In classical legend, the Lamia had the shape of a woman to the waist and that of a serpent below, but she was able to assume the shape of an ordinary woman. Legend tells how she was originally a Libyan queen whom Zeus took as his mistress. He hid Lamia from his jealous wife, Hera, by placing her in a cave in Africa, bidding her leave her eyes outside on watch while she slept each night. But Hera found the cave and turned Lamia into her half-serpentine shape and took away her children by Zeus, destroying them. From then onwards, Lamia has had an implacable hatred that she takes out upon the human race by enticing men and children into close proximity with her before killing them.
From classical times onwards, Lamia has taken other roles. She has been associated with the Empusa a kind of vampire. Since then, the story and role of Lamia has developed in two distinct ways. She has become an evil fairy or nursery bogey of some antiquity - Aristotle relates his grandmother telling him that Lamiae lay in wait in the wilderness preying on little boys; but she also become a Succubus, helper by Burton's Anatomie of Melancholy where he retells story in which a philosopher named Menippus was seduced by a phantom woman with whom he became besotted. At their wedding feast, the magician Apollonius of Tyana realized that the woman was none other than a Lamia, a serpent-woman. The Lamia begged him to be silent, but when he revealed her true nature, the Lamia and all her goods vanished into the air. In Topsell's Historie of Foure-Footed Beasts (1607), the Lamia is shown in a woodcut as a scaly, four-footed creatures with paws on her front limbs and hooves on her back limbs. She has a woman's face and breast but also phallus. John Keat's famous poem on the Lamia sees her as a Succubus, thus bequeathing an undying legend of the seductive, vampiric female.
Deadline for all Lamia action to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Monday April 4th, 2011