|Rodrigo and Cesare Borgia|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  25 Apr 2008
Rodrigo was born a Borgia on 1 January 1431.
After his uncle and mentor became Pope Calixtus III,
the Pope placed the 25-year-old Rodrigo on the College of Cardinals.
He soon became a fornicator of great renown.
Pope Pius II rebuked him at 29 --
for wearing his cardinal’s robes to an orgy.
His uncountable offspring seem to have filled Rome.
Vannozza dei Cattanei alone bore the cardinal at least four children,
including the infamous Lucrezia, Cesare, and Giovanni.
Cesare Borgia’s viciousness inspired Machiavelli’s The Prince.
Historians debate whether Lucrecia’s child was fathered by her brother Cesare
of her father Rodrigo, and rumors about both spread during their lives.
A 1480 papal decree legitimized Rodrigo’s children with Vannozza --
despite him having been a cardinal when he fucked her.
After the death of Pope Sixtus IV, a homosexual,
Rodrigo was able to buy the Papacy,
and became Pope Alexander VI in 1492.
As Pope, he won Northern Italy for the Borgias
and had Savonarola, a Dominican reformer, burned at the stake.
Still, he patronized Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists.
He once sold, for 24,000 gold pieces,
to a nobleman lusty for his own sister,
official papal permission to commit incest.
In Rome, Giulia Farnese was called “bride of Christ”:
the Pope took her as a mistress when she was 16 and already wed.
He traveled with barely dressed dancing girls,
and was known not only for sponsoring nude and nearly nude dancing shows,
but for bringing disruptive girls to services, even to the altar.
Reportedly, on one such occasion, the party got out of hand and
he ended up stepping on the host itself --
to Catholics, the literal body of Christ.
He brought slews of prostitutes into his papal apartments.
Some 25 courtesans a night were his alone during festivals.
This in addition to his papal harem.
Sons Cesare and Giovanni sought his favors
by making gifts of new beautiful women, possessions to be enjoyed
and added to his papal harem.
When Giovanni won favor w/ one particularly satisfying Spanish plaything,
a jealous Cesare stabbed his brother and threw him in the Tiber.
The Pope was so saddened that he briefly repented his ways.
The sole good work ever attributed to Cesare
was founding a hospital for sick prostitutes.
In 1493, Cesare -- at 16 or so -- was made a cardinal.
In 1496, Cesare began an affair with his brother Jofre’s wife;
Cesare was probably 20, the wife 22, and Jofre 15.
In 1497, Cesare contracted syphilis, from which he’d soon suffer
genital pains and facial blotches, for which he’d wear a mask.
In 1499, Cesare left the Church to marry Carlotta of Aragon,
who France’s Louis XII had agreed to encourage to marry
in exchange for a papal annulment of the king’s own marriage.
When Carlotta refused, Louis XII substituted 17-year-old Charlotte d’Albret,
who Cesare married on 12 May, reportedly taking her twice
that same afternoon and six more times that evening.
After four months, Cesare left for Italy, never to see her again --
nor the daughter, Luisa, he left her pregnant with.
In 1500, Cesare captured the military stronghold Forli -- and
its staunch defender, Caterina Sforza, the 37-year-old woman
known for her unyielding defense of her people, even in defeat.
Cesare raped her, then told his men she had wanted it --
that she had defended her virtue with somewhat less force than her fortress.
His most notorious act for contemporaries, however,
was ordering the 1501 kidnapping of Dorotea Malatesta Caracciolo,
while she was traveling to see her husband, a Venetian officer.
He kept her prisoner to his lusts for two years,
all the while publicly denying any knowledge of her kidnapping
and pining the blame on one of his own men.
Then, when he tired of her, he sent her to a convent,
wherefrom she was released in 1504, free at last to join her husband.
The Bishop of Ostia records on party at the Vatican,
thrown by Cesare on 30 October 1501,
when some fifty courtesans danced, first clothed then nude,
before crawling naked on their hands and knees
to pick up chestnuts thrown about the room.
Then the women, on cue, moved to caress and fellate
all the men present, providing any sex desired.
The Pope, Cesare, and Lucrezia awarded prizes
to the men who fucked the most.
On 18 August 1503, the Pope died suddenly.
Pope Julius II, whose election a powerful but sick Cesare failed to block,
was an old family foe. Cesare was arrested but escaped.
Cesare died in an ambush on 12 March 1507,
wherein his body was pierced with lances some 25 times,
then stripped and left naked.
His wife, who he had only known for four months in 1999,
wore black from the time she heard until the day she died,
seven years hence.
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