Stephan Bodecker

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Grave slab with a plastic representation of Bishop Stephan in the Brandenburg Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul

Stephan Bodecker OPraem (born November 15, 1384 in Rathenow ; † February 15, 1459 in Brandenburg Cathedral ), also Bötticher , was a Roman Catholic clergyman and from 1421 to 1459 as Stephan Bishop of Brandenburg and thus Prince of the Brandenburg Monastery .


Stephan Bodecker was born as the son of a cooper in Rathenow . In 1767, Samuel Buchholtz made the assertion in his attempt at a history of the Churmark ... that Bodecker's family name "probably did not come from his father's profession, but was a gender name". Buchholtz bases his thought on the assumption that the incumbent Bishop of Schwerin , Niclas Bodecker (r. 1444–1457) was a relative of Bishop Stephen. The young Bodecker enrolled at the universities of Erfurt , Leipzig and Prague . He studied the fine arts , philosophy and law . Bodecker soon acquired a reputation for great learning.

In 1415 he was called to Brandenburg, where he took over the office of bishop six years later. 1422 in the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul to Brandenburg for consecrated bishop , he moved so despite its non-noble birth as Prince Bishop to the status of imperial princes on.

Bishop Stephan Bodecker followed the anti-Semitic tenor of his time only very cautiously . He resolutely rejected forced conversions and violence against Jews. He is considered to be the first well-founded Christian expert on the Hebrew language and the Jewish customs of Brandenburg. So he turned against the persecution of the Jews by the authorities and their exploitation as “subjects of the financial economy” with the following words: “The princes act badly, who rob the Jews of their goods out of greed, without interrogation, without any just cause, and strangle them or throw them in jail, and even if the snatched goods were acquired through usury, the princes are obliged to pay full compensation ”.

As Bishop of Brandenburg, he took care of the neglected bishopric that he had taken over from his predecessors and renovated it. One of his greatest merits is his efforts to promote the education of children, which was by no means a matter of course in the late Middle Ages. Bishop Stephan worked on the founding of the University of Greifswald in 1456 on behalf of the Holy See by participating in the granting of papal legitimation (the so-called privilege ).

Bodecker belonged to the order of the Premonstratensians , just as the Brandenburg Cathedral Chapter consisted of a pen of regulated Premonstratensian canons.

Bodecker was a close confidante and adviser of the Brandenburg electors Friedrich I and Friedrich II. Since Brandenburg was a key bishopric for the Hohenzollern, Bodecker played a decisive role in the historical development of the Mark, which was still an unstable political and economic entity at the time .

The grave plate Bode thickener found in the northeast corner of Südchores of the dome of St. Peter and Paul to Brandenburg an der Havel , his episcopal church. The bishop is portrayed in a lifelike and authentic portrait at the age of 30 years. He wears a chasuble and miter . As a sign of his erudition, he stands next to a writing and reading desk stocked with books and folios .

Count divergence

The listing of the Brandenburg bishops on the bishop's residence Burg Ziesar is listed by Stephan Bodecker as the 36th and his successor Dietrich von Stechow as the 37th bishop, because exiled bishop Ezilo (1018-1022) (No. 5 in the list of bishops of Brandenburg ) remained unconfirmed for some unknown reason. Ziesar is referring to the Germania Sacra . In addition, the episcopal residence argues with the census information on the epitaph of the successor to Bishop Stephans, Dietrich IV (1459–1472), who was named 37th Brandenburg bishop at the time of his episcopate. Nevertheless, the episcopate of Ezilos is given with a duration of four years, so that it seems unjustified to exclude Ezilo from the count. In their regional historical inventory, children and Porada join Bodecker's count as 37th Bishop of Brandenburg.


  • Gerda Arndt: Stephan Bodecker - Dompropst . In: Marcus Alert; Wolfgang Kusior (Ed.): 45 well-known Brandenburgers. Neddermeyer, Berlin 2002, pp. 11f., ISBN 3-933254-34-5
  • Peter Aufgebauer : Between protection and persecution. On the Jewish policy of the Brandenburg bishops in the 15th and early 16th centuries. In: Roderich Schmidt (ed.): Central German dioceses in the late Middle Ages. Nordostdeutsches Kulturwerk, Lüneburg 1988, pp. 94–114.
  • Otto Groß:  Bodeker (Bodecker), Stephan. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 350 ( digitized version ).
  • Erika Guthjahr: "A Rathenower in the episcopate, 600 years ago: Bishop Bodecker campaigned for tolerance and called for education for everyone", published in BRAWO - Brandenburger Wochenblatt, February 20, 2002, p. 25
  • Rudolf SchwarzeBodeker, Stephan . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 36, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1893, p. 71.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Joachim Fait: Cathedral and Cathedral Treasure to Brandenburg. In: Das christliche Denkmal , Heft 20 / 20A, Ed. Fritz Löffler, Union Verlag (VOB), 1st edition Berlin 1975, p. 52
  2. Samuel Buchholtz: Attempt a history of the Churmark Brandenburg from the first appearance of the German Sennonen up to the present time. Third part: new history, Friedrich Wilhelm Birnstiel, Berlin 1767, p. 159.
  3. Otto Tschirch: History of the Chur and capital Brandenburg on the Havel . Two volumes, book and art print shop J. Wiesike, Brandenburg an der Havel 1928, Vol. I, p. 148.
  4. Stahl und Brennabor - The City of Brandenburg in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Author Collective, Library of Brandenburg-Prussian History Volume 3, Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, 1st edition 1998, ISBN 3-932981-22-7 , p. 634
  5. Brandenburg an der Havel and the surrounding area - a regional history inventory in the area of ​​Brandenburg an der Havel, Pritzerbe, Reckahn and Wusterwitz, eds. Sebastian Kinder and Haik Thomas Porada on behalf of the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography and the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, volume 69, Böhlau Verlag Cologne and Weimar 2006, ISBN 978-3-412-09103-3 .
predecessor Office successor
John II Bishop of Brandenburg
Dietrich III.