Was Dracula is a vampire?

"Once upon a time in the world bloodthirsty prince Dracula. He puts people at stake, roasted on hot coals, cooked in the pot head, flayed alive, cut up and drank their blood … "- Abraham Van Helsing said, flipping through a book about the terrible crimes of lifetime vampire.

Many people remember this scene from the film Coppola, based on the novel by Bram Stoker's "Dracula", and perhaps it was from this films learned that Dracula was not a fictional character.

The famous vampire is a prototype — the Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Tepes Dracula, known (from the Romanian tepea — count, literally — sazhatel to count), which he received from his enemies. So when life called Prince feared and hated by the Turks. Yet in the shafts and in other Christian countries, he was known as Dracula, meaning "Son of the Dragon" (a nickname inherited from his father Vlad). As it was called in all official documents, he signed some of his letters.
Romanian nickname Tepes was first mentioned only in 1508, after thirty-two years after the death of Vlad. However, despite these facts, most contemporary historians call Vlad III the Impaler, not Dracula, ruled that the Romanian Principalities in the middle of the XV century. Indeed, this man is still called "the great monster," eclipsing their misdeeds of Herod and Nero.

Leave on the conscience Stoker that he "turned" the real historical figure in a mythical monster, and try to figure out how justified accusations of brutality and whether made Dracula all the atrocities against which addiction to vampire blood of young girls seems innocent fun.
Acts of the prince, widely replicated XV century literary works, and in fact give the chills. Terrible impression stories about how Dracula feasting loved watching the anguish of victims planted on a stake as he burned the tramp, who himself had invited to the feast, as ordered to hammer nails into the head is not who shot caps foreign ambassadors, etc., etc. .. .

In the imagination of the reader, first learned about the atrocities of the medieval ruler, there is an image of man with ruthless savage sneering look evil eyes that reflected the essence of the black villain. This is consistent with the image of the German book engraving, embodying the features of a tyrant, but the prints appeared after the death of Vlad.
But those who happen to see in his lifetime, virtually unknown in our portrait of Dracula will be disappointed — the image on the canvas man is clearly not "pulling" on the sadistic and bloodthirsty maniac. Little experiment showed that people who did not know exactly who is depicted on the canvas, often called the "unknown" beautiful, unhappy … And we try to forget about the reputation of the "great monster" and an open mind to look at the portrait of Dracula.

First of all, attract the attention of large, pained, beautiful eyes Vlad. They can see confusion, fright, but there is not even the shadow of violence and hatred. And it strikes an unnatural thinness emaciated yellow face. Looking at the portrait, we can assume that the share of the man fell ordeals and hardships, that he would rather martyr than a monster, a victim, not the hangman …
What it is: deliberate deception of the artist or as a striking discrepancy between the true portrait of Dracula, he was given characteristic has a different explanation? Do some investigation, refer to the "evidence" — a written document XV century. Do they seem at first sight, or testify against Dracula is only the tip of the iceberg, the most spectacular memorable works overshadowed dry, which may seem boring documents? Indeed, we judge the actions of Vlad the Arts, mostly German novels of the period, leaving aside preserved to this day in the archives of the letter of the prince himself, and other official documents relating to the time of his reign. How did Vlad Dracula appears in the light of an objective historical analysis?

Wallachia, Vlad led the age of twenty-five years, in 1456, in very difficult times for the principality, as the Ottoman Empire expanded its possessions in the Balkans, capturing one country after another. Already under Turkish oppression Serbia and Bulgaria, Constantinople fell, the direct threat looming over the Romanian principalities. Little prince of Wallachia withstood even the aggressor and attacked the Turks, who in 1458 march to the territory occupied Bulgaria. One of the goals of the campaign — to release and settle on the lands of Wallachia professed Orthodox Bulgarian peasants.

