Artemidorus’ Classification of Gods

This translation from Artemidorus of Daldis’ Onirocriticon or Dream Interpretation by Ɔ. Martiana (Unhistorize) is taken from a forthcoming eBook from Sartrix Translations, which also contains footnotes on this text.

Of the gods, some are intelligible, others perceptible; the greater number are intelligible, only a few are perceptible. But the following explanation will show this more clearly.

We say that some of the gods are Olympian – whom we also call ethereal –, others celestial, others terrestrial, others marine and riverine, others chthonic, and some surround all these.

Now, Zeus, Hera, Celestial Aphrodite, Artemis, Apollo, the Ethereal Fire and Athena would suitably be called ethereal.

Helios, Selene, stars, clouds, winds and the things that form below these, i.e., mock suns, meteors, lightning and Iris (‘rainbow’), are celestial. These are all perceptible.

Of the terrestrial ones, Hecate, Pan, Ephialtes, and Asclepius are perceptible – although Asclepius is also called intelligible –, while the Dioscuri, Heracles, Dionysus, Hermes, Nemesis, Vulgar Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Fortune, Peitho (‘persuasion’), the Graces, the Horae, the Nymphs and Hestia are intelligible.

Poseidon, Amphitrite, Nereus, the Nereids, Leucothea and Phorcys are intelligible marine gods; the Sea, Waves, Seashores, Rivers, Pools, Nymphs and Achelous are perceptible.

Pluton, Persephone, Demeter, Kore, Iacchus, Sarapis, Isis, Anubis, Harpocrates, Chthonic Hecate, the Erinnyes and Phobos (‘fear’) and Deimos (‘terror’), the daemons in their train whom some call the sons of Ares, are chthonic. Ares himself in one sense must be classed with the terrestrials, in another with the chthonic gods.

Those surrounding these all, finally, are Oceanus, Tethys, Kronos, the Titans, and the Nature of all things.