The House of Borgia, or Borja, was an Italo-Spanish noble family that came to prominence during the Renaissance, when they acted as a most striking embodiment of the Templar Order. Notable members include Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia and his illegitimate children, Lucrezia and Cesare. In 1492, Rodrigo was elected Pope Alexander VI; as a result of his rule, the city of Rome declined into corruption, theft, murder and oppression.
During the reign of Alexander VI, the Borgia family was suspected of many crimes, including adultery, simony, theft, bribery, incest, and murder – especially by arsenic poisoning. Because of their constant grasp for power, the Borgia made enemies of the Medici, the Sforza, and the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, among others. Despite this, they were also patrons of the arts who contributed to the Renaissance.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze became a steadfast resistance against the Borgia in the early 16th century, and recruited citizens to the Assassin Order's cause. As the power of the Borgias declined into disarray, the city of Rome experienced a change, in that the benefits of art and culture finally arrived and its people discovered the prosperity of the Renaissance.
In 1503, with the murder of Rodrigo – courtesy of his son, Cesare – the Borgia family took an instant downfall, and Cesare, the former Captain General of the Papal armies, was arrested and exiled to Spain in 1504. Subsequently, the family lost all of its influence upon the death of Rodrigo, after Pius III and later Julius II succeeded him as Pope.
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