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Vlad the Impaler

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message 2: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 4052 comments Thanks for the article, Tressa. I didn't know he was a religious crusader!

message 3: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I can't believe how long he ruled and how many people he was allowed to impale. And then his brother claimed the throne and had him imprisoned but allowed to move about freely, and he ended up in charge again! Why the f*ck didn't someone assassinate his ass? I'm sure even his own army hated his guts.

message 4: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 4052 comments And we think there are injustices nowadays!

message 5: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments IMO, not on that scale, unless there's something going on somewhere I don't know about. So sad that humans were and still are treated so brutally.

message 6: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 4052 comments And will continue to treat each other brutally, on large and small scales. But I believe that there are more kindness than cruelties.

message 7: by Heather (new)

Heather Toms (ambg4920) | 6 comments yeah but keep in mind, he held off several invasions. His brutality also kept his realm from being conquered. A lot of people who are horrified at his brutality also tend to view his as a hero to his people.

message 8: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I guess up to a point he was a hero to some of this people, but they were scared shitless of him, too. Not sure I wouldn't rather be invaded by someone half as ruthless than be ruled by someone who could pull me out of my house and shove a stake up my ass and leave me for the birds to eat.

message 9: by KumeKei (new)

KumeKei | 238 comments His reputation and the quantity of atrocities he comited is somewhat exagerated.
He was indeed a ruthless tirant but a good chunk of that were just stories that were made for the enemy to believe and fear.
Imagine you kill 100 people in a battle. That's a good number.
But if your enemy thinks you killed 1000 in a gruesome way they'll think twice before invading again.

message 10: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 4052 comments Here is what my online friend, Noemi from Romania, wrote to me. With her approval, I'm posting this:

Well I finally got around reading the article. Let me tell you it has a part of the truth but not all of it. Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad Dracul (which by the way means devil) was indeed a "voievod". He is knwn for impaling everybody who crossed the law, it was the lowest crime rate known in history during his reign. In Romania the main religion especially in the est and south was and is : ortodoxism. Only Transylvania has been hungarian prvine during history apartaining the austrian-hungarian empire. In 1918 all 3 were united and it became Romania. So he was bloodthirsty but is still seen as a hero.

message 11: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Thanks, Aloha. Nice to get a Romanian's perspective of the article. I'm sure there's some truth and non-truths about every historical figure.

message 12: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 135 comments I remember one story about visiting dignitaries that refused to take off their hats. He was insulted and he had them nailed to their heads. But the people likely felt safe under his rule because he kept the invading turks away.

I was always curious though how the impaling went to blood drinking. To my knowledge he was never accused of that was he?

message 13: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I don't think he was accused of blood drinking. Thought that was just some fiction from Bram Stoker.

He kept the Turks away, but he also tormented and tortured his own people.

message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (amandamlyons) The blood drinking comes from another figure of eastern European history Lady Bathory who bathed and did other things with the blood of young girls she was supposed to be educating. They also had legends of vampires, werewolves and the life outside of these public figures in that part of the world. Between the dark forests and the cold things were pretty dark there so I figure it makes sense the legends would be dark too.

message 15: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (wille) The essential book on this topic, one I remember from my childhood (and which sits on my coffee table today!), is from 1972: In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires. There was also a documentary from the time which I saw at my local library when I was about 8 or 9; Christopher Lee narrated it (of course).

The blood-drinking may have come from various folklore of the region and from Countess Bathory, but Vlad was never accused of it himself. Vlad was indeed a hero to his people and there are even Romanian stamps with his image:


message 16: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Did any of you ever read any history of Gilles de Rais? Talk about a degenerate.

message 17: by Bandit (new)

Bandit (lecturatoro) | 8224 comments Those stamps are great, thanks for the link, Will

message 18: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (wille) Now you're speaking my language. I--no joke--have a full-length screenplay on Gilles de Rais that I wrote for my screenwriting class in college back in '99.

