Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg

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Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg
Lucas Cranach d. Ä. 043.jpg
Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg, painted as crown prince by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1520
Spouse(s) Magdalena of Saxony
Hedwig of Poland
Noble family House of Hohenzollern
Father Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg
Mother Elizabeth of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
Born (1505-01-13)13 January 1505
Cölln
Died 3 January 1571(1571-01-03) (aged 65)
Köpenick Palace
A reformed Joachim II receives the Eucharist under both kinds, the Bread and the Cup, in St.Nicholas' Church in Spandau.

Joachim II Hector (German: Joachim II. Hector or Hektor; 13 January 1505 – 3 January 1571) was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1535–1571). A member of the House of Hohenzollern, Joachim II was the son of Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg, and his wife Elizabeth of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Biography[edit]

Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg, 1550

Joachim II was born in Cölln. His first marriage was to Magdalena of Saxony from the ducal Albertine line of the House of Wettin.

His father, Joachim I Nestor, made Joachim Hector sign an inheritance contract in which he promised to remain Roman Catholic. This was intended in part to assist Joachim Nestor's younger brother, the Archbishop-Elector Albert of Mainz, who had incurred huge debts with the banking house of Fugger in order to pay the Holy See for his elevation to the episcopal see of Halberstadt and dispensation permitting him to accumulate the sees of Magdeburg and Mainz.

Joachim Nestor, who had co-financed this accumulation of offices, agreed to recover these costs from the population of his electorate by permitting the sale of indulgences. In the neighbouring Electorate of Saxony, Elector John Frederick I forbade the sale of indulgences, not because he disagreed with them in principle, but because his candidate for the see of Mainz had been outbid for the position by Albert of Mainz. However, John Frederick's subject Martin Luther persuaded the Elector to reject indulgences. Thus the financing of the investment and fulfillment of the credit contracts with Fugger depended on the sale of indulgences to Catholic believers in Brandenburg. However, had Joachim Hector not signed this pact, he would likely have been passed over in the line of inheritance.


Joachim Hector's first wife Magdalena died in 1534, and in 1535 he married Hedwig of Poland, daughter of Sigismund I the Old of the Poland-Lithuania and the Hungarian Countess Barbara Zápolya (sister of the King John I of Hungary). As the Jagiellon dynasty was Catholic, Joachim II promised Sigismund that he would not make Hedwig change her religious affiliation.

With the deaths of his father Joachim Nestor (1535) and father-in-law Sigismund (1548), Joachim turned gradually to the Protestant Reformation. On 1 November 1539, he received Communion under both kinds in Spandau's St. Nicholas' Church, an act that indicated a degree of sympathy with the new religious ideas. However, Joachim did not explicitly adopt Lutheranism until 1555, so as not to force an open confrontation with his ally Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Prior to this, Joachim promulgated a conservative church order that was Lutheran in doctrine, but retained many traditional religious institutions and observances, such as the episcopate, much of the Mass in Latin, religious plays and feast days.

In early 1539, at the diet of princes of imperial immediacy (Fürstentag) of the Holy Roman Empire in Frankfurt upon Main, the Lutheran Philipp Melanchthon revealed to the gathered princes (among them Joachim) that the anti-Jewish pogroms of 1510 in the Margraviate of Brandenburg had been based on a feigned host desecration. This pogrom had resulted in the expulsion of the Jews from the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The Jewish advocate Josel von Rosheim, who was also in attendance, pleaded privately with Joachim to allow the Jews to settle in the Margraviate again. Joachim acceded to this request on 25 June 1539.[1]

In 1526 the Hungarian armies were defeated by the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Mohács, and the King Louis II died in the field. The vacant throne of Hungary was claimed by the uncle of Joachim II Hector′s wife, who was crowned as John I of Hungary. However the Habsburgs claimed for themselves the crown and decided to fight back the Turkish armies that had invaded the Hungarian Kingdom. Then, in 1542 Joachim assisted the emperor's brother Ferdinand I in the fight against the Ottomans at the Siege of Buda (1541). He commanded an army of Austrian, Hungarian, German, Bohemian, Italian and Dalmatian troops, but the Elector was not a seasoned warrior and eventually beat a retreat.[2] He again was defeated by the Ottomans in the Siege of Pest in 1542.

In 1545 Joachim held a gala double wedding celebration for his two children, John George and Barbara. They were married to Sophie and George, both children of the Silesian Piast Duke of Liegnitz, Frederick II.

In 1569 Joachim gained King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland as brother-in-law. Joachim then paid Sigismund for a deed of enfeoffment so that the prince-elector and his issue would inherit Ducal Prussia in the case of the extinction of the Prussian Hohenzollern line.

Joachim died in Köpenick in the palace which he had built there in 1558.

Marriages and Children[edit]

Magdalena of Saxony, first wife of Joachim II Hector 
Hedwig of Poland, second wife of Joachim II Hector 

With Magdalena of Saxony (1507-1534):

With Hedwig Jagiellon (1513–1573):

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eugen Wolbe, Geschichte der Juden in Berlin und in der Mark Brandenburg, Berlin: Kedem, 1937, p. 64.
  2. ^ History of Hungary 1526–1686, Zsigmond Pach and Ágnes R. Várkonyi (eds.), Budapest: Akadémia Publisher, 1985. ISBN 963-05-0929-6

External links[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg
Born: 1505 Died: 1571
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Joachim I Nestor
Elector of Brandenburg
1535–1571
Succeeded by
John George
Margrave of Brandenburg
1535–1571

External links[edit]

  • Portrait of Magdalena of Saxony. {See [1]}