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Mihnea cel Rău
Prince of Wallachia
Reign April 1508- October 1509 (his death)
Birthplace Wallachia, Romania
Died 1510
Place of death Sibiu, Romania
Predecessor Radu cel Mare
Successor Mircea III Dracul
Wives (1)Smaranda
(2)Voica (two sons)
Offspring Mircea III Dracul,
Royal House House of Drăculeşti (branch of the House of Basarab)
Father Vlad III Dracula
Mother Transylvanian Noblewoman

Mihnea cel Rău (Mihnea the Wrongdoer/Mean/Evil; born about 1462, died 1510), the son of Vlad III Dracula (Vlad Ţepeş), was Voivode (Prince) of Wallachia from 1508 to 1509, having replaced his first cousin Radu cel Mare. During his reign, he ruled alongside his son Mircea III Dracul in the year 1509. Unpopular among the boyars, he was overthrown with Ottoman assistance, prompting him to take refuge in Transylvania - where he was to be murdered in front of the Sibiu Cathedral, being buried inside the church.


The Fight for the Throne

After his father's death, Mihnea ambitiously attempted to succeed him. He organized several raids with the aid of boyars who supported his father and were eager to support his son. In 1508, Mihnea finally succeeded in gaining the throne, but it would not take long for the tainted majority of noblemen to notice the familiar pattern of Romanian patriotism. Mihnea, like his father, was an exhaustingly driven crusader for Christianity. He too wanted an Eastern Europe free of Turkish rule and aggression. But with corruption in high positions (whether royal or noble), he too would suffer the similar fate of his father.


Historical documents reveal the two women whom Mihnea married. His first wife, Smaranda, died before 1485. His second, Voica, was widowed by Mihnea's assassination. She raised their two sons, Miloş and Mircea III Dracul (who later took the title "Mircea II"), and their daughter Ruxandra, and continued to reside in Sibiu, Transylvania. It is known that Mihnea had taken a preference to his younger son Mircea III Dracul, whom he named after his great grandfather Mircea cel Bătrân.

"Cel Rău" Trademark

Mihnea was dubbed "Cel Rău" meaning "the Bad" or "the Evil One" by his enemies, the Craiovescu faction of corrupted boyars. One of Mihnea's most vocal enemies was a monk named Gavril Protul who was an abbot and chronicler of this time period. He described Mihnea's actions as followed: "As soon as Mihnea began to rule he at once abandoned his sheep's clothing and plugged up his ears like an asp.... He took all the greater boyars captive, worked them hard, cruelly confiscated their property, and even slept with their wives in their presence. He cut off the noses and lips of some, others he hanged, and still others drowned." Mihnea retaliated by resorting to his father's terror tactics, but did not reach the proportions of him due to time and opportunity.


After he fled Wallachia in 1510 while being pursued by the Craiovescu faction, he was finally cornered in the Roman Catholic church of Sibiu where he was attending Mass. As he was leaving the service, he was stabbed by hired assassin Dimitrije Iaxici, a Serbian partisan of the Craiovescu faction. Mihnea is buried in this church and can still be visited today.

Film adaptations

In the film Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula, Mihnea is portrayed by actor Dan Bordeianu. However, despite it's numerous accurate accounts and portrayals, this film was equally fictional in many certain aspects including Vlad Dracula's immortal powers and inaccurate dates. One of these inaccurate aspects was that Mihnea was renamed Vlad in the film. It is documented that Vlad had two other children, one being named Vlad, but in the film, the viewer is only educated by the existence of one son; the son of Vlad Dracula's first wife, which in history is Mihnea.

Preceded by
Radu cel Mare
Prince of Wallachia
Succeeded by
Mircea III Dracul

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