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Frederick III, Elector of Saxony

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(Redirected from Frederick the Wise)
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Frederick in an engraved portrait by Albrecht Dürer, 1524

Friedrich III (January 17, 1463May 5, 1525), also known as Frederick the Wise, was Elector of Saxony (from the House of Wettin) from 1486 to his death.

Frederick was the son of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Albert, Duke of Bavaria. He succeeded his father as Elector in 1486; in 1502, he founded the University of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon taught. He greatly supported Martin Luther's teachings.


Frederick was Pope Leo X's candidate for Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, but helped secure the election of Charles V. Frederick secured an exemption from the Edict of Worms for Saxony, and ensured Luther would be heard before the Diet of Worms in 1521.

He protected Luther from the Emperor and Pope by taking him into custody at Wartburg Castle after the Diet of Worms. Frederick himself had little personal contact with Luther and remained a Roman Catholic.

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Albrecht_Dürer_076.jpg
Portrait by Albrecht Dürer, c. 1500


Preceded by:
Johann von Tieffen
Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
1497-1510
Succeeded by:
Albrecht of Brandenburg

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