Revered as a folk hero in Romania as well as other parts of Europe for his protection of the Romanians both north and south of the Danube from the Ottoman Empire. His practice of impaling his enemies is part of his historical reputation. During his lifetime, his reputation for excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad's name and reputation.
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