Monday, August 18, 2008

Count Dracula

By Amit Benjamin

Dracula is probably the most famous of all the monsters to capture the big screen. Vlad Dracula was born in in 1431 in Transylvania to a noble man, called Dracula, meaning devil or dragon. Not that he was a monster, but because he was a part of the Order of the Dracula which was bent of fighting the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Dracula simply mean, son of Dracul in Romanian. So theoretically, Dracula meant "Son of Dragon" or "Son of Devil". It was this name itself that invoked the legend of the Vampire Dracula which filled fear into the hearts of those who heard it.

The legend however grew rapidly as Dracula lived in a time of war. His home, Transylvania was a frontier between two empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Haspburgs. Young Dracula was born into a world of war, discontent, greed, treachery, betrayal and lust. He was imprisoned by the Turks first and then by the Hungarians. He lost his father to the war and his older brother, Mircea, was brutally murdered by first blinding him with red-hot stakes and then buried half alive.

Vlad Dracula was a cruel man, but was praised by the Vatican for upholding Christianity. But as time passed, they withdrew support for they disapproved of his methods. Not that he needed it, he was a bold a fearless ruler. Dracula ruled over Walachia and Transylvania, both part of present Romania. He lost the throne twice but he got them back even after fighting with his brother, Radu.

Vlad Dracula also earned the nickname, Vlad the Impaler. He was notorious for is cruel methods of killing his prisoners after extremes of torture which included impaling people and leaving them for days. These bodies would then be used to warn others. Once during battle, Dracula was forced to retreat into the mountains. He impaled people was he went through the path. His pursuers were forced to call off the search as the stench from the rotting bodies were unbearable. His name, Dracula, proved to be worthy as he was seen to have dined on a table laid with food with dead corpses all around him. He was also seen to have eaten bread dipped in blood.

Dracula was buried at the isolated Snagov Monastery near Bucharest. This place was earlier used as a prison and a torture chamber. In 1931, archaeologists found a casket covered with faded purple, which was sign of royalty. The skeleton inside was draped with pieces of faded silk brocade, similar to a shirt depicted in an old painting of Dracula. The skeleton disappeared from the History Museum in Bucharest.

Find out more about Dracula: Dracula101

Amit Benjamin is a blogger who loves helping people earn money online. He lives in India and enjoys House music and listening to other people talk.

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