Vlad's family had two
factions, the Drăculeşti and the Dăneşti. His father,
Vlad II Dracul, born around 1395, was an illegitimate
son of Mircea the Elder, an important early Wallachian
The Accidental Vampire
by Lynsay Sands
As a young man, he had joined the court of Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Holy Roman Emperor and King of
Hungary, whose support for claiming the throne of Wallachia he eventually acquired.
A sign of this support
was the fact that in 1431 Vlad II was inducted into
Order of the Dragon (Societas Draconis in Latin), along
with the rulers of Poland and Serbia.
The purpose of the
Order was to protect Eastern Europe and the
Empire from Islamic expansion as embodied in the
campaigns of the Ottoman Empire.
Wishing to assert his
status, Vlad II displayed the symbol of the Order, a
dragon, in all public appearances, (on flags, clothing,
Dracula - Vlad III the Impaler - Prince