27 April 2007

Vlad Dracula conquers his father's throne

The reign

On August, 11, 1456 John Hunyadi dies by the pest epidemic that was transmitted from the Turks to the Christians predators of cadavers. On his funeral tomb in the Cathedral of Alba Iulia one could read “the World’s Light is off".

Vlad take advantage of this and, inspired also by the Halley comet that was visible in Europe for one month, starting with June, 8th, 1456, he grouped his men, cross the Carpathians and conquered Wallachia’s throne.

Vladislav II, surprised, opposed only a weak resistance and was betrayed by his men. He run away and was caught and killed on August, 20, near Târgşor, an important town of the medieval Wallachia, 60 km North to Bucharest, now disappeared. He was buried in Dealu Monastery, near Târgovişte. The place where Vladislav II was killed may be the church that he erected here in Târgşor. However five years later, Dracula erected another church in Târgşor, church that was finished on June, 24, 1461.
This might be as a sign of requiring forgiveness for killing Vladislav. Here are some remaining of the old church in Targsor, photo taken by myself two weeks ago:

Photo(c): Radu Cernea, April 2007, Târgşor, Romania.


gabriela said...

i don't understand why people called vlad tepes "dracula"because first he does not look like dracula and second he was a great country ruler because if it wasn't for him we would not have such agreat country

Radu said...

Gabriela, you say "He does not look like dracula". Like Dracula-who doesn't Vlad Tepes look ?

Anonymous said...

the name Dracula is like a surname, dracula means the son of the dragon, Vlad's father was called Dracul, or Dragon. If you are basing your Dracula name off of the bram novel, you have to understand that the name was taken from Vlad Dracula. The word Dracula is a bad one, or an insult it is merely a nick name or last name.

Radu said...

Hi Katharine,
And thanks for your comment. Well, I found this info about Dracula meaning son of Dracul (the dragon) on many sites, but nowhere is there a proof about this. I am Romanian and while everywhere is mentioned that "in Romanian Dracula = son of the Dracul", I can tell you this is...well..at least inexact if not false at all. I mean nowadays for sure this is not true, even in that areas. And I talked about this with people from Braşov, so very close to Sighişoara where Vlad III was born and spent his childhood and I'm still not convinced about this.
I'd rather bet it was just a nickname, maybe having in mind his father name and his facts. For sure, he took this as official (he might have liked it) as the name Draculea appears on a royal ring.

mickeir said...

Here is the information that you are looking for. Vlad II was inducted into the Order of the Dragon (Dracul) in 1431.

And that is why Vlad III Tepes Dracula was so named as he was the son of Vlad II Dracul.


mickeir said...


Here is the reason why Dracul and Dracula were used. Vlad II was inducted into the Order of the Dragon (Dracul) in 1431.


His son, Vlad III Tepes Dracula, used Dracula as that name was meant to mean son of Drucal, his father.

Radu said...

Hi Mickeir,

Thank you for your comment !

You see, what I was looking for is a little bit more "in depth" details. Like:
1. Which exactly is the document that confirms that Vlad II was member of the order of the Dragon started with 1431.
Wikipedia points to
* Documenta Romaniae Historica. Bucharest, 1977.
* Calatori straini despre tarile romane. Bucharest, 1970.
* Cronici turcesti privind tarile romana. Bucharest 1966.
and also to regesta-imperii.de, which I find extremely interesting, despite the fact that I can only understand few words in German (there is always google translator to help)

2. How can one proof that Dracula means "son of Dracul" ? Is true that in Transylvania even nowadays some parents (fathers) give their own first name to the first child, but I didn't find real evidence that adding the suffix "a" or "la" to a name makes it mean "son of".

mickeir said...

Hi Radu,

Michael is my name; mickeir is only a display name. If I find anything I will post it here for you. I see what you mean about it being hard to find proof.

This is something from a Romania website I saw:


Many people confuse the father, Vlad Dracul, with the son, Vlad Dracula. Very different persons and names. So, please pay attention! Dracula is not a nickname because he was an evil-devil man. He signed documents with this name long time before the Saxons transformed it in an evil-devil nickname.

In Vlad Dracula time the fight for the throne was given between two families (two brunches of Basarab royal family): Danesti (meaning Dan's family) and Draculesti (meaning Dracul's family). In that time it was usual for rulers to specify the family affiliation in their names.

So, when Vlad III become a ruler he called himself Vlad III Dragulea signing documents with this name (and this is a certified fact). And, for God sake, doesn't mean "The Devil".

But what could be the meaning of this name?

It means "the son of the Dragon", after his father name, Vlad Dracul (the Dragon). In old Romanian the suffix "-ea" meant "the son/daughter of". So, it's that simple: if the father name was Dracul, the son took Dracul-ea name to show his affiliation.

Radu, I might have to do some research when I am in Romanua myself later this year or early next year. I wish to go to a lot of places associated with Vlad Tepes Dracula while I am there

Radu said...

Hi Michael,
thanks for coming back !
Indeed, many people confuse Vlad Dracul (Vlad II, as he is known in Romanian history), with the son, Vlad Dracula (Vlad 3-rd).

Indeed Vlad III Dragulea was signing documents with this name and apparently also on a royal ring. And I wrote about this on my site, please also see my answer to Katharine above. Also the website you saw mentions that Vlad Dracul made the dragon a part of his house heraldry. And that he made coins with this heraldry. This is undeniable and is also sustained by the fact that Vlad Dracul was in charge of the mint house in Sighisoara (by the time his son Vlad III was born). Also one of the reasons for his relations with kings of Hungary worsening was his wish to establish his own coins in Wallachia (this way emphasizing and consolidating the independence of the small country south of Carpathians ).

You see, this is the kind of info I'm looking for: In old Romanian the suffix "-ea" meant "the son/daughter of". So, it's that simple: if the father name was Dracul, the son took Dracul-ea name to show his affiliation". Is very probable that this was what happened.

While trying to find similar names in current Romanian I can only think of Carabulea and Danulea.
Also, let's not forget that noblemen at that time were speaking rather an old German than what we can call today "old Romanian". You see, history is so interesting: if we take only this small aspect we can discuss hours and days and spend lot of time on research :)

While for the meaning of Dracul / Draculea, in modern Romanian "drac" means devil and dracul means "the devil". I have no doubt for this, since I speak Romanian :). We can do some further research together and keep each-other informed of what we find.

As for visiting Romania, if you need help I can recommend at least one good travel agency or some guides to help you with.

All best,

mickeir said...

Hi Radu,

Here are some interesting links you might like to read if you get time:





And there are links within them too. Unfortunately some links no longer work.

Re my trip over there, I will be trekking around on my own for the most part. I have a friend at Otelu Rosu that I hope I can catch up with.

I live in Australia and I will fly in via Istanbul then use Tarom Air or catch the sleeper train, Bosphorus?, through Bulgaria to Bucharesti.

I have worked out where I will be going while I am there: Curtea de Arges, Arefu, Poienari, Targoviste, Sighisoara, Brasov, Rasnov, Sinaia, Bran and Snagov Monastery. Radu, I have done a lot of research for this trip, Google was my friend!!

There are other places I wish to see if I have time; namely some of the Roman ruins around Constanta. I don't want to see about 3 places in the same day. Sighisoara I may stay for 2 or 3 days, whereas Sinaia will probably be a day/night stay. If I find a particular place interesting I will stay longer.

I'll will keep you informaed as to when I leave. As I say later this year (late august) or this time next year.

mickeir said...
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