Vampires in Myth and Mythology
The first myth on Vampires predates back to roughly 4000 B.C.E. from the ancient Sumer civilization. The ancient Sumerians existed in Mesopotamia and facts prove that by 3100 B.C.E., their culture brought the earliest archeologically proven dynasty; the first cities were built along with establishing the city and state religions were set up and practiced. The Sumerians is the first civilization to receive our attention as the first and oldest myth of a Vampire-like being that is the Ekimmu.
The Ekimmu, like many Vampires of folklore, was believed to have been created when someone died a violent death or was not buried properly. Although not referred to out right as a Vampire, the way they are described as helps us to draw the conclusion that these creatures were real intentional psychic Vampires. They were described as demonic in nature, severely rotting corpses, phantom-like entities that roamed the earth, unable to rest, in search of victims. In reference to The Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia, by R. Campbell Thompson, the creatures preferred the attack pattern of finding a helpless individual, then tormenting this victim until a priest or priestess could come and perform a ritual or exorcism to force the Vampire off.
Uruku a.k.a. Utukku
Another creature from the Mesopotamian that fits this role as Vampire-like creatures is that of the Uruku or Utukku. The Uruku is actually referred to as a “Vampyre which attacks man” in a cuneiform inscription. There is very little known about the Uruku, but, the mere fact that it has been referred to as a “Vampire” deems it worthy to mention here.
The Seven Demons
Another “race” of Vampires is also mentioned as a Vampiric entity which was much feared: “The Seven Demons”. These beings have been mentioned in many Mesopotamian religious texts and incantations, like the following excerpt taken from a Sumerian banishment (taken from The Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia, by R. Campbell Thompson):
Demons that have no shame,
Seven are they!
Knowing no care …
Knowing no mercy,
They rage against mankind:
Devouring their flesh [and] sucking their veins.
Where the images of the gods are they quake …
They are demons full of violence
Ceaselessly devouring blood.
Invoke the ban against them,
That they no more return to this neighborhood …
The creatures described above clearly have attributes similar to immortal blood-drinking Vampires. The blood drinking and vein sucking make it clear to assume that they are Vampires of some sort indeed. The eighth line in the excerpt indicates that the creatures are afraid of the images of the Sumer gods, or of the temples in which most god images are kept.
CE stands for “Common Era.” AD is an abbreviation for “Anno Domini” in Latin or “the year of the Lord” in English. Both measure the number of years since the approximate birthday of Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ) a little over two millennia ago. CE and AD have the same value. That is 1 CE = 1 AD, and 2011 CE = 2011 AD. The word “common” simply means that it is based on the most frequently used calendar system: the Gregorian Calendar.
BCE stands for “Before the common era.” BC means “Before Christ,” or “Before the Messiah.” Both measure the number of years before the approximate birthday of Yeshua/Jesus. A year in BC and BCE also have identical values.
Although many people believe that Yeshua/Jesus was born at the end of 1 BCE, most theologians and religious historians estimate that he was born was in the fall of a year, sometime between 7 and 4 BCE. However, we have seen estimates as late as 4 CE and as early as the second century BCE.
Of course, one has the option of interpreting the letter “C” in CE and BCE as referring to “Christian” or “Christ’s” The Abbreviations Dictionary does exactly this. The “C” has also been interpreted as “Current.”