Prince Vlad Tepes - ( VLAD THE IMPALER )


Vlad III Dracula:
Romania's Christian Crusader in the Transition Years Between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

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Vlad III,Prince of Wallachia, commonly known as " Vlad the Impaler ".
(Romanian: Vlad Tepes,was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia )
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Prince Vlad Tepes ( Vlad III,Prince of Wallachia )
Born: --Born Sometime Between November and December in 1431
Home town: --Sighisoara , Transylvania ( Kingdom of Hungary )
Died: --December , 1476
Born of the Royal House of Draculesti
( Branch of the House of Basarab )
Nickname: -- Vlad the Impaler
FAMILY GENELOGY:







"Apa trece , pietrele ramin ."
The water flows,the rock remains.
- Old Romanian Proverb.

Early Life

Vlad Dracula was born in Sighisoara, Transylvania (then, a Hungarian province) in late in the year 1431, somewhere near the end of November and the beginning of December. The actual date of his birth is unknown but his baptismal record dates December 1431. He was the second son of Vlad Dracul, one of the many claiments to the throne of Wallachia (southern provence of modern day Romania).
He spent his formative years in Sighisoara as his father attempted to reclaim his throne. This dream was not as quickly realized as he would have hoped due to factional in fighting between the major powers of eastern Europe at the time. Emperor Sigismund had decided to support Dracul's rival and half brother, Alexandru Aldea due to his opposition to Sigismund's rival Ladislas iI Jagiello, king of Poland.
The house Vlad lived in during his early years was in the centre square and was little more than a wealthy merchants house.
Vlad was the second son of three. His older brother was Mircea (named for their grandfather, Mircea the Great) born in 1428, and the youngest was Radu (the beautiful) born in 1435. There are a few illegitimate siblings but the only one of note was Vlad the Monk, born of Dracul's mistress Caltuna. Vlad the Monk would eventually become a rival for the throne against Vlad Dracula. Being a royal child Dracula would have been taught that he was different from other people and destined for greater things. He and his brothers would have been subjected to large amounts of adulation and love, being heirs they were guaranteed to be the centre of attention. In their early years they would have been taught their native Romanian tongue (language of command in the army).
Physical fitness was considered to be very important and so from an early age the children would have been expected to be able to ride an unsaddeled horse at gallop, being able to withstand the elements and the accompanying colds and illnesses. They would have hunted wuth eagles and slingshots. Played ball games, truant, gone sledding in the winter and so on. Physical and moral character were considered to be of the utmost importance.
Children were considered to be little versions of adults and were treated accordingly. Dracula would have been raised in an environment of political instability and treachery and he would not have been hidden from it.
When he was five his father reclaimed the throne of Wallachia and moved to the capital city of Tirgoviste. It was here that his formal education began. His apprenticeship for the knighthood began and he was taught swimming, jousting, fencing, archery, court etiquette and the like.
His first tutor taught him Italian and possibly a bit of French and Hungarian. He was taught to use Latin, the Cyrillic script, and Old Church Slavonic. His philosophical training would have begun with the concept of divine right and the politics of raison d'etat. But perhaps the most lasting lessons were from the political environment he was raised it which would have taught him that no man stays loyal for long and allegiances are always temporary, always breaking.
In 1442 Dracula and his brother Radu were left in the Ottoman empire on exchange for their father's 'good behavior'. They were held, for a short while, in Egrigoz, a fortress located almost three thousand feet above sea level. Later the boys were transfered to Tokat and later to Andrianople. Whilst in Adrianople the brothers were transfered to the court of the Sultan along with other hostages. The use of children was not only to ensure the good behavior of the parents but also as a means to influence them, to instill in the princes who were likely to inherit their parent's thrones a positive view of the Ottomans.
Dracula spent the next years of his youth with men such as George Castriota (hero of Albanian Anti-Ottoman resistence), and the Sultan Murad's son, Mehmed Celebi (the conqueror, who would later capture Constantinople in 1453).
Dracula and Radu continued their education, tutored by the best minds in the Ottoman empire. There were famous Kurdish philosophers, Mullahs, Mathematicians, Astrologers, linguists etc. The brothers' education was completed in the finest of Byzantine tradition, something preserved by the Turks.
In 1447 Dracula's father, Vlad Dracul was assassinated and his brother Mircea was tortured and eventually buried alive.



