Konrad von Jungingen

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Konrad V von Jungingen (born around 1355 in Jungingen, died on March 30, 1407 in Marienburg) was a grand master of the Teutonic Order in 1393-1407. Under his administration the Teutonic Order would reach their greatest extent.

Konrad von Jungingen came from the Swabian League. He joined the Teutonic Order together with his younger brother Ulrich around 1380. At first he was a commander at the castle in Osterode. In 1391 he was promoted to the Treasurer of Marienburg.

Konrad's election to Grand Master and head of the Order arose through an indirect fashion. As chairman of the order, policy excluded him from consideration. One of the brothers, Wolf von Zolnhart, proposed his candidacy for the post of grand master. His proposal went unopposed and on November 30th, 1393, they elected him unanimously as Grand Master.

Konrad von Jungingen opted to retain most of the policies of his predecessors. However, unlike them, he chose the path of diplomacy. He interfered with the Lithuanian Civil War between the great princes - once supporting Vytautas, another time in favor of Skirgaila. He also intended to weaken Poland-Lithuania and the superior rights of Ladislaus II to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Thanks to his clever policy, he obtained Samogitia for the Order. In 1402, taking advantage of the financial problems of Sigismund von Luxembourg, he bought the Neumarch. However, territorial acquisitions brought him more problems than benefits. In the Neumarch, the local knights objected to the dictatorial power of the Order, while a peasant uprising instigated by Ladislaus II broke out in Samogitia.

In 1398, King Albert of Sweden, pledged the island of Gotland to the Order, in an attempt to curtail the predatory attacks of the Victual Brothers on maritime shipping throughout the Baltic Sea. Later that year Konrad lead a successful invasion force, and destroyed Visby. This would bring Konrad into conflict with the newly formed Kalmar Union under Queen Margaret I of Denmark when the Order refused to relinquish Gotland.

The threat of war on all sides forced Konrad von Jungingen to seek agreement with one of his rivals. In this situation, Konrad von Jungingen decided to make diplomatic overtures to Krakow. In 1404 he met Ladislaus in the bishopric of Kuyavia in Raciaz. His cessation of Dobrzyn to the Polish Crown, guaranteed peace with Poland-Lithuania.

He died after a long illness on 30 March 1407 in Marienburg. He was buried in the mausoleum of the great masters under the chapel of St. Anne. According to the Chronicle of Gdańsk, the dying Grand Master warned the Teutonic dignitaries against choosing his militant brother as a successor, calling him a fool.

References

  • Friedrich Borchert: "Die Hochmeister des Deutschen Ordens in Preußen." In: Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 October 2001.
  • C.A. Lückerath: Article K. v. Jungingen in Dictionary of the Middle Ages
  • Bernhart Jähnig (1980), "Konrad von Jungingen", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 12, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 517–518; (full text online)
  • Casimir Bumiller, Magdalene Wulfmeier: Konrad und Ulrich von Jungingen, Beiträge zur Biografie der beiden Deutschordenshochmeister, Geiger-Verlag, Horb a. Neckar 1995
  • Sebastian Kubon: Die Außenpolitik des Deutschen Ordens unter Hochmeister Konrad von Jungingen (1393–1407) (= Nova mediaevalia. Quellen und Studien zum europäischen Mittelalter. Volume 15). V & R Unipress, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 3-8471-0537-X.


Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
Preceded by
Konrad von Wallenrode
Hochmeister
1393–1407
Succeeded by
Ulrich von Jungingen