This is the most popular of Macrobius’ five dreams and for many of us in our own time also the most fascinating. It holds within it a wealth of imagery that artists over millennia have tapped for affect and effect. But in the time of Macrobius, it was also said to be the most useless dream. According to him, Insomnium was not worth interpreting because it had no prophetic significance and it left the dreamer tortured and abused only for the nightmare to disappear into thin air once woken. He drew the conclusion that such dreams could only have stemmed from evil and thus he relegated the nightmare as noteworthy only during their course and afterwards to have no importance or meaning. Virgil, the Roman poet and composer of the Latin masterpiece, The Aeneid, styled on Homer's "Odyssey" and “Iliad" also wrote disparagingly of nightmares considering them deceitful: “False are the insomnia sent by departed spirits to their sky”. When we think of Insomnium today it is easy to draw attention to its’ neighbour Insomnia and we recognise the connection between the two. Freudian analysis has done much to catalogue the events that occur in the nightmare and he concluded that deciphering the departed spirits we would find that these were as much part of and held within ourselves than the abstract torments both

Virgil and Macrobius referred to. The Nightmare as it is seen today has less to do with loss of faith and/or fear of retribution for heresy and more to do with fear of the future, fear of personal humiliation and the fear of physical pain.