Biography of Papa Alejandro VI (1431-1503)

Pope Valencian born in Játiva 1 January 1431 and died in Rome 18 August 1503. Baptized with the name of Rodrigo de Borja, was son of Jofre and Isabel de Borja (sister of Callixtus III). He was invested in 1492 with the Pontifical dignity and took the name of Alejandro VI.

The young Rodrigo de Borja.

He grew up in his native Jativa, but at age ten, after the death of his father, he moved to Valencia, where he began his university studies. He quickly started his ecclesiastical life under cover of dads Nicolás V, and Eugenio IV who granted its first privileges in their native land, among them a canonry in the choir of the Cathedral of Valencia. Later, his uncle, the then Cardinal Alfonso de Borja, called to Rome in 1449, where break shortly after to Bologna to form as a prominent lawyer at the University of the town between 1450-1457. In 1456 he acquired the degree of doctor of Canon law at Bologna, after having completed the seven required years of training. When his uncle was invested Pope with the name of Calixto III, appointed his nephew Protonotary Apostolic, who simultanearía with his university studies, at that time inconclusive. Some time later, the future Alejandro VI was elected new Cardinal, when he had not completed his university training.

Of Cardinal Roman Pontiff.

The diplomatic capacity of Rodrigo Borja provided the pacification of the mark of Ancona, which had officially been named papal vicar in 1456. Returned to Rome, the new Cardinal was promoted to the post of Vice-Chancellor of the Church - which reported him 8,000 Gold ducats per year-, which combined with the Bishop of Valencia, where he served for the following pontificates up to the time of their own choosing. In this sense, highlights in particular the personal qualities of the own Rodrigo, which allowed him - for the first time in church history - the post of Vice-Chancellor of the Church during an uninterrupted period of 35 years, showing in fact that a manager key in the structure of the Curia could be performed by a clergyman who wasn't familiar or favour direct, in the personal area of the Roman Pontiff. Deft diplomat, Rodrigo continued giving ample signs of its capacity for dialogue and political skill, which served to facilitate the interests of the Roman Church. In July, 1492, after the death of Pope Innocent VIII, the Sacred College of Cardinals proclaimed him new Pope under the name of Alejandro VI.

El papa Alejandro VI.

His activity in the Department of San Pedro was extraordinary: enacted various measures of legal types, such as the creation of a Supreme Court composed of four great doctors of jurisprudence, and the establishment of rules to prevent judicial abuses that occurred in the lower courts.

The private life of the Pontiff.

Throughout his life, Alejandro VI fathered a total of ten descendants among sons and daughters: Pedro Luis, born in 1462 unknown mother, who would occupy the first Duchy of Gandia; Girolama, born in 1469 by unknown mother; Isabel, born in 1470 unknown mother. César, born in 1474 in their relationship with Vanozza Catanei, his most famous mistress; Juan, also born in 1476 of Vanozza, which became second Duke of Gandia; the famous Lucrezia, born in 1480 of Vanozza, Duchess of Ferrara; Jofre, born in 1482 of Vanozza, Prince of Squillace. Laura, born in 1492 from Giulia Farnese. Giovanni, born in 1498 of unknown mother; Duke of Camerino and Nepi. Rodrigo, born in 1503 by unknown mother, who became Abbot of Cicciano di Nola. However, this outstanding offspring was kept within a relative discretion and was not an especially striking element in the time that we are talking about.

Alejandro VI as a legislator.

With respect to the city of Rome, the new Pontiff proceeded to write the Reformationes Alexandri VI, through which repealed laws in that city and gave its citizens the ability to write and take on a new Constitution, which could be reformed many times are required. In the international arena, was an important intervention in the conflict remained between Castile and Portugal in relation to the achievements made by both countries. his is the decision to draw an imaginary line located some hundred leagues from Cape Verde, which from North to South would be that would separate the zone of influence between both powers, buela Inter coetera divine. Complaints and claims raised by the Portuguese led to Alejandro VI to write a new bull in 1493 in which catered to some of the same claims. In 1499, Alejandro VI promulgating the bull In supremae dignitatis, which granted the erection in collegiate church of Santa María of the city of Gandia. In this way, the Pontiff favored, once again, to those distant lands that had seen him birth.

The end of the pontificate of Alejandro VI.

In 1503 the energy, vitality and joy, manifesting the already aged Pontiff, as manifest post in the comments of the ambassadors in Rome was amazing. In August of this year, the French and Spanish armies were approaching the city. August 11, 1503, on the eleventh anniversary of the papal election, held a banquet in the apartment of the Borgia in the Vatican, prompting that the morning of August 12, 1503, the Pope - to his son César - is found to be affected by strong vomiting, fever, nausea and chills as well as a severe dysentery. The cause of these symptoms must be sought in the last of the dishes served at the banquet the night before: canned fruits, jams and candied fruits, which must have been selected to poison the Pontiff and his son--taking advantage of that it was one of the rare occasions that both ate at the same table. The symptoms lasted until noon of August 18, moment in which, after having confessed, Alejandro VI, surrounded by his court, several Cardinals and many prelates died.

Bibliography.

BATLLORI, M.: "Alexandre VI and the politics of the Renaiximent", in Els temps dels Borja, Valencia: Generalitat Valenciana, series Minor No. 39, 1996, pp. 123-129.

CASTELL, V.: "the bulls Alexandrian" in VV. AA: several studies, Valencia: Royal Academy of Valencian Culture, historical series No. 13, pp. 91-135.

ESTEVE FORRIOL, J-MUNSURI pink, N.: "approach to the figure of Alejandro VI through his bull In Supremae Dignitatis (26-X-1499)", in press, 1999.

Franquismo, a.: "the bulls of Alejandro VI and the legal system of the Castilian and Portuguese expansion in Africa and Indian", in Yearbook of history of the Spanish law, 27-28, 1958, pp. 461-829.

SANCHEZ, a.-CASTELL, V-PESET, M.: Alejandro VI, Pope Valencia, Valencia: Generalitat Valenciana, series Minor No. 16, 1994.

SCHÜLLER PIROLI, S.: The Popes Borgia. Callixtus III and Alejandro VI, Valencia: Alfons el Magnànim, 1991.

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