Principality of Anhalt

Last updated
County (Principality) of Anhalt

Grafschaft (Fürstentum) Anhalt
1218–1806
Wappen Anhalt.svg
Coat of arms of Anhalt (13th century)
Map of Anhalt (1793).svg
Map of Anhalt (Zerbst, Dessau, Köthen, Bernburg) in 1793
StatusPrincipality
Capital Dessau (when united)
GovernmentPrincipality
Prince of Anhalt  
 1218–1252
Henry I
Historical era Middle Ages
 Partitioned from Saxony
1212
 Elevated to principality
1218
 Partitioned¹
1252–1570
 Joined Council of Princes
1582
 Partitioned²
1603–1863
 Principalities³ raised to duchies
1806
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Adalbert I Ballenstedt.png Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Anhalt Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg
Today part ofFlag of Germany.svg  Germany

The Principality of Anhalt (German : Fürstentum Anhalt) was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, located in Central Germany, in what is today part of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Contents

Under the rule of the House of Ascania, the Anhalt territory was split off the German stem duchy of Saxony in 1212 and granted to Count Henry I, who was raised to the rank of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1218. Ruled by Ascanian princes from the High Middle Ages to the Early modern period, Anhalt was divided several times amongst various lines of the dynasty until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806, when Napoleon elevated the remaining states of Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen to duchies.

Geography

The Anhalt territory stretched from the Harz mountain range in the west to the Elbe River and beyond to the Fläming Heath in the east. Upon the 1315 loss of Anhalt-Aschersleben, the lands around Ballenstedt formed a western exclave. The area of the later duchy was 906 sq mi (2,300 km2).

In the west, the land is undulating and in the extreme northwest, where it forms part of the Harz mountains, hilly, with the Ramberg (Harz) peak as the tallest point at 1,900 ft (579 m). From the Harz the country gently shelves down to the Saale; the land between this river and the Elbe is particularly fertile. East of the Elbe, the land is mostly a flat sandy plain, with extensive pine forests, interspersed with bog-land and rich pastures. The Elbe is the chief river, intersecting the eastern portion of the former duchy, from east to west, and at Rosslau is met by the Mulde. The navigable Saale takes a northerly direction through the central portion of the territory and receives, on the right, the Fuhne and, on the left, the Wipper and the Bode.

The climate is generally mild, less so in the higher Harz regions to the south-west.

History

From the 9th century onward, the western parts of the later Anhalt territory up to the Elbe and Saale rivers were included in the Schwabengau region of Eastphalia, the eastern part of the medieval Duchy of Saxony. In the 11th century, it came under the rule of Count Esico of Ballenstedt (died 1059 or 1060), mentioned in a 1036 deed issued by Emperor Conrad II at Tilleda. Possibly a descendant of the Saxon margrave Odo, he owned large allodial lands around Ballenstedt in the Schwabengau as well as in the adjacent Gau Serimunt in the former Saxon Eastern March.

Ballenstedt Castle SchlossBallenstedt2005.jpg
Ballenstedt Castle

Count Esico was succeeded by his son Adalbert II of Ballenstedt, who also appeared as a count in the Saxon Nordthüringgau and further territories in the Eastern March. Adalbert joined the Saxon Rebellion against King Henry IV and was slain in a feud with Egeno II of Konradsburg in 1180. His son Count Otto the Rich appeared as a "Count of Ballenstedt" from 1106. When Emperor Henry V temporarily deprived Lothair of Supplinburg of the Saxon ducal title in 1112, Otto was enfeoffed with the Duchy of Saxony, which, however, he had to renounce shortly afterwards, as Lothair and Henry had reconciled. On the eve of the 1115 Battle of Welfesholz, Otto campaigned the lands of the Polabian Slavs, gaining large estates around Zerbst up to the Hevelli lands ruled by the Hevelli princes.

County of Anhalt

Until his death in 1123, Count Otto had Anhalt Castle built in the Harz mountains near Harzgerode and appears to have been among the first to assume the title of a "Count of Anhalt". He was the father of Albert the Bear, who temporarily was appointed Margrave of the Saxon Eastern March (or March of Lusatia) by the Saxon duke Lothair of Supplinburg and struggled for the ducal title himself. Albert could not prevail against the Welf duke Henry the Lion, nevertheless he conquered the eastern territories of the former Northern March, which had been lost in the 983 Great Slav Rising, where he established the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157. When he died in 1170, his younger son Count Bernhard inherited the Ascanian home territories around Anhalt Castle and after the deposition of Henry the Lion by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa finally became Duke of Saxony in 1180. However, he effectively only ruled over the Eastphalian territories, while the Westphalian and Engern parts of Saxony fell under the control of the Prince-Archbishops of Cologne.

The County of Anhalt finally arose upon the death of Duke Bernhard in 1212, when his sons divided their heritage. The younger Albert I became Duke of Saxony, while the elder Henry I went on to rule the Ascanian lands, now definitely separated from Saxony, as Count of Anhalt. In 1218, Henry I assumed the title of a prince and thereby was the real founder of the princely House of Anhalt.

