Question: Did the Borgias deserve their reputation?

Did the Borgias deserve their reputation?

  • Yes, the House of Borgia were evil, and deserve their reputation

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • No, the House of Borgia were as bad as any other noble family at the time

    Votes: 28 57.1%
  • No, the House of Borgia reputation came from propaganda, rumors, and lies

    Votes: 5 10.2%
  • It was a mixed bag for the House of Boriga

    Votes: 15 30.6%

  • Total voters
    49
The Borgias were one of the most infamous Papal families in the Italian Renaissance. Coming from Spain/Aragon, the Borgias become a Papal family, and during the reign of Alexander VI, they were suspected of many crimes, including incest, adultery, nepotism, and poising.

Key word, suspected. Historians debate the allegations of the Borgias. Some believe them to be evil, some believe they don't deserve the reputation, and some is Ubisoft.

Personally, I think the Borgias don't deserve their reputation as evil. Sure they did some things like nepotism, a lot of Italian Renaissance families, like the Medici, or Farnese did the same.

But what were are your thoughts? Did the House of Borgia deserve their reputation? Did figures like Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia, or Lucrezia deserve their infamy? Or is there something to admire about the House of Borgia? What are your thoughts
 
Yes and no. I think it goes without saying that the ruling classes in every civilization in every era of history have consisted of pretty awful human beings. With that said, many today confuse historical propaganda for history. The practice of writing history for the purpose of documenting unbiased information has been (and still is) a very rare discipline. Today, historians are invariably accused of having hidden biases and agendas, which may often be true as bias is an inevitable product of human development.

There's also the fact that historical sources are not nearly as common as people seem to think - prolific writers on the level of Machiavelli were few and far between. We hear all the time about the Borgias but very little on the various rulers who were similarly brutal in Northern Europe, North Africa, Central Asia, etc. Also, people are not as familiar with those figures and are less inclined to read about them or make dramas on their lives.
 
Last edited:
An interesting point about the Borgias is that, when talking about them, everyone thinks to Rodrigo/Alexander, Cesare, Lucrezia ... and forgets the most important one of the family.
I am talking about SAINT Francis Borgia.
Yes, a saint in this family. And, no, the pope who canonized him was not a relative. He actually deserved his canonization.
 
The Borgias were one of the most infamous Papal families in the Italian Renaissance. Coming from Spain/Aragon, the Borgias become a Papal family, and during the reign of Alexander VI, they were suspected of many crimes, including incest, adultery, nepotism, and poising.

Key word, suspected. Historians debate the allegations of the Borgias. Some believe them to be evil, some believe they don't deserve the reputation, and some is Ubisoft.

Personally, I think the Borgias don't deserve their reputation as evil. Sure they did some things like nepotism, a lot of Italian Renaissance families, like the Medici, or Farnese did the same.

But what were are your thoughts? Did the House of Borgia deserve their reputation? Did figures like Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia, or Lucrezia deserve their infamy? Or is there something to admire about the House of Borgia? What are your thoughts
History is written by the victors, have Borgia won would have make the medicci looks like all the greedy jew stereotype come true
 
I think the Borgias were standard for elite Renaissance families. That means that by modern standards they were pretty horrible people but I don't think they were extraordinary by the standards of their own time.

There are a couple reasons they are considered The Worst (tm). One, they lost. And second, they were Spaniards surrounded by a bunch of xenophobic and chauvinist Italians. To follow with that, said xenophobic Italians determined that if the Borgias were Spanish, they "must" have Jewish ancestry, so we can add in a nice dose of anti-Semitism.
 
Lucrezia absolutely do not deserved her fame, Alexander and Cesare were pretty ruthless and often with little scruples, but NOT so more than other rulers of their same period and is not like Alexander was noticeably more corrupted than his predecessors or other contemporary cardinals ...
 
Top