i will never fear to cite chizzari borja and his actions these were the words among many of nicolo machiavelli and his political treatise the prince the italian diplomat was utterly mesmerized by the man he wrote so often and so graciously about machiavelli would even go as far as comparing his muse to other iconic and well-accomplished rulers such as in the instance he wrote alexander never did what he said cezare never said what he did there were no bounds to how much machiavelli admired the son of the pope so what was it about this man that captivated one of italy’s most famous diplomats.
in history who was cesari borgia and why was he so special born in either 1475 or 1476 in supiyako as the illegitimate son of cardinal rodrigo borgia an aragonese man by birth and his italian mistress vanotza dai katani cesari borja would go on to become one of the most controversial and often vilified beings to ever walk the italian lands his family was far from seemly either as his father who would later become pope alexander vi in 1492 never even denied his affairs and illegitimate children and was known as one of the most contentious popes to ever take the title yet somehow chizzare managed to stand out for his own nefarious ex questionable morals showcased.
throughout his life and immortalized in the works of nicolo machiavelli initially cesari was raised to be in the church as his father was and was already made the bishop of pamplona at the age of 15 and archbishop of valencia two years later followed by additional positions of bishop of castra and bishop of elm once his father had become pope chizzarry would be promoted once more scarcely.
an adult now at age 18 when he was next made a cardinal he though did not like the church life at all and really seemed to have little care for even his own faith he much like his father was an utter failure when it came to his chastity vows and his contracting syphilis at a young age underscored this problem cesare was also bothered by the entire concept of being put in the church because this was reliant on the fact that rodrigo greatly favored his other son Giovanni.
the legacy of the borgia family had been put on giovanni’s shoulders not cesares it was the other one who had been put in charge of the military and would take the glory something that chizzari yearned for tensions may have reached their peak between the brothers who had long since shared the same mistress the wife of their younger brother joffrey and had a generally well acknowledged rivalry in the early summer of 1497.
it was at this point that their father decided to make giovanni the first duke of benivento cesari was put in charge of a simple paypal legate that would be sent to naples cesari was growing increasingly tired of watching his brother succeed while he was forced to continue the churchly duties that he viewed as so tedious and unimportant and although proof is only circumstantial this may be why a month later giovanni would go missing.
after dinner with his brother and his body would later be found floating in the tiba river having been stabbed nine times and his throat slashed whether this murder was done at the command of or by chizzari himself or had nothing at all to do with him it did nevertheless leave an opening that chizzari had relentlessly wished to fill and so he did on august 17 1498 jazari borgia would resign from his position as cardinal something that has never been done.
before by any prior cardinal understandably the decision had originally faced notable backlash from chizzari’s colleagues but thanks to his father’s position and habit of corruption a large enough majority of cardinals was eventually convinced to validate the decision and finally chisari was free from the shackles of the vatican now both rodrigo and chisari were unified.
in their goals and the first aim was for chisari to obtain his own italian state to rule over to do this the pope opted to depose all of the vicars in charge within romania and marsh and replace them entirely with cesare thankfully for the borgias despite resistance from the vicars the locals were not fond of their previous rulers and in fact welcomed chizzare.
as their new leader chizzari was also the commander of the paypal armies and duke of valentinua by this point thanks to an alliance that his father had formed with the french this new friendship with france also meant that chizzari was to marry the sister of the king of navarre who was a strong ally of france against spain who the borges had previously been aligned with but were no longer and this whole debacle got complicated for cesare startlingly fast.
cesare wanted to remain aligned with the french who had supported his resignation and career change even going as far as sending him troops for his campaigns in italy but rodrigo was not so attached to france and chisari’s sister lucrezia was actually married to alfonso the cousin of king ferdinand of aragon in signature cesare fashion a man who was described by machiavelli as just the right amount of cruel the decided solution was to simply murder alfonso to cut all remaining ties with spain by 1499 alfonso had become quite suspicious of such a scheme and had initially fled from rome but returned not long.
after for the birth of his and lucrezia’s son initially nothing happened and alfonso’s anxieties were fading but after word got out that the pope and ferdinand may have been reconsidering their previous alliance cesari resolved that it was time to take action he first sent a group of mercenaries something he used often to attack alfonso as he entered saint peter’s basilica but thanks to the spaniard’s bodyguards alfonso managed to survive the attack profoundly aggravated by the bosch’s assassination cesare now ordered his longtime friend and general micheletto corella and a few additional men to break into the room of the sleeping alfonso.
