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Pope Alexander VI
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Religious Figure
    (January 1, 1431-August 18, 1503)
    Born in Xativa, Spain
    Birth name was Rodrigo Borgia
    Nephew of Pope Calixtus III
    Pope of the Catholic Church (1492-1503)
    He rose through the church hierarchy thanks to nepotism.
    He was elected pope by bribing members of the College of Cardinals.
    He had at least seven children, including Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia.
    At age 62, he took a sixteen-year-old mistress.
    He had fifty prostitutes working a banquet where he offered prizes to the guest who had sex the most times.
    His successor, Pope Pius III, forbade the saying of a mass for his soul on the grounds that 'It is blasphemous to pray for the damned.'
    Some historians suggest the most lurid stories about him were invented by his political enemies.
    After his son Giovanni was murdered, he announced he would dedicate himself to reforming the Church. (However, it was a short-lived phase.)
    He was a patron of the arts, hiring Raphael and Michelangelo.
    He welcomed to Rome Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal, declaring they were 'permitted to lead their life, free from interference from Christians.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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