Vlad The Impaler – A Short History

On July 8, 2013 by Lazer Horse

One of Vlad’s infamous mass slaughterings was on the feast of St Bartholemew where he had 20,000 citizens impaled one sunny afternoon. During the massacre one of his footmen held his nose to block out the aroma of death and decay, so Vlad had him impaled too. Vlad wasn’t all bad though, he thoughtfully raised him above the other corpses so that he wouldn’t be bothered by the smell. He sat by and had his lunch amongst the bedlam and occasionally had a servant dip his bread in the dying’s blood so he could savour the taste of life. I see where Bram Stoker was coming from.

Vlad III The Impaler - Wood Cutting Vlad and Victims

On another occasion Vlad invited hundreds of poor folks into the dining hall of his castle. He served them a good filling meal and as they ate, Vlad and his staff exited the hall and locked the door. His archers then shot in flaming arrows and roasted them all alive. For literally no reason.

On another occasion an Ottoman army turned back in terror when they saw thousands of rotting corpses on the banks of the Danube. Mehmed II (more on him later) returned to Constantinople after witnessing 20,000 impaled bodies outside Vlad’s capital. But what could have produced such a monster? Well, as a child, he and his brother were held imprisoned by Sultan Murad where they were beaten daily and regularly starved. Through a narrow window Vlad was able to watch as less fortunate prisoners were tortured to death, often via impalement.

For those who want to know more details, impalement involved being lowered slowly onto a large wooden spike, men through the anus, women through the vagina. Death was slow and excruciating of course and Vlad couldn’t get enough of it.

Vlad III The Impaler - Engraving

But there was more to Vlad’s history than his twisted love of impaling, his reign was split into three rounds…..

Before his first reign began there was a rebellion of the boyars, who were basically noblemen who were incredibly important and even more power-hungry. These boyars killed Vlad II Dracul and also his eldest son who they blinded and buried alive. The Ottomans didn’t want Wallachia to be under Hungarian control, so they invaded and put Vlad III Dracula on the throne in 1447. The Hungarians then attacked again and deposed him, so he legged it to Moldovia for a while.

His second turn on the throne was longer and was when he really made his mark. Wallachia was a mess, so he got busy. He improved the army, he increased trade nationally and internationally along with tightening laws on theft which had become rife in the area. He killed off many of the troublesome boyers, he knew that their constant machinations to gain personal power were damaging the country. In positions of power he placed more lowly knights and peasants. This had a two-fold effect; Vlad knew these folks were more likely to stay loyal, and it made him more popular with the masses.


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