Joachim Ernst (Anhalt)

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Prince Joachim Ernst von Anhalt, portrait by Lucas Cranach the Younger , around 1572
Prince Joachim Ernst of Anhalt

Joachim Ernst von Anhalt (born October 20, 1536 in Dessau , † December 6, 1586 in Dessau) from the Ascanian dynasty was Prince of Anhalt .


Joachim Ernst was a son of Prince Johann IV of Anhalt-Zerbst (1504–1551) from his marriage to Margareta (1511–1577), daughter of Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg . Joachim Ernst initially received extensive training under the supervision of his father. On February 1, 1549, he was entered in the register of the University of Wittenberg . He studied with Georg Helt and Andreas Lamprecht , among others, and then lived at the court of Margrave Johann von Brandenburg-Küstrin . Joachim Ernst took part in Spanish services and took part in the campaign of Günther von Schwarzburg in France and in the battle of Saint-Quentin .

After the death of his father, he took over the government together with his brothers Karl and Bernhard VII. However , they were still minors under the tutelage of their uncle Georg III. and Joachim I. stood. Joachim Ernst later resided in Roßlau, Bernhard in Dessau and Karl in Zerbst. Karl died as the first of the brothers in 1561. After the death of his uncles and the resignation of his cousin Wolfgang von Anhalt-Koethen , Joachim Ernst and his brother Bernhard took over the entire state of Anhalt in 1562. In 1563 he shared the land with his brother and received Bernburg , Köthen , Sandersleben , Freckleben , Hoym , Ballenstedt , Harzgerode and Güntersberge . After Bernhard's death in 1570 he also received his territories and thus united all of Anhalt in his hand. From then on he moved his seat of government to Dessau.

Joachim Ernst was a typical Renaissance prince , versatile and open-minded to the arts and culture. He sent his sons and their tutors on educational trips abroad for years. During his reign he had to contend with a growing debt burden.

We owe the description of the jousting games held at the Dessau court to the son of his chancellor, Tobias Hübner . In 1572 Joachim Ernst created the state ordinance of Anhalt and in 1582 founded the Illustre grammar school in Zerbst . In the absence of a primogeniture in Anhalt, the land had to be divided up among his 5 living sons after his death in 1586. Joachim Ernst was buried in the Marienkirche in Dessau.

Marriages and offspring

Joachim Ernst was married twice. His first wife was on March 3, 1560 in Barby Agnes (1540–1569), daughter of Wolfgang von Barby, with whom he had the following children:

⚭ 1577 Duke Joachim Friedrich (Brieg) (1550–1602)
⚭ 1577 Elector Johann Georg von Brandenburg (1525–1598)
⚭ 1581 Duke Friedrich I of Württemberg (1557–1608)
⚭ 1. 1588 Countess Dorothea von Mansfeld-Arnstein (1561–1594)
⚭ 2. 1595 Countess Palatine Dorothea von Simmern (1581–1631)
⚭ 1595 Countess Anna von Bentheim-Tecklenburg (1579–1624)

Joachim Ernst entered into his second marriage on January 9, 1571 in Stuttgart with Eleonore (1552–1618), daughter of Duke Christoph von Württemberg , with whom he had the following children:

  • Bernhard (1571–1596), Colonel of the Upper Saxon Empire, died in the Turkish War
  • Agnes Hedwig (1573-1616)
⚭ 1. 1586 Elector August of Saxony (1526–1586)
⚭ 2. 1588 Duke Johann III. of Holstein-Sonderburg (1545–1622)
⚭ 1593 Duke Johann III. of Saxe-Weimar (1570–1605)
⚭ 1618 Countess Sibylle zu Solms-Laubach (1590–1659)
⚭ 1. 1605 Princess Dorothea Hedwig of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1587–1609)
⚭ 2. 1612 Countess Magdalene von Oldenburg (1585–1657)
⚭ 1. 1606 Countess Amöna Amalie von Bentheim-Tecklenburg-Steinfurt (1586–1625)
⚭ 2. 1626 Countess Sophie zur Lippe (1599–1654)
  • Sabine (1580-1599)
  • Joachim Christoph (1582–1583)
  • Anna Sophia (1584-1652)
⚭ 1613 Count Karl Günther von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (1576–1630)

Individual evidence

  1. Or January 8th, there are several records about the date; see Gerhard Raff : Hie gut Wirtemberg every way. Volume 1: The House of Württemberg from Count Ulrich the Founder to Duke Ludwig. 6th edition. Landhege, Schwaigern 2014, ISBN 978-3-943066-34-0 , p. 570 with note 4 on p. 571.


Web links

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predecessor Office successor
Joachim Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
1561 - 1570
Karl Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst
1561 - 1570
wolfgang Prince of Anhalt-Köthen
1562 - 1570
--- Prince of Anhalt
1570 - 1586
Johann Georg I.