Princes of Anhalt

Der Herzoge von Anhalte., Codex Manesse, c. 1305/15 Codex Manesse (Herzog) von Anhalt.jpg
Der Herzoge von Anhalte., Codex Manesse, c. 1305/15

On Henry's death in 1252, his three sons partitioned the principality and founded, respectively, the lines of Aschersleben, Bernburg and Zerbst. The family ruling in Aschersleben became extinct in 1315, and this district was subsequently incorporated in the neighboring Bishopric of Halberstadt, thus dividing the territory of Anhalt-Bernburg in two separate pieces. The last prince of the original line of Anhalt-Bernburg died in 1468 and his lands were inherited by the princes of the sole remaining line, that of Anhalt-Zerbst. The territory belonging to this branch of the family had been divided in 1396, and after the acquisition of Bernburg Prince George I made a further partition of Zerbst (Zerbst and Dessau). Early in the 16th century, however, owing to the death or abdication of several princes, the family had become narrowed down to the two branches of Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Dessau (issued both from Anhalt-Dessau in 1471).

Wolfgang of Anhalt, called the Confessor, who became prince of Anhalt-Köthen in 1508, was the second ruler in the world to introduce the Reformation to his country. He was a co-signer of the Augsburg Confession in 1530, and after the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547 was placed under Imperial ban and deprived of his lands by Emperor Charles V. After the peace of Passau in 1552 he bought back his principality, but as he was childless he surrendered it in 1562 to his kinsmen the princes of Anhalt-Dessau. Ernest I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (d. 1516) left three sons, John V, George III, and Joachim, who ruled their lands together for many years, and who favoured the Lutheran doctrine, which thus became dominant in Anhalt. About 1546 the three brothers divided their principality and founded the lines of Zerbst, Plötzkau and Dessau. This division, however, was only temporary, as the acquisition of Köthen, and a series of deaths among the ruling princes, enabled Joachim Ernest, a son of John V, to unite the whole of Anhalt under his rule in 1570.

The first united principality of Anhalt was short-lived, and in 1603 it was split up into the mini states of Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Köthen, Anhalt-Zerbst and Anhalt-Plötzkau.

Joachim Ernest died in 1586, and his five sons ruled the land in common until 1603, when owing to the lack of primogeniture, Anhalt was again divided, and the lines of Dessau, Bernburg, Plötzkau, Zerbst and Köthen were re-founded. The principality was ravaged during the Thirty Years' War, and in the earlier part of this struggle Christian I of Anhalt-Bernburg took an important part. In 1635 an arrangement was made by the various princes of Anhalt, which gave a certain authority to the eldest member of the family, who was thus able to represent the principality as a whole. This proceeding was probably due to the necessity of maintaining an appearance of unity in view of the disturbed state of European politics.

Anhalt partitions 1747-1793 Map of Anhalt (1747-1793).svg
Anhalt partitions 1747-1793

In 1665, the branch of Anhalt-Köthen became extinct, and according to a family compact this district was inherited by Lebrecht, Prince of Anhalt-Plötzkau, who surrendered Plötzkau to Bernburg, and took the title of prince of Anhalt-Köthen. In the same year the princes of Anhalt decided that if any branch of the family became extinct its lands should be equally divided between the remaining branches. This arrangement was carried out after the death of Frederick Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1793, and Zerbst was divided between the three remaining princes. During these years the policy of the different princes was marked, perhaps intentionally, by considerable uniformity. Once or twice Calvinism was favoured by a prince, but in general the house was loyal to the doctrines of Martin Luther. The growth of Prussia provided Anhalt with a formidable neighbour, and the long-delayed establishment of primogeniture by all branches of the family prevented further divisions of the principality.

Dukes of Anhalt

Coat of arms of the 19th-century Duchy of Anhalt. Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Anhalt.svg
Coat of arms of the 19th-century Duchy of Anhalt.

In 1806, Napoleon elevated the remaining states of Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen to duchies; in the meantime, Anhalt-Plötzkau and Anhalt-Zerbst had ceased to exist. These duchies were united again in 1863, due to the extinction of the Köthen and Bernburg lines. The new duchy consisted of two large portions, Eastern and Western Anhalt, separated by the interposition of a part of the Prussian Province of Saxony and of five exclaves surrounded by Prussian territory: Alsleben, Mühlingen, Dornburg, Gödnitz and Tilkerode-Abberode. The eastern and larger portion of the duchy was enclosed by the Prussian government district of Potsdam (in the Prussian province of Brandenburg) and by Magdeburg and Merseburg, belonging to the Prussian province of Saxony. The western or smaller portion, the so-called Upper Duchy or Ballenstedt, was also enclosed by the two latter districts as well as by the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

When a united state, the capital of Anhalt was Dessau.

