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Frederick II of Prussia

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Friedrich II of Prussia, of the House of Hohenzollern, (January 24, 1712 - August 17, 1786) was more commonly known as Frederick the Great (German Friedrich der Grosse), and was king of Prussia from 1740 to 1786.

He was known as the "enlightened despot". His preferred language was French; his facility with German was quite poor.

He had a vision for an independent Germany, but this didn't come to pass until Bismarck had started and won several wars a century later. He led the Prussians during the Seven Years' War.

He married Elisabeth Christine von Braunschweig-Bevern.

He was preceded by his father Frederick William I (Friedrich Wilhelm I, the "Soldier King").

He was succeeded by his nephew Frederick William II[?] (Friedrich Wilhelm II).

Frederick was very fond of music, and in particular he played the flute to an acceptable standard. He was responsible directly or indirectly for the writing of many pieces of flute music, and also wrote over a hundred pieces himself. His court musicians included C. P. E. Bach and Johann Joachim Quantz. A meeting with Johann Sebastian Bach in 1747 led to Bach writing The Musical Offering. Frederick was also a friend of Voltaire.


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