In the Greek Mythology, the Oneiroi (in Greek old Ὄνειροι / Oneiroi , “Dreams”) are divinities personifying the Rêve S.
Hésiode makes of them wire of Nyx (the Night), conceived without male intervention; but certain authors give them Érèbe (Darkness) like father. According to Euripide, they are the wire of Gaïa (Earth), described like demons with the black wings. According to Ovide, which takes again same description, they would be rather the wire of Hypnos (the Sleep), which sends them to visit the mortals. The names of three of them are quoted by the poet:
“Among his/her thousand children, the Sleep chooses skilful Morphée to take the form and the features of the mortals. No one can better to only take him their figure, their step, their language, their clothes, their familiar speeches. But of the man only Morphée represents the image. Another imitates the quadrupeds, the birds, and of the snakes the tortuous folds. The gods name it Icélos, the mortals Phobétor. A third, it is Phantasos, employs different prestige. It changes into ground, stone, wave, tree; it occupies all the objects which are private of life. These three Dreams fly, during the night, in the palate of the kings, under the skirtings of large; the others, Dreams subordinates, visit the residence of the vulgar mortals. ”
(XI, 633-646; transl. G.T. Villenave)
According to Homère, they leave each night their dark residence (a cave) located at the Western borders of the Océan, in Érèbe.
- (v. 212).
- (II, 5), (XIX, 562; XIV, 12).
- (XI, 592 and suiv.).
- (II, 10,2).
- (X, 112).
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