Crossroads 2015 – The year of the…

Featured

night_crossroads_RVL

Vincent van Gogh said; “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

A series of small things… what things? What are THE specific things that combine to form a GREAT thing. Are they things from the world at large? Things from shops? Things from factories? How does one get these “things“?

Happy New Year, welcome to 2015. A new year, perhaps, for some a new start, for others a new direction, new plans, new aims, new goals but unfortunately, in certain circles, old “baggage” and old “scores” and animosities will probably continue to rule the day. That, in effect, makes 2015 NO different to 2014, 2013, 2012, or 2011 and so on ad nauseum. It is, undeniably, a matter of modern history now that for a decade, or even more, nothing has really changed about the “community”, despite many efforts at forward thinking and many initiatives to create something bigger, more unified and more supportive such efforts have come to nothing on a broad scale. A question then, this year, with the benefit of this knowledge, are YOU; as an individual, going to move forward? Be better? Try harder? Be more positive? Less combative? Less self-aggrandizing? Are you going to stop sucking personal satisfaction and personal amusement from the situations and start seeing where YOU might be able to improve things for your brothers and sisters? Yes, it might be a small thing but if enough of us make that individual effort then you just never know do you?

There’s no doubt that on many local levels there are modern vampires that make great contributions, perform charitable works and help their surrounding “mundane” communities in many ways; indeed, this seems, at times, to be a trumpet that is, often, tooted most admirably by the person involved and there is no doubt that these efforts are appreciated in many ways outside our own circles but how does that translate to lasting and beneficial effort to improve the broader and world-wide “family” of modern living vampires? Or, has the benefit of the so called “community” become” of relatively little to no concern to many within its ranks?

If you follow the Chinese calendar it is, of course, The Year of the Sheep (Ram/Goat) Which means what, exactly?
Sheep_calendar(calendar layout © yourmomhatesthis.com) – Just add your own pictures for personal use only..!

The Year of the Sheep starts from Feb. 19, 2015 (the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival of China) and lasts to Feb. 7, 2016.
People under the sign of the sheep are tender, polite, filial, clever, and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty, faith in a certain religion and a special fondness for quiet living. They are wise, gentle and compassionate and can cope with business cautiously and circumspectly. Women born in this year are willing to take good care of others, but they should avoid pessimism and hesitation. They are kind in heart and commonly have symmetrical figures and features.”
“Sheep year people are often worriers who are shy, pessimistic, moody, indecisive, over-sensitive, weak-willed and puzzled about life. They are easily inclined to be deeply religious. They are timid in nature and like to be looked after by others. They like flattery, compliment and suggestions from friends. They do not dare to express their love openly and usually have interests in strange theories.”
…And so it goes. Of course, you may lean toward other life-theories * –
Pagan_CalendarOr be looking for something that reflects your “inner self” a little more accurately…

Vampyr_calendar

Whatever “Year” you decide it’s going to be make certain that you’re not bringing the “old BS” across with you, make sure you don’t bring “baggage” that’s going to weigh you down. Everyone has the option now to make a positive choice and that choice should be made for none other than THEMSELVES.

That’s right dear reader, YOU are the most important person in the whole d**n world this year, it is the year of “You” so why don’t you take the calendar layout from above (respect copyright as a courtesy to www.yourmomhatesthis.com) and make your very own selfie-calendar? At the top you could even add the words, “S***w it all, this is the year of ME…!” if you wanted.

Does that sound selfish? Self-absorbed? Egotistical? Actually, when you think about, it’s not – How can you be the best for those around you without being the best you can be for yourself first?

I don’t think there’s going to be too many who will disagree that 2014 was a tough year, in many ways, and I’ll warrant there won’t be many who wouldn’t appreciate a break in 2015. One of the best things we can do for ourselves, for our own good, is to realise that our wonderful, amazing, inconstant and riotous assembly that many like to euphemistically call “the community” has not provided the stability and the surety that would be considered to be good for our peace of mind, our safety, our strength or our need for a sense of ‘belonging’ to something positive.

During 2014 there were several good initiatives launched that were aimed at improving the situation, overall, in the VC/OVC – were these ideas and initiatives embraced by the “community”? Were the excellent ideas contained in these initiatives assessed, examined and judged on their merit? Were the ‘best of all worlds’ taken and combined into something beneficial? NO ~ so, it wasn’t the initiatives nor the people behind them that failed the so-called ‘Community’, No, it was the community that failed to embrace the opportunity to improve itself by not taking advantage of the ideas and the concepts. Any entity that fails to recognize when it is presented something positive, workable and beneficial has NO right to complain about the state of things, nor yet give itself any airs and graces whatsoever.

The Year of the Vampyre
This is the year of the Vampyre/ Vampire/ Vampir/ Upir/ Upior/ Vampyr/ whatever term you prefer…

Throughout all the matters, items, articles and observations I studied last year – historically, contextually, contemporarily and individually, the one image that reinforced itself over and over again was that “Vampires”, no matter how you define them, were, and are, solitary entities. Strong, individual, self-reliant, independent and “Lord-less”. The modern human living vampire does NOT need leaders, he/she does NOT need to be spoken for nor dictated to, he/she does NOT need approval from anyone else to be who they are and they certainly do NOT need to soil their hands by messing about with the attitudes of people who are wannabe’s, poser’s, role-players or “twenty-something year old pretend-vampsters”.

Think about the connotation of the term ‘Vampire’, not in the modern Hollywood version of the word where vast houses and organisations “keep the faith” and adhere to an ancient set of regulations, if you are a modern living vampire you are THE RULES and the REGULATIONS of and unto yourself; you ARE your own “Voice” and “Spokesperson”, YOU are your own power and your own master/ mistress and unless you are willing to give that up and hand that power to someone else then YOU are the master/ mistress of your own course and destiny this year.

So, what is it we are actually referring to here?

Some call us “independents”, some call us “un-affiliated”, some call us – borrowing from the ancient and honourable feudal Japanese ways, “Ronin”, whatever name we choose for ourselves is a matter of personal preference and NO ONE can tell you any different. No one can pretend that they are “above you”, no one can pretend they are speaking “for” you, no one can make any decisions and expect YOU to abide by, nor yet agree with them for any reason whatsoever.

Modern Vampires exercise friendships, respect and ties with other modern Vampires not because of what house, gang, club or enclave they belong to but because we have made contact with each other, on a personal level we have shared in each other’s highs and lows, victories and defeats and we have done so privately. We have respected the integrity and the honesty that have bound us as friends and we have not fought to forge some elite group from those bonds; in other words we are ‘Independent’ and yet bound by something stronger than a fabrication of rules and regulations. We are bound by one simple and common denominator, we ARE Vampires. We don’t need, or want, to be recognized as being tougher than any other, wiser than any other, more popular than any other. We don’t need to have control; either openly or subversively over any other and we certainly don’t need to deceive, humiliate, degrade or malign any other ~ why? Because that is beneath our dignity both as a modern living vampire and as a moral human resident of this planet.

These “associations” and “friendships” are ruled by three things, honesty, integrity and, above all, mutual respect and it is because of this that these friendships will outlast any attempt at formalizing and integrating this so-called “community”. Well might we mark the instruction,
Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you’ll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.” [1]

At RVL, this year, we are going to be focusing on individuals rather than organisations, it is going to be the year of the “I”, we will be seeking wisdom from individuals who have exercised, throughout all, the fortitude to be themselves and the integrity to become regarded as “persons of importance” in their own right NOT just persons of the loudest mien for it is said that, “empty vessels make the most noise”, No? Not persons who simply promulgate the meanest of temperament and broadcast their “opinions” whether or not said “opinions” are pointless, combative, disrespectful or counterproductive but persons whose very presence amongst us inspire positive thinking and positive attitudes without ulterior motive nor hidden agenda.

In other words we are going to make it the year of knowledge and sensibility and for those of you who don’t want that, print out the following picture and stick it to your fridge to remind you of your place.

074Welcome to the new year, take personal control, grow, evolve, improve and have a blessed and happy 2015…! but not at the cost of others.
1) http://wicca.com/celtic/wicca/rede.htm

Pagan Wheel art – worldsymbolsblog.wordpress.com
Vampire Calendar art – www.govexec.com

 NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.
The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.
Because the content of the collections of information presented come from many different sources and sectors, the collections may contain information that might be deemed offensive, or otherwise objectionable. RVL does not endorse or sponsor any content in the collections, nor does it guarantee or warrant that the content available in the collections is accurate, complete, non-infringing, or legally accessible in your jurisdiction, and you agree that you are solely responsible for abiding by all laws and regulations that may be applicable to the viewing of the content. In addition, the collections are provided to you on an as-is and as-available basis. You agree that your use of the Site and the collections is at your sole risk. You understand and agree that RVL makes no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, currency, completeness, reliability, or usefulness of the content in the collections, that the Site or the collections will meet your requirements, that access to the collections will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free, or that defects, if any, will be corrected. We make no warranty of any kind, either express or implied.
You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Real Vampire Life E-Zine and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, officers, directors, and volunteer staff from and against any and all liability, loss, claims, damages, costs, and/or actions (including fees) arising from your use of the RVL E-Zine services, the site, or the collections. In addition, you agree that should any provision in the Agreement be found invalid, unlawful, or unenforceable, that provision shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions.
Under no circumstances, including, without limitation, negligence, shall RVL or its parents, affiliates, officers, employees, or agents be responsible for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising from or in connection with the use of or the inability to use the Site or the collections of information, or any content contained on the Site or in the collected information, or resulting from unauthorized access to the collected information or your transmissions of data, including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, use, data, or other intangibles, even if RVL has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced, or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from Real Vampire Life and our guest/s.
For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

Up a dark alley 1640 to 1752: Politics, War and Vampire Hysteria

"Largo del Mercatello" - Domenico Gargiulo, during the plague of 1656, Naples. (http://www.denofgeek.us/)

“Largo del Mercatello” – Domenico Gargiulo, during the plague of 1656, Naples. (http://www.denofgeek.us/)

Introduction

This work is an essay/article for history buffs and for that I make no apology, in fact it’s aimed at vampire history buffs in particular and, more widely, anyone who has an interest in the “modernity” of the aesthetic of the vampire. I offer to take you on a trip that will be at once both familiar and unknown. I don’t proclaim this to be “scientific”, I don’t proclaim it to be anything other than a fact, information gathering and data presentation thing but the one thing I have believed for my whole life, since as early as I could form a rational and inquisitive focus is that the whole of humankind, and yes I’m including us, has lost something vital and important; some piece of knowledge, some sort of key that opens the lock to “much more than is dreamed of in our philosophies”, our Vampire philosophies and the search for that key is as important and as integral to who and what we are and where we came from, how we came to be, as any of the accumulated information we currently have. Of course, finding a key is only the first part of the dilemma, the real cruncher comes in trying to find the lock it opens.
Imagine you’re in a strange town, my town and I am your guide.

