From the ancient monuments of the Egyptians, Persians, and Indians, from the authors Tarphanes, interpreter of Pharaoh; Baramus of Saganessa, king of the Persians (a contemporary of Diocletian); Syrbachamus, interpreter of the king of the Indians; Apomasar, or, according to others, Achmet, F. Scirim, an Arab, collected Oneirokritika, or interpretations of dreams, as that people were very much devoted, from the earliest antiquity, to pursuits of this nature, as well as of other kinds, so were they, while their empire flourished, eager to translate the writings of all nations into Arabic. This little book, which was formerly in Greek, by what author is uncertain, John Leunclavius published in the last century, translated into Latin by himself, out of the library of Joseph Sambucus. The same afterwards, in the year 1603, Nicolas Rigaltius communicated from the library of the most Christian king, in his Oneirocritics, having supplied what was wanting in the copy of Sambucus. In this book you may see that many prophetic images, which create so much difficulty to our countrymen, were familiar to the Oriental nations, and were certainly not unusual in their divinations. Of the authors from whom the collection is made, the most ancient of all appear to be Tarphan, the Egyptian, as one who not only calls himself the interpreter of Pharaoh, but every where in his interpretations, uses the name of Pharaoh for a king.
It would therefore appear, that he lived at a time when Egypt had still kings of its own, and while the same were called Pharaoh. The Persian, with his king Saganissa, was, as I have said, of the same age as Diocletian. The Indian is of a later age, as lie every where proclaims himself a Christian.
But there is a wonderful agreement of both with the Egyptian.
Since, then, we are not unwilling to learn the meaning of words and phrases in the sacred writings from those nations which were formerly the nearest to the Hebrew people, and most connected with them in manners, and the use of language, why should we undervalue the same advantages here, in the signification of figures and prophetic images? (for, according to the Hebrew masters, the determination of prophecy is that of dreams.)
Let no one, then, impute it to me as a fault, if I annex out of this author those passages which appear to me to make the figures of the seal just explained, more intelligible.
The same, likewise, I shall do hereafter, with the reader's good leave, as occasion may offer, on the trumpets, and the other visions.