Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg

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Joachim I Nestor (21 February 1484 – 11 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. They had five children:

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.

In the course of Hohenzollern power politics Joachim Nestor and his brother managed to get the latter, Albert of Mainz, first onto the sees of Magdeburg and its suffragan of Halberstadt, both prince-bishoprics also comprising also princely territories. Since prince-episcopal sees were so influential usually different candidates ran for them. So the candidate with the biggest influence, be it based on military power and/or financial capacities succeeded. A candidature could turn into a bribery competition, never knowing exactly how much competitors paid.

The involved expenditures, as far as they exceeded one's own potential, were usually advanced by creditors and had then to be recovered by levying dues from the subjects and parishioners in the thus gained prince-bishoprics and dioceses. In 1514 the Hohenzollern scored a coup and succeeded in buying for Albert the very influential Prince-Archbishopric-Electorate of Mainz, providing the Hohenzollern two of overall seven electoral votes in imperial elections, and many suffragan dioceses to levy dues.

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