Henry II, Count of Reuss-Gera

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Henry II, Count of Reuss-Gera
Heinrich Posthumus Reuß.jpg
Henry II Reuß, Count of Gera
Spouse(s) Magdalena of Hohenlohe-Weikersheim-Langenburg
Noble family House of Reuss
Father Henry XVI of Reuss-Gera
Mother Dorothea of Solms-Sonnewalde
Born (1572-06-10)10 June 1572
Gera
Died 23 December 1635(1635-12-23) (aged 63)
Gera
Buried Salvator Church in Gera

Henry II of Reuss (younger line), nicknamed the Posthumous (10 June 1572 in Gera – 23 December [O.S. 13 December] 1635 in Gera) was Lord of Gera, Lord of Lobenstein and Lord of Oberkranichfeld.

Life[edit]

Henry II was born posthumously, as the only son of Henry XVI of Reuss-Gera (1530-1572), the founder of the Younger Line, and his wife, Countess Dorothea of Solms-Sonnewalde (1547-1595).

Henry successfully promoted education and the economy of his country. In 1608, he founded the Rutheneum Gymnasium in Gera (now the Goethe-Gymnasium/Rutheneum). Against the advice of his theological councillor, he granted asylum to Calvinist refugees from Flanders and housed them in his capital city Gera. This led to an upsurge in wool production and an economic boom. During his reign, Gera also developed into the cultural centre of the Reuss areas. He had a particular fondness for "ring riding", and was a frequent guest at the courts in Vienna and Dresden.

Henry II died on 23 December 1635 and was buried in the Salvator Church in Gera. The composer Heinrich Schütz wrote his Musikalische Exequien for this occasion. His elaborately decorated copper outer coffin, with biblical proverbs and evangelical chorals, was transferred from the Salvator Church to the St. John church in 1995. In 2011, it was displayed in an exhibition about funeral practices in the early modern age in the city museum of Gera. It has also been on display in the Museum for Sepulchral Culture in Kassel.

Marriages and issue[edit]

Henry II married twice. In 1594, he married Magdalena (1572-1596), the daughter of Wolfgang, Count of Hohenlohe-Weikersheim-Langenburg. With her, he had one daughter:

  • Dorothea Magdalena, married in 1620 to Burgrave George of Kirchberg.

In 1597, Henry II married to Magdalena (1580-1652), the daughter of Count Albert VII of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, with whom had the following children:

  • Juliane Marie (1598-1650), married in 1614 to Count David of Mansfeld-Schraplau
  • Henry I (1599-1599)
  • Agnes (1600-1642), married in 1627 to Count Ernest Louis of Mansfeld-Heldrungen
  • Elisabeth Magdalene (1601-1641)
  • Henry II (1602-1670), Lord of Gera and Saalburg
  • Henry III (1603-1640)
  • Henry IV (1604-1628)
  • Henry V (1606-1606)
  • Henry VI (1606-1606)
  • Sophie Hedwig (1608-1653)
  • Dorothea Sibylle (1609-1631), married in 1627 to Baron Christian Schenk of Tautenburg
  • Henry VII (1610-1611)
  • Henry VIII (1613-1613)
  • Anna Catherine (1615-1682)
  • Henry IX (1616-1666), Lord of Schleiz
  • Ernestine (1618-1650), 1639, married Otto Albert of Schönburg-Hartenstein
  • Henry X (1621-1671), Lord of Lobenstein and Ebersdorf

Honors[edit]

Since 2008, the motor car of one of the trams in Gera bears his name.

References[edit]

  • Literature by and about Henry II, Count of Reuss-Gera in the German National Library catalogue
  • Ferdinand Hahn (1880), "Heinrich der Jüngere Postumus", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German) 11, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 579–583 
  • Thomas Gehrlein: Das Haus Reuss. Älterer und Jüngerer Linie, brochure, 2006
  • Heinrich P. Reuss and Heike Karg: Die Sterbenserinnerung des Heinrich Posthumus Reuss (1572–1635). Konzeption seines Leichenprozesses, 1997
  • Hagen Enke: Dissertationis de Henrici Posthumi Rutheni vita et regno historicae commentatio. Vorbereitende Überlegungen zu einer Monographie über das Leben und die Regierungszeit des Heinrich Posthumus Reuß (1572/95–1635), in: Jahrbuch des Museums Reichenfels-Hohenleuben, issue 44, 159th annual report of the Vogtländischen Altertumsfor-schenden Vereins zu Hohenleuben e.V., Hohenleuben, 2000, p. 17–34.
  • Hagen Enke: Heinrich Posthumus Reuß (1572/95–1635) und die Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, in: Klaus Manger (ed.): Die Fruchtbringer - eine Teutschhertzige Gesellschaft, Jenaer Germanistische Forschungen, new series, vol. 10, p. 39–60
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.