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The Source:

Phlegon von Tralleis :
"Das Buch der Wunder"
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, Germany, 2002 - pp.138
ISBN: 3 534 15985 3

In Phlegon's book, which seems to have been written in the first part of the 2nd Century, we can find the famous classic "vampire story" of Philinnion and Machates, better (and incorrectly) known as "The Bride of Corinth". The story is said to be based on true events. I am terribly pleased to have found this magnificent edition. Introduced and translated by Kai Brodersen, it brings you the original Greek text (or rather what is left of it and has been handed down to us) next to a German translation.

The Case:

Philinnion, the daughter of Demostratos and Charito of Amphipolis, was married to Krateros. But she soon died. Half a year later, however, she seemed to have risen from the grave and secretely returned to her parents house, where she had nocturnal meetings with a young man called Machates whom she gave some of the jewels she had been buried with. He too gave her presents which are later found back in her tomb. Then the couple is discovered by some meddlesome servant. Philinnion's parents rush in. And - after making a short speech - Philinnion drops dead again. In town the history causes quite a sensation. The tomb is inspected. Sacrifices are made to the Gods. And Machates goes mad and kills himself. Like they say, all is well that ends well...

The Date:

The book is said to date back to the first part of the 2nd Century. According to Kai Brodersen the events (if events they were) must have taken place in the 4th Century BC.

The Place:

Although Goethe has moved the tale to Corinth, it is supposed to have taken place in Amphipolis, an ancient town in Northern Greece, somewhere halfway between Thessaloniki and Kavala. I rather refer to Northern Greece and try to avoid using the term Macedonia, as there seem to be different political views about this region and I would not want to start another Balkan war. As far as I am concerned we have seen more than enough of those. And - thank you Goethe ! - I do have a couple of very nice photos that I took in Corinth. But I have never had the pleasure of visiting Amphipolis.

Possible Follow-Up:

Go get yourself a copy of the book. It has much more information than the bit that I have given you here. Find Amphipolis on the internet. Or, if you are old-school like me, use a map. Find pictures of the town and pictures of Greek grave-tombs. Travel to Amphipolis and try to find back Philinnion's tomb. She may still be there, waiting for you. It is all up to you. Do something !

2010 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed 29 January 2010

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