There are about nine anecdotes t hat are almost universal in the Vlad Dracula literature. They include the following: 1.The Golden Cup Vlad Dracula was known throughout his land for his fierce insistence on honesty and order. Thieves seldom dared practice their trade within his domain, for they knew that the stake awaited any who were caught. Vlad was so confident in the effectiveness of his law that he laced a golden cup on display in the central square of Tirgoviste. The cup was never stolen and remained entirely unmolested throughout Vlad Draculas reign. 2.The Burning of the Sick and Poor Vlad Dracula was very concerned that all his subjects work and contribute to the common welfare. He once notice that the poor, vagrants, beggars and cripples had become very numerous in his land. Consequently, he issued an invitation to all the poor and sick in Wallachia to come to Tirgoviste for a great feast, claiming that no one should go hungry in his land. As the poor and crippled arrived in the city they were ushered into a great hall where a fabulous feast was prepared for them. The guests ate and drank late into the night. Vlad himself then made an appearance and asked them, "What else do you desire? Do you want to be without cares, lacking nothing in this world?" When they responded positively Vlad ordered the hall boarded up and set on fire. None escaped the flames. Vlad explained his action to the boyars by claiming that he did this "in order that they represent no further burden to other men, and that no one will be poor in my realm." 3.The Foreign Ambassadors Although there are some discrepancies between the German and Russian pamphlets in the interpretation of this story, they agree to the following: Two ambassadors of a foreign power visited Vlads court at Tirgoviste. When in the presence of the prince, they refused to remove their hats. Vlad ordered that the hats be nailed to their heads, such that they should never have to remove them again. Note: The nailing of hats to the heads of those who displeased a monarch was not an unknown act in eastern Europe and by the princes of Moscow. 4.The Foreign Merchant A merchant from a foreign land visited Tirgoviste. Aware of the reputation of Vlad Draculas land for honesty, he left a treasure-laden cart unguarded in the street over night. Upon returning to his wagon in the morning, the merchant was shocked to find 160 golden ducats missing. Then the merchant complained of his loss to the prince, Vlad assured him that his money would be returned. Vlad Dracula then issued a proclamation to the cityfind the thief and return the money or the city will be destroyed. During the night he ordered that 160 ducats plus one extra be taken from his own treasury and placed in the merchants cart. On returning to his cart the next morning and counting his money the merchant discovered the extra ducat. The merchant returned to Vlad and reported that his money had indeed been returned plus an extra ducat. Meanwhile the thief had been captured and turned over to the princes guards along with the stolen money. Vlad ordered the thief impaled and informed the merchant that if he had not reported the extra ducat he would have been impaled alongside the thief. 5.The Lazy Woman Vlad once noticed a man working in the fields while wearing a caftan (shirt) that he adjudged to be too short in length. The prince stopped and asked to see the mans wife. When the woman was brought before him he asked her how she spent her days. The poor, frightened woman stated that she spent her days washing, baking and sewing. The prince pointed out her husbands short caftan as evidence of her laziness and dishonesty and ordered her impaled, despite her husbands protestations that he was well satisfied with his wife. Vlad then ordered another woman to marry the peasant but admonished her to work hard or she would suffer the same fate. 6.The Nobleman with the Keen Sense of Smell On St. Bartholomews Day in 1459 Vlad Dracula caused thirty thousand of the merchants and nobles of the Transylvanian city of Brasov to be impaled. In order that he might better enjoy the results of his orders, the prince commanded that his table be set up and that his boyars join him for a feast amongst the forest of impaled corpses. While dining, Vlad noticed that one of his boyars was holding his nose in an effort to alleviate the terrible smell of clotting blood and emptied bowels. Vlad then ordered the sensitive nobleman impaled on a stake higher than all the rest so that he might be above the stench. 7.Vlad Draculas Mistress Vlad Dracula once had a mistress that lived in a house in the back streets of Tirgoviste. This woman apparently loved the prince to distraction and was always anxious to please him. Vlad was often moody and depressed and the woman made every effort to lighten her lovers burdens. Once, when he was particularly depressed, the woman dared tell him the lie that she was with child. Vlad had the woman examined by the bath matrons. When informed that the woman was lying, Vlad drew his knife and cut her open from the groin to her breast, leaving her to die in agony. 8.The Polish Nobleman B enedict de Boithor, a Polish nobleman in the service of the King of Hungary, visited Vlad Dracula at Tirgoviste in September of 1458. At dinner one evening Vlad ordered a golden spear brought and set up directly in front of the royal envoy. Vlad then asked the envoy if he knew why this spear had been set up. Benedict replied that he imagined some boyar had offended the prince and that Vlad intended to honor him. Vlad responded that the spear had, in fact, been set up in honor of his noble, Polish guest. The Pole then responded that if he had done anything to deserve death that Vlad should do as he thought best. Vlad Dracula was greatly pleased by this answer, showered him with gifts, and declared that had he answered in any other manner he would have been immediately impaled. 9.The Two Monks There is some discrepancy in the telling of this anecdote. The various sources agree, however, as to the basic story. Two monks from a foreign land came to visit Vlad Dracula in his palace at Tirgoviste. Curious to see the reaction of the churchmen, Vlad showed them rows of impaled corpses in the courtyard. When asked their opinions, the first monk responded, "You are appointed by God to punish evil-doers." The other monk had the moral courage to condemn the cruel prince. In the version of the story most common in the German pamphlets, Vlad rewarded the sycophantic monk and impaled the honest one. In the version found in Russian pamphlets and in Romanian verbal tradition Vlad rewarded the honest monk for his integrity and courage and impaled the sycophant for his dishonesty.
- Home
- The project
- Bibliography
- The Town
- The legend
  - Anecdotes
  - Vlad the impaler
- Blog
- Contact