First Reign and Exile

After Vlad Dracul's death there was a risk of Wallachia falling into Hungarian control. In order to prevent this the Ottomans new they needed to put a pro-Ottoman candidate on the throne quickly. Dracula was soon made an officer in the Turkish army and given to understand that he was a candidate for his father's throne.
In 1448, at the age of seventeen, Dracula saw his opportunity to srike as Jan Hunyadi, regent of the Hungarian throne, was slowly weakening due to several pressing defeats. Supported by Turkish forces Dracula moved in and led a successful coup.
However, this rule was short-lived as Hunyadi quickly returned to Transylvania and readied himself for another attempt at putting a Hungarian puppet on the throne, Vladislav II, of the Danestu clan. Returning with fresh forces Hunyadi and Vladislav defeated Dracula's forces and forced him to flee back to the Ottoman court before going on to Molavia, where he lived under the protection of his uncle, Bogdan II, and his cousin Stephan cel Mare.
In October 1451, Bogdan was assassinated and Vlad and Stephan fled to Hungary. Impressed by Vlad's vast knowledge of the mindset and inner workings of the Ottoman Empire as well as his hatred of the new sultan Medmed II, Hunyadi reconciled with his former rival and made him his advisor. In 1453, the Ottomans, under Sultan Mehmed II took Constantinople after a prolonged siege, putting an end to the final major Christian presence in the eastern Mediterranean, after which Ottoman influence began to spread from this base through the Carpathians, threatening mainland Europe. In 1456, three years after the Ottomans had conquered Constantinople, they threatened Hungary by besieging Belgrade. Hunyadi began a concerted counter-attack in Serbia: while he himself moved into Serbia and relieved the siege (before dying of the plague), Vlad led his own contingent into Wallachia, reconquered his native land and killed Vladislav II in hand-to-hand combat.

At three separate times, Prince Vlad, governed Wallachia, one of three Hungarian principalities that later merged with the others, Transylvania (to the north) and Moldavia (to the east), to become the country of Romania. Because Wallachia, his province, sat directly above the open Danube River Plain, which separated the Ottoman Empire from free Romania, his was the frontal defense against the non- Christian Turks. Despite his cruelties and severe punishments, and because of his seething hatred for anything Turkish, he is considered today a national hero by the people of his great country. Because he died in warfare against the foe, even fought against a brother whom he considered a trader to his own country and a betrayer of his faith, he is often upheld as a martyr. Statues stand in his honor, and his birthplace at Sighisoara and resting-place at Snagov are considered almost canonical. Though many Westerners are baffled that a man whose political and military career was as steeped in blood as was that of Prince Vlad Tepes,the fact remains that for many Romanians he is still seen an icon of heroism and a true hero to his nation.It is this duality that is part of his appeal and allure.The adventurous life led by Vlad III , put him in contact with the era's most fascinating people, among them "White Knight" Jonas Hunyadi, Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus and the ambitious Sultan Mehmed of Turkey. In his lifetime, Prince Vlad, witnessed the rising use of gunpowder as a means of destruction, the Holy Crusades, the fall of Constantinople and the nouveau philosophy of art, alchemy and culture that became known as the Renaissance.Vlad the Impaler,also known as: Vlad III, Dracula, Drakulya, or Tepes, was born in late 1431, in the citadel of Sighisoara, Transylvania, the son of Vlad II or Dracul, a military governor, appointed by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. Vlad Dracul was also a knight in the Order of the Dragon, a secret fraternity created in 1387 by the Emperor, sworn to uphold Christianity and defend the empire against the Islamic Turks. Transylvania, along with Moldavia, and Wallachia, are now joined together as Romania. The name Dracul can be interpreted in two ways, the first translation from Romanian would be "Dragon", but it sometimes also means "Devil". Vlad was not called Tepes, which means ""spike" in Romanian, until after his death; instead, he was known as Vlad Dracula, the added "a" meaning "son of", so essentially, throughout his life, he was known as the "son of the Devil". While growing up with such a name would normally present problems for most of us, Vlad certainly did not seem to mind, as he really did live up to his title; but before we look upon the exploits of the son, let us learn a bit more about the father. In 1436, Vlad Dracul took over the throne of Wallachia, taking up residence in the palace of Tirgoviste. It was there young Vlad Dracula would get his first taste of the opulent lifestyle, and perhaps also where the beast within would begin to grow. Merely two years later, in a strange turn of events, Vlad II betrayed the Order of the Dracul, forming an alliance with the Turks. He even went as far as allowing Sultan Murad II to keep his two sons, Vlad Dracula, and his younger brother Radu, as " a form of insurance" that he would not plan to strike against the Turks.In the winter of 1447, Vlad Dracul was assassinated in a coup orchestrated by one of his relatives, John Hunyadi, who had devoted his life to fighting the Ottoman Turks, and did not approve of Vlad Dracul's pro-Turkish policy. Vlad Dracula was granted his freedom following his father's death, but Radu decided to stay behind. In addition to learning of his father's demise, Vlad was also told his older brother, Mircea had had his eyes gouged out, and been buried alive by the boyars of Targoviste. While in captivity, Vlad had grown resentful, and vowed to have his revenge. The throne of Wallachia, which would have normally been reserved for Vlad Dracula, was now occupied by the Boyars. The still teenaged Vlad Dracula, with the help of Pasha Mustafa Hassan' Turkish cavalry, defeated the boyars, reclaiming the throne for a very short period of time, as Hunyadi would soon thereafter appoint Vladislav II to the post. Vlad Dracula formed an alliance with Hunyadi, in the hopes of persuading him he was the rightful heir to the throne, but it wasn't until 1456, that Vlad Dracula would make his move, killing his father's murderer, and defeating Vladislav II, to take over as the new ruler of Wallachia. In 1569, following an Easter Sunday feast, Vlad Dracula had all the boyar families who had been attending arrested. Those who were in good health were condemned to a life of slavery, and put to work on the construction of his Poenari Castle on the Arges river. Those who were old and weak were impaled for all to see. Thus began Vlad the Impaler's reign of blood and terror. Construction of the castle was difficult work, and many of the slaves died in the process. Many were forced to work naked, for their clothes had fallen off from wear. Needless to say, Vlad Dracula in no way considered these people human beings, and he treated them worse than animals, severely punishing and torturing his captives, whether or not they had done anything to provoke him.

