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Dracula of the Lucanian Legacy

Updated on June 3, 2013



Connecting the dots from Leonardo da Vinci resident of Acerenza, to Prince de Ligny, Maria Balsa, and the Ferrillo-Balsafamily lead us back to Lucania while tying in a famous personage born as Vlad III Balsarad, pseudo-named (Count) Dracula.

Leonardo da Vinci enters the picture through an invitation by Prince de Ligny who was from Romagnano al Monte in Salerno. His self-portrait was registered in Acerenza and connected to one of these families.

In the Atlantic Codex (twelve-volumes of a bound set of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci, the largest such set), it mentions a voyage Leonardo took to a place called Principato Citra in the province of Salerno. It was crammed with information about a noble Neapolitan family by the name of Ferrillo and his wife Princess Balsa that connected them to Romania.The Ferrillo-Balsa family were discovered to be counts of Muro Lucano and residents of Acerenza between the 15th-16th centuries.The Acerenza cathedral Santa Maria Assunta / San Canio Vescovo was restored in 1520-1524, and the crypt was rebuilt in 1524 by the Ferrillo-Balsa's after it was damaged in 1456.

Adorning its entrance is the Ferrillo coat of arms: a winged-dragon. There is also a dragon whose teeth sink into the neck of a woman or man. The image at the top denotes a rank of excellence. The Ferrillo coat of arms was placed underneath this dragon. Discovered were the large nostrils seemingly identical to Count Dracula’s as portrayed in one of his paintings. Count Dracula (Vlad III) extracted his name from the word “Draco” meaning “dragon”. Amazingly, he possessed an identical coat of arms as the Ferrillo-Balsa family. The Balsa coat of arms depicts a Dragon, but also a star; the symbol for Count Dracula who became the tyrannical ruler of Serbia and Romania in the year of Halley's Comet, 1456. In the crypt there is a representation of Saint Andrea, patron saint of Romania and Maria Balsa’s body was discovered to be buried there.

Count Dracula's father, Vlad II and Sigismund of Luxemburg were co-founders of the Order of the Dragon a mutual league of rescuers during the Turkish invasion. In 1476, Dracula died at a young age during the battle, and an adoption for his daughter was arranged by the King of Naples.

Countess Maria Balsa who seems to have been a direct descendant of Vlad III. The legend told in Francis Ford Coppola's (origins Lucanian) "Dracula" 1992, tells of a woman killed in Turkey and a daughter who was saved by gypsies. To get her back, Dracula makes a pact with the Devil.

This information was found in the D'Elia/Gelao chronicles of 1531 which pointed out that Princess Balsa was the daughter of a tyrannical ruler or provincial governor. It stated that her father was Vlad III, “Dracula” Balsarad.

Chronicles described her as being an 'orphan' and refugee from the Turkish invasions, a girl who ended up in Italy at seven with Albanian Prince Skanderbeg (1405-1468). She was adopted by 'Alfonso of Aragon' King of Naples and his wife Elisabeth Balzo-Orsini. Later In virtue of her high rank, she was given up for marriage at the end of the 16th century to Elisabeth’s nephew: Count Giacomo Alfonso Ferrillo of Muro Lucano and resident of Acerenza Lucania in Italy.

Vlad III is later to become the 19th century legend in Irishmen Bram Stoker's fantasy novel: Dracula.

© 2010 Jill Quill


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