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Hi,
About two years ago someone recommended an excellent good vs evil self published novel about a Russian ORthodox vampire. I read it and really enjoyed it,but the title and author's name escape me.If you can refresh my memory I'd greatly appreciate it as I'd like to pass on the recommendation to some friends.
Thanks!

Peace,
Indigo

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Is that The Vampire Armand - by Rice, I think?

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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That would make it a bit difficult - no baptismal cross, no Sign of the Cross, no getting blessed with holy water - certainly no Communion... eek

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Originally Posted by Diak
That would make it a bit difficult - no baptismal cross, no Sign of the Cross, no getting blessed with holy water - certainly no Communion... eek

Sounds like a lot of "Orthodox" I've met. wink

Those types usually only come to church on Pascha. Come to think of it, if services are at midnight and end before sunrise, that would be prime "vampire" time. Hmm, the plot thickens...

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I'm not into vampires myself. Those who are might wish to know that some editions of funeral service contain a blessing against vampires to be used over the grave.

Fr. Serge

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Vlad Tepes Draculya was Orthodox, albeit at that particular time and place (1460s-70s) there was much confusion and division between those who accepted the Council of Florence and those who did not. As he is the subject of Bram Stoker's novel, does he count?

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Vlad Teppeš, Draculja, was an apostate, at least by his actions.

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Originally Posted by aramis
Vlad Teppeš, Draculja, was an apostate, at least by his actions.

You mean by defending Christian Wallachia and Romania from the Ottoman Turks?

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For me, an Orthodox, this thread is odd and not Christian. At least if we would remember the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa regarding the name of Christian et al.

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Originally Posted by DewiMelkite
Originally Posted by aramis
Vlad Teppeš, Draculja, was an apostate, at least by his actions.

You mean by defending Christian Wallachia and Romania from the Ottoman Turks?


No, by bathing in blood, dining by death screams, and generally relishing the torture of humans, even if they were Turks. Somewhere along the line he went well beyond anything reasonable.

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"No, by bathing in blood, dining by death screams, and generally relishing the torture of humans, even if they were Turks. Somewhere along the line he went well beyond anything reasonable."

Much of the information commonly known about Vlad Tepes is polemical and hyperbolic, the work of his enemies both within Romania as well as (for some reason) Germany. The original propaganda tales got embellished over time, being reprinted for their lurid entertainment value long after Vlad was dead.

Was Vlad brutal? Of course he was. He lived in a brutal age, in a particularly nasty neighborhood. There were only two types of rulers then--brutal ones, and dead ones. Even the "enlightened" Matthias Covinas of Hungary (possessor of the largest library in Europe) felt the need to resort to draconian punishments to keep unruly nobles in line. Certainly, Mehmet II, Vlad's Ottoman opponent, never quailed at the notion of "disproportionate response".

Who were Vlad's victims? Mainly two groups: the Wallachian boyars, who schemed tirelessly to undermine both his reign and his father's before him; and common criminals. Oh, and about 20,000 Ottoman prisoners of war, whom he had impaled when Mehmet invaded Wallachia with an army estimated at 150,000 men (about ten times the number Vlad could muster). Let's look at each of these in turn.

The boyars were, for the most part, petty tyrants interested mainly in preserving their autonomy and perquisites. As such, they were constantly scheming to overthrow the Voievode, even to the point of conspiring with the Turks. By oppressing them, Vlad was able to centralize authority in his own hands, necessary both for common defense and for the administration of justice. In so doing, he invoked their perpetual enmity, and they eventually overthrew him by conspiring with Vlad's brother Radu, who in turn was a puppet of the Ottomans. And, since the boyars were literate (or at least had scribes on their payrolls), they got to write the histories.

Of the common criminals, it is important to remember that banditry was endemic, that bandits preyed off the peasants and other commoners, and that they themselves were incredibly brutal in their tactics. In killing them off, Vlad earned the appreciation of the common people, who probably did not shed any tears for the murderers, thieves, extortionists and outright thugs whom Vlad stuck on poles. But peasants don't write history.

Finally, there are the Turks. Don't buy into the story about how enlightened they were as compared to nasty old Christians. They conquered all of Anatolia, the Middle East and half of Europe by being brutal and ruthless. When Mehmet the Conqueror, the man who took Constantinople (read Runciman to see how pleasant that was) invaded Vlad's principality with a huge army, Vlad responded by impaling 20,000 prisoners (possibly an inflated number) along the road from the border to his capital. Contrary to the myth, Mehmet was not so impressed that he turned back (though he was impressed!), and eventually took Vlad's castle. But Vlad took to the hills and waged guerrilla against the Turks, eventually driving them out. At that point, Mehmet simply bought off the boyars and installed Radu as Voievode, while Vlad lingered in the prisons of Matthias Covinas.

When judging people from the past, avoid the twin pitfalls of anachronism and presentism; i.e., of importing current ideas unknown at that time, and of judging them according to the standards of our time, rather than of their own. If we take what you said at face value, there is hardly a Christian ruler, East or West, between Constantine and Louis XIV, who was not an apostate.

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Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
I'm not into vampires myself. Those who are might wish to know that some editions of funeral service contain a blessing against vampires to be used over the grave.

Fr. Serge
Is that located in the various Bulgarian and Romanian editions of the Book of Needs? wink

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What about blessings against werewolves? I understand lycanthropy remains a serious problem in some parts of the Carpathians.

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This isn't what the original was looking for, but Katherine Kurtz now has a series about a group of crusading knights who were afflicted with vampiracy.

As I recall, they hide in a monastary living lives of penance waiting for Judgment Day. Here's her websites page on them http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/Books/KotB

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Marian, this isn't a regular vampire story;the focus is on good and evil and the temptation to go towards evil,as well as the spiritual consequences. The character's guardian angel gives him a tour before he makes his final decision. It is actually edifying during most of it. The last quarter seems to sympathize with the vampire too much,but then doesn't evil seem sympathetic sometimes,especially when measured against other evils?A sequel is alluded to,and there, I expect a return to the original edifying tone.

It is not written by a popular author,is not based on Vlad,isn't geared towards teens was self-published by a Catholic writer. The story takes place in Russia,so the characters are Orthodox and include both pious and lukewarm Orthodox.

Someone here at Byzcath discussed the book in 2007 when we had a book section that wasn't exclusively biblical.

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