The Colour of Dreams and Passions 


  • Paola Carusi Sapienza University of Rome


Islamic medicine , Dreams, Passions, Colours


  In the vast panorama of literature on dreams and their interpretation, this work aims to open a small but significant glimpse into the presence of the dream in some medical and non-medical works produced in the Arabic language, particularly between the 9th and 15th centuries. In the Islamic medicine of the Middle Ages (‘scientific’, prophetic and spiritual), as well as in ancient medicine, researching in a book the relationship between medicine and colour means investigating the chapters in which the signs (‘alāmāt, dalā’il) of health and illness are mentioned. Among these signs, a role of not negligible importance is played by those concerning the relationship between the physical body and the ‘soul’; ‘from the body to the soul’ (the colours of dreams), and ‘from the soul to the body’ (the colours appearing on the body caused by vices, and passions, and emotions). This work is devoted to these themes, and is based primarily on the study of texts: passages taken from different authors, which, translated and commented, are the clearest explanation of a not easy subject.