Rudolph, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst

Rudolph, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst

.

He was the fifth son of Joachim Ernest, Prince of Anhalt but third-born by his second wife Eleonore, daughter of Christoph, Duke of Württemberg.

Life

In 1586, after the death of his father, Rudolph inherited the principality of Anhalt jointly with his half and full-brothers; but because he was still a minor, his older brother John George I acted as regent.

By the accounts of contemporary witnesses, Rudolph was an eager pupil and student. In 1596 the twenty-year-old prince was invited to the coronation of King Christian IV of Denmark in Copenhagen.

His Grand Tour began in 1600 when he arrived to Sicily. With his younger brother Louis, Rudolph spent a year in Florence. On 21 November 1601 he was admitted in the at the University in Siena. A year later, in 1602 the prince left Switzerland (were he live for some time) and return to Dessau.

In 1603 was made the formal division of the principality of Anhalt between Rudolph and his surviving brothrs. He received Zerbst, were settled his main residence, and supports there the renovation of the "Gymnasium Francisceum"; at first, he orders the incorporation of a Library. In 1618, Rudolph joined to the Fruitbearing Society.

Marriages and Issue

In Wolfenbüttel on 29 December 1605 Rudolph married firstly with Dorothea Hedwig (b. Wolfenbüttel, 3 February 1587 - d. Zerbst, 16 October 1609), daughter of Henry Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, They had four daughters:
#Stillborn daughter (Zerbst, October? 1606).
#Dorothea (b. Zerbst, 25 September 1607 - d. Hitzacker, 26 September 1634), married on 26 October 1623 to Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
#Eleonore (b. Zerbst, 10 November 1608 - d. Osterholm, 2 November 1681), married on 15 February 1632 to Frederick, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Norburg.
#Stillborn daughter (Zerbst, 16 October 1609).

The death of his wife caused in Rudolph a deep depression, according to contemporary witnesses.

In Oldenburg on 31 August 1612 Rudolph married secondly with Magdalene (b. Oldenburg, 6 October 1585 - d. Coswig, 14 April 1657), heiress of Jever and daughter of John XVI, Count of Oldenburg; only when Rudolph met her, he find the way to reasume his life. They had two children:
#Elisabeth (b. Zerbst, 1 December 1617 - d. Oldenburg, 3 June 1639).
#John VI, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst (b. Zerbst, 24 March 1621 - d. Zerbst, 4 July 1667).

References

* [http://genealogy.euweb.cz/ascania/ascan11.html Complete Genealogy of the House of Ascania]
* [http://www8.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/cgi-bin/stoyan/l1/LANG=span/INDEX=I216432 Chronological Dates of rulers of Anhalt]
*


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