The Real History of the Borgias

210px-Caterina_Sforza

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...]

Borgias end of season episodes: almost all fiction

210px-Caterina_Sforza

The Showtime Borgia miniseries has little to do with the real history of the period these days.  It's now easier to identify the rare points of overlap with history, than to point out errors. In the last two episodes of Season 3, this much was historic fact: … [Read more...]

Fictional Murders in “The Borgias” miniseries

Arquebus from the Borgias' time

Season 3, Episode 7 of the Showtime Borgia Series is completely fictional.  Cesare Borgia did not assassinate either Benito or Ludovico Sforza: the former is fictional and the latter died in a French prison … [Read more...]

The Borgias Season 3 – All Fiction So Far

CIMG2219

Since the Showtime Borgia series began I have been pointing out what is fact and what is fiction. (I know the difference because I worked hard to keep the history accurate in my .99  historical mystery, A Borgia Daughter Dies.)  The series has  strayed further and further from the historical record, and become stranger and stranger in the process. Season 3  so far is completely fictional, though … [Read more...]

Borgia incest: blame Lucrezia?

Just Who Is the Father?

History reverberates with rumors that the Borgias--father, son Cesare and daughter Lucrezia--committed incest.  Showtime could have taken the high road and avoided the rumors all together, since they are unlikely to be true. (See http://maryannphilip.com/cesare-borgia-pope-alexander-vi-lucrezia-borgia-involved-incest/). But judging from the preview to the third season, it appears Showtime is  taking the lowest of low roads: pretend there was incest, and blame it on Lucrezia. This is blaming … [Read more...]