Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Real Dracula

The fictional character of Count Dracula was based on a real man Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. Near Moldavia, his domain suffered under his rule from 1456 to 1462. His legacy came largely from his brazen and brutal execution methods. He engaged in genocide against a group of people called the boyar who he felt wronged him. Vlad hurt people as he ate dined. Some of the most common tactics were impaling, burning, skinning, roasting, forcing people to eat the flesh of their friends.

Vlad's estate had concentric rings of impaled enemies radiating outwards from his lair. The bodies stayed up for days to create a horrendous stench.

A wave of vampire fear was moving through the Europe at that time and still lingers today. The novelist Bram Stoker is credited with bringing Vlad into the legend of Dracula.


  1. There's a great "literary" vampire novel on the subject of Vlad Tepes by Elizabeth Kostova called The Historian. In the context of violence it's interesting as it is not so much about the horror and violence of vampire, but the academic nature of living so long.

  2. The Historian is full of fascinating historical information about the Dracula myths. Even with society's current obsession with vampires, we sometimes forget one of their defining characteristics: that they live forever. Elizabeth Kostova creates a creepy story based on the premise that Vlad Tepes is still alive and persecuting those who research his story, no matter where they are in the world. The narrator is a studious teenage girl whose life is changed by her discovery of a mysterious book. At times the Historian feels weighed down with too much historical detail and can feel like a travel log, but overall it is an informative interpretation of the Dracula story.


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