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Vlad the Impaler 5: Death and Torture

Vlad the ImpalerIn 1475, Vlad was interested in assuming power once again and went into Wallachia with a mixture of companions. His army was comprised of a little of everything, including Transylvanians, disgruntled Wallachian boyars, and Moldavians (on loan from his cousin Stephen III of Moldavia). By this time, Radu the Handsome had already died a couple of years beforehand. An Ottoman now held the throne who was named Basarab the Elder. He belonged to the Dăneşti clan.

Before Vlad and his army ever had the chance to meet up with Basarb, he and his companions fled the country and settled in the Transylvanian Alps with the help of the Turks. Once Vlad once again took over the throne, a host of Vlad’s forces returned to Transylvania. Vlad was left vulnerable and didn’t have enough time to establish strong support. By this time, the cruel ways of Vlad was catching up, as he didn’t have the help of the boyars and even the poor were against him. A great Ottoman army approached Wallachia with the intent of restoring Basarab to the throne. The Turks neared and all Vlad had in his corner was less than 4,000 men.

When it comes to the way Vlad III the Impaler died, there are varying stories. Some believe he was killed in a battle that took place close to Bucharest. At the time, he was said to have been fighting the Ottoman’s in December of 1476. Others noted that he was a victim of assassination when disloyal Wallachian boyars hid in a field as he hunted to take his life. Some believe that he died in defeat, still under the failed protection of his bodyguards. Another account states that Vlad actually won a victory, but was killed by one of his own men.

At the time of his death, the Turks cut off his head. They sent it to Istanbul and used honey to preserve it so that the sultan could put it on display as evidence that the Impaler was truly deceased. It is said that his body was buried at a monastery situated close to Bucharest. The exact location is not known. Some excavations have taken place at the Snagov monastery in hopes of uncovering his final resting place, yet no human remains have been discovered.

Over the years of his reign, his reputation rang bells in the cruelty department. His favorite method of torture or killing was obviously impalement , hence his nickname , the Impaler. He was also known for torturing people using horses tied to each leg and using a sharpened stake that was forced into the body. Stakes were often inserted into the anus and forced through the body until it appeared out of the mouth. He also placed staked through the chest or stomach. He even killed infants while they were still in their mother’s womb. This kind of death was painstakingly slow and full of pain. The process could actually take hours and up to days. Vlad also took care to position stakes in a variety of manners. Geometric patterns were his specialty. After one was impaled and had already died, he would leave their body to rot for months. Also, the height of the spear in some impalements would signify the rank of a victim.

Some claims state that he impaled thousands of people , all at the same time. In a city of Transylvania, rumors spread that he impaled 10,000 in Sibui. This was also a city that Vlad once lived in. While impalement was favored, Vlad also used other method of terror. He would place people on a bed of nails. He cut off arms and legs. Women had their sexual organs torn apart. The cutting off of noses and ears were not uncommon. He strangled, blinded, burned, skinning alive, scalped, and boiled alive his victims.

When it came to the torture, Vlad did not spare anyone. Women and children were also his victims. He would torture the poorest of the country, as well as respected lords. Merchants were not immune and ambassadors were also part of reign of terror. His victims were any and everybody who lived wherever in the world. He tortured his countrymen to merchants who traveled from afar. He would kill because he held political concerns, wished to establish order, or held personal vendettas. For instance, he always held anger towards the boyars, who if you remember were responsible for the death of his father and older brother.