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[120] "Then shall we believe that the souls of sleepers while dreaming are spontaneously moved? or, as [p. 507] Democritus thinks, that they are impelled to action by phantoms from without1 ? Whether the one theory or the other be correct, the fact remains that men in sleep assume many false apparitions to be true. Likewise, to men who are sailing, stationary objects on shore seem to be moving; and also, sometimes in looking at a lamp, by some sort of optical illusion we see two flames instead of one. Why need I mention how many non-existent things are seen by men who are drunk or crazy? And if we are to put no trust in such apparitions of the waking man I do not understand why we should put any trust in dreams. Of course you may argue, if you will, about these tricks of vision as you would about dreams, and say, for example, that when stationary objects appear to be in motion, it foretells an earthquake or a sudden flight; and when the lamp's flame appears to be double it portends that insurrection and rebellion are afoot!

1 Visiones, the equivalent of spectra, simulacra, εἴδωλα, phantoms from without which burst upon the mind through the body. Cf. Cic. Acad. ii. 15.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
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