On 19 June 15, the Ancient Origins website published an article by Mark Miller entitled “Ancient Greeks apparently feared zombies so much they weighed down the dead“. In his article, Miller says ancient inhabitants of the island of Sicily feared zombies so much they used large boulders to weigh down the bodies of the newly buried dead. This, apparently, was the result of the fear of revenants held by the Ancient Greeks. Miller defines revenants as existing in a state between life and death, in which the undead would be able to “ris[e] from their graves to haunt the living.”
Both Miller and an article published by Richard Gray on Mail Online quote heavily from a Popular Archaeology article which confirms that “necrophobia, or fear of the dead…has been present in Greek culture from the Neolithic period to the present.” These articles are the result of the excavation of a site in Sicily yielding close to 3,000 bodies. Two of the burials found were covered with heavy amphora fragments and rocks, presumably “to trap [the bodies] in the grave.”
In her article, Carrie L. Sulosky Weaver defines revenants as “reanimated corpses [who] rose from their graves, prowled the streets, and stalked unsuspecting victims, often to exact retribution denied to them in life.” She goes on to explain that the Ancient Greeks believed that “even those who could not physically leave their tombs posed a threat, because mediums could easily invoke restless spirits and cajole them into committing heinous acts…[N]ecromancy, the purposeful invocation of the dead,” was another of their practices for which there is evidence in the archaeological record.
There are two revenants in The Revenant. Zulu is thrown from his horse on his way to elope with his sweetheart in nineteenth century Toronto. Raised from the dead by a necromancer, he has walked the earth for more than two centuries, searching for his beloved Alma. His lifelong companion has been Morgan, a seer with the gift of longevity. Together, they save the people Morgan sees in his dreams from certain death. Malchus, the other revenant in the story, also seeks closure, but in his relationship with his brother. Raised in spirit form and inhabiting the body of a local teen, Malchus believes his brother, Morgan, is responsible for his death, and he intends to exact retribution. The Revenant is a young adult paranormal thriller with zombies that pits brother against brother in the archetypal battle between good and evil. Will Zulu and Morgan survive, or will Malchus emerge victorious?