Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vampires - Myth Or Reality? Part 3

The increasing vampire cases presented the medical and scientific community a challenging case to make use of their elaborated scientific reasoning. In 1721, a doctor named Rzaczynski became puzzled over the Polish accounts on vampires in Historia naturalis curiosa regni Poloniae. The testimonies of the witnesses and books written about vampires and vampire cases more or less contained the same kind of stories including the accounts made by the physicians handling the different cases. There were similar accounts of uncorrupted or undamaged corpses, blood characteristics found in their veins, and illnesses brought by the phenomenon of vampire bites.
A vampire who bites or feeds on the blood of the victim makes the victim gradually becoming ill. The usual symptoms were fever, pale pallor, digestive problems, and sickness. The victims believed that the use of magical devices or smearing their bodies with blood from suspected vampire corpses exhumed from the cemetery would heal them. However, the Hungarian doctor George Tallar analytically and medically explained the symptoms of the vampire illnesses. He associated the symptoms with the Orthodox Church diet that normally resulted to varying digestive problems. He decided to heal the vampire symptoms according to his diet theory.
The religious community proved to be harsher in treating the vampire cases symptoms. The serious challenge focused on the Christian dogmas, cults, and blasphemy. The vampire corpse's characteristics that they found such as resistance to decay and hair and nails that continuously grow present a different light to the religious community. The context of undead or decay resistance and growing fingernails associate itself to the concept of resurrection normally attributed to medieval saints, which demonstrated the presence of energy after death and beyond death. However, the vampires' apparitions, miracles or haunting capacity, bloodsucking or sacrificial blood proved to be attributes of the saints. The Christians believed that bloodsucking is the opposite of the version of Christianity's holy communion, which mystics claimed as significant way of taking the body and blood of Christ in its tangible material form.
The Bishop of Trani, Giuseppe Davanzati, wrote the same views on his Dissertation about Vampires. The bishop based his dissertation's views on the information provided by the Bishop of Moravia, Schrattenbach. Most of the vampire beliefs and occurrences happened only among the uneducated lower class society. This excludes the cultivated scientist and noblemen from believing and witnessing vampire cases and experiences. It is therefore the duty of the educated to help the ignorant understand the situation as well as rid themselves of the damaging superstitions.

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