Facts and Events
Augustus II the Strong (; ; ; 12 May 1670 – 1 February 1733) of the Albertine line of the House of Wettin was Elector of Saxony (as Frederick Augustus I), Imperial Vicar and became King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (as Augustus II).
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.
As Elector of Saxony, he is perhaps best remembered as a patron of the arts and architecture. He established the Saxon capital of Dresden as a major cultural centre, attracting artists from across Europe to his court. Augustus also amassed an impressive art collection and built lavish baroque palaces in Dresden and Warsaw.
As King of Poland, his reign was not successful. He embroiled the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Great Northern War, which led to the Russian Empire strengthening its influence over the Commonwealth, and he failed to achieve internal reforms and to bolster royal power in the Commonwealth.