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Sunday, 08 August 2021

Lucid Dreaming in Ancient Greece

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Lucid Dreaming in Ancient Greece Associative picture from Pixabay

Evidence about this phenomenon is not first-hand. Just like many other ancient cultures and civilizations, the concept of lucid dreaming was an integral part of ancient Greece philosophies. Greeks incorporated this phenomenon into the Greece culture by getting inspiration from Egyptian culture.

The Greeks had a similar concept of awakening in sleep that Egyptians had. They also built extraordinary temples and associated them with a specific God for inducing dreams. You can understand their involvement in conscious dreaming by following Greek philosophers. Keep reading this article if you want to learn more about lucid dreaming in ancient Greece, their Gods and associated temples to induce dreams, and more interestingly, what their philosophers came up with about sleeping awareness.

Greek Philosophers

Antiphon and Aristotle are two famous Greek philosophers who discussed dreams in their books.

In the 5th century BC, Antiphon had written a book about dreams, but only a few fragments of the books are available. Antiphon was firm on his concept that the soul leaves the sleeping body.

On the other hand, Aristotle is considered the first philosopher who explained self-awareness during a dream state. He writes about lucid dreaming in his treatise On Dreams around 350 BC.

He says in his book: “Often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream.”

Aristotle also wrote: “During my dream, I suddenly became aware that what I was now experiencing was just a dream.”

He knew that dreams are the exaggerated structure of real-life and that dreams do not arise from paranormal expressions.

Hippocrates was a famous ancient Greek physician of the same era, and he shared his thoughts about dreams. He explained the soul produces images during the night that it receives during the day.

Similarities of Ancient Egyptian and Greek about Lucid Dreaming

The Greeks adapted dreaming concepts from Egyptians, so the conception of dreams was similar in both ancient cultures.

Greeks built extraordinary temples to induce dreams, and each temple was related to a specific God. They considered these induced dreams as messages from God. They travel to temples to induce dreams for different reasons:

  • For the health of sick people. They send sick people to temples where Gods of the body have their monuments. When the ill Greeks reached the temple, they had to perform certain rituals and sleep on unique dream beds waiting for some dream messages that would revert their good health.
  • For problem-solving or success in life. They had unique temples associated with a dream God named “Morpheus”. They visit the particular shrine or temple, perform religious rites, and sleep on the unique beds to receive messages from God through a dream.


Dreams were an essential part of ancient Greece culture that was passed to them through Egyptians. Therefore, both cultures had many similarities about lucid dreaming. Greece culture was more influenced by lucid dreaming conception as their philosophers and physicians mentioned lucid dreaming in their books. Later on, the initial and significant understanding of the dream world was moved to Europe from ancient Greece.