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At the Limits of ArtA Literary Study of Aelius Aristides’ Hieroi Logoi$
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Janet Downie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924875.001.0001

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Dream Description and Dream Hermeneutics

Dream Description and Dream Hermeneutics

(p.57) 2 Dream Description and Dream Hermeneutics
At the Limits of Art

Janet Downie

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that when we set Aristides’ dream narratives in the Hieroi Logoi against other ancient accounts of dreaming, what stands out is the degree to which Aristides engages the complexity of the dream scenario as a linguistic and literary challenge. This chapter contrasts the dream language of the Hieroi Logoi with the votive conventions associated with temple dreaming and, in more depth, with the concerns of contemporary technical writers on dreams – Galen and Artemidorus – to show that in contrast with other evidence for ancient dreaming, Aristides’ accounts are shaped by distinctly rhetorical concerns. In the rhetorical context, Aristides is interested in the challenge of dream narration as a way of testing the limits of vivid description—the limits of enargeia.

Keywords:   Dreams, Artemidorus, Galen, Rhetoric, Enargeia

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