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Wolfgang, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen (1 August 1492 in Köthen – 23 March 1566 in Zerbst), was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Köthen. He was one of the earliest Protestant rulers in the Holy Roman Empire.
Zerbst is a town in the district of Anhalt-Bitterfeld, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Until an administrative reform in 2007, Zerbst was the capital of the former Anhalt-Zerbst district.
The House of Ascania is a dynasty of German rulers. It is also known as the House of Anhalt, which refers to its longest-held possession, Anhalt.
Anhalt-Köthen was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the House of Ascania. It was created in 1396 when the Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst was partitioned between Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen. The first creation lasted until 1562, when it fell to Prince Joachim Ernest of Anhalt-Zerbst, who merged it into the reunited Principality of Anhalt.
He was the second (but eldest surviving) son of Waldemar VI, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, by his wife Margarete, daughter of Günther XX, Count of Schwarzburg and Lord of Arnstedt.
Waldemar VI, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Köthen.
In 1500, at just eight years of age, Wolfgang was admitted to the University of Leipzig, and in 1508, at sixteen, his father died. Wolfgang then took over the government of the principality with residence in Köthen. Wolfgang had the opportunity to meet Martin Luther at the Diet of Augsburg in 1521. He later said that "He gained my heart" after hearing him speak. With Luther's help, Wolfgang introduced the Reformation in Anhalt-Köthen (1525) and Anhalt-Bernburg (1526), which made them the second and third countries in the world (after the Electorate of Saxony) to adopt Protestantism officially. In 1526 Wolfgang joined in a defensive alliance with other Evangelical states against the Emperor Charles V; this was a direct prelude to the later formation of the Schmalkaldic League. Wolfgang was also one of the six princes who, on 19 April 1529, as representatives of the Protestant minority in the Imperial Diet, drew up the Protestation at Speyer and petitioned the Diet to remove the Imperial Ban (German: Reichsacht) against Luther, as well as the proscription of his works and teachings, and called for the unhindered spread of Evangelical belief. In 1530 he signed the Augsburg Confession at the Diet of Augsburg. In 1534 Wolfgang ordered the first church inspections (German: Kirchenvisitationen) in Anhalt-Köthen, expropriated Catholic church possessions, and handed them over to the municipalities.
Martin Luther, was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.
The Diet of Augsburg were the meetings of the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire held in the German city of Augsburg. Both an Imperial City and the residence of the Augsburg prince-bishops, the town had hosted the Estates in many such sessions since the 10th century. In the 16th century, twelve of thirty-five imperial diets were held in Augsburg, a result of the close financial relationship between the Augsburg-based banking families such as the Fugger and the reigning Habsburg emperors, particularly Maximilian I and his grandson Charles V. Nevertheless, the meetings of 1530, 1547/48 and 1555, during the Reformation and the ensuing religious war between the Catholic emperor and the Protestant Schmalkaldic League, are especially noteworthy.
Anhalt-Bernburg was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and a duchy of the German Confederation ruled by the House of Ascania with its residence at Bernburg in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It emerged as a subdivision from the Principality of Anhalt from 1252 until 1468, when it fell to the Ascanian principality of Anhalt-Dessau. Recreated in 1603, Anhalt-Bernburg finally merged into the re-unified Duchy of Anhalt upon the extinction of the line in 1863.
In 1544 he resigned his rights over Anhalt-Dessau in favor of his cousins, but retained his rights over Anhalt-Bernburg, where he had enlarged the existing castle in 1538 by the Wolfgang wing which made it the largest Renaissance castle in North Germany. When the old "Burg" of Köthen was destroyed by a fire in 1547, he made his permanent residence in Bernburg. That year, he participated in the Battle of Mühlberg and was outlawed for it by the Emperor. Wolfgang took refuge in Saxony and was appointed Governor of Magdeburg in 1551 by the Elector Maurice. In 1552 he was released from outlawry under the terms of the Peace of Passau and was restored to his territories.
Anhalt-Dessau was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and later a duchy of the German Confederation. Ruled by the House of Ascania, it was created in 1396 following the partition of the Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst, and finally merged into the re-united Duchy of Anhalt in 1863. The capital of the state was Dessau in present-day Saxony-Anhalt.