Along with the fall of all German monarchies, the Duchy of Anhalt came to an end in 1918–19 during the revolution that followed the end of World War I. It was replaced by the Free State of Anhalt within the Weimar Republic. After World War II, the Free State was united with the Prussian parts of Saxony to form Saxony-Anhalt. Subsequently, Saxony-Anhalt was dissolved in 1952, but re-established prior to the German reunification in 1990, since when it has been one of the sixteen (Bundes)länder (states) of Germany.

Constitution

The duchy, by virtue of a fundamental law, proclaimed on September 17, 1859 and subsequently modified by various decrees, was a constitutional monarchy. The duke, who bore the title of "Highness", wielded the executive power while sharing the legislation with the estates. The diet (Landtag) was composed of thirty-six members, of whom two were appointed by the duke, eight were representatives of landowners paying the highest taxes, two of the highest assessed members of the commercial and manufacturing classes, fourteen of the other electors of the towns and ten of the rural districts. The representatives were chosen for six years by indirect vote and must have completed their twenty-fifth year. The duke governed through a minister of state, who was the praeses of all the departments — finance, home affairs, education, public worship and statistics.

Population

In 1905 the population of the Duchy of Anhalt was 328,007, a ratio of about 351 to the square mile (909 km²). The country was divided into the districts of Dessau, Köthen, Zerbst, Bernburg and Ballenstedt, of which that of Bernburg was the most, and that of Ballenstedt the least, populated. Of the towns, four, viz. Dessau, Bernburg, Köthen and Zerbst, had populations exceeding 20,000.

The inhabitants of the duchy, with the exception of about 12,000 Roman Catholics and 1700 Jews, were members of the Evangelical State Church of Anhalt. The supreme ecclesiastical authority was the consistory in Dessau; while a synod of 39 members, elected for six years, assembled at periods to deliberate on internal matters touching the organization of the church. The Roman Catholics were under the bishop of Paderborn.

Rulers of Anhalt

House of Ascania

Partitions of Anhalt under Ascanian rule

County of Anhalt
(1030-1212)
Principality of Anhalt
(1212-1252)
Anhalt-Zerbst
(1st creation)
(1252-1396)
Anhalt-Bernburg
(1st creation)
(1252-1468)
Anhalt-Aschersleben
(1252-1315)
Annexed to
Bishopric of Halberstadt
Anhalt-Köthen
(1st creation)
(1396-1562)
Anhalt-Dessau
(1st creation)
(1396-1561)
      
      Anhalt-Zerbst
(2nd creation)
(1544-1562)
Anhalt-Plotzkau
(1st creation)
(1544-1553)
            
      
Principality of Anhalt
(from Anhalt-Zerbst line)
(1562-1603)
Anhalt-Köthen
(2nd creation)
(1603-1847)
Anhalt-Plotzkau
(2nd creation)
(1603-1665)
Anhalt-Dessau
(2nd creation)
(1603-1863)
Anhalt-Zerbst
(3rd creation)
(1603-1793)
Anhalt-Bernburg
(2nd creation)
(1603-1863)
      
      
      
Duchy of Anhalt
(from Anhalt-Dessau line)
(1863-1918)

Table of rulers

RulerBornReignDeathRuling partConsortNotes
Esico ?c.1030-10601060 Anhalt Matilda of Swabia
before 1060
one child
First known ruler of the lands of Anhalt. Also Count of Ballenstedt.
Adalbert c.10301060-1076/831076/83 Anhalt Adelaide of Weimar-Orlamünde
1038
two children
Also Count of Ballenstedt.
Otto I the Rich c.10701076/83-11239 February 1123 Anhalt Eilika of Saxony
before 1095
two children
Also Count of Ballenstedt.
Albert I the Bear Albert I of Brandenburg.jpg c.11001123-117018 November 1170 Anhalt Sophie of Winzenburg
1125
thirteen children
Also Count of Ballenstedt, Duke of Saxony and Margrave of Brandenburg.
Bernard I Bernhard von Sachsen.jpg c.11341170-12122 February 1212 Anhalt Brigitte of Denmark
six children

