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Dracula: Das Leben des Fürsten Vlad Tepes…
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Dracula: Das Leben des Fürsten Vlad Tepes (edition 2004)

by Ralf-Peter Märtin (Author)

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421513,593 (4.36)7
Member:Finalmystic
Title:Dracula: Das Leben des Fürsten Vlad Tepes
Authors:Ralf-Peter Märtin (Author)
Info:Wagenbach (2004), 208 pages
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Dracula: das Leben des Fürsten Vlad Tepes by Ralf-Peter Märtin

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Already in its seventh printing, this concise biography of the historical Dracula, Vlad III Tepes, situates him in the religious wars that plagued Southeastern Europe. As the general history of that corner of Europe is outside the mainstream, Märtin offers a good introduction of the political and military situation. Europe's pointman, the king of the Hungarians, was usually to distracted by his Western rivals to support the smaller kingdoms and duchies in their fight against the modernized Ottoman Empire.

In an already violent era (dealt with in a genial excursus about cruelty in the later middle ages), the battles, sieges and raids along both sides of the Danube rank second to none.In search of power, religion justified even the vilest acts against helpless civilians. Vlad Tepes certainly ranks among the worst. Märtin's applies Elias Canetti's words about power and violence to Vlad Tepes, It is lack of power, his status as vassal to both Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, his constrained financial and manpower resources, that led him on his ultra-violent path. Being a sociopath made his acts extreme and repulsive to other actors with plenty of blood on their hands themselves. One tiny mistake: Märtin still proclaims Vlad Tepes to be buried in Snagov monastery which is unlikely.

A quick, entertaining read on an often ignored area. Isn't it strange that history books owe their existence solely due to a fictional monster? Hopefully, there will be more books to shed light into this European corner. ( )
  jcbrunner | Mar 28, 2010 |
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