Emperor Rudolf II of Austria


Portrait of Emperor Rudolf II by Joseph Heintz the Elder --- Image by © Ali Meyer/CORBIS

He was an art patron. He loved science. He spoke many languages. He was also known for a dark temper and instability, and his poor decisions as a ruler are credited with leading to the Thirty years War.

Topics in this Podcast: Mental illness, sad royal childhoods, European history, biographies, 17th century, 16th century