Rudolph (Rudolf or Rodolf) II
Rudolph (Rudolf Or Rodolf) II, emperor OF GERMANY, eldest son of Maximilian II, was born in 1552. He was educated at the Spanish court by the Jesuits. Upon the death of his father (October, 1576), he ascended the throne. He prohibited the exercise of the Protestant religion, and gave all the principal offices to the Catholics. This bigotry and intolerance led the Protestants to ally themselves with their coreligionists in the Low Countries and in France in 1608, of which confederation the elector-palatine Frederick IV was the head. Between 1608 and 1611 his brother Matthias extorted from Rudolph successively the sovereignty of Austria, Moravia, Hungary, Bohemia, etc. He died without issue in January, 1612, and was succeeded by Matthias. Rudolph was devoted to the study of astrology and the occult sciences, and extended his patronage to Kepler and Tycho Brahe. The Rudolphine Tables derive their name from Rudolph, who originally undertook to defray the expenses incidental to the undertaking, but failed for want of means. See Kurtz, Geschichte Oestreichs unter Kaiser Rudolph (Linz, 1821).