The son of Pope Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia was supposed to become a powerful figure within the Church, shoring up his family’s position and increasing its wealth in the scheming world of Vatican politics. It was his brother, Giovanni, whom Pope Alexander intended to found a Borgia dynasty in northern Italy.
When Giovanni died - murdered, his body dumped in the Tiber - the Pope passed the task of forging a temporal power base onto Cesare. This was exactly what Cesare had always dreamed of - he never wanted to be a priest, but a warrior. Of course, this turn of events contributed to the idea that Cesare might have been behind his brother’s murder.
It would not be the first time that Cesare would be accused of committing or being behind an assassination. Through conspiracies in Rome and military victories across Italy, the son of the Pope was ruthlessly determined to rise to greatness. Or, as he had inscribed on his sword, “Caesar, or Nothing”.
For this episode (and for the following episode, in which we will deal with Cesare’s sister, Lucrezia) we join forces with A History of Italy Podcast. Hosted by Mike Corradi, the show traces the story of the Italian Peninsula from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the present day.