Cesare Borgia, Prince of the Renaissance

On this day in 1475, one of Italy’s greatest Renaissance men, Cesare Borgia, was born in Subiaco. From a precocious little boy, he grew up to be extremely intelligent, physically strong, courageous and attractive. Some even said he was Italy’s most handsome man. Destined for the cloth, he became a cardinal at 17 but fate […]

‘Aut Caesar, Aut Nihil’

‘Aut Caesar, Aut Nihil’ which means ‘Either Emperor or Nothing’ is the resonant, powerful motto we immediately associate with Italian Renaissance Prince Cesare Borgia. The phrase most likely coined by Julius Caesar himself, indicates sky high ambition for power and fame and the desire to succeed at all cost. Cesare was however not the only […]

The vilified reputation of Cesare Borgia

‘Here in a little earth Lies one whom all did fear, One whose hands dispensed both peace and war. Oh, you that go in search of things deserving praise, If you would praise the worthiest, Then let your journey end here, Nor tremble to go further.’ These were the words the bishop of Calahorra read […]

Was Leonardo da Vinci ever Cesare Borgia’s hostage?

A newly released tv series produced by Italian Lux Vide in collaboration with Rai Fiction makes an attempt to tell the story of one of history’s greatest artists: Leonardo da Vinci. Heartthrob Aidan Turner plays the role of a heavily tormented Leonardo who considers life a burden, and art as a means to escape it. In the […]

How did Cesare Borgia really feel about resigning his cardinalate?

On 17 August 1498, to the horror of the assembled Curia in Rome and the Catholic Kings in Spain, Cardinal Cesare Borgia (aged 23) humbly told the few cardinals present that he had never heard ‘the call of God’ and that his father, Pope Alexander VI, had pushed him into a clerical career. He sincerely […]