Why do we need to know about a guy called Vlad Tepes in Romanian history if we are visiting Romania to understand more about Count Dracula? It’s quite simple. Read below why Vlad is also known as Dracula and you will understand why all Romanians will tell you you have it wrong.
King Sigismund of Hungary, who became the Holy Roman Emperor in 1410, founded a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. Its emblem was a dragon, wings extended, hanging on a cross. Vlad III’s father (Vlad II) was admitted to the Order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks. From 1431 onward Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol.
The word for dragon in Romanian is “drac” and “ul” is the definitive article. Vlad III’s father thus came to be known as “Vlad Dracula,” or “Vlad the dragon.” In Romanian the ending “ulea” means “the son of”. Under this interpretation, Vlad III thus became Vlad Dracula, or “the son of the dragon.” The word “drac” also means “devil” in Romanian. The sobriquet thus took on a double meaning for enemies of Vlad Tepes and his father.
This is why there is great confusion on who is Dracula in Romania and how it is possible to see where Dracula was born, grew up and the battles he took part in and so on. Romanians don’t find the book Dracula interesting. You can’t buy it anywhere in Romania, they don’t read it, the films didn’t even make a ripple here and there is little reference to Dracula in Romania outside of the touristy hot spots that understand he is a household name in most other countries around the world!
To understand more about Vlad tepes read about Vlad Tepes here on the web.