Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2)-Supplement: 31-60
Two weeks, before the predictable, yet unexpected death of King Matthias Corvinus (April 6, 1490), the great crusader congress of Christendom began in Rome (March 25, 1490), after a year’s delay. From the speeches delivered at the congress, at whose abrupt end (triggered by the war for the Hunyadi successions), the Dacians were seated after the Hungarians and the Poles among the Eastern forces of the crusader project, time – rightfully – recorded the oration of Filippo Buonaccorsi Callimachus, the envoy of Casimir IV Jagiello, the king of Poland. “Enchanted adversary” and “jealous admirer” of the late king of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, but also of Dacia (according to Pope Pius II in March 1462, at least), Callimachus twice mentioned the long deceased Vlad III (VladislavDracula for the Italian humanist, as well as for many of his contemporaries), Vlad had been the ally, the prisoner and twice the relative – certainly by marriage – of the son the athleta of the Cross, John Hunyadi. For Callimachus, Vlad had been the imperator et dux of the Wallachians, a title that recalled – in Dantesque and millennalist fashion – the titles of the ancient Roman emperors, therefore – openly in fact – challenging Matthias’ claimed Roman origins (and supremacy) and also his rightful rule over – paternal moreover – Wallachia.
The lives of Matthias and Vlad seemed intertwined after their deaths. A few churches and a couple of fortresses indicate why the two lords, the two relatives after all, could not be separated after none of them ruled. This should not come as a complete surprise given only the fact the “modern <Romanian> image” of Vlad was shaped – rather unjustified – by a monastery (Snagov) and by a fortress (Poenari). Arms, walls and crosses were the foundations of true – Christian (medieval) – imperial power, divinely military.
Filippo Buonaccorsi Callimachus, Vlad III the Impaller (Dracula), Matthias Corvinus, Mehmed II, Beatrice of Aragon, Stephen III of Moldavia, imperator et dux, churches, fortresses, Rome, Wallachia.