Albert II, Margrave of Meissen

Albert II, Margrave of Meissen

Albert II, the Degenerate (de: "Albrecht II der Entartete") (b. 1240 – d. Erfurt, 20 November 1314), was a Margrave of Meissen, Landgrave of Thuringia and Count Palatine of Saxony. He was a member of the House of Wettin.

He was the eldest son of Henry the Illustrious, Margrave of Meissen by his first wife, Constantia of Austria.


In 1265 the Margrave Henry III granted the Landgraviate of Thuringia and the Palatinate to Albrecht and the Margraviate of Landsberg in the Osterland to his younger brother Dietrich. Henry III kept from himself the Margraviates of Meissen and Lausitz as a formal power over his sons.

In June 1255 Albrecht married with Margaret of Sicily, the daughter of Emperor Frederick II. As a dowry the Pleissnerland was pledged to the house of Wettin. They had five children:

# Henry (b. 21 March 1256 - d. 25 January/23 July? 1282), inherited the Pleissnerland in 1274.
#Frederick (b. 1257 - d. Wartburg, 16 November 1323), Margrave of Meissen.
#Dietrich, called Dietzmann (b. 1260 - murdered Leipzig, 10 December 1307), Margrave of Lausitz.
#Margaret (d. young, aft. 17 April 1273).
#Agnes (b. 1264 - d. September 1332), married before 21 July 1282 to Heinrich I, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen.

After what was at first a happy rule and marriage, Albrecht turned away from Margaret and began a passionate love affair with Kunigunde of Eisenberg. She bore him two children: a daughter, Elisabeth in 1264, and a son, Albrecht ("Apitz") in 1270.

When she discovered the adultery and the illegitimate births, Margaret left Wartburg on 24 June 1270 and went to Frankfurt am Main where she died on 8 August of the same year. The two younger sons, Frederick and Dietzmann were looked after by their uncle, Dietrich, Margrave of Landsberg. Henry, the oldest, disappeared in Silesia in 1282.

Albrecht married with Kunigunde in 1274 and legitimised their children. When Albrecht intended leave to Apitz the Landgraviate of Thuringia and compensating his sons from his first marriage only with the Osterland (who included the inheritance of their mother) and the Palatinate County of Saxony, they began the war against their father. Frederick was captured by his father and was locked on Wartburg; however, he could escape one year later and continue the war against his father together with Dietzmann. During this time, in 1284, their uncle Dietrich of Landsberg died, and four years later, in 1288, also died Heinrich the Illustrious, Albrecht's father. These deaths tightened the family disputes.

By the death of his father Albrecht became a Margrave of Meissen, while his nephew Frederick Tuta -son of Dietrich of Landsberg- inherited the Margraviate of Lausitz, who was lost by Albrecht's son Dietzmann in that year. Shortly after Frederick capture his father Albrecht in battle. By the Treaty of Rochlitz (1 January 1289) Albrecht obtain his freedom after the renunciation of big parts of his lands. He retain for himself Meissen, but he finally sold it to Frederick Tuta. When after his death (1291) his cousins Frederick and Dietzmann arbitrarily took possession of his lands, Albrecht -with financial difficulties- was compeled to sell Thuringia in 1293 to the German King Adolf of Nassau; in the contract, was estipulated the king could take possession of the lands after Albrecht's death. In the sell, Albrecht included Meissen and Osterland as his fiefs, despite the fact they were in the hands of his sons. Thanks to this, Adolf's successor Albrecht I of Habsburg was able to take possession of these lands, claimed the contract of sell was legitimate and lawful.

Kunigunde of Eisenberg died on 31 October 1286. Four years later, on 1 October 1290, Albrecht married thirdly with Elisabeth of Orlamünde, heiress of Nordhalben and widow of Hartmann XI of Lobdeburg-Arnshaugk. The same year, Apitz, Albrecht's son by Kunigunde, was formally legitimazed by the Emperor and created "Herr of Tenneberg".

On 11 April 1291 Apitz's younger full-sister, Elisabeth, married with Heinrich III of Frankenstein; the marriage was short-living and childless; Elisabeth died on 28 September 1293 [ [] . In this site Elisabeth's death is cited after 23 April 1326 and her husband is named Heinrich II, not III. Also, the death of Elisabeth's brother Apitz is cited on 27 June 1301, four years before of the current date of the article.] . Three years later (9 October 1296), Apitz married with another member of the Frankenstein family. These marriage, like his sister, was childless.

Four years later (24 August 1300) Albrecht's eldest surviving son, Frederick, married with Elisabeth of Lobdeburg-Arnshaugk, daughter of his stepmother; this make the final reconciliation between father and son. Five years later (27 June 1305) Apitz of Tenneberg died, aged thirty-five. The death of his favorite son was a terrible blow to Albrecht. He was never recovered by the lost.

Two years later, in 1307, Albrecht finally resigned the Landgraviate of Thuringia and the County Palatine of Saxony to his son Frederick in exchange for an annuity. He died seven years later in Erfurt, aged seventy-four.

ee also

*List of Margraves of Meißen
*Wettin (dynasty)


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