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  1. Vlad the Impaler and the Turkish envoys, painting by Theodor Aman The Cantacuzino Chronicle was the first Romanian historical work to record a tale about Vlad the Impaler, narrating the impalement of the old boyars of Târgoviște for the murder of his brother, Dan. [172]

    • Early Years
    • Struggle to Be Voivode
    • Factional Conflict
    • Ruler of Wallachia
    • Vlad The Impaler’s Wars
    • Expulsion from Wallachia
    • Final Rule and Death
    • Legacy and Dracula
    • Sources

    Vlad was born between 1428 and 1431 into the family of Vlad II Dracul. This nobleman had been allowed into the crusading Order of the Dragon (Dracul) by its creator, the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, to encourage him to defend both Christian east Europe and Sigismund’s lands from encroaching Ottomanforces and other threats. The Ottomans were expanding into eastern and central Europe, bringing with them a rival religion to that of the Catholic and Orthodox Christians who had previously dominated the region. However, the religious conflict can be overstated, as there was an old-fashioned secular power struggle between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottomans over both Wallachia—a relatively new state—and its leaders. Although Sigismund had turned to a rival of Vlad II’s soon after initially supporting him, he came back to Vlad and in 1436 Vlad II became "voivode," a form of prince, of Wallachia. However, Vlad II then broke with the Emperor and joined the Ottomans in order to try to bal...

    Vlad II and his eldest son were killed by rebel boyars—Wallachian noblemen—in 1447, and a new rival called Vladislav II was put on the throne by the pro-Hungarian governor of Transylvania, called Hunyadi. At some point, Vlad III and Radu were freed, and Vlad returned to the principality to begin a campaign aimed at inheriting his father’s position as voivode, which led to conflict with boyars, his younger brother, the Ottomans, and others. Wallachia had no clear system of inheritance to the throne. Instead, the previous incumbent’s children could equally claim it, and one of them was usually elected by a council of boyars. In practice, outside forces (mainly the Ottomans and Hungarians) could militarily support friendly claimants to the throne.

    What followed were 29 separate reigns of 11 separate rulers, from 1418 to 1476, including Vlad III thrice. It was from this chaos, and a patchwork of local boyar factions, that Vlad sought first the throne, and then to establish a strong state through both bold actions and outright terror. There was a temporary victory in 1448 when Vlad took advantage of a recently defeated anti-Ottoman crusade and its capture of Hunyadi to seize the throne of Wallachia with Ottoman support. However, Vladislav II soon returned from crusade and forced Vlad out. It took nearly another decade for Vlad to seize the throne as Vlad III in 1456. There is little information on what exactly happened during this period, but Vlad went from the Ottomans to Moldova, to a peace with Hunyadi, to Transylvania, back and forth between these three, falling out with Hunyadi, renewed support from him, military employment, and in 1456, an invasion of Wallachia—in which Vladislav II was defeated and killed. At the same ti...

    Established as voivode, Vlad now faced the problems of his predecessors: how to balance Hungary and the Ottomans and keep himself independent. Vlad began to rule in a bloody manner designed to strike fear into the hearts of opponents and allies alike. He ordered people to be impaled on stakes, and his atrocities were inflicted on anyone who upset him, no matter where they came from. However, his rule has been misinterpreted. During the communist erain Romania, historians outlined a vision of Vlad as a socialist hero, focused largely around the idea that Vlad attacked the excesses of the boyar aristocracy, thus benefiting the ordinary peasants. Vlad’s ejection from the throne in 1462 has been attributed to boyars seeking to protect their privileges. Some chronicles record that Vlad bloodily carved his way through the Boyars to strengthen and centralize his power, adding to his other, and horrific, reputation. However, while Vlad did slowly increase his power over disloyal boyars, thi...

    Vlad attempted to restore the balance of Hungarian and Ottoman interests in Wallachia and swiftly came to terms with both. However, he was soon assailed by plots from Hungary, who changed their support to a rival voivode. War resulted, during which Vlad supported a Moldovan noble who would both later fight him and earn the epithet "Stephen the Great." The situation between Wallachia, Hungary, and Transylvania fluctuated for several years, going from peace to conflict, and Vlad tried to keep his lands and throne intact. Around 1460 or 1461, having secured independence from Hungary, regained land from Transylvania, and defeated his rival rulers, Vlad broke off relations with the Ottoman Empire, ceased paying his yearly tribute, and prepared for war. The Christian parts of Europe were moving toward a crusade against the Ottomans. Vlad may have been fulfilling a long-term plan for independence, falsely buoyed by his success against his Christian rivals, or planning an opportunistic atta...

