In the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” a newspaper director tells his editor to print the legend if it’s true.This is similar to what happened with the Borgias, a family from Valencia called the Boreas. Two of their members, Calixtus III and his nephew Alexander VI, became popes.
■Key points of this article that can be understood in 3 lines
- Lucrezia Borgia was a part of political marriages and scandals. Her family was famous for corruption, conspiracies, and alleged poison use in Renaissance Italy. She symbolizes their legacy.
- The Borgia family is famous for using a poison called Cantarella. Lucrezia supposedly used it from a secret compartment in her ring, adding to their notoriety.
- Lucrezia had a bad reputation due to stories of murder and incest. People thought of her as treacherous, like how Marie Antoinette was seen in the French Revolution.
The family in history wrote corrupt and dishonorable pages during the Renaissance. They were famous for making a virtue of treason, conspiracy, and poisoning.
Lucrecia, a victim of her family.
Lucretia Borgia was born in April 1480. She was the daughter of Alexander VI and César Borgia’s sister. Lucretia was pretty but cruel. Sadly, she died young at 39 but not before killing some of her family’s enemies. Lucretia was born in Subiaco, near Rome. When she was only thirteen, her cardinal father arranged for her to marry Giovanni Sforza, the Count of Pearl and nephew of the Duke of Milan. The marriage was a political alliance to strengthen their power in Italy.
Lucrecia became a tool in the Italian chess game. Her dad wanted to unite Italy and worked hard to do so. But, her husband’s political standing was not what her dad wanted. This made him angry. He held onto Lucretia, not letting her go back home.
He wasn’t happy and had Giovanni killed. Lucretia told him. The Pope then said the marriage was invalid because it hadn’t been consummated. He also claimed Sforza was impotent. Milan accused the Pope of incest with Lucrecia. This made her image worse, which was already bad.
After a tough marriage, Lucrecia went to a convent. But she got pregnant, and people started to gossip. They said her dad was the Pope, or her brother Caesar was the father.
Alexander VI quickly arranged his daughter’s second marriage to Prince Alfonso from Naples. But the alliance didn’t last as it clashed with the Borgia’s policy, so they planned to kill him.
Lucrecia got married for the third time to Alfonso d’Este from Ferrara. They had four kids. She died after nine days of fever due to childbirth.
Poison was often used to silence people who caused trouble, and this was also the case in Renaissance Italy.
During the 15th century, Paracelsus lived in Europe. He believed that substances can be poisonous or medicinal based on their dosage. The amount of substance taken determines if it is a poison or medicine.
Legend has it that the Cantrell was a poison used by the Borgia family for politics. It is a colorless, odorless and tasteless poison made by mixing arsenic with dried pork offal. Cantrella looks like white powder similar to sugar and has been proven effective. The Borgia family used poison on many people. They poisoned Giovanni Mocking, the Doge of Venice. They also poisoned Pietro Rossi, who was Lucretia’s lover and an actor.
Lucrecia allegedly had a ring with poison. It’s rumored that she used it to kill people. She could open the ring and pour the poison in a glass.
Marie Antoinette got executed during the French Revolution. She was accused of betraying the French people and nation. The executioners compared her behavior to Lucretia Borgia’s. The word is Lucretia.