Andrea Marmora's Map of Corfu, 1672  ~ http://corfublues.blogspot.com/

Andrea Marmora’s Map of Corfu, 1672 ~ http://corfublues.blogspot.com/

In pretty much every town in every country in the world there is a main street, our town is no exception. The vampire sub-culture has its place in the global society of the internet, we, the denizens of that sub-culture have our favourite places in the sub-culture kind of like having our favourite pubs, nightclubs and restaurants. We regularly travel “Main Street” to and fro between our destinations and along that route we pass by the main places, the main ‘points of interest and so forth but just like in any other society we sometimes venture into the side streets and we experience the “non mainstream”, we come across enclaves of “differences” and new experiences, we see and visit places that are not “on the beaten track” as it were. Then there are the alleys, the little, shadowy branches that; if Main Street is the artery, are the capillaries in the modern living vampire social body.

Some of these “capillaries” are amazing, some dark, some unsavoury but in essence they all form part of the tapestry of the Vampire today.

It is often heard, “the past has nothing to do with the modern concept”, really? Then why are we called vampires? The very word was born to describe exactly what we do albeit singularly referring to blood in the initial instance, and if we are going to use the word then it is my deepest and strongest belief that every nuance of that adopted word is important to the validity of what we know today as the Modern Human Living Vampire.
This article, like the others of the series, is not going to be arguing any of the myriad points of the “why and wherefore” that have been dissected, stitched together, re-dissected, had the internal organs scrutinized before being re-sewn back together… you get my point I hope? No, this article series is to educate on some of the lesser known “lights” in the proverbial darkness.

Seriously, as an old high school history master of mine once remarked, “Open your eyes, history is rich and exciting and intoxicating and she makes a wild mistress.” (c.a. 1974)

Using that as a starting point the most sensible first step is to review the historical events of the time period we are considering.

A Vamp-centric Timeline of World History 1640 – 1752

1640
The volume Dissertatio de ratione status m Imperio ßomano-Germanico by Bogislav Philipp von Chemnitz is published.
Construction of Fort St George is completed by the British East India Company in India.
Posthumous publication of Corneille Janssens’ treatise on the theology of St Augustine.
April. Meeting of the Short Parliament in England.
July-Aug. The second Bishops’ War and The Council of Peers at York.
November. Meeting of the English Long Parliament.
December. Accession of the Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg.

René Descartes (1596—1650) ~ http://www.iep.utm.edu/descarte/

René Descartes (1596—1650)
~ http://www.iep.utm.edu/descarte/

1641
French philosopher, mathematician and writer René Descartes’ Meditationes de prima philosophia is published in Latin, originally titled Meditationes de prima philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstrator (In which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated)
Milton’s first pamphlet Of Reformation touching Church discipline in England. October saw the outbreak of the Irish rebellion.

1642
England entered into a commercial treaty with Portugal.
John Hales’ Schism and Schismatics Is published. 1642 also (to 1644) witnessed War between the Pope and the northern Italian States.
Voyage of Abel Tasman. July-Aug. Opening of the Civil War in England.
December. Death of Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duke of Richelieu and of Fronsac.

1643
The New England Confederation is created and the hostilities of Kieft’s War in New Netherland (now the New York metropolitan area) commence. In the war, between settlers of the colony of New Netherland and the native Lenape population, the incumbent Director of New Netherland, Willem Kieft, had ordered an attack without approval of his advisory council and against the wishes of the colonists. Dutch soldiers attacked Lenape camps and massacred the native inhabitants, which encouraged unification among the regional Algonquian tribes against the Dutch. This precipitated waves of attacks on both sides and it was one of the earliest conflicts between Native Americans and European settlers.
April saw the unsuccessful attempt by the Long Parliament and King Charles I to negotiate a peace treaty, the “Treaty of Oxford.”, to end the Civil War in England.
May. Death of Louis XIII of France. Anne of Austria is the queen consort of France and Navarre, regent for her son, Louis XIV of France. During her regency (1643–1651) Cardinal Mazarin served as France’s chief minister. June. Meeting of the Scottish Convention of Estates.
July. Opening of the Westminster Assembly in England.
December. Swedish invasion of Denmark.

1644
Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy (Latin: Principia philosophiae) is published. 1644 also saw the election of Pope Innocent X, the Portuguese rising in Brazil and the reduction of Jutland by Torstensson.
In January the Scots enter England, July saw the death of Pope urban VIII and in September French forces seized the “line of the Rhine”.

Leo Allatius, portrait in the Collegio Greco of Rome, Italy.

Leo Allatius, portrait in the Collegio Greco of Rome, Italy.

1645
Accession of the Tsar Alexis Romanoff.
August. Treaty of Brömsebro between Sweden and Denmark.

Leo Allatius (1586 – 1669) A Roman Catholic theologian and scholar, authors the first work that treats the subject of vampyres seriously. In his De Graecorum bodie quirundam opinationibus the vampyre to which he primarily referred was the Greek Vrykolakas. At this time the vampyre was connected with the devil of Christianity both in nature and existence.

1646
Jeremy Taylor’s Liberty of Prophesying is published.
Adam Olearius (24 September 1599 – 22 February 1671), born Adam Ölschläger (or Oehlschlaeger) German scholar, mathematician, geographer and librarian, became secretary to the ambassador sent by Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, to the Shah of Persia(Iran) He authored and published two books about his travels entitled “Travels of Olearius”.
March saw the establishment of Articles of Peace between Charles I and the Irish Catholics.
In May, Charles I surrenders to the Scots. June witnessed the Fall of Oxford and in August came the end of the first Civil War in England.
In October French forces captured Dunkirk from the Dunkirkers, or Dunkirk Privateers, whom were commerce raiders in the service of the Spanish monarchy.

1647
Foundation of the Swedish African Company. January saw the surrender of Charles I by the Scots to the English Commissioners.
March. Death of Frederick Henry of Orange. Accession of William II.
1647, 07-8 July-Feb. Masaniello (an abbreviation of Tommaso Aniello, 1622 – 16 July 1647) was an Italian fisherman, who became leader of the Revolt of Naples against the rule of Habsburg Spain in Naples.

1648
Accession of Mohammad IV as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Bishoprics of Halberstadt and Minden secured by Brandenburg. Condé’s victory over the Spaniards at Lens. Peace of Münster between Spain and the Dutch. The Peace of Westphalia signed at Munster and Osnabrück.
The Russian Sobor draws up a new Code of Laws, the Sobornoye Ulozheniye (Russian: Соборное уложение) was a legal code promulgated by the Zemsky Sobor under Alexis of Russia as a replacement for the Sudebnik of 1550 introduced by Ivan IV.
War broke out between Venice and the Turks. Beginning of siege of Candia, the siege of Candia (modern Heraklion, Crete) was a military conflict in which Ottoman forces besieged the Venetian-ruled city and were ultimately victorious. Lasting from 1648 to 1669, it was the longest siege in history.
Opening of the second Civil War in England.

View of the execution of Charles I outside the Banqueting House, Whitehall; a large crowd watching the event, the King's Gate to the right. 1649 Engraving © The Trustees of the British Museum  http://www.britishmuseum.org/

View of the execution of Charles I outside the Banqueting House, Whitehall; a large crowd watching the event, the King’s Gate to the right. 1649 Engraving
© The Trustees of the British Museum http://www.britishmuseum.org/

1649
Abolition of the House of Lords and of the English Kingship.
The condemnation by the Sorbonne of five propositions from Janssen’s Augustmus.
Descartes’ Le Traité des passions de l’áme, was published and the Portuguese Brazil Company was established.
Maryland Toleration Act; The Maryland Toleration Act, also known as the Act Concerning Religion, was a law mandating religious tolerance for Trinitarian Christians. Passed on April 21, 1649 by the assembly of the Maryland colony, in St. Mary’s City.
In January the trial, and execution, of English monarch Charles I. February saw the end of the formal sessions of the Westminster Assembly.
In February René Descartes dies.

1650
November, Death of William II of Orange.

1651
Antoni van Riebeek founds Cape Colony.
Hobbes’ Leviathan is published.
In October the English Parliament passed its Navigation Acts of 1651. These Acts were designed to tighten the government’s control over trade between England, its colonies, and the rest of the world.

1652
The Dutch East India Company form a settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
June witnessed the outbreak of the first Anglo-Dutch War.
Meanwhile August saw the enactment of the English “Act for the Settling of Ireland.” The act was passed on 12 August by the Rump Parliament of England, who had taken power after the Second English Civil War and had agreed to the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The conquest was deemed necessary as Royalist supporters of Charles II of England had allied themselves with the Confederation of Kilkenny (the confederation formed by Irish Catholics during the Irish Confederate Wars) and so was a threat to the newly formed English Commonwealth.
October heralded the return of Louis XIII to Paris.

1653
Pope Innocent X declares the five ‘Jansenist’ propositions heretical.
December brought the “Instrument of Government” in England and the ascension of Oliver Cromwell to the position of Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

1654
Final acquisition of Brazil by Portugal and successful revolt of Brazil against Dutch dominion.
The Dutch were expelled from Brazil. The Prussian League renounces its allegiance to the German Order. 1654 (to 1656) also brought the Liturgical reforms of Nikon, Patriarch of Moscow.
Commercial treaties were achieved between England and Sweden, England and Denmark, and England and Portugal.
In April peace came about between England and Holland. June, abdication of Queen Christina of Sweden and the accession of Charles X Gustavus.
October saw Blake’s expedition to the Mediterranean and in December came the Expedition of Penn and Venables to Hispaniola.

1655
British capture of Jamaica.
July, Charles X invades Poland.
In October the Treaty of Westminster was signed between England and France.

July saw the Scottish invasion of England and in October the Declaration of Saint-Germain was registered.

5342936_orig_Kringa1656
The death of Jure Grando, an Istrian (Croatian) peasant, who lived in Kringa, a small place in the interior of the Istrian peninsula. Although he died in 1656 he was disinterred and was decapitated as a vampire in 1672.

The Commonwealth of Oceana, is finally published after an first attempt was ordered quelled by Oliver Cromwell. It is a composition of political philosophy written by the English politician and essayist, James Harrington.
John Wallis (23 November 1616 – 28 October 1703) was an English mathematician who is given partial credit for the development of infinitesimal calculus. In 1656, his Arithmetica Inßnitorum. (The Arithmetic of Infintesimals) is published and he is also credited with introducing the symbol for infinity.
Mohammad Kiuprili becomes Grand Vezir of the Ottoman empire and presides over a revival of the Ottoman Power.
In January the first of Blaise Pascal’s Lettres Provinciales. Appeared. The Lettres provinciales (Provincial letters) were a series of eighteen letters written by French philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte. They were a defense of the Janssenist Antoine Arnauld, a friend of Pascal, who, in 1656, was condemned by the Faculté de Théologie at the Sorbonne in Paris for views that were claimed to be heretical. (The First letter is dated January 23, 1656 and the Eighteenth March 24, 1657. A fragmentary Nineteenth letter is frequently included with the other eighteen.)
September of this year saw an alliance form between England and France against Spain.

6dgAAAAAcAAJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

1657
Françoise Richard’s Relation de ce qui s’est passé a Sant-Erini Isle de l’Archipel links vampirism and witchcraft.
1657 (to 1707) saw the commencement of the reign of Aurungzeb in India. While in March the Treaty of Paris, between England and France, was signed.
April, death of Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria, Ferdinand III.
July saw the Swedish invade Denmark.

1658
Opening of the second Danish War of Charles X of Sweden and in February the “Peace of Roeskiide” between Sweden and Denmark.
May-June brought an Anglo-French siege of Dunkirk.
In July, the election of the Emperor Leopold I, full name Leopold Ignaz Joseph Balthasar Felician was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Croatia and King of Bohemia following the death of his father Ferdinand III.
September, with the death of Oliver Cromwell, Richard Cromwell is proclaimed Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1659
Abdication of Richard Cromwell.
British theologian and scholar Edward Stillingfleet’s Irenicon is published which advocated compromise between English Anglicans and Presbyterians.
In May the English began reassembling of the remnants of the Long Parliament.

1660
Saw the Peace of Oliva and the independence of East Prussia recognised.
February, Death of Charles Gustavus (Charles X) of Sweden. While March brought about the dissolution of the Long Parliament in England.
May brought about the restoration of the English Monarchy and return of Charles II. Meanwhile, in France, June saw the marriage of Louis XIV and Maria Teresa.
June also brought the “Treaty of peace at Copenhagen”, between Denmark and Sweden.
October, saw the establishment of hereditary monarchy in Denmark in the House of Frederick III and the growth of absolutism in Denmark and Norway.

1661
Robert Boyle’s The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico-Physical Doubts & Paradoxes is the title of this piece of scientific literature, published in London. The Sceptical Chymist presented Boyle’s hypothesis that matter consisted of atoms and clusters of atoms in motion and that every phenomenon was the result of collisions of particles in motion.
1661 also marked the beginning of the personal rule of Louis XIV in France.
A New Charter is granted to English East India Company. The Scottish Rescissory Act and English Disciplinary Naval Statute come into force.
In January, John Keményi becomes Prince of Transylvania and despatches an Imperial force, under Montecuculi, against the Turks.
In June Bombay was ceded, by Portugal, to England and the “Treaty at Kardis” is reached between Sweden and Russia.
In September the re-establishment of the Episcopal Church of Scotland is decreed and in November James FitzThomas Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, 12th Earl of Ormond, 5th Earl of Ossory, 1st Marquess of Ormond, 1st Earl of Brecknock KG, PC – an Anglo-Irish statesman and soldier, known as Earl of Ormond from 1634 to 1642 and Marquess of Ormonde from 1642, is appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

1662
British chemist Robert Boyle defines the inverse relationship between pressure and volume in any gas (subsequently known as Boyle’s Law)
Death of Blaise Pascal. Restoration of the Scottish Bishops. The English Company of Royal Adventurers begin trading to Africa.

The Royal Society, Somerset House ~ www.londonancestor.com

The Royal Society, Somerset House ~ www.londonancestor.com

The Royal Society of London is incorporated by charter,
In September the Bill for the Settlement of Ireland passes through the Irish parliament.

1663
King Charles II grants charter for a new colony, the Province of Carolina.
Milton finishes Paradise Lost.
Turkish forces, under Ahmad Kiuprili, advance upon western Hungary.

1664
August saw the defeat of the Turks, by Montecuculi, at St Gothard and the Peace of Vasvar.
First Conventicle Act passed and the first French Company trading with India is founded. Colbert’s First Tariff system is introduced and the French West African Company merged into the French West India Company.
In February English forces seized Dutch possessions on the west coast or Africa, and also, in this year, New Amsterdam (A Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, which served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland territory and subsequently renamed New York on September 8, 1664, in honor of the then Duke of York) was captured by the English at the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

Sir Isaac Newton ~ http://www.bigstock.com

Sir Isaac Newton ~ http://www.bigstock.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1665
Giuseppe Davanzati; later an archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, and vampirologist is born.
Death of Philip IV of Spain in September.
The “Five Mile Act” is passed and there is an outbreak of The Plague in London.
Dryden’s Essay of Dramatic Poesy is published.
1665 (to 1666) Sir Isaac Newton’s discoveries in mathematics, and as to the law of Universal Gravitation are developed and published.
Accession of Charles II and in December the Bill for Explanation of the Act of Settlement of Ireland is passed.

1666
In January France declares war against England.
A religious uprising in Scotland put down at Rullion Green. Also in 1666 (to 1667) The Raskol (great schism) in the Russian Church breaks out.
In June came the “Four Days’ Battle” between the English and Dutch and in September the Great Fire of London occurred.

1667
In March a secret treaty between Charles II and Louis XIV is arrived at.

1668
January. Secret treaty between Louis XIV and the Emperor Leopold.
Bombay is handed over to the English East India Company.
Peace between Spain and Portugal is achieved with the Spanish surrender of Portugal.
A triple alliance of England, United Provinces, and Sweden, against France, is formed.

1669
The abdication of John Casimir of Poland is followed by the election of Michael Wisniowiecki. The Fall of Candia (modern Heraklion) is followed by the cession of Crete to the Turks.
Niels Stensen lectures, in Paris, on the anatomy of the brain. Meanwhile, the “Peace of Clement IX ” is accorded to the Janssenists.

1670
Administration of the Leeward and Windward Islands settled by the English Government.
John Sobieski is elected King of Poland.
John Milton’s Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes are published, along with Quesnel’s Reflexions Morales sur le Nouveau Testament, Malpighi and Grew on Structural Botany. Also, publication of Pascal’s Pensées, Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politieus, and Bossuet’s Exposition de la Doctrine Catholique.
In March Charles ll makes the Declaration of Indulgence.
Between May and June the secret “Treaty of Dover” is made between Louis XIV and Charles II. Meanwhile, also in May, the Treaty between France and Sweden is ratified.

1672
Dom Augustin Calmet born 26 Feb. A Roman Catholic biblical scholar, and the most famous vampirologist of the eighteenth century.
Istrian peasant Jure Grando’s body is disinterred and decapitated as a vampire. It was reported that nine people went to the graveyard, carrying a cross, lamps and a hawthorn stick. They unearthed the coffin, and found what was said to be a perfectly preserved corpse with a smile on its face. They tried to pierce its heart but the stick, allegedly, would not penetrate the body. Following prayers of exorcism, one of the company, Stipan Milašić, took a saw and decapitated the corpse. It was reported that, as soon as the saw tore the skin, the vampire screamed and blood started to flow freely until soon the whole grave was full of blood.
Leibniz’ Concilium Aegyptiacum is published.
In August of this year Dutch political figures, Johan and Cornelius de Witt, are murdered by a mob at The Hague (Holland).
The Blue Laws are enacted in Connecticut. As opposed to the “generic” term governing activities on the Sabbath, these were the initial, and highly draconian, statutes set up by the Gov. Theophilus Eaton with the assistance of the Rev. John Cotton in 1655 for the Colony of New Haven, now part of Connecticut.
1673
March. Charles’ Declaration of Indulgence cancelled.
The “Test” Act is passed.
During November Turkish forces are defeated by John Sobieski at Khoczim.

1675
Bishop Croft’s Naked Truth and Dryden’s Aurengzelte are produced.
In August, Sobieski defeats the Turkish forces at Lemberg.

1676
Accession of the Tsar Theodore III.
Death of the Ottoman (Turk) Grand Vezir Ahmad Kiuprili and the succession of Kara Mustafa.

1677
The Province of Maine is absorbed by Massachusetts Bay Colony.
War between Russia and Turkey breaks out.
November sees the marriage of William of Orange with Princess Mary of England.
1678
English philosopher and the leader of the Cambridge Platonists, Ralph Cudworth’s Intellectual System is published. The Intellectual System arose, so its author notes, “out of a discourse refuting “fatal necessity”, or determinism”. Enlarging his plan, he proposed to prove three matters: (a) the existence of God; (b) the naturalness of moral distinctions; and (c) the reality of human freedom.”
Dryden’s work All for Love is produced.
Emeric Tökölyi becomes the Hungarian national leader.

"Dissertatio Historico-Philosophica de Masticatione Mortuorum " - Philip Rohr, 1679 ~ https://frankzumbach.wordpress.com/

“Dissertatio Historico-Philosophica de Masticatione Mortuorum ” – Philip Rohr, 1679 ~ https://frankzumbach.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1679
Phillip Rohr’s Dissertatio Historico-Philosophica de Masticatione Mortuorum appears. Rohr was based in the Holy Roman Empire, and his text discussed the common folklore that some corpses returned to life, eating both their funeral shrouds and nearby bodies – a process known as “manduction”. The chewing dead were part of a larger body of vampire mythology, which Rohr’s text contributed to significantly.
The Habeas Corpus Act is passed. The Habeas Corpus Act, of 1679, was an Act of the Parliament of England passed during the reign of King Charles II by what became known as the Habeas Corpus Parliament. Its purpose was to define, and strengthen, the ancient prerogative writ of habeas corpus, a procedural device to force the courts to examine the lawfulness of a prisoner’s detention in order to safeguard individual liberty and thus to prevent unlawful or arbitrary imprisonment

1680
Treaty of Bakchi-serai between Russia and Turkey.

1681
Filmer’s Patriarcha, Dryden’s Spanish Friar and Absalom and Achitophel are published.
October saw the first Assembly of Gallican Clergy.

1682
Accession of Peter the Great in Russia with the Tsarevna Sophia as Regent.
The Province of Pennsylvania is founded by William Penn and along with this comes the signing of a treaty with the Native Americans of Pennsylvania.

1683
In February the Association against France formed at The Hague.
June saw the “Rye House” plot discovered and the execution of Russell and Sidney.
July, and the Siege of Vienna by the Turks began, however, in September, the siege was relieved by John Sobieski’s forces.
In December war broke out between France and Spain.
1684
March saw the formation of The Holy League between Austria, Poland, and Venice, against the Turks.

1685
February saw the death of Charles II of England and the accession of James II.
June brought the uprisings of Monmouth and Argyll.