Sophia of Thuringia
one child

Judith of Poland
c.1173
no children
Also Count of Ballenstedt and Duke of Saxony
Henry I Heinrich von Anhalt (1170 - 1252).jpg 11701212-12521252Anhalt Irmgard of Thuringia
1211
eleven children
First independent ruler of Anhalt. In 1218 becomes Prince of Anhalt. After his death his sons divided the Principality.
Henry II the Fat Siegel Heinrich I und II (Anhalt).jpg 12151252-126612 June 1266 Anhalt-Aschersleben Matilda of Brunswick-Lüneburg
1245
two children
Eldest son of Henry I, received Aschersleben.
Bernard I Siegel Bernhard I (Anhalt).jpg 12181252-12871287 Anhalt-Bernburg Sophia of Denmark
3 February 1258
Hamburg
six children
Second son of Henry I, received Bernburg.
Siegfried I 12301252-129825 March 1298 Anhalt-Zerbst Catherine of Sweden
17 October 1259
ten children
Third son of Henry I, received Zerbst.
Matilda of Brunswick-Lüneburg (regent) Mechthild von Braunschweig.png After 12281266-12701295/7 Anhalt-Aschersleben Henry II
1245
two children
Regent on behalf of her sons. From 1275 was elected Abbess of Gernrode.
Otto I Gemeinschaftliches Siegel Otto I und Heinrich III (Anhalt).jpg c.12451270-130425 June 1304 Anhalt-Aschersleben Hedwig of Wrocław
1283
three children
Sons of Henry II, ruled jointly. In 1283 Henry renounced his rights in Otto's favor.
Henry III c.12451270-128312 June 1266 Anhalt-Aschersleben Unmarried
Bernard II Siegel Bernhard II (Anhalt).jpg 12601287-1323After 26 December 1323 Anhalt-Bernburg Helena of Rügen
27 December 1302
three children
Ruled jointly. After the death of John, Bernard ruled alone.
John I 1258/601287-12915 June 1291 Anhalt-Bernburg Unmarried
Albert I c.12601298-131617 August 1316 Anhalt-Zerbst Liutgard of Holstein-Itzehoe
after 1277
two children

Agnes of Brandenburg-Stendal
1300
five children
Otto II Siegel Otto I (Anhalt) - drittes Reitersiegel und Otto II (Anhalt) - Reitersiegel.jpg c.12601304-131524 July 1315 Anhalt-Aschersleben Elisabeth of Meissen
24 August 1309
two children
After his death in 1315 without male heirs, the Principality was annexed by the Bishopric of Halberstadt.
Definitively annexed by the Bishopric of Halberstadt
Albert II after 12771316-136217 July 1362 Anhalt-Zerbst Agnes of Rügen
2 September 1324
no children

Beatrix of Saxe-Wittenberg
c.1337
five children
Albert III and Valdemar I ruled jointly, as sons of Albert II. In 1359 Albert III associated his eldest son, Albert IV, but he predeceased him. In 1362, after Albert III's death, is brother Valdemar continued the co-ruling with his nephew John II. Valdemar II, Valdemar I's son, joined John II after his father's death.
Valdemar I after 12771316-13687 January 1368 Anhalt-Zerbst Elisabeth of Saxe-Wittenberg
22 June 1344
six children

Beatrice d'Este
1365
no children
Albert III c.133713591 August 1359 Anhalt-Zerbst Unmarried
John II after 13371362-138211 April 1382 Anhalt-Zerbst Elisabeth of Henneberg-Schleusingen
1366
four children
Valdemar II c.13371368-1371before 24 August 1371 Anhalt-Zerbst Unmarried
Bernard III Siegel Bernhard III (Anhalt) - grosses Reitersiegel.jpg 13001323-134820 August 1348 Anhalt-Bernburg Agnes of Saxe-Wittenberg
1328
five children

Matilda of Anhalt-Zerbst
1339
no children

Matilda of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
1343
two children
Bernard IV Siegel Bernhard IV (Anhalt) - Secret.jpg Before 13391348-135428 June 1354 Anhalt-Bernburg Unmarried
Henry IV Before 13391354-13747 July 1374 Anhalt-Bernburg Sophia of Stolberg
before 1348
three children
Bypassed by his older brother Bernard IV as ruler of Anhalt-Bernburg, he only assumed rule of the principality when Bernhard died in 1354.
Otto III Before 13481374-140427 February 1404 Anhalt-Bernburg Unknown
two children

Lutrudis
before 1391
one child
Bypassed his nephew Bernard.
Sigismund I After 13661382-139619 January 1405 Anhalt-Zerbst Judith of Querfurt
1386
eleven children
Sons of John II. Ruled jointly. In 1396 divided the land. Sigismund received Anhalt-Dessau and Albert Anhalt-Köthen.
1396-1405 Anhalt-Zerbst-Dessau (Anhalt-Dessau)
Albert IV After 13661382-139624 November 1423 Anhalt-Zerbst Elisabeth of Mansfeld I
before 1398
six children

Elisabeth of Querfurt
before 4 January 1419
three children
1396-1423 Anhalt-Zerbst-Köthen (Anhalt-Köthen)
Valdemar III After 13661382-13911391 Anhalt-Zerbst Unmarried
Bernard V Before 13741404-142024 June 1420 Anhalt-Bernburg Elisabeth of Hohnstein-Kelbra
8 September 1396
one child
Succeeded in reaching the pwer jointly with his eldest cousin, Otto. As he left no male heirs, the land was inherited by his other cousin, Bernard.
Otto IV Before 13911404-14157 July 1374 Anhalt-Bernburg UnmarriedRuled jointly with his cousin. Left no descendants.
Bernard VI Before 13911420-14682 February 1468 Anhalt-Bernburg Matilda of Querfurt-Burgscheidungen
21 October 1419
two children

