Sleepwalking Through the Thirteenth Century: Some Medieval Latin Commentaries on Aristotle’s De somno et vigilia 2.456a24-27

In: Vivarium
Christina Thomsen Thörnqvist University of Gothenburg Sweden

Search for other papers by Christina Thomsen Thörnqvist in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


In De somno et vigilia, Aristotle states that sleep is an incapacitation of the first sense organ that occurs when the capacity for sensation has been exceeded. In the same treatise, however, Aristotle also mentions the phenomenon of motion and other waking acts performed in sleep and claims that sense perception is a necessary condition for such acts to occur. When the medieval exegesis on the Parva naturalia evolved in the thirteenth century, how Aristotle’s remark on motion in sleep could be reconciled with his definition of sleep as an incapacitation of the senses became one of the most frequently discussed problems. This article analyzes the theories on this subject in the most influential commentaries on Aristotle’s treatises on sleep and dreaming in the thirteenth century.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 710 128 21
Full Text Views 295 16 6
PDF Views & Downloads 101 22 5