Count Dracula was in real life called Vlad III The Impaler. He was from the country of Wallachia. Origins of famous vampire tale started in the 15th century.
Artistic drawing of real Count Dracula (Source:Devianart)
Did you know?
- The legendary vampire, created by author Bram Stoker in his 1897 novel was inspired by Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia
- Vlad?s nickname was Tepes (meaning Impaler). Impaling was count?s favorite method of killing
- Vlad was called Dracula, which means ?a son of Dracul?.Vlad?s father was knighted into Order of the Dragon. He was given a surname Dracul (meaning dragon).
- Tales about Vlad?s horrors spread across Europe with the invention of movable type printing. They were one of the first ?bestsellers?.
What is impalement ?
Warning: If you have a bad stomach, we kindly advise you to skip this section and continue with A short story about Vlad III The Impaler. The bellow section is included to explain why Vlad was considered cruel in the age when standards for cruelty were much more different than today.
Impalement is a method of torture and execution by penetration of a human by a stake. The pole and the anus were smeared with grease. The victim was then placed down on the pole. The victims were lowered down until they could stand on their tiptoes.
To keep it from going further in, the victim has to stand for days. Eventually, victim slips and the pole goes further in. Each time there is a tear inside of the body, there is more blood loss and the victim is weakened. It becomes even harder to stand. As a consequence, the victim slips even more?It was a vicious cycle.
Impalement is an ancient method of torture that was practiced by Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians. In Greek and Roman times was replaced with crucifixion (which is even crueler method of execution)
A short story about Vlad III The Impaler
Portrait of Vlad III, Count Dracula (Image: Public domain)
Vlad was born in 1431 to Vlad II The Dracul, ruler of Wallachia. Wallachia at the time was a buffer state between the rising Ottoman Empire and Hungary. In 1442 Vlad?s father was called to a diplomatic meeting with the Sultan. He brought with him his two sons: Vlad and Radu.The meeting was actually a trap and all three were arrested. Elder Vlad was released, however, his two sons were left behind as hostages.
Both brothers were tutored in science, philosophy, and the arts. Vlad also became an excellent horseman and warrior. Eventually, younger Radu subdued to the Sultan. But Vlad was secretly planning revenge.In 1456 he became lord of Wallachia. He spent the next three years solidifying his power. Around 1460 he stopped paying annual tax to the Ottoman Sultan and invaded Ottoman lands.
On one occasion when Vlad?s army approached Turkish fortress, Vlad in fluent Turkish ordered commander in to open the gates. Vlad?s forces ransacked the fortress.Wrath of the Sultan was provoked. Mehmed II raised an army of 100.000 and marched towards Wallachia to destroy it once for all.
Vlad?s Wallachian forces attacking (Source.Pinterest/@Wallachian)
In 1462 the Sultans forces crossed the Danube and invaded Wallachia. Vlad adopted the tactic of scorched earth. As Ottoman forces advanced they found poisoned water, booby traps, and even marshes created by the diversion of small rivers.
Vlad ordered people to take their crops and cattle and retreat into the mountains. By sending people suffering from bubonic plague to mix with Turks, he managed to infect the Sultan’s army with the plague.
In the summer Turks set up a camo near Trgovi?te, the capital of Wallachia. Vlad dressed as a Turk freely roamed Turkish camp in order to locate the Sultan?s tent. The following night he launched an attack on the camp.
Vlad?s army inflicted heavy casualties on Turks and Vlad himself led an attack on the Sultan?s tent, but Wallachians missed their target.
Turks were terrified.
Vlad Dracula fighting Ottomans (Source: Devianart/@jonhodgson)
Yet, Mehmed II decided to push on towards the capital. Turks entered the city unopposed. The gates were wide open. But what was waiting for Turks there was beyond their imagination and sign of diabolical cruelty, even for those cruel times.
For half an hour troops walked by rotting corpses of 20.000 impaled Turks. Men, women and children. They found the rotten corpse of Hamza Pasha on the highest stake to symbolize his high rank. Mehmet II abruptly decided to end his military campaign.
In the autumn of 1462, Vlad asked Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus for support in a fight against the Sultan. But there was a plot against Vlad. As you can imagine Vlad was not exactly a friendly type of a ruler.
Vlad III was betrayed by boyars (ruling class of Wallachia) and neighboring Saxon merchants. Instead of receiving support from Matthias Corvinus, he was thrown in a dungeon. Vlad?s enemies presented to King Matthias three forged letter in which Vlad was asking the Sultan for his support.
Vlad was released only in 1475. Soon afterward was killed in the battle against Turks. Janissaries sent his head as a gift to the Sultan Mehmet II.
Castle Corvinilor ?a place of imprisonment of Vlad Dracula (Source: thevintagenews.com)