He abhorred weakness of any kind, and was determined to be the ruler of a Kingdom which would only be host to the rich and powerful. One day, Vlad Dracula decided to cleanse his Kingdom of those he considered to be lazy and unproductive, those who suffered from illness, a handicap, or were simply born in poverty. He decreed that no one should go hungry in his Kingdom, and invited all the poor, unfortunate souls who tainted his concept of what society should be to a banquet in the great hall in Tirgoviste. Once he felt his "guests" had been well fed, not to mention drunk and complacent, Vlad made his appearance, asking them how they would enjoy never having to feel the pain of hunger ever again, or if they wished to never have to worry about anything ever again, to be without a care in the world.Of course, their reply was enthusiastic, so he obliged, ordering his men to board up the hall, which was then set ablaze. No one escaped. Vlad Dracula's treatment of his own subjects paled in comparison to the atrocities he committed against his enemies, and any who opposed him. On St. Bartholomew's Day, he impaled 30,000 merchants for disobeying trade laws, having their bodies left to rot outside the city walls as a reminder of what would happen to any who disobeyed him. Rumours abound that Vlad also ate the flesh, and drank the blood of his enemies, often holding dinner parties next to the freshly impaled. He was very proud of his work, and anyone who showed disdain while looking upon the thousands of putrefying corpses would soon suffer the same fate. Vlad liked to arrange the impaled in circular patterns, the length of the stakes determined by the victim's rank; this way, wealthy, or powerful opponents would plainly see they were not above the law. Impalements were carried out in a variety of ways, During his reign, Vlad Dracula also had people decapitated, had their eyes gouged out, had them skinned alive, boiled, burnt, dismembered, eviscerated, or sometimes just physically disfigured for his own amusement. In one particular incident, Turkish ambassadors who had refused to remove their Phrygian caps in his presence were asked why they insulted him in such a manner. When they replied it was because their hats had to remain on their heads according to custom, he graciously honored their tradition by ordering their hats permanently nailed to their heads, never to be removed again. Vlad may have been a fearsome conqueror, but he was not infallible. In 1461, he took on the Turks from the Danube River Valley, but ultimately failed to subdue them, outnumbered by Sultan Mehmed II's army. Determined to kill the Sultan, Vlad Dracula staged a nightly raid on his settlement, but he attacked the wrong tent, leaving the Sultan enraged, and vowing revenge. He ordered his men to invade Wallachia, forcing Dracula's army to retreat towards Tirgoviste. Not wanting to leave anything for the Sultan and his army, Vlad destroyed his Kingdom village by village, burning them to the ground, and poisoning their wells. Furthermore, when the Sultan arrived at Wallachia, he was shocked by finding a virtual forest of the impaled, thousands of dead Turkish prisoners whose bodies were slowly decomposing in the sun, the stench of it all permeating the air.Vlad's time-tested scare tactics had a profound effect on the tired and hungry Sultan and his army. He abandoned the campaign, but he would later retaliate by sending Vlad Dracula's own brother to pick up where he left off.
Radu and his men pursued Vlad to Poenari Castle on the Arges river. Dracula's wife, fearful of being captured by the Turks, jumped to her death from one of the battlement towers. Dracula himself fled through a secret passageway, which he used to get to the mountains. Seeking refuge in Transylvania, Vlad met with King Matthias Corvinus, but the latter had heard of Vlad's wicked ways, and had him imprisoned at Visegrad, the Hungarian capital. Eventually, Vlad Dracula was allowed to come and go as he pleased, since there had been no definite terms for his imprisonment, and so long as he would report to King Matthias on a regular basis. He was also given his own dwellings in the palace, far from the musty dungeons. But Vlad had managed to gain the King's confidence, and he was often a guest at the various banquets and social functions at the palace. He even got married to the King's cousin, Countess Ilona Szilagy, with whom he had two children.For over nine years, Vlad had more or less remained in King Matthias' custody, while his brother Radu occupied the throne of Wallachia. But contrary to what one might assume, Vlad Dracula was still somewhat respected by some of his former subjects; after all, he had successfully defeated the Turks on many occasions, and had managed to create an orderly society, free of crime. Radu on the other hand, had lost favor with the Boyars for his concessions to the Ottoman Turks, not to mention King Matthias himself, and his treachery to the Order of the Dracul. The time had come for Vlad to reclaim his throne, and King Matthias, along with Prince Stefan Bathory of Transylvania, would join forces with Vlad to overthrow Radu, and more importantly, to defeat the Turks. After months of successful attacks on Turkish settlements from Dracula and his 5000 man strong Christian Army, Sultan Mehmed II's forces were sufficiently weakened, but Vlad never had the satisfaction of personally dethroning his brother, for the latter had died of syphilis, and been replaced by Prince Basarab the Old, two years ealier. After having subdued, burnt, and of course, impaled thousands of Turks, Vlad and his men returned to Romania. It is interesting to note that this time around, Vlad's favorite method of killing was officially sanctioned by the Vatican, as he was, after all, impaling the foes of the Catholic Church in the name of God.Once again, Vlad Dracula occupied the throne of Wallachia, but things would never be the same. Even if he was officially sanctioned by King Matthias and the Church, many of the Boyars had not forgotten his ruthless ways. Sultan Mehmed II was restless in his determination to regain power over Wallachia and return Basarab to the throne. The Boyars, knowing the possible pitfalls of living under Dracula's rule, were perhaps more open to the idea of Basarab's return than they should have been. Word that Sultan Mehmed was organizing his forces in Bucharest reached Prince Stefan's ears, and he asked Vlad Dracula to organize an army to defeat the Sultan's, but of the Boyars joined him, and he found himself in a precarious position he had never been in before, undermanned, and expected by the enemy.Without the element of surprise on his side, Vlad knew the battle ahead would be difficult. Furthermore, additional troops promised to him by Prince Stefan failed to show, and Vlad was left with just a few thousand men to combat the Sultan's army, which had grown quite considerably large.
Vlad Dracula, ever the fearless warrior, fought against overwhelming odds, refusing to accept defeat, but the reality of it all was that they were outnumbered, and would eventually meet their doom. There is much speculation as to what happened to Vlad the Impaler in his final battle. Some say he died at the hands of his own men, as he was mistaken for a Turk while disguised in one of their uniforms, while others say he was killed, and decapitated, his dead body only recognizable by the vestments and medallions he was wearing.
Some historians consider the connection between the Renaissance and the Ottoman emperor, Mehmed II, to be tenuous or negligible, but they concede the possibility that the Muslim conqueror of Constantinople serendipitously launched the rebirth (renaissance in French) of the cultural legacy of ancient Greece and Rome. The Renaissance began in the West after Byzantine Greek scholars, to avoid death or slavery, fled Constantinople, the besieged capital of the Eastern Holy Roman Empire, in 1453 before it fell to the Ottoman Turks.
Mehmed was only 21 when he entered the last relic and reminder of Rome’s ancient glory. (Byzantine Greeks continued to call themselves “Romans” after the Emperor Constantine relocated the capital in the early 4th century A.D. to Byzantium, the city he renamed in his honor. Konstantinoupolis is Greek for “Constantine’s City.”)
By the time Mehmed conquered Constantinople in the 15th century, all that remained of the transcontinental empire was a city-state described by contemporaries as a series of small, isolated villages connected by crumbling, ancient ruins.
While Mehmed’s early Christian biographers mention the Sultan’s contribution to the Renaissance if only to deny its significance and value, they rarely note another important element of the conqueror’s life, even though this biographical information is well-documented. But the documentation is ignored, shoved under the rug or into the closet.
At the height of his power, Mehmed ruled an empire greater in size than ancient Rome’s, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to India. His territorial gains surpassed the real estate amassed by Alexander the Great, who besides loving the spoils of war, shared another kind of love with Mehmed.
The conqueror of ancient Greece and the conqueror of the Byzantine Greeks had the same sexual orientation that takes its name from some of its earliest practitioners, “Greek love,” a euphemism for homosexuality.
Like many other warriors, Mehmed combined admirable professional achievements with personal depravity. The same ruthlessness that helps a conqueror build an empire on the corpses of the conquered translates into remorseless cruelty in his private life.
Mehmed's success and excess prove Lord Acton's claim that power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. A patron of the arts and scientific inquiry, Mehmed was centuries ahead of his time because of his toleration of other religions.
Despite his enlightened attitude toward some issues, the sultan was a man of his time in other areas and as bloodthirsty as his contemporary, Vlad The Impaler, prince of Wallachia, and the inspiration of the fictional Count Dracula. An indication of Mehmed's sexual orientation comes from the unusual tribute Mehmed demanded from Vlad, who refused to pay it: 10,000 ducats and 500 young boys.
After the fall of Constantinople :

