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Rulers of Saxony

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List of Dukes, Electors, and Kings of Saxony, 880-1918

The original Duchy of Saxony comprised lands in the north-westen part of present-day Germany, roughly corresponding to the modern German state of Lower Saxony and to Westphalia.


Dukes of Saxony

Early dukes

Ottonian or Liudolfing dynasty

Billung Dynasty

  • Hermann 961-973
  • Bernard I 973-1011
  • Bernard II 1011-1059
  • Ordulf 1059-1072
  • Magnus 1072-1106

Supplinburg Dynasty

Welf Dynasty

Ascanian Dynasty

Welf Dynasty

With the final removal of the Welfs in 1180, the Duchies of Brunswick and Lüneburg, which fell to their descendants, passed out of the control of the Duchy of Saxony. The Ascanians, who now took control, had their base further east, near the Elbe.

Ascanian Dynasty

  • Bernard III 1180-1212
  • Albert II 1212-1260

Dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg

On Albert II's death, his sons split Saxony between them: they became the Dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg and Saxe-Lauenburg. The following ruled as Dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg:

Ascanian Dynasty

  • Albert III 1260-1298
  • Rudolf I 1298-1356

Electors of Saxony

The Golden Bull of 1356 raised the Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of Prince-elector. Henceforth he became known by the title of Elector of Saxony.

Ascanian Dynasty

  • Rudolf II 1356-1370
  • Wenzel 1370-1388
  • Rudolf III 1388-1419
  • Albert IV 1419-1422

The last Ascanian Elector of Saxony died in 1422. There succeeded Margrave Frederick of Meissen and Thuringia, of the Wettin Dynasty.

Wettin Dynasty

  • Frederick I, the Warlike 1422-1428
  • Frederick II, the Gentle 1428-1464

(On Frederick II's death his sons divided the Wettin territories between them. The elder, Ernest, became elector and inherited Northern Meissen, Southern Thuringia, and Wittenberg, along with the Electoral title. Albert, the younger son, became duke and received Northern Thuringia and Southern Meissen)

Ernestine Electors of Saxony

Albertine Dukes of Saxony

In 1547, following Emperor Charles V's victory at the Battle of Mühlberg, Wittenberg and the Electoral dignity passed to the Albertine line. The Ernestine line continued to rule in southern Thuringian, but their lands eventually split up into many different tiny duchies, of which Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen, and Saxe-Altenburg lasted until 1918. This article does not list the subsequent Ernestine dukes.

Albertine Electors of Saxony

Kings of Saxony

In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire came to an end. Saxony became a Kingdom, and Frederick Augustus III became King Frederick Augustus I

House of Wettin

Heads of the House of Wettin since 1918

Saxony became a republic with the demise of the Second Reich in 1918.

Last updated: 10-08-2005 07:18:43
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46