Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Borgia chronology: The year 1494 (updated)


·      The Medici are driven from Florence. Ludovico Sforza “il Moro” becomes Duke of Milan. Lucrezia is at Pesaro. Juan’s son, Juan II of Gandia, is born (AL 10).
·      Alexander is now 63 years old.
·      Pinturicchio finishes frescoes in Borgia apartments at the beginning of the year. (See EC 73-80 on the Torre Borgia and the Borgia Apartments). There is a strong resemblance to Lucrezia in Pinturicchio’s St Catherine in the Disputa (MB 127).
·      Julia’s daughter, Laura, is about 2 [REF?].
·      At the beginning of the year, there are rumours of all kinds of portents in Italy. Savonarola, for example, sees the King of France as a new Cyrus who will pass over the rocks and the mountains and before whom the fortresses will fall, the fiery sword that he has seen in a dream. According to the contemporary historian Paolo Giovio, it is Isabella d’Aragona Sforza of Milan who sets “the first spark to the conflagration of war that was to consume Italy” because of her appeals to her father and grandfather to take action against Ludovico Sforza. As Ludovico confesses to his brother Cardinal Ascanio, he wants to call on the French merely as a threat to the King of Naples, and if the French should get out of hand, to call on the Emperor. Machiavelli says later that a prince should not make common cause with one more powerful than himself, and Ludovico Sforza underestimates Charles VIII’s “il mio particolare” or drive of self-interest. Charles also sees the conquest of Naples as a prelude to a crusade against Islam (RE 52-53).

Marchesa Isabella d’Este Gonzaga visits her sister Beatrice in Milan (JC Ch 7).

25 Jan
Ferrante I of Naples dies [“sine luce, sine cruce, sine Deo” as Burchard puts it; EC 115] and is succeeded by his son, Alfonso II (Duke of Calabria). The investiture question flares up once more, in spite of Innocent VIII’s having granted it already to Alfonso (CF 167). {SB 30-31; MB 43}

27 Jan
·      The Pope receives the news of Ferrante’s death and can no longer fend off the French King with promises of investigating the issue of investiture (RE 54). {LP5 421}
·      The Pope writes a letter to the French King in sorrow at his behaviour (threats of invasion and calling of a Council) and sends him the golden rose (CF 167).
·      At this time, Charles VIII immediately sends an embassy to Rome and communicates with della Rovere (the friend of the opposition Savelli, Colonna and Virginio Orsini). Alfonso II of Naples pays the necessary tribute to the Pope and promises to continue with this in the future, and also persuades Virginio Orsini to promise his complete submission to papal authority (LP5 421-22).

31 Jan
Giovanni Sforza settles with Lucrezia in Santa Maria in Portico. He fears both the Pope and his relations in Milan, being unsettled by any discord between the two parties. Lucrezia honours her husband in public. Her court is busy and envoys make it a habit to gather there when seeking advantage from the Pope. Lucrezia has chests full of appeals and memoranda. The Pope shares gifts with her, Julia and Adriana. Julia’s daughter Laura (2) is also in the palace (MB 47-48).

·      The Pope receives news that an heir to the Duchy of Gandia is expected (MB 40).
·      With a large army forming in France, Alfonso of Naples sends a splendid embassy to Rome whose ambassadors present the traditional white horse to the Pope. The Pope agrees that Jofré’s proxy marriage has to be consummated and squeezes other benefits for all his sons out of Naples (EC 117).
·      Cesare’s head is shaved in his first tonsure, a sign of his father’s determination to make him a priest (EC 117).
·      In the first week of the month, the Pope warns the French against any attack on Naples. He expresses surprise to Charles VIII about the King’s designs on another Christian power and sends him the golden rose. He pleads for a united front against the Turks (LP5 422).

14 Feb
An embassy from Naples under its Archbishop, Alessandro Caraffa, as well as the Marquess of Gerace, Count of Potenza, and Antonio d’Alessandro arrives to make obeisance to the Pope (LP5 422).

16 Feb
Pope Alexander introduces Jofré to the ambassadors of Florence and Naples, who are impressed by his astute replies and winning manners (as reported by Virginio Orsini’s correspondent who was present) (RE 39).

1 Mar
Giovanni Sforza tells the Mantuan envoy Brognolo that it is a good thing to cultivate the ladies who have access to the Pope, especially his wife Lucrezia. Brognolo, informing Marchese Gonzaga, understands that Lucrezia “has great access and could not be better”, and notes that he understands for her age she “has great intelligence”. The majority who want favours from the Pope “pass through this door” (SB 35).

8 Mar
In a ciphered dispatch of the Milanese envoy Taberna it is mentioned that Cardinal della Rovere should be detached from Naples and be won over to the French cause, thus attacking Pope Alexander from the ecclesiastical side. Secret negotiations are begun (LP5 423-24).

14 Mar
·      Marchesa Isabella d’Este Gonzaga is back in Mantua and rules in the absence of Marchese Gonzaga (JC Ch 7).
·      Giovanni Sforza heads the escort sent to the Lateran gate to receive the Neapolitan ambassador (RE 55).

17 Mar
The French King formally informs Pope of his intention to set out for Italy and that he will make his home in the Vatican (SB 44) {LP5 425}. The French King writes to the Pope and informs him of his intent to enter Italy in order to conquer Naples. He wishes to lodge in the Vatican. Juliano della Rovere has now abandoned Naples and the Aragonese. The Pope begins to prepare a defence and Giovanni Sforza is terrified. He visits the Vatican daily and pesters the Pope so much about his difficult position that the Pope accuses him of wishing to find out decisions before the event (MB 48-49).

