Augustus II the Strong

May 12, 1670 - Feb 1, 1733

Augustus II, most commonly known as Augustus the Strong, was Elector of Saxony from 1694 as well as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in the years 1697–1706 and from 1709 until his death in 1733. He belonged to the Albertine line of the House of Wettin.
Augustus' great physical strength earned him the nicknames "the Strong", "the Saxon Hercules" and "Iron-Hand". He liked to show that he lived up to his name by breaking horseshoes with his bare hands and engaging in fox tossing by holding the end of his sling with just one finger while two of the strongest men in his court held the other end. He is also notable for fathering a very large number of children.
In order to be elected King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Augustus converted to Roman Catholicism. As a Catholic, he received the Order of the Golden Fleece from the Holy Roman Emperor and established the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest distinction. As Elector of Saxony, he is perhaps best remembered as a patron of the arts and architecture. He transformed the Saxon capital of Dresden into a major cultural centre, attracting artists from across Europe to his court.
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