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The Religious Dreamworld of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses

Recovering a Forgotten Hermeneutic

By James Gollnick
Subjects Religion
Series Editions SR Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889203006, 191 pages, April 1999
Ebook (PDF) : 9780889208032, 191 pages, January 2006

Table of contents

Table of Contents for The Religious Dreamworld of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses: Recovering a Forgotten Hermeneutic, by James Gollnick
Acknowledgements and Credits
1. The Dreamworld as Hermeneutical Perspective
2. Literary Dreams and the Nature of the Metamorphoses
3. Dream Interpretation in the Second Century
4. Dreams in the Metamorphoses
5. The Eros and Psyche Myth: Psychological Interpretations
6. The Eros and Psyche Myth: An Archetypal Dream
7. Lucius’ Religious Experience
Selected Bibliography


Apuleius’ Metamorphoses is probably best known as the literary source for the myth of Eros and Psyche and as a primary source of information about mystery religions in the ancient world.
There is another realm of the Metamorphoses which has, until now, received relatively little attention — namely, the many dreams found within it. The Religious Dreamworld of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses offers an engaging portrait of the second-century dreamworld. Recognizing the centrality of the religious function and spiritual interpretation of dreams, this book illustrates their vital importance in the ancient world and the wide variety of meanings attributed to them.
James Gollnick draws deeply from historical and psychological studies and provides a historical background on the current interest in the role of dreams in psychological and spiritual transformation.
This study of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses adds to an appreciation of Apuleius the dreamer and the second-century dreamworld in which he lived and wrote.