Vlad the Impaler
The prince of Wallachia named Vlad III Draculea, or known as Vlad Dracula, was brought into this world by his mother, Princess Cnejna of Moldavia on the latter part of 1431 (Kokker et. al. 162). His father Vlad II is a well dignified military governor, as chosen by the holy Roman Emperor named Sigismund. His father was once a mighty member of a clandestine group of knights known as the Order of the Dragon. Their main goal is to protect the empire and its interest at variance with the Islamic Turks. Order of the Dragon’s endeavour is also to sustain and continue the expansion of Christianity.
The surname Draculea or Dracula has two meanings; the first one means son of dragon, and the other one means son of the devil (Hamilton 284). For most of the people, it will be a bothersome having a name which has a very negative meaning. On the other hand, Vlad did not mind having such name even when he’s still a child and surprisingly, he is even proud of it. On the winter of year 1447, his father was assassinated as planned by one of their relatives. His older brother also died in a gruesome and unpleasant incident by gouging out his eyes and burying him alive.
Since then, Dracula became obsessed in driving his revenge to all Turks and Dracula’s outrage grew and grew as he reached his adulthood (Greenberger 30). The throne of Wallachia which is really intended for Vlad Dracula was soon occupied by their enemies, the boyars. To reclaim his throne, Dracula thought of something to regain what has been lost. He made an alliance with the person who killed his father and his brother. After such time, he finally got the chance of killing his father’s murderer and repossessed his father’s throne.
As the new ruler of Wallachia, he ordered his men to take hold of all boyar families during the Easter Sunday feast in 1569. Boyar family members in good condition were destined to work on building his Poenari Castle located near the Arges River (Nuzum 81). Many of these boyar family members died in the construction area as slaves. Those who were weak, old and not physically fit to work as slaves were impaled in front of many Wallachian people. For this reason, Dracula became known as Vlad the Impaler. Since then, terror covered all parts of Wallachia.
There was this incident when Dracula invited underprivileged, ailing and disabled people to indulge in an extensive meal in his castle. Soon after these people finished eating their meals, Dracula solicited their side if they would like to end their sufferings and afflictions. As expected, the people answered “yes” eagerly. They didn’t know that it will be their last meal because Dracula ordered his men to lock up all the people inside the castle. Like what Dracula had promised, he ended up their agony, the castle and all the village dwellers were burned to death.
Another story that shows Dracula’s brutality is when he invited boyars to spend their dinner with him at the castle. When the people were all locked in, he asked them the number of princes that ruled Wallachia during their lifetime. Confusingly, the people answered back by saying that they have been under the supremacy of many princes. Dracula immediately ordered his soldiers to seize and arrest all the people for their lack of loyalty. All the older ones are placed in a palisade and left them all there until they all soon died. Moreover, all those who could still work were sent off to be his slaves.
They were forced to work in building mountain fortress and channels. All the boyars who became slaves suffered so much. Hence, it came to a point when their clothes were ripped off and fell on the ground; they work nakedly until they die. Dracula always loved to place a banquet table wherever he wanted while watching people suffer and die. Impalement was his most favorite execution manner and he preferred to see how a man or woman cries out loud because of tremendous pain he or she is going through (Davies 449). Impalement is specifically a feat of slow and merciless way of executing or torturing a person.
The victim will be perforated either from its side or mostly from its rectum all the way through his or her mouth. The picket will be placed on the ground allowing the gravity to pull down the human’s body. Definitely, there will be lots of blood dripping down the pole and soon after, the people will die because of massive organ rupture and blood loss. The prince of Wallachia had some sort of passion in killing people by impalement. As a matter of fact, he even commanded his men to set up the stakes in a fancy arrangement and designs.
Dracula also had this weird attitude of talking to impaled people while he enjoyed his food. He would ask non-sense questions at times and laugh out loud when his victims ask for forgiveness. For him, it was like feeling the glory of winning a battle when he impales people like merchants that swindle their customers, women who had forbidden affairs and criminal people. After doing such terrible execution, he will then order his men to display in public all the corpses so that every one will be scared to commit wrongful acts.
Even though Dracula was known for his vindictiveness, many still respected him as their brave ruler (Boia 199). Dracula was ready to defend his kingdom specifically to foreigners who would like to expand their sovereignty over his land. Two ambassadors from other countries got a taste of Dracula’s fashion over his enemies by nailing their hats on their heads. Dracula has established his strict and stern moral code for all the inhabitant of Wallachia. Any one who will be caught opposing and contradicting the moral code will be impaled. Unsurprisingly, there are only few petty crimes happened in Wallachia during Dracula’s reign.
To prove that his way of ruling his people is effective and how his laws worked, Dracula once placed a golden cup in a public square near the river where all the villagers happened to pass by. No one dared to touch the golden cup for they knew that it belonged to Dracula so the golden cup remained in the public square. The villagers also knew that whoever plans to take the golden cup will be dead in no time. Dracula spent his adolescent years with his father’s care and supervision. Dracula had undergone rigorous training through numerous physical disciplines.
He was also taught on how to last severe physical torture. His father also prepared Dracula to be a tough ruler that can endure all the hardships. Dracula was naturally born with such strong personality that’s why his father invested so much in him. Dracula witnessed how criminals were dragged out from the prisoner’s cell down to the courtyard. Together with the public, Dracula surprisingly got pleasure from watching these criminals during their execution that was usually by hanging. His unspeakable and shocking behavior regarding penalizing people seemed to be intensified during his young age.
When he was captured together with his brother and became the Turks hostage. No one could tell how he and his brother are maltreated. Certainly, this traumatic experience had an enormous effect with Dracula’s behavior and outlook in life. Since then, he cursed the Turks and vowed to his father’s grave that they will definitely experience the same anguish or more. According to psychological studies, a child that has been brought up seeing violence as a normal activity within the household will surely manifest an extraordinary trait in due time.
Exposure to violence or extreme violence in number of ways significantly affects a child’s behavior. This often manifests on how the child treat and react with other people in the community. Commonly, the child isolates himself and often incurs violent acts. Aggressive behavior is another negative consequence of child’s exposure to extreme violence. A child tends to display an appalling attitude during the adolescent stage through name calling, cursing and low empathy to others. Understandably, Dracula’s undertakings are mere demonstration of his childhood experiences.
He sees criminals and lawbreakers face their fatal outcome through different forms of chastisement. It is indispensable to understand the social and political strength for the period of Dracula’s era during the 15th century. Dracula’s life story is mainly about how he struggles to get hold of control over Wallachia which is now known as Romania. Although Dracula prefers impalement as his most favorite process of gruesome and painful torture, it does not mean that this is his only method of execution. He also had some other methods and he actually possessed loads of it.
Some of these ghastly and horrific inventories of capital punishment include skinning, blinding, drawing nails in heads, strangulation, cutting off limbs, burning, mutilation of sexual organs, scalping and many others (Floyd 132). Vlad Dracula believed to derive his distorted satisfaction from his actions that depicts his attitude and stand as the prince of Wallachia. The prince of Wallachia had significant reasons to show off his reign of terror. Dracula was motivated to fend off and discourage foreign adversaries.
His strong desire to solidify his ascendancy was also his form of revenge to all individuals who were part of the conspiracy against his father’s reign. There are many justifications regarding Vlad Dracula’s implementation of his moral codes with the people of Wallachia. Historians believe that Dracula did frightening execution to criminal offenders and to those individuals that go against his rules especially to foreigners regardless of their political position to provide evidence for his nationalism (Antohi et. al. 328). Most of the foreigner merchants were German Saxons prowling upon the natives of Wallachia.
Wallachia was a wealthy land and that is another reason why numbers of boyars were like parasites that plunders upon the lands of the natives. Wallachia was very rich in salt and during that time, salt mines were recognized as country’s great wealth. There are several salt mines that are controlled and owned by the ruler. Salt mines included places like Sararu, Ocna Mica, Ocnele Mari, Ghitioara, Telega, Lanic and Teisani. The prince had the power in controlling the salt production and its exportation price to different homelands.
Rich merchants bribed Wallachian people in order to steal and cheat during the process of salt mining. Like all period of influence, Vlad Dracula’s end also came when he was in a vacation with his wife away from Wallachia. His wife even committed suicide by jumping off the tower in one of their castles fearing that his husband’s rival will do the same execution his husband did to most lawbreakers. Dracula was imprisoned in royal tower for so many years. Although he was incarcerated, he was still engaged with his favorite past time. Dracula still catch some birds and mice to mutilate them.
Some of the birds were beheaded, while others were impaled with small spikes. After quite some time, Dracula regained his freedom with the help of his brother who holds the power in Wallachia during that time. He married again and became a father of two sons while he was in Transylvania. The prince of Transylvania, Prince Stephen Bathory formed an alliance with Dracula. The prince facilitated Dracula’s homecoming while the latter planned to regain his throne from Basarab the Old who happened to govern Wallachia after his brother’s death. Perhaps this time, it was not meant for Dracula to win the battle.
Vlad Dracula was killed in the middle of the confrontation. There were many suspicions regarding how Dracula met his downfall. Some said that one of his colleagues struck him down accidentally while others said that it was all planned. The assassination plot was proposed by disloyal army of Wallachia. Dracula’s body was awfully decapitated by his enemies. The Turks sent his head to Constantinople (Curran 68). The sultan proudly exhibited Dracula’s head that is actually perforated on a stake to show the public that Vlad the Impaler was already dead.
Vlad Dracula’s body was believed to be resting in an island monastery found near the Bucharest. No one else could tell if Vlad Dracula’s death is fair enough to repay his strict executions – no one can, even you or even I.
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