The reigning family, however, became extinct when Duke Julius Francis died in September 1689, and there were at least eight claimants for his duchy, chief among them being John George III., elector of Saxony, and George William, duke of Brunswick-Luneburg-Celle, the ancestors of both these princes having made treaties of mutual succession with former dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg.
The construction of numerous unremunerative lines, and the free granting of concessions to government and other employees (and also of cheap tickets on special occasions for congresses, &c., in various towns, without strict inquiry into the qualifications of the claimants) will account for the failure to realize a higher profit.
In short, they became a considerable power in eastern Europe, and might be regarded as one of the claimants for the inheritance of the decrepit East Roman Empire.
When he presented himself before the emperor - apart from rival claimants of his own family - there was an embassy from the Jewish people who prayed to be rid of a monarchy and rulers such as Herod.
Early Christian writers assert that he proceeded to search out and to execute all descendants of David who might conceivably come forward as claimants of the vacant throne.