Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland, was born on this day in 1670. That nickname was given to him due to his extraordinary physical strength. According to some sources, he could break horseshoes with his bare hands and perform other amazing feats.
Augustus II was a member of the German House of Wettin, which had ruled Saxony since the Middle Ages. He was also Elector of Saxony, and was elected King of Poland by the Polish Parliament (Sejm) – at the time Poland was an elective monarchy.
He had many descendants. There are some claims that Augustus II had 365 or 382 children, but this is almost impossible to prove. Augustus III was his only legitimate son, and succeeded him on the throne. All other children of Augustus II the Strong were born outside of marriage. He admitted fathering children out of wedlock, but not the incredible number mentioned above.
Maurice, Count of Saxony, was one of the most famous descendants of Augustus II the Strong. He became Marshal General of France, and one of the most successful military commanders in French history. His mother was Countess Maria Aurora von Königsmarck (her brother, Count von Königsmarck had a relationship with the wife of the British King George I).