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Vlad Dracula

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Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476), also known by his patronymic name Dracula (son of the Dragon, after his father Vlad II Dracul), and posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Tepes), was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans.

Vlad III is remembered for spending much of his rule defending his country against the Turks. He gained the name Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) because his favourite method of punishing his enemies, impaling on a wooden stake.

Already during his lifetime, his reputation of excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The total number of his victims is estimated in the tens of thousands. Nevertheless, he is credited by historians as a key figure in the evolution of the country's independence and venerated by Romanians as a national hero. 

 

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