The Famous 500 BC Africa Zombie Attack: During his voyage to explore and colonize the continent’s western coast, Hanno of Carthage, one of Western civilization’s most famous ancient mariners, wrote in his sea log:
On the shores of a great jungle, where green hills hide their crowns above the clouds, I dispatched an expedition inland in search of sweet water: Our soothsayers warned against this action. In their eyes was a cursed land, a place of demons abandoned by the gods. I ignored their warnings and paid the highest price. Of the thirty and five men sent, seven returned. The survivors sobbed a tale of monsters from the jungles. Men with fangs of snakes, claws of leopards, and eyes burning with the fires of hell. Bronze blades cut their flesh but drew no blood. They feasted upon our sailors, their wails carried on the wind. our soothsayers warned of the wounded survivors, claiming they would bring sorrow on all they touched. We hastened to our ships, abandoning those poor souls to this land of man-beasts. May the Gods forgive me.
As most readers know, much of Hanno’s work is controversial and debated among academic historians. Given that Hanno also describes a confrontation with large, ape-like creatures he dubbed “Gorillas” (actual gorillas have never inhabited that part of the continent), it can be inferred that both these incidents were a product either of his imagination or those of later historians. Even with this in mind, and disregarding the obvious exaggerations of snake’s fangs, leopard’s claws, and burning eyes, Hanno’s basic description does closely resemble the walking dead.