The Real History of the Borgias


An interesting exchange of comments on this website has me once again pondering the difficulties of deciding what is accurate history and what is fiction when writing about Italy five hundred years ago. I feel I should clarify one thing about my earlier posts: when I refer to "fiction" in critiquing the Showtime Borgia miniseries, I am saying that the version of history the Showtime writers chose to portray is inconsistent with any historical account I have seen.  In other words, they looked … [Read more...]

What did Juan Borgia look like?

Believed to be Cesare Borgia as a young man

There is no reliable picture of Juan Borgia, that I have found.  However, I am pretty sure the figure below, seated on the throne, is him.   … [Read more...]


A Borgia Daughter Dies - cover

My .99 cent e-book ($7.19 paperback)  is selling well and getting great reviews on Amazon.  Check them out: … [Read more...]

Did the Borgias kill Prince Djem?

prince gem, prince jem

Prince Djem, portrayed in the Borgia Showtime miniseries, was the brother of the Sultan of Turkey.  He was a real historical figure, thought to be the turbaned figure to the left of Lucrezia Borgia  in this painting, found in the Borgia Apartments in the Vatican.   But he was a middle aged man with grown children, who died later than shown in the Showtime series, and probably wasn't poisoned. However, he was widely rumored to have been poisoned by the Borgias--even though this was virtually … [Read more...]

Pope Alexander dead? Too early yet.

inage Sabonarola burned at the stake in Florence

The death of Pope Alexander VI?  Too early.  Lucrezia has not even started her second marriage, let alone her third.  The new king of France, Louis XII, has not yet invaded.  Cesare has not yet taken over the papal army, and conquered most of Italy. The third season is in the works.  Fear not.  Jeremy Irons will return. He only took one sip of the poisoned cup, remember?  The Borgias have a long way to go. … [Read more...]