Download PDF by A. Leo Oppenheim: The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East. With

By A. Leo Oppenheim

Transactions Of the yankee Philosophical Society, V46, half three, September, 1956.

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It is possible that these documents clearly prefer "message" dreams because the sacer- 210 OPPENHEIM: DREAMS IN THE ANCIENT dotal character of Near Eastern kingship (for a qualification, cf. p. 199) admits only of dream-communications with the deity which are, in terms of theology, of the rank of epiphanies. " The "symbolic" dreams of the Old Testament occur, as has already been stressed, together with their interpretations, and such dreams as those of the Egyptian court officials (Gen. 40: 5 f.

There exists, however, in the late classical world (and in the New Testament, Acts 9: 10-16, but cf. also Josephus Antiquities XI, 8: 4-5) a device which, as to its function, seems to be comparable to the repetition of "symbolic" dreams just discussed. These are the reports that two persons have experienced (preferably during the same night) either identical dreams or dreams which confirm each other. The pertinent material has recently been collected by A. Wikenhauser in an article entitled "Doppeltraume" in Biblica, commentarii ad rem biblicam scientifice investigandum 29: 100-111, 1948.

VI 1: 192) that Gilgamesh arose from his sleep to pasvdruhis dream to his mother and that Enkidu did the same to his friend after such an experience. The most revealing evidence, however, for this nuance of pasaru comes from several passages of the rituals which are part of our Dream-Book. Cf. p. 302 for a discussion of the phrases in which pasdarurefers to the magic act of "transferring" the evil power of a bad dream to a certain object (to be destroyed later) by means of reporting (pa'sdru) the dream-content to it.

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The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East. With a Translation of an Assyrian Dream-Book by A. Leo Oppenheim


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