By Michael Seymour

Babylon: for eons its very identify has been a byword for luxurious and wickedness. 'By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept', wrote the psalmist, 'as we remembered Zion'. one of many maximum towns of the traditional global, Babylon has been eclipsed through its personal sinful attractiveness. for 2 thousand years the genuine, actual city lay buried whereas one other, ghostly urban lived on, engorged on debts of its personal destruction. extra lately the positioning of Babylon has been the centre of significant excavation: but the excellent result of this paintings have performed little displace the numerous different attention-grabbing ways that the town has persevered and reinvented itself in tradition. Saddam Hussein, for one, notoriously exploited the Babylonian fable to affiliate himself and his regime with its wonderful earlier. Why has Babylon so creatively fired the human mind's eye, with effects either stable and ailing? Why has it been so captivating to such a lot of, and for therefore lengthy? In exploring solutions, Michael Seymour' s ebook levels widely over house and time and embraces artwork, archaeology, background and literature. From Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, through Strabo and Diodorus, to the booklet of Revelation, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Voltaire, William Blake and glossy interpreters like Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and Gore Vidal, the writer brings to mild a carnival of disparate resources ruled by way of the strong and intoxicating thought of depravity. but eye-catching as this darkish mythology was once and has endured to be, at its root lies a striking and complicated imperial civilization whose advanced state-building, legislations- making and faith ruled Mesopotamia and past for millennia, prior to its incorporation into the nonetheless wider empire of the Achaemenid kings.

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National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. W. C. A. org CONTENTS A VAMPIRE IN VENICE, 2006 TWILIGHT ZONE “THE VERY BEST STORY OF DIABLERIE” GATHERINGS FROM GRAVEYARDS THE VAMPIRE EPIDEMICS CORPI MORTI TERRA DAMNATA THE WANDERERS TALES OF WORLDWIDE DEVILRY THE LARVAE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS NOTES SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX A VAMPIRE IN VENICE, 2006 LA SERENISSIMA—“the Most Serene Republic”—is how we like to think of Venice, as she was during her golden age.

The hunters have a second mission, too: They must head off a vampire epidemic in London. When he was trapped in the count’s Transylvanian castle, Harker unwittingly helped a monster escape to London; in that city for centuries to come, Harker agonizes, might this fiend “satiate his lust for blood, and create a new and ever-widening circle of semi-demons to batten on the helpless”? Dr. Van Helsing later underscores the point: “But to fail here, is not mere life or death. ” As the race to save Mina and the city gets tighter, the suspense builds—and the story gains even more momentum.

HYSTERICAL HIGHGATE The long shadow of Montague Summers falls squarely on the incredible story of London’s Highgate Cemetery hauntings—a vivid example of the appeal that “true-life” vampire tales continued to exert on the human imagination in the late 20th century. Once a favorite Victorian burial ground, Highgate Cemetery, which sprawls across a low rise overlooking north London, is a city of the dead that displays the marvelous funerary architecture of the 19th century: elaborate tombs, aspiring statues, pitying angels, pedimented mausoleums, and fantastic Egyptian avenues.

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