Albert II, Duke of Saxony

Albert II
Albrecht II. von Sachsen, Engern und Westfalen (de)
Duke of Saxony, Angria and Westphalia

colloquially: Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg

Woodcut by Balthasar Mencius (Menz), 1596, showing Albert II holding the Saxon coat-of-arms. Inscription: Churfürst Albrecht II. (trl. Prince-Elector Albert II)
Duchy of Saxony
(joint rule with his elder brother John I until 1282 and then with the latter's sons Eric I, John II, and Albert III)
Joint Reign 1260–1296
Predecessor Albert I, Duke of Saxony
Successor Albert II (ruling alone in
partitioned Saxe-Wittenberg)
Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg
(Albert II and his nephews divided their common duchy in 1296)
Reign 1296–1298
Predecessors Albert II and his nephews Albert III, Eric I and John II (joint rule)
Successor Rudolf I, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg
Born 1250
Wittenberg upon Elbe
Died 25 August 1298
near Aken
Burial Wittenberg upon Elbe
Saxon Consort Agnes of Habsburg
Rudolf I
Anna (*?–1327*)
Elisabeth (*?–1341*)
Venceslaus (*?–1327*)
Albert, Prince-Bishop of Passau
House of Ascania (by birth)
Father Albert I, Duke of Saxony
Mother Helen of Brunswick and Lunenburg
Religion Roman Catholic

Albert II of Saxony (Wittenberg upon Elbe, ca. 1250 – 25 August 1298, near Aken) was a son of Duke Albert I of Saxony and his third wife Helen of Brunswick and Lunenburg, a daughter of Otto the Child. He supported Rudolph I of Germany at his election as Roman king and became his son-in-law. After the death of their father Albert I in 1260 Albert II jointly ruled the Duchy of Saxony with his elder brother John I, and thereafter with the latter's sons.


In 1269, 1272 and 1282 the brothers gradually divided their governing competences within the three territorially unconnected Saxon areas (one called Land of Hadeln around Otterndorf, another around Lauenburg upon Elbe and the third around Wittenberg), thus preparing a partition.

In the imperial election in 1273 Albert II represented the jointly ruling brothers. In return Rudolph I had married his daughter Agnes of Habsburg to Albert II. After John I had resigned in 1282 in favour of his three minor sons Eric I, John II and Albert III, followed by his death three years later, the three brothers and their uncle Albert II continued the joint rule in Saxony.

In 1288 Albert II applied to King Rudolph I for the enfeoffment of his son and heir Duke Rudolf I with the Electorate of Saxony, which ensued a long lasting dispute with the eager clan of the House of Wettin. When the County of Brehna was reverted to the Empire after the extinction of its comital family the king enfeoffed Duke Rudolf. In 1290 Albert II gained the County of Brehna and in 1295 the County of Gommern for Saxony. King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia succeeded in bringing Albert II in favour of electing Adolf of Germany as new emperor: Albert II signed an elector pact on 29 November 1291 that he would vote the same as Wenceslaus. On 27 April 1292 Albert II, with his nephews still minor, wielded the Saxon electoral vote, electing Adolf of Germany.

The last document, mentioning the joint government of Albert II with his nephews as Saxon fellow dukes dates back to 1295.[1] The definite partitioning of the Duchy of Saxony into Saxe-Lauenburg, jointly ruled by the brothers Albert III, Eric I and John II and Saxe-Wittenberg, ruled by Albert II took place before 20 September 1296, when the Vierlande, Sadelbande (Land of Lauenburg), the Land of Ratzeburg, the Land of Darzing (later Amt Neuhaus), and the Land of Hadeln are mentioned as the separate territory of the brothers.[1] Albert II received Saxe-Wittenberg around the eponymous city and Belzig. Albert II thus became the founder of the Ascanian line of Saxe-Wittenberg.

Marriage and issue

In 1282 Albert II married Agnes of Habsburg,[2] daughter of Rudolf I of Germany, making her one of the Saxon Consorts, and they had the following children:



  1. 1 2 Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373-389, here p. 375. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  2. Theresa Earenfight, Queenship in Medieval Europe, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 173.
Albert II, Duke of Saxony
Born: 1250 in Wittenberg Died: 25 August 1298 near Aken
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Albert I, Duke of Saxony
Dukes of Saxony
with John I (brother) (12601282)
Albert III (nephew) (12821296)
Eric I (nephew) (12821296)
John II (nephew) (12821296)
Succeeded by
Albert III,
Eric I and
John II

as Dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg
Succeeded by
Albert II
as Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg
New title
Partition of Saxony among the heirs into Saxe-Wittenberg and Saxe-Lauenburg
Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg
Succeeded by
Rudolf I of Saxe-Wittenberg
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