Gießen (Germany) – Within the framework of a research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the historical figure of Count Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, was traced on the basis of historical sources at the Historical Institute of Justus Liebig University Giessen publishing three volumes.
The already published in 2013 sub-volume 3 with the “Tradition from the Ottoman Empire post-Byzantine and Ottoman authors,” is now the first two volumes recently presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair to the most comprehensive compendium on Prince Vlad III. – called “the Impaler” – added.
However, the volumes I / 1 and I / 2 do not feel the bloodthirsty Roman and Kinovampir. Instead, the “Corpus Draculianum” series, based on all known historical sources (writings, texts, portraits, inscriptions, etc.), focuses exclusively on the historical Prince Vlad III.
But although it is a purely medieval studies research work, it is also accessible to the historically interested layman and certainly an indispensable source for “vampire scientist” of all kinds.
Vlad III. Drăculea (1431-1476), also called “Vlad Tepes” (Vlad the Impaler), is certainly one of the most famous figures from late medieval Southeastern Europe. As a template for Bram Stoker’s vampire Count “Dracula” he achieved worldwide fame. As a historical figure, he tried in Wallachia after oriental model to establish an authoritarian rule and to lead a crusade against the Ottoman Empire. Because of his preferred method of execution, he was nicknamed “the Impaler”.
By an interdisciplinary research team under Prof. dr. Thomas Bohn (Chair of History of Eastern Europe) and Albert Weber at the Historical Institute of Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) and Dr. Ing. Adrian Gheorghe of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University edited documentation “Corpus Draculianum” unites for the first time all known sources about Vlad the Impaler from 1448 to 1650.
The “Corpus Draculianum” brings together for the first time private, diplomatic and commercial correspondence, negotiation protocols, administrative documents, narrative and image sources as well as inscriptions, coins and seals in a large work. The sources, written in 17 European and Oriental languages, are critically edited and extensively commented in two languages (original text and translation).
Dracula’s life and the many legends surrounding it are intriguing to a large audience. The target group for the “Corpus Draculianum” is therefore not only scientists who can use the source collection as a basis for further research but also interested lay people.
Part I / 1 contains 61 letters and documents from the law office of Vlads the Elector and other rulers and nobles of Wallachia. The documents handed down in Latin, Church Slavonic, Romanian and Hungarian are particularly close to the historical figure: The Voivode itself, its allies and opponents have their say and offer immediate insights into the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe and the late Middle Ages crusading movement, among its standard bearers among Muslims and Christians dreaded Vlad Drăculea counted.
The sub-volume I / 2 gathers all Central European and Western European reports on the rule and the wars Vlads the count against Ottomans, Hungarians, and the insurgent Wallachian nobility. The 122 documents come from the ruling chancelleries of the most important powers as well as the most influential diplomats of that time and offer due to their extensive information a multi-faceted portrait of the Voivode.
Volume 2, which deals with the narrative European sources, should appear in 2020.