Christian II (Anhalt-Bernburg)

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Prince Christian II of Anhalt-Bernburg, collection of paintings, Bernburg Palace

Christian II, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg , also Christian the Other or the Younger (born August 11, 1599 in Amberg , Upper Palatinate , † September 21, 1656 in Bernburg ) was the ruling Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg .

His diary ( diary ) spanning 35 years, namely 1621 to 1656 , which comprises 17,400 manuscript pages in 23 folio volumes, is considered a unique source from the time of the Thirty Years' War in quantitative and qualitative terms . The diary is to be digitally edited from 2013 as part of a twelve-year long-term DFG project.


Christian the Younger was the son of Prince Christian I of Anhalt-Bernburg and Anna, Countess of Bentheim-Tecklenburg . He was born at Amberg Castle , where his father resided as governor of the Electoral Palatinate . He enjoyed an excellent education and was fluent in French and Italian . From 1608-09 he studied with his Dessau cousin Johann Kasimir in Geneva , accompanied by two court masters, Markus Friedrich Wendelin and Peter von Sebottendorf . The usual educational trips to France , Italy and England followed.

From the age of 19 he spent most of his life in the Thirty Years' War with all its horrors and privations, which is why he speaks of “ma fatale destinée” in his diary. For him, the war began with the Battle of the White Mountains (1620), the loss of which resulted in the ostracism and exile of his father Christian I. The younger Christian, who had commanded two regiments at his father's side, also was captured, but he succeeded in Vienna the favor of Emperor Ferdinand II. To acquire, before he did the required genuflection, and already in 1621 after Bernburg return .

Through his uncle, Prince Ludwig von Anhalt-Koethen , he was accepted into the Fruitful Society under the company name <The Unchangeable> .

After the death of his father in April 1630, he took over the government of the Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg . The war years were hard for the unlucky prince and his country. In the first year of his term of office, the notorious " Holk'schen Reiter " conquered and plundered the city. 1700 inhabitants of the small town fell victim to a plague epidemic. In 1636, the Bernburg Palace was looted, and the 70-year-old court marshal Burkhard von Erlach showed great courage.

Prince Christian II died in Bernburg in 1656 and was buried in the royal tomb built by his father in the St. Aegidien Palace Church. His 22-year-old son Victor Amadeus took over the government.

His diary of 14 volumes has been preserved to this day and is a valuable source of information on the history of the Thirty Years' War.

Christian II was married to Eleonora Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg (1603–1675), daughter of Duke Johann of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg , from 1625 onwards .


The couple had a total of 15 children, but only a few of them survived childhood:


  • (Ex.) Antonio de Guevara : The instruction of a Christian prince. Cöthen: Prince. Printing house, 1639
  • (Ex.) Charles Drelincourt: On the persistence of the unwanted. Cöthen: Prince. Print shop 1641
  • (Ex.) One hundred royal teachings, which Keyser Emanuel Palaeologus ... foregeget. o. O., 1650

See also


  • Johann Christoph Beckmann : History of the Principality of Anhalt , 7 parts. Zerbst 1710 (Ndr. Dessau 1995).
  • Hans Butzmann : A book from the possession of Christian II. Von Anhalt-Bernburg in the city library Ballenstedt. Bernburg 1936.
  • Ex libris Christian I. and Christian II. Von Bernburg . Exhibition catalog. Museum Schloss Bernburg, 1993.
  • Andreas Herz: 'Ma fatale destinée' - crises and sad experiences of Prince Christian II of Anhalt-Bernburg in his diaries and other contemporary and life documents . In: Passion, Affect and Passion in the Early Modern Age . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2003 (Wolfenbütteler work on baroque research).
  • Gottlieb Krause (ed.): The diary of Christian the Younger, Prince of Anhalt. Leipzig 1855 (selected edition)
  • Ferdinand Siebigk:  Christian II. In: General German Biography (ADB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1876, pp. 150-157.
  • Hans von Zwiedineck-Südhorst : Prince Christian the Other and his relations with Inner Austria. Leuschner & Lubensky, Graz 1874

Web links

Individual evidence

  2. Rembert Unterstell quotes Ronald Asch in his article Im Brennglas eines Diariums . In: Research , 2/2014, p. 14
predecessor Office successor
Christian I. Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg
Victor Amadeus