as he recovered from his injuries and strangled him to death this time the murder was successful any chances that friendship with spain had been dashed cezare had truly broken the heart of his beloved sister but to him it had all been worth it the next target of the condorcieri and commander was imola and then fourly and cesare would be backed by his own paypal army thousands of troops sent over from france and additionally italian mercenaries capturing both cities was a success.
although forly proved to be a more dramatic conquest due to its leader katarina’s sforza katharina had seen imola fault jazzari and had given the citizens of forly the option to surrender or fight once the borgia and his men arrived the people didn’t know how to respond and so katarina freed them of their oaths of fealty deciding instead to stand her ground alone and only with those who voluntarily joined her she then sealed herself into the fortress and would soon be under siege upon chizzari’s arrival.
on december 19 1499 the bombardment would continue until january 12 1500 when borgia’s troops stormed the fortress and despite her continued and valiant resistance captured katarina’s forza at this point the clever lady abruptly surrendered to frenchman antoine bise that was because katarina knew that french law did not allow women to be taken as prisoners of war this seemingly smart decision backfired.
though when the french simply gave her over to cesare who insisted that she would be treated as a guest though this is likely not what happened following the capture of forly chizzare’s french troops had to be sent home forcing cesare to return to rome early nonetheless the former cardinal was greeted with enthusiasm and praise and was granted the title of paypal gonfaloniere by his father chizzari would soon return to complete his campaigns to officially secure romania and marsh as his own and it seems that nearly everywhere he went his rule was well liked and had great approval despite his use of brutality towards.
those who dared oppose him he also managed to shake the final hold of the arrogance power in the south when his men routed fabrizio kolona and he would eventually capture the republic of san marino in 1503 prior to the latter though some of cesare’s condatieri tried to overthrow him forcing the pope’s new favored son to take another pause to deal with this revolt in a widely admired and respected act of cunning chizzari eventually invited the men to meet with him having offered a chance of reconciliation and compromise.
the gullible generals agreed and once they arrived cesare ordered them all to be arrested and eventually killed now having brought much of central italy under paypal control and wiping out any relevant oppression cesare had made a name for himself and his father and seemed to be on track for even greater success but in a turn of luck deemed as such by machiavelli cesare borgia would sadly fall from grace at a rapid speed around the same time both pope alexander and his son fell ill with what is believed to have been malaria.
the pope unfortunately succumbed to disease but cesare would manage to survive luckily for the latter as he was too ill at the time to truly participate in puppeteering the election for the next pope pope pierce iii was fond of the feisty borgia and supported him as his own father had in a streak of lesser luck pierce died 26 days later and with cesare still weakened his antagonistic rival giuliano de la rovere was elected as pope julius ii despite promising to leave.
the borgia bee as soon as he was elected rovery turned on cesare stripping him of san marino and eventually the rest of his lands in romania further adding insult to injury upon his arrival in naples cesare was arrested and thrown in jail eventually being transferred to spain.
after two years there somehow the unrelenting borgia managed to escape and flee to the safety of his brother-in-law in navarre in 1506 and the latter quickly put him to work as a general and it was this final assignment that would end chizzari’s luck and life in the early hours of march 11 1507 while besieging the castle of vienna cesare attempted to give chase to an isolated group of enemy knights unaware that none of his own men had followed upon noticing.
the lone attacker the rebels overpowered cesare dragging him from his horse and killing him the knights not realizing who he was stripped him of his belongings and left his nude body riddled with roughly 25 gaping wounds lying in the middle of the road for his men to soon find when the leader of this rebellious city luis de beaumont realized he was manic killed he was outraged cesare was no mere man and would have been worth a hefty ransom.
but now he lied dead in the road like a helpless animal the tomb of the most controversial borgia red here in a scant piece of earth lies he whom all the world feared words that along with one of the greatest praises from the writing of machiavelli truly emphasize what a powerful and history altering man chizzare borja was there was one man who showed glimpses of greatness the kind of thing that made you think he was sent by god for the country’s redemption.
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