A Pope’s Vampire

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Fiend

After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II….

[Popet} Pius II convened the somewhat ineffectual Council of Mantua in 1459, calling for a new crusade against the Ottomans, who by this point were making forays into southeastern Europe. The Christian princes of Europe were a little too busy stealing stuff from each other to take him seriously, except for one particularly enthusiastic supporter named Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476), also referred to by the Romanian moniker Vlad Tepes (“the Impaler”), or his patrynomic name “Dracula”.

Sourpuss historians will quickly point out that Vlad Tepes was not actually undead, or really a vampire at all, our classic image deriving largely from the poetic license Bram Stoker took with the history of Transylvania (Vlad was born in Transylvania, but ruled the nearby Romanian region of Wallachia). In fact, Vlad was reputedly so extreme in his bloodthirsty nastiness, that most vampires would consider him a bit over the top, and could learn a thing or two about homicidal insanity from him.

Sultan Mehmed II was no slouch when it came to wartime atrocities, practicing rape, destruction, pedophilia, and the enslavement of vast numbers of folks with wondrous abandon, but when he encountered Vlad’s fascination with impalement (the numbers vary, but surely in the thousands, some say 20,000), he didn’t think he could compete.

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