The Borgias

Painting by John Collier, "A glass of wine with Caesar Borgia", from left: Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia, Pope Alexander, and a young man holding an empty glass.

Alexander Lee attempts to rescue the Borgias from their baleful reputation.

Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI

As we soak up television dramas that revel in the scandalous personal lives of popes and kings, we are in danger of losing sight of these figures’ real historical importance, argues Tim Stanley.

What happened when a philosopher, an artist and a ruthless warrior – all giants of the Renaissance – met on campaign in northern Italy? Paul Strathern explains.

The Renaissance political figure died on March 12th, 1507.

Profile portrait of Cesare Borgia in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, ca. 1500–10

Borgia thwarted a plot by his own men on December 31st, 1502.