Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Virgil, Aeneid, VIII. 407–414, trans. John Dryden (1697), ed. Robert Fitzgerald (New York, 1965), 262; In the remainder of the verse (after the ‘first slumber’), Virgil writes of ‘early housewives’ who ‘When living embers on the hearth they spread, / Supply the lamp, and call the maids to rise / With yawning mouths, and with half-open’d eyes, / They ply the distaff by the winking light, / And to their  daily  labor add the  night’. For my extensive discussion on Virgil see here   For  classical references,  see also  Franke Parker, ‘The Metonic Cycle and Calippic Period’, Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record, new ser., vii (1865), 438;  here Thucydides, in his book ii. 2, 3, 4, states that more than three hundred Thebans entered Platsea about the first sleep on the day when Pythodorus, the archon of Athens, had two months more of his government to come Robert A. Pratt, ‘Some Latin Sources  of  the Nonnes Preest on Dreams’, Speculum, lii (1977), 551; here Two things to note 1) the dreamer “soon goes back to sleep” thus contradicting the idea that there was a sepcific intervals between ‘first’ and ‘second sleep’ 2) suprisingly given the supposed ubiquity of ‘segmented sleep as claimed by Ekirch of  the three versions only one, that of Cicero, uses the phrase first sleep, Chaucer does not himself use the phrase. Chaucer had assimilated these three versions and followed them for his basic plot: Two comrades, travelling, come to a town; one lodges in one place, the other at an inn (Albertus says only that two men lodged incautiously). The first dreams that the other prays that he help him because of a danger. The dreamer awakens and soon goes back to sleep. The comrade reappears and says that he has been slain; his body, in a cart with dung, is taken to the gate. The dreamer goes to the cart at the gate; the innkeeper is punished (Albertus says instead that the dreamer, arising in the morning, found everything just as he had seen in his dreams). With regard to a number of matters in which Cicero, Valerius, and Albertus differ from each other Chaucer follows now one, now another, and now a combination. Cicero's placing the initial dream at the time of the first sleep —"concubia nocte" — may account for Chaucer's "longe er it were day" (3001). Glanville Downey, ‘Libanius’ Oration in Praise of Antioch (Oration XI)’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, ciii (1959), 661; here  64. And why need one speak in terms of inferences and disregard a well-known fact? The country has been from of old beloved of the gods. For the god whom the Persians hold to be the greatest, Helios, under whose auspices they conduct their campaigns-he is called Mithras in the Persian tongue-this god, when sleep had come upon Cambyses, stood above his head in a dream, during his first sleep, and spoke to him, commanding him to stop there and not to proceed to Egypt, and also foretold that the spot would receive a city, a creation of the Macedonians. The xi. Bookes of the Golden Asse Conteininge the Metamorphosie of Lucius Apuleius, Enterlaced with Sondrie Pleasaunt and Delectable Tales, with n Excellent Narration of the Mariage of Cupide and Psiches, Set out in the. iiii. v. and vj. Bookes, trans. William Adlington (London, 1566,  STC  718),  fo.  115v;  When midnight came, that I had slept my first sléepe, I awaked with sodein feare, and sawe the Moone shininge bright, as when she is at the full, and séeming as though she leaped out of the Sea. Rudolph  Arbesmann, ‘Fasting and Prophecy in Pagan  and  Christian  Antiquity’,  Traditio,  vii  (1949–51), 30; here  According to the Philostratian Apollonius,125 the interpreters of dreams explain no vision without having asked the time when it was seen. If it occurred at dawn, in the sleep just before daybreak, they will undertake to interpret it on the principle that at that hour the soul, cleansed of the stain of wine, is in a healthy condition for divining. But if the vision was seen in the first sleep or about midnight, when the soul is still muddied by wine, they decline the interpretation, if they are wise. The belief that false dreams occurred before midnight, and true dreams after midnight, was widespread. Moschus opens his epyllion Europa with an account of a dream Cypris had sent to Europa about dawn 'when the flock of truthful dreams roams the pastures/126 Hero likewise tells Leander of a dream she had just before dawn, 'at the time when dreams are wont to be true'; 127 and Horace128 represents the divine Quirinus-Romulus as appearing 'after midnight . . . when dreams are true.' Socrates is sure that there will be a day of delay in his execution, his belief being based on a dream he had just before daybreak;129 Tarpeia seeks for dreams of Tatius when 'the fourth trumpet announces the approach of dawn' ;130 and Hector appears to Andromache when 'fair night has almost passed two portions of her course, and the seven stars have turned their shining car.'131 125 Philostr. Vita Apoll. 