Dracula and the vampires of Eastern Europe. About the genesis of a myth Cover Image
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Dracula und die Vampire Osteuropas. Zur Entstehung eines Mythos
Dracula and the vampires of Eastern Europe. About the genesis of a myth

Author(s): Heiko Haumann
Subject(s): History
Published by: Arbeitskreis für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde
Keywords: Dracula; vampires; Eastern Europe; stereotypes

Summary/Abstract: Vlad Ţepeş, also called Drăculea or Dracula, the mid-15th century prince of Wallachia, became to be known as a bloodthirsty monster to later generations. The negative image began to be proagated already by his contemporaries. Similar Stories like that of Countess Elisabeth (Erzsébet) Báthory were motives that were transmitted by writers, remained in the social memory and could be used according to requirements. Later, those ideas were joined with the reports about cases of vampirism that were especially popular in the early 18th century. It was the time when the idea of "Eastern Europe" (Osteuropa) was extended from the Byzantine / Ottoman Empire to the region that was hitherto considered to be "Northern Europe" (Nordeuropa), that means most notably Russia, the Baltic provinces and Poland. During the Enlightenment, imaginations of a "barbarian east" had also the task to reassure western European, "enlightened" societies of their values. The motive of the blood-sucking vampire was thus well-established when Bram Stoker wrote his novel "Dracula" in 1897. But his writings contributed in the same time to the image of Eastern Europa as a dark, uncivilised region. The contribution contains two images.

  • Issue Year: XXVIII/2005
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 1-17
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: German