Karl was the eldest son of Prince Johann IV of Anhalt-Zerbst (1504–1551) from his marriage to Margareta (1511–1577), daughter of Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg . Karl studied at the University of Wittenberg and then stayed at the court of Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg .
After the death of his father, he took over the government together with his brothers Joachim Ernst and Bernhard VII , who, however, were still a minor under the tutelage of their uncle Georg III. and Joachim I. stood. Charles took office in 1556.
Karl later resided in Zerbst, Joachim Ernst in Roßlau and Bernhard in Dessau. Karl married Anna (1531–1592), daughter of Duke Barnim IX , in an extremely elaborate ceremony on May 16, 1557 . from Pomerania . The marriage remained childless and Karl died of "emaciation" four years after his marriage.
- Ferdinand Siebigk: Das Herzogthum Anhalt , Desbarats, 1867, p. 207
- August Benedict Michaelis: Introduction to a complete history of the electoral and princely houses in Germany , Volume 3, 1785, p. 595 ( digitized version )
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Carl von Anhalt|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Prince of Anhalt|
|DATE OF BIRTH||November 17, 1534|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Dessau|
|DATE OF DEATH||May 4, 1561|
|Place of death||Zerbst|