A Short Biography on Some of Europes Most Loved and Hated Monarchs - Pt 1 Vlad Tepes (Dracula)
Vlad Tepes or Dracula was born in 1431, in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. His father was the military governor of Transylvania and a member of the Order of the Dragon. The order was created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Barbara Cilli.
In the winter of 1436-1437, Vlad(Dracul) became prince of Wallachia and took up residence at the palace of Tirgoviste, the princely capital. In 1442, he and his younger brother Radu were taken hostage by the Turkish Sultan Murad II. Dracul was held in Turkey until 1448, while his brother Radu decided to stay there until 1462.
At 17 years old, Vlad, supported by troops lent to him by pasha Mustafa Hassan, tried to seize the Wallachian throne but was defeated by Vladislav II (who had earlier assassinated his father and oldest brother ) after two months or armed conflict. Vlad had to wait until 1456, when he was able to seek retribution against his father's assassin.
Vlad's first act of vengeance was aimed at the boyars of Tirgoviste for the killing of his father and older brother Mircea. Around Easter of 1459, Vlad had all the boyar families arrested and impaled the elder members on stakes while forcing the others to march from the capital to the town of Poenari. He then ordered them to build him a fortress on the ruins of an older outpost overlooking the Arges River. Many nobles died in the construction of this castle, the ruins of which can still be seen today.
Vlad became known for his brutal punishment techniques; often ordering people to be skinned, decapitated, blinded, roasted, hacked, buried alive, stabbed and blinded to name a few. He also liked to cut off his victim noses, ears and sexual organs. But his favourite form of torture was impalement on stakes, hence the surname "Tepes" which means "The Impaler" in the Romanian language. It was this form of punishment that he used against Transylvanian merchants who ignored his trade laws.
There are many tales about the psyche of Vlad Tepes. He was known throughout the country for his fierce adherence to honesty and order. Almost any crime, from lying and stealing to killing, could be punished by impalement. Being so confident in the efficiency of his law, Dracula placed a golden cup on display in the central square of Tirgoviste. The cup could be used by thirsty travellers, but had to remain on the square. It was never stolen and remained entirely untouched throughout Vlad's reign. He looked upon the poor, vagrants and beggars as thieves. Consequently, he invited all the poor and sick of Wallachia to his court in Tirgoviste for a magnificent feast. After his guests had eaten and drunk their fill, Dracula ordered the hall boarded up and set on fire. There were no survivors.
At the beginning of 1462, Vlad launched a campaign against the Turks along the Danube River which was very successful, managing several victories. In retaliation for these losses, the Sultan decided to launch a full-scale invasion of Wallachia with an army three times larger than Dracula's. Vlad was forced to withdraw towards Tirgoviste, burning villages and poisoning wells along the way.
These acts were designed to hinder the Turkish army in their search for food and water. When the Sultan's armies finally reached the capital city, exhausted and hungry, they were confronted by a horrific sight: thousands of stakes held the bodies of some 20,000 Turkish captives, which came to be known as "Forest of the Impaled." The scene which was laid out before them had an immediate effect; the Sultan hungry and worn out retreated. The Sultan Mehmed left the next phase of the battle to Vlad's younger brother Radu who pursued his brother and wife to Poenari castle on the Arges River.
Dracula's wife, in order to escape Turkish capture, committed suicide by hurling herself from the upper walls, her body falling down the cliff face into the river below.
Vlad managed to escape the siege and made his way to hungry with the help of local peasants. Upon his arrival the Hungarian king Matthias arrested Dracula and imprisoned him at the Hungarian capital of Visegrad.
In 1475, Vlad Tepes again became prince of Wallachia where he enjoyed a very short third reign. He was assassinated towards the end of 1476.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about Vlad Tepes or as he was better known-Dracula.
In my next article will learn about the life of(Mad)King George III.
Best wishes and have a great day
A Guide to Castles of Europe was born from childhood dreams and aspirations. It is my hope to educate and stimulate you into exploring these castles for yourselves.
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ZORRO:Timon of Athens. But most often they wrote in code or refused to write at all. They actually taught through techniques and disciplines which made people truly know what can be and how to become adept as individuated parts of the collective or 'nous'.
The Sterling Silver Story
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Archaeology and Spirit Guides
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Yes Tarot Readings Are For You!
Have you ever thought?
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Flashes of memory stream into my consciousness. They take me back thirty years plus. I was a boy then, a newcomer to a poor and tough neighborhood. My parents, of moderate means and daring to a fault, had decided to move there after my father had accepted an editing job in the federal government. They had taken a lease on a low-rent brick house, which was also run-down, covered in filth, and littered with trash. I do not mince my words: Previous tenants had been pigs that got along with bugs and rats.
Native American Indian Art Wood Carvings of the Pacific Northwest
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Celtic Jewelry: Ancient Symbolism in Popular Fashion
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Native American Art Thunderbird
The thunderbird has been one of the most dominant icons in Native American art and legends. In fact, the concept of the thunderbird has been so popular that it has been used in the non-Native world to name a classic automobile, liquor, a 1960's children's adventure television show (and subsequent recent movie), a US Air Force squadron and is referenced in pop music (remember the word 't-bird' in 1950's rock and roll?). The thunderbird is one of the few cross-cultural characters in Native American mythology since it is found in legends of Pacific Northwest, Plains, and Northeastern tribes.
Mythology and Parables in Modern Communication - Part 1
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Elvis Presley, Lifting Off
He seems to live forever. A network television movie about his life is scheduled for 2005.Three years ago,in 2002, the month of August was set aside for him. He was everywhere, as if he never died twenty-five years earlier. The old records reappeared as freshly minted CD's, he was seen shaking his hips on TV "news" clips and one CBS news piece revealed that an astounding forty two percent of the US population consider themselves to be Elvis Presley fans. His short life was looked at anew, re-examined and pontificated upon. Every day was accounted for, except that one day in January 1956 when he shot to stardom. Who could have known what would happen on that day? The biographers could not have been there but a handful of people did see what happened on that unusual and fascinating day. As a college student working as a weekend gofer in the CBS- TV studio, I was one of them. To fill in that gap in the Elvis Presley story, this is what happened on that remarkable day, January 26, 1956.
Insider Tips to Quadruple Your Art Show Sales
At a recent art show, I could not help but notice that not everyone's day was going as well as mine! As I experienced a constant stream of people flooding into my booth and buying my artwork, my neighbors were sitting idle and waiting. Not only did I have people buzzing in and around my booth, but after they purchased my artwork, they told their friends to come to my booth and buy from me!
On Being Human
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Shakespeares Art: Understanding King Lear
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The Saga of Puffed Wheat Anderson, A Minnesota Legend
I have no idea how old I was when I first learned about the famed Minnesota scientist and inventor Alex P. Anderson, AKA Puffed Wheat Anderson. My Dad told me about him when I was eating a bowl of cereal, you know, the one that's shot from guns. Or doesn't Quaker use that line any more? They sure did when I was growing up. I'd hear it a dozen times in a half hour when I used to listen to Sgt. Preston of the Mounties as a six-years-old. I naturally wondered if he was a relative. He wasn't, but I couldn't imagine how shooting rice or wheat out of a cannon could make them puff up.
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