In Greek legend, sorceress Circe (pronounced Kirke) is the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and Perse, an ocean nymph. She is said to have been surrounded by beasts that could not be seen elsewhere. When others came to her palace, they saw the beasts, but only what they recognized, like lions, bears and wolves. The beasts acted as domesticated animals, showing their kindness by wagging their tails. Some say they were actually drugged victims of Circe.
All that live must die, passing through nature to eternity.
– Shakespeare, from Hamlet
When the blood dripped from Medusa’s head onto the plains of Libya, each drop of blood transformed into venomous serpents. The power of Medusa’s head is seen again when Perseus encountered the Titan Atlas. When Perseus asked Atlas for a place to rest for a short while, his request was refused. Knowing that he would not be able to defeat the Titan with brute force alone, he took out Medusa’s head, and Atlas was turned into a mountain.
“Dracula” is literally translated in Gaelic as Drac Ullah, meaning bad blood. Despite the narrative being inspired by Romania, the author, Bram Stoker, was Irish.
Learn more about the Dracula legend on the Romania Tourism website.