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Thor is the Norse god of thunder, usually pictured with his hammer Mjolnir. Wodin, also Odin or Wotan, is the leader of the pantheon, god of war. Stoker will pick up this Thor reference in a dramatic scene later on. Berserkers were fighters enraged into extraordinary strength and fierceness.

"Arpad and his legions" - Árpád, founder of the Magyar state. The Honfoglalas refers to the Magyar conquest of Hungary.

"the shame of Cassova" - A name more familiar to our audience as Kosovo. The 500th celebration of that event in 1989 was the occasion for the rise to power of Slobodan Milosevic.

Steven Kaye

Information on the Székely at Wikipedia, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szekely

Wikipedia's article on Transylvania explains the aftermath of the Battle of Mohács:

When the main Hungarian army and King Louis II Jagiello were slain by the Ottomans in the Battle of Mohács (1526), John Zapolya, governor of Transylvania, took advantage of his military strength and put himself at the head of the nationalist Hungarian party, which opposed the succession of Ferdinand of Austria (later Emperor Ferdinand I) to the Hungarian throne. As John I he was elected king of Hungary, while another party recognized Ferdinand. In the ensuing struggle Zapolya received the support of Sultan Sulayman I, who after Zapolya's death (1540) overran central Hungary on the pretext of protecting Zapolya's son, John II. Hungary was now divided into three sections: West Hungary, under Austrian rule; central Hungary, under Turkish rule; and semi-independent Transylvania, where Austrian and Turkish influences vied for supremacy for nearly two centuries.

Elizabeth Miller

Three comments:
First of all, as a Szekely (szekler), Count Dracula is Hungarian, not Romanian. Secondly, note how vague the Count is about the voivode Dracula. This is because Stoker was just as vague about the historical figure whose nickname he borrowed for his vampire. Stoker did not know enough about Vlad to have based Count Dracula on him (as many claim). Finally, during the course of my research of Stoker's sources, I have tracked down every bit of information that comprises Dracula's "history" as given above. Stoker just took bits and pieces from here, there and everywhere with no particular regard for historical accuracy. (Not a criticism - he wasn't writing history!)


Well, historical or not, it sounds convincingly medieval. To quote the equally ficticious King Richard IV (Brian Blessed) from BBC TV's "Blackadder"...

"As the Good Lord said, love thy neighbour as thyself... unless he's Turkish, in which case, kill the bastard!"

I gather the Pope of the time was a supporter of Vlad III, presumably based upon his predeliction for maiming and slaughtering Muslims. Just another little historical embarrassment to add to the Vatican list...

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