Vampires Burial And Death Summary

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In 1988 Paul Barber published Vampires, Burial and Death, which is probably the most extensive and influential of the new scholarship concerning vampires that came out of the late twentieth century. He sought to demystify the vampire all the while not completely discrediting the sources, just explaining what they saw scientifically. He makes the wonderful analogy of Copernicus’ epicycles, a logical and reasonable—albeit wrong- way of explaining a natural phenomenon. Barber goes to great length to construct an explanation for vampires starting from the original sources and building off them, often quoting them wholesale as to remove any ideas about “fictional” vampires as opposed to the “folkloric” vampires found in the sources. He argues that the vampire of folklore are simply describing the natural decomposition process, but came to embody the fears the people of Eastern Europe had about death, calamity and disease. He shares the same status as Calmet, Summers, and Perkowski in that his work is sourced in almost all scholarship after him. There are a few works dedicated to explaining why vampires became such a matter of discussion in the academic circles of the 1730s. One such author is Leo Ruickbie …show more content…
Scholarly discussion of the subject begins and ends with the work of Richard Sugg, which he devotes a chapter of his book to recounting. Sugg outlines the long history of the use of human corpses as a form of medicine, from the ingestion of mummies, crushed skulls, fat, and blood. He uses the writing and accounts of both medical professionals and those of the people who prescribed to this form of medicine well into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He does note that during the eighteenth century there was some criticism over the use of mummia and usnea, but no such criticism is found over the use of human fat or that of medical

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