Georg Rudolf (Liegnitz)

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Georg Rudolf from Legnica (January 22, jul. / February 1, 1595 greg. In Oława , † January 14 jul. / 24 January 1653 greg. In Breslau ) was 1602-1653 Duke of Legnica and 1615-1653 Duke of Wohlau . 1621–1629 he also held the office of governor of Silesia .

Origin and family

Georg Rudolf von Liegnitz came from the line of the Silesian Piasts . His parents were Duke Joachim Friedrich and Anna Maria (1561–1605), daughter of Prince Joachim Ernst von Anhalt . Georg Rudolf's older brother was Johann Christian .

On November 14, 1614, Georg Rudolf married his cousin Sophie Elisabeth (1589–1622), daughter of Prince Johann Georg I of Anhalt-Dessau .

After her death, on December 5, 1624, he married Magdalena Elisabeth (1599–1631), daughter of his uncle Karl II von Münsterberg . Both marriages remained childless.


After the death of their father in 1602, Georg Rudolf and his four years older brother Johann Christian were initially under the tutelage of their mother. After her death in 1605, her uncle Karl II von Münsterberg, a descendant of the Bohemian King Georg von Podiebrad , took over the guardianship. Georg Rudolf was brought up at his court in Oels , together with his cousins ​​and cousin Magdalena Elisabeth, whom he married in 1624. After his brother Johann Christian was declared of age in 1611, the property inherited from his father was divided. Georg Rudolf received Liegnitz and Wohlau , but was still under the tutelage of his uncle. Johann Christian received letters and ohlau . From June 1611 to March 1612 Georg Rudolf studied at the University of Frankfurt . There he often had contact with his relative Georg Wilhelm von Brandenburg . In 1612 Georg Rudolf was declared of age by the Bohemian King Matthias and accepted as his vassal . On 1 October 1612 he performed in front of the imperial chief official in Wroclaw the homagium and in June 1613 he made his solemn entry in Legnica , where he paid homage to the stands and the citizenship the next day. He then appointed a governor for his principality and in July 1613, accompanied by seven court officials, went on an educational journey through central and southern Germany, which also took him to Italy, France and the Netherlands. From this he returned in early November 1614.

In his capacity as King of Bohemia, Emperor Matthias confirmed the entire fiefdom to the brothers Georg Rudolf and Johann Christian on August 5, 1615 . Presumably under the influence of his first wife, Georg Rudolf converted to Calvinism in 1616 , but returned to Lutheranism in 1621 . After he, unlike his brother during the short time the government Winter King is of Friedrich von der Pfalz behaved politically cautious, he was following the "Dresdner chord" in 1621 with the approval of Emperor Ferdinand II. , The top provincial team ( Oberamt transferred) for Silesia. Since Georg Rudolf could not prevent Silesia from becoming a theater of war and he could not enforce religious freedom in the Silesian hereditary principalities despite the letter of majesty , he renounced the senior office in 1629. His successor was his cousin Heinrich Wenzel von Bernstadt and Oels . On August 9, 1633, Georg Rudolf joined an alliance ( conjunction ) with Sweden, Saxony and Brandenburg, which also included his brother Johann Christian, Duke Karl Friedrich von Oels and the city of Breslau. After the Peace of Prague in 1635, Georg Rudolf - like the other signatories of the conjunction - had to ask the emperor for forgiveness in writing and swear allegiance. In return, the emperor granted them protection of their privileges and freedom of religion. Unlike his brother, Georg Rudolf did not go into exile. With his will, drawn up in 1646, he founded the Johannesstift, from which the Liegnitz Knight Academy later emerged. After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, he initiated the church visitation in his duchy. After his death on January 14, 1653, he was buried on May 14 of that year in the Liegnitzer Johanniskirche.

Promoter of music and literature

Georg Rudolf was active as a composer himself and a great patron of music and literature. Already at a young age he founded the Liegnitz "Bibliotheka Rudolfiana" named after him, for which he brought numerous books from the educational trip undertaken in 1614. It mainly contained literature from the fields of theology, medicine and music. In 1613 the composer Bartholomäus Gesius , whom he presumably met during his studies in Frankfurt (Oder) , dedicated the “Opus plane novum” to him. In 1624 Georg Rudolf appointed the poet Martin Opitz as his councilor. The composer Paul Hallmann (1600–1650), whom he appointed to the Princely Council, created numerous motets, sacred concerts and "Missae breves" as a court composer in addition to arranging hymns. Because of his merits, he was raised to the nobility by Georg Rudolf as "Herr auf Strachwitz". The composer Heinrich Schütz presented Georg Rudolf with the “Cantiones sacrae” with a personal dedication. Georg Rudolf was in correspondence with the theologian Johann Arndt .

Since 1622 Georg Rudolf was a member of the Fruit Bringing Society under the name “The Wonderful” .


Individual evidence