Romanian and Bulgarian documents from 1481 onwards portray Vlad as a hero, a true leader, who used harsh yet fair methods to reclaim the country from the corrupt and rich boyars. Moreover, all his military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Empire which explicitly wanted to conquer Wallachia.
Around 1785, Ioan Budai-Deleanu, a Romanian writer and renowned historian, wrote a Romanian epic heroic poem, “Ţiganiada”, in which prince Vlad Ţepeş stars as a fierce warrior fighting the Ottomans. Later, in 1881, Mihai Eminescu, one of the greatest Romanian poets, in “Letter 3”, popularizes Vlad’s image in modern Romanian patriotism, having him stand as a figure to contrast with presumed social decay under the Phanariotes and the political scene of the 19th century. The poem even suggests that Vlad’s violent methods be applied as a cure. In the final lyrics, the poet makes a call to Vlad Ţepeş (ie Dracula) to come, to sort the contemporaries into two teams: the mad and the wicked and then set fire to the prison and to the madhouse.