Friday, 4 January 2013

Innocent III

I should like to ask His Excellency about Pope Innocent III and the subject of vampires. Forgive me if I have asked this before, my memory is a little shaky at the moment. Did Pope Innocent III write or order the writing of a treatise on how to destroy vampires? If so, where can I find an English translation of said treatise? I thank His Excellency for his time and consideration, and I ask God to abundantly bless His Excellency and his family and loved ones. In Christ Demetrius.

Innocent III (Pope from 8 January 1198 until his death on 16 July 1216) sanctioned the publication of a treatise on how to make their discovery and thus elimate them. The authorative teaching of the Fourth Lateran Council under Innocent III in 1215 dogmatically lays down: "Diabolus enim et alii daemones a Deo quidem natura creati sunt boni, sed ipsi per se facti mali." A massive gathering of fifteen hundred prelates listened to his decrees and passed them. Innocent III ruled the world in tranquil majesty for close on twenty years. He called for Christian crusades against Muslims in Spain and the Holy Land and against heretics in southern France.

Copies of the treatise held in our archive are in Latin. I am unaware of an English translation. Though extracts might possibly be found in some academic works on the topic by other authors.

Bear in mind that the Slavic word "vampire" was not in use until a much later century, so reports referred to incubi, succubi, revenants and such creatures of the night that nevertheless meet with vampire criteria.


  1. I thank His Excellency for answering my question.

    In Christ,

  2. Hi,

    I'm the author of "The Deaths of the Popes: Comprehensive Accounts Including Funerals, Burial Places, and Epitaphs" (McFarland, 2004).

    I think you may mean Pope Innocent VIII, he wrote a treatise on witches (he also died from ingesting roasted emeralds to help his stomach cancer, combined with an unsuccessful attempt at a blood transfusion from four boys (all of whom died).

    I love popes!

    Wendy Reardon

  3. P.S. I also have an Innocent III action figure I got at Newbury comics. I think ALL popes should have action figures!

  4. I meant Pope Innocent III, and none other.