Page 7. " The first work to treat the dream as an object of psychology seems to be Aristotle’s "

    The philosopher Aristotle wrote three essays on sleep and dreaming.  In the one quoted here, On Prophesying by Dreams, he dismisses the magical properties often attributed to sleeping visions, arguing that their value lies not in divining the future, but revealing the inner life of the sleeper.  By beginning his treatise with an appeal to one of the revered forefathers of modern thought, Freud moves swiftly to distance himself from the taint of disreputable occultism surrounding the interpretation of dreams.


Online edition of Aristotle’s 'On Dreams', as translated by J.I. Beare (mid-4th century BC)

Online edition of Aristotle’s 'On Sleep and Sleeplessness', as translated by J.I. Beare (mid-4th century BC)

Online edition of Aristotle’s 'On Prophesying by Dreams', as  translated by J.I. Beare (mid-4th century BC)

Page 8. " The high value accorded to the dream-life by many schools of philosophy, for example, by Schelling’s followers "

   Friedrich Schelling (1775 –1854) was a German scholar and a chief contributor to the ‘Naturphilosophie’ movement, which sought to construct a philosophical approach to scientific enquiry.  His writings espouse a semi-mystical vision of the natural world as a spiritual, holistic whole.  Freud echoes the broad scientific consensus of the time by aligning Schelling’s ideas with the primitive superstitions entertained by ancient civilisations.


Online edition of Schelling’s ‘First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature’, (1799)

Page 10. " Xerxes was dissuaded from this decision by sound advice, but was spurred onto it again and again by his dreams "

   An account from Book VII of Herodotus’ Histories, in which Xerxes is persuaded to invade Greece by a visitation in his dreams.  His adviser Artabanus dismisses the vision’s importance, arguing that dreams merely reflect the day’s concerns rather than divine will – he repents after himself receiving a nocturnal visit from the same figure.


Online edition of Herodotus’ ‘Histories’ as translated by George Rawlinson, (440 BC)


Page 11. " perhaps we dream we are making a sea-voyage to St Helena in order to offer the imprisoned Napoleon something special by way of Moselle "

   Following his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte spent the last years of his life as a British prisoner on the isolated island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. 

Moselle wines are produced in any one of the several European territories which contain a stretch of the so-named river, including the high quality wine-region of Mosel in western Germany.

Google Map
Online selection of Mosel wines
Page 11. " Maximeque reliquiae earum rerum moventur in animis et agitantur, de quibus vigilantes aut cognitavimus aut egimus "

   "Then especially do the 'remnants' of our waking thoughts and deeds move and stir within the soul" – Roman philosopher/statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero in Book II of his skeptical treatise On Divination, which rejects the interpretation of dreams as a means of revealing divine will. 


Online edition of Cicero’s ‘De Divitatione’, as translated by W. A. Falconer, (44 BC)

Page 11. " In Lucretius’ didactic poem "

   The Nature of Things is the only known work of 1st-century BC Roman philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus, an epic poetic argument for a rational universe.  In the passage quoted Lucretius observes that the content of dreams reflects the waking activities of the dreamer:


     The lawyers seem to plead and cite decrees,

     Commanders they to fight and go at frays,

     Sailors to live in combat with the winds,

    And we ourselves indeed to make this book


Online edition of Lucretius’ ‘De Rerum Natura’, as translated by William Ellery Leonard, (1st-century BC)
Page 13. " he gave them a few leaves from a little fern-plant growing on the wall which he knew they were very fond of "

   Asplenium ruta muraria is a species of fern native to Europe where it commonly grows on aging masonry, such as the wall in Delboeuf’s dream. 

Aspelnium ruta-muraria, Choceň, Czech Republic, (2007)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAspelnium ruta-muraria, Choceň, Czech Republic, (2007) - Credit: Petr Filippov

Page 14. " In a publication unfortunately not available to me "

   Formed in 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was founded to provide rigorous, occasionally skeptical investigation into supposedly paranormal phenomena.  At one time it counted amongst its members Carl Jung, whose well-known and turbulent association with Freud would begin in 1906.  The society was co-founded and actively promoted by Frederic Myers, whose work on what he termed the ‘subliminal consciousness’ anticipated Freud’s ideas concerning the unconscious in many ways. 

