Vlad the Impaler


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A brief overview of the life of Vlad the Impaler and the myth of Dracula and Vampires

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Vlad the Impaler

  1. 1. VLAD THE IMPALERVampire or Villain?
  2. 2. VAMPIRE MYTH Vampire myths go back thousands of years and occur in almost every culture around the world. Their variety is almost endless:  Red eyed monsters with green or pink hair in China  Greek Lamia which has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent  Vampire foxes in Japan  A head with trailing entrails known as the Penanggalang in Malaysia.
  3. 3. VAMPIRE MYTH Vampires we are familiar with today are largely based on Eastern European myths. Modern concept of the vampire similar to Eastern Europe are: blood drinking, return from death, preying on humans at night. Many things we are familiar with; the wearing of evening clothes, capes with tall collars, turning into bats, etc are much more recent inventions.
  4. 4. VAMPIRE MYTH Evidence that a vampire was at work in the neighbourhood included:  death of cattle, sheep, relatives, neighbours,  exhumed bodies being in a lifelike state with new growth of the fingernails or hair,  or if the body was swelled up like a drum,  or there was blood on the mouth and if the corpse had a ruddy complexion. Vampires could be destroyed by: staking, decapitation, burning, repeating the funeral service, holy water on the grave, exorcism.
  5. 5. BATS? WHERE DO THEY FIT IN? During the 16th century the Spanish conquistadors first came into contact with Vampire bats in Central/South America. They recognized the similarity between the feeding habits of the bats and those of their mythical vampires. It wasnt long before they began to associate bats with their vampire legends. Over the following centuries the association became stronger and was used by various people, including James Malcom Rhymer who wrote "Varney the Vampyre" in the 1840s. Stoker cemented the linkage of bats and vampires in the minds of the general public with “Dracula”.
  7. 7. VLAD‟S HISTORY Known as Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia From the family house of „Draculesti‟ (Dracula) Known in the English speaking world for his cruel punishments, named „Vlad the Impaler‟ after death Born in Transylvania in 1431 CE At the age of 5 his father initiated Vlad into the Order of the Dragon  The Order defended Christianity against the Ottoman Turks
  8. 8. EARLY LIFE Vlad‟s father was ousted as King and to regain his throne he made a pact with a Turkish Sultan Vlad and his brother, Radu, were sent as hostages and sign of his loyalty Radu converted to Islam but Vlad did no co-operate Vlad was kept in a dungeon where he was repeatedly beat and whipped Obviously hatred towards the Turks grew strongly Vlad was later released on probation where he was then educated in writing and war  Had a taste of death early in life (execution, war)
  9. 9. RISE TO POWER Vlad‟s father was killed during a revolt and his older brother and heir was blinded and buried alive The Turks invaded and put Vlad on the throne Vlad‟s reign was short lived as he was forced to flee and again gained the favour of the Sultan After the fall of Constantinople by the Turks, they invaded the Balkans Through this chaos, Vlad led troops and took back the thrown, killing the rule in hand-to-hand combat
  10. 10. LIFE IN WALLACHIA Due to instability there was a lot of crime Vlad had three aims for Wallachia: to strengthen the countrys economy, its defense, and his own political power. He killed many leaders in the area and put his own people in power He also made the military militia-based instead of having mercinaries
  11. 11. IMPALEMENT Preferred method of execution was impalement  Pierced by a long stake (sides, rectum, mouth)  Stake placed in the ground  Victim left hanging to die  Would try to avoid immediate death, stake plugs up blood, could be left for up to 3 days This method was used to execute his political foes but also soldiers they fought in battle
  12. 12. BATTLE WITH TURKS Fought against the Turks (killed around 20,000), then lost his throne, resorted to guerrilla tactics Motivated by a „new crusade‟ called on by Pope Pius II Sultan not happy because Vlad was not paying taxes
  13. 13. IN A LETTER TO CORVINUS DATED 2FEBRUARY, HE WROTE: I have killed peasants men and women, old and young, who lived at Oblucitza and Novoselo, where the Danube flows into the sea, up to Rahova, which is located near Chilia, from the lower Danube up to such places as Samovit and Ghighen. We killed 23,884 Turks without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers...Thus, your highness, you must know that I have broken the peace with him (Sultan Mehmed II)
  14. 14. BATTLE WITH TURKS In retaliation, the Turks sent almost 100,000 troops to fight Vlad Vlad led a night attack and killed 15,000 of them Vlad‟s brother would lead a revolt and many former nobles agreed He was captured and held captive in Hungary His brother would pass away and he would regain the throne for a 3rd time
  15. 15. WHY IS VLAD CONSIDERED EVIL?  Impalement, not very pleasant  Make patterns of the stakes  10,000, sometimes 30,000 at a time  Picture of Vlad dining in front of impaled victims  Boyers, first act!  Women who broke vows of chastity were a target  Other torture methods: boiling water, cut people into ribbons
  16. 16. VLAD‟S DEATH Vlad‟s 3rd reign lasted no more than 2 months It is known that he was assassinated Not sure how it happened or when He was buried, possibly in a monastery he built His head was sent to Constantinople where it was put on a pike and displayed
  17. 17. WHY IS VLAD CONSIDERED EVIL? It was reported that an invading Ottoman army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses on the banks of the Danube. In 1462 Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, a man noted for his own psychological warfare tactics, returned to Constantinople after being sickened by the sight of 20,000 impaled corpses outside Vlads capital of Târgoviște. German texts helped spread word, not sure what is fact/fiction
  18. 18. TOTAL #‟S Some totals say 40,000 fell victim to Vlad Most scholars point towards 100,000 or more How do these numbers compare to our modern villains? Why is Vlad seen as such a terrible person? What do you think contributed to Vlad acting how he did?
  19. 19. BRAM STOKER‟S „DRACULA‟ VS VLAD Draculas cape may have been based on the red and black cape worn by members of the Order of the Dragon. Killing a vampire by driving a stake through his heart is reminiscent of Impalements. Vlad the Impaler was Transylvanian, as is Stokers character. Vlad the Impaler is said to have consumed human flesh, and to have drunk human blood. Some also speculate that he suffered from a rare allergy that made him lose control when exposed to blood, as well as crave it.
  20. 20. BRAM STOKER‟S „DRACULA‟ VS VLAD While Vlad the Impaler may not have been one of the living dead, it is believed his allergy to blood caused him to have very pale and swollen face Van Helsing explains that another way to insure a vampire will not return is to cut off its head. Vlad the Impaler was rumored to have been decapitated. Van Helsing also theorizes that: "He must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk." In Francis Ford Coppolas feature film "Bram Stokers Dracula", actor Gary Oldman is shown wearing an armor sporting the "Order of the Dragon" insignia, and a fair amount of background is given on the Character which was not in the book but is based on the historical Vlad Dracula.