20 Mar
The Neapolitan embassy makes private obeisance to the Pope (LP5 422).

21 Mar
Pope Alexander issues a papal bull supporting King Alfonso of Naples (RE 54).

22 Mar
·      While the golden rose is en route to France, Alexander, during a consistory, has a Bull read out in which it is confirmed that the investiture was granted to Alfonso, son of King Ferrante (CF 167), the Duke of Calabria, and not to Charles VIII. The invasion of Italy to conquer Naples becomes virtually unavoidable. Giovanni Sforza’s position becomes more difficult (SB 36).
·      The Bull notes that Innocent VIII had already granted investiture, which cannot be revoked, to Alfonso as Duke of Calabria (LP5 422-23).

23 Mar
On Palm Sunday, Giovanni Sforza occupies the place of honour at the celebration of mass in the Sistine Chapel (RE 55).

25 Mar
French envoys report preparations such as the strengthening of Sant’Angelo to their King and work at winning over the important Roman families and cardinals. On this day they succeed in convincing Cardinal della Rovere to leave for Ostia and head for France. A long-time friend of Naples, della Rovere’s personal hatred of Alexander turns him to the support of France (RE 57).

26 Mar
·      Cardinal della Rovere reappears in Rome (CF 168), but leaves for Ostia before the Consistory and begins to negotiate with the Colonna (LP5 424).
·      Cesare receives minor orders and the subdiaconate. He never receives priest’s orders (LP5 417).

27 Mar
The Gonzaga send the Pope fish from Lake Garda for the Lenten season, as well as cheese, which the Pope has distributed to Cesare and the ladies (SB 35-36).

30 Mar
Easter Sunday. Giovanni Sforza is one of the three dignitaries who give the Pope water to wash his hands during the service (RE 55).

·      Early in the month, Giovanni Sforza informs his uncle Ludovico il Moro that he has spoken to the Pope about the latter’s agreement with the King of Naples, and that his own position is awkward, being in the pay of both Milan and the papacy. He does not wish to offend and has asked the Pope to define his position. The Pope has told him to choose in whose pay he wishes to remain according to contract. Giovanni implores Ludovico to help him keep his “little nest” (FG 60). Both Ludovico Sforza and the Pope want to make use of Giovanni’s state, but the Pope wants Milan to pay for Giovanni’s condotta. Cardinal Ascanio informs Ludovico that it will be better to have Giovanni in Pesaro beyond the Pope’s grasp (SB 36-37).
·      Also early in the month, Brognolo informs Marchesa Isabella that, for giving gifts intended for the Vatican, hard currency is necessary. However, when it is offered, the Pope for some reason asks that it be held back for a week, but that jewels are acceptable. It becomes clear that it is in order to present jewels to Lucrezia, but Giovanni Sforza warns that the Pope may take jewels offered to Julia badly (SB 36).
·      After the Pope has told Giovanni Sforza that he takes too much interest in the papacy’s affairs, he orders Cardinal Ascanio to write to Ludovico Sforza about the matter. In his own letter to Ludovico, Giovanni says that if he had “foreseen in what position I was to be placed, I would sooner have eaten the straw under my body than have entered into such an agreement”. He is in a difficult position: Neapolitan troops may pass through his territory to Milan, and French troops on their way to Naples. He wants a guarantee of protection from Ludovico Sforza before resigning his condotta in the papal army. Since Ludovico refuses to help him, Giovanni remains in Rome (RE 56).
·       At this time, Cardinal Ascanio is displeased with Giovanni Sforza for his efforts in helping the Gonzaga, his former in-laws, to obtain a Cardinal’s hat for their family, which would be “a knife in his [Ascanio’s] heart”. How can Giovanni be so stupid as to assist an enemy of his own house? (RE 56].

18 Apr
·      A secret consistory is held from 5 am to 2 pm the following day, after which the Pope declares Alfonso the lawful King of Naples. He ignores the protests of the French ambassadors and the threats of a council to depose him, and draws up a bull to appoint Cardinal Giovanni Borgia as papal legate for the coronation (RE 54).
·      The consistory lasts eight hours. In spite of vehement protests by the opposition Cardinals and a threat of calling a Council by the French envoy, the Bull is drawn up (on the same day) for the appointment of the Legate for the Neapolitan coronation. Later, letters from Charles VIII threaten the Pope with disobedience and punishment for contrary Cardinals, who will have their benefices given to Ascanio (LP5 423).
·      At this time, Castel Sant’Angelo is strengthened and a secret corridor is built from the Vatican (EC 81-86).
·      Alexander gives his nephew Cardinal Giovanni Borgia Lanzol the task of going to Naples to crown Alfonso II (CF 167).
·      On this day, Cesare, just back from taking the waters at Stigliano, writes a loving letter to Juan, impressing on him the gratitude they should feel to the Pope (CF 167; see also Cesare’s imploring letter on p. 166) [indications that Juan has to be mollified and contained; Cesare’s resentment?]
·      Giovanni Sforza also writes a letter to Juan to thank him for his letter in which he expressed his joy at the kindness with which the Pope received Giovanni on his return. Giovanni appears to be on good terms with Juan. He informs Juan that he will soon be leaving for Pesaro to give attention to his affairs (troops) and that Lucrezia will accompany him. He declares his willingness to obtain Sicilian horses from the King of Naples that Juan would like to have (SB 37).
·      Cardinal della Rovere goes back to his stronghold in Ostia (CF 168).

