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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The rehabilitation of Cesare Borgia

Cristoforo dell'Altissimo
Portrait of Cesare Borgia, (16th century)
Oil on wood, cm 60 x 45
Firenze, Uffizi, Corridoio Vasariano




The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 23 January 2007 reports that the remains of Cesare Borgia, the notorious inspiration for Machiavelli's The Prince, are to be moved into a Spanish church.

Cesare Borgia (September 13, 1475? – March 12, 1507) was the illegitemate child of Pope Alexander VI, one of the most notorious of the Renaissance popes. It is generally recognised that the Borgia family brought disgrace on the Church.

Cesare was made cardinal by his father at the age of 17 and an accomplished murderer by the age of 25.

His remains have lain for centuries outwith church grounds. For centuries local bishops in Spain have refused to allow theinterment of the remains in a church.

However, Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, the Archbishop of Pamplona, has caved in after more than 50 years of petitions and Borgia will finally be moved back inside the church on March 11, the day before the 500th anniversary of his death.

I guess there`s hope for us all.

Cesare Borgia`s ultimate fate is in the hands of God. But in the age of the instant headline and reaction, and when the Church has important battles to fight in the modern world, does the re-interment of the remains in a church give rise to, what is called in football, an "own goal" ?

The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church in its section on the Consistory of September 20, 1493 gives a full biography of Cesare Borgia.