These were times of extraordinary double-dealing.
When Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg died, Dracul became concerned about the Ottoman onslaught. His concerns were well-founded. It wasn’t long before Sultan Mehmet II besieged and conquered Constantinople.
For more than a thousand years (330-1453) the city had been the capital of the Eastern Holy Roman Empire. But, with Mehmet II’s victory, the city fell and Byzantine rule was no more.
Some years before the fall of Constantinople, Vlad Dracul hedged his bets in favor of Mehmet’s father, Murad II. (This links takes you to the Sultan’s tomb in Bursa, Turkey.) The Romanian prince signed an alliance against the Holy Roman Empire. A previous oath, to protect his countrymen against the Sultan’s forces, was ostensibly tossed aside.
Despite (or perhaps because of) this alliance, the Turks did not trust Vlad Dracul. To prove his loyalty to the Sultan, Dracul left two of his sons (Dracula and his younger brother Radu) with the Turkish leader. The boys were placed under house arrest and sent to far-off Egrigoz in Asia Minor.
During his 4-year imprisonment, Dracula experienced true political amorality. He learned two things really well:
And ... what revenge it was!