Heinrich Rantzau

Heinrich Rantzau or Ranzow (Ranzovius) (11 March 1526 – 31 December 1598) was a German humanist writer and statesman, a prolific astrologer and an associate of Tycho Brahe. He was son of Johan Rantzau. He was Governor of the Danish royal share in the Duchy of Holstein, a rich man and celebrated book collector. Rantzau is perhaps best remembered as a patron of scholars. His own Tractatus astrologicus de genethliacorum thematum appeared in 1597, and went through five editions by 1615. In his own time, he was regarded as a generous supporter of artists and writers in Lübeck, many of whom he engaged to write memorials of his father.[1] Rantzau was also a successful merchant with trading interests in the east-west trade through Husum and Lübeck.[2]

Heinrich Rantzau

Rantzau was awarded the Danish Order of the Elephant in 1580 by King Frederick II of Denmark.

His oldest son Breide Rantzau was a councillor of the Danish realm, and a younger son, Gert Rantzau, was Captain of the castles of Kronborg and Flensburg.[3]

He was the great-uncle of Josias von Rantzau, Marshal of France.


  1. ^ Cowan, Alexander (2003), Cultural traffic in Lübeck and Danzig in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Scand. J. Hist. 28: 175-185.
  2. ^ Kellenbenz, Hermann & Gerhard Benecke (1976), The Rise of the European Economy: An Economic History of Continental Europe from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century. Holmes & Meier, 1976.
  3. ^ David Scott Gehring, Diplomatic Intelligence on the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark during the Reigns of Elizabeth I and James VI: Three Treatises, Camden Fifth Series, 49 (Cambridge, 2016), pp. 164, 168.

External linksEdit


  • Felgentreu, Fritz (ed., trans.). Heinrich Rantzau (Christianus Cilicius Cimber). Belli Dithmarsici vera descriptio: Wahre Beschreibung des Dithmarscher Krieges (Schleswig: Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein, 2009) (Veröffentlichungen des Landesarchivs Schleswig-Holstein, 86).