Derivation of the English Word: "Vampire"

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Derivation of the English Word: "Vampire"

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Lamech on Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:24 am

Derivation of the English Word

There exists a certain wempti in Lithuanian lexicon, a word which means "to drink." A similar Lithuanian wampiti means "to growl." If the assumption is correct, then the caricature of the vampire is of someone or some-thing that growls or is blood drunk. From this source, we are introduced to many Slavic words like upir, wampir and vampir, all denoting some kind of blood sucking corpse or possessive demon. It is from there that the word vampire entered the English language, possibly from France or Germany, or both. According to the University of Oxford in England, the word vampyre entered the English language in 1734.

But the true historical vampire predates written history to the time of cave paintings. Special medicine men or women with gifted abilities would draw pictures of vampiric beings, often depicted as vultures, owls and lions, as other animals or as sometimes even more demonic looking creatures. Cave sites in France and Germany show evidence that prehistoric people believed in the undead presence of terrifying blood drinking demons or ghosts perhaps as early as 40,000 years ago. Neolithic people provide even more evidence for the case of vampirism, as seen in Armenian and Turkish archeological sites, some dating back to over 10,000 years ago. So you can forget all those stories you may have heard about references to the first vampire, because the belief in vampires existed long before they had names or faces. The English word vampire appears in an 18th century travelogue dated to 1745, but other words for the vampire have existed since prehistory and can be found in places like the Sumerian cuneiform tablets, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek poems and Hebrew priestly scriptures dating to around 6,000 years ago. But that's a different story for another time. Let's get back to the topic.

As people migrated and expanded out in different countries and continents, they brought their prehistoric myths with them. The epic of the vampire lingered and evolved over time, giving us the fictional creatures we have today. But is vampirism really just a creation of our human imagination? The answer is an astounding no. There is scientific evidence to support a clinical or even genetic origin for vampirism. There is also evidence of cases where the undead rose from their graves and needed to be purged or exhumed and destroyed. Certain specialists known as vrepitir, or "those who stick," are known to have gone to great lengths to expel these individuals and erase all knowledge of their existence. Many of these caretakers were scientists, dentists, teachers, doctors and police officials. In 1734, the word vampyre entered the English language in a travelogue titled The Travels of Three English Gentlemen which states:

The Vampyres, which come out of the graves in the night-time, rush upon people sleeping in their beds, suck out all their blood, and destroy them. They attack men, women, and children; sparing neither age nor sex. The people, attacked by them, complain of suffocation, and a great interception of spirits; after which, they soon expire. Some of them, being asked, at the point of death, what is the matter with them? say they suffer in the manner just related from people lately dead, or rather the spectres of those people; upon which, their bodies.... being dug out of the graves, appear in all parts, as the nostrils, cheeks, breast, mouth, etc. turgid and full of blood. Their countenances are fresh and ruddy; and their nails, as well as hair, very much grown. And, though they have been much longer dead than many other bodies, which are perfectly putrified, not the least mark of corruption is visible upon them. Those who are destroyed by them, after their death, become Vampyres; so that, to prevent so spreading an evil, it is found requisite to drive a stake through the dead body, from whence, on this occasion, the blood flows as if the person was alive. Sometimes the body is dug out of the grave, and burnt to ashes; upon which, all disturbances cease. The Hungarians call these spectre Pamgri, and the Servians, Vampyres; but the etymon or reason of these names is not known.

The above passage has been quoted in many textbooks and translated into several languages. Sometimes the travelogue's title has been changed. The original title may have been The Travel of Three Gentlemen before it was renamed to suit an English audience. As the passage suggests, the legend of the vampire existed in Hungary and neighboring regions before coming to the west. So this is where our story begins. The journey continues as we hunt for a possible historical basis for cultural vampirism, and explore some of the aforementioned scientific evidence for ourselves. Some scholars from the University of Poland and the University of Bucharest believe they have proof that vampires are severely sensitive to sunlight, which might have something to do with blood cells.

Lamech is a self-proclaimed expert of vampire case studies, practicing a radical science he refers to as vampireology. Lamech has hunted vampire myths for over twenty years and has written several non-fictitious vampire biographies as well as many pseudo-science vampire stories involving elements of both fact and fiction, as taken from many sources (it would require a small catalog notebook to list them all here). Lamech has many pseudonyms, aliases and pen names. Credit for this research belongs to Professor G.A. Helwing from the University of Poland.
"Mortals fear what they do not understand. And they hate what they fear..."

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