Vampire Definition | concept

The vampire definition and concept underlying the brand owned by Transylvania World

The Vampire, Mythic transylvanian character

Originating from Sumer, Asiria and Israel, the vampire myth was borrowed by Romania’s ancestors and was subsequently rediscovered by Jules Verne and Bram Stoker due to the Transylvanian myths and superstitions.

vampire definition

A vampire (its origin in the Latin/Greek word „strix”, „strigoi” or „vampir” in Romanian) is a malefic supernatural character which feeds on human blood.

The concept was born in the ancient Sumerian, Assyrian and Jewish mythologies, being subsequently borrowed by the Indo-European peoples, predecessors of the Greeks, Romans and Dacians (ancestors of nowadays Romanians). 

The term “strigoi” in Romanian and „strix” in Latin / Greek precedes the term “vampire” in English by a few millennia, and it was rediscovered and globally promoted by Jules Verne and Bram Stoker, who found inspiration in the myths and superstitions from Transylvania. The diversity of this area’s myths had a crucial role in the vampire’s ascension directly into nowadays pop culture.

The vampire concept

The vampire, a malefic supernatural character, initially appeared in the ancient Sumerian, Assyrian and Jewish mythologies as a nocturnal demonic creature, feeding on children’s blood.

The Indo-European populations generated in the Eurasian region, in the vicinity of the Sumerian, Assyrian and Jewish people. The Indo-Europeans spawned among others the Romans, Greeks and Dacians (ancestors of today’s Romanians), took the vampire concept and spread it throughout Europe.

For example, the character Lamia from the ancient Greek mythology is a predecessor of the vampire, a queen transformed into a blood-sucking demon who fed on children.[1]

The demon-witch Lilith appears as an owl in Jewish mythology, her metamorphosis being in direct connection with the Latin / Greek term “strix” (owl).[2]

The Dacians’ myths adapted these creatures’ themes; in their conception the vampires are spirits of the deceased not worthy of entering the realm of Zalmoxis (the supreme Dacian deity).[3]

Subsequently the Romanian mythology adapted the same elements and the vampires (“strigoi”) became blood-thirsty creatures, who had the ability of metamorphosis; again we can find a close connection to the origin of the word “strix”.[4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

The first mentioning of the word “strigoi” is dated millennia ago, whilst the first European mentioning of the word “vampire” appeared in the early 18th century, at the beginning of the Modern Period.[9]

By the end of the 19th century the strigoi concept was almost forgotten in Western Europe, but famous writers such as Jules Verne and Bram Stoker revived it. They found inspiration in the Transylvanian myths and superstitions, although they had a multitude of concepts and mythologies to choose from.

Consequently, Jules Verne wrote his novel “The Carpathian Castle” in 1892, the term “strigoi” appearing in the book and its action taking place on Transylvania’s territory. Next, Bram Stoker published “Dracula” in 1897, spawning a genre hugely popular up to this day.

Basically by the virtue of Transylvania’s traditions and superstitions, Jules Verne and Bram Stoker rediscovered and promoted the vampire concept, which nowadays is a global standard for the most important literary and cinematic genres.[10] [11]

Note: The Transylvania World concepts are an essential part of the association brand and their usage has to quote the source and reference this website. Discover the Dacian mithology on our website

Research sources:

1. Wikipedia, Lamia (source)
2. Wikipedia, Lilith (source)
3. Wikipedia, Strigoi (source)
4. Wikipedia, Strix (source)
5. Nicolescu I. Carmen, Daimonii în Literatura Română, Universitaria Publishing House, Craiova, 2012
6. Teodor T. Burada, Datinele Poporului Romăn la Înmormentări, National Tipography, Iași, 1882
7. Conf. Univ. Dr. Claudia Costin, Etnografie și folclor, „Ștefan cel Mare” University, Suceava
8. Patrimoniul Cultural Imaterial din România.Repertoriu I , CIMEC- Institute of Cultural Memory, Bucharest, 2009
9. Vulcănescu R., Mitologie Română, Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România,București,1987
10. Wikipedia, Castelul din Carpați (source)

Other concepts


  • Overview of the definitions and concepts developed by Transylvania World Association and the key points of our research.
  • Official concepts

  • Transylvania (Definition, etymology, geography, history and its present state)
  • Transylvania classification into three geographical areas: Central, Political and Transylvania World with its influences
  • Carpathian Mountains (Definition, setting, the connections between legends and reality)
  • Cucuteni Civilization (Definition, geography, facts about the oldest civilization of Europe)
  • Ancient Dacians (About the ancient Dacian people, predecessors of the Romanians)
  • Vlad the Impaler (Also known as "Vlad Draculea" or "Vlad Dracula", one of the most important European leaders who stopped the islamic takeover of Europe in the Middle Ages)
  • The traditional Transylvanian village (definition and overview)
  • Household in Transylvania (About the traditional transylvanian households)
  • Mithological concepts

  • Dacian mythology (Mythology spawned on today's territory of Transylvania, where the Dacians lived, the ancestors of today's Romanians)
  • Werewolf (Incorrectly promoted as a negative character, the concept has generated from the Dacian mithology)
  • Dracula (The fantastic character also known as "Count Dracula" or "The vampire Dracula", inspired by the transylvanian traditions and the real historical character Vlad the Impaler)

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