Dracula : Essays on the Life and Times of Vlad the Impaler
Dracula – the fifteenth-century Romanian prince, also known as Vlad the Impaler [Țepeș], is one of the most fascinating personalities of medieval history. Even during his own lifetime, his true story became obscured behind a veil of myths. As a result, he has been portrayed as both a bloodthirsty tyrant – which degenerated down through the centuries into the fictional vampire of the same name created by the Irish author Bram Stoker at the end of the nineteenth century – and as a national and Christian hero who bravely fought to defend both his native land and all of Europe against the Islamic threat posed by the Ottoman Turks. The printing press had first come into use just prior to the beginning of his principal reign, allowing information to be more widely disseminated throughout the continent. This created a public appetite for sensational stories and one might argue that Vlad was one of the earliest victims of “fake news.” A series of pamphlets circulated throughout Europe, already during his lifetime, intended to tarnish the reputation of the Wallachian prince, who had bravely confronted the Ottoman threat. This served to create a justification as to why funds received by the Hungarian king from the Pope to finance a new Christian crusade against the Turks had been diverted to other purposes. This is just one of the mysteries explored in the many studies contained in this volume.
This book includes a wide range of studies on the life and times of Vlad III Dracula by leading historians and scholars from around the world. It presents a diversity of viewpoints, allowing the reader to understand the different historical perspectives with which Vlad is viewed in modern historiography. It also includes a wealth of supplementary materials, essential for anyone interested in learning about the life of Vlad the Impaler: translations of important documents concerning his reign; a genealogy of the family of Vlad the Impaler, translations from Turkish and Byzantine chronicles referring to the controversial Wallachian prince; a chronology, and an extensive bibliography of works on the life and times of Vlad the Impaler.
Revised and expanded edition. Buffalo : Center for Romanian Studies. 2018