“Tu Alter Caesar Eris”: Maximilian I, Vladislav II, Johannes Michael Nagonius and the Renovatio ImperiI
Johannes Michael Nagonius, an itinerant panegyrist whose Latin verses praised rulers throughout Europe, often compared his subjects favorably to Julius Caesar. In the 1490s he wrote panegyrics to the Hapsburg Maximilian I and also to his Jagiellonian rival, Vladyslav II (or Ladislas) II of Hungary and Bohemia, comparing each to Caesar and looking to each to return glory to the Holy Roman Empire. Each poem was intended for its specific audience and circumstance. The conventions of panegyric make the inconsistency in Nagonius's depiction of Maximilian as the brave and triumphant hero of the poem in his honor and the cowardly villain of the poem dedicated to Vladyslav as unimportant to the poet as the actual character of the historical events he celebrates.