Are vampires and werewolves real 1

Vampires and werewolves. The story of a breakup

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Beastmen

III. The origin - relationship in the early Middle Ages
3.1. Vukodlak and Wurkolak - the Slavic werewolf and the Greek vampire
3.2. Damons
3.3. Kalikantsaros - the Greek werewolf
3.4. Wurkolak or Wrykolakas - the Greek vampire

IV. The separation: witches, werewolves and vampires - the diabolical trio
4.1. The berserkers - Odin's warriors and messengers of the afterlife
4.2. Werewolves and the modern witch trials
4.3. The vampire in the change from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century

V. Enmity
5.1. The return of the werewolves to the vampires - night walkers in the twenty-first century

VI. Conclusion

VII. Bibliography

I. Introduction

Stories about vampires and werewolfs are booming today:

Twilight: Bella is in love. In Edward, a vampire, but also in Jacob, a werewolf. She has to choose. The fact that the two of them can't even smell each other because werewolves and vampires have been enemies for centuries doesn't make things any easier. The Vampire Diaries: The Vampires Die in Mystic Falls. Elena's friend Tyler is a werewolf. His bite destroyed the vampires. Underworld: Selene is a vampire. But with that she has an important task that serves to protect humanity. She has to hunt werewolves. Shadow Hunters: The shadow world is in turmoil. Everyone is after the magic chalice. Above all the vampires, because they don't want their archenemies, the werewolves, to get hold of him.

The list went on and on. The ideas of vampires and werewolves are as old as the human desire for superhuman qualities. But despite their archaic predecessors, the vampire and werewolf topic has by no means lost its relevance. On the contrary. The vampire theme is more alive than seldom in literature and film. The vampire theme, like its subject, seems to be literally immortal and, moreover, does not age, but on the contrary has a power of rejuvenation that feeds it with ever new vitality. And the werewolf is also reappearing in all media today. At the head of a large wave of animal-human teenage protagonists, they flood the film landscape of the twenty-first century.

Beastmen can be found in almost every film genre today. They can be divided into four categories: Animal-like people are people with animal characteristics. They mainly include vampires, but also superheroes such as Batman, Catwomen, Spiderman and Antman. There are also shapeshifters who can switch between human and animal shape. The most popular shapeshifter is the werewolf. But you could also add Franz Kafka's Gregor Samsa or all the enchanted fairy tale characters, such as the frog king or the bear brother.

Hybrids are half human, half animal. They are often historically linked to Greek mythology in the film. They include centaurs, fauns, minotaurs, sphinxes, mermaids or mermaids and harpies. They populate fantasy films like Narnia or Percy Jackson. But there are also werewolves that are represented as hybrids.

Last but not least, the animal with human characteristics should be mentioned, which can be found mainly in fables such as Puss in Boots or Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten, as well as in trick and animated films such as Aristocats, 101 Dalmatians, Ice Age, Shrek or Madagascar.

The history of the vampire extends far beyond Dracula. And people did not always feel fascination for the symbolic power of blood, the wandering between life and death and vampiric behavior, as is the case today in the popular culture media. “As creatures of the night, the vampires embody and symbolize some of our most original fears, namely that the darkness robs us of our souls and that we must irrevocably change ourselves so that even those we love no longer know us and fear us. 'a The vampire image has changed. Today everyone who has seen Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, 4Zimmer Kuche Coffin or the horror series From Dusk til Dawn knows that the vampire's oldest nemesis is the werewolf. Their deeply anchored feud is highlighted in every film of this feud. A look at the historical development of vampire and werewolf mythologies and ideas is enough to see that this feud is by no means historically proven. The opposite is the case. The story reveals a startling paradox: vampires and werewolves are closely related, if not originally the same. Based on this thesis, I would like to give some insights into the cultural-historical development of the vampire and werewolf ideas in Europe in the last five thousand years and collect indications of the historical relationship between vampire and werewolf. It can be assumed that the changing times and social changes caused today's ideas of vampires and werewolf to develop in different directions from their common origin and therefore their relationship was forgotten. This gives rise to another question to which I would like to find an answer: How did it come about that werewolf and vampire now face each other as archenemies in literature and film?