Traditionally, the fifteenth-century Byzantine exiles in Italy have been seen largely in terms of their contribution to the revival of Greek studies during the Renaissance. This can be traced in part to an enthusiastic outburst by the contemporary writer Leonardo Bruni, who claimed that one of them, Manuel Chrysoloras (d.1415), had restored to the Italians a knowledge of classical Greek, which had been lost for seven hundred years (Bruni, 431). The picture of the Byzantines as restorers of Greek letters was carried further in a famous passage by Edward Gibbon: ... the restoration of the Greek letters in Italy was prosecuted by a series of emigrants who were destitute of fortune and endowed with learning, or at least with language. From the terror or oppression of the Turkish arms, the natives of Thessalonica and Constantinople escaped to a land of freedom, curiosity and wealth .
  • Some authorities have maintained that the destruction of the last vestige of the Byzantine Empire marked an abrupt end to the Middle Ages and the dawn of a new era. However, a Renaissance was already flowering in Italy in 1453 and medieval ways would persist in northern Europe for many more years. These trends would have continued with or without the fall of Constantinople.
  • Many histories, including some of recent vintage, cite the fall of Constantinople as a spur to the Age of Discovery. It is argued that the triumphant Ottomans denied Christian merchants access through the Black Sea to the lucrative trade routes to the East. With that entry denied, Western Europe was forced to seek new avenues. In fact, advances in shipbuilding technology, navigation methods and the accumulation of capital sufficient to support exploratory ventures predated the Ottoman triumph and account for the burst of European energy.
  • File:Vlad Tepes 002.jpg

