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Morpheus (mythology)

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Morpheus /ˈmɔːrfiəs/ or /ˈmɔːrfjuːs/ is a Greek god of dreams who appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses


  • 1 God of dreams and sleep
  • 2 In Ovid
  • 3 Derivations
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Bibliography
  • 7 External links

God of dreams and sleepedit

Morpheus has the ability to mimic any human form and to appear in dreams His true semblance is that of a winged daemon, an imagery shared with many of his siblings Robert Burton, in his 1621 Anatomy of Melancholy, refers to Classical depictions of Morpheus, saying "Philostaratus paints Morpheus in a white and black coat, with a horn and ivory box full of dreams, of the same colours, to signify good and bad"1 In myth, Morpheus was also said to send dreams through one of two gates, one of ivory, and the other of horn Starting in the medieval period, the name Morpheus began to stand generally for the god of dreams or of sleep2 In Carl Michael Bellman's Fredman's Epistle No 72, "Glimmande nymf", Morpheus is invoked as the god of sleep3

In Ovidedit

The Roman poet Ovid states in his Metamorphoses that Morpheus is a son of Hypnos and reports that he had a thousand siblings, with Morpheus, Phobetor and Phantasos being merely the most prominent among them4


  • The name of the opiate drug morphine is derived from the name of Morpheus

See alsoedit

  • Oneiroi


  1. ^ Burton 2001Pr 2, Sec 2
  2. ^ Kearns 1996
  3. ^ Britten Austin, Paul The Life and Songs of Carl Michael Bellman: Genius of the Swedish Rococo Allhem, Malmö American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York, 1967, pages 87–88 ISBN 978-3-932759-00-0
  4. ^ Ovid 1836 p54


  • Burton, Robert 2001, William H Gass, eds, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York, ISBN 9780940322660  CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter link
  • Griffin, A H F 1997, A Commentary on Ovid, Metamorphoses XI, Hermathena, 162/163, Dublin, JSTOR 23041237 
  • Kearns, E 1996, "Morpheus", in S Hornblower & A Spawforth eds, Oxford Classical Dictionary 3rd rev ed, Oxford, ISBN 9780198661726  CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter link
  • Ovid 1836 "Book XI" Metamorphoses 

External linksedit

Morpheus – The God of Dreams

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