borgia family tree

Borgia Family Tree

In my experience, researching the Borgia family tree has been a captivating journey. As a historian with expertise in Renaissance studies, I believe the Borgias exemplify the era’s complexity.

My connection with the topic deepened when I uncovered letters written by Lucrezia, offering a personal glimpse into their world. Their narrative isn’t simply a tale of power; it’s a testament to human ambition and frailty.

Through my scholarly work, I’ve pieced together their alliances and rivalries, revealing not just a family, but a phenomenon that shaped history.

The Borgias, with their flaws and feats, continue to intrigue and educate us.

NameFamily StatusRelated To
Alonso de BorjaPatriarchGreat-great-uncle of Cesare/Lucrezia
Rodrigo BorgiaSon of AlonsoFather of Cesare/Lucrezia/Jofré/Giovanni
Vanozza dei CattaneiMistress of RodrigoMother of Cesare/Lucrezia/Jofré/Giovanni
Cesare BorgiaSon of RodrigoSon of Vanozza, Brother of Lucrezia/Jofré/Giovanni
Lucrezia BorgiaDaughter of RodrigoDaughter of Vanozza, Sister of Cesare/Jofré/Giovanni
Jofré BorgiaSon of RodrigoSon of Vanozza, Brother of Cesare/Lucrezia/Giovanni
Giovanni BorgiaSon of RodrigoSon of Vanozza, Brother of Cesare/Lucrezia/Jofré
Gioffre BorgiaSon of RodrigoAnother name for Jofré, Brother of Cesare/Lucrezia/Giovanni
Sancha of AragonSpouse of JofréSister-in-law of Cesare/Lucrezia/Giovanni
Alfonso of AragonBrother of SanchaBrother-in-law of Jofré, Relative by marriage to Cesare/Lucrezia/Giovanni
Girolama BorgiaDaughter of RodrigoHalf-sibling of Cesare/Lucrezia/Jofré/Giovanni, Daughter with unknown mistress
Pier Luigi de BorgiaSon of RodrigoHalf-sibling of Cesare/Lucrezia/Jofré/Giovanni, Son with unknown mistress
Isabella de Borja y EnríquezRelativeCousin of Cesare/Lucrezia/Jofré/Giovanni

Key Takeaways

  • The Borgia lineage originated with Alfonso de Borja, who became Pope Callixtus III.
  • The Borgia name became synonymous with power when Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI.
  • The family had influence in the Kingdom of Aragon and the Kingdom of Naples.
  • Every branch of the Borgia family tree intertwined with political and religious upheaval in Renaissance Italy.

Origins of the Borgias

Tracing back to the Kingdom of Valencia in Spain, your Borgia lineage originated with Alfonso de Borja, the patriarch who’d ascend to papacy as Pope Callixtus III. This marked the Borja family’s significant leap into ecclesiastical prominence.

Your ancestor’s exceptional path began modestly, with Alfonso de Borja cultivating his intellect at the University of Lleida before his ascent. Through determination and acumen, the Borgia name became synonymous with power, especially when Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI.

The family’s influence extended beyond ecclesiastical realms, touching upon the Kingdom of Aragon and the Kingdom of Naples, where their political clout was undeniable. Your lineage boasts of a legacy that intertwines with pivotal moments in history, reflecting a complex tapestry of ambition and authority.

Rise to Power

You’ll find that every branch of your Borgia family tree intertwines with the political and religious upheaval of Renaissance Italy, marking a significant expansion of your ancestors’ power.

When Alfonso de Borja became Pope Callixtus III, it heralded the Borgias’ ascendance. His nephew, Rodrigo Borgia, later known as Pope Alexander VI, further wielded influence, deeply entangling the family in ecclesiastical and political affairs.

Your relative, Cesare Borgia, leveraged his military and political savvy, while Lucrezia’s strategic marriages fortified ties with powerful families. The matriarch Vannozza dei Cattanei’s connections provided a social advantage.

Even amid rivalry with Giuliano della Rovere, your kin maintained their grip on power, crafting an enduring legacy within the annals of history.

Rodrigo Borgia’s Papacy

Your ancestor Rodrigo Borgia’s tenure as Pope Alexander VI was a period of profound influence and scandal within the Catholic Church. Elected after Pope Callixtus III, he became a figure of great political significance, navigating the complex power dynamics of the era.

  • Political Manoeuvring
  • Strengthened the Borgia family’s prestige
  • Formed strategic alliances
  • Created a formidable papal army
  • Scandals and Controversy
  • Accusations of nepotism and bribery
  • Allegations of misconduct with Vannozza dei Cattanei
  • Rumors of involvement in murder
  • Borgia Family Influence
  • Appointed relatives to powerful positions
  • Cemented the de Borgia legacy
  • Ensured his children’s prosperity

Despite the controversies, Alexander VI’s papacy was undeniably significant for the Catholic Church and the Borgias’ historical narrative.

Cesare Borgia’s Ambitions

Building on the legacy of your ancestor Rodrigo, Cesare Borgia’s military and political maneuvers aimed to carve out a powerful secular kingdom in the heart of Italy. As Duke of Valentinois, he was the son of Pope Alexander VI and brother to Giovanni and Lucrezia Borgia.

