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.
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