Johann III. (Saxony-Weimar)

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Duke Johann of Saxe-Weimar

Johann von Sachsen-Weimar (born May 22, 1570 in Weimar ; † October 31, 1605 there ), from the family of the Ernestine Wettins , was Duke of Saxe-Weimar from 1602 until his death .


Johann was the second son of Duke Johann Wilhelm I of Saxe-Weimar (1530–1573) from his second marriage to Dorothea Susanne (1544–1592), daughter of Elector Friedrich III. from the Palatinate .

Johann's father died when he was three years old. Since his older brother Friedrich Wilhelm was still a minor at that time , the Duchy of Saxony-Weimar was initially placed under guardianship, which was exercised by the Elector of Saxony . As guardian, August von Sachsen signed the concord formula of 1577 and the concord book of 1580 in Johann's name .

In 1586 Johann's older brother came of age and was Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Johann was compensated with an annual sum and the offices of Altenburg , Eisenberg and Ronneburg . Johann married Dorothea Maria (1574–1617), daughter of Prince Joachim Ernst von Anhalt , on January 7, 1593 in Altenburg . After the death of his older brother in 1602, Johann succeeded him as Duke of Saxe-Weimar.

Johann was more interested in science and art than in politics, was ailing all his life and therefore only reluctantly took over the reign of the duchy. He gave in to his nephews Johann Philipp , Friedrich , Johann Wilhelm and Friedrich Wilhelm II, who in 1603 demanded their own inheritance. The already small duchy of Saxony-Weimar was therefore divided again, Altenburg was separated and made an independent duchy for the sons of Friedrich Wilhelm I. The resulting Saxon-Altenburg line existed until 1672; after its extinction, parts of the Altenburger Land fell back to Saxe-Weimar.

Although Johann hardly appeared politically, he was significant in other respects for the Saxe-Weimar dynasty . Eight of Johann's eleven sons reached adulthood. With this Johann had secured the existence of the House of Saxony-Weimar for the future and is the ancestor of all Ernestine lines of the House of Wettin that later existed.

Johann died only three years after taking office and was buried in the city ​​church of Weimar. He was followed by his son Johann Ernst the Younger , but since he was still a minor at the time of his father's death, there was renewed reign of Saxony. Johann's eldest son had to fight for his inheritance until he was finally able to take over the reign and guardianship of his seven underage brothers. This is even expressed in a chronogram on the eight brothers' talers from 1612 to 1616 .


From his marriage to Dorothea Maria von Anhalt , Johann had twelve children:

  • Johann Ernst I (1594–1626), Duke of Saxe-Weimar
  • Christian Wilhelm (* / † 1595)
  • Friedrich (1596–1622), (titular) Duke of Saxe-Weimar
  • Johann (1597-1604)
  • Wilhelm the Great (1598–1662), Duke of Saxe-Weimar
⚭ 1625 Princess Eleonore Dorothea of ​​Anhalt-Dessau (1602–1664)
  • Son († * 1598)
  • Albrecht (1599–1644), Duke of Saxony-Eisenach
⚭ 1633 Princess Dorothea of ​​Saxony-Altenburg (1601–1675)
⚭ 1636 Princess Elisabeth Sophie of Saxony-Altenburg (1619–1680)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar (1603–1619), (titular) Duke of Saxe-Weimar
  • Bernhard (1604–1639), Duke of Franconia
  • Johanna (1606-1609)


Individual evidence

  1. See BSLK , p. 15 and p. 763.
  2. Lev Goldenberg: Chronogram and motto on the Achtbrüdertaler 1612 and 1613 von Sachsen-Weimar, 2006, pp. 27-29

Web links

predecessor Office successor
Friedrich Wilhelm I. Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Administration by Electoral Saxony ,
from 1615 Johann Ernst I
(also as guardian for his brothers
who divided the duchy in 1641)