Hedwig of Żagań
11 March 1434
no children
His children predeceased him, which left him no heirs at his death in 1468. Bernburg was inherited by Anhalt-Dessau line.
Anhalt-Bernburg was annexed to Anhalt-Dessau
George I the Elder 13901405-147421 September 1474 Anhalt-Dessau Matilda of Anhalt-Bernburg I
after 1413
no children

Euphemia of Oleśnica
1432
six children

Sophia of Hohnstein
after 1442
three children

Anna of Lindow-Ruppin
7 September 1453
nine children
Sons of Sigismund I, ruled jointly. In 1468 inherited Anhalt-Bernburg.
Albert V After 13901405-14691469 Anhalt-Dessau Sophie of Hadmersleben
no children
Valdemar IV c.13861405-1417After 22 July 1417 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
Sigismund II After 13901405-1452After 22 May 1452 Anhalt-Dessau Matilda of Anhalt-Bernburg II
no children
Adolph I After 1398?1423-147328 August 1473 Anhalt-Köthen Cordula of Lindow-Ruppin
2 November 1442
Ruppin
seven children
Ruled jointly. Adolph ruled with his brother Valdemar V until 1436 and then with Valdemar's son John. In 1471, Adolph concluded a succession contract with George I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, which put his youngest son in Köthen's throne, as Valdemar VI, next to Adolph. After the death of Adolph in 1473, his youngest son Albert VI managed to succeed him, always side-by-side with Valdemar VI. With Albert's death two years later, Valdemar VI (from Dessau) ruled Köthen with Albert VI's son (Philip) and nephews (Magnus and Adolph II, sons of Adolph I) until his own death in 1508. In that year, all his co-rulers abdicated to Valdemar VI's son, Wolfgang.
Valdemar V After 1398?1423-143628 August 1473 Anhalt-Köthen Sophie of Hadmersleben
1420
no children
John III 1436-14631463 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Valdemar VI
(from Anhalt-Dessau line)
14501471-15081 November 1508 Anhalt-Köthen Margaret of Schwarzburg
24 January 1485
Köthen
four children
Albert VI After 1419?1473-14759 January 1475 Anhalt-Köthen Elisabeth of Mansfeld II
27 March 1454
Alsleben
seven children
Philip 31 May 14681475-150013 November 1500 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Magnus 14551475-150829 October 1524 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Adolph II 16 October 145824 March 1526 Anhalt-Köthen Unmarried
Ernest I 14541474-151612 June 1516 Anhalt-Dessau Margaret of Münsterberg
20 January 1494
Cottbus
four children
Sons of George I, ruled jointly.
George II the Strong 14541474-150925 April 1509 Anhalt-Dessau Agnes of Pomerania-Barth
1478
no children
Sigismund III 14561474-148727 November 1487 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
Rudolph I the Valiant 14661474-15107 September 1510 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
Wolfgang the Confessor WolfgangvonAnhalt.JPG 1 August 14921508-156223 March 1566 Anhalt-Köthen UnmarriedSole ruler of Köthen. After his abdication without descendants, the Principality was incorporated in the recreated Anhalt-Zerbst.
Margaret of Münsterberg (regent) Margarethe Furstin von Anhalt-Dessau am Hausaltar kniend (Lisiewsky nach Cranach, Detail).jpg 25 August 14731516-152428 June 1530 Anhalt-Dessau Ernest I
20 January 1494
Cottbus
four children
Regent on behalf of her sons.
Joachim I Lucas Cranach d.A. - Bildnis des Fursten Joachim (Anhaltische Gemaldegalerie).jpg 7 August 15091524-15616 December 1561 Anhalt-Dessau UnmarriedSons of Ernest I, ruled jointly. In 1544, the brothers divided the land. Joachim mainteined Dessau to himself; John took Zerbst and refounded Anhalt-Zerbst; George took Plotzkau. After George and Joachim's deaths without descendants, their lands were inherited by their nephews, sons of John III.
John IV Lucas Cranach d.A. - Bildnis des Fursten Johann (Anhaltische Gemaldegalerie).jpg 4 September 15041524-15444 February 1551 Anhalt-Dessau Margaret of Brandenburg
15 February 1534
Dessau
six children
1544-1551 Anhalt-Dessau-Zerbst (Anhalt-Zerbst)
George III the God-Blessed GeorgeIII-Anhalt-Dessau.jpg 15 August 15071524-154417 October 1553 Anhalt-Dessau Unmarried
1544-1553 Anhalt-Dessau-Plotzkau (Anhalt-Plotzkau)
Charles I 17 November 15341551-15614 May 1561 Anhalt-Zerbst Anna of Pomerania
16 May 1557
Zerbst
no children
Sons of John III. In 1553 inherited Plotzkau from their uncle George III. In 1561 inherited Dessau and Bernburg from their uncle Joachim. In the next year inherited Kothen. From 1570 Joachim Ernest was the sole owner of all Anhalt.
Joachim Ernest Lucas Cranach d.J. - Bildnis des Fursten Joachim Ernst von Anhalt.jpg 21 October 15361551-15626 December 1586 Anhalt-Zerbst Agnes of Barby-Mühlingen
3 March 1560
Barby
six children

