Chance remarks on dreams in Aelius Aristides
What are 'chance' remarks on dreams and how valuable are they? In his book Greeks on Dreams, Van Lieshout says: "It should be stated explicitly beforehand that those casual references to dreams and dreaming register a low esteem for dream-knowledge in Plato's mind. This observation should continue to counterbalance any view gained from the substantial evidence. 111 Van Lieshout's 'casual references' are what I have chosen to call 'chance' remarks. His statement says, in essence, that 'chance' remarks are as valuable in revealing an author's true view on dreams as his substantive statements. The aim of this paper is to assess the value of 'chance remarks' on dreams in the writings of another author, Aelius Aristides, a person whose personal views on dreams are well documented and whose public writings afford us examples of 'chance' remarks. Thus we will be able to determine whether the assumption Van Lieshout made about Plato is valid for Aristides as well, that 'chance' remarks do indeed reflect an author's actual views on dreams.