20 Apr
Sunday. In vile weather, Burchard leaves for Naples and arrives there within 4 days to oversee the crowning of King Alfonso and the wedding of Jofré. He gets the King to announce in his oath that he rules only by the grace of the Pope (EC 117-18).

23 Apr
Cardinal della Rovere leaves secretly for France, leaving Ostia in the hands of his brother, Giovanni (CF 168).

24 Apr
News reaches the Pope that Cardinal della Rovere fled by ship the night before with 20 persons, leaving Ostia under its Prefect, Giovanni della Rovere. The Pope sends for the Neapolitan envoy and requests the King’s help, as well as a command to Virginio Orsini and the Count of Pitigliano to take Ostia back. Della Rovere first flees to Genoa, from where Duke Ludovico Sforza enables him to leave for France (Avignon) and then to go to Charles VIII’s camp (LP5 424-25).

28 Apr
A consistory is held (LP5 425).

30 Apr
King Alfonso of Naples summons Burchard to the royal palace to inform him about the ceremony for investiture (RE 57).

·      French ambassadors arrive in Rome to renew requests for recognition of French claims on Naples. Meanwhile, Ludovico Sforza of Milan works on his pro-French policy, imagining that the French King is an imbecile and the Emperor a tractable puppet (CF 168).
·      At this time, feigning neutrality, Venice encourages the French King. Florence is in the grip of Savonarola, who sees the French King as a Cyrus sent by God (CF 169).
·      With the help of Ludovico Sforza, Cardinal della Rovere reaches his bishopric in Avignon (RE 57).
·      The Pope grants permission that Lucrezia, Adriana and Julia may visit Pesaro (SB 38).

2 May
Stefano Taberna, the Milanese envoy, writes: “If Cardinal Juliano can be got to ally himself with France, a tremendous weapon will have been forged against the Pope” (SB 44).

7 May
King Alfonso is crowned (EC 117-18). Jofré is married at the Castel Nuovo in the presence of the King, Prince Federigo, uncle of the bride and Cardinal Monreale. The religious ceremony takes place on 11 May (MB 44-45). Jofré causes amusement by his overeager, precipitate response to “accept this woman” (EC 117-118; MB 44). {LP5 425}

8 May
Alfonso of Naples is crowned in the Cathedral of San Gennaro and swears to be faithful to the Holy Roman Church (CF 167; RE 57; LP5 425). On this day, he also grants the principate of Tricario, counties of Carinola, Claramonte and Luria, as well as other lands (each worth 12 000 ducats a year) to Juan. Jofré becomes Prince of Squillace, Count of Cariaci and Protonotary of the Realm with 12 000 golden ducats as yearly income (SB 37). Jofré is knighted and Virginio Orsini is made Grand Constable of the Kingdom (MB 45).

11 May
·      Jofré (12) marries Sancia (17), illegitimate daughter of Alfonso, in the Royal Chapel of Castel Nuovo (EC 117-118; MB 45).
·      Jofré is accompanied to Naples by Virginio Orsini, Captain-General of the Aragonese army and Don Ferrando Dixer, a Spaniard, to manage his household and continue his tutorship (MB 43).
·      Religious ceremony of Jofré’s wedding in the Castel Nuovo chapel. The banquet lasts until 3 in the morning and the bridal couple are put naked into bed, watched by the King, papal legate and guests while they set about kissing (CF 168; CF gives ages of 13 for Jofré and 15 for Sancia). Actually, the King and legate are summoned only after the naked couple are covered with a sheet that is drawn down to their navels. Jofré embraces his wife “without shame” (reported by Burchard), and the King and legate chat with them for an hour before leaving (RE 58). The Pope informs Juan that Jofré has consummated the marriage and “performed very well”, despite being only 13 years old (SB 37). {MB 45-46}
·      Cardinal Borgia comments on Jofré being “gracious and full of spirit”, and he and King leave the bedside before dawn. There is a heavy rainstorm (JB 84-85; MB 46).

12 May
Since the Pope’s ally, Alfonso II of Naples, is already on a good footing with Sultan Bajazet, Alexander feels free to ask the Sultan to send the annual 400 000 ducat payment (for keeping Djem) in order to enable him to defend himself against Charles VIII. Giorgio Bocciardio is to inform the Sultan that Charles wants to get hold of Djem to enthrone him in Constantinople. The Sultan must also ask Venice to give up its neutrality (LP5 428).

18  May
Juan has consummated his own marriage but his extravagance in Spain angers the Pope, who nevertheless informs him  on this day that Juan’s procurators have taken possession of his properties in Naples, “easily more than 12 000 ducats, fine, large and full”, before castigating Juan for being wasteful of his funds (SB 37-38).

Summer begins early. Dust, flies, plague. Lucrezia and Julia are on the loggia of Santa Maria in Portico to take evening air when they are abused by a crowd in the pro-French Colonna’s pay [REF?].

