Louis I, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen


Louis I, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen

Louis I, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen (b. Dessau, 17 June 1579 - d. Köthen, 7 January 1650), was a German prince member of the House of Ascania and ruler of the unifcated Principality of Anhalt and, since 1603, ruler of the Principality of Anhalt-Köthen. Also, was a founder of the first German Society (the Fruitbearing Society).

He was the seventh son of Joachim Ernest, Prince of Anhalt but fifth-born by second wife Eleonore, daughter of Christoph, Duke of Württemberg.

Life

After the death of his father in 1586, Louis inherited the principality of Anhalt as ruler jointly with his half and full-brothers. The youngest of all the sons of Joachim Ernest who survive adulthood, he grew up in Dessau in the court of his older brother and guardian, John George I.

From 1596 to 1597 the seventeen-years-old Louis made his Grand Tour and travelled to Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. By the beginning of 1598 he was in Switzerland and visited Austria, Hungary and Italy, where he remained to 1602. During his several years's stay in Florence, Louis was accepted, thanks to his Italian tutor Bastiano de' Rossi, as the first German member in the Accademia della Crusca and led there the name "L'Acceso".

In 1603 was made the formal division of the principality of Anhalt between the surviving brothers and co-rulers; Louis received Köthen, where he settled his main residence.

Militarily and politically Louis remained cautious, for it he promoted vehement the agriculture, and build his new "Schloss" (oficial residence) after Italian style; also, his court take the italian manners. With his financial support in 1619 Wolfgang Ratke began in Köthen a big educational experiment. Because of the individual, but problems which the local clergy led to the imprisonment of Ratke during eight months and finally Louis left these project incomplete.

On occasion of the funeral of his sister Dorothea Maria, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar on 24 August 1617, the seneschal Kaspar von Teutleben estimulated the establishment of a society according to the model of the Accademia della Crusca. The creation of the Fruitbearing Society was decided and Louis appointed his first Leader, post he can hold until his death. As a member, Louis used a Latin motto: "Vita mihi Christ, morse lucrum". In the Köthen society book Louis appears under the No 2, immediately behind of the inspiratos of the society, seneschal von Teutleben.

During the Thirty Years' War, the King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden transferred the governorship of the Dioceses to Magdeburg and Halberstadt to Louis. This provoqued the anger of Count Axel Oxenstierna, who desired that post and wanted his destitution. This was also a source of problems in the Fruitbearing Society, because Oxenstierna was a member.

Marriages and Issue

In Rheda on 31 October 1606 Louis married firstly with Amöena Amalie (b. Bentheim, 19 March 1586 - d. Oldenburg, 8 September 1625), daughter of Arnold III, Count of Bentheim-Steinfurt-Tecklenburg-Limburg and younger sister of Anna, the wife of Prince Christian I of Anhalt-Bernburg, Louis's older brother. They had two children:
#Louis, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Köthen (b. Köthen, 19 October 1607 - d. Köthen, 15 March 1624).
#Louise Amöena (b. Köthen, 28 November 1609 - d. Harderwyck, Geldern, 26 March 1625).

After the death of his only son left Louis without heir, but was only after the death of his wife, eighteen months later, who he decided to find a new wife who can bore the needed heirs for his state.

In Detmold on 12 September 1626 Louis married secondly with Sophie (b. Detmold, 16 August 1599 - d. Köthen, 19 March 1654), daughter of Simon VI, Count of Lippe. They had two children:
#Amalie Louise (b. Köthen, 29 July 1634 - d. Köthen, 3 October 1635).
#William Louis, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen (b. Köthen, 3 August 1638 - d. Köthen, 13 April 1665).


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