vlad ii dracul

Vlad III was born in November or December of 1431 in the Transylvanian city of Sighisoara. At the time his father, Vlad II (Vlad Dracul), was living in exile in Transylvania. The house where he was born is still standing. It was located in a prosperous neighborhood surrounded by the homes of Saxon and Magyar merchants and the townhouses of the nobility.

Little is known about the early years of Vlad III’s life. He had an older brother, Mircea, and a younger brother, Radu the Handsome. His early education was left in the hands of his mother, a Transylvanian noblewoman, and her family. His real education began in 1436 after his father succeeded in claiming the Wallachian throne by killing his Danesti rival. His training was typical to that of the sons of nobility throughout Europe. His first tutor in his apprenticeship to knighthood was an elderly boyar who had fought against the Turks at the battle of Nicolopolis. Vlad learned all the skills of war and peace that were deemed necessary for a Christian knight.

In 1444, at the age of thirteen, young Vlad and his brother Radu were sent to Adrianople as hostages, to appease the Sultan. He remained there until 1448, at which time he was released by the Turks, who supported him as their candidate for the Wallachian throne. Vlad’s younger brother apparently chose to remain in Turkey, where he had grown up. (Radu is later supported by the Turks as a candidate for the Wallachian throne, in opposition to his own brother, Vlad.)

As previously noted, Vlad III’s initial reign was quite short (two months), and it was not until 1456, under the support of Hunyadi and the Kingdom of Hungary that he returned to the throne. He established Tirgoviste as his capitol city, and began to build his castle some distance away in the mountains near the Arges River. Most of the atrocities associated with Vlad III took place during this time.

More than anything else the historical Dracula is known for his inhuman cruelty. Impalement was Vlad III’s preferred method of torture and execution. Impalement was and is one of the most gruesome ways of dying imaginable, as it was typically slow and painful.

Vlad usually had a horse attached to each of the victim’s legs and a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body. The end of the stake was usually oiled and care was taken that the stake not be too sharp, else the victim might die too rapidly from shock. Normally the stake was inserted into the body through the buttocks and was often forced through the body until it emerged from the mouth. However, there were many instances where victims were impaled through other body orifices or through the abdomen or chest. Infants were sometimes impaled on the stake forced through their mother’s chests. The records indicate that victims were sometimes impaled so that they hung upside down on the stake.

Vlad Tepes often had the stakes arranged in various geometric patterns. The most common pattern was a ring of concentric circles in the outskirts of a city that was his target. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim. The decaying corpses were often left up for months. It was once reported that an invading Turkish army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the Danube. In 1461 Mohammed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, a man not noted for his squeamishness, returned to Constantinople after being sickened by the sight of twenty thousand impaled Turkish prisoners outside of the city of Tirgoviste. This gruesome sight is remembered in history as “the Forest of the Impaled.”

Thousands were often impaled at a single time. Ten thousand were impaled in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu in 1460. In 1459, on St. Bartholomew’s Day, Vlad III had thirty thousand of the merchants and boyars of the Transylvanian city of Brasov impaled. One of the most famous woodcuts of the period shows Vlad Dracula feasting amongst a forest of stakes and their grisly burdens outside Brasov while a nearby executioner cuts apart other victims.

Although impalement was Vlad Dracula’s favorite method of torture, it was by no means his only method. The list of tortures employed by this cruel prince reads like an inventory of hell’s tools: nails in heads, cutting off of limbs, blinding, strangulation, burning, cutting off of noses and ears, mutilation of sexual organs (especially in the case of women), scalping, skinning, exposure to the elements or to wild animals, and burning alive.

No one was immune to Vlad’s attentions. His victims included women and children, peasants and great lords, ambassadors from foreign powers and merchants. However, the vast majority of his victims came from the merchants and boyars of Transylvania and his own Wallachia.

Many have attempted to justify Vlad Dracula’s actions on the basis of nascent nationalism and political necessity. Many of the merchants in Transylvania and Wallachia were German Saxons who were seen as parasites, preying upon Romanian natives of Wallachia. The wealthy land owning boyars exerted their own often capricious and unfaithful influence over the reigning princes. Vlad’s own father and older brother were murdered by unfaithful boyars. However, many of Vlad Dracula’s victims were also Wallachians, and few deny that he derived a perverted pleasure from his actions.

