|Birth||January 1, 1171|
|Death||February 25, 1220|
Albert II, Margrave of Brandenburg (born: c. 1177 – died: 25 February 1220) was a member of the House of Ascania. He was Margrave of Brandenburg from 1205 until his death in 1220.
Albert II was the youngest son of Otto I and his second wife Ada of Holland and a grandson of Albert the Bear, considered the founder of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157. His father Otto I promoted and directed the foundation of German settlement in the area, which had been predominantly Slavic until the 12th century.
Count of Arneburg
Albert II was, from 1184 onwards, Count of Arneburg in the Altmark. The Altmark belonged to Brandenburg, and his older brother Otto II claimed that this implied that the Ascanians owned Arneburg.
Albert participated in the Third Crusade (1189–1192). After his return, he was temporarily imprisoned in 1194 by Otto for unexplained reasons. He was present at the inaugural meeting of the Teutonic Knights in 1198 in Acre.
Margrave of Brandenburg
Albert II inherited the Margraviate in 1205, after the death of his eldest brother Otto II.
In the dispute about the imperial crown between the Houses of Hohenstaufen and Guelph in the early 13th century, Albert initially supported the Hohenstaun King Philip of Swabia, like Otto before him. After Philip's assassination in 1208, however, he changed sides, because Emperor Otto IV had assisted him in securing the Margraviate against the Danes, and had confirmed Ascanian ownership of Brandenburg in a deed in 1212.
During this period, Albert II had a lengthy dispute with Archbishop Albert I of Magdeburg. He also played an important rôle in the Brandenburg tithe dispute.
Albert II definitively secured the regions of Teltow, Prignitz and parts of the Uckermark for the Margraviate of Brandenburg, but lost Pomerania to the House of Griffins.
Death and succession
Albert II died in 1220. At the time, his two sons were still minors. Initially, archbishop Albert I of Magdeburg acted as regent. In 1221, however, Albert's widow, Countess Matilda, took up the regency. After her death in 1225, the brothers were declared legal adults and began ruling the Margraviate jointly.
Stephan Warnatsch describes Otto I's children as follows:
[They] continued the territorialisation drive that had been initiated [by their father] and, from the end of the 12th Century, as the influx of settlers grew stronger, and, consequently, more people were available to develop the territory, started to expand into the areas of Ruppin, and in particular, Barnim and Teltow. Moreover, the Oder region and the southern Uckermark were also targets of the Ascanian expansion. In all these areas, the Ascanians ran into opposition from competing local princes.
Marriage and issue
In 1205, Albert married Matilda of Groitzsch (1185–1225), daughter of the Count Conrad II of Lusatia, a member of the House of Wettin, and wife Elizabeth, from the Polish Piast dynasty. They had four children:
- John I (born: c. 1213; died: 4 April 1266)
- Otto III "the Pious" (born: 1215; died: 9 October 1267)
- Matilda (died: 10 June 1261), married in 1228 Duke Otto I "the Child" of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1204–1252), a member of the House of Guelph
- Elizabeth (born: 1207; died: 19 November 1231), married in 1228 Landgrave Henry Raspe of Thuringia (1201–1247)
|Ancestors of Albert II, Margrave of Brandenburg|