31 May
·      The threat of plague convinces the Pope to allow Lucrezia to leave for Pesaro with Giovanni Sforza, who has convinced the Pope that the people of Pesaro wish to see their Countess (RE 58; MB 49). Lucrezia, Julia and Adriana, under the charge of the Toledan Francisco Gaçet (Gasset), the Pope’s right-hand man, accompanied by Giovanni Sforza, set out for Pesaro (CF 170).  Gaçet, a canon of Toledo, often serves as Pope Alexander’s confidential agent. The journey takes over a week, with only a four-wheeled peasant-type and an artillery-type cart being available in the period for such travel (RE 58).
·      Giovanni Sforza as a captain of the Church is to join the Neapolitan army that is being formed under Duke Ferrandino of Calabria [King Alfonso’s eldest son] in the Romagna. According to Giovanni’s nuptial contract, he can take his bride with him to Pesaro (FG 60-61).
·      The cavalcade sets out from St Peter’s square.  In pelting rain Lucrezia, Adriana and Julia set out for Pesaro [REF?]. Giovanni Sforza is petrified by the Pope’s pro-Neapolitan stance. The Pope discusses with Adriana a return journey in July (MB 48-49).
·      At the end of May, Ostia capitulates through Fabrizio Colonna’s mediation. This secures not only Rome, but also communication with Naples (LP5 425).

1 Jun
·      Cardinal della Rovere is affectionately received in Lyons by Charles VIII and becomes a great supporter of a council to depose Pope Alexander (RE 57). The Cardinal’s urgings causes the King to hasten his departure (LP5 425).
·      The Pope’s enemies have hoped that della Rovere will carry the battle over into the purely ecclesiastical domain, which he now does by declaring the need for a Council. King Charles wants della Rovere next to him when discussing Church reforms with the Pope. “His [Pope Alexander’s] simoniacal election was the secret terror of his whole life” (Gregorovius) (LP5 426).

8 Jun
Lucrezia (14) makes her first appearance as wife and signora in Pesaro (CF 170). [See FG 65-69 and RE 60 for a description of the city.] Before reaching Pesaro, the cavalcade is “sumptuously” received by the Duke and Duchess of Urbino at Fossombrone. It is raining when they leave the town, but this does not prevent the people of Pesaro to show up in great numbers to welcome the party. Lucrezia and the others reach the ducal palace thoroughly drenched (RE 59). She retires to her room and has trunks opened by the fire (MB 50).

9 Jun
The weather clears and the sun shines for festivities in Pesaro. At this time, the Pope is preparing for a meeting with King Alfonso of Naples. Nevertheless, he keeps in touch with Lucrezia through special messengers who cover the distance to Pesaro within three or four days. Julia writes to the Pope that Lucrezia, Giovanni and she “looked as if we had despoiled Florence of brocade” at one of the occasions (RE 60-61) {MB 50}. Francesco Gaçet, a Catalan messenger and confidant of the Borgias, informs Adriana and Lucrezia about the Pope’s dangerous position in Rome, where he is beset by pro-French enemies such as the Colonna (SB 39).

10 Jun
·      All three women write flattering letters to the Pope, who, amid all his troubles, responds with charming replies (CF 170-72). Julia addresses the Pope “to my only Lord”. In a description to Cesare, Jacopo Dragoni, a doctor to the Holy See, describes Julia’s dark colouring, black eyes and “particular ardour” (MB 51).
·      In this period Lucrezia writes to the Pope, “We understand that at present things are going badly in Rome and I implore your Beatitude to leave and if that is not practical to take the greatest possible care, and Your Beatitude must not impute this to presumption but to the very great love I bear and be certain Your Holiness that I will never be at peace unless I have frequent news of Your Holiness” (RE 61). Adriana assures the Pope that he has nothing to worry about because Lucrezia and Julia are following his orders. It seems that Orsino is also present in Pesaro since he recommends himself to the Pope via Adriana. It appears that the Pope is using Cardinal Luigi d’Aragona’s sister, Julia d’Aragona, to keep an eye on Julia Farnese, since she refers to some watching brief in her communication with the Pope (SB 39).

14 Jun
Sancia’s behaviour necessitates that Anthoni Gurrea, the Catalan master of Jofré’s household, has to issue a sworn statement supported by a dozen witnesses that the “government” of ladies in the household is above reproach (“so honest and of such good order as is possible to have”), and that no man is entertained in the room of the Princess of Squillace (SB 54).

18 Jun
Cardinal Ascanio Sforza sends a ciphered letter to Duke Ludovico in which he says that the Pope is in the greatest alarm about della Rovere’s intention to support the calling of a Council and upholding the Pragmatic Sanction (LP5 426).[1]

24 Jun
·      About a fortnight later, Caterina Gonzaga [de Montevecchio/Montevegio] arrives in Pesaro and is scrutinised as a beauty by Lucrezia and Julia (CF 171).
·      Lucrezia describes her in a letter to the Pope. She has a beautiful complexion, hands and figure, but an ugly mouth and teeth, long face, “ugly-coloured hair” and many masculine facial expressions. She speaks well, but Lucrezia is not “very satisfied” with her dancing. “In short in every way she does not measure up to her reputation.” Julia’s assessment is more generous, and the Pope later replies that Julia is comporting herself with great modesty: “When you make her appear so beautiful, we comprehend your perfection, of which truly we have never been in doubt” (RE 61-62). Nevertheless, Lucrezia and Caterina quickly become friends (SB 40-41). {MB 50}

28 Jun
Ascanio, having brought about the defection of the Colonna, flees to their stronghold on this day. De Conti remarks that the Pope has enemies in his own “house”; his army is insignificant; he cannot expect any help from the Emperor or any other European power. The Pope, understandably, is alarmed to the point of despair (LP5 427).

