Dreaming in the Middle Ages

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Medieval attitudes toward dreaming encompassed both deep fascination and strong suspicion. In Dreaming in the Middle Ages, Steven Kruger explores the ambivalence of the medieval dream through a close examination of philosophical, legal, and theological writings, as well as literary and autobiographical works. To place the medieval dream in its historical and cultural context, Kruger studies the development of theories of dreaming from late-antique Neoplatonic and patristic writers to the dream theorists of the late Middle Ages, and he situates these erudite and complex theories in relation to more popular treatments of dreaming like the Somniale Danielis. He considers previously neglected material, including an important dream vision by Nicole Oresme, and arrives at a new understanding of the literary genre of the dream vision. Finally, he asks how much we can discover about the medieval dreamer's "real-life" experience of dreaming, and looks to autobiographical accounts, particularly the dreams of conversion in Hermann of Cologne's Opusculum de conversione sua, to provide a partial answer. Dreaming in the Middle Ages presents a wide-ranging and challenging reinterpretation of the medieval dream, exploring an experience of crucial importance for our broader understanding of medieval culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521019958
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2005
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature Series, #14
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
Introduction: modern and medieval dreams 1
1 Dreambooks and their audiences 7
2 The doubleness and middleness of dreams 17
3 The patristic dream 35
4 From the fourth to the twelfth century 57
5 Aristotle and the late-medieval dream 83
6 Dreams and fiction 123
7 Dreams and life 150
Notes 166
Bibliography 225
Index 251
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