In the fall of 1462 Matthias chose to recognize the reign of Radu the Handsome and took Vlad with him to Hungary. There are several versions of what happened that made it possible for them to capture the Impaler, but the fact is that Vlad was taken to Buddha and was held in detention at Visegrad.
His “almost” release from imprisoned came after he accepted his new wife and there are several clues in the documents of Hungarian authors that suggest he was kept near the court of Corvinus at first.
As an interesting fact; Vlad had up to 5 children [girls] with his new wife though her exact identity remains a mystery to this day.
We do not know how Matt managed to subjugate the will, he did not desire to escape, because if he truly wished freedom it`s hard to believe that his attempts would fail due to his personality and knowing how skilled he was in the art of war.
To justify himself in front of Pope Pius II, who sent large sums of money to finance a crusade against the Sultan, Matthias took advantage of all the stories that were circulating at that time in Transylvania.
In addition to that, he produced a letter which he claimed his spies intercepted and used it to make the Europeans believe that Vlad the Impaler was preparing to betray Christianity and help the Sultan catch the Hungarian king in a trap.
Fragments of this letter are found in the autobiographical work of the Pope [it appeared in the summer of 1463].
If the Pope did not believe the lies presented to him [probably written by a Saxon merchant in Brasov] he at least pretended to do so and even painted Dracula using information from the letter.
To ensure that the European kings who already agreed to start a crusade against the turks won`t turn against him and endanger the crown he so hardly gained from the Habsburgs, Matthias used the pattern [discovered in Germany around that time] to release a compilation of the most terrible stories they had collected against Vlad.
Giving free hand to the Saxons so they could express their frustrations against Dracula, encouraging exaggerations and making sure to silence any talks about the great victory gained by Vlad [even if only half] – culminating with the withdrawal of the Sultan from Wallachia, Matthias manipulated the public opinion [this is what it was all about, even if at an elementary level] and to put himself in a better light.
When he was released 13 years later, Vlad was a general in the army of Corvinus for a long period [2-3 years], before taking back the throne of his father in 1476.
† Vlad the Impaler
† Count Dracula
Q: Why did Stoker place Dracula in Transylvania not Wallachia?
The exact answer to this question is a mix up made by the bishop of Prague. In his 1544 chronicle he listed ~Vlad Dracula~ as the ruler of Transylvania.
And now a couple of more info so that you`ll get the exact picture.
As already explained in my series about the historical Dracula, he wasn`t exactly loved by the merchants in the neighboring Hungarian cities of Brasov and Sibiu situated in… you guess it!!! … TRANSYLVANIA!
This was mainly because Vlad pretty much closed down the trade with them by creating 3 trade centers on the border with Wallachia and essentially told them not to “export” to his country. All their products were to be sold in large quantities and at fair prices so that the wallachian traders could do the rest [and the profit].
Needless to say this was not viewed kindly by the transylvanian barons and they started to write their king about “the evil Vlad Dracula”!
Enraged by this action, the said hungarian traders started to house rivals to Vlad`s throne in Brasov and Sibiu. Rather than making him more controlable, Vlad Dracula charged the regions and plundered them as punishment.
That is why we currently have so many bloody legends about Dracula.
Another thing that you might want to ponder on is that fact that in later part of the XV century the printer was barely invented! Despite it being such a rare and costly machine to employ, by the 1500s the whole of Europe was filled with brochures about the “odious” Vlad the Impaler!
So much money spent to make sure that Dracula wouldn`t get any support from any of the royal courts and to give Corvinus as excuse to keep him prisoner! 😉
Here`s a little list of the years so you understand how many brochures we are actually talking about and how long it took them to shape the myth:
– 1477: the oldest, appeared in the last year of his life and a copy is kept from the Lubeck edition
– 1491 in Bamberg
– 1494 in Augsburg
– 1499 in Nurnberg: we find one such edition in the collection of the humanist Hartmann Schedel
– 1520 in Strasbourg: the variations are so bizarre that this format barely resembles the original from 1477.
In conclusion: He was associated with Transylvania because that is where the lies about him started from.
NOTE: In parallel to these tails we also have the slavic stories that were circulating in the Romanian regions and the Balkans, depicting Dracula as a war hero that stood up to the turks. These are the stories that are made credible by the fact that Pope Pius II regarded Dracula as a valuable defender against the ottoman threat.