Legends of the Renaissance: The Life and Legacy of Rodrigo Borgia
*Includes pictures of Rodrigo and important people and places in his life.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
“Alexander never did what he said. Cesare never said what he did.” – Italian Proverb
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? When historians are asked to pick a point in history when Western civilization was transformed and guided down the path to modernity, most of them point to the Renaissance. Indeed, the Renaissance revolutionized art, philosophy, religion, sciences and math, with individuals like Galileo, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Dante, and Petrarch bridging the past and modern society. In Charles River Editors’ Legends of the Renaissance, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of the most important men and women of the Renaissance in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
There have been no shortage of controversial Popes who were accused by Catholics and other Christians of impropriety, but the most controversial of all was the Borgia Pope, Alexander VI. Born Rodrigo Borgia, the future Pope made his way up the ranks of the Catholic Church with an assist from nepotism, breaking his vows of chastity and fathering several illegitimate children along the way.
The stories and legends attributed to Rodrigo and his children, particularly Cesare and Lucrezia, have made the Borgias one of the most notorious families in history. 500 years after Rodrigo’s death, he and his family have come to be associated more with incest, political intrigue, murder and state-sponsored violence. While 21st century TV series have cast the Borgias as the first organized crime family, the rumors spread by the family’s political opponents in the late 15th century have taken hold among a fascinated public. Did Rodrigo really have an incestuous relationship with daughter Lucrezia? Did he really throw lavish orgies?
While Rodrigo may not have been as colorful or criminal as the enduring legends, there is no question he was manipulative, ruthless and, ultimately, effective. From an administrative standpoint, Rodrigo was a success as Pope Alexander VI, with a big assist from son Cesare. To the extent that the Borgias are still associated with murder and mayhem, it was the father and son whose actions can be credited with the lion’s share of the perception. Not surprisingly, almost everything about Rodrigo’s life is still up for debate.
Legends of the Renaissance: The Life and Legacy of Rodrigo Borgia chronicles the Borgia Pope’s life and discusses the legends and myths surrounding him in an attempt to separate fact from fiction. Along with pictures of important people in his life, you will learn about Rodrigo Borgia like you never have before, in no time at all.
*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
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