wallachian history

Radu cel Frumos și monograma “Io Radul voevod, din mila lui dumnezeu domn” Radu the Beautiful, the younger brother of Vlad Țepeș, and his Slavic monogram “Iw Радул вwєвда млостïѧ бжïєѧ гспднь” (yes it was an official language in Wallachia). Also, he remained an Orthodox Christian after many years spent serving Ottoman Empire and was Sultan’s lover.

“It would be better that those who think of death should not follow me.”

-Vlad Ţepeş III, Dracula

June 17, 1462- Vlad Ţepeş III, Voivode of Wallachia, attempts to assassinate the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, the Conqueror, by attacking the Turkish army camp as it marches towards the Wallachian capital of Târgovişte. Vlad had refused to pay the jizya tax, a tax imposed on non-Muslims, and impaled 23,000 Turks and in response, Mehmet II gathered a huge army of 90,000 to finally annex Wallachia. The attack failed to kill the sultan, but the Turks suffered heavy losses compared to the Wallachian guerrillas. After the battle, Mehmet chased Vlad towards Târgovişte, where he discovered Vlad’s forest of an additional 20,000 impaled Turks. Disgusted and horrified, Mehmet ordered the complete retreat of his army.

Picture- The Battle with Torches, Theodor Aman

Vlad and Radu Dracula the sons of Vlad Dracul (in Romanian Drăgul (the dear/ beloved one) and his sons are Drăgulea, because correctly in Romanian as in Latin the suffix “-ea” defines belonging, literally “of Dracul”).

Radwl, Wlad and Dragwlya are old Latin writing of their names, and are used in contemporary and 16 c. Hungarian and German documents. Radu’s letter to Brașov in La also included “Radwl, vaivoda Transalpinus” (Radul the Prince of Wallachia).

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There are no actual descriptions of Radu cel Frumos the brother of Vlad Dragula, but looking to the fact that they were brothers by one father Vlad Dragul and one mother Vasilisa Cneajna, they must have looked alike.

Here I’ll cite the account of Niccolo Modrussa the Croatian bishop (Nikola biskup Modruški ), who had actually saw Vlad in Hungarian prison (between 1462-75) and described him in his work De bellis Gothorum which was written by him in 1473 describes Vlad voivode in this manner:

“In fact, he was not very tall, but with large limbs, which impressed of power. His stern look was terrifying; нe had a large and aquiline nose with distended nostrils; on his thin and slightly reddish face were planted his wide open gray-green* eyes with prominent lashes ** that were framed by thick black eyebrows, which made his appearance look threatening. Besides that, his cheeks and chin were shaved, except the upper lip (mustache). The swollen forehead increased the size of his head. A bull’s neck was supported by broad shoulders upon which swung his dark curly hair***, which fell down from his head.”

Nicolao Episcopo Modrusiensi (born c. 1427- Grblju -  died before 29 may 1480)

              * Glaucos - pale greenish blue or gray-blue color.
              ** Cillia from the cilium - lashes or upper eyelids (supercilium - eyebrows)
              *** Subnigri - dark; for example, in Greece, the word is used to denote a dark reddish or light brown hair.
              (My translation from the Latin ©Elveo-art.tumblr)

So my artwork is a visual reconstruction of Radu voivode’s appearance based on description of his brother.

2

Mehmed the Conqueror and Radu, son of Dracul.

And my translation of Sultan’s poem under his pen name Avni, ghazal (lyric poetry) no.2:

If my eyes shed tears of my heart’s pain about you,
Then my secret concealed would be obvious to you

You sit on the throne of beauty, while I stand on the soil of the road.
How should I help myself, an ant, while you are my Süleyman?

See him, the candle who is weeping at the gathering,
Oh, you are the beautiful candle who illuminates my room!

When the morning comes I am faithful,  but love-stricken
When the day will end, oh you, my shining crescent!

Yesterday my rivals cried out their pain with grief,
The pursuers of love have suffered the misfortunes you had inflicted upon me.

My friend, it isn’t possible to explain the wound of heart’s pain,
That burning flash in my chest will show it to you.

Stop ruining Avni’s eyes and heart with your torture,
Because the pit of my sea can give pearls and jewels to you.

Avni. Translated from ottoman Turkish ©Elveo

Commentary for Poem of Mehmed i-Sani, Ghazal no.2

*Ghazal from arabic: ḡazala, “to display love to the loved one via speech, to exchange talk of love with the loved one”.

1. Çeşm-i giryânım – literally ‘my tears shed from eyes’ (çeşm [cheshm] – Persian word for eyes, ottoman Turkish has many Persian terms; giryân – in Ottoman Turkish literally means 'tears rolling ’ or to 'shed tears’)

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