A Brief History
On August 11, 1492, Rodrigo de Borgia was elected Pope of the Catholic Church, taking the name Alexander VI. Serving until his death in 1503, Alexander’s reign was one of corruption and depravity, so much so that a Showtime cable TV show was produced about him and his family from 2011 to 2013, called The Borgias.
Although fictional, the show is based on many of the allegations against the Borgia family, including the Pope himself fathering several children via his many mistresses, reaping massive wealth while in office as a Cardinal and then as Pope, nepotism, and a general lack of any moral principles.
Born in Spain in 1431, Rodrigo became a Catholic Church officer by the age of 14. He also attended law school and became a Doctor of Law. With a Cardinal for an uncle, Rodrigo’s path to the papacy was paved with nepotism, a practice he continued while Pope.
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you watched The Borgias? What did you think? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Morris, Samantha. Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia: Brother and Sister of History’s Most Vilified Family. Pen and Sword History, 2020.
Strathern, Paul. The Borgias. Pegasus Books, 2019.
The featured image in this article is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: This work is in the public domain in the United States, because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1928.
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