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LANOGRAVE OF HESSE PHILIP (1504-1567)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 389 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LANOGRAVE OF HESSE PHILIP (1504-1567), son of the landgrave William II., was born at Marburg on the 13th of November 1504. He became landgrave on his father's death in 1509, and having been declared of age in 1518, was married in 1523 to Christina, daughter of George, duke of Saxony (d. 1539). In 1522 and 1523 he assisted to quell the rising of Franz von Sickingen (q.v.), who had raided Hesse five years previously, and in 1525 he took a leading part in crushing the rebellion of the peasants in north Germany, being mainly responsible for their defeat at Frankenhausen. About this time Philip adopted the reformed faith, of which he was after-wards the zealous and daring defender. Indifferent to theological, or even to patriotic, considerations, his plans to protect the reformers rested upon two main principles—unity among the Protestants at home and military aid from abroad. The schemes he put forward as one of the heads of the league of Schmalkalden, aimed primarily at overthrowing the house of Habsburg; to this end aid was sought from foreigner and native, from Protestant and Catholic alike. Envoys were sent repeatedly to France, England and Denmark; Turkey and Venice were looked to for assistance; the jealousy felt towards the Habsburgs by the Bavarian Wittelsbachs was skilfully fomented; and the German Protestants were assured that attack was the best, nay the only, means of defence. Before the formation of the league of Schmalkalden Philip was very intimate with Zwingli, and up to the time of the reformer's death, in 1531, he hoped that material aid would be forthcoming from his followers. In 1526 he had aided John the Constant, elector of Saxony, to form an alliance of reforming princes; and in 1529 he called together the abortive conference at Mar-burg, hoping thus to close the breach between Lutherans and Zwinglians. More aggressive was his action in 1528. Deceived by the forgeries of Otto von Pack (q.v.), he believed in the existence of a conspiracy to crush the reformers, and was only restrained from attacking his enemies by the influence of John of Saxony and Luther. He succeeded, however, in compelling the archbishop of Mainz and the bishops of Wiirzburg and Bamberg to contribute to the cost of his mobilization. Philip was freely accused of having employed Pack to concoct the forgery; and, although this charge is doubtless false, his eager acceptance of Pack's unproved statements aroused considerable ill-feeling among the Catholics, which he was not slow to return. In 1529 the landgrave signed the " protest " which was presented to the diet at Spires, being thus one of the original " Protestants; " in 1530 he was among the subscribers to the confession of Augsburg; and the formation of the league of Schmalkalden in the same year was largely due to his energy. His next important undertaking, the restoration of Ulrich, duke of Wurtemberg (q.v.) to his duchy, was attended with conspicuous success. Wurtemberg had passed into the possession of the Habsburgs, but after Philip's brief and victorious campaign in 1534 the humiliation of Charles V. and his brother, the German king, Ferdinand I., was so complete that it was Charles V. at the hands of Maurice in 1552; and after the conclusion of the peace of Passau in this year he returned to Hesse. Although less active than formerly, the landgrave did not cease to intrigue on behalf of the Protestants while continuing the work of reforming and organizing the Church in Hesse. In 1562 he aided the Huguenots with troops, and he was frequently in communication with the insurgents in the Netherlands; but his efforts to form a union of the Protestants were fruitless. Philip, who is sometimes called the Magnanimous, died at Cassel on the 31st of March 1567. By Christina he had four sons and five daughters, and according to his directions the landgraviate was partitioned at his death between his sons. He had also by Margaret von der Saal seven sons, who were called counts of Dietz, and one daughter. See Ch. von Rommel, Philipp der Grossmuthige (Giessen, 183o); Brief wechsel Landgraf Philipps mit Bucer, edited by M. Lenz (Leipzig, 1881—189o); Politisches Archiv des Landgrafen Philipp, edited by F. Kiich (Leipzig, 1904) ; L. G. Mogen, Historia captivitatis Philippi Magnanimi (Frankfort, 1766) ; W. Falckenheiner, Philipp der Grossmuthige im Bauernkriege (Marburg, 1887) ; H. Schwarz, Landgraf Philipp von Hessen and die Packschen Handel (Leipzig, 1881); J. Wille, Philipp der Grossmuthige von Hessen and die Restitution Ulrichs von Wurttemberg (Tubingen, 1882); W. W. Rockwell Die Doppelehe des Landgrafen Philipp von Hessen (Marburg, 19o4); A. Heidenhain, Die Unionspolitik Philipps von Hessen (Halle, 1890) ; K. Varrentrapp, Landgraf Philipp von Hessen and die Universitat Marburg (Cassel, 19o4); Von Drach and Konnecke, Die Bildnisse Philipps des Grossmutigen (Cassel, 19o5); Festschrift zum Gedachtnis Philipps, published by the Verein fur hessische Geschichte and Landeskunde (Cassel, 19o4); and Philipp der Grossmutige, Beth-age zur Geschichte seines Lebens and seiner Zeit, published by the Historischer Verein fur das Grossherzogtum Hessen (Marburg, 1904).
End of Article: LANOGRAVE OF HESSE PHILIP (1504-1567)
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