Lucrezia Borgia

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Borgia, Lucrezia

(lo͞okrā`tsyä bōr`jä), 1480–1519, Italian noblewoman, famous figure of the Italian Renaissance; daughter of Pope Alexander VIAlexander VI,
1431?–1503, pope (1492–1503), a Spaniard (b. Játiva) named Rodrigo de Borja or, in Italian, Rodrigo Borgia; successor of Innocent VIII. He took Borja as his surname from his mother's brother Alfonso, who was Pope Calixtus III.
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. Her first marriage (1492) to Giovanni Sforza of Pesaro was annulled in 1497, and she was married to Alfonso of Aragón, illegitimate son of Alfonso II of Naples. Her brother, Cesare BorgiaBorgia
, Span. Borja , Spanish-Italian noble family, originally from Aragón. When Alfonso de Borja, cardinal-archbishop of Valencia, was pope as Calixtus III (1455–58), several relatives followed him to Rome.
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, had her second husband murdered in 1500, and, in 1501, Lucrezia was married to Alfonso d'Este, who became duke of Ferrara in 1505. As duchess of Ferrara, Lucrezia at last escaped the vicious atmosphere of her family. Her brilliant court attracted many artists and poets, notably Ariosto, and her beauty and kindness won esteem for her. Rumors of her participation in her family's poison plots, of incestuous relations with her father and brother, and of her supposed extravagant vices have not been proved. Nevertheless, Lucrezia Borgia remains best known as portrayed in Victor Hugo's drama and Donizetti's opera, both based on these legends.


See biography by S. Bradford (2004).

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Borgia, Lucrezia

(1480–1519) her beauty was as legendary as her rumored vices and heartlessness. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 59]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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