The Order Of The Dragon: An Ancient Society Dracula's Father Belonged To

By Sophia Maddox | May 29, 2024

A Time of Noblemen, Knights, and Chivalry

The Order of the Dragon, a medieval chivalric order shrouded in mystery and intrigue, is famously linked to Vlad II Dracul, the father of Vlad the Impaler—better known as Dracula. Founded in 1408 by King Sigismund of Hungary, the Order was established to defend Christianity against the encroaching Ottoman Empire. Its members, bound by a fierce code of loyalty and valor, donned the symbol of the dragon as a mark of their commitment. This article delves into the origins and history of the Order of the Dragon, exploring its influence on medieval politics and warfare, and its enduring legacy through the notorious figure of Dracula's father. Discover how this ancient society, with its blend of chivalry and mysticism, continues to captivate the imagination and shape our understanding of historical and literary legends.

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Saint George on horseback fighting against the Dragon in a fresco inside the castle of Sabbionara, Avio, Lagarina Valley, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy, 12th century. (Getty Images)

Medieval Europe was lousy with chivalric orders, bands of knights, and noblemen who lived by a set of self-imposed, righteous rules. The members of these orders sought to conduct themselves in a morally superior manner while acting as bodyguards for Christianity. One such order was the Order of the Dragon, a group that, on the surface, looked like every other chivalric order, but upon closer inspection, it may not have been as upstanding as it appeared.

What Were Chivalric Orders?

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Knights followed a code of chivalry. (ancientpages.com)

Chivalric orders were patterned after the Crusaders, the medieval knights who invaded the Holy Land in search of religious relics between 1099 and 1291, who developed codes of conduct that they pledged to live by. Honor, fairness, chastity, and truth were among the guiding principles of chivalry.

The original chivalric orders were intended to defend the faith, either by securing holy relics, protecting religious pilgrims, or guarding the Pope. By the 15th century, however, chivalric orders became less concerned with protecting the church and set their sights instead on royalty. This is where the Order of the Dragon comes in.