Frederick III., surnamed the Wise, elector of Saxony, born in Torgau, Jan. 17, 1463, died May 5, 1525. He succeeded his father Ernest in 1486, in a part of his possessions, governing the rest in common with his brother John the Constant, who became his successor. He founded the university of Wittenberg, and, though not an avowed adherent of the reformation, greatly promoted it by his protection, procuring safety for Luther during the diet of Worms (1521), and subsequently sheltering him in the castle of Wartburg. After the death of Maximilian I. (1519) he declined the crown of Germany, which was conferred, according to his advice, upon Charles V. The peasants' war embittered the last days of his life.