II. Beastmen

The relationship between animals and humans can vary depending on the shape. Whether as a source of food, livestock in a machine ensemble of humans, animals and machines or as a[1]

Member of the family, the gap between humans and animals does not seem to be overcome as strongly in any form as in the animal-man. Since the Enlightenment there has been a conceptual distinction between nature and culture and the biblical story of creation also assigns humans and animals to different types of creation and builds a hierarchy in which it is nevertheless the animal that is closest to humans in the sequence of creation. The German psychologist Rudolf Leubuscher (1822-1862) sees the decisive difference between animals and humans in the difference between sensus, meaning and ratio, reason.[2] While the animal is equated with the sense, since the animal only follows its senses, urges, instincts, the human being has not only sensus but also ratio: reason and judgment. In one of his main works, the Summa Theologica from 1265 to 1273, Thomas Aquinas deduces the special position of man from this by saying “that man shares reason with angels, sensuality with animals, with the Plant growth and, with inanimate things, the material body. "[3 According to Aquinas, this means that man is chosen to be the ruler.[4]

But what about the transformation into an animal or into an animal man, is it now voluntary or involuntary? In the late Middle Ages and early modern times, the Inquisition equated the corperum mutatio in bestias with witchcraft. The contemporary people saw the transformation into an animal mostly as a punishment by God, which was punished with the persecution and execution of alleged werewolts and vampires by the superstitious people.[5] So it was with the contemporary vampire and werewolf ideas. They were evidence of the devil's work and God's punishment.[6 This view leads us to conclude that bridging a stage of creation by changing animals was either the work of the devil or God's punishment. In this context, the vampire belief formed "a rich tradition and a proven compensation system for unexplained deaths and other negative events [...] that range between myth and rite."[7] This problem was discussed controversially well into the eighteenth century.

The word werewolf can be derived from the Germanic word who = man, that is, man wolf, which describes a hybrid of man and wolf, either as a shapeshifter or a hybrid. But the derivation from the older word wariwulf or waziwulf, from the Gothic wasjan, werian = 'to dress', indicates a deliberate transformation, even more of a masking. At this point, a distinction must therefore be made between garment and real transformation. What causes a person to voluntarily transform? The obvious thing to do is to embrace the animal's abilities and senses. If only in spirit, as the Nordic Brotherhood of Berserkers did in battle by masking them with bear and wolf skins. The ingestion of narcotic substances caused the berserk to become an animal, even if only through hallucination. Another reason is known from Estonia. Here in the early villages the wolf's hulk was used as a camouflage to steal cattle without the perpetrator being recognized. The wolf is lawless. The wolfskin gave him the right to be stronger. So he did not break the contract law of the farmers and the werewolf went unpunished. Only shouting out the name of the (who) wolf could avert an attack, because then the werewolf was exposed and crept away.[8] Today the beastmen are made into heroes with their special abilities, who grow beyond themselves, are something special and who are not feared by superstitious ideas by today's enlightened recipients.

The word vampire used today can be derived from the word Upyr, which comes from the Slavic language area, with the suffix -pir standing for a winged or feathered being. The Greek word opyr also means a flying creature. Richard Riegler, a collector of animal legends, attributes this name to the relationship between the vampire and the bat. “It should not be forgotten that the Slavic belief in vampires started with bats. The vampire is [...] half human half bat. "[9] This theory about the origin of the vampire belief differs from the theories of other mythologists from other sources, such as that of the philologist Bernhard Schmidt (1837-1917). In his work: The Folk Life of Modern Greece and Hellenic Antiquity from 1871, Schmidt directs the origin of the vampire from the Greek Damon Wurkolak. A word that, in turn, is derived from the Slavonic

Wolf hair or wolf fur means, but in Greek denotes a vampire.[10] It is therefore conceivable from an etymological point of view that the Greek ideas of vampires stem from the Slavic ideas of werewolf.

