H I S T O R Y M E M E | S I X W O M E N → lucrezia borgia (1480-1519)
Lucrezia Borgia, duchess of Ferrara, daughter of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, afterwards Pope Alexander VI, by his mistress Vanozza dei Cattanei, was born at Rome in 1480. (x)
Lucrezia’s family later came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption alleged to be characteristic of the Renaissance Papacy. Lucrezia was cast as a femme fatale, a role she has been portrayed as in many artworks, novels, and films.
Very little is known of Lucrezia, and the extent of her complicity in the political machinations of her father and brothers is unclear. They certainly arranged several marriages for her to important or powerful men in order to advance their own political ambitions. Lucrezia was married to Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro), Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie), and Alfonso I d’Este (Duke of Ferrara). (x)