Vlad Dracula began his reign of terror almost as soon as he came to power. His first significant act of cruelty may have been motivated by a desire for revenge as well as a need to solidify his power. Early in his main reign he gave a feast for his boyars and their families to celebrate Easter. Vlad was well aware that many of these same nobles were part of the conspiracy that led to his father’s assassination and the burying alive of his elder brother, Mircea. Many had also played a role in the overthrow of numerous Wallachian princes. During the feast Vlad asked his noble guests how many princes had ruled during their lifetimes. All of the nobles present had outlived several princes. None had seen less then seven reigns. Vlad immediately had all the assembled nobles arrested. The older boyars and their families were impaled on the spot. The younger and healthier nobles and their families were marched north from Tirgoviste to the ruins of his castle in the mountains above the Arges River. The enslaved boyars and their families were forced to labor for months rebuilding the old castle with materials from a nearby ruin. According to the reports they labored until the clothes fell off their bodies and then were forced to continue working naked. Very few survived this ordeal.

Throughout his reign Vlad continued to systematically eradicate the old boyar class of Wallachia. Apparently Vlad was determined that his own power be on a modern and thoroughly secure footing. In the place of the executed boyars Vlad promoted new men from among the free peasantry and middle class; men who would be loyal only to their prince.

Vlad Tepes’ atrocities against the people of Wallachia were usually attempts to enforce his own moral code upon his country. He appears to have been particularly concerned with female chastity. Maidens who lost their virginity, adulterous wives and unchaste widows were all targets of Vlad’s cruelty. Such women often had their sexual organs cut out or their breasts cut off, and were often impaled through the vagina on red-hot stakes. One report tells of the execution of an unfaithful wife. Vlad had the woman’s breasts cut off, then she was skinned and impaled in a square in Tirgoviste with her skin lying on a nearby table. Vlad also insisted that his people be honest and hard working. Merchants who cheated their customers were likely to find themselves mounted on a stake beside common thieves.

Although Vlad III experienced some success in fending off the Turks, his accomplishments were relatively short-lived. He received little support from his titular overlord, Matthius Corvinus, King of Hungary (son of John Hunyadi) and Wallachian resources were too limited to achieve any lasting success against the powerful Turks.

The Turks finally succeeded in forcing Vlad to flee to Transylvania in 1462. Reportedly, his first wife committed suicide by leaping from the towers of Vlad’s castle into the waters of the Arges River rather than surrender to the Turks. Vlad escaped through a secret passage and fled across the mountains into Transylvania and appealed to Matthias Corvinus for aid. The king immediately had Vlad arrested and imprisoned in a royal tower.

There is some debate as to the exact length of Vlad’s confinement. The Russian pamphlets indicate that he was a prisoner from 1462 until 1474. However, during this period he was able to gradually win his way back into the graces of Matthias Corvinus and ultimately met and married a member of the royal family (possibly the sister of Corvinus) and fathered two sons. It is unlikely that a prisoner would be allowed to marry a member of the royal family. As the eldest son was about 10 years old at the point Vlad regained the Wallachian throne in 1476, his release probably occurred around 1466.

Note: The Russian narrative, normally very favorable to Vlad, indicates that even in captivity he could not give up his favorite past-time; he often captured birds and mice and proceeded to torture and mutilate them. Some were beheaded or tarred-and-feathered and released. Most were impaled on tiny spears.

Another possible reason for Vlad’s rehabilitation was that the new successor to the Wallachian throne, Vlad’s own brother, Radu the Handsome, had instituted a very pro-Turkish policy. The Hungarian king may have viewed Dracula as a possible candidate to retake the throne. The fact that Vlad renounced the Orthodox faith and adopted Catholicism was also surely meant to appease his Hungarian captor.

In 1476 Vlad was again ready to make a bid for power. Vlad Dracula and Prince Stephen Bathory of Transylvania invaded Wallachia with a mixed contingent of forces. Vlad’s brother, Radu, had by then already died and was replaced by Basarab the Old, a member of the Danesti clan. At the approach of Vlad’s army Basarab and his cohorts fled. However, shortly after retaking the throne, Prince Bathory and most of Vlad’s forces returned to Transylvania, leaving Vlad in a vulnerable position. Before he was able to gather support, a large Turkish army entered Wallachia. Vlad was forced to march and meet the Turks with less than four thousand men.