Eleonore of Württemberg
9 January 1571
Stuttgart
ten children
1562-1586Anhalt
Bernard VII 17 March 15401551-15621 March 1570 Anhalt-Zerbst Clara of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Gifhorn
28 May 1565
Dessau
one child
1562-1570Anhalt
John George I Johano Georgo la 1-a (1567-1618).JPG 9 May 15671586-160324 May 1618Anhalt Dorothea of Mansfeld-Arnstein
22 February 1588
Hedersleben
five children

Dorothea of Palatinate-Simmern
21 February 1595
Heidelberg
eleven children
Sons of Joachim Ernest, ruled jointly. In 1603 divided the land again: John George received Dessau; Christian received Bernburg; Augustus received Plötzkau; Rudolph received Zerbst; Louis received Köthen. Augustus served also as regent for his minor nephews in Anhalt-Kothen and Anhalt-Zerbst.
1603-1618 Anhalt-Dessau
Christian I Christian I Anhalt Bernburg.jpg 11 May 15681586-160317 April 1630Anhalt Anna of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg
2 July 1595
Lorbach
sixteen children
1603-1630 Anhalt-Bernburg
Rudolph II Rudolf (Anhalt-Zerbst).jpg 28 October 15761586-160330 July 1621Anhalt Dorothea Hedwig of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
29 December 1605
Wolfenbüttel
four children
1603-1621 Anhalt-Zerbst
Louis I Ludwig I. von Anhalt-Kothen.jpg 17 June 15791586-16037 January 1650Anhalt Amöena Amalie of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg
31 October 1606
Rheda
two children

Sophia of Lippe
12 September 1626
Detmold
two children
1603-1650 Anhalt-Köthen
Augustus 14 July 15751586-160322 August 1653Anhalt Sibylle of Solms-Laubach
25 January 1618
Ansbach
eight children
1603-1653 Anhalt-Plötzkau
1621-1642
as regent
Anhalt-Zerbst
1650-1653
as regent
Anhalt-Köthen
John Casimir Johann Kasimir Furst Anhalt-Dessau.jpg 17 December 15961618-166015 September 1660 Anhalt-Dessau Agnes of Hesse-Kassel
18 May 1623
Dessau
six children

Sophie Margaret of Anhalt-Bernburg
14 July 1651
Dessau
no children
John V Johann von Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg 24 March 16211642-16674 July 1667 Anhalt-Zerbst Sophie Augusta of Holstein-Gottorp
16 September 1649
Gottorp
fourteen children
Christian II Christian II. (Anhalt-Bernburg).jpg 11 August 15991630-165622 September 1656 Anhalt-Bernburg Eleonore Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön
28 February 1625
Ahrensbök
fifteen children
William Louis 3 August 16381659-166513 April 1665 Anhalt-Köthen Elisabeth Charlotte of Anhalt-Harzgerode
25 August 1663
Köthen
no children
After his death without descendants, his previous regents took over the principality for themselves.
Lebrecht I Leberecht von Anhalt-Kothen (1622 - 1669).jpg 8 April 16221653-16657 November 1669 Anhalt-Plötzkau Sophie Ursula Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode
18 January 1655
Plötzkau
no children
Cousins of William Louis, and princes of Anhalt-Plötzkau, they served as regents for their cousin alongside their uncle, Augustus. After William Louis' death in 1665, they took the principality of Köthen for themselves, giving away their inheritance in Plötzkau to Anhalt-Bernburg.
1650-1653
as regent

1665-1669
as de facto ruler
Anhalt-Köthen
Emmanuel I Emanuel, 1631-1670, furste av Anhalt-Plotzkau Anhalt- Kothen - Nationalmuseum - 15532.tif 6 October 16311653-16658 November 1670 Anhalt-Plötzkau Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode
23 March 1670
Ilsenburg
one child
1650-1653
as regent