±30 Jun
·      Rumours abound in Rome that Lucrezia is severely ill; the Pope is frantic (CF 172). {MB: 53: “mental illness”.} The Pope hears that Lucrezia is dying and sends a special messenger to Pesaro with a letter about the four or five days’ distress he has experienced on hearing that she is so sick that there is no hope of her surviving. “You can imagine how much grief this caused us because of the immense and cordial love we bear you, greater, indeed, than for any other person in the world. Until we saw a letter in your own hand which was badly written and shows us that you are not well, we had no rest. We thank God and our glorious Lady for having removed you from danger, and rest assured we shall never be happy until we have seen you in person” (RE 62). The Pope informs Lucrezia that Cardinal Ascanio has left Rome out of fear and suspicion of King Alfonso (SB 42). Julia Farnese writes to the Pope that “. . . where my treasure is there is my heart” (MB 51).
·      To Julia the Pope writes, “Julia, dearest daughter, I received your letter which if it had been longer and more prolix would have made me even happier” (RE 60). To Adriana he writes that “the French are coming by land and sea” and that around Pesaro the country “is filled with men-at-arms” (RE 62). {MB 52}
·      In letters he proposes to Lucrezia that Giovanni Sforza should quit the service of Milan and enter a Neapolitan brigade (which Giovanni later does, spying for Milan) (SB 42), “since the State of Milan will be reluctant to give him his money, seeing that we are allied with King Alfonso and Giovanni has no choice but to follow our will”. The Pope demands an immediate answer. (Giovanni does accept command of a Neapolitan regiment, as well as the pay, but informs Milan of Neapolitan troop strengths and movements) (MB 53).
·      At the end of June, Lucrezia writes to the Pope that she looks upon Adriana as a mother and Julia as a sister (RE 64).

·      At the beginning of the month, Cardinal Ascanio is openly in strife with the Pope and also leaves Rome for Genazzano, where he joins the Colonna (who are in the pay of France) (FG 60). Ascanio advocates a General Council to depose the Pope (SB 44).
·      About this time, too, the Pope wishes to discuss King Alfonso’s intention to send a Neapolitan army under command of his son Ferrandino into the Romagna, with the aim of opposing the first moves of the French and threatening Milan. The Milanese, incidentally, have not been paying Giovanni Sforza regularly for his condotta. The Pope writes to Lucrezia that he is of the opinion that because of the Pope’s alliance with King Alfonso and the fact that Giovanni Sforza has no alternative but to do as the Pope wishes, Milan will not want to give Giovanni his money. The Pope suggests that Giovanni take command of a Neapolitan brigade and that Lucrezia send her husband’s reply immediately since the Pope will be meeting with King Alfonso soon. The Pope also wants to know whether Giovanni will allow Lucrezia to return to Rome with Adriana and Julia while himself remaining in Pesaro to prepare for war and protect his state. The Pope instructs Adriana to sound Giovanni out by the means she considers most suitable, and let the Pope know if he should write to Giovanni himself “anything that is necessary” (RE 63).

8 Jul
·      A long letter in which Alexander recalls Adriana, who was supposed to be back in Rome by the beginning of July. He also wants Lucrezia and Julia to return to Rome (CF 172). The Pope addresses Adriana as “madama nepote carisissima” (“madam my dearest relative” [or “Madame Niece”]) in correspondence, but expects his orders to be followed to the letter. He informs her that he is to meet King Alfonso in five or six days, and if Adriana, Lucrezia and the others return to Rome immediately, he will ensure to be back in the city on 25 July. If this is not possible, he will remain with King Alfonso for a few more days. He then turns to the question of where the women will be housed in Rome (RE 63). He wonders whether Giovanni Sforza will join them on their journey, but he expects Giovanni to remain in Pesaro to raise troops (SB 40). Gaçet and Adriana must both sound Giovanni out about his intentions [it is significant that the Pope does not expect Lucrezia to do this] (MB 54).
·      The Pope asks Adriana and Gaçet to plumb Giovanni Sforza’s intentions. (The latter is in Urbino, spying on Guidobaldo di Montefeltro.) (MB 54-55).

12 Jul
·      A courier from Cardinal Farnese arrives with the news for Julia that their older brother Angelo is dying (CF 173).
·       At six o’clock in the morning, Adriana, Julia and Juana Moncada (Julia’s lady-in-waiting) leave for Capodimonte, the Farnese fortress near Lake Bolsena, accompanied by Francesco Gaçet. This is done against the will of Giovanni Sforza, who informs the Pope to explain matters: “God knows how I tried to dissuade them, especially when I realised that they would be departing without the knowledge of Your Holiness”. But then a second messenger from Cardinal Farnese arrived with a more urgent message, and Julia insisted on leaving immediately (RE 63-64; CF 173; MB 54). In a letter to the Pope, Lucrezia mentions the loss of the “sweet and loving counsel” of Adriana and Julia (RE 64).
·      Pope Alexander sets out for his meeting with King Alfonso II [REF?].

14 Jul
·      The Pope meets with King Alfonso of Naples at Vicovaro near Tivoli to make an alliance (FG 60). They agree that Virginio Orsini should stay and keep the Colonna under control in the Roman Campagna, whereas the main body of Neapolitan troops under Ferrandino, King Alfonso’s eldest son, with the support of the Florentines, should go north (SB 44) through the Romagna to threaten Lombardy (LP5 430). The French King is assured of the neutrality of Milan and Venice and is not deterred (SB 44). {MB 54}
·      King Alfonso’s brother, Federigo of Aragon, in command of the fleet, is to attack Genoa. The plan does not work because it is not carried out quickly and resolutely. Cardinals have abandoned the Pope and refuse to return – Ascanio is with the Colonna and della Rovere is with the French – both saying that Alexander must be deposed because of an unlawful election (LP5 431).

