15798316Published April 2nd 2013

This book is about The Borgia family which became popular in the 15th century during the Renaissance in Italy. The family is originally from Borja, then in the kingdom of Aragon in Spain. Two Popes came from this family, and they were quite active in politics. Many family members got married to Italian royal families and up to today their descendants are to be found in European royal bloodlines. The family is remembered because of their corrupt way of ruling. It is said that they were the first criminal family and that they are the ones that started the Italian maffia. You can imagine  many stories were written about criminality, evil and immorality within this family. The recent TV series repeats all of the usual legends in which the family’s behavior is almost to be comical. The author kind of contradicts those legends, in particular Rodrigo, as he comes up with convincing arguments about Rodrigo being a decent guy, with a bad reputation. Apparently he was quite friendly, a capable diplomat and good administrator.

As with G.J. Meyer’s book on the Tudors, this book is well written and well researched. However, it is quite lengthy as it’s not only about the Borgias family, but also about the history of Rome, Italy and the papal system.

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