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The life and legend of the hero vlad iii of walachia

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Reuse article From national hero to internet vampire Alexander Thoele Jun 14, 2013 - 11: More than 100 years after his birth in the novel by Irish writer Bram Stoker, researchers are still trying to decipher what lies behind the myth. Heiko Haumann is a professor of history at the University of Basel, specialising in East European and modern history.

The life and legend of the hero vlad iii of walachia

In 2011, his book Dracula — Life and Legends was published. Who was Dracula according to your book? During the chaos of the 15th Century he fought for the independence of his country against the Ottoman Empire on the West and the Hungarians who ruled Transylvania on the other side.

  1. His father, Vlad Dacul, was the military governor of Transylvania and had become a member of the Order of the Dragon a year before.
  2. Several of the tales of his atrocities occur in three or more separate and independent accounts, indicating a large measure of veracity. Prince of Many Faces , the Romanian male line died out in 1632.
  3. He began a military career and was ruler of Wallachia in 1448 and from 1456 to 1462.
  4. A Novel, published in 2005. Diplomatic correspondence from Buda during the period in question also seems to support the claim that Vlad's actual period of confinement was relatively short.

Wallachia was a buffer state. His war campaigns against the Ottoman Empire were often successful, and for a time he served as a leader against it.


Why is there so little concrete evidence about the existence of Dracula — just a few reports and illustrations from the Middle Ages? There are a few certificates and deeds featuring him, but no written records. There are also a few indirect Hungarian and Ottoman sources. Impalement and other the life and legend of the hero vlad iii of walachia practices were common at that time. Although we lack sources, we believe that impalement was a common punishment under the Ottomans and throughout the West, even up to the level of the pope.

He is even said to have impaled victims and then eaten them and drunk their blood. He wanted to weaken Dracula economically, because Dracula was a rival in the war between the Christian West and the Ottoman Empire. What role does Dracula play in Romanian history? Although Dracula is probably not as important as Skanderbeg, his bust does appear with those of other national heroes in the town hall of Bucharest. He certainly is one of the major heroes of the country as a result of his role in the fight against the Ottomans.

Romanian tradition depicts him not as a monster but as a leader who fought to unite and defend the country. Dracula spent part of his childhood as a prisoner in the court of Sultan Murad II in Constantinople until he managed to escape to Hungary. He began a military career and was ruler of Wallachia in 1448 and from 1456 to 1462.

In winter 1461-1462, he began a military campaign against the Ottomans and conquered various armies of Sultan Mehmed II. Dracula spent 12 years in the prisons of various castles. In 1475, he converted to Catholicism, married a second time and was set free.

In 1476, he was named commander of the Hungarian troops attacking the Ottomans and in the same year crowned king. Sometime in 1476 or 1477, Dracula was killed in battle. His head was embalmed with honey and taken to Constantinople as a trophy. CH Beck, 2011 swissinfo. What do the Romanians think of the fact that Dracula is portrayed as a vampire in the West?

Various attempts to create a theme park based around the legend of Dracula failed due to strong opposition from the Romanian people. For them, he is a national hero and has nothing to do with the widely spread belief in vampires. Is there still popular belief in vampires in Romania and other Eastern European countries?

27 Bloodthirsty Facts About Vlad the Impaler

In various areas people still believe that the dead return from the hereafter, including in Serbia, Slovakia and other Eastern European countries. How then did the historical Dracula become known as a vampire?

It was in fact down to Bram Stoker. Thanks to the media, reports of vampires were popular in Southern and Eastern Europe from the mid-18th century. They told of vampires found in graves with fresh blood in their mouths.

But these stories were never told in connection with Dracula. How did that come about? Stoker discovered the historical existence of this bloodthirsty prince and used it, first in a story and then in his novel.

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We can say that he was the creator of this figure. What he knew of Romania he found in books or got from acquaintances. The novel Dracula In 1897, the Irish author Bram Stoker published his novel Dracula, which was subsequently translated into many languages. In 1931, Bela Lugosi played the Count in an American version with speech. Why did the Dracula legend become so popular? After the success of the book, the films certainly contributed the most.

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Are there vampires today? For example, in the Goth scene or among followers of the black metal musical subgenre? Independent of these scenes, there are certainly people in various parts of the world who believe in vampires and in the resurrection of the dead. And there are also modern vampires who use the internet to influence other people, in other words, rob them of their strength.