The name given to several areas in Germany.

The original Saxony is the area of northern Germany that was home to those members of the Saxon tribe who didn't go off to conquer England.    During the period 777-797, the Frankish king Charlemagne made the Saxons' territory part of his empire (incidentally converting them to Christianity).  Saxony became a duchy, tucked in between Friesland and the Elbe and Salle rivers, with Thuringia and Franconia on its southern borders.  Its capital was Minden, today a center for pottery.

Lower Saxony ceased to exist as a single entity after the 1180 defeat of Duke Henry III (aka "Heinrich der Löwe"), who had rebelled against Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.  The victors split up his lands and the area merged into the general Medieval German patchwork.  Some of the most important states in the area were

Braunschweig (Brunswick)

The Kingdom of Prussia absorbed the states of northern Germany one by one during the 19th Century, absorbing the last, Hannover, in 1866.

After World War II, Lower Saxony was reconsolidated into the West German state of Niedersachsen, and it remains a state of a reunified Germany.

The most important cities in Niedersachsen are:

A far different Saxony emerged as a result of feudal responsibilities that Charlemagne's vassals in (Lower) Saxony were given for protecting (and extending) their Eastern borders. Several "marches" were set up between the Elbe and Oder rivers.  When Saxony was parceled out in 1180, the "Saxon East March" at the foot of the Erzgebirge was given to one of Frederick's allies, the Wettin family.  Saxony was an "electorate", that is, its ruler cast one of the votes to choose a Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1485 the electorate (which had absorbed Thuringia by then) was divided between two Wettin brothers, Ernest, and Albert.  The two branches of the family were bitter rivals.  Ernest's branch had the electorate until their defeat in 1547 during the Schmalkadic War, a run-up to the Thirty Years' War.

Albertine Saxony then got the electorate.  From 1697 to 1795, the Elector of Saxony was also the King of Poland.  The Electorate was elevated to a kingdom after Napoleon Bonaparte's 1806 dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (which did not allow its princes to style themselves as "kings"). Although Frederick Augustus had backed the wrong side, the Congress of Vienna allowed him to remain a king after ceding a great deal of territory to Prussia.

Ernestine Saxony underwent several divisions into what were then called the "Saxon Duchies".  These formed and re-formed with alarming regularity, but there were four left by 1826:

The area was another patchwork, discontinuous pieces of land belonging to the various duchies as well as other states.

In 1871, The Saxon duchies were absorbed, along with the Kingdom of Saxony, into the newly-formed German Empire.  After World War I the former kingdom was its own state, and the duchies were consolidated into the state of Thuringia.  A Saxon city, Weimar, served as the capital to the doomed republic set up in the war's wake.

Under the influence of the Soviet Union, the area was re-formed into several East German districts, each with one of the major cities at its center.  After the 1990 reunification of Germany, popular sentiment caused the reconstitution of the "Freistaat Sachsen".  Another state, Sachsen-Anhalt, contains the remainder of the former kingdom.

The most important cities of Saxony are

Saxony has its own pottery center, Meissen.
European History Atlas, Breasted et. al., Denoyer-Geppert, Chicago, 1966