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Re: Vlad Tepes (was: Re: Religion and society)

> ??? I was under the impression that the proper translation of Drakul was
> 'devil' rather than 'dragon' and that he was called that because he was, um,
> not very nice. His son learned the tricks of the trade and added a few of his 
> own thus becoming Drakula or 'son of the devil'. Or perhaps I've misinterpreted 
> your meaning. Of course, if I'm wrong, I'm sure that somebody will let me know.

>From what I've gathered, 'drakul' originally meant 'dragon', and the
association with 'devil' was by proxy.  I was looking in a Romanian travel
guide a couple weeks ago, and they specifically mention that Drakul, son
of Mircea the Great and father of Vlad Tepes, originally got the family
name from his membership in the Order of the Dragon (Ordo Draconis).  The
Romanian language is derived from Latin, and 'drakul' or 'dracul' is
linguistically related to other Indo-European words for dragon (like the
German Drache).

I haven't been able to dredge up much information on this particular
order, but it may have been an offshoot of the Teutonic Knights.  Bran
Castle, Dracula's Castle, was originally built by the Teutonic Knights in,
I believe, the 12th or 13th century.  Drakul's connection with his Order,
I'm sure, caused some consternation with the local populace, since it was
bestowed by the Holy Roman Emperor, and was therefore Catholic rather than
Orthodox.  Apparently, this Order was created to curtail the advances of
the Ottoman Turks into Christian lands.

Istvan Dragosani                     | "Go not to the Elves for counsel,
bmccoy@capaccess.org                 |  for they will say both yes and no"
Minstrel, Mage, Sage, Wooer of Women |      -- JRR Tolkien
and General Friend of all Nature...  |