previous next
[116] "At this point it is pertinent to mention Antiphon's1 well-known theory of the interpretation of dreams. His view is that the interpreters of dreams depend upon technical skill and not upon inspiration. He has the same view as to the interpretation of oracles and of frenzied utterances; for they all have their interpreters, just as poets have their commentators. Now it is clear that divine nature would have done a vain thing if she had merely created iron, copper, silver, and gold and had not shown us how to reach the veins in which those metals lie; the gift of field crops and orchard fruits would have been useless to the human race without a knowledge of how to cultivate them and prepare them for food; and building material would be of no service without the carpenter's art to convert it into lumber. So it is with everything that the gods have given for the advantage of mankind, there has been joined some art whereby that advantage may be turned to account. The same is true [p. 351] of dreams, prophecies, and oracles: since many of them were obscure and doubtful, resort was had to the skill of professional interpreters.

1 Cf. i. 20. 39.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: