|Summary: Old painting of Vlad Ţepeş (English: Vlad the Impaler or Dracula, November or December, 1431 – December 1476.) Oil painting at Ambras Castle, Tirol, Austria.|
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Vlad III the Impaler From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vlad III the Impaler (Vlad Ţepeş IPA: ['tsepeʃ] in common Romanian reference; also known as Vlad Dracula or Vlad Drăculea and Kazıklı Voyvoda in Turkish; November or December, 1431 – December 1476) was Prince (voivode) of Wallachia, a former polity that is now part of Romania. His three reigns were in 1448, 1456–62, and 1476. In the English-speaking world, Vlad is best known for the exceedingly cruel punishments he imposed during his reign and for serving as the primary inspiration for the vampire main character in Bram Stoker's popular Dracula novel.
As king, he maintained an independent policy in relation to the Ottoman Empire, and in Romania he is viewed by many as a prince with a deep sense of justice and a defender of Wallachia against Ottoman expansionism.
His Romanian surname Drǎculea, is derived from his father's title Dracul, meaning affiliation to and/or descent from "Dracul" (see Vlad II Dracul); the latter was a member of the Order of the Dragon created by Emperor Sigismund. Vlad's family had two factions, the Drăculeşti and the Dăneşti. The word "dracul" means "the Devil" in modern Romanian but in Vlad's day also meant "dragon" or "demon", and derives from the Latin word Draco, also meaning "dragon".
His post-mortem moniker of Ţepeş (Impaler) originated in his preferred method for executing his opponents, impalement — as popularized by medieval Transylvanian pamphlets. In Turkish, he was known as "Kazıklı Bey" IPA: [kɑzɨkˈɫɨ] which means "Impaler Prince". Vlad was referred to as Dracula in a number of documents of his times, mainly the Transylvanian Saxon pamphlets and The Annals of Jan Długosz.
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