Sunday, 30 November 2008


Cannibalism isn't exactly a topic that I find particularly relevant to this blog, but it has been touched upon slightly, and there will no doubt be a few out there who might be interested to see these posts, Cannibalism: Terminology and A note on Androphagoi, from a blog on Antiquity. Both are related to a paper in progress on the subject of cannibalism.

Accompanying this post is a photo of a 1975 book on that topic which contains chapters on 'The Red Elixir' and 'Werewolves and Vampires'. I think it was among the first dozen or so books I found when I was beginning to look for books on vampires as a teenager. The author, Reay Tannahill, writes:

'Closely associated with the idea of the werewolf in Europe was that of the vampire, one of the most lurid horror comics ever dreamed up by man and yet, oddly enough, one of the least harmful. Though the forces of church and state burned vampires, decapitated them, tore them limb from limb, or transfixed them with stakes through the heart, the vampire was in most cases dead already and knew nothing about it. There were none of those appalling holocausts that purged the countryside of living 'witches' and 'werewolves', schismatics and other sinners in the sight of the Lord. Nevertheless, the psychological effects of the vampire myth were unpleasant enough at a time when the human mind was under constant assault.' (p. 120-1)

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