At this point, you'd think things couldn't get worse. That's when the gods punished Polyphonte for her boys by turning her into an owl. By the time the Romans get ahold of the story, the strix was a shapeshifting, blood-drinking lady owl who had a taste for baby blood.
Long story short: Don't run off to the woods when Aphrodite hooks you up with a husband.
Greek Zombies Got Extra-Buried
C.L. Sulosky Weaver/Regional Museum Of Kamarina, Sicily
While the worst thing you could think of ransacking your city if you were an ancient Greek would probably be Spartans, actual ancient Greeks seem to have been worried more about zombie Spartans. Or zombies in general. Because archaeological digs have turned up evidence that they took serious precautions to keep people from rising from the dead.
You'd think that, in a culture wherein god-induced human/bear sex was real possibility in your daily life, there'd be bigger things to worry about than the dead coming back to life. You'd be wrong. Ancient Greeks never ran out of things to worry about. According to one archaeologist, when Greek folks needed to make extra-sure their worst humans never walked the Earth again, they stacked rocks on their corpses for good measure.
D. Weiss, G. Di Stefano
"Do we really need to do this? I've never seen a single zombie."
"That means it's working. Get another rock."
You'd also think that the best candidate for zombiedom were bad guys like criminals, or victims of violent crimes who wanted to seek revenge on the living. But the Greeks didn't take any chances. ANYONE who had a grievance in the living world might try to break the bonds of death. Illegitimate children, suicide victims, people who died of illnesses (so, everyone?) were all eligible for extra protection over their bodies in death.
In some cases, the remedy was as easy as burying them with a "curse tablet" that asked the spirits to fix any injustice done to the corpse, so they didn't have to reanimate and do it themselves. Other times, Greeks took the extremely straightforward approach of dumping a bunch of heavy stones on the body so it couldn't get up. And one woman was actually cut in half, the pieces were laid next to each other, and then she was sealed in her tomb. We're guessing she probably she probably ate some baby humans in life.
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