1665-1670
as de facto ruler
Anhalt-Köthen
Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg
Victor Amadeus Furst Viktor Amadeus von Anhalt Bernburg.jpg 6 October 16341656-171814 February 1718 Anhalt-Bernburg Elisabeth of Palatinate-Zweibrücken
16 October 1667
Meisenheim
six children
Annexed Anhalt-Plötzkau in 1665.
John George II John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau.jpg 17 November 16271660-16937 August 1693 Anhalt-Dessau Henriette Catherine of Nassau
9 September 1659
Groningen
five children
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, he also served as regent for his cousin, Emmanuel Lebrecht of Anhalt-Kothen, together with the prince's mother, Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode.
1690-1692
as regent
Anhalt-Köthen
Sophie Augusta of Holstein-Gottorp (regent) Sophie auguste.jpg 5 December 16301667-167412 December 1680 Anhalt-Zerbst John IV
16 September 1649
Gottorp
fourteen children
Charles William Carl Wilhelm von Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg 16 October 16521674-17183 November 1718 Anhalt-Zerbst Sophia of Saxe-Weissenfels
18 June 1676
Halle
three children
Anna Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode (regent) Arolsen Klebeband 01 303.jpg 26 March 16511670-169027 January 1690 Anhalt-Köthen Emmanuel I
23 March 1670
Ilsenburg
one child
Regent on behalf of her son, together with her husband's cousin, John George II of Anhalt-Dessau.
Emmanuel Lebrecht Emanuel Leberecht von Anhalt-Kothen (1671 - 1704).jpg 20 May 16711692-170430 May 1704 Anhalt-Köthen Gisela Agnes of Rath
30 September 1692
Nienburg
(morganatic)
ten children
Henriette Catherine of Nassau (regent) Jugendbildnis der Prinzessin Henriette Katharina von Nassau-Oranien (Mytens).jpg 10 February 16371693-16983 November 1708 Anhalt-Dessau John George II
9 September 1659
Groningen
five children
Regent on behalf of her son.
Leopold I 1676 Leopold-2.JPG 3 July 16761698-17477 April 1747 Anhalt-Dessau Anna Louise Föhse
8 September 1698
Dessau
(morganatic)
ten children
Gisela Agnes of Rath (regent) Gisela Agnes von Anhalt-Kothen (1669 - 1740).jpg 9 October 16691704-171512 March 1740 Anhalt-Köthen Emmanuel Lebrecht
30 September 1692
Nienburg
(morganatic)
ten children
Regent on behalf of her son.
Leopold Leopold von Anhalt-Kothen (1694 - 1728).jpg 29 November 16941715-172819 November 1728 Anhalt-Köthen Frederica Henriette of Anhalt-Bernburg
11 December 1721
Bernburg
one child

Charlotte Frederike of Nassau-Siegen
27 June 1725
Weimar
two children
With no male heirs, he was succeeded by his brother.
Charles Frederick Carl Friedrich (Anhalt-Bernburg).jpg 13 July 16681718-172122 April 1721 Anhalt-Bernburg Sophie Albertine of Solms-Sonnenwalde
25 June 1692
Bernburg
six children

Wilhelmine Charlotte Nüssler
1 May 1715
Bernburg
John Augustus Johann August von Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg 29 July 16771674-17187 November 1742 Anhalt-Zerbst Fredericka of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
25 May 1702
Zerbst
no children
Died without issue. Zerbst was inherited by his cousins from Dornburg.
Victor Frederick Victor Fridericus.jpg 20 September 17001721-176518 May 1765 Anhalt-Bernburg Louise of Anhalt-Dessau
25 November 1724
Dessau
one child

Sophie Albertine Fredericka of Brandenburg-Schwedt
22 May 1733
Potsdam
five children

Konstanze Fredericka Schmidt
13 November 1750
Bernburg
(morganatic)
one child
Augustus Louis Augustludwigkoeth.jpg 9 June 16971728-17556 August 1755 Anhalt-Köthen Agnes Wilhelmine von Wuthenau
23 January 1722
Dresden
(morganatic)
two children

Christine Johanna Emilie of Promnitz-Pless
14 January 1726
Sorau
five children

Anna Fredericka of Promnitz-Pless
21 November 1732
Sorau
two children
John Louis Johann ludwig ii.jpg 23 June 16881742-17465 November 1746 Anhalt-Zerbst UnmarriedFirst cousins of their predecessor, they were Princes of Dornburg, until its ending by joining it with the inherited Principality of Zerbst. Ruled jointly. after John Louis' death, Christian tuled alone.
Christian August Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst, 1725 (Antoine Pesne).jpg 29 November 16901742-174716 March 1747 Anhalt-Zerbst Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp
8 November 1727
Vechelde
five children
Leopold II Maximilian 1700 Leopold.JPG 25 December 17001747-175116 December 1751 Anhalt-Dessau Gisela Agnes of Anhalt-Köthen
25 May 1737
Bernburg
seven children
Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp (regent) Johanna Elisabeth Holstein-Gottorp by Antoine Pesne.jpg 24 October 17121747-175230 May 1760 Anhalt-Zerbst Christian August
8 November 1727
Vechelde
five children
Regent on behalf of her son.
Frederick August Frederick Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst.jpg 8 August 17341752-17933 March 1793 Anhalt-Zerbst Caroline Wilhelmina Sophia of Hesse-Kassel
17 November 1753
Zerbst
no children