1686
Leibniz’ notations on the Calculus are released. (See Newton vs. Leibniz: The Calculus Controversy)

1687
Deposition of Mohammad IV and accession of Solyman II to power in Ottoman-Turkish empire. Dryden’s Hind and Panther, published.
Newton’s Principia and Pufendorf’s De habita religionis ad vitam civilem are both published.
In January Richard Talbot, Earl and Duke of Tyrconnel becomes Viceroy in Ireland.
In April The Declaration of Indulgence was re-issued.
August saw the Turkish overthrow at Harkány, near Mohács.
In September came the Venetian siege and conquest of Athens.
December saw the restoration of Austrian ascendancy in Hungary and the Coronation of Archduke Joseph.
1688
French Bishop and Theologian Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet’s most famous work, the Histoire des Variations des Églises Protestantes (History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches) was published.

Also in this year it was ordered that the Declaration of Indulgence be read in churches. This was followed by a petition of The Seven Bishops against the reading of the declaration and, subsequently the trial and acquittal of the Seven Bishops followed.
1689
The Bill of Rights. An Act of the Parliament of England passed on 16 December in the wake of the Glorious Revolution. It was a re-statement, in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 (or 1688 by Old Standard dating), inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. It laid down limits on the powers of the Crown and set out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament, the requirement for regular elections to Parliament and the right to petition the Monarch without fear of retribution. It re-established the liberty of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law, and condemned James II of England for “causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to laws”.

The Father of Liberalism, John Locke ~ http://www.famousphilosophers.org/

The Father of Liberalism, John Locke ~ http://www.famousphilosophers.org/

John Locke’s A Letter Concerning Toleration was published, originally in Latin, though it was immediately translated into other languages. Locke’s work appeared amidst a fear that Catholicism might be taking over England, and responds to the problem of religion and government by proposing religious toleration as the answer.
In October, The Toleration Act passed in England and William and Mary were proclaimed King and Queen of England.
Mustafa Kiuprili becomes Grand Vezir of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire.
April saw an outbreak of war between France and Spain.

1690
Presbyterianism is established in national Church of Scotland.
Turkish forces reconquered Servia, Widdin, and Belgrade.

1691
August. Victory of Lewis of Baden at Szalankemen.
Death of Mustafa Kiuprili.

1692
13 February. Massacre of Glencoe. In the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobite uprising of 1689 led by John Graham of Claverhouse, a massacre took place in Glen Coe, in the Highlands of Scotland. This incident is referred to, in Scottish Gaelic, Mort Ghlinne Comhann (murder of Glen Coe). The massacre began simultaneously in three settlements along the glen—Invercoe, Inverrigan, and Achnacon—although the killing took place all over the glen as fleeing MacDonalds were pursued. Thirty-eight MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by the guests who had accepted their hospitality, on the grounds that the MacDonalds had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary (King and Queen of England). Another forty women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned.

Circa 1692, The trial of George Jacobs for witchcraft at the Essex Institute in Salem, Massachusetts. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

Circa 1692, The trial of George Jacobs for witchcraft at the Essex Institute in Salem, Massachusetts. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

The 1692 Salem witch trials occur in colonial Massachusetts. Conducted between February 1692 and May 1693 the “trials” result in the executions of twenty people. Generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 actually include several towns in the Province of Massachusetts Bay: Salem Village (now Danvers), Salem Town, Ipswich and Andover. The most infamous trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town.

1693 (to 1694)
Foundation of the National Debt and of the Bank of England.

1694
December. Death of Mary, Queen of England.

1695
Accession of the Sultan Mustafa II in the Ottoman Empire.
The Press Licensing Act, which had been established in 1662, is dropped due to the refusal of the British House of Commons to re-institute it and Freedom of the Press was established in Britain.

1696
Death of John Sobieski of Poland.
Frederick Augustus, Elector of Saxony, elected King Augustus II of Poland.

1697
Accession of Augustus II of Poland.
Death of Charles XI of Sweden and accession of Charles XII.
Fenelon’s Explanation of the Maxims of the Saints and Dryden’s Alexander are published.
September saw the defeat of the Turkish forces at Zenta by Prince Eugene of Savoy.

1698
British African trade thrown open.
In March 1698, Jeremy Collier published his anti-theatre pamphlet, A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage; in the pamphlet, Collier attacked a number of playwrights and attacked recent, popular comedies from the London stage. He accused the playwrights of profanity, blasphemy, indecency, and undermining public morality through the sympathetic depiction of vice.
New English East India Company (General Society) incorporated.
Also, in1698, Pensacola, Florida is established by the Spanish.

1699
Beginning of the great administrative reforms of Peter the Great.
February saw the death of Electoral Prince Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria.
In August Frederick IV ascended to the thrones of Denmark and Norway.

1700
Defoe’s Two Great Questions Considered is published.
Founding of the Berlin Academy of Sciences.
In April the Act of Resumption of Irish grants was passed.
November saw the death of Charles II of Spain.

Original Yale College building ~ http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/

Original Yale College building ~ http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/

1701
The Collegiate school at Saybrook is founded in Connecticut (later renamed as Yale College.)
The Act of Settlement passed. It was an Act of the Parliament of England that was passed to settle the succession to the English and Irish crowns and thrones on the Electress Sophia of Hanover.
In September upon the death of James II, Louis XIV of France recognizes the succession of James’ son “James III.”

1702
March. Death of William III and the accession of Anne.
East Jersey and West Jersey become crown colonies.

1704
The Act of Security (Scotland) receives Royal Assent.
In July Stanislaus Leszczynski is elected King of Poland.

1707
Peter the Great introduces into Russia the “civil script.”
In March the “Act of Union” between England and Scotland passed and came into force, officially, in May.
1708
Saw the permanent union of the two English East India Companies.

1709
October saw an alliance between Russia and Denmark against Sweden.

1711
Plague broke out in Copenhagen.
In March war broke out between Russia and Turkey.
April saw the death of the Emperor Joseph I.
October brought about the election of the Emperor Charles VI.

1712
The passing of the “Toleration Act” (Scotland) and Patronage restored in Scotland.
July saw a separate armistice between England and France.

1713
Issue of the Papal Bull Unigenitus. Unigenitus (named for its Latin opening words Unigenitus dei filius, or “Only-begotten son of God”), an apostolic constitution in the form of a papal bull issued by Pope Clement XI and had the effect of opening the final phase of the Jansenist controversy in France. Unigenitus condemned 101 propositions of Pasquier Quesnel as:
false, captious, ill-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and its practices, contumelious to Church and State, seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected and savouring of heresy, favouring heretics, heresy, and schism, erroneous, bordering on heresy, often condemned, heretical, and reviving various heresies, especially those contained in the famous propositions of Jansenius
[“Unigenitus”. Papalencyclicals.net. Retrieved June 2013.]

1714
May. The Schism Act was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The Act stipulated that anyone who wished to keep a public or private school, or act as tutor, must first be granted a licence from a bishop. Also, he must conform to the liturgy of the Church of England and to have taken in the past year the rites of that Church.
August. Death of Queen Anne of England and the accession of George I.

1715
February, and peace is achieved between Spain and Portugal.
September saw the death of Louis XIV and the accession of Louis XV in France.
December brought the signing of a Commercial Treaty between Spain and Great Britain.

1716
June. The Treaty of Westminster is signed.

1717
Victory of Prince Eugene of Savoy over the Turkish forces at Belgrade.
August saw the Louisiana Company, afterward becoming the Company of the West, founded by convicted murderer and millionaire gambler John Law and his Banque Générale Privée

1718
August. Cellamare’s plot discovered.
Franco-British invasion of Spain.
December saw the death of Charles XII of Sweden and Great Britain declare war on Spain.

1719
The Act empowering English Parliament to legislate for Ireland was passed into law.
In January, France declared war on Spain.

1720
Collapse of Law’s System.
Plague outbreak at Marseilles, France.
1721
March brought the Treaty of Madrid, acceded to by Great Britain (June).
October, and Peter the Great is declared Emperor of Russia.

1724
January. Abdication of Philip V.
June, and the Treaty of Constantinople between Russia and Turkey was ratified.
August, and with the death of Don Luis, Philip V re-ascends the Spanish throne.

1725
January saw the death of Peter the Great and, in February, the accession of Catharine I.
April, and the Treaty of Vienna is signed.

Investigating the Arnold Paole case ~ http://mentalfloss.com/article/29089/historic-vampires

Investigating the Arnold Paole case ~ http://mentalfloss.com/article/29089/historic-vampires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1727
The case of Arnold Paole (Arnont Paule in the original documents; early German) a Serbian hajduk, came to light. Paule was killed in an accident and was buried immediately. Some three weeks later reports surfaced of appearances by him in the town. Four people, each of whom made reports, died and panic began to spread through the community. The town leaders decided to act quickly to quell the fear and had the body disinterred to determine whether he was a vampyre.
On the fortieth day after his burial, with two military surgeons present, the coffin was exhumed and opened. Inside they found a body that appeared as if it had just recently died. What appeared to be new skin was present under a layer of dead skin and the nails had continued to grow. Upon being pierced the body poured blood from the wound. Those present judged Paule to be a vampyre and the corpse was staked; reportedly uttering a loud groan at this, then the corpse’s head was severed and the body burned. The four other people whom had died after making reports of Paule’s appearances were treated similarly.

February. Spain declares war against England.
April. The Treaty of Copenhagen between Denmark, England, and France was ratified.
May. Death of Catharine I and accession of Peter II in Russia.
May. Peace preliminaries signed at Paris.

Peter (Petar) Plogojowitz ~ http://kellygalbraithblog.com/

Peter (Petar) Plogojowitz ~
http://kellygalbraithblog.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1728
(Some sources place the date of Peter’s death as being during 1725) One Peter Plogojowitz (also given as; Petar Blagojevich) dies in a village named Kisilova in Austrian occupied Serbia, not far from the site of the Paole case.

Reportedly, three days after his burial, in the middle of the night, he entered his house and asked his son for food. He ate and then left. Two evenings later he is said to have reappeared and again asked for food. His son refused and was found dead the following day. Shortly after this several villagers fell ill from exhaustion which was diagnosed as caused by an excessive loss of blood. They reported that, in a dream, they had been visited by Plogojowitz who had bitten them on the neck and sucked blood from them. Nine persons succumbed to this mysterious illness during the following week and died.
The inhabitants of Kisilova demanded that Kameralprovisor Frombald, along with the local priest Veliko Gradište should be present at the procedure as a representatives of the Austrian administration. Frombald tried to convince them that permission from the Austrian authorities in Belgrade should be sought first but the locals feared that by the time the permission came, the whole community could be exterminated by the vampire, which they claimed had already happened “in Turkish times” (i.e. when the village was still in the Ottoman-controlled part of Serbia). They demanded that Frombald himself should immediately permit the procedure or else they would abandon the village to save their lives. Frombald was, therefore, forced to consent.

The graves of all the recently deceased were opened. The body of Plogojowitz himself was an enigma to them – allegedly, he appeared to be in a trance-like state and was breathing very gently. His eyes were open, his flesh plump and he exhibited a ruddy complexion. His hair and nails appeared to have grown and fresh skin was discovered just below the scarfskin. Most importantly, his mouth was smeared with fresh blood. A stake was driven through the body upon which blood gushed from the wound and the orifices of the body which was removed and burned. None of the other exhumed corpses showed signs of the same condition so, to protect both them and the villagers, garlic and whitethorn were placed in their graves and their remains returned to the ground.

