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Description - Dreams in Late Antiquity by Patricia Cox Miller

Dream interpretation was a prominent feature of the intellectual and imaginative world of late antiquity, for martyrs and magicians, philosophers and theologians alike. Finding it difficult to account for the prevalence of dream-divination, modern scholarship has often condemned it as a cultural weakness, a mass lapse into mere superstition. In this book, Patricia Cox Miller draws on pagan, Jewish and Christian sources and modern semiotic theory to demonstrate the integral importance of dreams in late antiquity. She argues that Graeco-Roman dream literature functioned as a language of signs that formed a personal and cultural pattern of imagination and gave tangible substance to ideas such as time, cosmic history and the self. Miller first discusses late-antique theories of dreaming, with emphasis on theological, philosophical and hermeneutical methods of deciphering dreams as well as the practical uses of dreams, especially in magic and the cult of Asclepius. She then considers the cases of six Graeco-Roman dreamers: Hermas, Perpetua, Aelius Aristides, Jerome, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianus.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691058351
ISBN-10: 0691058350
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 22-Dec-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Patricia Cox Miller

Patricia Cox Miller is Associate Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. She is the author of Biography in Late Antiquity: A Quest for the Holy Man.