One of the earliest forms of recorded evidence of the Vampire was found on a tablet at Ur dating back to 2000 b.c.e. The Sumarian epic poem mentions Lilith. Lilith’s name appears in Gilgamesh and the Huluppu-Tree. So, who is Lilith?
Some scholars claim that Lilith was the original mate to Adam. Though the book of Genesis does not mention her by name, there are several indications, if read carefully that suggest that Eve was indeed not the first female created by God. It is argued that because of her acts, Lilith was removed from the Bible. It is said that The first man and woman were formed from the dust of the Earth by the hands of God, however within the same book of Genesis, It is contradicted by stating that Eve was formed from one of Adams ribs. There are several other references to Lilith throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible that suggest further details of Lilith’s legacy though also not mentioning her by name. So what became of Lilith? Legend states that because she refused Adam she was banished from the Garden of Eden and became the Queen of darkness. Lilith was said to have bred with the Nephilim, fallen angels, resulting in the birth of enlightened beings with knowledge of the heavens and the earth as well as a thirst for blood.
Other respected ancient texts that mention the vampire are the Aggadah which refers to texts in the classical Rabbine literature of Judaism dating 1500-1200 A.D.
The writer Homer, in the 8th century relayed: The undead are too insubstantial to be heard by the living and cannot communicate with them without drinking blood first.
Documents from the 12th century Inquisisiton, a group of institutions within the judicial system of the Roman Church detail several occurences of encounters with vampires.
William of Newburgh – wrote in the 1190s, “It would not be easy to believe that the corpses of the dead should sally (I know not by what agency) from their graves, and should wander about to the terror or destruction of the living, and again return to the tomb, which of its own accord spontaneously opened to receive them, did not frequent examples, occurring in our own times, suffice to establish this fact, to the truth of which there is abundant testimony”. Stories of revenants were very personal, always about a specific individual who had recently died.
Leo Allatius (also known as Leone Allacci) seventeenth-century Greek vampirologist, was possibly the first modern author to write a book on vampires.
After completing his studies, he returned to Chios as the assistant to the Roman Catholic Bishop Marco Giustiniani. He later moved back to Italy to study medicine and rhetoric, and worked for many years at the Vatican library.
In 1645 he completed De Graecorum hodie quirundam opinationibus,in which he discussed many of the beliefs common to the people of Greece. Allatius covered the Greek vampire traditions in great detail. He described the Vrykolakas,the undecomposed corpse that has been taken over by a demon, and noted the regulations of the Greek Church for the discernment and disposal of a Vrykolakas. He then noted his own belief in the existence of vampires, which had occasionally been reported on Chios.
The list goes on and on, some of the most respected writings throughout history document encounters with the children of the night. Stay tuned to the blog, as we closer examine these, and other historic writings that document the existence of the Vampire.