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    Vlad Tepes (Vlad III Dracula-Voivode of Wallachia)cd1

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    Eastern Daily News

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    Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476),Move realised in 1979.
    Was a member of the House of Drăculești, a branch of the House of Basarab, also known by his patronymic name: Dracula. He was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș pronounced [ˈvlad ˈt͡sepeʃ]), and was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. His father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. Vlad III is revered as a hero in Bulgaria as well for his protection of the Bulgarian population both south and north of the Danube. A significant number of Bulgarian common folk and remaining boyars (nobles) moved north of the Danube, recognized his leadership and become part of Wallachia, following his raids on the Ottomans.
    Vlad III spent much of his rule campaigning against the Ottoman Empire and its expansion.As the cognomen 'The Impaler' suggests, his practice of impaling his enemies is central to his historical reputation. During his lifetime, his reputation for excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The total number of his victims is estimated in the tens of thousands. The name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad's patronymic.
    His Romanian patronymic Dragwlya (or Dragkwlya)Dragulea, Dragolea, Drăculea is a diminutive of the epithet Dracul "the Devil" carried by his father Vlad II, who in 1431 was inducted as a member of the Order of the Dragon, a chivalric order founded by Sigismund of Hungary in 1408. Dracul is the Romanian definite form, the -ul being the suffixal definite article (deriving from Latin ille). The noun drac "dragon" itself continues Latin draco. In Modern Romanian, the word drac has adopted the meaning of "devil" (the term for "dragon" now being balaur or dragon). This has led to misinterpretations of Vlad's epithet as characterizing him as "devilish".
    Vlad's moniker of Țepeș ("Impaler") identifies his favourite method of execution. It was attached to his name posthumously, in ca. 1550.
    Early life
    Vlad was born in Segesvár, Transylvania, in the Kingdom of Hungary (today part of Romania), in the winter of 1431 to Vlad II Dracul, future voivode of Wallachia. Vlad's father was the son of the celebrated Voivode Mircea the Elder. His mother is believed to be the second wife of Vlad Dracul, Princess Cneajna of Moldavia, eldest daughter of Alexandru cel Bun and aunt to Stephen the Great of Moldavia.He had two older half-brothers, Mircea II and Vlad Călugărul, and a younger brother, Radu III the Handsome.
    In the year of his birth, Vlad's father, known under the nickname Dracul, had traveled to Nuremberg where he had been vested into the Order of the Dragon. At the age of five, young Vlad was also initiated into the Order.
    Vlad and Radu spent their early formative years in Sighișoara under the care and tutelage of their mother and the wives of other exiled boyars. During the first reign of their father, Vlad II Dracul, the Voivode brought his young sons to Târgoviște, the capital of Wallachia at that time.
    The Byzantine chancellor Mikhail Doukas showed that, at Târgoviște, the sons of boyars and ruling princes were well-educated by Romanian or Greek scholars commissioned from Constantinople. Vlad is believed to have learned combat skills, geography, mathematics, science, languages (Old Church Slavonic, German, Latin), and the classical arts and philosophy.
    Life in Edirne;
    In 1436, Vlad II Dracul ascended the throne of Wallachia. He was ousted in 1442 by rival factions in league with Hungary, but secured Ottoman support for his return by agreeing to pay the Jizya (tax on non-Muslims) to the Sultan.
    Vlad II also sent his two legitimate sons, Vlad and Radu, to the Ottoman court, to serve as hostages of his loyalty. Radu converted to Islam, entered the service of Sultan Murad II's son, Mehmed II (later known as the Conqueror), and was allowed into the Topkapı Palace. Radu was also honored by the title Bey and was given command of the Janissary contingents.
    These years presumably had a great influence on Vlad's character and led to Vlad's well-known hatred for the Ottoman Turks, the Janissary, his brother Radu for converting to Islam and the young Turkish prince Mehmed II (even after he became sultan). He was envious of his father's preference for his elder brother, Mircea II and half brother, Vlad Călugărul. He also distrusted the Hungarians and his own father for trading him to the Turks and betraying the Order of the Dragon's oath to fight the Ottoman Empire.