The real-life Dracula was VEGAN: Experts claim Vlad the Impaler – the inspiration for the fictional vampire – followed a plant-based diet
- Count Dracula is believed to be based on Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler
- Analysis of his letters suggests Vlad may have only eaten plant-based meals
Nothing screams ‘bloodthirsty vampire’ quite like the name Dracula.
But the man who inspired the world’s most insatiable Count may actually have been a vegan, according to expert analysis.
It is widely believed that Bram Stoker’s fictional character was inspired by a formidable 15th century Romanian governor named Vlad the Impaler.
The medieval prince had a taste for impaling enemies on wooden stakes and was the three-time ruler of Wallachian between 1448 and his death around 1477.
Now, 500 years on, scientific analysis of some of his handwritten letters suggests Vlad may have only eaten plant-based meals.
Nothing screams ‘bloodthirsty vampire’ quite like the name Dracula. But the man who inspired the world’s most insatiable Count may actually have been a vegan, according to expert analysis
From Christopher Lee (pictured) to Nicolas Cage, several actors have taken on the role of Count Dracula through the years
READ MORE: How the world’s historic heroes would look TODAY from Leonardo Da Vinci to Vlad the Impaler
Vlad III was the three-time ruler of Wallachian and is said to have been the inspiration for author Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel ‘Dracula’
Vlad, also known as Vlad Dracula, was the three-time ruler of Wallachian between 1448 and his death around 1477.
He was later the inspiration for Irish author Bram Stoker’s famous vampire count in his 1897 novel Dracula.
Now, more than 500 years after his death, scientists have taken ‘historical biomolecules’ from missives written by the infamous warlord.
The team extracted blood, sweat, fingerprints and saliva from a letter in May this year, exactly 125 years since Stoker’s Dracula was published.
The letter is dated August 4, 1475, and was written to the burghers of Sibiu by a man who describes himself in the text as the ‘prince of the Transalpine regions’.
He informed the residents of the town that he would soon be living in their village.
At the bottom, he signed his feared name: Vlad Dracula.
Experts from the University of Catania extracted blood, sweat and saliva from the letters.
They discovered there was an absence of animal food proteins – an unusual finding.
‘Food proteins [in the letters] are found only in plant foods,’ co-author Gleb Zilberstein told The Times.
Now, 500 years on, scientific analysis of some of his handwritten letters suggests Vlad may have only eaten plant-based meals
‘The prototype vampire may have been a vegan.’
He said the decision to be plant-based may have been one of need, rather than desire.
‘In the 15th century, Europe had a very cold climate…and there was very little food,’ he said.
‘According to bioarchaeologists, aristocrats throughout Europe had a very meagre diet and meat was often not eaten.’
The team also discovered that the letters contained clues that suggest the feared ruler suffered from haemolacria, a condition which causes suffferers to cry tears of blood.
Professor Vincenzo Cunsolo, who led the study, said: ‘He probably suffered, at least in the last years of his life, from a pathological condition called hemolacria, that is, he could shed tears admixed with blood.’
The findings were published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
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