Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vlad was Bad!

"Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (c. 1431 – December, 1476), more commonly known as the Impaler or Dracula, was a three-time voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462. Historically, Vlad is best known for his independent policy towards the Ottoman Empire, the expansionism of which he resisted and for the exceedingly cruel punishment he imposed.

His Romanian surname Dracula (also spelled "Draculea", "Drakulya"), which Vlad was referred to in several documents, means "Son of the dragon" and points to his father, Vlad Dracul, who received that moniker from his subjects because he had joined the Order of the Dragon. Dracul, derived from the Latin word Draco meant "dragon", though in modern Romanian it means "devil".

His post-mortem moniker of "Ţepeş" ("Impaler") originated in his killing opponents by impalement, a practice popularized by medieval Transylvanian pamphlets. In Turkish, he was known as "Kazıklı Voyvoda" (pronounced [kɑzɯkˈɫɯ]) which means "Impaler Prince"-From Wikipedia"Impalement was Dracula's favorite method of punishment. Not only was this method of punishment extremely painful, but Dracula seemed to derive sick pleasure from watching his people being tortured. In fact, wood cuttings from this time period indicate that Dracula often dined surrounded by the decaying bodies of the dead.

Impalement was initiated by by taking a oiled stake about as wide as a burly man's arm, and inserting it through the victims buttocks, often until it protruded from their mouths. The stake was purposefully kept dull to keep the victims from dying too soon from shock. The victims legs were tied to two horses while the stake was placed in position. Upon command the horses slowly pulled the victim's legs until the stake was impaled into the victims body. Mother's often had additional stakes driven through their chests with their children and infants impaled on the extended portion of the stake. After the stakes were in place, they were driven into the ground and placed around the outside perimeter of Vlad's castle. Bodies were left in these positions for months, the stench of rotting bodies permeating throughout the kingdom.

It was reported that the invading Turkish army turned back in horror when it encountered twenty thousand decaying corpses along the banks of the Danube river. Their leader proclaiming "how could we possibly fight a monster that could do such atrocities".

Massive impalement's such as the one the Turkish army stumbled upon, were by no means uncommon. 10,000 were impaled in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu. on St. Bartholomew's Day, Dracula had 30,000 merchants impaled in the city of Brasov.

Although impalement seemed to provide sick pleasure for Dracula, it was not the only method of punishment utilized. Reports indicate that tortures included nails in the head, cutting off of limbs, strangulation, burning, cutting off of noses and ears, mutilation of sexual organs, scalping, skinning, exposure to the elements or wild animals, and boiling alive. No one was immune from these horrors - men, woman, children, lords and ambassadors from foreign powers were all reported to have died at the hands of Dracula." from here pretty creepy huh? I was Netflix'd "Cities of the Underworld: Season 1" and they went into some underground places Vlad was and spoke all about it.

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