Albert of Brandenburg
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Albert of Brandenburg,1490–1568, grand master of the Teutonic KnightsTeutonic Knights
or Teutonic Order
, German military religious order founded (1190–91) during the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade. It was originally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem.
..... Click the link for more information. (1511–25), first duke of Prussia (1525–68); grandson of Elector Albert Achilles of Brandenburg. In 1525 he became a Protestant, and on the advice of Martin LutherLuther, Martin,
1483–1546, German leader of the Protestant Reformation, b. Eisleben, Saxony, of a family of small, but free, landholders. Early Life and Spiritual Crisis
Luther was educated at the cathedral school at Eisenach and at the Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. he secularized the dominions of the Teutonic Knights and became duke of the hereditary duchy of PrussiaPrussia
, Ger. Preussen, former state, the largest and most important of the German states. Berlin was the capital. The chief member of the German Empire (1871–1918) and a state of the Weimar Republic (1919–33), Prussia occupied more than half of all Germany
..... Click the link for more information. . The knights' lands had been held as a fief from the king of Poland, and the new duchy remained under Polish suzerainty. On the extinction of Albert's line (1618), Prussia passed to the senior line of Brandenburg, and in 1701 it was made a kingdom.