    PRINCE VLAD III











    RAVENHAIR'S COLLECTION OF BEAUTY - The Tudors Wiki









    RAVENHAIR'S COLLECTION OF BEAUTY - The Tudors Wiki

















    File:Dragon order insignia.jpg

    ORDER OF THE DRAGON INSIGNIA






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    The edict of 1408 describes two insignia to be worn by members of the Order:
    " ... we and the faithful barons and magnates of our kingdom shall bear and have, and do choose and agree to wear and bear, in the manner of society, the sign or effigy of the Dragon incurved into the form of a circle, its tail winding around its neck, divided through the middle of its back along its length from the top of its head right to the tip of its tail, with blood [forming] a red cross flowing out into the interior of the cleft by a white crack, untouched by blood, just as and in the same way that those who fight under the banner of the glorious martyr St George are accustomed to bear a red cross on a white field ...".

    The dragon described here, with its tail coiled around its neck, bears comparison to the Ouroboros.On the back of the dragon, from the base of the neck to the tail, is theRed Cross of saint George, with the entire image on an argent field. The Order's dragon emblem has not survived in any original form, but it has been referenced on coins, art, and in writings.














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    Prince Vlad Tepes - ( VLAD THE IMPALER ) - THE  BORGIAS   wiki








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    Vlad Tepes

    Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler, by George Stuart

    Vlad was the epitome of savage brutality. With his ability to
    adjust quickly and his determined self-preservation; he ruled
    over Walachia for decades. His record of sadism and mass
    murder was unparalleled and shocked even the Turks, his
    part time allies, then enemies. He is a Romanian hero today.








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