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Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg. 1520
Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg. 1550

Joachim II Hector (German: Joachim II. Hector or Hektor; 13 January 1505 – 3 January 1571) was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1535–1571). A member of the House of Hohenzollern, Joachim II was the son of Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg and his wife Elizabeth of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. He was nicknamed after the Hector of Greek mythology.



Joachim II was born in Cölln. His first marriage was to Magdalena of Saxony, from the ducal Albertine line of the House of Wettin.

His father, Joachim I 'Nestor,' made Joachim 'Hector' sign an inheritance contract in which he promised to remain Roman Catholic. This was intended in part to assist Joachim Nestor's younger brother, the Archbishop-Elector Albert of Mainz, who had incurred debts with the banking house of Fugger in order to pay the Holy See for his elevation to the episcopal see of Halberstadt and for a dispensation permitting him to accumulate the sees of Magdeburg and Mainz.

Joachim Nestor, who had co-financed this accumulation of offices, agreed to recover these costs from the people of his electorate by permitting the selling of indulgences. In the neighbouring Electorate of Saxony Elector John Frederick I forbade the sale of indulgences, not because he disagreed with them in principle, but because his candidate for the see of Mainz had been outbid for the position by Albert of Mainz. However, John Frederick's subject Martin Luther persuaded the Elector to reject indulgences. Thus the financing of the investment and fulfillment of the credit contracts with Fugger, depended on the sale of indulgences to Catholic believers in Brandenburg. However, had Joachim Hector not signed this pact, he would likely have been passed over in the line of inheritance.

Joachim Hector's first wife Magdalena died in 1534, and in 1535 he married Hedwig of Poland, daughter of Sigismund I the Old of the Poland-Lithuania. As the Jagiellon dynasty was Catholic, Joachim II promised Sigismund that he would not make Hedwig change her religious affiliation.

With the deaths of his father Joachim Nestor (1535) and father-in-law Sigismund (1548), Joachim turned gradually to the Protestant Reformation. On 1 November 1539, he received Communion under both kinds in Spandau's St. Nicholas' Church, an act that indicated a degree of sympathy with the new religious ideas. However, Joachim did not explicitly adopt Lutheranism until 1555, so as not to force an open confrontation with his ally Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Prior to this, Joachim promulgated a conservative church order which was Lutheran in doctrine, but retained many traditional religious institutions and observances such as the episcopate, much of the Mass in Latin, religious plays and feast days.

A reformed Joachim II receives the Eucharist under both kinds, the Bread and the Cup, in St.Nicholas' Church in Spandau.

In early 1539, at the diet of princes of imperial immediacy (Fürstentag) of the Holy Roman Empire in Frankfurt upon Main the Lutheran Philipp Melanchthon revealed to the gathered princes (among them Joachim) that the anti-Jewish pogroms of 1510 in the Margraviate of Brandenburg had been based on a feigned host desecration. This pogrom had resulted in the expulsion of the Jews from the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The Jewish advocate Josel von Rosheim, who was also in attendance, pleaded privately with Joachim to allow the Jews to settle in the Margraviate again. Joachim acceded to this request on 25 June 1539.[1]

In 1542 Joachim assisted Ferdinand I Archduke of Austria in the fight against the Ottomans at Buda. He commanded an army of Austrian, Hungarian, German, Bohemian, Italian and Dalmatian troops, but the Elector was not a seasoned warrior and eventually beat a retreat.[2]

In 1545 Joachim held a gala double wedding celebration for his two children, John George and Barbara. They were married to Sophie and George, both children of the Silesian Piasta Duke of Liegnitz, Frederick II.

In 1569 Joachim gained King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland as brother-in-law. Joachim then paid Sigismund for a deed of enfeoffment so that the prince-elector and his issue would inherit Ducal Prussia in the case of the extinction of the Prussian Hohenzollern line.

Joachim died in Köpenick in the palace which he had built there in 1558.


