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The Source:

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

The Case:

"ARISTEE, charlatan de l'île de Proconèse, qui vivait du temps de Crésus. Il disait que son âme sortait dé son corps quand il voulait, et qu'elle y retournait ensuite. ... Hérodote rapporte, dans son quatrième livre, que cet Aristée, entrant un jour dans la boutique d'un foulon, y tomba mort; que le foulon courut avertir ses parents, qui arrivèrent pour le faire enterrer. Mais on ne trouva plus le corps. Toute la ville était en grande surprise, quand des gens qui revenaient de quelque voyage assurèrent qu'ils avaient rencontré Aristée sur le chemin de Crotone. Il parait que c'était une espèce de vampire. Hérodote ajoute qu'il reparut au bout de sept ans à Proconèse y composa un poëme et mourut de nouveau. Lenoyer, qui regarde Aristée comme un sorcier à extases cite une autorité d'après laquelle, à l'heure même ou ce vampire disparut pour la seconde fois il aurait été transporté en Sicile, et s'y serait fait maître d'école. Il se montra encore trois cent quarante ans après, dans la ville de Métaponte et il y fit élever des monuments qu'on voyait du temps d'Hérodote. Tant de prodiges engagèrent les Siciliens à lui consacrer un temple."

Which more or less translates into:

"Aristaeus, who lived on the island of Prokonnessos in the time of Croesus, told the people that his soul could leave his body whenever he wanted and that it would come back again afterwards. Herodotus, in his 4th book, tells us that one day Aristaeus went into the shop of a clothmaker and dropped dead. The clothmaker went to warn the dead man's parents who came over to have him burried. But the corpse had disappeared. The whole town was very surprised when people who returned from a journey told them that they had met Aristaeus on the road to Crotone. Apparently he had become some kind of vampire. Herodotus adds that after seven years Aristaeus returned to Prokonnessos, wrote a poem and died again. Lenoyer, who considers Aristaeus to be an ecstatic sorcerer, quotes some authority according to whom, when the vampire had disappeared for the second time, he had actually gone to Sicily where he had become a teacher. He showed himself again 340 years later, in the town of Metaponto, where he had monuments built that were still there in the time of Herodotus. Enough miracles to have the Sicilians build a temple in his honour."

The Date:

Aristaeus is reported to have lived his first life in the time of Croesus, King of Lydia, (595BC-547BC), so - even though he is said to have reappeared Centuries later - let us file this as 6th Century B.C.

The Place:

Several locations have been mentioned. Prokonnessos is the old Greek name for what is now the island of Marmara. Crotone and Metaponto are towns in the very South of Italy.

Possible Follow-Up:

Various authors have been mentioned, and I am sure that there must have been many others who have written about Aristaeus.

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

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