I shed tears of blood, (maybe) I’m a vegetarian

By taking lives and impaling his victims on the battlefield, Vlad III Dracula earned a bloody reputation that, centuries later, is said to have ultimately inspired Bram Smith when he wrote Dracula. Trafigura. The most curious thing is that this old Carpathian nobleman not only left a disturbing image during the war. A group of scientists discovered that he also does this while doing something as unremarkable as picking up a pen and paper and writing a letter about taxes.

The reason: By analyzing his ancient writings from the 15th century, they discovered that Vlad Dracula shed tears of blood. No, this is not a figure of speech.

From myth to character. Bram Stoker was more or less inspired when he wrote Count Dracula by Vlad Draculea, the famous vampire and Carpathian There are some similarities between ancient nobility: both are fascinating. In their own way. The first is best remembered for starring in the pinnacle of supernatural horror literature. Thanks to Vlad şepes (1431-1476), the ruthless ruler of Wallachia and the scourge of the Ottoman Empire, whose life undoubtedly deserves the best of this famous Irish writer Good chapter.

However, if Vlad Sepes became one of the most famous nobles of the 15th century, it was not because of his role as a strategist, clever ruler or fierce warrior. No. It was his cruelty towards his enemies that made him so popular. Whether they were foreign opponents or fellow countrymen, the governor did not hesitate to order them to be nailed to the stakes and left to die slowly. Vlad is said to have retreated from a battle in 1462, leaving a trail of strung victims in his wake. A warning to the Ottoman Empire.

From personality to science. We know a great deal about the life of Vlad şepes, the impaler. We know a little bit about his biography, his historical background, and even his father, Vlad II Delacour, but not long ago a group of researchers wondered if we could go one step further. Is it possible to get a more accurate picture of his health? Can we identify a rug from over five centuries of history?

The research team decided yes. To achieve this he used two valuable tools: science and three letters written by the Governor of Wallachia himself when he was mature, in 1457 and 1475, a series of documents whose contents are not particularly fascinating, There are all the bureaucratic issues involved, but those who hope to save the invisible “footprints” will tell us about Vlad. In this case, the footprints are symbolic.

Search under word. That’s exactly what Maria Gaetana Giovanna of the University of Catania and other colleagues involved in the study did. Using EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) technology, the team was able to analyze three of Vlad’s 15th-century manuscripts without damaging them and extract peptides and proteins, allowing them to achieve two great achievements .

The first explores the “environmental conditions” of the region in the second half of the 15th century, when Wallachia was a gathering place for soldiers, immigrants and travelers who could also spread diseases and epidemics. The second, and more fascinating, was to “discover more” facts about the Governor himself.Their conclusion has been stated as analytical chemistry.

So…how about that? Although we may not realize it, when we write with our hands, we touch the paper, place the lower half of our hands on the paper, and transfer chemicals from our skin to the paper. It may go unnoticed by us. Not the team from the University of Catania. Using EVA technology and mass spectrometry, the scientists discovered residues containing more than 500 peptides, 100 of which are of human origin. What’s interesting about this survey is what it tells us about the writers of the letters.

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inflammation and disease. The data the team obtained on şepes is very interesting not only because of how they obtained it but, most importantly, because of what it conveys to us about the image of the impaler. Its research allows us to go beyond biography or portrait and discover something intimate about the nobleman, such as the fact that he must have suffered from an inflammatory disease that could have caused respiratory or skin problems. The scientists also found some evidence of ciliopathies, a group of diseases that have genetic causes.

Blood and tears. The most fascinating fact, however, is something else. This reminds us that Vlad Shepesh shed real tears of blood. Research on the proteins suggests the governor may have suffered from hemophoria, a disease that causes people with the condition to secrete tears that are partly made up of blood, making the tears stain red and even look bloody.

The causes vary from rupture of conjunctival blood vessels to conjunctivitis, vascular injury, head trauma, post-traumatic epilepsy, and even acute hemorrhagic edema in childhood.

acceptable doubt. Giovanna Pittalà and her colleagues acknowledge in their article that the letters may have collected proteins and peptides unrelated to Vlad şepes, but they also suggest that this risk is acceptable. “It is undeniable that many more medieval people may have had access to these documents, but presumably the most famous ancient proteins are those marked by Vlad the Impaler, to whom he wrote and signed.”

A group of billionaires hold a party at Dracula's castle.Who does Romania want to know now?

Blood and tears…a vegan diet? Interestingly, researchers found more than just clues that Vlad shed tears of blood. As study co-author Gleb Zilberstein explains, erascientists noticed a distinct lack of animal-derived proteins in the molecules extracted from the letter, which raises a more surprising…and ironic possibility: Although he was known as a bloodthirsty warrior and Fueling the legend, the table wasn’t too fond of blood when Vlad sat down.

“The prototype of the vampire may have been a vegetarian,” Dr. Zilberstein said. Of course, this fact can be explained more by his living conditions, “a very cold climate” where maintaining a good food intake was not easy, rather than a deliberate choice. The expert added: “Dracula may have been a vegetarian or vegan due to a poor diet or poor health.”

picture: Wikipedia and María Gaetana Giovanna Pittalà et al. (Analytical Chemistry)

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