Friederike Auguste Sophie of Anhalt-Bernburg
22 May 1764
Ballenstedt
no children
Definitively annexed by the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau
Dietrich of Anhalt-Dessau (regent) Dietrich von Anhalt-Dessau (1702-1769).jpg 2 August 17021751-17582 December 1769 Anhalt-Dessau UnmarriedRegent on behalf of his nephew.
Leopold III Frederick Franz Leopold III of Anhalt-Dessau.JPG 10 August 17401758-18179 August 1817 Anhalt-Dessau Louise Henriette Wilhelmine of Brandenburg-Schwedt
25 July 1767
Charlottenburg
two children
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, also served as regent for his cousin, Louis Augustus Karl Frederick Emil of Anhalt-Kothen. After his death the regency in Anhalt-Kothen passed together with the principality of Anhalt-Dessau to his son.
1758-1817
as regent
Anhalt-Köthen
Charles George Lebrecht Karl George Lebrecht, Prince of Anhalt-Kothen (1730-1789).jpg 15 August 17301755-178917 October 1789 Anhalt-Köthen Louise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
26 July 1763
Glücksburg
six children
Frederick Albert FrederickAlbertAnhaltBernburg.jpg 15 August 17351765-17969 April 1796 Anhalt-Bernburg Louise Albertine of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön
25 November 1724
Augustenburg
two children
Augustus Christian Frederick 18 November 17691789-18125 May 1812 Anhalt-Köthen Fredericka of Nassau-Usingen
9 February 1792
Frankfurt-am-Main
no children
In 1806 became Duke of Anhalt-Köthen. Left no descendants, and was succeeded by his nephew.
Alexius Frederick Christian Alexius Friedrich Christian Furst von Anhalt-Bernburg.jpg 15 August 17351796-18349 April 1796 Anhalt-Bernburg Marie Friederike of Hesse-Kassel
29 November 1794
Kassel
(annulled 1817)
four children

Dorothea Fredericka of Sonnenberg
11 January 1818
Ballenstedt
(morganatic)
no children

Ernestine Charlotte of Sonnenberg
2 May 1819
Bernburg
(morganatic)
no children
In 1803 became Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg.
Louis Augustus Karl Frederick Emil Ludwig-min-Herzog-von-Anhalt.jpg 20 September 18021812-181818 December 1818 Anhalt-Köthen Louise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
26 July 1763
Glücksburg
six children
Died as a minor, never ruled by his own.
Frederick Ferdinand FFAnhaltK.jpg 25 June 17691818-183023 August 1830 Anhalt-Köthen Maria Dorothea Henriette Louise of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck
26 July 1763
Lindenau bei Heiligenbeil
no children

Julie of Brandenburg
20 May 1816
Berlin
no children
From the Anhalt-Pless line, cousin of his predecessor. Attempted, with no success, to reinstall Catholicism in his duchy.
Henry V 1778 Heinrich.jpg 30 July 17781830-184723 November 1847 Anhalt-Köthen Auguste Fredericka Espérance Reuss of Köstritz
18 May 1819
Trebschen
no children
Left no descendants. His lands were inherited by Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau.
Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau
Alexander Charles Alexander Karl, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg (1805-1863).jpg 2 March 18051834-186319 August 1863 Anhalt-Bernburg Friederike of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
30 October 1834
Gottorp
no children
Left no male descendants. Bernburg reverted to Anhalt-Dessau.
Definitively annexed to the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau
Leopold IV Frederick Leopold IV Anhalt.jpg 1 October 17941817-186322 May 1871 Anhalt-Dessau Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia
18 April 1818
Berlin
six children
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, ended the regency in Kothen after his cousin's death (1818). In 1863 he reunites Anhalt under his rule, and becomes its first duke.
1817-1818
as regent
Anhalt-Köthen
1863-1871 Anhalt
Frederick I Friedrich I Anhalt.jpg 29 April 18311871-190424 January 1904 Anhalt Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg
22 April 1854
Altenburg
six children
Frederick II Friedrich II Anhalt.jpg 19 August 18561904-191821 April 1918 Anhalt Marie of Baden
2 July 1889
Karlsruhe
no children
Left no descendants. He was succeeded by his brother.
Edward Eduard, Duke of Anhalt.JPG 18 April 1861191813 September 1918 Anhalt Louise Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg
6 February 1895
Altenburg
(annulled 26 January 1918)
six children
Brother of his predecessor. Ruled 18 April to 13 September.
Joachim Ernest II Joachim Ernst duke of Anhalt.jpg 11 January 1901191818 February 1947 Anhalt Elisabeth Strickrodt
3 March 1927
Ballenstedt
(morganatic, annulled 1929)
no children

Edda-Charlotte von Stephani-Marwitz
15 October 1929
Ballenstedt
(morganatic)
five children
Ruled 13 September to 12 November. Monarchy abolished in that year.
Coat of arms of the duchy 1703 Wappen Anhalt 1703.gif
Coat of arms of the duchy 1703

Heads of the House of Anhalt since 1918

Notes

  1. Siebmacher, Johann (1703). Erneuertes und vermehrtes Wappenbuch... Nürnberg: Adolph Johann Helmers. pp. Part I Table 8.

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References