Plutarch-or-Who Will Write about the Dreams of the Ancients?

Cicero's Dream Vision of the Roman Empire -or- Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives 

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato had written "The Republic" about 380 BC.  Cicero "On the Republic" BC, discussed Roman Republic, its history, life, politics and laws, where he takes on the archetypal role of the wise old man. A significant amount of the book is devoted to "Scipio's dream", which would influence numerous future writers, musicians and philosophers. 

Plutarch who is seen as a dramatic artist, historian and classical Greek philosopher wrote about the ancient Greeks and Romans in the first and second century AD. He took note of the psychological similarities and differences in moral character. Plutarch is viewed as one the first modern biographers, providing a "who's who" of ancient Greek and Roman society. It might even be said and argued, that Plutarch also was one of the first to provide a "People's History" of ancient Greece and Rome. 

In "Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives" by Plutarch, we find a number of dreams that are discussed. In the chapter devoted to Cicero, Plutarch reports; "It seems that, while Pompey and Caesar were still alive, Cicero had a dream in which someone invited the sons of the senators to the capitol because Jupiter was going to appoint one of them to be the ruler of Rome. The citizens came running up eagerly and posted themselves round the temple, and the boys in their purple bordered togas took their places in silence. Suddenly the doors opened and one by one the boys rose up and walked around past the god, who inspected each of them inturn. All, to their sorrow, were dismissed until this young Caesar came into the god's presence. Then the god stretched out his hand and said: ‘Romans, you shall have an end of civil wars, when the boy becomes your ruler.' 

Jupiter was considered the king of the Roman gods, until the Christianization of the Roman Empire by Constantine. The boy in Cicero's dream, turned out to be Augustus the first Roman "Emperor". Jupiter's prophesy of peace in Cicero's dream was fulfilled by Augustus when he initiated the "Pax Romana" which lasted for over 200 years until the reign of Marcus Aurelius

Plutarch also writes of Calpurnia's dream, forewarning of the assignation of Julius Caesar. Other notable figures and times that Plutarch talks about, is the "war of Spartacus". From the perspective of the Hollywood dream machine, films such as Hannibal, Spartacus, Ben Hur, Cleopatra, and Gladiator all speak about life in ancient Roman times. Eddie Cantor's "Roman Scandals" which features a lengthy Roman times dream vision sequence, essentially tells us that political corruption in modern times is just as prevalent as in ancient times. Zero Mostel's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" would provide a farcical and satirical perspective of Roman life.

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.