A Bird’s – eye View of the History of the Borgia Family          

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Borgia History

World History

Arts and Letters


Alfonso de Borja (Borgia), the future pope Calixtus III is born at Xativa, province of Valencia





Ferdinand de Antequerra is elected king to the Crown of Aragon




End of the Western Schism




Death of pope Benedictus XIII at Peñiscola



Alfonso Borgia is appointed bishop of Valencia




Rodrigo de Borja (Borgia), the future pope Alexander VI is born at Xativa


Donatello erects the tabernacle in the sacristy of the Saint Peter in Rome


Alfonso Borgia is appointed a cardinal




Rodrigo and Pedro Luis Borgia arrive in Rome





Constantinopel falls into the hands of Mohamed II the Ottoman sultan



Alfonso Borgia is elected pope under the name of Calixtus III




Rodrigo Borgia and Juan del Mila are appointed cardinals by their uncle pope Calixtus III

The Turcs invade Greece. Victory of the Christians at Belgrade

The first printed book – the Gutenberg Bible- leaves the printing press




Andrea Mantegna paints the Pala in Verona.

Leon Battista Alberti builds the Santa Maria Novella at Florence


Death of Calixtus III

Pius II Piccolimi is elected pope





Benozzo Gozzoli paints the fresco Journey of the Magi in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi at Florence



Death of Pius II. Election of Paulus II Barbo



Isabel de Borja, Rodrigos mother, dies




Pedro Luis, Jeronima and Isabel, children of cardinal Rodrigo Borgia are born






Lorenzo de Medici, also known as the Magnificent, assumes power at Florence.

Also in Spain Ferdinand of Aragon weds Isabella of Castilia



Death of Paulus II . Sixtus IV della Rovere is elected pope



Journey of cardinal Borgia to Valencia and Castilia




Most intimate period in the relation of Rodrigo Borgia and Vannozza Cattanei





Death of Sixtus IV. Election of Inocentius VIII Cibo

Andrea Mantegna finishes the frescoes of the Ducal Palaca at Mantua (Camera degli Sposi)


Birth of Cesare Borgia, son of cardinal Rodrigo and Vanozza Catanei


Birth of Michelangelo Buonarotti. Angelo Poloziano writes Le Stanze


Vanozza Catanei contracts a marriage of convenience first with Domenica D’Arignanom then, after his decease, with Giorgio della Croce. Birth of the second child of the cardinal and Vanozza, Juan Borgia.




Birth of Lucrezia, daughter of the cardinal and Vanozza.


Andrea Mantegna paints The Dead Christ.

Hieronymous Bosch paints  The seven Capital Sins.


Birth of Jofré, the fourth son of cardinal Borgia. A bull of pope Sixtus IV attributes to the children of Rodrigo and Vanozza the status of “nephews”.

Institution of the Inquisition in Spain against the pseudo converted jews and arabs.

Leonardo da Vinci paints The Adoration of the magi




Sandro Botticelli paints  Spring



Birth of Martin Luther.

Torquemada is inquisitor general of the kingdoms of Castilia and Aragon.

Charles VIII succeeds to the throne of France after the death of Louis XI

Leonardo da Vinci paints his  Madonna in the Grotto.

Birth of Rafael



Charles VIII is crowned at Reims.

Pope Sixtus IV dies and is succeeded by Innocentius VIII

Botticelli paints the Birth of Venus



Pope Innocentius VIII declares war against the king of Naples, Ferdinand of Aragon. Lorenzo de Medici allies with the latter.



Giorgio della Croce dies and Vanozza contracts another marriage of convenience with Carlo Canale.

Innocentius VIII and Ferdinand of Aragon, with thanks to Lorenzo de Medici, end their war and sign the peace.



Lucrezia Borgia is entrusted to Adriana Orsini, cousin of Rodrigo Borgia, to receive her education.


Pico della Mirandola publishes Conclusiones ( Nine hundred theses on the history of men), in which he summarizes all of human knowledge.


Death of Pedro Luis, son of Rodrigo and first Borgia duke of Gandia





In Venice Aldo Manuzio founds his publishing house.

Vittorio Carpaccio paints the Courtesans


Lucrezia Borgia is promised in marrige to two fiancés at the same time.


