I received an e-mail about Ludovico Fatinelli and his “Treatise on vampires”. I did my internet search and got a couple of hits. Among them I found an entire story about this character and his work… unfortunately it was unsubstantiated and I even came across a site that exposed the supposed scholar.
I went over the usual titles that are available in ebook format but could find nothing conclusive.
So I turned to my bookshelf and failed to retrieve any information on this supposed treatise.
I won`t name the bogus site, but the one I found some very interesting articles on the matter on is Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist.
”To be or not to be!” would have been a nice touch, but the correct option to go with is… NOT TO BE since Ludovico Fatinelli never existed and if you look for his alleged “Treatise on vampires”… well, there is nothing to find.
The story you will find on the other hand, is very well structured.
[I give an extract of the page]
The young Florentine went on to study medicine at the University of Padua, where one of his teachers was the great scientist and philosopher Galileo Gallilei. While there, Fatinelli, through the use of increasingly more sophisticated microscopes, discovered that “animalcules” also appeared to live in human tissue. From these observations, the young scientist developed the radical theory that it was these microscopic entities, not moral failures, that were the real source of vampirism. Experiments on animals seemed to bolster his hypothesis, and he set to work on a treatise that would summarize his findings and, he hoped, establish his reputation as a great scientist.
In Januay, 1616, Fatinelli published his findings under the title, Treatise on Vampires. Alas, his timing couldn’t have been worse. Pope Paul V, worried about the rise of Protestantism, had been taking a hard line against any new interpretation of church dogma and decided to make Fatinelli an example. The young man was brought up for the Inquisition, and when he refused to recant the conclusions in his treatise, he was charged with heresy and brought to trial. Though a simple recantation probably could have gotten him off the hook, Fatinelli stood behind his findings. Judgment was swift: the verdict was guilty, the sentence, death.
On April 23, 1616, a huge crowd gathered in Florence’s Piazza Signoria to witness the execution. Fatinelli was tied to a pole atop a pile of logs, which were then set ablaze. The fire ate through the rope securing Fatinelli to the pole, and his left arm flew up in the air. A shriek went through the crowd; many fainted, thinking that the Devil was passing a curse from Fatinelli’s body onto them. But the man on the pyre was only flesh and blood. Once the spectacle was over, one of the most important scientists of the time was ignominiously heaved into a pauper’s grave, where the church hoped he would be forgotten forever.
Interesting read if you`re into fiction… I`m more of a down-to-documented-true-facts type of girl myself 😉 so I feel the need to say that this is all made up!
As I have already mentioned I couldn`t find anything on this on any of my trusted sources.
There were people persecuted by the Church and many corpses were mutilated [most of the times by their own relatives as you can see on the ~Vampire Accounts~ section] but this paper was never written and I`m tempted to supposed that this person never existed either.
If it would have existed we would have herd of it… and to sustain this let me drop an idea: there are private collections on vampirism by important and respectable people all over the world. Not all of them chose to write about this theme, some prefer only to keep their artifacts but all of these collections are catalogued and the titled are listed.
Keep in mind that we have important medieval manifests available online… for example the ~Visum et Repertum~.
Surely, if such a text would have exited we would have know, especially since the bogus site sustains that copies survived and scientists kept working with it as a basis.