1729
The Province of Carolina proprietors sell out to Crown
The Methodist movement begins at Oxford.
Treaty of Seville between England, France, and Spain in November.
End of Ostend Company. The Ostend Company was an Austrian-Flemish private trading company established in 1722 to trade with the East and West Indies.

1730
January. Death of Peter II and, in May, the accession of Tsarina Anne in Russia.

1731
In the same area as the case of Arnold Paole (1727) 17 people died in the space of three months, of symptoms believed to be those of vampirism. Reportedly, the townspeople were, at first, slow to react until one girl complained of being attacked by a man, recently deceased, named Milo.
Word of this second “wave” of vampirism reached Vienna and the Austrian Emperor,

Excerpt from; "Visum et Repertum", the report of Regimental Field Surgeon Johannes Fluckinger ca. 1731

Excerpt from; “Visum et Repertum”, the report of Regimental Field Surgeon Johannes Fluckinger ca. 1731

Charles VI, ordered an inquiry be conducted by the Regimental Field Surgeon Johannes Fluckinger. Appointed on December 12th, Fluckinger headed for the town of Medvegia and began to gather accounts of what had occurred. Milo’s body was exhumed and found to be in the same state as that of Paole had been found. Accordingly the body was staked and burned. It was determined that Paole, in 1727, had vampyrised several cows that the dead Milo had recently dined on. Under Fluckinger’s orders the townspeople then proceeded to exhume the bodies of all whom had died in recent months. In all 43 corpses were exhumed and 17 found to be in a “vampiric” state; all were staked and burned.

1733
Walpole’s Excise Act withdrawn. The purpose of the bill was generally to develop commerce and specifically to obtain an increase of revenue whereby he would be enabled to diminish the land tax, and so to conciliate the interests which bore the main burdens of the nation.
The Molasses Act of March 1733 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which imposed a tax of six pence per gallon on imports of molasses from non-British colonies.

1735
Renewed Russo-Turkish War begins.
January. Leszczynski abdicates his throne and Augustus III is recognised as King of Poland.

1738
The Third Treaty of Vienna is ratified.

1739
Vienna Treaty acceded to by Sardinia (February), Spain and Naples (June).
September brings the Peace of Belgrade and Peace of Constantinople.
In October war between Spain and Great Britain is declared.

1740
The death of Charles VI triggers the Austrian Succession War (1740–48) It was a conglomeration of related wars, two of which developed directly from the death of Charles VI, Holy Roman emperor and head of the Austrian branch of the house of Habsburg.
May. Death of Frederick William I of Prussia and accession of Frederick II.
October. Death of Tsarina Anne and accession of Ivan VI in Russia.

1741
December. Frederick II of Prussia invades Moravia.
Accession of Tsarina Elizabeth in Russia brought a new era to that country. She encouraged Mikhail Lomonosov’s establishment of the University of Moscow and Ivan Shuvalov’s foundation of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg.

1742
Austro-Spanish hostilities begin in Italy.

1744
Davanzati publishes his Dissertazione sopra I Vampiri following several years study of vampire activity reports in various parts of Germany and other pertinent texts. Davanzati concluded that vampyre reports were human fantasies though he acceded they may have had diabolical origin.
War between Great Britain and France declared.

1746
Dom Augustin Calmet’s only published work on vampires appears; Dissertations sur les Apparitions des Anges des Démons et des Espits, et sur les revenants, et Vampires de Hingrie, de Boheme, de Moravie et de Silésie. (Dissertations on the apparitions of angels and demons spirits, and the ghosts, and Vampires of Hingrie of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.)
July. Death of Philip V of Spain and accession of Ferdinand VI.

1749
English politician, government official and political philosopher, leader of the Tories, and supporter of the Church of England politically despite his antireligious views and opposition to theology, Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke’s Idea of a Patriot King published.
Also in 1749 the Province of Georgia overturns its ban on slavery.

1752
Benjamin Franklin carries out his famous “Kite experiment”.

 

Where to turn then?

War, political and philosophical mayhem, religious upheavals and secret treaties to the left and to the right. Expansionist foreign policies and establishment of white supremacy in third world countries, ongoing battles between the Ottoman Empire and just about everybody and Spain, France, England, Russia, Sweden, Denmark and Austria couldn’t decide whether or not they wanted to be friends or not, or who they wanted to be enemies with next. It was an age when the common man couldn’t even be expected to guess at what was about to happen next and it must have seemed, at times, that his very soul was being fought over by these worldly powers and the ever present, theological, non-worldly forces.
The popular “fears” and mythologies of the time were centred more around witchcraft as an instrument of the Christian Devil’s efforts to control people rather than vampires per se and it wasn’t until quite late in the period that vampires returned, in force, to public focus but when they did so they returned with a vengeance and a popular phrase that is often used to define this latter period is “Vampire Hysteria”.

In particular, and the focus of the body of information herein, is the period between 1645 and 1731.

The Vampirology Scholars

Writing dissertations on the matter of the Vampire was a popular pastime, or even a duty, for several noted clerical scholars and it seemed to be a matter of some importance that the vampire be demonized as thoroughly as possible.

Leo Allatius, portrait in the Collegio Greco of Rome, Italy.

Leo Allatius, portrait in the Collegio Greco of Rome, Italy.

In 1645 Leo Allatius (1586 – 1669) A Greek born, Roman Catholic, scholar, theologian and keeper of the Vatican library authored the first work that treated the subject of vampyres seriously. In his De Graecorum bodie quirundam opinationibus the vampire, to which he primarily referred, was the Greek Vrykolakas. At this time the vampire, as he wrote of it, was connected with the devil of Christianity both in nature and existence.

6dgAAAAAcAAJ

12 years later, in 1657, Françoise Richard’s Relation de ce qui s’est passé a Sant-Erini Isle de l’Archipel firmly linked vampirism and witchcraft a matter which, as you may recall, had been a focal point of the tale of Clara Geisslerin of Gelnhausen in 1597.

 

 

1665
Giuseppe Antonio Davanzati- Alessandra, whom would go on to become an archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church and vampirologist, was born. Alessandra wrote treatises that demonstrated a closer alliance with the sciences and in 1738 his “Dissertation on comets” appeared while in 1740 he wrote a “Dissertation on the tarantula in Puglia“.

sopra_I_Vampiri_image002The work which remains his most famous and enduring however, the “Dissertation on vampires” of 1739, circulated in manuscript during his life and was appreciated by Pope Benedict XIV to whom Alessandra sent a copy in 1743. The text, however, was only fully published for the first time in 1774 by his nephew Domenico Forges Davanzati. The work, “Dissertazione sopra I Vampiri” followed extensive study of vampire activity reports in various parts of Germany and other pertinent texts. Davanzati concluded that vampyre reports were human fantasies, although he acceded they may have had diabolical origin.

Calmet_portrait_dissertation_imageIn 1672 the man who went on to become the most famous ‘vampirologist’ of the 18th century was born on the 26th of February. “Dom Antoine Augustin Calmet, O.S.B. (26 February 1672 – 25 October 1757), was a French Benedictine monk, born at Ménil-la-Horgne, then in the Duchy of Bar, part of the Holy Roman Empire (now the French department of Meuse, located in the region of Lorraine).

Calmet was a pious monk as well as a learned man, and one of the most distinguished members of the Congregation of St. Vanne. In recognition of these qualities he was elected prior of Lay-Saint-Christophe in 1715, Abbot of St-Léopold at Nancy in 1718, and of Senones Abbey in 1729. He was twice entrusted with the office of Abbot General of the congregation. Augustin Calmet Roman Catholic biblical scholar,”

Calmet’s only published work on vampires appeared in 1744, the work, Dissertations sur les Apparitions des Anges des Démons et des Espits, et sur les revenants, et Vampires de Hingrie, de Boheme, de Moravie et de Silésie.”

The_chewing_dead_Rohr-tif-large

 

1679 was the year that the University of Leipzig, Protestant theologian, Philip Rohr’s work De Masticatione Mortuorum (trans. ‘On the Chewing Dead‘ – full title: Dissertatio Historico-Philosophica de Masticatione Mortuorum ) was published at Leipzig. Rohr was based in the Holy Roman Empire, and his text discussed the common folklore that some corpses returned to life, eating both their funeral shrouds and nearby bodies – a process known as “manduction”. The chewing dead were part of a larger body of vampire mythology, which Rohr’s text contributed to significantly. According to the researches of Dr. Matteo Borrini the text, and examples given by Rohr, referred to the German Nachzehrer which, in German, translates as “after-devourer”.

 

As you can see, between 1645 and 1744 the topic of Vampires was a matter of much thought, debate and extensive scrutiny amongst the clergy, theologians and philosophers. The works of each of these well known and revered men served to strengthen the perception of the Vampire as a very real, ‘clear and present danger’ and this, coupled with the depth of belief in the popular folklore created a most fertile environment for what has been referred to as the “vampire hysteria”.

 

The “Vampires” – Evidence or…?

The legendary and mythological accounts of Vampires abounded in almost every corner of the world, measures were taken to protect against them and rituals had been designed, from the earliest of times, to combat their creation. Between 1403 and 1656-72 came what were possibly the earliest report of a real person becoming a ‘vampire’. The first report of this particular era, 1640 – 1752, came from the village of Kringa on the Istrian (Croatian) peninsula.

In 1672 the remains of an Istrian (Croatian) peasant named Jure Grando were disinterred to be examined for signs of vampirism. Having died in 1656, in Kringa, Grando was locally referred to as a strigoi, štrigon or štrigun, a local word for something resembling a vampire and a warlock. Following his death he was reported to have been witnessed harassing townsfolk and sexually assaulting his widow after appearing in their bedroom.
It was further reported that, on the day of the investigation, in 1672, nine people went to the graveyard, carrying a cross, lamps and a hawthorn stick. They unearthed the coffin, and found what was said to be a perfectly preserved corpse with a smile on its face. They tried to pierce its heart but the stick, allegedly, would not penetrate the body. Following prayers of exorcism, one of the company, Stipan Milašić, took a saw and decapitated the corpse. It was reported that, as soon as the saw tore the skin, the vampire screamed and blood started to flow freely until soon the whole grave was full of blood.

