Dreams in the Narratives of the Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms

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The article presents a classification and analysis of references to dreams in the Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms (Samguk yusa)—an extensive systematized collection of materials on the history of Korea from ancient times to the end of the 13th century, which was composed by the Korean Buddhist monk Iryeon (1206–1289). According to the functions of these references in the text and to the degree of their exposure to Buddhist influence, they are classified into two groups: “figurative dreams”, graphically and unambiguously predicting inevitable future events, and “dreams-conversations”, in which supernatural beings seek to influence the behavior of the hero. These two groups are further subdivided into several subgroups, among which special attention is paid to the stories about interactions between human beings and the characters of the Buddhist pantheon. On the basis of the Buddhist canon, it is suggested that the Buddhist concept of correlation between the way of such an interaction (in a dream or in reality) and the degree of spiritual maturity of the practitioner is superimposed here on the universal scheme of “prophetic dreams”.

About the authors

Yulia V. Boltach

Institute of Oriental Manuscripts RAS

Author for correspondence.
Email: julia.boltach@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9325-7101

Cand. Sci. (History), Senior Researcher at the Department of Far Eastern Studies, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts

Russian Federation, St. Petersburg


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