Dracula, hero of Bram Stoker’s world famous novel, was partly modeled after Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431-1476), being infamous for his utmost cruelty.
Besides Ottoman troops who invaded Wallachia, Vlad was also keen on impaling his internal opponents, earning him the nickname ”Vlad Țepeș” (Vlad the Impaler).
Historians claim the extreme cruelty of Vlad III was not rooted in his sadistic instincts; it was pragmatically used to terrorize his enemies.
Despite legends depicting Vlad III as a senseless, gruesome ruler, the Wallachian prince has been among the most respected national icons of Romania, mostly due to his fearless resistant fights against Turkish invaders.
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