This particular case is most often cited as the first reported vampire case, however, as Dr. James Lyon, author and Balkan history expert comments,
there is actually an earlier documented case in Croatia, from 1403, when a woman named Priba from the village of Odhus on the island of Pašman near Zadar, was suspected of being a vampire. The villagers received permission from the Mayor of Zadar, Mayor of Zadar Pavao Pavlović, to exhume the corpse and drive a stake through her heart. They tried to do so with a Hawthorn stake, but couldn’t pierce the body, so they ended up beheading the corpse in July 1403. At the time, Zadar was a prominent walled port city under Venetian control. Sadly, the primary source for the Priba story may have been lost when Allied B-24 bombers carpet-bombed the old city of Zadar in 1944, destroying much of the city and its archive. The reference of which I am aware is to an article published by the famous Croatian historian Vjekoslav Klaić (1849 – 1928) that appeared on page 233 of “Zbornik za narodni život”, knjiga I.

An interesting point, as Dr. Lyon further points out, is that, “neither the Jure Grando case nor the Priba case used the word “vampire” to describe the creature that was killed. Rather, they used local variatiants – “štrigun” in the case of Jure, and “vukodlak” in the case of Priba. Regardless of the local word in use at the time, both Jure and Priba exhibited classic Slavic vampire characteristics.”

In the year 1727 the first of three of history’s most widely reported, and investigated, cases came to light. The case of Arnold Paole (Paule)

Paole, after having returned from military service, took up farming in his home village but was killed in an accident and was buried immediately. Some three weeks later reports surfaced of appearances by him in the town. Four people, each of whom made reports, died and panic began to spread through the community. The town leaders decided to act quickly to quell the fear and had the body disinterred to determine whether Paole was actually a vampyre.

On the fortieth day after his burial, with two military surgeons present, the coffin was exhumed and opened. Inside they found a body that appeared as if it had just recently died. What appeared to be new skin was present under a layer of dead skin and the nails had continued to grow. Upon being pierced the body poured blood from the wound. Those present judged Paole to be a vampyre and the corpse was staked; reportedly uttering a loud groan at this, then the corpse’s head was severed and the body burned. The four other people whom had died after making reports of Paul’s appearances were treated similarly.
Here we have the first of the “contemporary” reports that were alleged to have involved what we might call “credible witnesses”, that is the two military surgeons, in a modern court of law.

The following year, 1728, (some sources place his death as being in 1725) brought forth the tale of Peter Plogojowitz. Peter, or Petar, died in a village named Kisilova in Austrian occupied Serbia, not far from the site of the Paole case. Reportedly, three days later, in the middle of the night, he entered his house and asked his son for food. He ate and then left. Two evenings later he is said to have reappeared and again asked for food. His son refused and was found dead the following day. Shortly after this several villagers fell ill from exhaustion which was diagnosed as caused by an excessive loss of blood. They reported that, in a dream, they had been visited by Plogojowitz who had bitten them on the neck and sucked blood from them. Nine persons succumbed to this mysterious illness during the following week and died.
The graves of all the recently deceased were opened. The body of Plogojowitz himself was an enigma to the investigators – allegedly, he appeared to be in a trance-like state and was breathing very gently. His eyes were open, his flesh plump and he exhibited a ruddy complexion. His hair and nails appeared to have grown and fresh skin was discovered just below the scarfskin. Most importantly, his mouth was smeared with fresh blood. The assembly quickly concluded that the corpse was a vampyre and a stake was driven through the body. Blood reportedly gushed from the wound and the orifices of the body which was removed and burned. None of the other exhumed corpses showed signs of the same condition so, to protect both them and the villagers, garlic and whitethorn were placed in their graves and their remains returned to the ground.

Again, a “contemporary” account that involved credible persons as witnessing the events. Indeed, what other explanations can we utter that would fit the alleged events?

 

1731 and we find ourselves still exploring the region of the case of Arnold Paole (1727) when a further 17 people die, in the area, in the space of three months, of symptoms believed to be those of vampirism. Reportedly, the townspeople were, at first, slow to react until one girl complained of being attacked by a man, recently deceased, named Milo. Word of this second “wave” of vampirism reached Vienna and the Austrian Emperor, Charles VI, ordered an inquiry be conducted by the Regimental Field Surgeon Johannes Fluckinger.
Appointed on December 12th, Fluckinger headed for the town of Medvegia and began to gather accounts of what had occurred. Milo’s body was exhumed and found to be in the same state as that of Paole had been found. Accordingly the body was staked and burned.
It was determined that Paole, in 1727, had vampyrised several cows that the dead Milo had recently dined on. Under Fluckinger’s orders the townspeople then proceeded to exhume the bodies of all whom had died in recent months. In all 43 corpses were exhumed and 17 found to be in a “vampiric” state; all were staked and burned.

Detailed reports, increasingly present were “credible” official witnesses directing operations. Most notably the Austrian military doctors, Glaser and Flückinger, who were successively sent to investigate the cases. Could these events still be counted as “hysteria”, as representations by ignorant and superstitious locals? It seemed the evidence was mounting to support the existence of vampires as a real and viable danger to the public.

Whatever the cause, and resulting effect, it would not be brought under control until the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria sought to modernize the Empire and put an end to superstition. Thus, in 1755, when people suspected the recently deceased Rosalina Polakin of being a vampire she sent her court; and personal, physician, Dr. Gerhard van Swieten, to Silesia to investigate.

Gerhard van Zwieten, personal physician to Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, 1755.

Gerhard van Zwieten, personal physician to Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, 1755.

The Dutch-born van Swieten wrote a treatise titled “Discourse on the Existence of Ghosts” in which he noted that factors such as, “lack of oxygen can inhibit a corpse’s decomposition and that it wasn’t unheard of for a body to still be largely intact even after being buried for 50 years. As for those uneducated villagers who claimed to be haunted by the recently deceased they were probably just delusional or hysterically superstitious, and that vampire related deaths were undoubtedly due to some natural cause“. Moreover, van Sweiten fiercely denounced the barbaric way people would deal with “vampires,” desecrating the deceased’s body and maligning the reputation of him and his family. Armed with his report, Maria Theresa banned these practices throughout the Austrian Empire and this appeared to effectively bring an end to the “hysteria”.

Conclusion:

What solid and irrefutable conclusion can we draw from this information? From the writings of the learned men of the day? From the outwardly credible witnesses to the reported events?

On the one hand we have the recorded observations of the official observers assigned to cover these cases, men of professional standing, medical and military training Glaser and Flückinger. We have attendance by clergymen at the disinterring of alleged vampires, surely, according to the prolific clerical treatises of the day they were also well qualified to recognize, and deal with, vampires?

However, on the other hand we have influential figures such as Giuseppe Davanzati-Allessandra explaining the events away as “human fantasies” which, he conceded, may have had a diabolical origin, and Austrian Empress Maria Theresa’s chief investigator reporting that “vampire related deaths were undoubtedly due to some natural cause” and were the product of “delusional or hysterically superstitious” uneducated villagers.

In truth, the only thing we can possibly do at this time is to examine the reported events as they have been passed down and weigh them all, positive and negative, in our own scales. From that it’s up to each of us to see if a “reasonable doubt” emerges and which camp does that “doubt” favour leaning towards.

Resources:
The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia Of The Undead. Melton, J. Gordon. Visible Ink Press, 1999.

Additional historical information by The Mannheim University

https://archive.org/details/ned-kbn-all-00002976-001
http://www.oxfordreference.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/
http://it.wikipedia.org/
Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend. Collins Jenkins, Mark. National Geographic Society, 2011.

http://www.britainexpress.com/
http://meeg-toomuchinformation.blogspot.com/
http://www.britannica.com/

Relation de ce qui s’est passé de plus remarquable a Saint-Erini isle de l’Archipel. Richard, Françoise. Chez Sebastien Cramoisy Imprimeur ordinaire du Roy & de la Reine & Gabriel Cramoisy, Paris, M DC LVII

http://thevampireproject.blogspot.com/
http://magiaposthuma.blogspot.com/
http://antiquescientifica.com/

http://www.crlv.org/astrolabe/marsavril-2008/

http://oscurantis.pagesperso-orange.fr/

http://histoiresdenosfamilles.fr/

https://frankzumbach.wordpress.com/

Alex Peck Medical Antiques – http://antiquescientifica.com/

 

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.
The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.
Because the content of the collections of information presented come from many different sources and sectors, the collections may contain information that might be deemed offensive, or otherwise objectionable. RVL does not endorse or sponsor any content in the collections, nor does it guarantee or warrant that the content available in the collections is accurate, complete, non-infringing, or legally accessible in your jurisdiction, and you agree that you are solely responsible for abiding by all laws and regulations that may be applicable to the viewing of the content. In addition, the collections are provided to you on an as-is and as-available basis. You agree that your use of the Site and the collections is at your sole risk. You understand and agree that RVL makes no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, currency, completeness, reliability, or usefulness of the content in the collections, that the Site or the collections will meet your requirements, that access to the collections will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free, or that defects, if any, will be corrected. We make no warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Real Vampire Life E-Zine and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, officers, directors, and volunteer staff from and against any and all liability, loss, claims, damages, costs, and/or actions (including fees) arising from your use of the RVL E-Zine services, the site, or the collections. In addition, you agree that should any provision in the Agreement be found invalid, unlawful, or unenforceable, that provision shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions.

Under no circumstances, including, without limitation, negligence, shall RVL or its parents, affiliates, officers, employees, or agents be responsible for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising from or in connection with the use of or the inability to use the Site or the collections of information, or any content contained on the Site or in the collected information, or resulting from unauthorized access to the collected information or your transmissions of data, including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, use, data, or other intangibles, even if RVL has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced, or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from Real Vampire Life and our guest/s.
For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

Up a dark alley 1500 – 1639: Erzsébet, Clara and Breslau

Introduction

This work, like the others in this series, is an essay/article for history buffs and for that I make no apology, in fact it’s aimed at vampire history buffs in particular and, more widely, anyone who has an interest in the “modernity” of the aesthetic of the vampire. I offer to take you on a trip that will be at once both familiar and unknown. I don’t proclaim this to be “scientific”, I don’t proclaim it to be anything other than a fact, information gathering and data presentation thing but the one thing I have believed for my whole life, since as early as I could form a rational and inquisitive focus is that the whole of humankind, and yes I’m including us, has lost something vital and important; some piece of knowledge, some sort of key that opens the lock to “much more than is dreamed of in our philosophies”, our Vampire philosophies and the search for that key is as important and as integral to who and what we are and where we came from, how we came to be, as any of the accumulated information we currently have. Of course, finding a key is only the first part of the dilemma, the real cruncher comes in trying to find the lock it opens.
Imagine you’re in a strange town, my town and I am your guide.

image wesel1

Img. courtesy – http://www.fortified-places.com/

In pretty much every town in every country in the world there is a main street, our town is no exception. The vampire sub-culture has its place in the global society of the internet, we, the denizens of that sub-culture have our favourite places in the sub-culture kind of like having our favourite pubs, nightclubs and restaurants. We regularly travel “Main Street” to and fro between our destinations and along that route we pass by the main places, the main ‘points of interest and so forth but just like in any other society we sometimes venture into the side streets and we experience the “non mainstream”, we come across enclaves of “differences” and new experiences, we see and visit places that are not “on the beaten track” as it were. Then there are the alleys, the little, shadowy branches that; if Main Street is the artery, are the capillaries in the modern living vampire social body.