It was not until the eighteenth century that blood-sucking and the sharp whipped cream became typical vampire traits.[11] The Albanian name dhampir is made up of dham = tooth and pir or pit = drink and emphasizes the aspect of sucking blood. The bat was probably only associated with the vampire much later because of its similar properties to the vampire, such as its sharp teeth for sucking blood and its nocturnal activity. Then the word vampire dominated international literature from the middle of the eighteenth century and presumably replaced the word Wurkolak, known from the Balkans, which signified the vampire and testified to the relationship to the werewolf. Probably on the side of the signifier, the newer indicative word vampire became more common from the eighteenth century than the old indicative word Wurkolak, because on the side of the signified the conceptions of the designated being had also changed.

III. The origin - relationship in the early Middle Ages

3.1. Vukodlak and Wurkolak - the Slavic werewolf and the Greek vampire

Little can be said about the exact origins of the werewolf belief. The idea of ​​being able to transform oneself into an animal, such as in the phenomenon of the wolf metamorphosis or lycanthropy or. Cynanthropy[12], are just as old as humanity itself. Since humans became foragers and, above all, hunters, the idea of ​​being able to acquire the properties, hunting instincts, speed and senses of a wolf or other animal hunter must have been desirable . Cave paintings of wolf men attest to this pursuit of superhuman hunting skills. At least the origin of the word lycanthropy is known from Pausania's legend. Lykaion, King of the Arcadians, put human flesh in front of Zeus who was invited to a feast. As a punishment, Zeus turned him into a wolf. Another legend says that a priest in wolf skin made human sacrifices to the god Zeus from Mount Lykaion. Anyone who afi of the meat was turned into a wolf for ten years.

The origin of the ideas of vampirism is easier to understand. Both spatially and temporally, the sources say the same thing, namely that the first vampire-like beings emerged in the mythological ideas of the Balkans, especially the Greeks. These ideas resulted from the conquest of the Slavs in the Balkans, which began at the end of late antiquity in the sixth century with the crossing of Slavic groups across the Danube. In addition to their ideas of the werewolf, the Vukodlak, they also brought Christian ideas to the Eastern Provinces. After countless plundering and sieges, the Slavs settled in the Balkans in the seventh century and there was a relatively peaceful coexistence with the Roman-Greek provincial population until the tenth century.[13]

In his work on Southeast European folk poetry, Leopold Kretzenbacher adheres to two different types of werewolf. On the one hand there was the Vukodlak in the Slavs' ideas of animal-human Damons, which means' wolf's fur 'and on the other hand there were the dog-headed mythical creatures, the Kynokephaloi or Pesoglavci. As Damons they were of diabolical origin and could appear as harbingers of hell and host of the Antichrists. Kretzenbacher names the strong dog or wolf hair on arms and legs and their iron teeth as a visual feature. These werewolves were known as "terrible and bloodthirsty fellows"[14]who particularly preferred the human flesh of Christians. As creatures of the devil, they served the witches. They were also often brought into connection with the Turks as non-Christians, who used the Wolf Men to persecute and track down Christians.[15] The bloodsucking behavior and the urge to eat people are reminiscent of the typical vampiric behavior as bloodsuckers. There are also parallels between the Pesoglavci and the peaceful dog people in India or the jackal-headed deities in ancient Egypt.

According to Schmidt, the origin of the vampire ideas lies in the Greek Wurkolak or Wrukolakas or Bourkolakas. This Greek vampire is descended from the Slavic werewolf, the Vukodlak.[16] “The word [Wurkolak] alone is beyond doubt

Slavic origin and identical to the Slavic name of the werewolf, which is Bohemian vlkodlak, Bulgarian and Slovak vrodlak, Polish vilkolak or vilkolek, which literally means wolf hair, wolf fur ’[...]"[17] In Slavic, the Vukodlak was a werewolf who was originally a human being and transformed into a werewolf at some point, while the Wurkolak of the Balkans was a vampire-like Damon who rose from the grave rani and doomed the living by sucking their blood.[18] They shared their lust for blood, their human murderous intentions, and their ability to take animal form. And therefore "the name of one was transferred to the concept of the other"[19]. The decisive factors for this must have been in particular the animal appearance, the ability to transform and the lust for blood. There is one more thing in common:

