Notes: Episode 37, Vlad The Impaler (Part 1)

As with every show, I’ll list any corrections or clarifications here. If there’s anything I’ve overlooked, please contact me by email or in the comments and I’ll edit the notes to reflect the new information.


4:32 – A map of Wallachia can be found here. The three regions shown in the map would combine to become Romania, to give some context of the region.

10:32 – I know, I’m being a bit evasive on the point of the fall of Constantinople here, but I didn’t realize just how cagey I sounded at the time. It’s mostly just not that relevant. A number of Europan nobles got together and, despite threat of excommunication, tried to win the treasure they assumed were within the walls of Constantinople. They decided not to attack the better defended main walls, but instead managed to break a defensive chain strung across the entrance to the Bosporus and successfully lay siege to the sea walls. They ran a smart campaign against the weakest point in a mostly outdated set of defenses and got some lucky breaks while they were at it, and the only thing relevant to Vlad is the overall weakening of the Byzantine Empire as a result.

12:48 – You can find the episode about the fall of Constantinople in 1453 here.

25:16 – I did a little bit more digging on the symbol of the Order of the Dragon, but I really couldn’t find anything more concrete in terms of its meaning. With that in mind, I’ll stand by my speculation in the episode until I can find anything that contradicts it, but still note that it is only speculation.

26:32 – Okay, I mess this one up and continue to do so very consistently throughout the episode, so might as well clear this up sooner rather than later. Vlad II was Vlad Dracul (the Dragon). Vlad III, also known as the Impaler, went by Vlad Dracula – the A representing “son of”, so in this case “son of the Dragon”. Dracul would come to eventually mean the Devil, so the shift in meaning resulted in the title retroactively becoming “son of the Devil”. And this is why I have a corrections section.

59:03 – Mehmed II was absolutely still running campaigns against the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire at this point in time. The majority of the work was finished in 1461, with absolute victory being declared in 1475.

1:05:19 – The place names here are Oblucitza and Novoselo, but I butchered them worse than Vlad did the Turks.

4 thoughts on “Notes: Episode 37, Vlad The Impaler (Part 1)”

  1. Steve says:

    Good podcast but I’m pretty sure you mispronounced Wallachia the whole time and it was driving me nuts

    1. Adam says:

      I’m really sorry! I made the decision early on to try and follow the Romanian pronunciation (va.ˈla.hi.a), but I’m finding out since that a lot of people are used to an Anglicized form of the name (wɒlˈeɪ.kiː.ə). I just hope it didn’t ruin the rest of the episode for you!

  2. jchamb17 says:

    Hey I was wondering what sources you used for this podcast? I hope you are able to detail your sources for the others too 🙂

    1. Adam says:

      I’ll be honest, I don’t have the list from this show – I did all these notes a good nine months ago. In general my research will be a mix of texts from university, articles found online, books from my own collection, and when necessary a trip to the library. Broad details like double-checking dates I’ll look up on Wikipedia, because it’s actually a wonderfully helpful resource and gets a completely undeserved poor reputation.

      I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for and I apologize for that, but it’s not a dissertation – it’s a broadly informative podcast. None of what I’m doing here is original research. If you’re looking for support for a particular point I can see what I can do about finding some for you, but at this point I don’t plan to add full sourcing to every episode.

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