Vampire: Who Was Dracula Really?

Vlad III Țepeș (pronounced “Tsépèch”) is the son of Vlad II Dracul (pronounced “Dracoul”), that is to say “the Dragon”. Vlad III Țepeș simply calls himself “Vlad”. It was not until he was 40 years old that he signed Ladislaus Drakulya, a name which is also engraved on his seal.

Vlad III Țepes, Dracula, was born between 1429 and 1436 in the province of Transylvania, the heart of present-day Romania. He was 20 years old when he ascended the throne of Wallachia for the second time, the former name of Romania. He is a prince whose throne is shaky to say the least. Around him, there are only tricks, conspiracies, cheap shots and betrayals…

Dracula must jostle with the Hungarians of King Mathias Corvin, the Germans of Emperor Frederick III, the Poles of King Casimir IV or even the Ottomans of Sultan Mehmed II…

He had 50 people murdered at a dinner party

In his own principality, Dracula found the parade: get rid of in one go of all his supposed adversaries to replace them with frightened worshippers. And, as one is never better served than by oneself, here is what he undertakesth Easter Sunday 1459. He organizes a banquet in his palace in Târgoviste to which he invites all the boyars of Wallachia – that is how aristocrats are called in countries of Orthodox religion.

At the end of the meal, he asks them how many sovereigns having reigned over the country they remember. The fact of citing a name other than that of the Prince had the immediate effect, one suspects, of condemn to death the unfortunate guest.

Setting aside customary exaggerations, we can still estimate fifty the number of notables who were that day impaled by order of Vlad who came, in this way, to conquer for eternity the nickname of Țepeș, that is to say “the Impaler”.

His great cruelty is no legend

So many legends accompany the lives of illustrious characters… For Dracula however, the sources agree to describe great cruelty and a hot temper. One of the most reliable testimonies on Dracula is that of one of his contemporaries, Michael Beheim.

And facing the Turks, who are not tender either, Dracula decides to do even worse. It crosses the Danube, devastates Turkish and Bulgarian villages over 800 kilometers. Proud of his raid, he wrote to the King of Hungary that he indiscriminately killed “men and women, young and small children, together with babies”, i.e. 23,883 dead, “not counting those who were burned alive in their homes or whose heads were not presented to our officers”.

He dies in 1746, on the road that leads from Giurgiu to Bucharest. How ? The versions diverge. And without having absolute certainty, it is believed that he was buried in Snagov Convent Churchon an island located in the middle of a lake, about thirty kilometers from Bucharest.

Then, Bram Stroker creates Count Dracula

Writer Bram Stroker is Dracula’s second father. He was inspired by the name of this bloodthirsty, cruel prince, who himself ended his life in a very violent way to bring him back to life in the form of a Sharp-Toothed Vampire Count. Bram Stroker created the fertile myth of the blood-drinking count when, at nightfall, he emerges from his tomb to persecute the living.

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Vampire: Who Was Dracula Really?