4 March 2008

Vampire versus Vampire, Dracula and Lilith

The notion of vampirism has existed for millennia; cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires. However, despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th century South-Eastern Europe, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published. In most cases, vampires are revenants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire. Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires. (Info: Wiki)

The most beautiful vampire was without doubt Lilith from the painting by John Collier, 1892. The most gorgeous, seductive, full blood vampire!

The mythical Lilitu was probably born in the story tales in the ancient Babylonia. Lilitu was considered a demon and was often depicted as subsisting on the blood of babies. However, the Jewish counterparts were said to feast on men and women, as well as newborns.

Who was the most famous vampire?

I guess the “Little Dragon” alias Dracula. It means also the son of dragon or devil.
In real he was a nobleman, a prince, father of three sons. Vlad III was as prince maintained an independent policy in relation to the Ottoman Empire, and in Romania, he is viewed by many historicises as a prince with a deep sense of justice and a defender of Wallachia (part of Hungary) against Ottoman expansionism.
His absurdly cruel punishments earn him the nickname in later years of Vlad the Impaler, which echoed the mode of death that would destroy the legendary Count Dracula.

In the English-speaking world, Vlad III is best known for inspiring the name of the eponymous vampire in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. Stoker came across the name Dracula in a history book- which mistranslated it as “Wallachian for devil”- and substituted it for his character’s original name, Count Wampyr.
I wonder or the English would have been happy if the people of Wallachia had painted Queen Victoria as a very cruel, despotic, imperialistic witch. Probably not.

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