Trivia Break: The "Real" Dracula

>> Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's no surprise to most that there was at least one real person inspiring the fictional depictions of Dracula. Many point to the historic figure of Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler, who was also known as Dracula.

My question is, how did he get the name Dracula and what did it signify?

(And, yes, I'm out of questions again).


  • Shakespeare

    I thought it meant "Son of Dracul," his dad...

    FYI, my two kids have decided for Halloween they want to be Dracula and Dracula's wife. I didn't bother telling my daughter that Dracula didn't, technically, have a wife, at least not in Stoker's novel. I'm sure he did in real life, though...

    Real life. Huh. Not sure why I wrote that.

  • JD at I Do Things

    I know this! Thanks to my dad being into that kind of stuff.

    "Dracul" was the father's title. It stood for "Order of the Dragon," I think. So Vlad, the son, took over the title. Not sure where the "a" at the end came from.

  • The Mother

    Shakespeare and JD beat me to it. It was a diminutive from his father's title.

    The really interesting thing is how they got from this not so nice guy to the whole vampire legend thing, which probably is interrelated to the porphyrias. But as far as I know, there's no reason to think Vlad had porphyria.

  • Roy

    Vlad Ţepeş (tsepesh - impaler), officially Vlad III Dracul. JD got the history right; Vlad II was inducted into the Order of the Dragon by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, and thus got to sign his name Vlad II Dracul. Vlad III adopted the Dracul as his surname, which in thus rendered it "Drăculea" (I guess he liked Vlad the Dragon better than Vlad the Impaler). The usual historical process of misspellings and linguistic twists transformed that into "Drakulya" and eventually "Dracula".

    Medieval & Renaissance history was my specialty when I was a History major.

  • flit

    I saw a question Gary asked on Gather and immediately thought of you

  • Jeff King

    i have a lot more questions, it just felt like it was getting annoying to people with jeff king asked...
    so many times, but just ask and it shall be done.

  • Stephanie B

    Hey, Jeff, if they want their questions answered, they can submit them like anyone else. I answer 'em in the order I get them.

  • Shakespeare

    I have a question for Tarot Queen (since you give me fabulous readings every single time).

    How is my semester going to go? If the cards could just give me a general idea what to expect by December, when everything calms down, I'd love to know.

    I know you don't do futures, per se, but since I know overall WHAT is going to happen, I'd like to know HOW I and my family will respond to it.

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