The Book of Marvels, a compilation of marvellous events of a grotesque, bizarre or sensational nature, was composed in the second century A.D. by Phlegon of Tralles, a Greek freedman of the Roman emperor Hadrian. This remarkable text is the earliest surviving work of pure sensationalism in Western literature. The Book is arranged thematically: Ghosts; Sex-Changers and Hermaphrodites; Finds of Giant Bones; Monstrous Births; Births from Males; Amazing Multiple Births; Abnormally Rapid Development of Human Beings; Discoveries of Live Centaurs. This volume also contains and Introduction and commentary on the texts, as well as translations of fragments of two other works and a translation of Goethe's well-known vampire poem, The Bride of Corinth, which was inspired by Phlegon's Book of Marvels.
Phlegon of Tralles’ Book of Marvels. Exeter Studies in History. (University of Exeter Press, 1996).