2009
08.24

The Dragon: Heritage

The first appearance of the name Dracula, was the prince of Wallachia, Vlad II also known as Dracul, or The Dragon. He reigned twice in his lifetime, from 1436, to 1442, and from 1443 to 1447 when he was assassinated with his youngest son. He was known as one of the most notorious rulers all throughout history, for his defeat of several armies, and his abilities as a fierce and competent general. He was a member of the House of Basarab, and was eventually inducted into the “Order of the Dragon” by the King of Hungary or Emperor Sigismund. That’s what earned him the surname “Dracul.” The Order of the Dragon was established as a society of the nobles and royalty of allied countries, that were to defend their territory from enemies, particularly the Ottomans and Hussites. Very few artifacts remain today that establish the Order’s existence. The seal, or symbol of the Order is a dragon, with its own tail coiled around its neck; on its back is the cross of St. George.

The symbol itself is interesting, since the representations that have reconstructed the image, or badge, look remarkably like the symbol of The Ouroboros. The Ouroboros is the symbol of infinity, or a neverending cycle. It’s a illustration of a serpent swallowing its own tail; however, in other ancient woodcarvings, such as the engraving by Lucas Jennis, in alchemical tract titled De Lapide Philisophico, the serpent also appears as a dragon. Centuries earlier, Plato described the first creature in existence as being The Ouroboros.

Although favoured by the Catholic church, and a supporter of Catholicism, he did murder princely members of a not-so-distantly related household to gain power. Although a successful general, he was assassinated in 1447 with the oldest of his three supposed sons, Mircea II. Vlad was actually known to have four sons; Vlad Tepes and Mircea II were born by one mother, and then a second wife bore the other two. The fourth son is not known throughout history, so its assumed he died, or went off into other unnoted and undiscovered annals of history. His name was “Vlad Călugărul” and he was set on the throne briefly, for just under or little over a year before being forced off again. Little is known of his youngest son, Radu the Handsome, but Vlad II is most well-known for the exploits of his younger son, Vlad III, Dracula, Son of the Dragon… Vlad The Impaler.

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