2.37 (1.79 Kayser). 126 Vs. 2-5 (Bucolici Graeci: Theocritus, Bion, Moschus, ed. H. L. Ahrens, 2nd stereot. ed. [Leipzig 1904] 103). 127 Ovid, Heroides 19.195?. 128 Sat. 1.10.32?. 1 29 Plato, Crito 44A. 130 Propertius 4.4.63ff. 131 Seneca, Troades 438ff.; cf. also Carmina Latina Epigraphica 1109.7ff. (ed. F. B?cheler, Anthologia Latina 2.2 [Leipzig 1897] 508) : Exacta nocte suos quum Lucifer ignes spargeret et volucri roscidus iret equo, vidi sidereo radiantem lumine formem aethere delabi. 1 Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana: Books I–IV, ed. and trans. Christopher F. Jones (Cambridge, Mass., 2005), 217; here  I am not sure why Ekirch quotes this reference as it is to all intents and purposes the same as the above And more than this, as a faculty of divination by means of dreams, which is the divinest and most god-like of human faculties, the soul detects the truth all the more easily when it is not muddied by wine, but accepts the message unstained and scans it carefully. Anyhow, the explainers of dreams and visions, those whom the poets call interpreters of dreams, will never undertake to explain any vision to anyone without having first asked the time when it was seen. For if it was at dawn and in the sleep of morningtide, they calculate its meaning on the assumption that the soul is then in a condition to divine soundly and healthily, because by then it has cleansed itself of the stains of wine. But if the vision was seen in the first sleep or at midnight, when the soul is still immersed in the lees of wine and muddied thereby, they decline to make any suggestions, if they are wise. Karen Weisman, The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy (Oxford, 2010), 57; I don’t know why Ekirch give such an obscure reference for Sextus Propertius, Elegies Propertius poem 1.3 Qualis Thesea iacuit cedente carina languida desertis Cnosia litoribus; qualis et accubuit primo Cepheia somno libera iam duris cotibus Andromede; 5nec minus assiduis Edonis fessa choreis qualis in herboso concidit Apidano: talis visa mihi mollem spirare quietem Cynthia consertis nixa caput manibus, ebria cum multo traherem vestigia Baccho, 10et quaterent sera nocte facem pueri. As Cretan Ariadne lay spent on deserted shores While Theseus’s keel receded; And as Cepheus’s daughter, Andromeda, reclined in her first sleep Free now from the harsh cliffs And as the Thracian Bacchant, no less exhausted by constant choruses Collapsed in the grassy bed of the Apidanus So Cynthia seemed to me to exhale soft sleep Her Head propped on unsteady hands as I drug my footsetps home sodden with much Bacchus And the slaves shook the torch, late in the night A source in the public domain can be found here Ariadne lay, Theseus' ship sailing away, languid on lonely shores, the Knossian girl; and Cepheus' daughter collapsed in first sleep just free from the hard stone, Andromeda; no less the Edonian bacchante, worn from dances, when she fell on grassy Apidanus: so seemed she, breathing gentle quiet, Cynthia, supporting her head with slipping hands, when I came in, dragging my feet with much Bacchus, and the boys shook the torch late in the night. Jeremy Penner, Patterns of Daily Prayer in Second Temple Period Judaism (Leiden, 2012), 168–70. This is simply a discussion of the work by Ekirch and Holladay below William L. Holladay, ‘Indications of Segmented Sleep in the Bible’, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, lxix (2007). here  The simple premise of this paper is that after reading Ekirch’s work they author now believes that anything in the Bible that happens at midnight could be, maybe, perhaps, possibly be an indication of segmented sleep, which of course is nonsense. The author near the end of his paper actually destroys his own argument by showing that the related verb סדד in the niphal, basically means "fall into first (deep) sleep." In Judg 4:21 Sisera, weary from battle, staggers into Jael's tent; from weariness he falls into deep sleep - though it is still daylight (as 5:28 presupposes). Jael thereupon kills him with a tent peg through his temple. Jonah, in the midst of the storm at sea, goes into the hold of the ship and falls into deep sleep (1 :5-6), though again it is daylight (boats in ancient times normally put in to shore at night). One has the impression that the prophet here is a figure of fun, since the non-Hebrew crew must rouse him. showing that in his view ‘first sleep’ does take place in daytime therefore cannot be related to Ekirch’s conception of segmented sleep. BACK
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