Nuktōr

dreaming

Φιλεῖ δὲ τὸ δαιμόνιον τὸ μέλλον ἀνθρώποις νύκτωρ πολλάκις λαλεῖν· οὐχ ἵνα φυλάξωνται μὴ παθεῖν (οὐ γὰρ εἱμαρμένης δύνανται κρατεῖν) ἀλλ’ ἵνα κουφότερον πάσχοντες φέρωσι. τὸ μὲν γὰρ᾿ ἐξαίφνης ἀθρόον καὶ ἀπροσδόκητον ἐκπλήσσει τὴν ψυχὴν ἄφνω προσπεσὸν καὶ κατεβάπτισε, τὸ δὲ πρὸ τοῦ παθεῖν προσδοκώμενον προκατηνάλωσε κατὰ μικρὸν μελετώμενον τοῦ πάθους τὴν ἀκμήν.
(Achilles Tatius, Leukippē & Kleitophōn 1.3.2-3)

The divine power often wishes to whisper about the future to human beings in the night, not in order to protect them from a tragic event (because fate cannot be controlled), but to help them accept such an event when it occurs. For when disasters come all at once, unexpectedly, they produce a sudden shock and overwhelm us totally, but if people are prepared for them and can think about them beforehand, it dulls a little the sharp edge of pain. (tr. Georg Luck)

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