The analysis of ‘hypermnestic’ dreams Freud refers to was published by Myers in Volume VIII of the society’s Proceedings, a periodical collection of its research complete archives of which are available to current members.


Frederic Myers’ analysis of hypermnestic dreams can also be found in his aptly posthumous collection ‘Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death’ (1903)

Offical site of the Society for Psychical Research


Page 16. " After I woke, I could not make out what association linked these two people "
Birthplace of Sigmund Freud in Pribor, Czech republic, (2007)
Creative Commons AttributionBirthplace of Sigmund Freud in Pribor, Czech republic, (2007) - Credit: Michal Novak

Freud's “home town” is Příbor, now in the Czech Republic, where he was born and spent his earliest years. 

Google Map
Page 20. " dreams come from the stomach "

   A line from Act V, Scene 1 of German playwright Friedrich Schiller’s popular drama The Robbers (1781).  The hollow assertion that dreams "come from the stomach and cannot signify anything" is uttered by Franz, the play's archetype of morally bankrupt rationalism, in a vain attempt to dismiss the guilty visions which torment him. 

Online script of the play at Project Gutenberg


Page 23. " He smells eau de Cologne. – He is in Cairo in the shop of Johann Maria Farina "

   Johann Maria Farina (1685-1766) was an Italian perfumer who founded the oldest perfume factory still in business in Cologne, Germany, as well as inventing the famous scent to which he gave the city's name.  His eau de Cologne was an enormous success, popular in the royal courts of numerous European nations throughout the 18th-century before finally being subsumed by a raft of imitations, its name entering common usage as a synonym for perfume in general.

Website of the Johann Maria Farina gegenüber dem Jülichs-Platz, perfume factory/museum founded in 1709

Google Map
Page 23. " He hears bells pealing, then warning-bells, and is transported to the June days of 1848 "



   Reference to the ‘June Days Uprising’, one of the bloodiest conflicts in Paris’ history, which took place between the 23rd and 25th of June 1848.  During a period of dire political and economic instability a number of workers revolted, and General Louis Eugène Cavaignac was granted emergency powers as France’s head of state.  His forces violently suppressed the insurrection, killing roughly 1,500 people over several days of urban warfare.


Page 23. " Then the Duchess of Abrantès, whose secretary he is in the dream, appears on the scene "

   Laure Martin de Permond (1784-1838) was an outspoken, extravagant socialite and wife of Jean-Andoche Junot, a French general during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.  Her travels through and social experiences of several European nations were transcribed in a series of works, the most famous of which are her Memoirs, which also record her encounters with Napoleon Bonaparte, who nicknamed here the ‘petite peste’.


Online edition of the Duchess’ ‘Memoirs’, (1831-1834)

Page 23. " He is in Italy, perspiring heavily and drinking the white wine of Orvieto "


Detail from a panorama of Orvieto, (2003)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDetail from a panorama of Orvieto, (2003) - Credit: Michiel1972

Google Map


   Orvieto is the name of both a fortified city and the nearby wine region in central Italy, active since the Middle Ages and known especially for the white wine it produces. 

Online selection of Orvieto wines
Page 24. " Napoleon I was awakened from a dream while he was sleeping in his carriage by the explosion of an infernal machine "

   On 24 December 1800, in the Rue Saint-Nicaise, Paris, royalist conspirators attempted to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte as he travelled to the opera.  A large barrel of hidden explosives was set off nearby as his carriage passed, killing dozens of bystanders but leaving the then First Consul of France unscathed. 

Google Map


   Napoleon’s 1797 defeat of Austrian forces at the Tagliamento river in northeast Italy had been an important victory for the French Revolutionary army.  Like much of the second or third-hand evidence presented in this chapter, Freud’s record of Napoleon’s dream should be regarded with suspicion. 


Google Map


Page 25. " He mounts the scaffold, the executioner fastens him to the plank; it tips up; the guillotine blade falls "

   Later versions of the French guillotine, designed to cope more efficiently with the enormous workload during the Reign of Terror, included a bascule ('see-saw'); a board to which the standing victim was securely fastened before being tipped horizontal and slid into position.

Scale replica of a guillotine, featuring the 'bascule'
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumScale replica of a guillotine, featuring the 'bascule' - Credit: Kauko