I ran across books on him in the library one day, got totally into him. Few years later I was hanging out in my film prof's office, and saw de Rais books on his shelf. When I told him I was thinking of writing a screenplay on him, he kind of looked at me oddly: turned out, *he* was planning on doing the same thing! It was almost as if I was trespassing on his territory! He ended up advising me through it all, and liked what I did, but his criticism of the climax was "it degenerates into an orgy of horror and bloodshed." I told him, "Like that's a bad thing?!"

But yeah, Gilles de Rais: one of history's greatest human monsters. Perhaps the first serial killer, and an early adherent of Satanism (whatever that is). Some have said he was forced into confession, but come on, his castle cellars were filled with children's bones...

message 19: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (wille) The fact that he was comrade-in-arms of Joan of Arc simply *blew my mind*.

message 20: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Will, I first learned of de Rais when he was mentioned in one of Harlan Ellison's short stories: I think it was "Hitler Painted Roses." I didn't think much about him but a patron left a serial-killers-through-the-ages book down here and I flipped through it and read about him. OMG. I wish to God I had never picked up this book. What he did to those children has been etched in my brain ever since. He was FINALLY executed for the crimes. Wasn't until the wealthy's kids started missing that they gave a shit.

Yeah, the Joan of Arc connection was disappointing.

message 21: by Bandit (new)

Bandit (lecturatoro) | 8224 comments has anyone read Renegades by Shaun Hutson, I hear it's about De Rais and his bizarre worship practices, but I was never able to find it

message 22: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments No! LOL

message 23: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) | 7 comments ...and then there's Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Queen...

These stories give me the shudders, but at the same time, I'm kind of drawn to them, too. Guess that's why I write vampire fiction, lol. It's kind of like whistling in the dark.

message 24: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (wille) My girlfriend is reading The Blood Countess by Andrei Codrescu right now...

message 25: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) | 7 comments Cool! Just added it! I was so surprised that Andrei Codrescu had written it. I've seen his articles in the "Funny Times" and heard him talk on NPR, but never figured him for this kind of author.

message 26: by [deleted user] (last edited May 09, 2011 12:38AM) (new)

De Rais sounds ridiculously interesting. Any books on him you'd recommend in particular, Will?

message 27: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments There is a book that is basically the transript of de Rais' trail I have. I forget its name, but will look it up when I get home.

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Jason

message 29: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments This is it, here, Grant. The Trial of Gilles de Rais

message 30: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Jason, does the transcript go into detail about the child rapes and killings?

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Just ordered it off of amazon. He sounds completely reprehensible.

message 32: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Yes it does. The first part is some essay work by the writer, which is pretty short. The second part goes into the trial transcripts, and de Rais isn't shy about some of the things he did to those kids. Either he wanted to be hanged, or he thought his lordship would save him. In the long run, it makes for some pretty dry reading, though.

message 33: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (wille) Yes, TRIAL is an essential book. The compiler/translator, Georges Bataille, is pretty interesting in his own right.

Also good are: Bluebeard: The Life and Crimes of Gilles de Rais and The Real Bluebeard. I used all three in my research for my screenplay (is there any way to say that without sounding pretentious?!)

message 34: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Thanks for those, Will!

message 35: by Bandit (new)

Bandit (lecturatoro) | 8224 comments What happened with your screenplay, Will?

message 36: by Will (new)

Will Errickson (wille) Stuck it in a drawer many years ago... The problem with making a movie of de Rais is that he raped and murdered *children* and I'm not sure how appealing that'd be. Plus, of course, it's a period piece with epic battle scenes. There have been Joan of Arc movies but I think Gilles de Rais just won't get his own biopic (I did however easily see Gary Oldman in the role...)

message 37: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I think most movies with a bad guy as the main character don't do very well. I wouldn't get anywhere near a movie about de Rais.

message 38: by Bandit (new)

Bandit (lecturatoro) | 8224 comments I'd be interested to see it if the violence against children was maybe implied or off-screen

message 39: by Rusty (new)

Rusty (rustyshackleford) | 134 comments It's difficult to pull off. It was all implied in "Sleepers", but that movie was still hard to watch.

message 40: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Movies are difficult to get done period, from the things I've heard.

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