Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg

Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg

Joachim I Nestor (21 February 148411 July 1535) was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1499-1535). He was a member of the House of Hohenzollern and nicknamed after the Nestor of Greek mythology.


The eldest son of John Cicero, Elector of Brandenburg, Joachim received an excellent education under Dietrich von Bülow, Bishop of Lebus and Chancellor of Frankfurt University. He became Elector of Brandenburg upon his father's death in January 1499, and soon afterwards married Elizabeth of Denmark, daughter of John of Denmark.

Joachim took some part in the political complications of the Scandinavian kingdoms, but the early years of his reign were mainly spent in the administration of his electorate, where by stern measures he succeeded in restoring some degree of order. He also improved the administration of justice, aided the development of commerce, and was a friend to the towns. On the approach of the imperial election of 1519, Joachim's vote was eagerly solicited by the partisans of King Francis I of France, and Charles of Burgundy. Having treated with, and received lavish promises from, both parties, he appears to have hoped to be Emperor himself; but when the election came he turned to the winning side and voted for Charles. In spite of this, however, the relations between the Emperor and the Elector were not friendly, and during the next few years Joachim was frequently in communication with Charles' enemies.

Joachim is best known as a pugnacious adherent of Roman Catholic orthodoxy. His brother, Archbishop Albert of Mainz, was the initial object of Luther's attack. He urged upon the Emperor the need to enforce the Edict of Worms, and at several diets was prominent among the enemies of the Reformers. A patron of learning, Joachim established the university of Frankfurt (Oder) in 1506.He promoted Georg von Blumenthal, the "Pillar of Catholicism", as Chancellor of Frankfurt University, Bishop of Lebus and a Privy Counsellor. He was among those who met at Dessau in July 1525, and was a member of the league established at Halle in November 1533. But, against his will, his wife, like her brother King Christian of Denmark, became a Protestant, and in 1528 fled for safety to Saxony. He had the mortification of seeing Protestantism also favoured by other members of his family. He died at Stendal in 1535.



* T. von Buttlar, "Der Kampf Joachims I. van Brandenburg gegen den Adel" (1889)
* J. G. Droysen, "Geschichte ier Preussischen Politik" (1855-1886)


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