Hans Memling paints the Triptych of the Crucifixion


Cardinal Rodrigo receives in Rome groups of Spanish Jews who had been evicted from their country following an edict of the catholic king.

Rodrigo Borgia is elected pope and takes the name Alexander VI

The catholic king of Spain succeeds in driving the Arabs out of the Iberian peninsula by the conquest of Granada.

At Florence Lorenzo de Medici, the Magnificent, dies.

Christopher Columbus discovers the New Continent.

Piero della Francesca dies.

Pintoricchio starts working on the frescoes in the Borgia Apartments in the Vatican.


Lucrezia Borgia is united in matrimony with Giovanni Sforza, nephew of the Duke of Milano, to reinforce the alliance with France.

Cesare is appointed a cardinal by his father pope Alexander VI.

Marriage of Juan Borgia in Barcelona

Publishing of the papal bulls concerning the newly discovered lands Alexander VI signs the bull Inter Coetera regulating the division of the West Indies between Portugal and Spain.

Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti


Marriage of Jofre Borgia with Sancha de Aragon.

To protect them for the risk of a French invasion, Alexander VI sends Lucrezia Borgia, Giulia Farnese and the latters aunt, Adriana Orsini, to Pesaro.

The French invade Italy. Charles VIII occupies Rome

Spain and Portugal modify the papal bull Inter Coetera and in Tordesillas they sign a new treaty about the division of the western lands

Albrecht Dürer paints his Selfportrait.

Pintoricchio begins working on The Dispute of Saint Catherine with Lucrezia Borgia serving as the model for the saint.

Andrea Mantegna paints The triumph of Cesare.

Pico della Mirandola dies


Alexander VI sides with the League of Venice against Charles VIII

Charles VIII in Naples. Retreat and defeat of the French

Sandro Botticelli paints La calumnia

Leonardo in Milano starts working on  The last Supper


Juan Borgia flees to Gandia. Campaign against the Orsini clan




Assassination of Juan Borgia, duke of Gándia, presumably at the hands of his brother Cesare.

Alexander VI annuls the marriag of his daughter Lucrezia to Giovanni Sforza.

Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola

Girolamo Savonarola , a Dominican prior of San Marco at Florence, is excommunicated because he preaches against the degeneration of religious customs.

Giovanni Caboto, a Venetian navigator serving England, sails to the American continent.

Vasco da Gama circumvents the Cape of Good Hope.

Michelangelo commences sculpting the Pieta


Lucrezia Borgia gives birth to a son, the “Roman infant”, presumably born out of her realation with Perotto a servant of the pope. Cesare murders Perotto.

Marriage of Lucrezia with Alfonso de Aragona, son of king Alfonso of Naples.

Cesare lays down the cardinal’s hat and travels to France.

In Florence Girolamo Savanorola is burnt at the stake.

Charles VIII dies and is succeeded by Louis XII, who, as a token of his good intentention towards the Vatican, offers to Cesare Borgia the hand of Charlotte d’ Albret.

Albrecht Dürer realises a series of xylographies on the Apocalypse


In France Cesare Borgia weds Charlotte d’Albrêt and leads Louis XII into alliance with the pope.

Lucrezia Borgia is appointed regent of Spoleto

First campaign of Cesare in the Romagna

Louis XII in Milano



Alexanders VI inaugurates the Year of the Jubilee.

Successes of Cesare, captain general of the Church

Assasination of Alfonso de Aragona, spouse of Lucrezia, by order of Cesare Borgia.

The Portugese discover Brasilia

Hieronymous Bosch paints The ship of Fools


Pope Alexander VI authorizes Louis XII to cross the Papal Lands to enable the conquest of Naples. In return the king will support a new marriage of Lucrezia with the heir of the duchy of Ferrara, Alfonso d’Este.

Alexander VI confiscates the castles and territories of the roman barons.

Conquests of Cesare in central Italy. Cesare becomes duke of Romagna.

The French armies occupy Naples



Lucrezia Borgia becomes duchess of Ferrara

The captains’ conspiracy against Cesare


Bramante begins the construction of the Tempietto in the Saint Peter in Montorio At Rome commissioned by the catholic king of Spain.


