Few cultures delved as deeply into theworldof dreams as the Greeks. As with most facets of life, they had a god that personified the dream world: Morpheus. He was the son of Hypnos, the god of sleep, and had the power to enter the dreams of mortal men to delivermessages from the gods.
Morpheus first appeared in the epic poemMetamorphoses, which was written by the first century poet Ovid. Though he could take the shape of a human when he was delivering dream messages, his true shape was a demon-like figure with massive black wings that allowed him to pass quickly through the dream world. Morpheus was chosen as a messenger because, out of Hypnos’s thousands of children, he was the best at disguising himself as a human.