Alexander VI


Alexander VI
(1431–1503)
   Pope.
   Alexander, a nephew of Pope Callistus III, was born Rodrigo Borgia in Spain. At the age of twenty-five he became a Cardinal and was appointed Chancellor of the Roman Church in 1457. His scandalous private life earned a rebuke from Pope Pius II, but he was influential during the pontificates of Paul II and sixtus iv. Although he was known to be the father of Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, he was elected Pope in 1492. It was during his reign that the New World was divided between Spain and Portugal. His patronage of the arts, the excommunication and subsequent execution of the reformer Girolamo savonarola and the general opportunism and corruption of his court were the significant features of his Pontificate. The activities of Popes such as Alexander gave the sixteenthcentury Protestant Reformers grounds for criticising the Roman Catholic Church.
   P. de Roo (ed.), Materials for a History of Pope Alexander VI, 5 vols (1924);
   G. Parker, At the Court of the Borgia (1963);
   H. Vander Linden, ‘Alexander VI and the demarkation of the maritime and colonial domains of Spain and Portugal, 1493–1494’, American Historical Review, xxii (1917).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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