Albrecht III, Elector of Brandenburg

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Albert III (German: Albrecht III.) (9 November 1414 – 11 March 1486), often known simply as Albert Achilles (Albrecht Achilles), was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. He received the nickname Achilles because of his knightly qualities. He also ruled the Principality of Ansbach.


Early life

Albert was born the third son of Elector Frederick I in Tangermünde. After passing some time at the court of Emperor Sigismund, Albert took part in the war against the Hussites, and afterwards distinguished himself whilst assisting the German king, Albert II, against Poland.


On the division of territory which followed his father's death in 1440, Albert received the Principality of Ansbach. Although his resources were meager, he soon took a leading place among the German princes, and was especially prominent in resisting the attempts of the towns to obtain self-government.

In 1443, Albert formed a league directed mainly against Nuremberg, over which members of his family had formerly exercised the rights of burgrave. It was not until 1448, however, that he found a pretext for attack. After initial military successes in the First Margrave War, he was defeated at the Battle of Pillenreuther Weiher, resulting in the Treaty of Bamberg (22 June 1450),which forced Albert to return all of the conquered territory and to recognize the independence of Nuremberg and its associated towns.

Albert supported Emperor Frederick III in his struggle with the princes who desired reforms in the Holy Roman Empire, and in return for this loyalty received many marks of favour from Frederick, including extensive judicial rights which aroused considerable irritation among neighbouring rulers.

In 1457, Albert arranged a marriage between his eldest son John, and Margaret, daughter of William III, Landgrave of Thuringia, who inherited the claims upon Hungary and Bohemia of her mother, a granddaughter of Emperor Sigismund. The attempt to secure these thrones for the Hohenzollerns through this marriage failed, and a similar fate befell Albert's efforts to revive in his own favour the disused title of duke of Franconia.

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