BORGIA, hOr'jit. An Italian family of Span ish origin which acquired great eminence after the elevation of Alfonso Borgia to the Papacy as Calixtus III., in 1455. He had previously been a councilor of the King of Aragon. He died in 1458. -RODRIGO BORGIA. nephew of the fore going. ascended the Papal throne in August, 1492. under the name of Alexander VI. (q.v,). Before his elevation to the Papacy. be had a number of children by a Roman woman named Vanozza (Giovanna de' Catanei), of whom the most celebrated were Cesare and Luerezia.—CE MARE or C-ESAR BORGIA was one of the most noted men of the times, and his character. like that of his father. has been the subject of much his torical controversy. He had early received high ecclesiastical preferment, and his father, soon after becoming Pope. made him cardinal. The assassination of his brother Giovanni, Duke of Benevento and Count of Terracina and Ponte coma, has been laid to Caesar's charge, but with no evidence save that Caesar succeeded him. He obtained the duchy and counties for himself, and was permitted by his father to resign the purple and to devote himself to the profession of arms. He was sent, in 1498. to France, to convey to Louis XII. a bill of divorce from his consort Jeanne. on the ground of no consummation. Louis rewarded him, in his royal gratitude, with the Duchy of Valentinois, a bodyguard of 100 men. 20,000 livres of yearly revenue, and a promise of support in his schemes of ambition. In 1499. Caesar married a daughter of the King of Navarre. and accompanied Louis XII. to Italy. where he undertook the conquest of the Romagna for the Holy See. But before the con quest was completed, Caesar was compelled to desist on account of the defeat of his French allies in the northern part of Italy. In 1501 he was named by his father Duke of Romagna. In the same year he wrested the principality of Piom bino from Jacopo D'Appiano, hut failed in an attempt to acquire Bologna and Florence. He took Camerino, and caused Giulio Di Varano, the lord of that town, to be strangled along with his two sons. By treachery as much as by violence. he made himself master of the Duchy of Urbino. A league of Italian princes was formed to resist him, but he kept them in awe by force until he suceceded in winning some of them over by advantageous offers, employed them against the others, and then treacherously murdered them on the day of the victory ( De ember 31, 1502). at Sinigaglia. He now seized their possessions, and seemed to have removed every obstacle in the way of becoming King of Romagna and of Umbria, when, on August 17, 1503. his father died, probably of malaria, though at the time there were rumors of poison. Ca.sar, also, who was a party to the design (and who had lung been familiar with that mode of dispatching those who stood in the way of his ambition. or whose wealth he de sired to obtain), had himself partaken of the poison, and the consequence was a severe illness, exactly at a time when the utmost activity and presence of mind were requisite for his affairs.
Enemies rose against him on all hands, and one of the most inveterate of them ascended the Papal throne as Julius II. Cesar was arrested and conveyed to the castle of Medina Del Campo, in Spain, where he lay imprisoned for two years. At length he contrived to make his escape to the King of Navarre, whom he accompanied in the war against Castile, and was killed on March 12, 1507. by a missile from the castle of Biano. With all his intrigue and cruelty, Borgia was temperate and sober. He loved and patronized learning, and possessed in a remarkable degree a ready and persuasive eloquence. Machiavelli, who was at one time dazzled by the energy and ability of Cesar and believed that he was capable of unifying Italy, has delineated his char a•ter in his Principe.—LLTREZIA BORGIA, sis ter of Cesar Borgia, a woman of great beauty, was born in Rome in 1480. She was mar ried first to Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro, June, 1493; but her father, on the ground of her husband's impotence, annulled this mar riage (December 20. 1497). and gave her (June 20. 1498) to Alfonso. Duke of Biscegfie, nephew of the King of Naples. Alfonso, believing that Caesar had sought his life, attempted to retaliate, and was in turn cut to pieces by his own body guard at Caesar's command. For the third time free, the Pope's daughter became, in spite of the repugnance of the Duke Ereole d'Este, the wife of the latter's son, Alfonso, who soon after in herited the Duchy of Ferrara. Lucrezia has been represented as placed outside the pale of human ity by her wantonness. her vices, and her crimes, hut the recent researches of most accurate and impartial historians have refuted the more ex travagant of these assertions, and demonstrated that if any blame whatever attach to her youth, it is certain that during her life at Ferrara she was a pattern of every womanly virtue. She died June 24. 1519.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Creighton, History of the Bibliography. Creighton, History of the Papacy During the Period of the Reforma tion, 5 vols. (London and New York. 1882 94) ; Historical, Political, and Dip lomatic Writings, 4 vols., trans. by Detinold ( Boston, 1891 ) ; Villari, Siecoto Machiavelli and His Times, 4 vols., trans. by Villari (London, 1878-83) ; Gilbert, Luerezia Borgia (London, 1869) Symonds, The Renaissance in Italy: The Age of the. Despots, 7 vols. (London. 1875-86) ; Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (London. 1878) ; Gregorovius, Starit Rom im Mittelaltrr (Stuttgart. 1881), also in English translation, and Gregorovius, Luerezia Borgia (Stuttgart. 1875) Leonetti. Papa Ales sandro Ff. (Bologna. 1880) Alvisi. II duca. ra lcntino (Imola. 1S78) Yriarte. Cesar Borgia (Paris, ISSN and .tutour des Borgia (Paris, 1893) : Maury. "Unc r4habilitation de Cesar Borgia," in the Wylie Historique (Paris, May, / S801,