Monday, 28 April 2008

...so sie Vampyri nennen...

The Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung is the oldest newspaper in existence. Originally published in 1703 under the name Wienerisches Diarium, it continues to this day. On July 21 1725, the Diarium published a copy of a manuscript from the Gradisker Distrikt in Hungary, actually the North Western part of Serbia. The text is Frombald's original account of the Peter Plogojowitz vampire case, and this is probably the first time the word vampire is published in print: '...so sie Vampyri nennen...', i.e. in a latinized form.

The Austrian National Library has digitalized various issues of the Diarium, including the July 21 1725 edition, so we can all enjoy reading this vampire document in its contemporary context of other news, including lists of marriages and deaths in and around Vienna.

The editors of the Leipziger Zeitung found the document so interesting that they copied it, thereby bringing it to the attention of Michael Ranft who was inspired to write the first edition of his book on the mastication of the dead.

4 comments:

Anthony Hogg said...

This was one of the documents I was sort of alluding to in my comments to your Found and Seen post.

Indeed, the same one also appears in the July 25 issue.

This is where my confusion over the term "vanpiri" stemmed from.

As can be seen, the actual term used is "Vampyri". So where did Schroeder get "vanpiri" from?

Niels K. Petersen said...

Schroeder's source is a copy of Frombald's letter which is stored in the Austrian state archive. According to Schroeder, he could not locate the original letter in the archive.

Niels K. Petersen said...

I may have overlooked it, but I can't find any reference to vampires in the
July 25 1725 edition of the Wienerisches Diarium?!

Anthony Hogg said...

Oh, believe me, it's there. It's a reprint of the same report that appears in the July 21st issue.

It's called, "Copia eines Schreibens aus dem Gradisker District in Ungarn".

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