Bishopric of Brandenburg

The Bishopric of Brandenburg was a Roman Catholic diocese established by Otto the Great in 948, including the territory between the Elbe on the west, the Oder on the east, and the Schwarze Elster on the south, and taking in the Uckermark to the north. Its seat was Brandenburg. It was a state of the Holy Roman Empire for some time, but never managed to gain control over a significant territory, being overshadowed by the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which was originally seated in the same city.


The diocese was originally under the archiepiscopal jurisdiction of Mainz, but in 968 was transferred to that of Magdeburg. The disturbances of 983 practically annihilated it; bishops continued to be named, but they were merely titular, until the downfall of the Wends in the twelfth century and the German settlement of that region revived the bishopric. Bishop Wigers (1138–60) was the first of a series of bishops of the Premonstratensian Order, which chose the occupants of the see until 1447; in that year a bull of Nicholas V gave the right of nomination to the elector of Brandenburg, with whom the bishops stood in a close feudal relation. The last actual bishop was Matthias von Jagow (d. 1544), who took the side of the Reformation, married, and in every way furthered the undertakings of Elector Joachim II. There were two more nominal bishops, but on the petition of the latter of these, the electoral prince John George, the secularization of the bishopric was undertaken and finally accomplished, in spite of legal proceedings to have the bishopric declared immediately dependent on the Empire and so to preserve it, which dragged on into the seventeenth century.

Bishops of Brandenburg

  • Dietmar (949-968)
  • Dodilo (968-980)
  • Volkmar (980-1004)
  • Wigo (992-1018)
  • Luizo (1022-1032)
  • Rudolf (-1048)
  • Dankwart (-1051)
  • Dietrich I (1068-1080)
  • Volkmar II (1080-1092)
  • Hartbert (1100-1122)
  • Ludolf (1124-1137)
  • Landbert (1137-1138)
  • Wiggar (1138-1160)
  • Wilman (1160-1173)
  • Sigfried I (1173-1179)
  • Baldran (1179-1190)
  • Alexius (1190-1192)
  • Norbert (1192-1205)
  • Baldwin (1205-1216)
  • Siegfried II (1216-1220)
  • Ludolf von Schanebeck (1221-1222) - claimant, but not enthroned
  • Wichmann von Arnstein (1221-1222) - counter-claimant, also not enthroned
  • Gernot (1222-1241)
  • Rutger von Ammendorf (1241-1251)
  • Otto von Mehringen (1251-1261)
  • Heinrich I von Osthenen (or Ostheeren) (1261-1278)
  • Gebhard (1278-1287)
  • Heidenreich (1287-1290)
  • Richard (1290-1291) - did not accept the appointment
  • Dietrich (1291-1296) - not enthroned
  • Vollrad von Krempa (1296-1302)
  • Friedrich von Plötzkau (1303-1316)
  • Johann I von Tuchen (1316-1324)
  • Heinrich II Count of Barby (1324-1327) - not enthroned
  • Ludwig Schenk von Reindorf (or Neuendorf) (1327-1347)
  • Dietrich II Kothe (1347-1365)
  • Dietrich III von der Schulenburg (1366-1393)
  • Heinrich III von Bodendiek (or Bodendleck) (1393-1406)
  • Henning von Bredow (1406-1414)
  • Friedrich von Grafeneck, Prince-Bishop of Augsburg (1414)
  • Johann von Waldow, Bischop of Lebus (1415-1420)
  • Friedrich von Grafeneck, again (1420)
  • Stephan Bodecker (1421-1459)
  • Dietrich IV von Stechow (1459-1472)
  • Arnold von Burgsdorf (1472-1485)
  • Joachim I von Bredow (1485-1507)
  • Hieronymus Schulz, later Bischop of Havelberg (1507-1520)
  • Dietrich V von Hardenberg (1520-1526), Protestant
  • Matthias von Jagow (1526-1544), Protestant

Sede vacante (1544-1546)


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