The young Dracula
environment and education
We have little information about the life of the young Dracula. Historians suppose he was born either at the end of 1430, in Nuremberg or at the beginning of 1431, in Sighisoara. It is known for sure that his father, Vlad II, starting with January 1431, lived in Sighisoara.
Like his father, in the early years of childhood, the future ruling prince Vlad the Impaler got a distinguished education. He mastered German and Latin. During the first reign of Vlad II, Vlad the Impaler accompanied his father to Targoviste.
The Byzantine chancellor Mikhail Doukas showed that, at Targoviste, the sons of boyars and ruling princes got a distinguished education from either Romanian or Greek scholars, coming from Constantinople. The young prince learned for sure Latin, Paleo-Slavic (church Slavic) and probably Greek.
In 1437, the name of the young Dracula appears for the first time in a document.
The contemporary legends of Vlad the Impaler say next to nothing about the years spent in residential confinement at Erigoz, where he was subject to Ottoman indoctrination. These years put a deep stamp on young Dracula's education and knowledge but also on the adult temper and his lack of mercy.
As a Byzantine chronicler related, the Ottomans had taken Vlad and Radu, the younger sons of the Wallachian ruling prince, since childhood at Egrigoz. In the same situation was the young Albanian nobleman, George Kastriota from Kruja, nicknamed, for his qualities, Skanderbeg (the Turkish name of Alexander the Great). Later, he covered himself with glory in the battles against the Ottomans and became the best known hero in the Albanian history.
The sultan, Murad II, had chosen the young Romanian prince, Vlad, and the future Albanian hero as companions for his son, Mehmet, born in 1432. He was known in history as Mehmet II the Conqueror, because he went on to conquer Constantinople in 1453. So the three young people, to whom the fate reserved such thundering lives, learned together philosophy, the exact sciences, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew and Latin. The famous experts from the Sultan's Court also taught them the handling of weapons.
There was a custom at the Sultan's court: at the age of 10 to12 his successor had to start governing an Ottoman province. He had to manage all the duties of a governor. Including leadership of the army in battle or justice administering and punishing. The young prince Vlad, who was about the same age as Mehmet (the Sultan's son) accompanied him in his learning adventure. Thus, Vlad learned the Ottoman war philosophy and organization, knowledge that he applied later, during his reign.
So, in 1448, when the young Dracula returned home, at only 17 year old, he was already a real man with a very rich life experience.
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