Definition of Morpheus

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Morpheus: In Greek and Roman mythology, the son of sleep and the god of dreams who lay on an ebony bed in a dim-lit cave, surrounded by poppies. (Opium is derived from poppies, Genus Papaver somniferum.) Morpheus was the son of Hypnos from whence comes hypnosis. To be in the arms of Morpheus is to be asleep. The drug morphine is named after Morpheus.

The Roman poet Ovid (43BC-17AD) coined the name of Morpheus from the Greek morphe, form + the Latin -eus, because Morpheus was responsible for shaping dreams, and giving shape to the beings who inhabit dreams.

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