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      Contemporaries in the Holy Roman Empire      

Hohenzollern in Brandenburg
Joachim I,  Elector of Brandenburg 1499-1535
Joachim II,  Elector of Brandenburg 1535-1571
John I,  Margrave of Brandenburg-Küstrin 1535-1571

other sovereigns of the Hohenzollern dynasty

 

Joachim I, "Nestor",  Elector of Brandenburg 1499-1535
*1484. Joachim succeeded his father, elector Johann Cicero, at the age of 15. Joachim had to share power with his younger brother Albert until Albert turned to the church. He became Archbishop an Elector of Mayence in later years. After emperor Maximilian's death, Joachim competed in vain for the imperial crown. He was the last to give his assent to the election of Charles V, thus forfeiting Charles's favour. However, Joachim was an adamant opponent of the Reformation, and he supported Charles V when he issued the Edict of Worms in 1521 which outlawed Luther. His wife Elisabeth of Denmark, who declared herself for the Reformation, had to seek refuge in Saxony in 1528. During the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530, Joachim stood for a strict and unyieldingly anti-protestant attitude.
Joachim was well-educated and set up the university of Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder in 1506. He opposed feudalism, fought against robber-barons, and reformed the judicial system. He was nick-named "Nestor" in later years.
Contrary to his grandfather's wishes ("Dispositio Achillea" of 1473), Joachim I divided his lands and bequeathed them to his two sons. His efforts to bind his heirs to catholisism were of no avail.


Guldengroschen 1521, Frankfurt/Oder.     Ø 41 mm, 28,49 g.   Bahrfeldt 294; Dav.8945.
Obv.:   : IOACHIM : MARCHIO : BRANdenburgici : PRINceps : ELECTor :
"Joachim, margrave of Brandenburg, elector"
bust, crowned and in elector robes; the right hand holds the electoral sceptre.
Rev.:   : MONEta : NOva : ARGENtea : PRINcipis : ELECToris : BRANDenburgici :
"Silver money from the electorate of Brandenburg"
arms split in quarters (Brandenburg, Pomerania, Burgraveship of Nuremberg, Zollern)
plus a center shield (imperial scepter of electoral Brandenburg), date on top.
These Thalers are rare: because of a lack of silver, they were only minted in small numbers in 1521 and 1522. In addition, they were melted down to mint small coins of lower valency.

How does the Pomeranian griffin get into the coat of arms?
Pomerania had acknowledged Brandenburg's fief right to elector Albrecht Achilles (1470-86), but they denied it to his successor John Cicero (1486-99). Emperor Charles V had not forgotten about Joachim's opposition to his election, and officially gave this right to the Duke of Pomerania in 1521. Brandenburg did not accept Pomerania's immediacy until 1529, and they did so only in return for the hereditary right to succession should the House of Pomerania become extinct.


1/4 Thaler 1524, Stendal.     Ø 30 mm, 8,60 g.   Bahrfeldt 308 h.
Obv.:   :IOAC·PRIN·ELEC·MAR·BRAND (mm.)
Bearded bust in electoral robes, shouldering a scepter with his right hand.

Rev.:   MONE:NO:ARGEN:PRIN:ELECT:BRAND:
Coat of arms as before, date 15Zጸ [1524].


uniface lead cast Medal (about 1519)   by Hans Schwarz.   Ø 70 mm. Brockmann 2, Habich 143.
owned by Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg: Med69

IOACHIMI MARCHIONIS BRAND P·E ÆT·SVE XXXV ❂
The age of 35 years correlates with the creation of the medal in 1519.
Compare with the piece in bronze located in the Coin Cabinet Berlin.


Bronze Cast Medal 1530.   model by Friedrich Hagenauer.   Ø 70,1 mm, 90,8 g.
Brockmann 1, Habich 560.

Obv.:   EFFIGIES DOMINI IOACHIMI MARCHIONIS BRANDENBVRGENSIS PRIN ELECTORIS
ETAT XXXXVI ANNO SAL M D XXX   "The effigy of Lord Joachim, Margrave of Brandenburg, Elector, at the age of 46, in the year of salvation in 1530"
Half-length portrait in feathered beret and coat with fur collar, and a necklace with jewel, to the left. In front of his shoulder the signature FH (as ligated monogram).