The Battle of Mühlberg took place near Mühlberg in the Electorate of Saxony in 1547, during the Schmalkaldic War. The Catholic princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V decisively defeated the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of Protestant princes under the command of Elector John Frederick I of Saxony and Landgrave Philip I of Hesse.
Magdeburg is the capital city and the second largest city of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the Elbe River.
In 1562, however, he signed all of his territories over to his cousins, keeping only Coswig. By 1564 he moved to Zerbst, where he died two years later, unmarried and childless.
Coswig is a town in the district of Wittenberg of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Elbe, approx. 12 km west of Wittenberg, and 15 km east of Dessau.
| Prince of Anhalt-Köthen |
and Bernhard VII
The Duchy of Anhalt was a historical German duchy. The duchy was located between the Harz Mountains in the west and the river Elbe and beyond to the Fläming Heath in the east. The territory is now part of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The history of Saxony-Anhalt began with Old Saxony, which was conquered by Charlemagne in 804 and transformed into the Duchy of Saxony within the Carolingian Empire. Saxony went on to become one of the so-called stem duchies of the German Kingdom and subsequently the Holy Roman Empire which formed out of the eastern partition of the Carolingian Empire. The duchy grew to become a powerful state within the empire, ruling over much of what is now northern Germany, but following conflicts with the emperor it was partitioned into numerous minor states around the end of the 12th century.
The Schmalkaldic War refers to the short period of violence from 1546 until 1547 between the forces of Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, commanded by Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba, and the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League within the domains of the Holy Roman Empire.
Ballenstedt is a town in the Harz district, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
On April 19, 1529, six princes and representatives of 14 Imperial Free Cities petitioned the Imperial Diet at Speyer against an imperial ban against Martin Luther, as well as the proscription of his works and teachings, and called for the unhindered spread of the evangelical faith.
The Diet of Speyer or the Diet of Spires was an Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire in 1526 in the Imperial City of Speyer in present-day Germany. The diet's ambiguous edict resulted in a temporary suspension of the Edict of Worms and aided the expansion of Protestantism. These results were repudiated in the Diet of Speyer (1529).
The Principality of 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.
Anhalt-Zerbst was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the House of Ascania, with its residence at Zerbst in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It emerged as a subdivision of the Principality of Anhalt from 1252 until 1396, when it was divided into the principalities of Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen. Recreated in 1544, Anhalt-Zerbst finally was partitioned between Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Köthen, and Anhalt-Bernburg in 1796 upon the extinction of the line.
Anhalt-Harzgerode was a small principality of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by the House of Ascania with its residence at Harzgerode in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. It was created in 1635 following the partition of Anhalt-Bernburg with Frederick, a younger son of Prince Christian I becoming the reigning prince. The death of Frederick's son Prince William Louis in 1709 resulted in the extinction of the ruling family and Anhalt-Harzgerode was reunited with Anhalt-Bernburg.
Albert I was a German prince of the House of Ascania and the second ruler of the Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst from 1298 until his death.
Albert II, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Zerbst.
Adolph II, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Köthen. A Roman Catholic Bishop of Merseburg, he remained until his death a staunch opponent of Martin Luther.
George I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau. He was the second son of Sigismund I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, by his wife Judith, daughter of Gebhard XI, Count of Querfurt.
Joachim Ernest of Anhalt, was a German prince of the House of Ascania, ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Zerbst from 1551, and from 1570 sole ruler of all the Anhalt lands.
John George I of Anhalt-Dessau was a German prince of the House of Ascania. From 1586 to 1603 he ruled the unified principality of Anhalt jointly with his brothers. After the partition of the principality in 1603, he ruled the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1603 to 1618.
The League of Dessauer was a short-lived Association of Catholic rulers in northern Germany during the time of the German Reformation. Its goals were to stop both the rebellion and the proliferation of Martin Luther's teachings. The League was founded in Dessau on 19 July 1525 and was led by the strictly Catholic widow and regent princess Margaret of Münsterberg.