Vlad Dracula was killed in battle against the Turks near the town of Bucharest in December of 1476. Some reports indicate that he was assassinated by disloyal Wallachian boyars just as he was about to sweep the Turks from the field. Other accounts have him falling in defeat, surrounded by the ranks of his loyal Moldavian bodyguard. Still other reports claim that Vlad, at the moment of victory, was accidentally struck down by one of his own men. The one undisputed fact is that ultimately his body was decapitated by the Turks and his head sent to Constantinople where the sultan had it displayed on a stake as proof that the horrible Impaler was finally dead. He was reportedly buried at Snagov, an island monastery located near Bucharest.


Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476/77), was a member of the House of Drăculești, a branch of the House of Basarab, also known, using his patronymic, as (Vlad) Drăculea or (Vlad) Dracula. He was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș, pronounced, and was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. His father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe.

Vlad III is revered as a folk hero in Romania as well as other parts of Europe for his protection of the Romanian population both south and north of the Danube. A significant number of Romanian common folk and remaining boyars (nobles) moved north of the Danube to Wallachia, recognized his leadership and settled there following his raids on the Ottomans. The name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad’s patronymic. Read More | Colour posts (1)(2) | Edit

Vlad The Impaler

Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476/77), was the supposed inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, along with his connection to vampirism. 


Vlad was the son of Vlad II Dracul, who was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. During his initiation, he was given the epithet Dracul, or dragon, by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. His mother is unknown, although it is believed that she may have possibly been Princess Cneajna of Moldavia. 

There is insufficient information regarding his childhood. However, it is noted that in 1442, Vlad and his younger brother, became hostages of Murad II, as a result of an agreement between Vlad the Impaler’s father and the Sultan. Due to political pressure, and under the threat of the invasion by the ottomans, Dracula’s father gave a promise to be the vassal of the Sultan and gave up his two younger sons as hostages so that he would keep his promise. If he did not follow the sultan’s policies and interests, his sons would be put to death.

In 1447 Dracula’s father was assassinated in the marshes near Bălteni. During the same time period, Dracula’s older brother Mircea, was also tortured (blinded with hot iron stakes and buried alive) and killed by his political enemies at Târgovişte. Vlad the Impaler fled to Moldavia and was under the protection of his uncle, Bogdan II. It is believed that during his escape, he had the horseshoes placed backwards to stir confusion to anyone who tried to follow him.

His life lead on to series of conflicts against the Turks, and seeking revenge for the deaths of his father and brother.

As Vlad III’s name suggests, he was known as “The Impaler” due to his reputation of cruelty in which he practiced impaling enemies. It is estimated he had 50,000 people put to death.

He roasted children, whom he fed to their mothers. And (he) cut off the breasts of women, and forced their husbands to eat them. After that, he had them all impaled.

Vampiric Superstition

In modern Romanian, the word “drac” refers to the devil. This link adds to the many folkloric superstitions regarding Vlad.

Many historians have implied that Stoker’s fictional Dracula was inspired by Vlad III, and some even state that Vlad himself drank blood. In the book referencing similarities between Stoker’s Dracula and Vlad III, named “In Search of Dracula” (Mariner, 1994), Florescu and McNally cite a 15th century German poem that paints Vlad as a blood drinker. The poem suggests that Vlad liked to dine among his impaled victims, dipping his bread in their blood, the authors wrote. However, it is believed to be inaccurate and a misinterpretation, and that in fact the original text was about how Vlad washed his hands with blood before dinner (albeit this being just as disturbing).

However, it is also stated that the “vampire reputation” was caused by anti-propaganda from other countries. Overall, there is almost no sufficient link to vampirism - apart from prominent vampire folklore within the regions of Romania and Eastern Europe that may have contributed to the legend to begin with.

Joint Review: “And I Darken”, or: Everyone is Fucked Up and Toxic and Nothing Goes Well

Title: And I Darken

Author:  Kiersten White

Review By: Captain Clo and Bekworm

Verdict: So many bad decisions are made you’ll want to pull your hair out, but this violent girl is fascinating, and boy isn’t her brother adorable? but I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequel… wait did I just buy it???

