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Vlad Tepes Essay

1502 words - 6 pages

Vlad TepesWe all heard of Bram Stoker's Dracula. The stake through the heart and the black cape are all part of the legends we grew up with. Where did these legends come from? Who was the real Dracula, his life, how did he set the basis for Bram Stokers Dracula. First let me start with Dracula or Vlad Tepes.Vlad Tepes was born in November or December 1431, in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. His father, Vlad Dracul, at that time appointed military governor of Transylvania by the emperor Sigismund, had been inducted into the Order of the Dragon about one year before. The order - which could be compared to the Knights of the Hospital of St. John or even to the Teutonic Order of Knights - was a semimilitary and religious society, originally created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Barbara Cilli. The main goals of such a secret fraternal order of knights was mainly to protect the interests of Catholicism, and to crusade against the Turks. There are different reasons why this society is so important to us. First, it provides an explanation for the name "Dracula;" "Dracul," in Romanian language, means "Dragon", and the boyars of Romania, who knew of Vlad Tepes' father induction into the Order of the Dragon, decided to call him "Dracul." "Dracula," a diminutive, which means "the son of Dracul," was a surname to be used ultimately by Vlad Tepes.In the winter of 1436-1437, Dracul became prince of Wallachia (one of the three Romanian provinces) and took up residence at the palace of Tirgoviste, the princely capital. Vlad Tepes followed his father and lived six years at the princely court. In 1442, for political reasons, Dracula and his younger brother Radu were taken hostage by the Sultan Murad II; Dracula was held in Turkey until 1448, while his brother Radu decided to stay there until 1462. This Turkish captivity surely played an important role in Dracula's upbringing; it must be at this period that he adopted a very pessimistic view of life. Indeed, the Turks set him free after informing him of his father's assassination in 1447 - organized by Vladislav II. He also learned about his older brother's death Mircea was the eldest legitimate son of Dracul - and how he had been tortured and buried alive by the boyars of Tirgoviste.At 17 years old, Vlad Tepes Dracula, supported by a force of Turkish cavalry and a contingent of troops lent to him by pasha Mustafa Hassan, made his first major move toward seizing the Wallachian throne. But another claimant, no other than Vladislav II himself, defeated him only two months later. In order to secure his second and major reign over Wallachia, Dracula had to wait until July of 1456, when he had the satisfaction of killing his mortal enemy and his father's assassin. His life as a ruler began during that time.Vlad then began his longest reign - 6 years - during which he committed many cruelties, and hence established his controversial reputation. According to the book Dracula by Treptow "His...

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