At an advanced age, he was elected Pope Callixtus III in as a compromise candidate and reigned as Pope for just 3 years. He was elected Pope in , taking the regnal name Alexander VI. While a cardinal, he maintained a long-term illicit relationship with Vannozza dei Cattanei , with whom he had four children: Giovanni ; Cesare ; Lucrezia ; and Gioffre. Rodrigo also had children by other women, including one daughter with his mistress, Giulia Farnese.
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As Alexander VI, Rodrigo was recognized as a skilled politician and diplomat. However, he was widely criticized during his reign for his over-spending, sale of Church offices simony , lasciviousness, and nepotism.
Finding the real Borgias
As Pope, he sought to acquire more personal and papal power and wealth, often ennobling and enriching the Borgia family directly. He appointed his son, Giovanni, as captain-general of the papal army , his foremost military representative, and established another son, Cesare, as a cardinal. Alexander used the marriages of his children to build alliances with powerful families in Italy and Spain.
At the time, the Sforza family , which comprised the Milanese faction, was one of the most powerful in Europe, so Alexander united the two families by marrying Lucrezia to Giovanni Sforza. The " Banquet of Chestnuts " is considered one of the most disreputable balls of this kind. Johann Burchard reports that fifty courtesans were in attendance for the entertainment of the banquet guests. Other researchers however, such as Monsignor Peter de Roo — , have rejected the rumors of the "fifty courtesans" as being at odds with Alexander VI's essentially decent but much maligned character.
Pope Alexander VI died in Rome in after contracting a disease, generally believed to have been malaria. Cesare was Rodrigo Borgia's second son with Vannozza dei Cattanei. Cesare's education was precisely planned by his father: he was educated by tutors in Rome until his 12th birthday. He grew up to become a charming man skilled at war and politics.
As soon as he graduated from the university, his father made him a cardinal. Cesare was suspected of murdering his brother Giovanni, but there is no clear evidence to confirm this.
He was finally married to French princess Charlotte d'Albret. He needed a candidate who would not threaten his plans to create his own principality in Central Italy. Cesare was then forced to support Giuliano della Rovere. The cardinal promised Cesare that he could keep all of his titles and honors. Later, della Rovere betrayed him and became his fiercest enemy. The castle was held by Louis de Beaumont at the time it was besieged by Cesare Borgia and King John 's army of 10, men in In order to attempt to breach the extremely strong, natural fortification of the castle, Cesare counted on a desperate surprise attack.
He was killed during the battle, in which his army failed to take the castle. Before the age of 13, she was engaged to two Spanish princes. After her father became Pope she was married to Giovanni Sforza in at the age of It was a typical political marriage to improve Alexander's power; however, when Pope Alexander VI no longer needed the Sforzas, the marriage was annulled in on the dubious grounds that it had never been consummated. His body was found in the Tiber on February 14, , along with the body of one of Lucrezia's ladies.
Murder and Bribery: Lucrezia Borgia Essay
It is likely that Cesare had them killed as an affair would have damaged the negotiations being conducted for another marriage. During this time rumors were also spread suggesting that a child born at this time, Giovanni Borgia , also known as the Infans Romanus child of Rome was Lucrezia's. However, this relationship did not last long either. Cesare wished to strengthen his relations with France and completely break with the Kingdom of Naples.
As Alfonso's father was the ruler of the Kingdom of Naples, the young husband was in great danger. Although the first attempt at murder did not succeed, Alfonso was eventually strangled in his own quarters. After her father died in , she lived a life of freedom in Ferrara with her husband and children.
She died in , 10 days after the birth and death of her last child, Isabella Maria. She was buried in a tomb with Isabella and Alfonso. Lucrezia was rumored to be a notorious poisoner and she became famous for her skill at political intrigue. Coat of arms of the dukes of Valentinois. Giovanni Borgia 2nd Duke of Gandia. Lucrezia Borgia Duchess of Ferrara and Modena. Gioffre Borgia Prince of Squillace. The Borgias were infamous in their time, and have inspired numerous references in popular culture.
They include novels, such as City of God: A Novel of the Borgias by Cecelia Holland ,  plays, operas, comics, films, television series like The Borgias on Showtime ,  and video games the likes of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood by Ubisoft. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Borgia disambiguation. Arms of Borgia family Or a bull gules upon a terrace vert in a bordure Or charged with eight flames vert. There were many ugly rumors going around about them at any given time, and one of the most common was that Lucrezia had slept with more than one of her brothers, especially Cesare himself.
It is hard to say if any of this happened for sure, but it is true that he was extremely close to Lucrezia, and it would not have been the first time she had been accused of being involved in incest. She was known around Rome for being extremely open to having sex with anyone who was interested, which may be how the rumor of incest initially spread.
Incest, murder and corruption
Lucrezia was the sister of Cesare Borgia, and the daughter of Pope Alexander VI — her name is also one of the first that comes up when people think of famous poisoners in history. Lucrezia was known for being with a lot of men, but divorced her first husband, later claiming that he had been impotent. After this, she had two other marriages, both of which increased the wealth and power of the Borgia family.
Many of the bodies that piled up around the family may not have been poisoned by her, but there is evidence that Cesare and Pope Alexander VI made a habit of using poison to destroy their enemies and increase their own wealth. Most people tend to think of popes as being paragons of the most pure in terms of sexuality. People who remain chaste, do not have sex with anyone and refrain from existing within that sphere of life. However, back in the day, these rules were sometimes not paid as much attention to as people might think.
And when it came to the Borgias, it was another situation where they cared little what society wanted — they would do what they wanted to do. Pope Alexander VI had a total of at least ten children. Considering how sexually active he was, and the many rumors about alleged incest, there could be even more children in the mix than those that are actually verified.
While many of these children were illegitimate, Alexander VI was still known for caring deeply for them and often going to great lengths to secure their political power and future. He was known for humiliating the office of the papacy by consorting with prostitutes, aggrandizing his family, engaging in bribery and alleged blackmail, murder, and incest.
It would practically be easier to make a list of crimes that he was not accused of. However, the accusation that makes him look worst as a pope is that Alexander VI treated the position more like a ruler than a religious leader.
How to poison history
He controlled it tightly and when confronted by enemies, he was a very tough negotiator, concerned chiefly with the sovereignty of the land he was currently ruling. Some sources say that he cared little at all for the dignity of the office of the papacy, and many believe he never cared about the church beyond the fact that it was a path to great power within the borders of Italy.
However, considering how much of the world was in conflict during those days, perhaps he was the Pope that was needed at the time. These areas obviously already had native people living in them, but were not yet explored by Europeans. The papal document gave future dominion of any of these unexplored areas to whichever country fell on the side of the dividing line.
Some Vatican scholars argue that the Pope never meant any such thing, but others argue that the words of the document itself are quite damning. It states that not only land, but any villages, or localities found would be under the control of the explorers, as long as the rulers of those localities were not already Christian. However, whether he meant they should able to enslave them, or just rule over them, is another matter entirely.
Francis Borgia was always a bit different from the others. At the time his parents did not allow it, and eventually he married and lived a fairly uneventful life until the death of his wife. He made sure his children would be well accounted for, passed his political position on to his eldest son and went and became a Jesuit.