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In ancient vampiric folklore, some vampires named themselves "Lamia". This distinction separated the made vampires from the born vampires. References to Lamia in the context of vampire folklore have persisted well past ancient times. As Judith Roof explains, the "1990s exhumations of the vampire certainly do not stop at Dracula, but rightfully point to the folkloric origins of blood-imbibing figures from Lilith the Indian Kali and the Lamia of Greece."[1]

Early mythologyEdit

In Greek mythology, possibly the oldest tale of vampirism was that of Lamia, a mortal queen of Libya with whom Zeus fell in love. Hera, jealous over her divine husband's infedelities, deprived Lamia of the children she had with Zeus. Lamia in turn "wandered the world drinking the blood of young children" so that "other mortal mothers should have to suffer as she did."[2] As Graham Anderson writes, "A second and still more celebrated case also invites rationalisation:" Apollonius of Tyana "was reputed to have exposed a Lania ('vampire') about to devour his disciple Menippus."[3]

Bob Curran explains that in "some respects, the lamia resembled the early Sumerian demon-goddess Lilith, who also appears in Hebrew mythology as Adam's first wife. Both of these entities spawned hundreds of demons that both attacked and killed individuals. These demons were known to ancient Greeks as empusa (vampires)...and were incredibly hostile toward mankind."[4] In Roman and Medieval European legends and beliefs, "the horrible offspring of the Lamia" are known as Lamya, Lamye, or Lamie and are "described as hybrid monsters...[5] Specifically, the Roman poet Horace "mentioned the Lamia, a necrophagous ghoul and queen of succubi who...devoured foetuses and terroised children in the moonlight."[6]

Carole Rose writes that in "later folktales of the medieval period, the Lamya become forest-dwellers who attack any human within their range. It was said that the only cure for the unhealing wound was to hear the Lamia herself."[7]

Use and development in Romantic literatureEdit

Whereas the Medieval version of Lamia desribed above is largely unsympathetic, James B. Twitchell explains that Robert Burton's "humanizing of the she-vampire is crucial for" John Keats's "Lamia" (1820).[8] Keats's work, which goes back to the earlier "Greek myth, presents a sympathetic perspective on the title character, a serpentine shapeshifter who, after taking human form to marry the young hero, is destroyed by a stern philosopher."[9] In that poem, Keats sets up a "delicate ménage à trois...Her metamorphosis is of couse nowhere to be found in Burton or Philostratus...Keats knew enough about the lamia to realize that she must have a serpentine form, but he added the torturous transformation to assert the genuineness of her commitment to Lycius. She lives for love, not blood....That is not to deny that Lamia is tainted with evil...She is vampiric; that cannot be denied. For instance, in part 1, like the vampire of folklore, she is able to send herself into the dream world of her lover and she can entrance her victim with a kiss..."[10]

Later appearances in Night WorldEdit

More recently, in the Night World books published from 1996 through 1998, "Lamia is the term in this series for those who are born as vampires."[11] As L. J. Smith writes, lamia are "the kind of vampire that can have kids..."[12]

The first vampire to be born was named Maya. She was part of an ancient tribe, her herself being hungry for power decided to take the babies of her sister, Hecate and in a ceremonial purpose she drained them of their blood, thus becoming immortal. It was not long before she realised she had to keep draining blood from the living in order to survive and gain power.

Lamia took blood in order to breathe. In order to become immortal they had become not dead or alive, but undead. Their blood contained no oxygen. It was more of a poison and because dead things are ideally not supposed to breath lamia would have to drain blood from a living victim to do so. They would have to hunt at least twice a day. There was a time though that lamia encountered humans for the first time and the end result was that a human host got bitten and became what we know today as a vampire.

Lamia are easily more defined from humans. They are pale fleshed and have extremely pointed canines. They present a lust for blood when pale skin or veins are sighted even when not hungry. They are unnaturally beautiful at most times and tend to mix with humans in order to feed. They present something that vampires do not possess. They have a special sight that allows them to know others emotions by the way the move and act. Their acute eyesight however has a bad effect on another of their senses, usually making it hard for them to learn. They tend to be quiet and keep to themselves and avoid much interaction with other creatures of both their kind and the human world. They find it hard to keep eye contact with others for fear of what they will see. Lamia have incredible speeds and strengths that no human could ever possess. They are immortal however they can be killed by wood or fire. Even a pencil could send them to their graves. Holy water and garlic have no effect on lamia like they do vampires.

Lamia tend to have distant personalities. They are constantly daydreaming in a humans eyes. It is a suitable pose that hides the fact they are trying to block out all thoughts of others around them, either that or they are listening intently. They appear dumb when actually they have strong minds that know more then any other eyes have ever seen. They have a second form they ontake that has similar appearances to that of a gargoyle. They are stony skinned and have a huge wing span. They are well equipt for hunting and can become in a rabid state when hunting, losing all memory of the hunt in some occasions, sometimes leading to the death of their loved ones.

They tend to be born under the star sign cancer and are thought of to have a wild imagination when, actually, most things they say that seem obscure and completely random are either in code to another lamia or vampire or perfectly true. They are usually named after things of nature like trees, plants and animals. They also have a mysterious sixth sense that allows them to feel their surroundings and see them projected in their minds with eyes closed. They cannot be killed by sunlight but as such can be blinded by it. They were made for the night so therefore born with night vision. The moon is bright to them so the sun increasingly so. They would usually complain, despite their shy personalities if the sun was shining on them. It effectively drains their powers and alertness and does strain their acute eyesight.

They are naturally nocturnal creatures so walking amongst humans does make them weary, let alone taking on the everyday life of a human.

They also have three tribes; Twilight, Sunlight and midnight. Twilight vampires are just good vampires that only drain blood without killing. Sunlight vampires believe that humans and vampires should be in peace so tend to form relationships with humans. Midnight vampires are selfish beings, descendants from Maya that kill when taking blood and take astounding amounts of blood just for power...

ReferencesEdit

  1. Judith Roof, Reproductions of reproduction: imaging symbolic change (1996), 147.
  2. Konstantinos, Vampires: the occult truth (1996), 27-28.
  3. Graham Anderson, Philostratus: biography and belles lettres in the third century A.D. (1986), 141.
  4. Bob Curran, "The Lamia," Vampires: a field guide to the creatures that stalk the night (2005), 204.
  5. Carol Rose, Giants, monsters, and dragons: an encyclopedia of folklore, legend, and myth (2001), 221.
  6. Carol Margaret Davison and Paul Simpson-Housley, Bram Stoker's Dracula: sucking through the century, 1897-1997 (1997), 353-354.
  7. Carol Rose, Giants, monsters, and dragons: an encyclopedia of folklore, legend, and myth (2001), 221.
  8. James B. Twitchell, The living dead: a study of the vampire in Romantic literature (1987), 51.
  9. S. T. Joshi, Icons of Horror And the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares (2006), "Early Vampire Stories," 621.
  10. James B. Twitchell, The living dead: a study of the vampire in Romantic literature (1987), 51.
  11. Deborah Wilson Overstreet, Not your mother's vampire: vampires in young adult fiction (2006), 57.
  12. L. J. Smith, Night World No. 3: Huntress, Black Dawn, Witchlight, Volume 3 (2009), 380-381.

See alsoEdit

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