Cover Before Dracula
series "Saggi"
pp. 272, Brossura, 978-88-15-23363-9
publication year 2011


Before Dracula

Vampire Archaeology

As the Middle Ages drew to a close, in the Balkans and in the increasingly distressed territories of the dying Byzantine Empire, there was a widespread fear of restless dead people who would abandon their tombs in order to hound the living. Drawing upon wide-ranging original research, this book examines the development of beliefs in vampires in the Byzantine and Slavic Middle Ages, explores their origins in ancient times, and follows their evolution and relationships with heresy and the history of the Church up to the modern era. Anthropological analysis of ancient sources reveals unexpected facets of the vampire myth; the ensuing "archaeology" shows that reality truly can be stranger than fiction.

Tommaso Braccini has earned a doctorate in Anthropology of the Ancient World and works at the University of Siena's Interdepartmental Centre for Anthropology of the Ancient World.