  1. ^ Eugen Wolbe, Geschichte der Juden in Berlin und in der Mark Brandenburg, Berlin: Kedem, 1937, p. 64.
  2. ^ History of Hungary 1526–1686, Zsigmond Pach and Ágnes R. Várkonyi (eds.), Budapest: Akadémia Publisher, 1985. ISBN 963 05 0929 6

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Joachim II Hector's ancestors in three generations
Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg Father:
Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Grandfather:
John Cicero, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Albert III Achilles, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Margarete of Baden
Paternal Grandmother:
Margaret of Thuringia
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
William III, Duke of Luxembourg
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Anne, Duchess of Luxembourg
Elizabeth Oldenburg
Maternal Grandfather:
John of Denmark
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Christian I of Denmark
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Dorothea of Brandenburg
Maternal Grandmother:
Christina of Saxony
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Frederick II, Elector of Saxony
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Margarete of Austria
Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg
Born: 1505 Died: 1571
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Joachim I Nestor
Elector of Brandenburg
Succeeded by
John George

External links

  • Portrait of Magdalena of Saxony. {See [1]}

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JOACHIM II. (1505-1571), surnamed Hector, elector of Brandenburg, the elder son of Joachim I., elector of Brandenburg, was born on the 13th of January 1505. Having passed some time at the court of the emperor Maximilian I., he married in 1524 a daughter of George, duke of Saxony. In 1532 he led a contingent of the imperial army on a campaign against the Turks; and soon afterwards, having lost his first wife, married Hedwig, daughter of Sigismund I., king of Poland. He became elector of Brandenburg on his father's death in July 1535, and undertook the government of the old and middle marks, while the new mark passed to his brother John. Joachim took a prominent part in imperial politics as an advocate of peace, though with a due regard for the interests of the house of Habsburg. He attempted to make peace between the Protestants and the emperor Charles V. at Frankfort in 1539, and subsequently at other places; but in 1542 he led the German forces on an unsuccessful campaign against the Turks. When the war broke out between Charles and the league of Schmalkalden in 1546 the elector at first remained neutral; but he afterwards sent some troops to serve under the emperor. With Maurice, elector of Saxony, he persuaded Philip, landgrave of Hesse, to surrender to Charles after the imperial victory at Muhlberg in April 1547, and pledged his word that the landgrave would be pardoned. But, although he felt aggrieved when the emperor declined to be bound by this promise, he refused to join Maurice in his attack on Charles. He supported the Interim, which was issued from Augsburg in May 1548, and took part in the negotiations that resulted in the treaty of Passau (1552), and the religious peace of Augsburg (1555). In domestic politics he sought to consolidate and strengthen the power of his house by treaties with neighbouring princes, and succeeded in secularizing the bishoprics of Brandenburg, Havelberg and Lebus. Although brought up as a strict adherent of the older religion, he showed signs of wavering soon after his accession, and in 1539 allowed free entrance to the reformed teaching in the electorate. He took the communion himself in both kinds, and established a new ecclesiastical organization in Brandenburg, but retained much of the ceremonial of the Church of Rome. His position was not unlike that of Henry VIII. in England, and may be partly explained by a desire to replenish his impoverished exchequer with the wealth of the Church (see Brandenburg). After the peace of Augsburg the elector mainly confined his attention to Brandenburg, where he showed a keener desire to further the principles of the Reformation. By his luxurious habits and his lavish expenditure on public buildings he piled up a great accumulation of debt, which was partly discharged by the estates of the land in return for important concessions. He cast covetous eyes upon the archbishopric of Magdeburg and the bishopric of Halberstadt, both of which he secured for his son Frederick in 1551. When Frederick died in the following year, the elector's son Sigismund obtained the two sees; and on Sigismund's death in 1566 Magdeburg was secured by his nephew, Joachim Frederick, afterwards elector of Brandenburg. Joachim, who was a prince of generous and cultured tastes, died at KOpenick on the 3rd of January 1571, and was succeeded by his son, John George. In 1880 a statue was erected to his memory at Spandau.

See Steinmuller, Einfiihrung der Reformation in die Kurmark Brandenburg durch Joachim II. (1903); S. Isaacsohn, "Die Finanzen Joachims II." in the Zeitschrift fiir Preussische Geschichte and Landeskunde (1864-1883); J. G. Droysen, Geschichte der Preussischen Politik (1855-1886).

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