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In "Greek mythology, the Oneiroi["pronunciation?] or Oneiri (Ὄνειροι, "Dreams") were various gods and demigods that ruled over dreams, nightmares, and "oneiromantic symbols.

According to "Hesiod, they were the sons of "Nyx (Night) and the brothers of "Hypnos (Sleep), "Thanatos (Death), "Geras (Old Age), the "Moirai, three goddesses of destiny, and other beings, all produced via "parthenogenesis.[1]

"Cicero follows this tradition, but describes the sons of Nyx as fathered by "Erebus (Darkness).[2]

According to "Ovid, they were the sons of Hypnos and his wife "Pasithea (therefore making them Nyx's and Erebus' grandsons).

"Euripides calls them instead sons of "Gaia (Earth) and pictures them as black-winged "daemons.["clarification needed]


In the Iliad and the Odyssey[edit]

In "Homer's "Iliad, an Oneiros is pictured as summoned by "Zeus, receiving from him spoken instructions, and then going to the camp of the "Achaeans and entering the tent of "Agamemnon to urge him to warfare.[3]

The "Odyssey speaks of the land of dreams as past the streams of "Oceanus, close to where the spirits of the dead are led ("Hades).[4] "Statius pictures the Dreams as attending on slumbering Hypnos (Somnus in Latin) in a cave in that region.[5]

In another passage of the Odyssey, dreams (not personified) are spoken of, by a double play on words, as coming through a gate of horn if true (a play on the Greek words for "horn" and "fulfil") or a gate of ivory if false (a play on the Greek words for "ivory" and "deceive"). For this image and its echoes in later literature, see "Gates of horn and ivory.

In the Metamorphoses[edit]

The "Latin poet "Ovid presents them not as brothers of "Hypnos, but as some of his thousand sons. He mentions three/four by name: Morpheus was identified as the god of dreams, Phobetor as the god of nightmares, Icelos/Ikelos as the god of "people in "prophetic dreams, and Phantasos as the god of "inanimate "objects in Prophetic dreams. Alternately, "Morpheus (who excels in presenting human images), "Phobetor/Icelos (who presents images of beasts, birds and serpents), and "Phantasos (who presents images of inanimate objects in prophetic dreams, such as earth, rock, water and wood).[6]


See also[edit]



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