When did the original vampire story start?
When did the vampire mythology originate? This question makes me to ponder deeply – did the vampire mythology originate before Jesus born? I have been researching on this subject, and this is also my obsession. At first, I thought that Elizabeth Bathory, known as the Countess of Transylvania as well as a vampire for killing over 600 innocent young women and drinking their blood in order to restore her youth during the early 1600s, was the origin of the vampire story that inspired Dracula in the 1800s. Probably, it was not Elizabeth Bathory. I strongly believe that the origin of the vampire story could be dated back to 500 B.C.
I recently learned that the original vampire story was dated back to 450 B.C. It was the time of ancient Greece. I found a story about the first vampire in that time – it was a love story. I could not find what exactly the title of this vampire love story was. It stated, “The Vampire Love Story That Started It All.” This story was about a young Italian adventurer named Ambrogio, who was born and raised in Italy, traveled to the city of Delphi in Greece.
Delphi was a city during the ancient time, located on the southern of Greece. It was known as a home to a great temple of Apollo the god of sun and the Pythia the Oracles. An oracle was a person considered to be a source of a wise guidance, or farsighted predictions of the future, inspired by the gods. In the ancient times, people relied on an oracle at a temple to interpret the signs of the future. The majority of important oracles of Greek were Pythia, prestess to Apollo at Delphi. It would sit in a chamber inside a temple and speak of prophecies, inspired by Apollo, to those who came to seek for Pythia’s advice.
When Ambrogio arrived to the temple, he spoke to the Pythia, and it replied a few words: “The curse. The moon. The blood will run.” Later that night, he pondered deeply the meaning of that statement and could not sleep very well. The next day morning he met a beautiful woman named Selene outside of the temple. Selene was Apollo’s maiden. Ambrogio and Selene saw each other for the next few days until they soon fell in love. He asked her to marry him and to return with him to Italy. Selene’s final decision was to marry him and sail with him to Italy. They made preparations that they would meet at dawn the next morning outside of the temple. Apollo had been watching them and he became angry that Ambrogio would come to the city and take one of his maidens away from him. Apollo cast a curse on Ambrogio. The curse was that Ambrogio would suffer the sunlight – a touch of sunlight would burn him. Ambrogio was distressed about the curse. Because of that, he escaped and hided in the cave. There, he met Hades, the god of the underworld, who would help him get Selene back, so they could live together forever only if Ambrogio could steal the silver bow from Artemis, the god of hunting, of the moon, and the sister of Apollo. Ambrogio agreed this deal with Hades. Hades gave him 11 magical wooden arrows and a bow. Before leaving the cave, he must leave his soul to Hades and he may have it back only when he got the silver bow from Artemis.
Ambrogio could not reach to Selene due to the sun curse. He used 11 arrows to kill swans from the lake and used swans' blood as ink to write a letter for Selene. He also sacrificed dead swans to Artemis as hunting awards that would be enough convincing her to ask her brother Apollo to remove the sun curse. He had been writing 10 letters to Selene, and she received them every morning outside of the temple. When he slew the last arrow to kill a swan, he missed it – no last letter for Selene, and no last sacrifice for Artemis to help remove the sun curse. He was distressed, and begged Artemis to give him the last arrow. Artemis took a pity on him, and gave him her silver bow. When he got the silver bow, he was in desperate running back to a cave, trying to give it to Hades. Artemis felt deceived by him and became angry with him. She cast a curse on him. The curse was that Ambrogio would suffer the silver – a touch of silver would burn him like the sun curse. Ambrogio fell on the ground in pain, and apologized to Artemis for being a deity to her. He explained her the reasons why he did do it and begged for her forgiveness, and Artemis took a pity on him again. She gave him the last chance. She made him a greater hunter as great as she was by creating him an immortal creature (a vampire) with strength and speed, and fangs. In exchange for this gift, he would have to agree a deal with Artemis that he would be with Selene again, but not touch her and never have children. Ambrogio was happy, and he wrote a letter to Selene saying that she needed to go meet him on the ship morning next day. Selene did do as the letter said. When she was at the docks, she saw Ambrogio’s ship. She stepped onto the ship and met Ambrogio down in the hull. She saw the coffin with the letter on it saying that she would need to order the ship’s captain to set sail. She did do as the letter said. The ship sailed. At the sunset, she opened the coffin and saw Ambrogio alive.
Ambrogio and Selene lived happily together. They lived in the cave so that Ambrogio could see Selene during the day. They worshipped to Artemis every night at her grand temple. For a few decade years later, Ambrogio had not aged because immortality allowed him not to age. But, unfortunately for Selene, she became old and fell ill. She was dying. Ambrogio was distraught to see Selene suffer. Ambrogio begged Artemis for giving Selena immortality. Artemis saw his years of allegiance to her. She granted him the wish – only if he could bite Selene and give her his blood in order to turn her into a vampire. He bit her and drank her blood, and gave her his blood. All of a sudden, Selene’s body radiated with light, and she floated high to the moon to meet Artemis. When she arrived to the moon, she was lit with the bright light. She became the goddess of moonlight. She was supposed to be a vampire, but a goddness of moonlight instead.
Every night, she would reach down with her rays of moonlight to the earth and to touch Ambrogio and her vampire children. Vampires passed down the blood of Ambrogio and Selene forever.
Remember the statement from the Pythia Ambrogio received: “The curse. The moon. The blood will run.” He was cursed with sun and silver, Selene became the goodness of moonlight, and the blood of Ambrogio and Selena ran in their vampire children.