history, partly derived from oral tradition of the people, and partly from his own experience. On the last point he places great reliance, especially as he believed that he was called to his task by Apollo. (2.70.) This makes him conceited, and raises him above all fear of censure.

The first two books are dedicated to Cassius Maximus. The third and fourth are inscribed to his son. The fifth book is, properly speaking, an independent work, the title of which is περὶ ὀνείρων ἀναβάσεων, and which contains a collection of interesting dreams, which were believed to have been realized.

The style of the work is simple, correct, and elegant; and this. together with the circumstance that Artemidorus has often occasion to allude to or explain ancient manners and usages, give to it a peculiar value. The work has also great interest, because it shews us in what manner the ancients symbolized and interpreted certain events of ordinary life, which, when well understood, throws light on various points of ancient mythology.


The first edition of the Oneirocritica is that of Aldus, Venice, 1518, 8vo.; the next is that of Rigaltius (Paris, 1603, 4to.), which contains a valuable commentary; however, it goes down only to the 68th chapter of the second book. The last edition is that of J. G. Reiff, Leipzig, 1805, 2 vols. 8vo. It contains the notes of Rigaltius, and some by Reiske and the editor.

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