Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Vampire, vapir, vepir, vopyr, upir, upior, opyr, or uber.....

no matter what you call it, in the end it means vampire.  Yep, my latest curiosity belongs to vampires, the blood-sucking undead variety.

I posted a while back about going to Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta and a few of the main actors from The Vampire Diaries were randomly in attendance.  Okay?  You can read about that here and see the pics.  Anyhoo, The Vampire Diaries have been on since 2009 but we had not seen one single episode.  We actually thought it looked very cheesy from the television promos.  Back to the point, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley were there signing autographs and doing meet and greets.  The girls and I really did not think much of them since we had never seen the show but the fans were die hard and full of excitement (a little obnoxious as a matter of fact IMO) but now that we have seen the show, it makes perfect sense! So basically Ian Somerhalder was being whisked away on a golf cart by security but before he was out of sight, he blew C16 a kiss.  Yep!  He did!  Fast forward a few weeks later and we are almost done with season one and about to start season two. HA!  It turns out, it is a really good show.  Chock-full of those supernatural/mysterious creatures that we love!  Every time I start watching a show like this, it gets me thinking.  I hear tidbits of information about one thing or another, and then I have to look it up and find out more.

We just did a little research and let me tell you, we learned quite a few very interesting facts about these blood-junkies of the night.

First of all, have you ever heard of Renfields Syndrome a.k.a. Clinical Vampirism?  This is actually a very rare medical condition which is driven by an obsession to consume blood, mainly of the human Bram Stoker's 1887 novel Dracula. (You can download and read the entire novel here).  Renfield is the fictional antagonist in the story.  The idea behind consuming the blood is that the person believes they will get power/strength from doing so.  There is not a lot of literature about this disorder, and it is currently classified in the schizophrenia group but Renfields Syndrome is believed to have three phases which include autovampirism (the sufferer drinks his own blood), zoophagia (consuming blood of animals), and finally true vampirism (the sufferer consumes human blood).  Fascinating, right?
variety.  The name comes from

So Vampires?  Cultural myth or not?  There are many theories as to whether or not vampires really exist.  There are some people who believe that vampires are among us today but we are unaware of it.  Practically every culture on the planet has a legend/folklore of some sort regarding these mystifying lamia.

Books, folklore, and movies allude to the fact that only a vampire can create another vampire but with that kind of logic, we are left with a chicken-and-the-egg dilemma so which one came first and how?  Here is what we found.

In the ancient city of Delphi (1600) a collection or writings called The Scriptures of Delphi a.k.a. The Vampire Bible (literally, The Vampire Bible) was discovered.  The scriptures reveal the story of a man named Ambrogio.  The Gods bestowed both blessings and curses on Ambrogio at some point in 450 BC so the story goes.

Italian born adventurer Ambrogio found himself in Greece.
 Apparently, Ambrogio always dreamed of going to Greece and to have his fortune told by the legendary Oracle of Delphi.  His wish came true.  Once the oracle looked at Ambrogio, his message to him was simply; "The curse. The moon. The blood will run."  Ambrogio spent the night outside of the temple puzzled by this cryptic message he had been given.

The story continues the next morning when the sister of the Oracle of Delphi, Selene, came along to take care of the temple.  Ambrogio decided that every morning he too would show up at the temple.  He soon fell madly in love with Selene and asked her to marry him and go back to Italy with him.  Apollo (remember Apollo from Greek myth?  God of light was one of his descriptions) was watching this scenario play out and was angry that this mere mortal would take the beautiful maiden so Apollo cursed Ambrogio.  His curse would begin the next morning when Ambrogio would come for Selene to depart for Italy.  His curse was that sunlight would burn Ambrogio's flesh which would prohibit him from meeting with Selene and take her to Italy.

Ambrogio was forced to seek protection from the sun in a nearby cave but as his luck would have it, the cave belonged to Hades, Lord of the underground.  Abrogio and Hades made a deal.  Hades was to give Abrogio a magical wooden bow and 11 arrows and Abrogio would leave his soul as a down payment.  All Ambrogoi had to do was to offer what he killed to Artemis (Apollo's sister, Goddess of the hunt) so that he could get close to her, close enough to steal her silver bow.  He was then to bring the silver bow back to Hades and collect his soul.  Ambrogio killed a few swans that were not all that impressive to Artemis but he was able to secure Artemis' silver bow.  Artemis realized what happened and cursed Ambrogio.  The curse was that anything Ambrogio touched that was made of silver, would burn his skin and cause massive pain.  The curse worked quickly, before he could give the silver bow to Hades, he had to drop it.

Ambrogio was now the recipient of two curses from the Gods.  He dropped to his knees and begged for mercy.  Artemis took pity on him and gave him another chance.  She gave him fangs to draw blood, she gave him strength and speed equal to her own, and immortality.  There was, of course, one condition which was that Ambrogio must abandon all other Gods except her, Artemis, so that meant his true love Selene was out.  Ambrogio agreed.  He sent a letter that night to Selene asking her to meet him on his ship.  Selene did just that.  She discovered a coffin made of wood in the hull of the ship.  There was another curious note on it which suggested she order the ship to set sail but not to open the wooden coffin until sunset.

Ambrogio and Selene ended up in Ephesus.  They live many years together in caves.  Ambrogio did not age at all but Selene on the other hand had age quite a bit and became ill.  At this point, you have to remember that Ambrogio's soul is still with Hades so there was no possibility of Ambrogio and Selene to be together in the afterlife.

Ambrogio was desperate to help his beloved Selene.  He went to a nearby pond, killed a swan, and offered it to Artemis.  This pleased Artemis so she made one final deal with Ambrogio.  Ambrogio was to drink Selene's blood which would kill her mortal body but this would guarantee that she and Ambrogio could stay together forever.  Ambrogio drank Selene's blood and as she lay there, he Selene became the Goddess of moonlight.  Every night, Selene reached down to touch Ambrogio and the children (the newly created vampires with Ambrogio's blood and Selene's blood).
watched as a light radiated from her.  Her spirit rose to the heavens where Artemis was waiting.

Later, Ambrogio headed back to Florence, Italy only this time he was a vampire.  Florence is believed to be where the first vampires resided (a.k.a. vampire clan).  There is not a lot of information about this vampire clan.  It is thought that these humans volunteered to trade their souls for immortality and power.  According to the information that is known, the vampire population grew quickly, in fact there were so many vampires it caused problems for the clan.  Different vampires decided to start their own clans.

That is one heck of a story, and this story has been told over and over again and is believed to be solid evidence that vampires did exist even in the ancient times.  It is also believed that Ambrogio is still in Florence today which is an incredible idea to comprehend.

So are you convinced that vampires could really exist or does the Vampire Bible just make for an interesting work of fiction?

We may never know the answer but like I said, what a great story!  There is some very compelling evidence that has been uncovered in recent history to suggest that there were and indeed still are vampires among us.  For example, the Vampire of Venice, Frederick Ransom from Vermont, Peter Plogojowitz a Serbian villager, the true life story of Arnold Paole, Serbia's most famous vampire, and last but not least, Vlad the Impaler.  We will definitely keep learning about this fascinating topic.

Link to Smithsonian.

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