3.2. Damons

Schmidt assigns both vampires and werewolves with other, mainly animal-human beings, such as the nymph, to the group of damons. Therefore werewolves and vampires or Wurkolak and Kynokephaloi share the basic Damonic properties. They are pagan beings who are hostile to Christianity and who take a stand opposite to the Christian world. Hence they were also called the false or the deceitful.[20] These designations in turn suggest that it was a question of beings of deception, which first had to appear as an illusion of what is right, in order to then reveal themselves as a disastrous deception. Or, to speak with Sigmund Freud, were first assigned to the secret and then transformed into the uncanny.[21] As the undead revenant of a previously living person, the vampire fulfills exactly these qualities, just like the werewolf, who takes on the form of a werewolf before being human and after being transformed by devilish powers. Other Greek names for damons also mean ghostly appearance or horror. These also refer to the typically vampiric and werewolf property of frightening their human victims to death simply by their terrible appearance.[22]


[1] Klemens, Elke (2004): Dracula and, his daughter ’. The vampire as a symbol in the course of time, 1st edition, Tubingen: Gunter Narr (Mannheim contributions to linguistic and literary studies; 60), p. 11.

[2] Cf. Leubuscher, Rudolf (1850): Werwolfe und, Thierverwandlungen im Mittelalter. On the history of a psychology, 1st edition, Berlin: G. Reimer, p.3.

[3] Von Aquin, Thomas In: Leubuscher, Rudolf (1850): Werwolfe und, Thierverwandlungen im Mittelalter. On the history of a psychology, 1st edition, Berlin: G. Reimer, p.3.

[4] See ibid.

[5] See Richter, Sabine (2004): Werwolfe und Zaubertanze. Pre-Christian beliefs in witch trials in the early modern period, 1st edition, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang (European University Writings Series XXII Sociology; 392), p. 106.

[6] See ibid.

[7] Reber, Ursula and Augustynowicz, Christoph (eds.) (2011): Vampirism and magia posthu-ma in the discourse of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1st edition, Vienna / Berlin: LIT (history; 6), p. 9.

[8] See Tuczay, Christa Agnes et al. (Eds.) (2011): Tierverwandlungen. Codings and discourses, Tubingen: Francke, p. 36.

[9] Richard Riegler In: Golowin, Sergius (1998) [1993]: The secret of the animal men. About vampires, mermaids, werewolves and similar creatures, 2nd edition, Munich: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, p. 125.

[10] Cf. Schmidt, Bernhard (1871): The folk life of the modern Greeks and the Hellenic antiquity, 1st edition, Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, p. 156.

[11] See Lauper, Anja (2011): The fantastic epidemic. Episodes of Vampirism in the 18th Century, 1st Edition, Zurich: Diaphanes, p. 7.

[12] See Leubuscher, p.3.

[13] Cf. Maier, Franz Georg (1973) (Ed.): Byzanz, 1st edition, Frankfurt a. M .: Ploetz Verlag (Fischer Weltge-

schichte, vol. 13), p. 139.


Kretzenbacher, Leopold (1968): Kynokephale Damonen Southeast European Folk Poetry. Comparative studies on myths, legends, mask usage around Kynokephaloi, werewolves and South Slavic Pesoglavci, 1st edition, Munich: Dr. Dr. Rudolf Trefonik (Articles on Knowledge of Southeast Europe and the Near East; V), p. 6.

[15] See ibid.

[16] See Schmidt, p. 156.

[17] Schmidt, p. 159.

[18] See ibid.

[19] Schmidt, p. 162.

[20] See ibid.

[21] Cf. Freud, Sigmund (1982): Das Unheimliche. In: Ders .: Study edition, Vol. IV. Psychological writings. Ed. Alexander Mitscherlich, Angela Richards, James Strachey., Frankfurt a. M .: Fischer, pp. 241-274.

[22] See Schmidt, p. 163.

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