Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI, born Roderic Llançol i de Borja (1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503), was Pope from 11 August 1492 until his death. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance Popes, partly because he acknowledged fathering several children by his mistresses. Therefore his Italianized Valencian surname, Borgia, became a byword for libertinism and nepotism, which are traditionally considered as characterizing his pontificate. However, two of Alexander's successors, Sixtus V and Urban VIII, described him as one of the most outstanding popes since St. Peter.
While undisputedly a corrupt and ruthless man, Rodrigo did have a few softer traits. He was for instance far more tolerant to Judaism than most Popes, and gave the Jews sanctuary in Rome from persecution during his reign. This led to rumours that he himself was Jewish, or of Jewish decent. Which is possible, due to the number of Jews who converted in Spain to allow themselves a better existence.
- Misused his position in the church to gain a massive fortune, which he used to help become Pope.
- Used political manipulation, bribery and murder to become Pope.
- Allegedly had sexual relations with his children (their is no historical evidence for this outside of rivals rumors).
- Held orgies frequently in the Papal Palace.
- Frequently abused his power as Pope.