Vendetta of the Borgias against the Orsini clan

Death of Alexander VI

Cesare is arrested by order of the new pope Julius II

Alexander VI dies and is succeeded, first by Pius III Piccolomini, then by Julius II della Rovere.

At the court of Ferrara Lecrezia Borgia meets the poet Pietro Bembo, who will play an important role in her life.



Cesare Borgia is made prisoner by order of Julius II. He is detained in Naples and later sent to Navarra

Isabella of Castilia, the catholic, dies.

Albrecht Dürer makes The Adoration of the Magi, Michelangelo his David, Raphael the Marriage of the Virgin, and Hieronymous Bosch the Garden of Delights.


Alfonso d ‘Este and Lucrezia Borgia inherit the duchy of Ferrara after the death of Ercole d’ Este.


Pietro Bembo composes The Asolani which he dedicates to Lucrezia Borgia


Lucrezia, acting as regent of Ferrara in absence of her husband, issues an edict in favour of the Jews.


Bramante begins the construction of the Saint Peter in Rome


Cesare Borgia escapes from the fortress of Medina del Campo, where he was impriosoned by order of Julius II.

Cesare Borgia dies at Viana


Vittore Carpaccio paints the Saint George series


Lucrezia hosts Erasmus of Rotterdam at the court of Ferrara.

Institution of the League of Cambrai against the Republic of Venice

Giorgione paints The Tempest.

Michelangelo commences painting the ceiling of the Sixtine Chapel


At Ferrara a son is born to Lucrezia Borgia, named Ippolito d ‘Este, who will become a cardinal.

Henri VIII becomes king of England

Erasmus of Rotterdam writes Praise of Folly


Julius II annuls the accord that was concluded between the Church and the duchy of d’Este under pope Alexander VI on the occasion of the marriage between Lucrezia and Alfonso.

Franciscus Borgia is born

Julius II accepts the offer of the bishop of Sion to have the defence of the Church in Rome entrusted to the Swiss cavalry

Death of Sandro Boticelli.

Raphael paints the Stanze of the Vatican.


Alfonso d’Este gains victory over Julius II at the Bastida of the Fossa Geniola


Giorgione dies


Julius II dies and the new Medici pope, Leo X, annuls the papal interdicton on Ferrara, thanks to the intercession of Bembo, who in the Vatican acts as protector of Lucrezia and the d’Estes.

Lucrezia Borgia enter the Tertiary Order of Saint Francis.


Michelangelo starts sculpting the Moses which he will finish two years later.

Niccolò Machiavelli writes The Prince



Francis I becomes king of France

Ludovico Ariosto at Ferrara publishes Orlando Furioso


Lucrezia Borgia receives at the court of Ferrara Titian and entrusts him with various commissions.

Death of Ferdinand the catholic

Titian paints Sacred Love and Profane Love, inspired by Lucrezia Borgia



Martin Luther affixes his 95 theses against the doctrine of the indulgences at the door of the chapel of Wittenberg in Saxony.



Decease of Vannozza Catanei, the mother of children of Alexander VI Borgia.

Lucrezia Borgia pronounces the definite vows of the tertiary franciscans

Beginning of the Reformation in Zürich



Lucrezia Borgia dies at Ferrara after giving birth. She is buries in the naked earth in the convent of  St. Clare

Luther denies the primate of the roman church.

Magellan departs for his circumnavigation of the globe.

Cortes reaches the Mexican coast and is received by the ruler Montezuma.

Charles of Spain is elected Emperor with the name Charles V.

Leonardo da Vinci dies at Amboise in France.




Sultan Suleiman II the Great becomes emperor of the Ottoman  empire

Raphael dies



Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther.

Beginning of the war between Francis I of France and Charles V,

pope Leo X dies.

At Florence Michelangelo starts work on the new sacristy of San Lorenzo.

Niccolò Machiavelli composes The Mandragola.

Raphael Sanzio dies at Rome and in the Vatican stanzas leaves unfinished the Transfiguration



The sack of Rome at the hands of the troops of Charles V



Franciscus Borgia Vice-roy of Catalonia

Death of the empress Isabel of Portugal



Fransiscus Borgia, duke of Gandia, widowed, enters the Company of Jesus





Charles V abdicates in favour of Philip II



Franciscus Borgia, elected general of the Jesuits





Battle of Lepanto



Death of Franciscus Borgia



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