18 Jul
The Pope has returned to Rome (FG 61).

24 Jul
·      When Adriana and Julia arrive in Capodimonte to find Angelo already dead, distress causes them to fall ill with fever. The Pope sends them one of his doctors (SB 42-43), but reproves Lucrezia in a letter for not preventing Julia’s departure: “It is bad enough that a daughter should be so lacking in filial love that she shows no wish to return to her father, but that she should choose to disobey and betray him passes all understanding” (JH 60). {SB 43}
·      Julia arrives in Capodimonte in this period in time to comfort Angelo in his last hours. After his death, his wife Lella Orsini consoles Julia. Lella later becomes a nun at Murate convent in Florence. Then Julia shows no desire to leave but prefers to stay on with her mother, her sister Girolama Farnese Pucci, Cardinal Alessandro, Adriana da Milá and Francesco Gaçet (MB 55). {MB 56: Description of Bassanello.}
·      In his own hand, the Pope writes to Lucrezia about her not writing to him regularly from Pesaro: “In the future be more heedful and diligent”. He informs her that in Capodimonte, Adriana and Julia found Julia’s brother dead. They fell ill themselves of the fever and the Pope has sent physicians. He accuses Lucrezia and Giovanni of displaying “very little thought for me” in this departure of Adriana and Julia for Capodimonte without his permission, which causes him the greatest displeasure. Even if Cardinal Farnese commanded it, she should have asked if it would please the Pope – “However, it is done; but at another time we will be more careful and will look about to see where our interest lies”.  He is very well and very pleased about his meeting with King Alfonso. He hopes that the quarrels with the Colonna will be laid aside in a few days. He warns her to take care of her health and constantly to pray to the Madonna (FG 62; RE 64).
·      The Pope informs Lucrezia of his satisfaction with King Alfonso, “who showed us no less love and obedience than he would have shown had he been our own son. I cannot tell you with what satisfaction we took leave of each other. You may be certain that His Majesty stands ready to place his own person and everything he has in the world at our service”. The Pope underestimates the French and feels certain that Naples will prevail (RE 65-66). Guicciardini explains why the French (with Swiss infantrymen) were more competent and changed the nature of warfare in Italy, especially their proficiency in using cannon and military discipline (RE 66).
·      In a reply, Lucrezia defends herself and her husband, as well as Adriana and Julia (CF 173), but this does not satisfy the Pope who accuses her of being indifferent and deceitful, and, even worse, she showed no desire to return to him. It is clear that Lucrezia also provided and explanation of the events to Cesare, because the Pope states that this explanation differs markedly from the one given him. The Pope has instructed the bearer of the letter to deliver a stern oral reprimand to Lucrezia, which put her “in a great melancholy” as she later informs the Pope. She has injured her right arm and her chancellor had to write her previous letter on her behalf, which explains the difference in style. Discrepancies between the letters to the Pope and Cesare are slight and if the Pope rereads her letter, it will be clear “that I have no other desire save to be at the feet of Your Beatitude of which hope I am worthy, because until I am there, I will never be content, and of this Your Beatitude can rest assured” (RE 65). {SB 43-44; MB 55}

Lucrezia sees little of Giovanni Sforza, who has taken up a brigade command in the Neapolitan army. He has also undertaken to keep the Sforzas in Milan informed of the plans of the Neapolitans [REF?].

2 Aug
Giovanni Sforza informs Ludovico that he has provided the Milanese envoy with all the information about Neapolitan troop movements in Romagna and has discussed with him the Duke of Calabria’s arrival. He states: “Should any word of what I am doing leak out, I will find myself in the greatest peril, for I am committed to serving the Pope”. Lucrezia is unaware of this, while the Pope keeps her informed of his plans. She thinks Giovanni is devoted to the Neapolitan cause (RE 65; MB 53-54).

14 Aug
·      In the evening Julia writes to the Pope from Gradoli on the north-west shore of Lake Bolsena, after having been admonished by the Pope “to watch her virtue”. At this time, Julia’s husband, from Bassanello, begins to demand her return to him. The Pope, furious, forbids Julia to leave Capodimonte Castle, and summons Adriana to Rome. Adriana has to persuade Cardinal Farnese, who is on holiday at Lake Bolsena, to intervene on the Pope’s behalf and to prevent Julia’s husband Orsino from meeting her (CF 173).
·      Adriana does indeed go to Rome, hoping to make the Pope rescind his order, but instead he sends her back to Capodimonte to fetch Julia back to Rome (RE 68).

23 Aug
Charles has advanced as far as Grenoble. He has ordered all French prelates to leave Rome and not to send any money (tithes) there (LP5 431).

