A Byzantine Book on Dream Interpretation

The Oneirocriticon of Achmet and Its Arabic Sources


This volume discusses the so-called Oneirocriticon of Achmet, the most important Byzantine work on dream interpretation which was written in Greek in the 10th century and has greatly influenced subsequent dreambooks in Byzantine Greek, Medieval Latin, and modern European languages.
By comparing the Oneirocriticon with the 2nd-century A.D. dreambook of Artemidoros (translated into Arabic in the 9th century) and five medieval Arabic dreambooks, this study demonstrates that the Oneirocriticon is a Christian Greek adaption of Islamic Arabic material and that the similarities between it and Artemidoros are due to the influence of Artemidoros on the Arabic sources of the Byzantine work.
The Oneirocriticon's textual tradition, its language, the identities of its author and patron, and its position among other Byzantine translations from Arabic into Greek are also investigated.


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Biographical Note

Maria Mavroudi, Ph.D. (1998) in Byzantine Studies, Harvard University, specializes in cultural history focusing on bilingualism and the transmission of the occult sciences in the Greek and Arabic Middle Ages

Table of contents

Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Author's Note 1. The Author of the Oneirocriticon and His Sources 1 2. The Language of the Oneirocriticon 63 3. The Manuscript Tradition, Translations, Editions 91 4. Comparing Artemidoros and Arabic Dream Interpretation with the Oneirocriticon 128 5. Dream Interpretations Common to the Oneirocriticon, Artemidoros and the Arabic Dreambooks 168 6. Syriac and Christian Arabic Dream Interpretations 237 7. The Christian and Islamic Aspects of the Oneirocriticon 256 8. Reflections of the Old and the New Testament in the Interpretations of the Oneirocriticon 353 9. Thirteen Anecdotes Quoted in the Oneirocriticon 375 10. The Oneirocriticon and Byzantine Intellectual Activity in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries 392 App. 1 The Variants of Paris. Suppl. gr. 690 in Arabic Sources 431 App. 2 Interpretations from the Liber Thesauri Occulti that do not occur in the Oneirocriticon or Artemidoros 445 App. 3 Christian Passages from al-Dinawari 451 App. 4 Words in the Oneirocriticon Unattested in Other Greek Texts 466 Bibliography 473 Sources 473 Secondary Literature 479 General Index 507


Those interested in the cultural contacts between Byzantium and the Arabs, the interaction between Christianity and Islam and the transmission of the occult sciences in the Middle Ages