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The Source:

l'abbé Migne:
"Dictionnaire des Sciences Occultes" vol.I
Ateliers Catholiques du Petit-Montrouge, Paris, 1846

Daniel Ogden:
"Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds"
Oxford University Press, 2002

Jan N. Bremmer:
"De ziel, de dood en het hiernamaals in het vroege en klassieke Griekenland"
Amsterdam, 1979

The Case:

This is what I found in the "Dictionnaire des Sciences Occultes"

"L'âme d'Hermotime de Clazomène s'absentai, de son corps lorsqu'il le voulait, parcourait des pays éloignés, et racontait à son retour des choses surprenantes. Apparemment que Hermotime eut des ennemis. Un jour que son âme était allée en course, et que son corps était comme de coutume semblable à un cadavre, ses ennemis le brûlèrent et ôtèrent ainsi à l'âme le moyen de rentrer dans son étui. Mais, dans d'autres versions, Hermotime est un vampire."

Which more or less translates into this:

"The soul of Hermotimus of Clazomenae went out of his body when he wanted that. It went to faraway countries and at its return told surprising things. Apparently Hermotimus had ennemies. One day, when his soul was away, and as usual his body looked like a corpse, his ennemies burnt the body and so prevented his soul from coming back into it. But, in other versions of this story, Hermotimus is a vampire."

Much more could be said about the mysterious Hermotimus, but there is plenty of material written about him which will tell you more. For me it is sufficient that l'abbé Migne tells us that there must be writers who thought that Hermotimus was a vampire. Of course there is the fact that he was reported to be seen again after his death.

The Date:

Daniel Ogden, in his "Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds", dates Hermotimus as having lived in the 7th Century B.C., although the questionmark seems to indicate that he is not sure about it. It is good enough for me. So untill we find more accurate information we will date the supposed happenings as 7th Century B.C.

The Place:

Klazomenai or Clazomenae was an ancient Greek city. Its ruins can now be found in the town of Urla which can be found West of Izmir. I now remember that I have actually been there on my way to Chios. Sadly that was before I ran into this story.

Possible Follow-Up:

I have given you all about Hermotimus that is in the "Dictionnaire des Sciences Occultes". I have given you a few more titles. And of course, there is always Google.

© 2015 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed February 2015

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