Last name origins & meanings:
- Italian: habitational name from Borgia, a place in Catanzaro
province, or from Borja in Spain (see Borja).
- The powerful and notorious Borgia family in Renaissance Rome was of
Spanish origin. Rodrigo <xref>Borja</xref> (1431–1503), born in Játiva,
Spain, became Pope as Alexander VI. Among his four children by his
mistress Vannozza Catanei were Cesare Borgia (1475–1507) and
Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519). Cesare was a brilliant but unscrupulous
soldier and politician, who was made a cardinal at the age of 17 and
was implicated in the murders of both his elder brother and his
sister’s husband. Lucrezia was rumored to have been a poisoner and to
have had incestuous relations with her father and her brother, but she
led a conventional life after her marriage to her third husband,
Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, in 1501, and became a patron of the
arts and sciences.
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