Europe enthusiastically welcomed the victory of Dracula, and even impulsive Italians were called residents Wallachia «Draguli», in honor of their fearless prince. Yet a large war with Turkey was imminent. Wallachia prevented Ottoman Empire expansion, and the Sultan Mehmed II "decided to militarily overthrow the unwanted prince. Claim to the throne of Wallachia, Dracula's brother Radu beautiful, converted to Islam and became a favorite of the Sultan. Realizing that he could not alone against the biggest since the conquest of Constantinople by the Turkish army, Dracula turned for help to the Allies. Among them was Pope Pius II, who had promised to give money for a crusade, and the young Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, who called Vlad "beloved and faithful friend," and the leaders of other Christian countries.

All are supported by words Wallachian prince, but when the summer 1462 came the disaster, Dracula had to face a formidable foe.
The situation was desperate, and Vlad did their best to survive in this unequal battle. He enlisted in the Army all the male population of the principality since the age of twelve, and used a scorched-earth, leaving the enemy burned the village, where it was impossible to replenish food stocks, led a guerrilla war. Another weapon prince became panic, which he inspired the invaders. Defending the land, Dracula ruthlessly destroyed enemies, in particular, planted the prisoners to count using the Turks very "popular" in the Ottoman Empire itself penalty.
Turkish-Wallachian war of summer 1462 entered the history of the famous night attack, during which it was possible to destroy up to fifteen thousand Ottomans. Sultan was standing in capital of the Principality of Targovishte, when Dracula along with seven thousand of his soldiers penetrated into the enemy camp, intending to kill the Turkish leader and thus stop the aggression. Vlad did not realize until the end of his daring plan, but an unexpected night attack caused panic in the enemy camp, and as a result — a very great loss. After the bloody night Mehmed II left Wallachia, leaving some troops Radu Beautiful, which was to himself to wrest power from his older brother.

Dracula's brilliant victory over the forces of the Sultan was useless: Vlad defeated the enemy, but could not resist the "friends." Moldavian prince Stephen the betrayal, a cousin and a friend of Dracula, unexpectedly sided with the Rada, was a turning point in the war. Dracula could not fight on two fronts and retreated to Transylvania, where he waited for the troops came to the aid of another "friend" — the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus.

And then something strange happened. In the midst of negotiations Corwin ordered the arrest of his "faithful and beloved friend," accusing him of secret correspondence with Turkey. In the letters, allegedly intercepted by the Hungarians, Dracula Mehmed II prayed for forgiveness and offered his help in the capture of Hungary and of the Hungarian king. Most modern historians believe the letter grossly fabricated fake: they are written in an unusual manner of Dracula, put forward their proposals are absurd, but most importantly — original letters, the most important evidence, decided the fate of the prince had been "lost", and keeping only copies in Latin given in the "Notes" of Pius II. Dracula's signature on them, of course, did not stand. However Vlad arrested in late November 1462, put in chains and sent to the Hungarian capital Buda, where he was without trial in prison for about twelve years.
What made Matthias accept absurd accusations and severely deal with his ally at the time who helped him ascend to the Hungarian throne?

The reason was commonplace. According to the author of "Hungarian Chronicles" Antonio Bonfini, Matthias Corvinus had received from Pope Pius II forty thousand guilders to conduct a crusade, but did not use the money for other purposes. In other words, the constant need for cash king simply pocketed a considerable sum and shifted the blame for the abortive trip to his vassal, who allegedly played a double game and intrigued with the Turks. But treason man known in Europe irreconcilable struggle against the Ottoman Empire, the one who almost killed and actually routed the conqueror of Constantinople by Mehmed II, sounded quite absurd. Wanting to understand what really happened, Pius II instructed his envoy in Buda Nicholas Maude-Roussillon on the site understand what is happening. Here's how to describe Modrussa appearance was in the dungeons of the Hungarian prisoner:

"He was not very tall, but very stocky and strong, with a cold and a terrible view, a strong aquiline nose, swollen nostrils and thin reddish face, which is very long lashes framing large, wide-open green eyes, thick black eyebrows made him threatening Zid . His face and chin were shaved, but had a mustache, swollen temples increased the volume of his head, bull neck, bound his head with the body, wavy black hair hung down on his broad shoulders. "

Modrussa not leave evidence that spoke in his own defense Prisoner of Matthias, but the description of his appearance was more eloquent than any words. View Dracula really was terrible, swollen, markedly increased in volume head and face full of blood indicated that the prince had been tortured, leading to recognize false accusations, such as sign bogus letters and thereby legitimize the actions of Corwin. But Vlad, who survived in his youth, even before coming to power, the horrors of Turkish captivity, bravely met the new test. He did not specify, but are not put his signature on the forged documents, and the king had to think of other charges that did not require a written recognition of the prisoner.

