Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
529. TRUE DREAMS AND FALSE DREAMS
Perry 385 (Life
of Aesop 33)
Apollo, who is the leader of the Muses, once asked Zeus to give him the
power of foresight, so that he could be the best oracle. Zeus agreed,
but when Apollo was then able to provoke the wonder of all mankind, he
began to think that he was better than all the other gods and he treated
them with even greater arrogance than before. This angered Zeus (and he
was Apollo's superior, after all). Since Zeus didn't want Apollo to have
so much power over people, he devised a true kind of dream that would
reveal to people in their sleep what was going to happen. When Apollo
realized that no one would need him for his prophecies any more, he asked
Zeus to be reconciled to him, imploring Zeus not to subvert his own prophetic
power. Zeus forgave Apollo and proceeded to devise yet more dreams for
mankind, so that there were now false dreams that came to them in their
sleep, in addition to the true dreams. Once the people realized that their
dreams were unreliable, they had to turn once again to Apollo, the original
source of prophetic divination.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.