Dracula in Romania: From Myth to History with Dr. Guillaume Durand

Dracula in Romania: From Myth to History with Dr. Guillaume Durand


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Count Dracula is the first name that comes to mind when we think of Romania. But there is more to the story than the notorious vampire of literary fame. In this seminar, we will uncover the myth of Dracula and explore the real history of Vlad the Impaler in the context of Romanian history and landscape.

Our exploration begins with a discussion of the history of the real Dracula, Vlad Tepeş, and how he came to rule Wallachia in southern Romania in the fifteenth century. We will learn about Vlad’s exploits with Ottoman ruler Mehmet II and the role of the Christian Orthodox religion in Romania at the time. We will visit the main places where his name is still revered today: Targovişte, just north of Bucharest, Poenari, where he built one of his castles, Cozia and Curtea de Argeş, two cities which testify to his link with the founding dynasty of Wallachia, and lastly, the Monastery of Snagov considered by some historians to be his burial site.

Next, we will look at Bram Stoker’s character, Count Dracula, and the archetype of the vampire. We will trace the author’s curiosity in this mythic villain back to Transylvania and the Germanic peoples who lived there. Centuries ago, they wove the tales of the blood-thirsty man upon which Stoker built his gruesome stories. Here we will see how economics and politics have played a role in the diffusion of the Dracula story and the impact on modern-day Romania.

Led by an expert on ancient and medieval art history, Dr. Guillaume Durand, this interactive seminar will explore the history of the Romanian prince who inspired the literary character, Dracula. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of Romanian history and the places in the country which evoke the legend of Dracula.

This seminar is excerpted from Dr. Durand's Romania: A Multi-Part Journey

Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand Ph.D. has long standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide / lecturer in this country for French citizens.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
90%
(9)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
10%
(1)
0%
(0)
J
J.

Learned some interesting information about Dracula I had not known before. Having visited there several years ago, it was nice to revisit this part of the world again.

T
T.G.
Excellent and Very Interesting Presentation

This was a wonderful experience. The enthusiasm and knowledge of the professor were great. I really want to visit Romania after this and his other lectures.

L
L.H.
Enjoyable and Informative

Very interesting - plenty of history without the usual sensationalism that surrounds all things 'Dracula'. Accessible, but detailed too.

J
J.B.
Fun and Fact-filled

Learned a lot from Dr. Durand not only about the actual historical Dracula, but also about the struggles between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the 15th Cent.

R
R.

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
90%
(9)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
10%
(1)
0%
(0)
J
J.

Learned some interesting information about Dracula I had not known before. Having visited there several years ago, it was nice to revisit this part of the world again.

T
T.G.
Excellent and Very Interesting Presentation

This was a wonderful experience. The enthusiasm and knowledge of the professor were great. I really want to visit Romania after this and his other lectures.

L
L.H.
Enjoyable and Informative

Very interesting - plenty of history without the usual sensationalism that surrounds all things 'Dracula'. Accessible, but detailed too.

J
J.B.
Fun and Fact-filled

Learned a lot from Dr. Durand not only about the actual historical Dracula, but also about the struggles between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the 15th Cent.

R
R.

Guest did not leave comment