Sunday, April 26, 2009

A brief historic view of vampires

Vampires have had many forms over the centuries. Even as far back as the 12th century there were cries of vampirism all over Christian dominated Europe. There were reports of people coming back from the dead to feast upon and kill the living. Remember, this was a time of little education, and people were quick to assign some supernatural explanation to all things they didn't understand. It also probably helped keep the children in line.

The idea of vampirism, as we have come to know it, began to gel in the 1700's as reports of bodies that continued to show signs of life after death were reported in the field journals of military surgeons. Also, the discovery of bats that lived on the blood of animals came about in this time period. Europeans were quick to associate the two and the concept of the modern day vampire was born. The term vampire is thought to be an anglicization of Serbian or Russian words refering to bloodsuckers or werewolves.

From the 1700's to the early 20th century, the perception of vampires defined themselves into our common conception. That is, an undead human, usually with a Slavic accent, who shuns the light, preys upon people during the night, requires blood to subsist on, and is deadly allergic to the sight of religious symbols. Or garlic.

Since the mid 20th century, many aspects of the vampire motif have changed, with Anne Rice's 'The Vampire Lestat,' and most recently with the Twilight series. Curiously, a thing to be feared and shunned has become an object of desire. Is it possible that vampires have become our alter ego, an icon upon which to lay our desires and dark urges?

Stay tuned for further articles exploring the history of the vampire.

Please click on our sponsors below:

eLibrary - Open Ebooks Directory - includes most of the ebooks sold on the internet. Free for addition of one's own ebooks.