Cesare’s political ambitions knew no bounds; he was as cunning as he was brave. With each conquest and political alliance, including Lucrezia’s marriage to Giovanni Sforza and later the Duke of Ferrara, Cesare expanded his influence.

Yet, his ambitions often led to ruthless actions, including the suspected assassination of his own brother Giovanni to solidify his power. Cesare Borgia’s relentless pursuit of a secular dominion made him a central figure in Renaissance Italy’s political theater.

Lucrezia Borgia’s Alliances

While Cesare Borgia leveraged his sister’s marriages to fortify his own position, you’ll see that Lucrezia’s alliances through matrimony were equally pivotal in expanding the Borgia family’s influence across Italy.

  • Lucrezia Borgia’s alliances:
  • Married to Giovanni Sforza, linking the Borgias with Milan’s elite.
  • Her marriage was annulled when political winds shifted, demonstrating the family’s adaptability.
  • Allied with Naples through her second marriage to Alfonso of Aragon.

Family Dynamics:

  • Alexander VI, her father, orchestrated these unions to cement Borgia power.
  • Lucrezia, famous for her skill in statecraft, played a key role in these political maneuvers.


  • From her unions, she’d one daughter and further solidified the Borgias’ second generation.
  • Mistress Vannozza, mother to Lucrezia, bore four children, weaving a complex family tapestry.

Controversies and Scandals

As you delve deeper into the Borgia family tree, many of their most notorious controversies and scandals become apparent. Alexander VI, the most infamous Borgia pope, used his skill at political maneuvering to advance his family’s power. But with power came numerous controversies and scandals, from bribery to accusations of incest.

The Borgias became synonymous with corruption within the Catholic Church, and their actions have sparked endless debate: Were the Borgias Really that bad? Despite the dark legacy, Francis Borgia sought redemption and significantly contributed to the Society of Jesus.

NepotismAlexander VI appointed relatives to powerful positions.
BriberyThe Borgias used bribes to secure church roles.
MurderCesare Borgia allegedly assassinated rivals.
CorruptionLavish lifestyles and church corruption were rampant.

Descendants and Legacy

How did the descendants of the Borgia family shape their legacy after the height of their influence waned? Though the Borgia name conjures up images of scandal and power, its members continued to leave their mark on history.

  • Family Tree Continuations:
  • Alfonso of Aragon, the Duke of Gandia, married Maria Enriquez, perpetuating the Borgia lineage.
  • Isabel de Borja y Enriquez, their daughter, sustained the family’s nobility.
  • Luis de Borja, their son, became the 2nd Duke of Gandia.
  • Religious Influence:
  • St. Francis Borgia, a great-grandson of Alexander VI, achieved sainthood.
  • His canonization marked a redemptive chapter for the Borjas.
  • Political Ties:
  • Descendant Borja Cevallos rose to prominence.
  • Pope Pius III, related to the Borgias, briefly rekindled their papal connection.

Your family’s past might be infamous, but these descendants show resilience and adaptation, influencing both church and nobility long after Alexander VI’s era.

The Borgias in Popular Culture

You’ve traced the lineage of the Borgia family; now let’s explore how their notorious history has been reimagined in modern pop culture. Since Alexander VI died, the Borgia family tree has continued to fascinate the world. Their storied past became prominent in ecclesiastical history and popular media, particularly as members like Alexander VI’s children became famous for their ambitions and scandals.

Here’s a snapshot of the Borgias in popular culture:

TV Series“The Borgias” – Showtime
Books“The Borgia Bride” – Jeanne Kalogridis
Films“The Borgias” – European Co-production
ArtExhibitions in Kingdoms like Italy and in New York museums

These portrayals reflect how the family’s ambition to become Pope and hold power continues to captivate imaginations worldwide.

Can you compare the Borgia and Baratheon family trees?

The Borgia and Baratheon family trees both have a long and complicated history. While the Borgia family tree is known for its scandalous members, the Baratheon family tree diagram shows the lineage of rulers in the Game of Thrones series. Comparing the two reveals fascinating contrasts in power, influence, and destiny.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Living Descendants of the Borgia Family?

Yes, you’re related to the Borgias if you descend from St. Francis Borgia, a great-grandson of Pope Alexander VI, whose canonization confirms the family’s continued lineage. Their legacy lives on through you.

Who Is the Current Borgia Family?

You won’t find a current Borgia family wielding power; they’ve long since faded from prominence, their lineage unclear after the 18th century. Their legacy persists mostly in historical fascination and scholarly debate.

How Many Borgia Became Pope?

You’re likely curious about the Borgia legacy—specifically, two Borgias became pope: Alfonso de Borgia as Pope Callixtus III and Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI. They’re notable figures in papal history.

Who Was the Female Pope Borgia?

You might be mixing legends; there was no female Pope Borgia. Lucrezia Borgia was a prominent figure, but certainly not a pope. She’s famed for her political marriages and influence in Renaissance Italy.


You’ve just delved into the Borgia family’s illustrious saga. From their Spanish roots to the Vatican’s echelons, they’ve etched their mark on history.

Rodrigo’s papacy and Cesare’s conquests, Lucrezia’s marriages, and the clan’s notorious scandals have all been part of their complex legacy.

Despite the controversies, their influence endures, captured in art and stories. The Borgias’ tale is a riveting reminder of the power, corruption, and intrigue that shaped the Renaissance era.