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Augustus the Strong
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    (May 12, 1670-February 1, 1733)
    Born in Dresden, Saxony, Germany
    Elector of Saxony (1694-1733)
    King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1697-1706)
    King of Poland (1709-33)
    As Elector of Saxony, he was known as Frederick Augustus I, while as King of Poland he was known as Augustus II.
    In order to be eligible for the throne of Poland, he converted to the Roman Catholic faith, which alienated his mostly Protestant subjects in Saxony.
    He got elected to the Polish throne by liberally bribing the country's nobles and clergy.
    He got Poland embroiled in a war with Sweden, during which the Swedish army captured Warsaw and Krakow, and eventually replaced Augustus with a monarch of their choice.
    He was returned to the Polish throne by Tzar Peter the Great and depended on Russian support to maintain his rule.
    He allegedly fathered as many as 365 children out of wedlock.
    He could bend horseshoes with his bare hands.
    Early in his reign as King of Poland, he successfully concluded a war with the Ottoman Empire that regained Podolia and Ukraine for Poland.
    He amassed a significant art collection and built baroque palaces in Saxony and Poland.
    He established the Saxon capital Dresden as a leading cultural center, attracting artists from across Europe.

Credit: C. Fishel

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