·      Early in the month, Orsino Orsini (18) receives orders to proceed to Umbria to join the Aragonese troops of the Duke of Calabria. When he reaches Civita Castellana in the Campagna, he complains of feeling ill and orders his troops to go on without him, whereafter he returns to Bassanello, urging Julia by letter to join him. She is still at Capodimonte. Before she left Bassanello, she wrote to the Pope, who orders her back to Rome and forbids her from rejoining her husband. This sudden insistence may also indicate that in addition to the Pope’s personal desire, he suspects that Orsini will not rejoin his troops in the Romagna if Julia goes to him (RE 76-68). At this time, Julia is in Capodimonte under protection of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese; Giovanni’s presence in Bassanello is a serious obstacle to Julia’s returning to Rome in terms of public embarrassment (MB 56). [MB 56 in error refers to Orsini as being in Capodimonte instead of Bassanello.]
·      Orsino threatens the papal court with scandal and is willing to sacrifice his life and possessions to get Julia to come to Bassanello, as he informs Julia, his mother Adriana and Cardinal Alessandro (MB 57).
·      An unsent letter to Lucrezia reveals Juan’s homesickness:
          “I feel a great desire to have news of you for it has been a great while since I received a letter from you and you can imagine, my lady sister, what a great joy your letters are to me for the love I bear you. So do me the favour of writing for my consolation, because already the Duchess my wife complains a great deal of you, that you have never written despite all the letters sent to you from here. She commands us to ask you to write, she is pregnant and in the seventh month. It seems two years since I left. I have written to His Beatitude to order my departure and from day to day I hope for this order . . . I commend myself to the lord of Pesaro, my dear brother, and similarly to Madama Adriana and Madama Julia.”
          At the same time he sends a similar letter to Cesare, asking him to convince the Pope to send galleys to fetch him to Italy. He says: “Each day seems like a year to me in the delay of those ships which His Holiness has written in recent days he will send soon.” (SB 38).
·      In this period, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese informs the Pope that regarding Julia’s return, he will do anything for the Pope but this (RE 68).  Julia may be judging it wiser to identify herself as an Orsini rather than as the Pope’s favourite amid rumours of a council to depose him (JH 60-61). In a report, Francesco Gaçet has informed the Pope that Adriana arrived at Capodimonte and told Cardinal Farnese about the Pope’s decision that Julia should leave for Rome whereas Orsino must do the Pope’s will. Cardinal Farnese fears further scandal and infamy being reflected on the Farnese house. Gaçet suggests that Virginio Orsini’s services be used to persuade Orsino to join the Neapolitan camp, after which the women could leave for Rome (SB 45-46).

3 Sep
·      On this day, the French army crosses the Alps. With Ludovico Sforza paying homage to Charles VIII, Gascon and Swiss mercenaries pillage Piedmont and Lombardy. Louis d’Orleans wins a naval battle against the Aragonese at Rapallo and lays waste to the Ligurian coast. The white Valois banner reads: “Voluntas Deo”. Philippe de Commines describes the advance as miraculous (JH 62).
·      Charles VIII crosses the frontier between France and Savoy. His land force numbers about 31 500 men, 10 400 of them on ships, and artillery (LP5 432).
·      The King’s advisers have convinced him that a strong Angevin party in Naples will support his dominion. The Italians nickname Charles VIII as “Re Petito” (MB 61).
·      Also in this period, the Pope speaks to the Ferrarese ambassador Pandolfo Collenuccio and finds it incomprehensible that the Duke of Ferrara will allow the French free passage through his duchy. The Pope “spoke with such vehemence of word and gesture that it was obvious he spoke from the heart, and many times his eyes filled with tears”. He says: “Italy ought to be left to the Italians and every man ought to feel safe in his own state” (RE 66).

5 Sep
·      Charles VIII enters Asti, where he is greeted by Ludovico Sforza (MH n.p.). At Aix, in addition to Ludovico il Moro and his wife Beatrice, Juliano della Rovere and Duke Ercole d’Este of Ferrara pay homage to the King (MB 62).
·      Charles enters Turin. During his stay at Asti, he receives news of the victory of Louis of Orleans, his brother-in-law, over Federigo of Aragon at Rapullo. At this point, Charles is checked by a sudden illness, but he recovers quickly (LP5 434-35).

18 Sep
Soldiers in the pay of the Colonna and Savelli drive the papal governor from Ostia and raise the French flag. Only the Orsini remain loyal to the Pope. This action opens the Tiber to enemy vessels and threatens Rome’s food supply. Sigismondo dei Conti says, “The Pope had an enemy in his own house; his army was insignificant and he could not expect any effectual help . . . from any other European power” (RE 76). French galleys soon appear (LP5 436).

21 Sep
During a conference in Rome, the Pope prevails on Virginio Orsini to order Orsino Orsini to join the Duke of Calabria’s camp, and Virginio sends a letter to Orsino from Monterotondo, an Orsini fortress outside Rome. He also instructs Orsino to write to Adriana and Julia immediately to order them to go to Rome so as to support the Pope “with all their skill and art to urge the Pope to remain firms in this enterprise”. The courier is to wait for the reply (SB 44-45).

The Pope sends several pastoral letters about licentiousness in Sancia’s household, and in this month he replaces Jofré’s preceptor, Don Ferrando Dixer, with Alberto Magalotti to oversee his son’s household. When in winter Jofré and Sancia go with King Ferrandino to Ischia under the French onslaught, the Pope summons the couple back to Rome as soon as Ferrandino has regained his throne (RE 79).

6 Oct
The Pope consults with Virginio Orsini and declares war on the Colonna/Savelli rebels. He sends them an ultimatum and commands them to lay down their arms. Troops are gathered for an attack, and Cardinal Piccolomini is to be sent to the French King. The King, however, sends a letter to his envoy in Rome: the Colonna are under his protection and he hopes to be in Rome by Christmas. Fortunately for the Pope, the Colonna have too few troops to do him serious harm, but they do prevent the Neapolitan King from deploying all his troops in the Romagna  (LP5 436-37).

