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In less than two years from now the Count will celebrate his 100th birthday and many Dracula enthusiasts from all around the world intend to underline this event Of course almost everybody has heard about this nosferatu through movies featuring Max Schreck Bela Lugosi Christopher Lee or Gary Oldman in several books - among which the recent Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice or even in bedtime stories told to us in our childhood We all have an idea of who or what the Count is However on the other hand Vlad Tepes Dracula the historical figure who inspired Bram Stoker for his novel is definitely less known The centennial of the gothic masterpiece provides us with a good pretext to dive back into the life of this machiavellian fifteenth century leader - an initiative that will enable us to better appreciate the work of Stoker Vlad Tepes was born in November or December 1431 in the fortress of Sighisoara Romania His father Vlad Dracul at that time appointed military governor of Transylvania by the emperor Sigismund had been inducted into the Order of the Dragon about one year before The order - which could be compared to the Knights of the Hospital of St John or even to the Teutonic Order of Knights - was a semimilitary and religious society originally created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife Barbara Cilli The main goals of such a secret fraternal order of knights was mainly to protect the interests of Catholicism and to crusade against the Turks There are different reasons why this society is so important to us First it provides an explanation for the name Dracula Dracul in Romanian language means Dragon and the boyars of Romania who knew of Vlad Tepes father induction into the Order of the Dragon decided to call him Dracul Dracula a diminutive which means the son of Dracul was a surname to be
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