Friday, March 12, 2010

Cesare Borgia

"Off, off, ye lendings!" he continued, in the same vein. "Via, the curtain that shadowed Borgia!"  - From Walter Scott's "The Fortunes of Nigel". The Edinburgh Edition of Nigel includes a note that "RW Van Fossen speculates that 'the curtain' may refer to the disguise of the stable-boy, which in 1495 Borgia used to escape from Charles VIII of France."  He did not escape the siege of Viana, dying there on March 12, 1507.

Cesare Borgia, Duke of Valentinois, was the son of Pope Alexander VI (when he was a Cardinal), and his mistress, Vanozza dei Cattanei.  Borgia was groomed for a career in the church, becoming Bishop of Pamplona at age 15.  He became a Cardinal three years later.  He prefered a military career,  and found the opportunity to pursue one when his brother Giovanni was assassinated.  Cesare proved a capable militarist, but quickly lost power when his father the Pope died.

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