Some of these “capillaries” are amazing, some dark, some unsavoury but in essence they all form part of the tapestry of the Vampire today.

It is often heard, “the past has nothing to do with the modern concept”, really? Then why are we called vampires? The very word was born to describe exactly what we do albeit singularly referring to blood in the initial instance, and if we are going to use the word then it is my deepest and strongest belief that every nuance of that adopted word is important to the validity of what we know today as the Modern Human Living Vampire.
This article, like the others of the series, is not going to be arguing any of the myriad points of the “why and wherefore” that have been dissected, stitched together, re-dissected, had the internal organs scrutinized before being re-sewn back together… you get my point I hope? No, this article series is to educate on some of the lesser known “lights” in the proverbial darkness.

Seriously, as an old high school history master of mine once remarked, “Open your eyes, history is rich and exciting and intoxicating and she makes a wild mistress.” (c.a. 1974)

Using that as a starting point the most sensible first step is to review the historical events of the time period we are considering.

Figure of Death 1530-1630 (Renaissance) by Unknown German Artist Source:  unnaturalist.tumblr.com

Figure of Death 1530-1630 (Renaissance) by Unknown German Artist
Source: unnaturalist.tumblr.com

World (Vampcentric) Timeline 1500 – 1639

1506 Golden Age of Poland begins under Sigismund I and II
1509 Portuguese trading empire established at Goa, South India
1509 Henry VIII succeeds to English throne
1513 Juan Ponce de Leon claims Florida for Spain
1513 James IV of Scotland killed by English forces at Flodden
1513 Niccole Machiavelli writes “The Prince”
1515 Francis I of France takes Milan and much of Northern Italy
1516 Hapsburg Charles V now king over Germany, Netherlands and Spain
1516 Sir Thomas More writes “Utopia”
1519 Death of Leonardo da Vinci (artist and scientist)
1521 Charles V divides Hapsburg Empire between Austria and Spain
1522 Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition for Spain first to circumnavigate the globe
1526 Turks under Suliman the Magnificent take Hungary
1527 Charles V retakes Northern Italy from France and sacks Rome
1529 Turks lay siege to Vienna
1533 Ivan IV (the Terrible) crowned Tsar of Russia
1534 Spaniard Ignatius Loyola founds Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
1535 Dissolution of English monasteries ordered by Henry VIII
1535 Hapsburg Charles V drives Turks back from Hungary
1540 Spaniard Franciso de Coronado explores North America
1541 Death of Paracelsus (physician and alchemist)
1549 “Book of Common Prayer” issued
1553 Lady Jane Grey briefly made Queen by Earl of Northumberland
1553 Mary succeeds to English throne and restores Catholicism
1553 Systematic persecution of Protestants by “Bloody Mary”
1555 Peace of Augsburg – allows choice of religious denomination
1560 Elizabeth (Erszebet) Bathory born
1562 Sir John Hawkins starts British slave trade in West Indies
1564 Death of Michelangelo (artist)
1575 Elizabeth Bathory marries Count Ferenc Nadasdy
1576 Plague runs rampant in Venice killing as many as 50,000 people, nearly a third of the city.
1577 Sir Francis Drake begins voyage around world
1582 Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII
1584 Boris Godunov temporarily takes control of Russia
1585 Japan unified under dictator Hideyoshi
1586 Leo Allatius (also known as Leone Allacci) generally acknowledged as the first modern author to write a book on vampires, was born on the Greek island of Chios

1589 Henry IV first Bourbon King of France
1590 In a famous Scotch witch trial it was proved that in the preceding year, on October 31 – ‘All Hallow E’en’, a group of more than two hundred persons had assembled to conduct ‘witchcraft rites’ at the old haunted church of North Berwick
1591 The tale of the Shoemaker of Breslau, a man who, after having committed suicide was buried in a hurry by his family after they concealed the manner of his death. A short time after burial it was reported that a “ghostly likeness” of the man was harassing people around the town. The alleged harassments grew worse and worse over the next few months.
1592 With the ‘visitations’ by the Shoemaker of Breslau reaching unparalleled heights, and allegedly resulting in actual injury to some witnesses, the decision was taken to exhume the body which exhibited no sign of decay but was reportedly found to be in excellent condition, even down to the growth of new skin on the feet. Neither exhumation, nor re-burying the corpse under a gallows, helped with the problem and so it was ordered that the corpse should have its head and feet cut off. (Barber, Paul: Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality )

1597 Clara Geisslerin was a 69-year-old widow in the town of Gelnhausen, Germany. Accused of witchcraft amongst other charges which included grave-robbing, murder, and consorting with demons. Under torture (by thumbscrews and the rack), she confessed to sexual relations with demons in the form of animals and to drinking the blood of sixty children that she had killed. She also named twenty other women who she said were guilty.

Also, in 1597 the treatise Demonologie by King James appeared. The treatise expressed the view that vampiric spectres were not the souls of the dead but demons masquerading as deceased persons.

1600 British East India Company founded
1603 Tokugawa period – feudal Japan finally unified and pacified. In England the Black Plague killed around 38,000 people in London.
1603 Scottish James VI made English James I – first Stuart king
1605 Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot against James’ anti-Catholic laws
1606 Dutch explorers land on Australian mainland
1607 First permanent British settlement founded in Virginia, North America
1608 Permanent French colony founded in Quebec by Samuel de Champlain
1610 Elizabeth Bathory arrested December 29th. Also, in this year, Leo Allatius finishes writing the first modern treatment of vampires, “De Graecorum hodie quirundam opinationabus”
1611 “Authorized Version” of Bible printed in Britain. Also, in 1611, Elizabeth Bathory sent to trial and convicted of 650 offences. Sentenced to life in prison. In evidence given at her trial it was revealed she often “bit” her victims whilst torturing them. However, there was no direct testimony that she drained her victims’ blood to bathe in.
1613 Michael Romanov (first of dynasty) becomes Tsar of Russia
1614 Elizabeth Bathory dies in confinement.
1616 Death of William Shakespeare (dramatist and poet)
1620 Puritan Pilgrim Father establish colony in New England
1622 Ludovici Maria Sinistrari born in Pavia, Italy. (died 1701)
A Franciscan, Sinistrari included the matter of vampirism in a study of demonic phenomena entitled De Daemonialitate, et Incubis, et Succubis. He offered a theological interpretation of them that stood far from the contemporary rationalism and enlightenment that emerged in the following century. He considered vampyres as creatures that had not originated with the accepted Christian creationist theories. He surmised that while they, the vampyres, had a rational soul equal to humans their corporeal dimension was of a completely different and perfect nature. In saying this he enforced the idea that vampyres were creatures that paralleled human beings rather than being opposite, chthonious, underground beings.
1628 Petition of Rights establishes Parliament’s rights over King’s in England
1629 Charles I dismisses Parliament and rules alone. The “Italian Plague” (Black Death) breaks out and continues through to 1631.
1639 East India Company establishes city of Madras.

(Additional Timeline material courtesy http://www.lukemastin.com/history/ )
Indeed, this historical period provided a rich tapestry as a backdrop to the propagation of the vampire folklore and superstitions. Tales of horror, tales of gore, tales of sinister events accompanied by little understood natural occurrences were more than enough to have people of the day looking to the dark corners for whatever grim demons might lurk there.
Characters such as “The Shoemaker of Breslau”, Clara Geisslerin and the infamous Countess Erzebet (Elizabeth) Bathory created their own legends during their lifetime. The vampire was afforded a serious consideration in the pioneering researches of Sinistrari and, of course, the first large scale occurrences of “The Black Death”, or “The Plague”, all added together to foster and enforce the concepts of vampirism in the majority of minds.

Img source: http://academic.mu.edu/meissnerd/plague.htm

Img source: http://academic.mu.edu/meissnerd/plague.htm

For our immediate purposes, that is the following of the ‘vampire trail’, we will, primarily, concern ourselves with three events:

Copy of the original portrait of Erzsébet Báthory ca.1585 (disappeared in the 1990s).

Copy of the original portrait of Erzsébet Báthory ca.1585
(disappeared in the 1990s).

Firstly we can’t help but be looking into the many, and varied accounts and interpretations, of the life and times of Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) She has been afforded, in contemporary times, the cognomen of “The Blood Countess” and, perhaps a little imaginatively, “Countess Dracula”. There is no doubt that over the course of her marriage to Count Ferenc Nadasdy, she was responsible for the death of a huge number of people. The speculation of the time of her trial placed the number of her victims at somewhere between 300 and 650 persons although she, and her co-defendants, were only actually tried on 80 counts of criminal conduct.

It was commonly reported that she was responsible for the torture and murder of hundreds of young women, mainly young girls from the villages about her estates that were lured into her employ with promises of good wages. The problems began to become an embarrassment, however, when she extended her ‘hunting’ to include the daughters of well to do families who were sent to her, ostensibly, to learn matters of courtly etiquette. Also, according to author Katherine Ramsland,
“…and women in some of the villages actually conspired to provide girls for money or small gifts. If the girls did not come willingly, they were beaten into unconsciousness and carried off.” (Lady of Blood: Countess Bathory )

Eventually, Ramsland writes, in a move sanctioned by the King of Hungary,
After the murder of one of such young lady in 1609, which Erzsébet tried to stage as a suicide, the authorities finally decided to act. This suspicious incident, coupled with the many other rumors over the years, required action. The king supported it, because Erzsébet had been asking him to repay funds he had borrowed from her husband, and if the rumors proved true and she was arrested, he would be free of his debt. In other words, everyone would win…except the lady in question.
During the Christmas season in 1609 (or 1610), King Mathias II of Hungary, sent a party of men to the massive Castle Csejthe.”
The party had to be careful and stealthy in their approach for the Countess was related to Princes and former Kings, very well placed at Court and would make a seriously dangerous political enemy if the reports turned out to be false,” for, as Ramsland goes on to recount, “she was the cousin of Prime Minister Thurzoa member of the very party that approached her imposing domain that night with such stealth and trepidation.”

Unfortunately, during the subsequent searching of the dwelling, they found masses of evidence of her crimes from skeletal remains, mutilated corpses, severely injured and maimed captives and all manner of atrocities visited upon her innocent victims.

Sabine Baring-Gould, an English author and folklorist of considerable status during the 19th Century, used the tale of Erzsébet as an example of his own view of a certain psychological phenomenon. He wrote,
I have seen an accomplished young woman of considerable refinement and of a highly strung nervous temperament string flies with her needle on a piece of thread, and watch complacently their flutterings”, he wrote in 1865. “Cruelty may remain latent till, by some accident, it is aroused, and then it will break forth in a devouring flame. He says that the passion for blood follows the same pattern. We have no conception of the violence with which they can rage till circumstances occur which call them into action…
(The Book of Were-Wolves, being an account of a terrible superstition – 1865 – ?)