    Vlad did not, as some of the pro-communist and pro-Vlad historians have claimed, defeat the Ottomans and then fall to a revolt of rebel boyars. Instead, some of Vlad’s followers fled to the Ottomans to ingratiate themselves to Radu when it became apparent that Vlad’s army could not defeat the invaders. Hungary’s forces arrived too late to aid Vlad—if they had ever intended to help him—and instead arrested him, transferred him to Hungary, and locked him up.

    After years of imprisonment, Vlad was released by Hungary in 1474 or 1475 to seize back the Wallachian throne and fight against a forthcoming invasion by the Ottomans, on the condition he converted to Catholicism and away from Orthodoxy. After fighting for the Moldavians, he regained his throne in 1476 but was killed shortly after in a battle with the Ottoman claimant to Wallachia.

    Many leaders have come and gone, but Vlad remains a well-known figure in European history. In some parts of Eastern Europe he is a hero for his role in fighting the Ottomans—although he fought Christians just as much, and more successfully—whereas in much of the rest of the world he is infamous for his brutal punishments, a byword for cruelty, and bloodthirstiness. Verbal attacks on Vlad were spreading while he was still very much alive, partly to justify his imprisonment and partly as a result of human interest in his brutality. Vlad lived at a time when print was emerging, and Vlad became one of the first horror figures in printed literature. Much of his recent fame has to do with the use of Vlad’s sobriquet "Dracula." This literally means "Son of Dracul" and is a reference to his father’s entry into the Order of the Dragon, Draco then meaning Dragon. But when British author ​Bram Stoker named his vampire character Dracula, Vlad entered a whole new world of popular notoriety. Mean...

    Lallanilla, Marc. “Vlad the Impaler: The Real Dracula Was Absolutely Vicious.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 31 Oct. 2013.
    “10 Fascinating Facts About The Real Dracula.” Listverse, 11 Oct. 2014.
    Webley, Kayla. “Top 10 Royals Who Would Have Been Terrible on Facebook.” Time, Time Inc., 9 Nov. 2010.
    • History Expert
  2. Oct 09, 2021 · Vlad the Impaler used this torturous method to punish and kill anyone who displeased or threatened him, though it wasn’t the only way he dispensed his cruelty. At one point, he had the turbans of Ottoman diplomats nailed onto their skulls after they declined to remove them for religious reasons.

    • All That's Interesting
  3. Oct 31, 2013 · The elder Vlad was released under the condition that he leave his sons behind. A portrait of Vlad the Impaler, circa 1450, from a painting in Castle Ambras in the Tyrol. Getty. Years of captivity ...

    • Vlad The Impaler, Western Europe’s Savior
    • Vlad The Impaler Biography (Draculea) | Summary
    • Vlad The Impaler Facts (Draculea) | Concept

    A well-known intelligent, elegant and educated Romanian Lord, Vlad the Impaler was an important leader from Medieval Europe, who, during his reign, stopped the advancement of the Ottoman Empire towards Western Europe.

    Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Draculea (1431 – 1467) was an important Romanian ruler and a great European leader of the time, who stopped the Ottoman expansion towards Western Europe during his reign. On one hand associated with the fantastic character Draculaand on another with the impalement method of execution, Vlad the Impaler was wrongly depicted for centuries, the historical truth being far different from his tyrant-like image.

    Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Draculea (1431-1467), imposing Romanian leader who first ascended to the throne in 1448, is a controversial historical character partly because of his association with the fantastic character Dracula. The controversies spawn from the lack of knowledge regarding Romanian history and from the mendacious massive international exposure of the fantastic character. Transylvania World wants to clarify once and for all the difference between the historical character Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Draculea) and the fantastic character Dracula. At the same time, our association pinpoints Vlad the Impaler’s historical role and argues againts the theories which make the Romanian leader appear as a tyrant. Nephew of the great Romanian ruler Mircea the Elder and member of the House of Drăculești, Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Draculea) was born in 1431 in Sighisoara and spent the first years of his life in Transylvania and Hungary. He had a rough childhood, being taken hostage by the Ot...

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