One of the divisions of the Principality of Anhalt, c.1252-1468 and again from 1603, when it was held by the second oldest brother and his heirs, until the extinction of the line in 1863. The town of Bernburg is on the River Saale, south of Magdeburg.
One of the last acts of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1806 was to raise the Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg to the rank of Duke. The Duchy entered the Confederation of the Rhine in 1807 and survived the Napoleonic upheavals to enter the German Confederation in 1815. With the death of its last Duke in 1863 the whole of Anhalt was reunited under his Dessauer kinsman.
The Princes of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumberg-Hoym, 1718-1812, belonged to a non-ruling line within this branch – Hoym was west of Bernburg and Schaumburg was a distant castle in Nassau in the County of Hofpazel, which had been acquired through marriage by a member of this line.