Magnus II (Mecklenburg)

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Duke Magnus II.
Memorial statue with death band in the Doberan Minster

Magnus II, Duke of Mecklenburg (* 1441 ; † November 20, 1503 in Wismar ) was the ruling Duke of Mecklenburg from 1477 to 1503 .


Magnus was an energetic, energetic prince, had already taken over the most active part of the government business with his older brothers Albrecht and Johann during the lifetime of his father Heinrich IV. , Who more and more surrendered to an indulgent life , and came soon after his father's death ( 1477) through the early death of the two older brothers mentioned in 1483 actually became sole government, since his now only younger brother Balthasar hardly took care of government matters at all. Johann had died before his father in 1474 and had left Duchess Sophie of Pomerania as a grieving bride, who later brought Duke Magnus home himself.

From the outset Magnus strove to reduce the debts which had grown excessively due to his father's lavish courtship. He restricted his own court holding in every way, released pledged goods and registers and sought to help the broken finances again through extraordinary condemnations (from the Lower German Beden = natural items to be given to a Fronhof). Over this, however, he got into disputes with the two cities of Rostock and Wismar, which belonged to the Hanseatic League , which as such always asserted a more independent position towards the dukes.

So it came in the years 1487 to 1491 in Rostock to the " Rostocker Domfehde ". The occasion was the establishment of a collegiate foundation, commonly known as the “cathedral”, at the Jakobikirche, with which Duke Magnus II wanted to secure the financing of the university and his position of power within the city. On the day of the consecration of the monastery, January 12, 1487, the newly appointed provost Thomas Rode was brutally murdered on the street, and the princes present had to flee the city. Magnus was in extreme danger of death during a foray by the Rostockers and was only rescued by the determination of his next companion, who threw themselves over him in the tightest scuffle, covering him. It was not until 1491 that the uprising, supported by craftsmen, ended with the execution of the leader Hans Runge and three other rebels. Rostock had to recognize the cathedral monastery, pay a considerable fine and confirm all privileges. Instead, the solution of the ban and interdict that the dukes Magnus and Balthasar had obtained from the emperor and the pope was achieved.

In addition to these feuds in his own country, Magnus repeatedly took the most active part in the disputes of neighboring princes, as was the case at the time, when feuds over inheritance, feudal and border disputes between the princes or with their vassals were the order of the day through struggle or mediation between the contending parties. Some other undertakings for the well-being of his country, such as the intended canal connection of the Baltic Sea with the Elbe and North Sea through the Schweriner See , as well as the improvement of the salary of the Mecklenburg state coin, the Duke had to put on hold due to a lack of the necessary funds.

Burning of the Jews at Sternberg under Magnus II (1492).

In 1492 Magnus II confirmed the verdict passed in the Sternberg host-abuser trial according to canon law against 27 Jews who had been accused of host sacrilege . The Jews were executed on October 24, 1492 at the gates of Sternberg in his presence and that of his brother at the stake . All other Jews were expelled from the country. Magnus II's offer to the Jews to escape death by fire by baptism was rejected by them . As Friedrich Lisch wrote, all went to death with firm courage, without reluctance or tears, and breathed out their lives with old, holy chants.”

But in his domestic life he had the satisfaction of marrying two of his daughters to respected German princes while he was still alive, whereby his daughter Anna became the ancestral mother of the Hessian and Sophie, the ruling line of the Ernestine , during, admittedly only after his death, his youngest daughter Katharina achieved fame herself as the mother of the famous Duke Moritz von Sachsen . Magnus died in Wismar in 1503 and was later solemnly buried in the Doberan Minster .


Magnus II had been married to Sophie von Pomerania since May 29, 1478 . With her he had the following offspring:


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jews combustion to Sternberg Magnus. II miniature 8.7 × 10.1 cm, fol.103v. In: Nikolaus Marschalk : Mecklenburgische Reimchronik . ( Schwerin Codex from 1521/23. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania State Library, call number : Ms. 376). Text: 1st book, 81st chapter, headed (fol. 104): "How the Jodenn zum Sternberg bought the holy Sacrament from a priest Peter, and tortured them and Duke Magnus let them be burnt, and furthermore from Duke Magnus and Duke Baltasars seynes bruders tode " (Source: Michael Bischof: Historical images between fact and fable: Nikolaus Marschalk's Mecklenburgische Reimchronik and their miniatures. Lemgo 2006, ISBN 3-9807816-3-1 , fig. p. 126, text p. 153f.). → cf. text edition from 1739 In: Ernst Joachim Westphal : Monumenta inedita rerum Germanicarum ... 4 volumes. Leipzig 1739-1745, pp. 625-626 f. ( Digitized version )
  2. Johannes Erichsen [Ed.]: 1000 Years of Mecklenburg. [...] . Rostock 1995, p 247/248, with reference to: Fritz Backhaus: The host desecration processes von Sternberg (1492) and Berlin (1510) ... . 1988, pp. 7-26.
  3. ^ Christa Cordshagen: Mecklenburg: Building a country. From the partial principalities to the duchy (1226–1600) . In: Johannes Erichsen [Hrsg.]: 1000 years of Mecklenburg. [...] . Rostock 1995, p. 49.
  4. ^ Georg Christian Friedrich Lisch : Main events in the older history of the city of Sternberg. The Holy Blood at Sternberg. In: Yearbooks of the Association for Mecklenburg History and Archeology - Vol. 12 (1847), pp. 215/216. ( Full text )
predecessor Office successor

Heinrich IV. , Co-regents: Johann V. and Johann VI.
Duke of Mecklenburg
co-regents: Balthasar and Albrecht VI.

Heinrich V , Albrecht VII.