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Serbian Vampires

It was a foggy day that April 6, back in the year 1725 when angry villagers of rural hamlet of Kisiljevo, Serbia opened the grave of their neighbor Petar Blagojević who died eight days before. His death was followed by a spate of nine other sudden deaths and numerous claims by the victims being throttled by Petar at night. When they cracked the casket open, features associated with vampires, just like they anticipated, were indeed present, the body was undecomposed, the hair and beard were grown, there were mixture of new skin and nails along with old ones peeled away, and there was blood flowing out of his mouth. The villagers were accompanied with an official of the Austrian administration (Austrian empire governed the area in early 18th century) and local priest. The entire case was documented and reported to the officials and covered by Die Wiener Zeitung, a Viennese newspaper on July 21st. At the time, the vampirism was fully embedded into Serbian folklore with numerous Slavic leg

Fairies of Naissus

In pre-Christian mythologies of the western and northern tribes and their pagan beliefs, female deities were not uncommon. Take for instance old Gaul's Matres or Valkyries of the old Norse mythology and of course all the goddesses from the history of all polytheistic religions around the globe. But perhaps the most interesting of them all are, you guessed, the fairies. They are not actually deities per se and rather belong to the spirit realm of the afterlife and dead, but still you can find them, in one form or another, in almost all religious legends and myths. The city where I was born, the valley it resides and the river that splits it in half are no different. The history of this area is, metaphorically speaking, very colorful and full of wonders, all the way to the beginning of the Neolithic era, and over the centuries this valley literally saw lots of different cultures and deities. One of them, originates way back to the Celtic Gauls and their tribe named Scordisci who live

Art That Works

It was May 20th of the 1883rd year of AD when people living in Dutch East Indies, back then in 19th century, started to feel more intense earthquakes and to spot first steam venting out of one of three volcanic cones, just above the powerful caldera in today's Indonesian archipelago of Krakatoa. In the following days of May eruptions started from the one of volcano peaks and after a week or so calmed down only to issue a warning for what would come in following months. What started happening on June 16th and culminating in August 27th is now well known as the most massive and powerful volcano eruption in the documented history of mankind. William Ascroft's pastel sky-sketches* The eruptions were so powerful that the most intense explosion was heard all the way down in Perth, Australia, which is almost 3000km south of Krakatoa. On the west, across the Indian ocean, people located almost 5000km on the islands not far away from Madagascar thought it was cannon fire from n

Constantine & Naissus

Couple of centuries after Christ, Constantine was very popular name. Especially among soldiers in Roman and Bysantine empires along with Greeks during their Macedonian age. Within latin Cōnstantīnus and greek Κωνσταντῖνος (Kōnstantînos) name literally means the one who's constant and steadfast especially within military properties related to strength and stamina. In those times the land of my current location was called "Moesia Superior" with the city of Naissus in the role of its main trade center and biggest military outpost for Roman army. Today's name of the city is "Niš", the largest city of southern Serbia and also the city where I was born and where I live ever since. Serbian usage of the name is "Konstantin" and even though it is not related to military anymore, the name is fairly popular nowadays among young Serbians. It was third on my list when my son was born simply because I really like names with strong inner "adjectivity"