Iatrosophia and an eighteenth-century oneirokrits in the National Library of Greece. Academic Article uri icon


  • Medical dreams were not discussed by Greek popular dream interpreters, but were the domain of physicians like Hippocrates, Galen, and Rufus of Ephesus, or the followers of the healing god Asclepius. An exception is an oneirokrites (dreambook) in Codex 1350 of the National Library of Greece in Athens. This eighteenth-century text reflects Ottoman Greek iatrosophia. An iatrosophion, widely used in Byzantine and Ottoman Greece, was a physician's notebook of recipes and treatments or was the collective compendium of classical and Byzantine medical and pharmacological texts consulted in hospital settings. Some iatrosophia included medical cures and drugs, but also spells, exorcisms, magic, astrology, and practical advice. The writer of our oneirokrites used such a magico-medical iatrosophion. After interpreting a dream symbol, he often advises a prophylactic (usually dietary) cure or treatment for restoring or maintaining health, or recommends religious prayers and spells, or apotropaic magic.

published proceedings

  • Med Secoli

author list (cited authors)

  • Oberhelman, S. M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Oberhelman, Steven M

publication date

  • January 2009