The Life and Times of Cesare Borgia. Following in the footsteps of Machiavelli’s Prince.

  • Posted by : admin
  • 21 May 2023

It is funny to realize that nine years ago, the ‘dubious’ fictional tv-series ‘The Borgias’ unleashed in me an insatiable curiosity about the Borgia family and grew into a true passion that consumed many years of my life. Every spare moment, I sat with my nose in books, watched documentaries, read biographies, theses, doctoral studies, and travelled to hidden and long forgotten places in Italy, France, the Vatican, and Spain. I have met and spoken with so many people who eagerly helped me collect interesting bits and pieces of information. And all those experiences and encounters, each and every single one, filled my life in the most fulfilling way and have now led to a book and a university course on the life and times of Cesare Borgia.

History is usually written by the victorious and unfortunately (!) for the Italian peninsula, Cesare was not on the winning side, at least not in the end. After his downfall, his reputation, and that of all the Borgias, was dragged through the mud, annihilated, and pulverized throughout the past five centuries. Only an extremely strong combination of three elements was able to reach this utter destruction of one family’s name: the Reformation, keen on branding a scapegoat for all that was wrong in the Catholic Church;  the rise of the pamphlet, used by Cesare’s enemies to spread vile and fake news about him, and, finally, the incinerating hatred of Pope Julius II towards the Borgias whom he considered the reason for all his misfortune. And therefore, given Cesare’s  no less than amazing achievements and strong influence on his times, the unjust fate of his reputation feels particularly wrong and screams for redemption. Redemption that you will find in my book.

Today, more than eight years later, I am able to offer my own historical biography on Cesare Borgia – a book which is quite inspired by Niccolò Machiavelli’s view on Cesare Borgia and which is filled with findings of modern research.  I am also thrilled to announce that in the fall of ’23, an MA course on Cesare Borgia will be taught at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. It is called: The Life and Times of Cesare Borgia. Following in the footsteps of Machiavelli’s Prince.

Link to the course at the University of Copenhagen:

3 Responses

  1. Yes! It is time that Cesare received a fair evaluation in history, not the “Black Legend” treatment.

    I very much want to take this course. I followed the link, but all the sign up information is not in English, unfortunately my first language.

    1. Dear Jackie – Strange how the website did not offer you the English version. The University of Copenhagen is entirely bilingual: Danish and English. Are you sure there’s no button in the corner somewhere that offers an English translation? Perhaps try this link:
      That said, I don’t think the university will allow online participants – at least not for now. However, if I find out that there’s a lot of interest from outside DK, and there are a lot of students who want to participate online, then I’m sure we can adapt the course and offer it on-site as well as online.
      Sophie 🙂

  2. Thank you for your kind response. If the course is available for audit, I would absolutely love to take it.

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