Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor for instance was the subject of a whispering campaign by his enemies in his family. He was more intrigued by occult learning such as astrology and alchemy, which was mainstream in the Renaissance period. He suffered from periodic bouts of "melancholy" (depression), which was common in the Habsburg line. These became worse with age. Rudolf is also the ruler in many of the legends of the Golem of Prague..At least he was left all alone ~ and in the night time he used to walk around in his castle in company of an old toothles lion..
Rudolf died three days after the death of his favorite lion, on January 20, 1612. In his final hours of life, he rejected the sacraments like his father, Maximilian II.
Rudolf collected clocks, and had a passion for plants and animals. He loved his lion, which was a gift from the Sultan of Turkey. The lion was an ancient symbol of rank and power. The lion was one of the oldest symbols of the Bohemian Kings, as Holy Roman Emperors..
..In his calm state, Rudolf was described as "measured and reasonable." He was well-informed and curious. He spoke German, Spanish, Italian, Latin, and French. He understood Czech. He was enigmatic and could be generous and humane. However, he was rather disappointed with the world in general..
RUDOLF'S SCIENTIFIC HEROES AND COURTIER'S WERE:
- Tycho Brahe - astronomer and Danish alchemist from a noble family.
- Johannes Kepler - astronomer. Johannes mother was persecuted as a witch. Kepler died November 15, 1630 in Regensburg. He was a professional astronomer to General Albrecht von Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland and Meckleburg, in the Duchy of Sagan.
- Jakub Krocinek - astrologer. Jakub had two sons, the youngest son killed his own brother.
- Trithemius - a Benedictine monk who was into "natural magic."
- Parcelsus - an alchemist and physician. Parcelsus was also known as Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (his real name).
- Henry Cornelius Agrippa - sought occult knowledge. He was a Neoplatonist and alchemist.
- Guiseppe Arcimboldo - painter
- Bartholomaeus Spranger -
- John Dee - occult philosopher
- Ramon Lull - Christian mystic
- Giordano Bruno - occult philosopher and magician.
- Albertus Magnus - alchemist who practiced "white magic."
- Dr. Tadeas Hajel (Thaddeus Hagecius) was from Prague. He was a master of ars magica and occult philosophy.
- Roger Bacon - alchemist. "Blue magic" referred to necromancers or witches. Many of the men above were accused of these and had to beware of the Inquisitors.
Rudolf II was a curious man. He had frequent bouts of insanity which allowed the structure of his government to be undermined. More and more of the Holy Roman Empire’s work was taken on by Matthias, the third brother of Rudolf, though he had not been given permission to do this by Rudolf. By 1600, the Habsburg Court seemed to be on the verge of breaking up under the strain of having an emperor who could not govern combined with a man who did not have a remit to rule..
The German princes tried to take advantage of this problem but in 1600 rather than combine their efforts, they were split amongst themselves...
Astrology and alchemy were mainstream science in Renaissance Prague, and Rudolf was a firm devotee of both. His lifelong quest was to find the Philosopher's Stone and Rudolf spared no expense in bringing Europe's best alchemists to court, such as Edward Kelley and John Dee. Rudolf even performed his own experiments in a private alchemy laboratory. When Rudolf was a prince, Nostradamus prepared a horoscope which was dedicated to him as 'Prince and King'..
*** Rudolf had a very well-stocked library, which was touted as one of the best in Europe. Nostradamus cast Rudolf's birth chart, as did Dee and others. He always wanted to know his fate and was always thinking his death would come in a rare fashion..
Rudolf gave Prague a mystical reputation that persists in part to this day, with Alchemists' Alley on the grounds of Prague Castle a popular visiting place.
Rudolf is also the ruler in many of the legends of the Golem of Prague, either because of or simply adding to his occult reputation..
***The Holy Roman Empire was potentially Europe’s greatest state. However, by 1600 the Holy Roman Empire was a mere shadow of its former glory. The heart of the Holy Roman Empire had been Germany. But by 1600, a better term for the area would have been "Germanies" as the heart of the Holy Roman Empire had become split into a mass of princes and states ...
"..Ihad a dream of thousand delights;
of lips so sweet and eyes so bright.."
"Art Spy" ~ aloha oe*