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August II of Poland

King August II The Strong (German August II der Starke, Polish August II Mocny) (May 12, 1670 - February 1, 1733) was an influential Saxon nobleman and monarch. He held the titles Elector of Saxony and King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth


Born in Dresden, Saxony, August was born to John George III Wettin and Anne Sophie of Denmark. In 1694, he became Elector of Saxony as Friedrich August I. von Sachsen. Following the death of the Polish king John III Sobieski, August converted to Catholicism and was elected king of Poland in 1697 with help and support of Russia and Austria. The legality of the election was questioned by some Poles.

As a result of defeats in the war with Sweden and the pro-Swedish party in Poland, August had to abdicate in 1706 in favour of Stanislaw Leszczynski. But after the Swedish defeat in the Battle of Poltava, he was reintroduced as King of Poland in 1709. One of his sons, August III of Poland, followed him as Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.

August II was called August the Strong for his bearlike strength and also for his numerous offspring. It is sometimes written that he sired 365 children. Although this figure would be extremely difficult to verify, August II did sire a very large number of illegitimate children, the most famous of which was Maurice de Saxe (with Aurora von Königsmarck ), the brilliant French military commander.

He successfully set out to discover the secret of the White Gold. The European porcelain was invented in Dresden and Meissen. He also gathered many of the best architects and painters from all over Europe in Dresden. His rule time was the early beginning of Dresdens development to a leading technology and art city in Europe. He was buried in Poland but his heart is still situated in a central Dresden castle.

Royal titles:

Official Latin version: Augustus Secundus, Dei Gratia rex Poloniae, magnus dux Lithuaniae, Russie, Prussiae, Masoviae, Samogitiae, Livoniae, Kijoviae, Volhyniae, Podoliae, Smolensciae, Severiae, Czerniechoviaeque, nec non haereditarius dux Saxoniae et princeps elector etc.

English translation: August II, by God's grace King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia (Ukraine), Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Livonia, Kyiv, Volhynia, Podolia, Smolensk, Sewierz and, Czernichow, an also hereditary duke of Saxony and prince elector, etc.

Preceded by:
John III
King of Poland
First Reign
Succeeded by:
Stanislaus I
Stanislaus I King of Poland
Second Reign
August III

Last updated: 11-06-2004 12:28:45