Vlad Iii Tepes Dracula Essay

1920 words - 8 pages

Vlad III Tepes Dracula

Overview: Wallachian Society

Bram Stoker’s vampire villain inspiring over seven hundred films
shares a connection with a historic prince. Stoker’s prototype is
believed to be based on Vlad III Dracula a fifteenth century viovode
(prince) of Wallachia. An understanding of Vlad may aid in
appreciating Stoker’s protagonist. Vlad came from the princely House
of Basarab. Wallachia is situated in Eastern Europe, the lands of the
vampire legend, and shares a northern border with Transylvania. To the
east is the Black Sea and to the south is Bulgaria. Wallachia emerged
as a political power in the late thirteenth century from the ashes of
the Eastern Roman Empire. Wallachia’s first monarch was Basarab the
Great (1310-1352).The throne of Wallachia was hereditary although the
boyars of the nobility had the right to elect various members of the
royal family. Common of European elective monarchies during the middle
Ages the power of the government tended to be shared among the nobles.
Assassination or murder was a common method of moving up the feudal
society, therefore Wallachian politics contained much bloodshed.
Towards the end of the 15th century the House of Basarab had split
into two bitter clans. Descendants of Prince Dan formed the Danesti
while Dracula and his father, Vlad II Dracul, were ancestors of Prince
Mircea the Old.

The Wallachians were accustomed to be influenced by powerful
neighbours. The fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, which had
defended Europe from Islamic access for nearly one thousand years,
fell to the Ottoman Turkish Empire under the leadership of Sultan
Mohammed the Conqueror. Prior to the fall of Constantinople, Mircea
the Old was forced to acknowledge the sultan’s presence in the early
fifteen century. The Hungarian Kingdom to the north and west of
Wallachia reached the peak of its powers during the fifteenth century,
assuming the mantle of defending Christianity. During the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries the princes of Wallachia attempted to maintain
a ‘false’ independence by continually shifting alliances between their
neighbours.

The Life of Vlad III Tepes Dracula:

Dracula was born in 1431 in the Transylvanian city of Sighisoara, and
son of Vlad II Dracul. Dracul was living in exile during his son’s
birth. The house where Dracula was born still remains today. The house
was located in a neighbourhood surrounded by homes of Saxon and Magyar
merchants, and other houses of the nobility. The early years of
Dracula’s life are unknown, although he had siblings. It is known he
had an elder brother, Mircea, and a younger brother Radu. Dracula’s
education was home-schooling by his mother, a Transylvanian
noblewoman, and her family. His ‘real’ education of Wallachian life
began in 1436, a training typical to that common to...

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