Duke was accused of cruelty that he allegedly exercised in relation to the population of Saxony was part of the Kingdom of Hungary in Transylvania. According to Modrussy, Matthias Corvinus personally told about the atrocities of his vassal, and then filed an anonymous document that in detail, with German punctuality reported bloody adventures "great monster." In his denunciation said tens of thousands of civilians were tortured and was first mentioned episodes of poor burnt alive, the number of monks planted on about how Dracula ordered hats nailed to the heads of foreign ambassadors, and other similar stories. Unknown author compared the Wallachian prince with tyrants of antiquity, claiming that during his reign of Wallachia was like a "forest of planted on a stake," accused Vlad unprecedented cruelty, but did not care about the credibility of his story. The text of the denunciation found very many contradictions, for example in the document names of settlements, where supposedly destroyed by 20-30 thousand (!) People still can not be identified by historians.

What was the documentary basis for this denunciation? We know that Dracula actually made several raids into Transylvania, destroying hiding there conspirators, among whom were candidates for the Wallachian throne. But, despite these local military operations, Prince did not interrupt business relationship with Transylvanian Saxon city of Sibiu and Brasov, which confirms Dracula business correspondence of the period. It is important to note that, in addition appeared in 1462, the denunciation, no earlier evidence of mass killings of civilians in the territory of Transylvania in the 50 years of the XV century.

It is impossible to imagine the destruction of tens of thousands of people, regularly occurring for several years, would not go unnoticed in Europe and would not find reflection in the chronicles and diplomatic correspondence of those years.

Consequently, the raids belonged to Dracula of Wallachia, but located on the territory of Transylvania at the time of the enclaves of the considered-valis in Europe as an internal matter of Wallachia and did not cause any public response. From these facts, it can be argued that an anonymous document, first reported on the atrocities of the "great monster" does not match the reality, and was once a hoax, fabricated by King Matthias following the "letter to the Sultan" in order to justify the illegal arrest of Vlad Dracula.
For Pope Pius II — and he was a close friend of the German Emperor Frederick III and therefore sympathized Saxon population of Transylvania — such explanations were enough. He did not interfere with destiny senior prisoner, upheld the decision of the Hungarian king. And here is the Matthias Corvinus, feeling the precariousness of his accusations, continued to discredit tomivshegosya in prison Dracula, resorting, in modern terms, the services of "mass media." Michael Behayma poem, built on the denunciation, an engraving of a cruel tyrant, "circulated around the world for all to see," and, finally, a lot of runs early printed brochures (of which have survived thirteen) under the title "A great monsters" — all of this was to create a negative attitude to Dracula, turning it from hero to villain.

Portrait of Vlad, which was already mentioned, was also written during his imprisonment. Perhaps Matthias wanted to get the image "monster", but miscalculated — the artist's brush on the canvas captures the noble, dignified appearance Wallachian prince. A rich clothes only emphasized yellow, sallow complexion and extreme exhaustion prisoner, indicate in what terrible conditions he was kept really.
Apparently, Matthias Corvinus was not going to release his prisoner, dooming him to slow death in prison. But fate gave Dracula opportunity to experience another takeoff. During the reign of Radu the Beautiful Wallachia fully complied Turkey, which could not disturb the new Pope Sixtus IV. Perhaps it is interference Pope changed the fate of Dracula. Prince of Wallachia in fact shown that it can withstand the Turkish threat, and that is why Vlad had to battle to lead the Christian army in the new crusade. The terms of the release from prison of Prince became his transition from the Orthodox faith in the Catholic and marriage to his cousin Matthias Corvinus. Paradoxically, the "great monster" could have freedom, only related with the Hungarian king, who recently represented the bloodthirsty monster Dracula …

Two years after the release, in the summer of 1476, Vlad as one of the commanders of the Hungarian army marched, and his goal was the liberation of the occupied Turkish Wallachia. Troops passed through Transylvania, and there are documents that report, that the citizens of Brasov Saxon joyously welcomed the return of the "great monster", which, according to a tip-off, a few years ago created this incredible atrocities.

