The Origin And Evolution Of Vampires Essay

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The Origin And Evolution Of Vampires Essay, Research Paper The Origin and Evolution of Vampires Stories of vampires go back earlier than Abraham Stoker, before the existence of Vlad the Impaler, and even before the origin of the Hungarian word vampir from which we get the current word “vampire.” Stories of the undead were told in Ancient Greece and in Ancient Rome, and were called lamiae. Since these times, many authors like Charles Middleton, Robert Southey, Anne Rice, and the most famous, Abraham Stoker, have all written books, plays, poems, and even movies that include vampires as characters. According to Anthony Masters, in his book The Natural History of the Vampire, The first vampire stories were told in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Stories like The Life of

Apollonius of Tyana, by the Greek writer Philostratus, told the tale of Menippus whose fiancee is a vampire. Eighteenth century Germany opened the door for many authors to write stories and poems about vampires. Authors like Meinrich August Ossenfelder who created a poem called Der Vampir, Goethe who wrote the story The Bride of Corinth, and Burger who wrote Lenore were all big influences on other European writers with their stories. These authors were some of the most prominent German writers who incorporated vampires in their literature. In 1796, English writers created new vampire stories when the ballad Lenore, written by Burger, was translated into English. This sparked a new interest for English writers. Sir Walter Scott quickly wrote his story Rokeby. Robert Southey wrote

Thalaba the Destroyer soon after Scott published his work. Christabel by Coleridge came soon after Southey’s story. These English writers started composing their vampire stories in the late 1790’s and early 1800’s. By this point in time, vampires started losing their reality and were seen as fictitious beasts, unlike in the sixteenth century, when they were thought to be real creatures who terrorized the living. Modern writers of vampire stories include Abraham “Bram” Stoker, who is most famous for his best selling novel Dracula published in 1897. Which was a fictitious account of the afterlife of Vlad the Impaler. Another best selling author is Anne Rice, whose Vampire Chronicles have been celebrated by millions and her novel, Interview with a Vampire, has been made

into a movie. Other authors, who have written stories of vampires include E. F. Benson, Nancy Gideon, and Jeanne Kalogridis. The Ancient Greeks and Romans incorporated vampires, or lamiae, into their folk tales. Romans also used terms like striges and mormos as well as the Greek word lamiae for the undead. In the book, The Truth About Dracula, by Gabriel Ronay, he reports that a Greek writer, Ovid, wrote that lamiae would transform into large ravenous birds that would fly at night and devour the bodies of children, eat the children’s flesh, and drink the children’s blood. They believed the transformation into birds was a common characteristic for the undead. Greeks would also speak of human forms that would rise from their tombs and walk around at night, wearing black robes

that were splattered with blood. In the sixteenth century, Hungarians introduced the word vampir, which has been adopted as the most common term used to classify the undead. Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu state in their book, In Search of Dracula, that Romanians in the sixteenth century introduced Vlad the Impaler, who later was known as Dracul, or the devil. Germans labeled him wutrich, which means bloodthirsty monster, berzerker, or slaughterer. The Europeans in this era were terrified of vampires and believed in their existence. In the late 1500’s, the Roman church investigated over 30,000 cases of lycanthropy (drinking blood). Toward the end of the seventeenth century, reports of dead men leaving their graves and walking around dramatically increased. Throughout the