The personifications of dreams. According to Hesiod,1 the Oneiroi are the children of Nyx and the brothers and sisters of Thanatos (Death) and Hypnos (Sleep). In the Odyssey they are represented as dwelling on the dark shores of the western Oceanus.2 True dreams come through a gate made of horn, while deceptive dreams issue from a gate made of ivory.3 The gods, and particularly Hermes, have authority of the Oneiroi and occasionally send one or more to mankind.

Ovid4 calls them the sons of Sleep and names them individually, viz. Morpheus, Icelus (or Phobetor), and Phantasus. Euripides calls them the sons of Gaea and describes them as black-winged daemons.



  1. Theogony, 212.
  2. Homer. Odyssey xxiv, 12.
  3. ibid. xix, 562 ff.
  4. Metamorphoses xi, 633.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.