Rev.: SCEPTRIGER / IMPERII IOACHIMVS / MARCHIO PRINCEPS / BRANDENBVRGEN. EMI /
CAT HISTE MODIS
"This is how Joachim, Margrave of Brandenburg, the bearer of the imperial scepter, looks like"

Look at the painting 1529, 64x42cm, from Lucas Cranach the Elder in the Staatsgalerie Aschaffenburg.

Joachim II, "Hector",  Elector of Brandenburg 1535-1571
- first son of Joachim I -
*1505. He was educated at the court of Emperor Charles V. Joachim took part in the campaign against the Turks in 1532. He must have aquired the nickname "Hector" on this occasion, which in fact is contrary to his peacable and circumspect nature. He was in favour of an amicable settlement of the ecclesiastical controversy and in 1539 he received the Holy Communion of both characters. In 1540 he issued rules for the divine service which imposed the new doctrine but adhered to the old liturgy. He did not intend to break with Rome. Instead, he tried to take a middle course between the two contending parties. In the Battle of Schmalkalden he maintained a neutral position, later he even supported the emperor against the Schmalkalden rebels. He accepted the Augsburger Interim of 1548 accordingly. Joachim II did not support the insurrection of Maurice of Saxony in 1552, but he helped to settle the conflict in the Treaty of Passau. He supported the religious peace treaty of Augsburg in 1555.
Joachim II was a spendthrift. Being in constant need of money, he had to make concessions to the diet of landowners. Not all of his efforts to enlarge the power of the House of Brandenburg were successful. But during the Polish Diet of 1569 Joachim, an in-law of the King of Poland, arrived at gaining the co-enfeoffment of Prussia for the House of Brandenburg. He also secured the archbishopry of Magdeburg to the princes of Brandenburg.


Guldengroschen 1542, Stendal.     Ø 40 mm, 28,68 g.   Bahrfeldt 348a; Dav.8950.
Obv.:   IOACHim·II·D·G·MARchio·BRAndenburgici·Sacri·Romini·IMPerii·Princeps·ELector· (mm. tower)
"Joachim II, by the grace of God, Margrave of Brandenburg and Elector in the Holy Roman Empire"
Bust with a sceptre on the right shoulder and in a coat of ermine.
Rev.:   MONeta·NOVA·PRINcipis·ELECToris·BRAndenburgici·
coat of arms with center shield and date on top.



Reichsguldiner 1551, Berlin.     Ø 42 mm, 30,74 g.   Bahrfeldt 386; Dav.8951.
Obv.:   ¤IOCHIM·II·D·G·MARCHIO·BRANDEM·ELECT
Effigy in electoral robes, holding sceptre and sword, date 1551 below.
Rev.:   ¤CAROLI·V·IN(m)Peratoris·AVGVSTI·Publicari Fecit·DECRETO·PIi·FELICIs
"Emperor Charles V, ever august, made by public decree"
crowned and haloed double eagle, the imperial orb with the value 72 (in Kreuzer) on its breast.
Kreuzer were hardly in circulation in Northern Germany. The value of "72 Kreuzer" complied with the specifications of the Imperial Mint Order of 1551 which laid down the weight and standard of all Guldiners in the empire. The design of the reverse was prescribed and the title of the reigning emperor had to appear on the reverse. After 1871 the custom to use a standardized reverse was resumed for large German coins. The Euro coins keep up the tradition since 2002.

Look at the painting about 1570, 112x88 cm, from Lucas Cranach the Younger
in the Jagdschloss Grunewald, Berlin-Dahlem.


3 Gröscher 1553, Frankfurt Oder.     Ø 20 mm   Bahrfeldt 382c , Schulten 345.
Obv.:   ¤IOACHim·Dei·Gratia·ELECTor:Princeps:BRANDenburgici·V
Rev.: ¤III¤ | GrOSsus:ARGentea | TRIPlex:IOAChim | ELECTOR | BRA-ND | 15 (sceptre) 51
An imitation of the Polish denomination with its typical "head side" and "value side".