Joining fought in Vapahiyu, Dracula drove the Turkish troops and 26 November 1476 re-ascended the throne of the principality. His reign was very short — Prince surrounded obvious and hidden enemies, and therefore the fatal denouement was inevitable. Vlad's death in late December of that year, is shrouded in mystery. There are several versions of what happened, but they all boil down to the NTO prince fell a victim of betrayal, trusting environment is in his betrayers. It is known that the head of Dracula donated to the Sultan, and he ordered her to put on one of the squares of Constantinople. A Romanian folk sources report that found the headless body of Prince monks from the nearby monastery of Bucharest Snagov and buried in the chapel built by Dracula near the altar.

Thus ended the short but glorious life of Vlad Dracula. Why, despite the facts showing that the Wallachian prince "set up" and slandered, the rumor continues to attribute to him a crime he never committed? Dracula's opponents argue, first, numerous works of different authors report abuse Vlad, and, therefore, such a view can not be objective, and, secondly, no chronicles, in which he appears as a creative business pious ruler. To refute such arguments difficult. Analysis of works that speak of the atrocities of Dracula, proves that they either go back to the manuscript being denounced in 1462, "justifies" the arrest of Prince zalash-ray, or written by people who were at the Hungarian court during the reign of Matthias Corvinus. Hence, too, drew attention for his novel Dracula, written around 1484, and the Russian Ambassador to Hungary deacon Fyodor Kuritsyn.

Penetrated into Wallachia, widely replicated stories about the deeds of "great monster" transformed into psevdofolklornye narrative that does not really have anything to do with people's stories, written by folklorists in Romania, directly related to the life of Dracula. As for the Turkish chronicles, the original episodes that do not coincide with the German works that deserve more attention. They Turkish chroniclers, sparing colors, cruelty and courage describe the terror of the enemies' Kazykly "(meaning — Sazhatel the count) and even partially accept the fact that he put to flight the Sultan himself.

We fully understand that the description of the course of military operations warring parties can not be impartial, but do not dispute, and the fact that Vlad Dracula really made short to come against the land of his captors. Analyzing the sources of XV century, it is safe to say that Dracula did not commit heinous crimes attributed to him. He has acted in accordance with the cruel laws of war, but the destruction of the aggressor on the battlefield under any circumstances can not be equated to the genocide of civilians, in any Dracula blamed customer anonymous denunciation. Stories about atrocities in Transylvania, Dracula and for which a reputation of "the great monster," were maligned, persecuted specific ax to grind. History was such that the descendants of Dracula judged by how the actions described Vlad his enemies to discredit the prince — where much in such a situation to talk about objectivity?

As to the absence of the chronicles, praising Dracula, this is due to too short a period of his rule. He just did not, and probably did not consider it necessary to get a court chroniclers, whose duties would include praise of the ruler. Other business famous for his enlightenment and humanism of Matthias, "death is dead and justice," or the right running almost half a century Moldavian Prince Stefan, who betrayed Dracula and impaled two thousand Romanians, but nicknamed the Great and Holy …

In a muddy stream of lies is difficult to discern the truth, but, fortunately, we were reached documentary evidence ruled as Vlad Dracula. Preserved letters signed by him, in which he gave land to the peasants, he granted privileges to monasteries, the treaty with Turkey, thoroughly and consistently upheld the right of citizens of Wallachia. We know that Dracula insisted on observing religious rites for the burial of executed criminals, and this is a very important fact refutes the allegation that he impaled people professing Christianity Romanian principalities. We know that he built churches and monasteries, founded in Bucharest, with desperate courage fought Turkish invaders to protect his people and their land. And then there is the legend of how Dracula met God, trying to find out where the grave of his father to this place to erect the temple …

Author: E.Artamonova
Source: "Science and Life"

Category: Mystery stories

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