So, was Báthory actually a contemporary “vampire”? At the time of her trial it was the testimony of witnesses that she indulged in “biting” many of her victims but there was no direct evidence or testimony that she actually drank their blood, nor yet drained it to bathe herself in. It would seem that despite her popular reputation The Countess was actually a sadistic and, quite possibly, a psychotic murderer but not a contemporary practicing sanguine vampire. Indeed, it was only following her death, perhaps as long as one hundred years after that the tales of her “bathing” in blood actually surfaced and took hold. It would seem then that any such accounts must be held to be “suspect” at the very least.

American author and a professor of Russian and East European History at Boston College, a contemporary and colleague of Radu Florescu, Raymond T McNally was an American author and a professor of Russian and East European History at Boston College made a journey to the region to examine the accounts and, ostensibly, the court records and he discovered that although none made mention of bathing in blood, some did indeed recall her penchant for biting some of her victims. Father Laslo Turóczi had written about her in his historical account of Hungary, published in 1744, more than a century after she had died and probably because the Catholic Church benefited from dramatic tales of werewolves, witches, and vampires to aid in strengthening the doctrines about God and Satan, his account during an era when werewolves and witches were being discovered and executed, must also be suspect.

In her book “Murderesses in German Writing, 1720-1860: Heroines of Horror”,
Susanne Kord notes that;
One enduring legend is that Erzsėbet had slapped a servant girl one day, got blood on her hand, and after washing it off found that it made her skin look younger. Alchemists apparently assured her that this was a sign of her nobility, so to restore her waning beauty, she made a practice of bathing in virginal blood.”

This entire concept seems to have been introduced in 1795 by Wagener, when he (trans. by S. Baring-Gould) wrote: “Elizabeth was wont to dress well in order to please her husband, and she spent half the day over her toilet. On one occasion, a lady’s-maid saw something wrong in her head-dress, and as a recompense for observing it, received such a severe box on the ears that the blood gushed from her nose, and spurted on to her mistress’s face. When the blood drops were washed off her face, her skin appeared much more beautiful whiter and more transparent on the spots where the blood had been.”
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) Hungarian noblewoman, sadistic and psychotic mass murderer but contemporary vampire? No, not in any credible source of information I have been able to locate anyway.

Of greater interest to the student of Vampire matters must be the tale of “The Shoemaker of Breslau”. (Breslau, Poland, once the Capital of Lower Silesia)

In 1591 the strange tale of The Shoemaker of Breslau came to light. It was the tale of a man who, after having committed suicide by slitting his own throat was cleaned and prepared by his wife before being buried in a hurry by his family. Naturally, given the manner of his death at the time they were most anxious to conceal the manner of his death. However, it is alleged that a short time after the burial it was reported that a “ghostly likeness” of the shoemaker was harassing people around the town. The alleged harassments grew worse and worse over the next few months.
In the following year, with the ‘visitations’ by the shoemaker reaching great heights indeed, and supposedly resulting in actual injury to some witnesses, the not; at the time, unreasonable decision was taken to exhume the body which allegedly showed no signs of decay but was discovered to be in “excellent” condition, even down to the growth of new skin on the feet. Neither exhumation nor the subsequent re-burial of the corpse under a gallows, helped with the problem and thus it was that the remains of the shoemaker had its head and feet cut off before being interred once more. (Ref: Barber, Paul: Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality)

It would seem then that what we have here is a quite straightforward, classic and consistent case of a revenant coming back from the dead and, given the manner of the shoemaker’s death, a matter that was certainly proscribed as one sure way to create a vampire. However, what were the hallmarks of the actual “appearances”? What was the nature of the “actual injury” reported to have occurred? Were victims drained of blood? Beaten by phantom fists? How is it that The Shoemaker became an honest-to-goodness Vampire?
English Philosopher and rationalist theologian of the Cambridge Platonist school, Henry More detailed this ‘true’ story in his book, Antidote to Atheism. More was highly regarded in his field of study and his works carried a great deal of weight.

Vampiro atacando cristão – Século XV-2 “Vampire attacking a Christian” – reproduction of a 15th Century German wood carving

Vampiro atacando cristão – Século XV-2
“Vampire attacking a Christian” – reproduction of a 15th Century German wood carving

The possibility that the dead could rise from their graves was always present in the worldview at the time and the barely, if at all, understood process of decay – the physiological changes in the recently deceased was, without any doubt, a deciding factor in identifying buried remains as a revenant, or more probably, a vampire. ‘Revenant’, originated between 1820-30; and is a French noun which refers to a ghost.  [noun use of present participle of revenir to return, equivalent to re- re- + ven (ir) to come (< Latin venīre) + -ant –ant] a term which English-language scholarship appropriated from the French verb ‘to return’ and which describes a particular classification of ghost. These “revenants” are essentially the same, basic phenomenon: fleshy, pestilent corpses which harassed the living. The suicide of the Shoemaker of Breslau is a stereotypical example of a revenant/vampire attack and the various perceptions and reactions involved in the case of a so called ‘bad’ death. Suicide was considered especially polluting requiring further ritual and extra effort to keep the corpse contained as well as heal the social grief and damage thus restoring peace, both practical and spiritual, to the community.
In his book, The Mammoth Encyclopedia of the Unsolved, Colin Wilson makes reference to both Barber’s account of this story (drawn from the 1868 Prussian folklore collection of Grasse) and More’s Antidote to Atheism. More details come to light in making such comparisons and we discover that the activities of the ‘revenant’, at their height, consisted of “climbing into bed with people and squeezing them so hard that it left the marks of its fingers on their flesh.” Nasty, mischievous and downright annoying I would imagine but how does this relate to a diagnosis of vampirism?

Nevertheless, following the handing down of the official order the exhumation went ahead on April 18, 1592 and several observations were apparently made that were remarkably consistent with other reports of vampire activity. It was noted that the body was both “complete and undamaged by decay but ‘blown up like a drum’.” Other points were noted, especially about the feet having peeled and a newer, purer and stronger skin having grown beneath the old. During subsequent attempts to quell the troublesome ‘ghost’ it was reported that when the second exhumation went ahead, and the body opened up, the heart was discovered to be, “as good as a freshly slaughtered calf.”
Following the proscribed removal of the head and feet, the immolation of the remains on a bonfire of wood and pitch and the casting of the ashes into the river, the ‘ghost’ troubled no one anymore. The thing that caught my attention here was the constant references to the “ghost”, a term which, in my mind can’t be translated easily into “vampire”. Nevertheless, an intriguing story that highlights the previously mentioned “worldview” of death, burial and beyond.

Malleus

A much more striking tale, and one which undoubtedly bears the more expected hallmarks of vampirism, surfaced in the year 1597.

Clara Geisslerin was a 69-year-old widow in the town of Gelnhausen, Germany. Accused of witchcraft amongst other charges which included grave-robbing, murder, and consorting with demons. She also named twenty other women who she said were guilty.
In the volume “History of the German people at the close of the middle ages” (pp. 491-493), Johannes Janssen recounts;
Clara Geisslerin of Gelnhausen, widow of a day labourer and 69 years of age, had been denounced by a condemned witch as ‘a prostitute who was in league with three devils and who had dug up from their graves several hundreds of innocent children and murdered numbers of people.’ After the application of the thumbscrew all sorts of questions were asked her, but, ‘hardened by the devil she stubbornly persisted in her denials’. When, however, ‘her feet were crushed and her body stretched out to a greater length she screamed piteously and said all was true that they had asked her; she drank the blood of children whom she stole on her nightly excursions, and she had murdered as many as sixty;

This description and account of processes of “law” seem to be most consistent, in content, with the times and the accused’s actions can be held to be consistent with the concept of the Albanian shtriga (Latin: strix, Italian: strega; compare also Romanian: strigă and Polish: strzyga) which is ‘a vampiric witch’ in traditional Albanian folklore that sucks the blood of infants at night while they sleep, and then turns into a flying insect (traditionally a moth, fly or bee.) The shtriga is often pictured as a woman with a hateful stare (sometimes wearing a cape) and a horribly disfigured face. The male noun for shtriga is shtrigu or shtrigan.’

That is also assuming, of course, she was confessing to actual activities and not just seeking a way out of her torture and suffering. Obviously we can’t be absolutely certain but this particular story does provide insight into a more contemporary account that has definitive vampiric overtones and thus the elusive thread, that faint ‘trail of breadcrumbs’, is continued.

 

Resources:

Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality. Barber, Paul.
http://www.lukemastin.com/history/
Lady of Blood: Countess Bathory. Katherine Ramsland
The Book of Were-Wolves, being an account of a terrible superstition – 1865. Sabine Baring-Gould
Murderesses in German Writing, 1720-1860: Heroines of Horror. Susanne Kord. May 2009, Cambridge Studies in German. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-10: 0521519772 ISBN-13: 978-0521519779.
Antidote against Atheism. Henry More. 1655, William Morden , Cambridge.
The Mammoth Encyclopedia of the Unsolved, Colin Wilson
History of the German people at the close of the middle ages. Janssen, Johannes. (pp. 491-493)

http://en.wikipedia.org/

 NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.
The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.
Because the content of the collections of information presented come from many different sources and sectors, the collections may contain information that might be deemed offensive, or otherwise objectionable. RVL does not endorse or sponsor any content in the collections, nor does it guarantee or warrant that the content available in the collections is accurate, complete, non-infringing, or legally accessible in your jurisdiction, and you agree that you are solely responsible for abiding by all laws and regulations that may be applicable to the viewing of the content. In addition, the collections are provided to you on an as-is and as-available basis. You agree that your use of the Site and the collections is at your sole risk. You understand and agree that RVL makes no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, currency, completeness, reliability, or usefulness of the content in the collections, that the Site or the collections will meet your requirements, that access to the collections will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free, or that defects, if any, will be corrected. We make no warranty of any kind, either express or implied.
You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Real Vampire Life E-Zine and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, officers, directors, and volunteer staff from and against any and all liability, loss, claims, damages, costs, and/or actions (including fees) arising from your use of the RVL E-Zine services, the site, or the collections. In addition, you agree that should any provision in the Agreement be found invalid, unlawful, or unenforceable, that provision shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions.
Under no circumstances, including, without limitation, negligence, shall RVL or its parents, affiliates, officers, employees, or agents be responsible for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising from or in connection with the use of or the inability to use the Site or the collections of information, or any content contained on the Site or in the collected information, or resulting from unauthorized access to the collected information or your transmissions of data, including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, use, data, or other intangibles, even if RVL has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced, or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from Real Vampire Life and our guest/s.
For further details please see our Website Disclaimer