Author: Matei Cazacu
Volume Editor: Stephen W. Reinert
Originally published in French in 2004, Matei Cazacu’s Dracula remains the most authoritative scholarly biography of the Wallachian prince Vlad III the Impaler (1448, 1456-1462, 1476). Its core is an exhaustively researched reconstruction of Dracula’s life and political career, using original sources in more than nine languages. In addition Cazacu traces Dracula’s metamorphosis, at the hands of contemporary propagandists, into variously a bloodthirsty tyrant, and an early modern “great sovereign.” Beyond this Cazacu explores Dracula’s transformation into “the vampire prince” in literature, film and folklore, with surprising new discoveries on Bram Stoker’s sources for his novel. In this first English translation, the text and bibliography are updated, and readers are provided with an appendix of the key sources for Dracula’s life, in fresh and accurate English translations.

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Matei Cazacu, Ph.D. (1979), Université de Paris, is a research scholar at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris. He has published over twenty books and numerous articles on medieval Balkan, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Romanian history and culture. His most recent book is Ioan Basarab (c. 1310-1352): A Romanian Prince at the Beginnings of Wallachia (2013).
Stephen Reinert, Ph.D. (1981), University of California at Los Angeles, is an associate professor of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. His most recent book is Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman Studies (2014).
"This book is the new standard for Dracula studies. Summing Up: Essential." W. L. Urban, Monmoth College, in: CHOICE 55.6 (2018).

"Bram Stoker’s iconic depiction of Dracula left a lasting mark on portrayals of vampires in popular culture. However, as Matei Cazacu outlines in his careful study of Vlad Tepes III (the Impaler), the biography of the Wallachian prince is far more complex and nuanced than the figure’s portrait in gothic fiction. In Stephen Reiner’s new edited version, which offers a clear, crisp translation of Cazacu’s French original with an updated bibliography, students and scholars alike will find edifying material on the history of Vlad III and the ways in which he appeared in German, Russian, Latin, and Balkan accounts... This first translation of Matei Cazacu’s Dracula conveys the richness of the original and the depth of the source material consulted in the biography of Vlad III. The accuracy devoted to the text by the editor and translators is admirable. Dracula will undoubtedly prove useful in curricula focusing on folklore, history, and medieval studies. It opens to English-readers the complexity of Vlad III’s rule and the ways in which his legacy was utilized in history, literature, and film." Colleen Lucey, Univserity of Arizona, in: The Polish Review 64.1 (2019).

"[Cazacu's] intimate knowledge of the primary sources, his impressive command of languages, and his overall erudition are truly impressive. But what makes this book a truly compelling read is the author's skilled storytelling. Cazacu is a raconteur, and the book's appeal and considerable success... is due to its ability to address two audiences at once. The book is academically solid and showcases a wide breadth of scholarship, but it does not shy away from blood and gore... The book is a treat for readers interested in Vlad/Dracula or in the fifteenth-century history of Wallachia". Marian Comaon, in: Renaissance Quarterly 73.4 (2020).
Preface to the 2004 Edition, by Matei Cazacu
Introduction to the 2004 Edition, by Matei Cazacu
Introduction to the English Translation, by Stephen W. Reinert
List of Illustrations, Genealogies, and Map
Map and Genealogies

1 Exile as a Way of Life
 “A Fortress on the Water”
 The Basarab Dynasty
 Mircea the Old
 The Ottoman Danger
 Wallachia—Strategic and Economic Issues
 The Succession Crisis of 1420
 Vlad Dracul’s Youth
 Transylvania, Land of Welcome
 Vlad Dracul, Protector of Transylvanians
 Finally, the Throne of Wallachia

2 A Prince and His Sons (1436–1448)
 A Peace Treaty with Murad II
 The Remarriage of Vlad Dracul
 Murad II’s 1438 Campaign in Transylvania
 Vladislav, King of Poland and Hungary
 János Hunyadi, Defender of the Transylvanian Frontier
 Vlad Dracul, Prisoner of the Turks
 The Disaster of Varna
 The Campaign of 1445 on the Danube
 The Conflict with János Hunyadi and the Death of Vlad Dracul
 Vladislav II Installed on the Wallachian Throne

3 First Reign and New Exile (1448–1456)
 A Transylvanian Childhood
 A Wallachian Adolescence
 Hostage in Ottoman Territory (1444–1448)
 Dracula’s First Reign (1448)
 Exile in Moldavia
 The Accord with János Hunyadi

4 The Reign (1456–1462)
 “Mark of Red Iron”
 “A Fierce and Dreadful Appearance”
 The Princely Council of Wallachia
 Wallachian Society in the Fifteenth Century
 Very Restless Neighbors
 “To Rule and Govern Accordingly”
 Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary (1458)
 Vlad Dracula Alone Against Everyone
 Bloody Easter
 “And Beheaded Him Near His Tomb . . .”
 A Moldavian Danger?

5 The Conqueror of Constantinople
 Five Hundred Young Men
 Dracula’s Danubian Campaign
 Alone Against the Turks
 Warrior of the Night
 Radu the Handsome Assumes Power
 Crusade or Internal Peace?

6 Propaganda, Exile, and Death (1463–1476)
 The Improbable Treachery
 The 1463 German Pamphlet
 The Hungarian Manipulation
 Dracula’s Liberation
 “But He Was Pierced by Many Lances . . .”
 A Face Covered With a Silk Cloth
 Vlad and Mihnea: The Children of “The Devil”
 The Descendants of the Sons of the Impaler

7 Tyrant or Great Sovereign?
 The Evolving Die Geschicht Dracole Waide (The History of Voievod Dracula)
 The Incarnation of Evil
 A Pious Prince?
 Dracula “The Beloved”
 Discovery of the Russian Accounts of Dracula
 The Tale of Voievod Dracula, A Political Manual Used by Ivan III
 Laonikos Chalkokondyles
 In the Entourage of Mahmud Pasha
 Chalkokondyles’ Disappearance

8 Dracula and Bram Stoker
 Of Bats in General . . .
 . . . and of Dracula in Particular
 “Not On the Lips But On the Throat . . .”
 Stoker a Plagiarist?
 Marie Nizet and her Captain Vampire
 The Romanian “Journey” of Marie Nizet
 A Family History
 Billy the Kid Versus Dracula
 A New Golden Age

9 The Vampire in Romania
 How to Proceed with a Strigoi
 The Vampire’s Identity Card
 The Christianization of Vampirism
 Vitamin C, Weapon Against Vampires

Dead Vampires and Living Vampires



Geschichte Dracole Waide (Anonymous, 1463)

Von ainem wutrich der hies Trakle waida von der Walachei (Michel Beheim, 1416–1474)

ΑΠΟΔΕΙΞEΙΣ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΩΝ: Historiarum Demonstrationes (Laonikos Chalkokondyles c. 1423–c.1474)

Skazanie o Dracole voevode (Fyodor Kuritsyn 1486)

Die Geschicht Dracole Waide (Anonymous, 1488)


All interested in 14th/15th century Central European, Balkan, Ottoman history. Anyone concerned with the story of Dracula, origins to present.