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By A. Leo Oppenheim

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

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

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

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Extra info for The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East. With a Translation of an Assyrian Dream-Book

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These dreams are difficult to classify typologically; taken as individual incidents, each of them has to be termed a "message" dream; their occurrence in a group of three, however, is characteristic of "symbolic" dreams. They seem to be the product of a somewhat learned imagination guided by literary aspirations, and show the influence of individual artistic creativeness. As such they are deficient in that immediate appeal of 217 veracity which characterizes some of the dreamreports even in documents where the stylistic requirements and restrictions are far more rigid but in which the actual experience has not been subjected to the formative influence of individual (and therefore accidental) aspirations.

It seems to have constituted the very acme of the skill of an interpreter to recognize the fundamentally differing meanings of the two dreams of the Egyptian officials, to build them up in a cleverly deceiving analogy and to "translate" them with graceful sophistication into predictions of diametrically opposite nature. This feat remains without parallel. The recorded achievements of Greek oneirocritics reveal a kindred interest and pleasure taken in such refinements in the art of interpreting dreams.

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. ) and of the Pharaoh himself are real gems not only as to the literary merits of their presentation but also as to their exegesis. It is patent that clever interpretations of dreams were greatly admired.

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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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