Borgia (bōrˈjä) [key], Span. Borja bôrˈhä, Spanish-Italian noble family, originally from Aragón. When Alfonso de Borja, cardinal-archbishop of Valencia, was pope as Calixtus III (1455–58), several relatives followed him to Rome. His nephew Rodrigo became pope as Alexander VI, and Rodrigo's illegitimate children were Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia; the later reputations of these Borgias made the family name a synonym for avarice and treachery. To the Spanish branch of the family belonged St. Francis Borgia and Francisco Borja (1581–1658), a Spanish general and viceroy of Peru. The direct line of the family, whose senior members bore the title duke of Gandia, died out in the 18th cent.
See studies by E. R. Chamberlin (1974) and C. Hibbert (2008).
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