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Read the Book !

Lucrezia Borgia – The Life of a Pope's Daughter in the Renaissance

124 pages, with family trees and 76 figures, ISBN 978-1-4537-2740-9,
1st English edition 2010, US$ 10.90

Pope Alexander VI. alias Rodrigo Borgia


Born on:

1. January 1431


Deceased on:

18. August 1503


Father:

Jofré Borgia († 1437)


Mother:

Isabella Borgia († 1468), the youngest sister of Pope Calixt III. (1378-1458)


Siblings:
  1. his sister Damiata, born before 1431
  2. his brother Pedro Luis, Duke of Spoleto, born in 1430, died in 1458, no children
  3. his sister Beatrice, married to Ximen Perez de Arenos, no children
  4. his sister Tecla, married to Vidal de Vilanova, no children
  5. his sister Juana, married to Giullem (or Giullén) Lanzol de Romani, Baron of Villalonga; she is the grandmother of Angela Borgia Lanzol

mistresses:

he had some mistresses, who gave birth to his children


Children:

from mistresses, of whom we do not know the names:

  1. his son Pedro Luis, first Duke of Gandia, born around 1462, died in August 1488
  2. his daughter Girolama, born in 1469, died in 1483; she was married to Gian Andrea Cesarini († 1483) in 1482, no children
  3. his daughter Isabella, born in 1470, died in 1541; she was married to Pier Giovanni Matuzzi in 1483 and gave birth to the following four children: Aurelio (1483-1506), canon of the St. Peter's Church; Ippolito, priest; Giulia, married to Ciriaco Mattei; and Alessandra (1495-1511), married to Alessandro Maddaleni-Cappodiferro
  4. his son Rodrigo, Benedictine monk, born in 1503, died in 1527

from his mistress Vannozza de Catanei (1442-1518):

  1. his son Juan Borgia, born in 1474, assassinated in the night of the 14./15. June 1497; second Duke of Gandia; since 1493 married to Donna Maria Enriquez (1477-1520), two children: Juan (1494-1543) and Isabella (1497-1557); his famous grandson was the fourth Duke of Gandia and third General of the Society of Jesus, Francesco Borgia (1510-1572); from an extramarital affair in Rome, which was probably the reason for his death, he had also an illegitimate son, Giovanni (1498 - after 1548), the future Duke of Nepi and Camerino
  2. his son Cesare Borgia, born in April 1476, died on 12. May 1507; until 1498 Bishop of Pamplona and Valencia and Cardinal, since 1499 Duke of Valence and Duke of the Romagna, since 12. May 1499 married to Charlotte d'Albret († 1514), sister of the King John of Navarre; he had one legitimate daughter Louise (1500-1553) and two illegitimate children, his son Girolamo, born around 1500, and his daughter Camilla/Lucrezia (around 1501-1573), abbess of the Cloister of S. Bernardino in Ferrara
  3. his daughter Lucrezia Borgia, born on 18. April 1480, died on 24. June 1519
  4. his son Jofré Borgia, Prince of Squillace, in his first marriage he was married to Sancia of Aragon († 1506), an illegitimate daughter of King Alfonso II. of Naples, they married on 11. May 1494; his second wife was his cousin Maria de Mila, who gave birth to his four children: Francesco, Lucrezia, Antonia und Maria

from his mistress Giulia Farnese (1475-1524):

  1. his daughter Laura, born in 1492; she was married to Niccolò della Rovere, one of the many nephews of Pope Julius II., in 1505

Reading Suggestion:


The Historian Gerard Noel about Pope Alexander VI alias Rodrigo Borgia: "'The Borgia Myth' might have well been the name of an early historical crime novel – a novel to enthrall the world for all of 500 years. It is only in the last century that its veracity has been seriously called into question. Considerable damage had been done meanwhile, both to history and to the reputation of the Borgias. The myth is one of the greatest stories of all time – but myth it unquestionably is, rather than truth. The Borgias were people of their time, not ours ... It would be invidious to treat them as saints (although Lucrezia showed increasing saintliness towards the end of her life). But to treat them merely as arch-sinners shows a disrespect for historical accuracy, bordering upon outright contempt. ... In fact, there seems to have been remarkably little criticism of Rodrigo Borgia before he emerged from the conclave as Pope Alexander VI. ... It must also be said that some of the documents produced in the propaganda war against the Borgias are of questionable provenance. ... For the times he [Pope Alexander VI] lived in, Alexander's tolerance of criticism, both fair and foul, was quite amazing ... Many of the allegedly poisoned cardinals were not Alexander's enemies but, instead, his friends; conversely, many of his enemies outlived him. ... twenty-seven cardinals died during Alexander's eleven-year papacy, thirty-six cardinals died during the nine-year papacy of [Pope] Julius [II] ... Yet Alexander is regarded as a poisoner, whereas Julius is not. Surely this judgement is perverse. ... Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia is the most competent senior churchman of his time. He has managerial talents comparable to the chairman of the greatest multi-national of our own time. ... Alexander was entrusted with the sacred stewardship of the church; he served it well. Would that he had been less tolerant of the personal attacks upon himself. The vilification, which he treated good-humouredly, was used as source material for so much further calumny throughout the succeeding centuries. It has done his reputation terrible and lasting harm. ... Professor Michael Mallett on the vital effect of the hatred of Julius II on Alexander VI's reputation: 'It was this hatred which led the same Julius to torture confessions of crimes, supposedly committed at the comment of the Borgias, out of Alexander's servants, and to eradicate as far as possible every evidence of Borgia achievement.'" (in: Gerard Noel, The Renaissance Popes - Culture, power and the making of the Borgia myth, pp. 191-202).