A vampire is a creature chimeric non-dead non-living which, according to various folklore and popular superstition, feeds on the blood of the living in order to draw a life force. The vampire legend has its origins in ancient mythological traditions and legendary creatures found with characteristics of vampires in all sorts of cultures around the world.

The character of the vampire was popularized in Europe in the early eighteenth century and emerged more specifically in Eastern Europe, particularly in the Balkans: in the local folk traditions, the vampires were portrayed as ghosts in shroud while visiting their loved caused death and desolation in the neighborhood. In Serbia, around 1725 that the word "vampire" made its appearance. At the same time, the Benedictine Lorraine Augustine Calmet describes the vampire as a "returning in body, thus distinguishing itself intangible ghosts (ghosts or spirits).

The most charismatic character, sophisticated modern vampire fiction appeared in 1819 with the publication of The Vampyre by John Polidori, the hero of the undead was inspired by Lord Byron that Polidori was the personal physician. The book was a great success but it is the work that Bram Stoker wrote in 1897, Dracula, who remains the epitome of the genre, establishing an image of the vampire still popular today in the works of fiction, even if far enough from its ancestors folk he retains little of the horror genre.

In ancient Greece, the shades of Hades are fond of the blood of victims. The ancients feared the wandering soul on Earth if they were not buried by their families or friends as the final rest came from incineration, which partly explains the dispute over the burial by Creon refused to corpse Polynices. Aristeas, Plato and Democritus argued that the soul can stay with the dead unburied. The unfortunate souls wandering and then let themselves be attracted by the smell of blood. It may refer to Porphyry (Sacrifices, ch. II "Of the true worship"). Psychics have used these souls to divine the secrets and treasures. Having knowledge of their presence, men looked for ways to appease them or countering them. In Crete, according to Pausanias, it sank into the brains of some dead a nail. Ovid also talk about vampires. Theocritus also evokes the Empusa (spectra multifaceted night can turn into monsters or creatures of unspeakable dream, also called demons of noon).

In the Roman Empire, we find the law Juice Pontificum that the body should not be left unburied. In addition, the graves were protected against thieves and enemies. The violations were considered sacrilege and punishable by death. We meet Lamia, a ghoulish scavenger, Queen of the Succubi eating fetuses and scaring children at night (Horace, Ars Poetica, 340). Lamia come lamiae more than scavengers Vampire lascivious, undulating, serpentine, eager to debauchery and death at the feet of horses and the eyes of a dragon. They lured men to eat and can be compared to Succubi. There is also the vampires, demons, winged females equipped with greenhouses, so named because of their screams, and onosceles, demons at the foot of donkeys who attacked travelers lost...

Middle Ages
In the twelfth century, vampires were supposed to be so numerous in England they were burnt to appease the popular passion. Later in the fourteenth century, precisely Herenberg cites two cases in 1337 and 1347: the alleged perpetrators of vampirism were impaled and burned. Likewise, in the fifteenth century, outbreaks of pests are an opportunity for the population (especially in Eastern Europe) a frenzy anti-vampire. Are emerging in the sixteenth century, the first major figure of the vampire: the Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory. In Moravia, the Bishop of Olomouc, to the proliferation of complaints from villagers in the area, put up commissions of inquiry. The first case of vampirism attached to a name and studied a little bit is that Michael Casparek in 1718. His case was the subject of an official investigation, in her small village in Hungary Liptov. Unfortunately, very little data has been sent to us. The word "vampire" appears for the first time in 1725, when the exhumation of this report recently dead Peter Plogojowitz a Serbian peasant who remains to this day the most famous case history in the vampire world. Then one Paole Arnold, soldier and farmer who died in 1726 and Austria led to epidemics of "vampirism" during the second, in January 1731, was the subject of a detailed report by the military doctor Johann Fl├╝ckinger , commonly known as Visum and Repertum. This report was widely taken up, translated by Dom Calmet, and was probably sink even more ink than if Plogojowitz (the Serbs). The most famous remains Savanovic Sava. Previously, it was "Vampyr." Another case of vampirism is that of Johannes Cuntius of Silesia.

If Bathory
Countess Elizabeth Bathory (or Erzs├ębet) has greatly inspired the legends of vampires. The Hungarian aristocrat of the sixteenth / seventeenth century, have tortured and murdered an unknown number of young girls. Legends claim that killing in order to bathe in the blood of his victims to stay forever young. These stories have been widely rejected by modern historians, but they persist in popular belief. Although she shows no signs characteristic of vampires (it is not drinking the blood), it remains for many the epitome of aristocratic vampire side, unlike other witnesses who later will concern farmers.

If Vlad Dracul
Vlad Basarab said Tepes (the Impaler "in Romanian) or Dracula (The Latin drac draco gave in Romanian," the dragon "and" the devil ") is now strongly associated with the vampire myth. The source of the legend is a propaganda launched against then the Prince, to be bloody did not, however, was more contemporary than its critics. Power struggles of the time we still have these writings more or less defamatory ushered Vlad III Basarab in history. He remains best known for the collective imagination by the name of Vlad the Impaler. The prince of Wallachia of the fifteenth century, whose reputation was bloody inspired Dracula, the fictional novel by Bram Stoker, who portrayed a vampire in Transylvania and the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century. The literary and film many times have ended up making a character of Dracula in popular culture worldwide. Historically, vlad was a prince Orthodox Christian member of the Order of the Dragon since the accession of his father, Vlad II the Dragon, hence the name of Draco, for Dragon.

See also Sphinx


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