Vlad became quite known for his brutal punishment technique
s. He often ordered people to be skinned
on spits, hacked
, buried alive
. He also liked to cut off nose
s, sexual organs
. But his favorite method was impalement
on stakes, hence the surname "Tepes
" - pronounced "Tse-pesh" which means "The Impaler
" in the Romanian.
Even the Turks referred to him as "Kaziglu Bey," meaning "The Impaler Prince." It is this technique he used in 1457, 1459 and 1460 against Transylvanian merchants who had ignored his trade laws. The raids he led against the German Saxons of Transylvania were also acts of proto-nationalism in order to protect and favour the Wallachian commercial activities.
There are many anecdotes about the philosophy of Vlad Tepes Dracula. He was for instance particularly known throughout his land for his fierce insistence on honesty and order. Almost any crime, from lying and stealing to killing, could be punished by impalement.
Being so confident in the effectiveness of his law, Dracula placed a golden cup on display in the central square of Tirgoviste. The cup could be used by thirsty travelers, but had to remain on the square. According to the available historic sources, it was never stolen and remained entirely unmolested throughout Vlad's reign.
Dracula was also very concerned that all his subjects work and be productive to the community. He looked upon the poor, vagrants and beggars as thieves. Consequently, he invited all the poor and sick of Wallachia to his princely court in Tirgoviste for a great feast. After the guests ate and drank, Dracula ordered the hall boarded up and set on fire. No one survived.
"Dracula" means "Son of the Dragon" since Vlad Tepes' father, Vlad Dracul, had been elected to the Order of the Dragon before Vlad Junior was born. Tepes himself also became a member of the Order.