Pope Alexander VI

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The Duke (Cesare) is a good-natured man, but he cannot tolerate affronts. I have often told him that Rome is a free city, and that everyone may write and speak as he pleases. Evil is even spoken of me, but I let it pass. I could have sentenced the Vice-Chancellor and Cardinal Vincula to death, but I did not wish to harm anyone, and I have forgiven fourteen great nobles.

Pope Alexander VI [also Alexander Sextus, born Roderic Llançol i de Borja] (1 January 143118 August 1503) was pope from 1492 until his death in 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized catalan surname Borgia became a byword for libertinism and nepotism, which are traditionally considered as characterizing his papacy.

Quotes[edit]

  • Pro salutae animae sua.
    • For the salvation of their soul.
      • As pope, to Cardinal Ximenes on the why he saw no reason to hinder his son Cesare Borgia's renunciation of the Purple (August, 1498), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Chapter V: The Renunciation of the Purple.
  • The very heart of him.
    • As pope, in a letter to the King of France, about the magnificence of his son Cesare Borgia (October, 1498), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Book III The Bull Rampant, Chapter I: The Duchess of Valentinois.
  • May the Lord array thee in the garment of salvation and surround thee with the cloak of happiness.
    • Inscribed words upon the mantle of gonfalonier given to his son Cesare Borgia (March 29, 1499), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Chapter IV: Gonfalonier of the Church.
  • "The Duke (Cesare) is a good-natured man, but he cannot tolerate affronts. I have often told him that Rome is a free city, and that everyone may write and speak as he pleases. Evil is even spoken of me, but I let it pass." The Duke replied: "Rome is accustomed to write and speak; it is well, but I will teach such people repentance."* The Pope finally reminded him how much he himself had forgiven, and especially at the time of Charles VIII's invasion, so many cardinals, whom the King himself had called his betrayers. "I could," he said, "have sentenced the Vice-Chancellor and Cardinal Vincula to death, but I did not wish to harm anyone, and I have forgiven fourteen great nobles."
    • Report of the Ferrarese ambassador, Beltrando Costabili to Ercole I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, February 1, 1502. Archives of Modena: As quoted in History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages (1900), Ferdinand Gregorovius, George Bell & Sons, London, Volume 7, Part 2 (1497-1503), p. 486. [1] See also L. Pastor, History of the Popes, vol.6, p. 12. [2]. (Commonweal writes: “Whatever his faults, the Pope appears to have been of a forgiving and clement disposition, pardoning foes when he had them in his power, and becoming reconciled with those who had bitterly opposed him. With Savonarola — pulpit methods, by the way, were scarcely as novel and extraordinary then as our author (Peter de Roo) thinks — Alexander VI dealt on the whole rather patiently, more so, indeed, than our author, who is hardly fair to the friar.” -- Commonweal (1924), Commonweal Publishing Company, volume 1, p. 185.[3])
  • I am coming; I am coming. It is just. But wait a little.
    • Last words (August, 1503), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Book IV The Bull Cadent, Chapter I: The Death of Alexander VI

External links[edit]

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