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    (November 1431-1476)
    Birth name is Vlad Dracul
    Prince of Wallachia (in Romania)
    Nickname is 'Tepes,' Romanian for 'Impaler' (pronounced Tse-pesh) and 'Vlad the Impaler'
    Came to power in 1448
    Dracul is Romanian for 'devil' or 'dragon'
    'Dracula' actually means 'The devil' or 'The dragon' (pronounced 'Drakooleea')
    Most people know more about the fictional Dracula than the real person.
    He was extremely vengeful.
    He didn't seem to like Turks.
    He impaled merchants for not respecting local trade laws.
    It's rumored that he dined in the presence of his impaled victims.
    He abandoned his mistress in their castle (Castle Dracula) when the Turks invaded.
    He was murdered by a Turkish assassin (1476).
    He had a strange hang-up with impaling (insert joke here).
    His mistress committed suicide when the Turks captured Castle Dracula (1462).
    He didn't seem too crazy about organized religion.
    He was extremely fair with everyone – if you deserved punishment, you got it, no matter what your social or religious status was (which was rare in those days).
    Under his rule, Romania changed from an isolated, agricultural country to an organized state strong enough to defend themselves against the Turkish (or Ottoman) Empire.
    He had absolutely nothing to do with vampires.
    He is underrated as a historical leader (probably overshadowed by the vampire myth).
    He is a Romanian national hero.

Credit: Vereenyce

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