Philip II, Duke of Pomerania - Wikipedia

Philip II, Duke of Pomerania

Philip II, Duke of Pomerania-Stettin (29 July 1573 – 3 February 1618) was from 1606 to 1618 the reigning duke of Pomerania-Stettin and is considered among the one of the most artistic of the Pomeranian dukes. He married Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg in 1607. The marriage remained childless.

Philip II, Duke of Pomerania-Stettin
Duke Philip II of Pomerania-Stettin
Born(1573-07-29)29 July 1573
Died3 February 1618(1618-02-03) (aged 44)
Noble familyHouse of Griffins
Spouse(s)Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
FatherBogislaw XIII, Duke of Pomerania
MotherClara of Brunswick


Philipp was born on 29 July 1573 in Neuenkamp, which later became Franzburg in Pomerania, as the eldest son of Duke Bogislaw XIII of Pomerania-Barth and his first wife, Clara of Brunswick. He grew up in his father's small residence in Barth. Although he was the second-born son of Duke Philip I of Pomerania-Wolgast, when Philip I's inheritance was divided among the Pomeranian dukes on 1569, waived his rights to a share, in favour of his younger brother Ernest Louis. He had been compensation with an apanage consisting of the district of Barth and the secularized Cistercian monastery at Neuenkamp.

As a child and teenager, Philip received the usual education for a son of a German prince during the late Renaissance era. Soon, however, his artistic and scientific interests grew soon beyond the usual level. Even at the age of twelve, he owned a collection of books and pictures. He wrote his first scientific papers at the age of 17. His art was not just an expression of his royal representation, but emerged from an inner need. At age 18, he wrote: It is may pleasure to collect good, selected books, portraits from a master's hand, and ancient coins of all kinds. From these I learn how to improve myself and also how I can be beneficial to the general public.

According to the customs of his time he undertook numerous grand tours, which led him to many European countries and the local courts. The two-year stay in Italy at the end of his final grand tour, was cut short in 1598 when his mother fell seriously ill.

Five years later, government business caught up with him. In 1603, Duke Barnim X had died and Philip's father, Bogislaw XIII, became the ruling duke in the Teilherzogtum of Pomerania-Stettin. Apparently, Bogislaw XIII felt he was too old to actually govern, so he appointed his son Philip II as governor of Pomerania-Stettin. When Bogislaw XIII died in 1606, Philip became the ruling duke in Stettin in his own right. Characteristic elements of his reign were his patronage of the arts (described in more detail below), but also his rural regulations of 1616, in which a legal basis for serfdom was created.

On 10 March 1607 he married Sophia (1579–1658, in Treptow an der Rega, her dower), daughter of John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg and his first wife Elisabeth.[1] The marriage was, however, childless, like all the marriages in the last generation of the Dukes of Pomerania, so after the death of Philip's brother Bogislaw XIV, the House of Griffins died out in the male line.

Philip's special penchant for melancholy became apparent early on and was certainly reinforced by his sickly constitution. From the first decade of the 17th Century, he suffered from gout. This made life more difficult, and he withdrew more and more from public life. It prevented him from attending in person the wedding of his brother Francis with Sophia of Saxony in Dresden in 1610, and the investiture of Emperor Matthias at the Diet of Regensburg in 1613. In 1612, he visited a recently discovered health spa in Lüneburg, but it brought him no relief from his suffering. He died on 3 February [O.S. 13 February] 1618, before the age of 50, like most male members of the last generation of the House of Griffins.

Funding the artsEdit

The most important works of art commissioned by Philip II date from the period 1606–1618. They include:

The art dealer Philip Hainhofer from Augsburg was responsible for the procurement of many works of art. Philip corresponded extensively with him. During Hainhofer's visit to Pomerania in 1617, he kept a diary. This diary contains a detailed description of the art collection at the Ducal Castle in Szczecin.

When Philip died in 1618, many of the works he had commissioned had not been completed. His brother and successor, Duke Francis, showed little inclination to continue his deceased brother's artistic ambitions. He paid for the completion of works commissioned by his brother, but after that the era of art at the court of the Pomeranian Dukes came to an end. Among the works completed under Francis was a new wing of the Ducal Castle on the west side of Mint Square. Most works of art were housed in this new wing.



  1. ^ N.N., "VII. Sophie von Schleswig-Holstein, Witwe Herzog Philipps II. von Pommern, auf dem Schlosse in Treptow an der Rega", in: Baltische Studien (1832 to date), vol. 1, Gesellschaft für Pommersche Geschichte und Alterthumskunde and Historische Kommission für Pommern (eds.), vol. 1: Stettin: Friedrich Heinrich Morin, 1832, pp. 247–258, here pp. 249 and 258.

References and sourcesEdit

  • Friedrich Ludwig v. Medem (ed.): Philipp Hainhofers Reise-Tagebuch, enthaltend Schilderungen aus Francken, Sachsen, der Mark Brandenburg und Pommern im Jahr 1617, in: Baltische Studien, vol. 2 issue 2, 1834, pp. I-XXXII and 1-180.
  • Theodor Pyl (1888), "Philipp II., Herzog von Pommern-Stettin", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 26, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 34–36
  • Oscar Doering: Des Augsburger Patriciers Philipp Hainhofer Beziehungen zum Herzog Philipp II. von Pommern-Stettin. Correspondenzen aus den Jahren 1610-1619 im Auszuge mitgetheilt und commentiert, in: Quellenschriften für Kunstgeschichte und Kunsttechnik des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit, vol. 6, Vienna, 1894.
  • Hellmuth Bethe: Die Kunst am Hofe der pommerschen Herzöge, Berlin, 1937.
  • Dirk Schleinert: Das Stammbuch Herzog Philipps II. von Pommern, in: Findbücher, Inventare und kleine Schriften des Landeshauptarchivs Schwerin, vol. 10, Schwerin, 2004, ISBN 3-9805560-9-3.
  • Barbara Mundt: Herzog Philipp II. als Kunstsammler und sein Agent Philipp Hainhofer, in: Pommern. Zeitschrift für Kultur und Geschichte, issue 3/2009, ISSN 0032-4167, pp. 38–44.

External linksEdit

Philip II, Duke of Pomerania
Born: 29 July 1573 Died: 3 February 1618
Preceded by
Bogislaw XIII
Duke of Pomerania-Stettin
Succeeded by