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Rodrigo Borgia

  • Date Submitted: 01/09/2013 11:29 AM
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odrigo borgiaPope Alexander VI aka Rodrigo de Borgia

Alexander VI, given name Rodrigo Borgia, Roman Catholic Pope from 1492 until his death, is the most memorable of the corrupt and non religious popes of the Renaissance. He was born at Xativa, near Valencia in Spain, and his father's surname was Lanzol or that of his mother's family, Borgia, was assumed by him on the elevation of his maternal uncle to the papacy as Pope Callixtus III. He studied law at Bologna, and after his uncle's election he was created successively bishop, cardinal and vice-chancellor of the church, an act of favoritism very common of the age. He was elected Pope in 1492 under the name of Pope Alexander VI. he was named pope by a bare two-thirds majority secured by his own vote, was proclaimed Pope on the morning of 11 Aug., 1492, and took the name of Alexander VI. That he obtained the papacy through simony was the general belief and is not improbable. though it would be difficult to prove it juridically, at any rate, as the law then stood the election was valid. There is no irresistible evidence that Borgia paid anyone a ducat for his vote; Infessura's tale of mule-loads of silver has long since been discredited. Pastor's indictment, on closer inspection, needs some revision, for he states   that eight of the twenty-three electors, viz. della Rovere, Piccolomini, Medici, Caraffa, Costa, Basso, Zeno, and Cibò, held out to the end against Borgia. If that were true, Borgia could not have secured a two-thirds majority. All we can affirm with certainty is that the determining factor of this election was the accession to Borgia of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza's vote and influence, it is almost equally certain that Sforza's course was dictated not by silver, but by the desire to be the future Pontiff's chief adviser. The elevation to the papacy of one who for thirty-five years had conducted the affairs of the Roman chancery with rare ability and industry met with general approbation; we find no...

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