To Alexander we owe the beautiful ceiling of Santa Maria Maggiore, in the decoration of which tradition says he employed the first gold brought from America by Columbus.
By the fortification of Torre di Nona, he secured the city from naval attacks.He deserves to be called the founder of the Leonine City, which he transformed into the most fashionable quarter of Rome.As cardinal he had written two treatises on canonical subjects and a defence of the Christian faith.He rebuilt the Roman University and made generous provision for the support of the professors.On the other hand, the list of archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbacies, and other dignities held by him, as enumerated by the Bishop of Modena in a letter to the Duchess of Ferrara (Pastor, History of the Popes, V, 533, English tr.) reads like the famous catalogue of Leparello; and since, notwithstanding the magnificence of his household and his passion for card-playing, he was strictly abstemious in eating and drinking, and a careful administrator, he became one of the wealthiest men of his time. Towards 1470 began his relations with the Roman lady, Vanozza Catanei, the mother of his four children: Juan, Caesar, Lucrezia and Jofre, born, respectively according to Gregorovius (Lucrezia Borgia 13) in 1474, 1476, 1480, and 1482. Review, April, 1900.] That he obtained the papacy through simony was the general belief (Pastor, loc. della Rovere, Piccolomini, Medici, Caraffa, Costa, Basso, Zeno, and Cibò, held out to the end against Borgia.
In his twenty-ninth year he drew a scathing letter of reproof from Pope Pius II for misconduct in Sienna which had been so notorious as to shock the whole town and court (Raynaldus Ann. Borgia, by a bare two-thirds majority secured by his own vote, was proclaimed Pope on the morning of 11 Aug., 1492, and took the name of Alexander VI. of the Popes ", (German ed., Freiburg, 1895), III, 275-278; also Am. If that were true, Borgia could not have secured a two-thirds majority.
To maintain peace among Christians and to form a coalition of the European Powers against the Turks was the policy he had inherited from his uncle.
One of the first of his public acts was to prevent a collision between Spain and Portugal over their newly-discovered territories, by drawing his line of demarcation, an act of truly peaceful import, and not of usurpation and ambition [Civiltà Cattolica (1865), I, 665-680].
In 1456, at the age of twenty-five, he was made Cardinal Deacon of St.
Nicolo in Carcere , and held that title until 1471, when he became Cardinal-Bishop of Albano ; in 1476 he was made Cardinal-Bishop of Porto and Dean of the Sacred College (Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica, II, 12). Even after his ordination to the priesthood, in 1468, he continued his evil ways. 26), though it would be difficult to prove it juridically, at any rate, as the law then stood the election was valid.
During his reign Bramante designed for Ferdinand and Isabella that exquisite architectural gem, the Tempietto, on the traditional site of St. If not Bramante, some other great architect, equally attracted to Rome by the report of the Pope's liberality, built for Cardinal Riario the magnificent palace of the Cancellaria.