Sunday 14 September 2008

Geyer's good thoughts

One of the sources for the apparently unpublished book on vampires by Otto von Graben zum Stein is a curious collection of 'good thoughts in idle hours on travels', Müßiger Reise-Stunden Gute Gedancken by Johann Daniel Geyer published in Dresden in 1735. The 'good thoughts' usually concern medical matters, at least in a broad sense, and as we know, vampires were of particular interest to those involved in that science and practice. So among considerations on diseases and cures, there are thoughts on bear-people of Lithuania and vampires or 'Todten Menschen-Saugern' as he calls them on the title page of the 44 page discourse concerning 'Vampieren'.

For a modern reader like myself this is certainly a very curious text mixing medicine, theology, and references to classical authors and church fathers. The terminology of the good doctor definitely is unlike anything you will hear a modern doctor say. In short, I must confess that I will have to study the text in more detail to say more about Geyer's considerations.

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