The Fortunes of the Borgia Family explores the historical and cultural structures that underpin the Borgia family, their notoriety, and persistence and reinvention in the popular imagination.
The book balances studies focusing on early modern observations of the Borgias and studies deconstructing later incarnations on the stage, on the page, on the street, and on the screen. It reveals how contemporary observers, later authors and artists, and generations of historians reinforced and perpetuated both rumor and reputation, ultimately contributing to the Borgia Black Legend. Focused on the deeds and posthumous reputations of Pope Alexander VI and his children, Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, the volume charts the choices made by the family and contextualizes them amid contemporary expectations and reactions. Extending beyond their deaths, it also investigates how the Borgias became emblems of anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish criticism in the later early modern period and their residing reputation as the best and worst of the Renaissance.
Exploring a spectrum of traditional and modern media, The Fortunes of the Borgia Family contextualizes both Borgia deeds and their modern interpretations to analyze the family’s continuing history and meaning in the twenty-first century. It will be of great interest to researchers and students working on interdisciplinary aspects of the Renaissance and Early Modern Italy.
Chapter 1. Jennifer Mara DeSilva, Associate Professor of History at "Introduction: What Would Rome Be Without a Good Plot?"
Chapter 1: "What would Rome be without a Good Plot? Telling Tales about the Borgias"
Jennifer Mara DeSilva
Chapter 2: "Sexuality, Agency, and Honour in the Connections between the Borgia and Farnese Families in Renaissance Rome"
Chapter 3: "Lucrezia Borgia’s Honor"
Diane Yvonne Francis Ghirardo
Chapter 4: "Lucrezia Borgia’s Performances at the Este Court"
Chapter 5: "Electing Alexander… or Not? The Development and Reception of a Reacting to the Past Role-Immersion Game Based on the Papal Conclave of 1492"
William Keene Thompson
Chapter 6: "Picture the Borgias: What Pope Alexander VI’s Appartamento Borgia can tell us"
Chapter 7: "Depictions of Pope Alexander VI as the Devil"
Chapter 8: "Caught between Fact and Fantasy: The Borgia in English literature"
Chapter 9: "The Hispanic Ballad of the Death of the Duke of Gandía: Propaganda against or Sympathy for the Borgia?"
Chapter 10: "Prince, Villain, Fortune’s fool: Is Cesare Borgia’s reputation beyond repair?"
Chapter 11: "From Church to Street: Making Meaning out of Cesare Borgia’s Death and Burials in Viana, Navarre"
Chapter 12: "The Secularization of Cesare Borgia and the American Motion Picture Production Code"
Jennifer Mara DeSilva
Chapter 13: Requiescat in Pace: The Afterlife of the Borgia in Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Amanda G. Madden