Michael Weiß (politician)

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Michael Weiss (1569-1612)
17th century drawing

Michael Weiß (also spelled Michael Weiss, born in 1569, in Mediasch, deceased 16 October 1612, in Marienburg) was a Transylvanian Saxon politician and historian. He is mostly known for being the mayor of Kronstadt (modern-day Braşov, Romania).

Early life and political ascent[edit]

He was born in Mediasch (current-day Mediaş, Romania) as the son of mayor Johannes Weiß and his wife, Gertrude Wolf (whom would both die of the plague in 1586). He went to the local elementary school, then, in 1583, aged 14, attended the courses of the Jesuit school of Klausenburg. During the two years spent there, he learned Hungarian, and progressed enough as to be able to write poems in this language.[1]

Shortly, he began his political career, as secretary of Count Ferdinand von Hardek, and then by working for the Hungarian chancellor office in Prague. He was noticed by Emperor Rudolf II, who ennobled him in 1589, at the age of only 20.[2]

In 1590, he returned to Transylvania. He was chosen in the Assembly of the one hundred in 1591, then in 1594, as representative of Kronstadt in the Transylvanian Diet (the political and constitutional organ of the principality) and in the Senate, in 1600. As representative and senator of Kronstadt, the voivodes István Bocskay, Sigismund Rákóczi and those of the Báthory family sent Weiß in several diplomatic missions, including to domnitor Radu Şerban of Wallachia.

Michael Weiss described Şerban as being "wealthy, cunning,[3] and very skilled in the craft of war".[4] In 1606, the Wallachian prince invited him to take part in several hunting and fishing trips, for two weeks. During this time, it appears they have discussed political issues of common interest, the results of which will be seen five years later.[5]


In memoriam[edit]

In 1887, Nonnengasse (Nun Alley) was named after its former mayor.

On the list of historical monuments created by the Ministry of Culture, at number 976, code LMI 2004 BV-IV-m-A-11919, is The Monument of Saxon Students fallen in Battle in 1612. Built between 1912–1913, it commemorates the 39 young students that died near Marienburg.

After 1989, DFDR Braşov has reinstated the tradition of commemorating and honouring predecessors through a celebration at the forementioned monument.

Literary works[edit]

Besides the poems written in his youth, Michael Weiß has left behind a few writings of importance with regard to his contemporary Kronstadt and Transylvania.[6]

  • Liber annalium raptim scriptus per Mich. Weyss Mediensem, senatorem Republicae Coronensis, translatable as "The book of haste chronicles by Michael Weiß of Mediasch, Senator of the Republic of Kronstadt", a journal later published by Eugen von Trauschenfels, with a preface signed by A. Kurz.
  • Brevis consignatio tumultum bellicorum ab anno Chr. 1610, usque completum annum 1613 ambitione et inquietudine Gabrielis Báthori Principis motorum, translatable as "Brief writings of the tumultuous war of 1610, then added in 1613 by ambition and restlessness of Prince Gabriel Báthori", with an anonymous addition to the events of 1613.

It is also worth mentioning that all the documents of the Weiß family have been donated to the patrimony of Johannes Honterus high-school of Kronstadt.


  1. ^ Cărturari braşoveni, p. 226.
  2. ^ Cărturari braşoveni, p. 226.
  3. ^ in the sense of able, diplomatic
  4. ^ Muşatcu, p. 29.
  5. ^ Muşatcu, p. 90-91.
  6. ^ Cărturari braşoveni, p. 226-227.

Further reading[edit]

  • Adolf Meschendörfer: Michael Weiß, Stadtrichter von Kronstadt (Stück) ("Michael Weiß, mayor of Brasov" - theatre play), Brașov, Kerschner Publishing, 1921;
  • Michael Königes: Michael Weiß, historical drama;
  • Maja Philippi: Michael Weiss - sein Leben und Wirken in Wort und Bild (Michael Weiss - life and work, in pictures and words), Kriterion Publishing, 1982;
  • Georgeta Filitti: Mileniul românesc.1000 de ani de istorie in imagini, Litera Publishing, 2006;