Vampires have been a part of human folklore for centuries, and their legends have been passed down through generations. However, their origin and the name they went by in ancient Greece is still a topic of debate among historians and scholars.
The term “vampire” is said to have originated from the Slavic word “upir” meaning “to drink”. But what did the ancient Greeks call these blood-sucking creatures? The answer lies in the Greek word “Empusae”, which translates to “one who walks with one foot on the road and one foot on the field”.
Empusae were known to be creatures that walked at night in search of human prey. They were believed to be shape-shifters who could transform into beautiful women or animals to lure their victims. Once they had them in their clutches, they would drain their blood and leave them lifeless.
According to Greek mythology, Empusae were under the command of Hecate – the goddess of witchcraft, magic, and necromancy. She was often depicted as a three-headed goddess who ruled over the underworld.
The legend of Empusae was so prevalent in ancient Greece that it even made its way into literature. Aristophanes – an ancient Greek playwright – wrote about them in his play “Peace”. In this play, Empusa is portrayed as a demon who tries to scare off a farmer but is ultimately defeated by his cleverness.
In conclusion, while vampires may have been called by different names in various cultures, in ancient Greece they were known as Empusae. These creatures were feared for their ability to shape-shift and drain the life force out of humans. Their legend lives on through literature and continues to captivate our imagination even today.