Ducat 1560, Berlin.     Ø 22 mm, 3,43 g.   Bahrf.- (455, as double ducat); Friedb.213.4
Obv.:   IOACH᛭D᛭G᛭MARC᛭BRAN᛭ELEC   -   bareheaded bust in armor to the right.
Rev.:   ✼MONETA᛭NOVA᛭AVRE᛭BRAN᛭I560
quartered shield (Brandenburg, Pomerania, Burggrafschaft Nuremberg, Zollern), in the center the imperial scepter of Kurbrandenburg, a star above and to each side of the shield.
This is the first gold coinage in Brandenburg, which shows a picture of the ruler. The ducat was declared official gold coin at the Augsburg imperial law six years later (1566).

John I, "Jack",  Margrave of Brandenburg-Küstrin 1535-1571
- second son of Joachim I -
*1513. In his testament, Joachim I installed his second son John as Margrave of Brandenburg although a partition of the country had been ruled out by law. After his father's death, John immediately pledged himself to the Lutheran faith, contrary to his father's demands. In 1538, John became a member of the Schmalkalden Alliance, but withdrew again in 1545 when the alliance turned against Henry the Younger of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, his father-in-law and an ardent catholic. He fought with the emperor in the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547. He rejected the Augsburg Interim and sought allies in order to ward off imperial pressure, but he did not support the insurrection of Maurice of Saxony in 1552.
John turned his residence Küstrin into one of the strongest fortresses of the time, and yet he was also able to achieve a turnround of the financial situation of his small country. He was childless and died just ten days after his brother so that Neumark reverted to the House of Hohenzollern. Thus the partition decreed by Joachim I did not have any negative implications for the House of Brandenburg.


Thaler 1545, Krossen.     Ø 42 mm, 29,08 g.   Bahrfeldt 464; Dav.8956.
Obv.:   ¤IOHANNES:D:G:MARCHIO¤BRANDENBVRG
"John, by the grace of God, Margrave of Brandenburg"
Rev.:   ¤IN+SILENCIO¤ET+SPE¤FORTITVDO¤MEA   "Silence and hope are my strenth."

Compare with a detail of a picture about Christ's baptism von 1556 from Lucas Cranach the Younger.


Thaler 1545, Krossen.     Ø 42 mm, 28,64 g.   Bahrfeldt 465b; Dav.8957.
Obv.:   ✼IOHANES·D:G·MARCHIO✼BRANDENBVRG✼
armored bust to the right, the left hand on the sword hilt.
Rev.:  ✼IN᛭SILENCIO✼ET᛭SPE✼FORTITVDO✼MEA  -  shield with 15 fields, above the date +I545+.

Margrave Johann received in 1545 an imperial letter in which he was denied the right to coinage in Krossen. The background was that "the country of Crossen, in whose city the margrave erects the mint, was a fief of the crown of Bohemia, but not an imperial fief" (Bahrf., P.235). Johann was asked to present his privileges, what Johann then did. The answer of the emperor, however, is not known.


Groschen 1545, Krossen.     Ø 22 mm, 1,95 g.   Bahrfeldt 459a
Obv.:   +IOHAN·D:G·MARchio·BRANDEN·ET·STe   ("STe..." for Stettin?)
Rev.:   GROSS·AR·IOHAN·MAR·BRAND:1545     Eagle with the arms of Hohenzollern on its breast.
Compare with a Groschen 1543, from Königsberg, East Prussia.


3 Gröscher 1545, Krossen.     Ø 21 mm ,   Fr.u.S.1991 ; Bahrf.462
Obv.:   +IOHAN·D:G·MAR·BRANDEN·ET·ST
Rev.:   +III+ | GROS·AR· | ·IOHAN·MA | R·BRANDE | NBVRG· | ·1545·
Compare with a 3 Gröscher 1543 from Königsberg, East Prussia.

These Groschen and 3 Gröscher were coined in 1544-6. They imitate highly popular coins of Albert, Duke in Prussia, which were issued in accordance with the monetary reform of King Sigismund I of Poland. Prussia and Poland forbade these imitations from the neighbours John of Küstrin and Frederic II of Legnica-Brzeg (Silesia) in 1546, probably because they contained less silver than the original Prussian coins.
 

other sovereigns of the Hohenzollern dynasty
Albert Alcibiades, Markgrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth 1527/41-1554
Albert of Brandenburg, Archbishop of Magdeburg and Mayence 1514-1545
Albert, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (1511-1525) and Duke in Prussia (1525-1568)

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