This Review contains spoilers

And I Darken is an alternate history YA novel with a very specific twist: what if Vlad Dracul – the one who inspired Count Dracula – was a woman? Lada Dracul has all his story – daughter of the Wallachian Voivode, or Prince, Vlad II Dracul, she is sent to the Ottoman court as political hostage with her younger brother, Radu (who is instead an actual historical figure), when she is just a child. Inflexible and obsessed with the idea of going back to Wallachia and becoming its ruler, Lada is violent and cruel, convinced that love is weakness and that being a woman is a disgrace. Of course, she isn’t completely wrong. Lada is a warrior at heart, but she has to struggle a lot in order to be respected as such. And she is a political hostage, in a precarious situation, and any weakness or soft spot she might show can and will be used against her – hence why she never lets her love for her brother show, for example. 

Radu is the deuteragonist, and is everything Lada isn’t – kind, sensitive, averse to violence. Where Lada fights with all her might against any and all attempt to tame her with scathing remarks or her fists, Radu is more of a political animal, preferring to use his words and his good looks to charm and deceive. They are also complete opposites in how they see their future. Lada hates the Ottoman empire and wants to go back to Wallachia; Radu converts to Islam and has no desire to leave.

Their relationship becomes even more complicated when Mehmed, the future Sultan, enters their lives – since they both fall in love with him.

Keep reading


Radu cel Frumos

In 1436, Vlad II Dracul was ascended to the throne of Wallachia. He was ousted in 1442 by rival factions in league with Hungary, but secured Ottoman support for his return by agreeing to pay tribute to the Sultan and also send his two legitimate sons, Vlad III and Radu, to the Ottoman court, to serve as hostages of his loyalty. The boys were taken to the various garrisons at Edirne.

Radu became an intimate friend and a favorite of the sultan’s son, Mehmed II. According to Latin translation of Byzantine chronicles Radu was Sultan’s lover and male concubine, and possibly, due to good looks and the amorous affairs with the sultan, Radu received a nickname “cel frumos” (the Beautiful). Their dangerously passionate relationships were described by a Greek chronicler Laonikos Chalkokondyles, who emphasized that the sultan ‘nearly died at the boy’s hands’ when he tried to force himself upon the young prince. 

As the records report, the young Sultan (Mehmed II)—wanting to have relations with the prince—called him to feasts and in one instance, passionately offering him a glass, he called him to the bedchamber. When the boy, not suspecting anything from the other came, the Sultan rushed to him; Radu resisted, not submitting to Mehmed II’s desire, and then the latter “kissed the boy against his will”. Frightened, Radu then pulled out a dagger and cut Mehmed II’s thigh and ran away. 

It is further narrated, that while physicians took care of Mehmed II’s wound, the young boy climbed up a tree where he stayed hidden until the sultan left; he later descended from the tree and not long afterwards became the Sultan’s favorite.

Chalkokondyles adds that the sultan along with people of his nation had the custom of using favorite boys, and with such as Radu and Mehmed II “spends day and night together”.

In the beginning of the chronicle it was noted that the incident happened when Mehmed II came to the throne and had to go against the state of Caraman in 1451.[5] Vlad III, probably on the other hand developed the dislike for Radu and for Mehmed II, who would later become the sultan. 

Vlad III and Radu were later educated in logic, the Quran and the Turkish and Persian language and literature. The boys’ father, Vlad II Dracul, with the support of the Ottomans, returned to Wallachia and took back his throne from Basarab II.

While Vlad III was eventually released to take his place on the Wallachian throne in 1448 after his father was killed by John Hunyadi, Radu converted to Islam and was allowed into the Ottoman imperial court. Radu later participated alongside Mehmed II, now Sultan, in the Ottoman siege which eventually led to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Radu was allowed to live in the newly built Topkapı Palace in Istanbul.

*Some of these are more rumour that fact so please take with a grain of salt and with the story given.*


Royal Birthdays for today, August 30th:

Peter, King of Castile and Leon, 1334

Vlad II Dracul, Prince of Wallachia, 1400

Jahangir, Mughal Emperor, 1569

Marie Ludovika Wilhelmine, Princess of Bavaria, 1808

Mathilde Caroline of Bavaria, Grand Duchess of Hesse, 1813

Alexandra Alexandrovna, Russian Grand Duchess, 1842

Alexandra Georgievna, Princess of Greece, 1870

Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland, 1915

Vladimir Kirillovich, Russian Grand Duke, 1917

Anne-Marie of Denmark, Queen of Greece,1946