14 Oct
·      The French army reaches Pavia (MH, n.p.; LP5 435). Charles VIII visits Gian Galeazzo Sforza and is moved to tears by Isabella d’Aragona (JH 62), who begs him to protect the legitimate branch of the Sforzas, her husband and son, against il Moro’s usurpation. A month later her husband will be dead (MB 62).
·      Cardinal Allesandro has sent Adriana da Milá to Rome to reason with the Pope, and she returns to Capodimonte on this day without having achieved anything. She is “God knows how tired” and bears the Pope’s message that Julia must return to Rome (MB 57-58). Some days earlier, the Cardinal wrote to the Pope that he would serve him “in all things possible”, but let him know through Adriana, except this matter: “It would be a blot on your honour to subscribe to this grave fault, which would end in a break with Orsino for a thing of this kind, and so public.” Gaçet confirms in a report that the Cardinal is not unwilling to offend Orsino through serving the Pope, but does not want his family name besmirched (MB 58).

15 Oct
·      Adriana, who is back in Capodimonte, writes to the Pope that Cardinal Farnese fears that Orsini may begin a slander campaign. Both Adriana and Gaçet, who also writes on the same date, recommend that the Pope should summon Orsino and Virginio Orsino (head of the clan) to Rome to clear up the matter (CF 174). On her return, Adriana has informed Cardinal Alessandro about her obligation, but he regards it as dishonourable and a mistake to break with Orsino publicly (as Adriana writes to the Pope). The Cardinal, with the “petticoat [or skirts; MB 57-58]” epithet already stuck to him, fears that gossip-mongers will have a field day if Julia returns to Rome against the wishes of her husband (RE 68).
·      In this time, Gaçet and Cardinal Alessandro recommend that the Pope order Orsino back to Rome so that Virginio Orsini can exert his influence in helping to settle the matter. The tone of Gaçet’s letter reveals that everyone at Capodimonte is embarrassed by the affair (RE 68). Also in this time, the Pope sends an archdeacon, possibly Pietro de Solis, who is to Orsino to allow his wife to go to Rome. But when de Solis reaches Capodimonte he is sent back to Rome and is soon followed by Navaricco who is taking letters from Adriana, Gaçet and Julia to the Pope (MB 58).

18 Oct
·      A message from friar Teseo Seripando in Bassanello to Capodimonte reveals that Orsino will under no circumstances allow Julia to go to Rome (CF 174). Fra Seripando is Orsino’s adviser and he warns Julia that Orsino will throw away a thousand lives and all his goods if she goes to Rome instead of Bassanello. Rage and discontent make him do abnormal things. Seripando is unable to placate Orsino, and if she does not come to Bassanello, “he will be like the devil” (RE 69). {MB 57: Text of letter.}
·      Charles enters Piacenza, where an envoy from the Pope fails to convince him to come to an agreement about the Neapolitan claim. Here he also receives news of the death of Giangaleazzo, Duke of Milan. Soon afterwards, more news arrives that Caterina Sforza and her son Ottaviano have declared for France, which signals the beginning of trouble for the Pope and Alfonso in the Romagna. The French troops cross the Apennines by the Col de la Cisà and encamp before Sazana, a Florentine fortress, to Italy’s great consternation (LP5 435-36).

19 Oct
·      Letters that the Pope receives from Capodimonte make him realise that there is a family alliance against him and that Cardinal Alessandro will not allow Julia to go to Rome unless Orsino agrees. Julia also insists that she will not leave without Orsino’s permission (MB 58-59).
·      Julia gives Navarrico, the Pope’s special messenger, a letter in which she informs Alexander that she will not leave without Orsino’s permission, which infuriates the Pope (RE 69).

21 Oct
·      Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, dies (Wiki, Gian Galeazzo Sforza, 7 Nov 10). When Charles VIII reaches Piacenza, he is informed that Gian Galeazzo has died of a sudden fever. Ludovico is elected as Duke of Milan (JH 62).
·      The presence of the French enables Ludovico Sforza, regent and uncle of Gian Galeazzo, to usurp the dukedom (RE 75).

22 Oct
·      Around this date: After Adriana lets the Pope know by courier that “we have no longer any excuses to find for Orsino”, the Pope writes letters of rebuke to Cardinal Farnese, Julia and Adriana, threatening the women with excommunication. In this letter to “ungrateful and perfidious Julia” (CF 175), the Pope accuses her of wishing to return to her husband and getting pregnant “a second time”; this implies that Laura is not Alexander VI’s daughter (CF 148). She is not to stir from Capodimonte, even less to go to Bassanello (CF 175). The Pope uses such phrases as “we judged the evil of your soul and that of the man who guides you” [Cardinal Alessandro rather than Orsino?], “perfidy and ingratitude”, “risking your life by going to Bassanello with the purpose no doubt of surrendering yourself once more to that stallion. We hope that you and the ungrateful Adriana will recognise your error and make suitable penance. Finally, we herewith ordain under penalty of excommunication and eternal damnation that you shall not leave Capodimonte or Marta and still less go to Bassanello — this for reasons affecting our state”. Adriana, too, has to remain in Capodimonte, and the Pope is angry at Cardinal Alessandro for so quickly preferring “Orsino to us” after all the Pope has done for the Cardinal. The Pope sends the Cardinal a papal brief forbidding Julia to go to Bassanello, so that the Cardinal can ignore Orsino’s commands. The Pope also informs Gaçet of his excommunication threat to Adriana and Julia if they continue to prefer “that monkey” (Orsino). The Pope is sending an archdeacon to Orsino to tell him to return to camp or come to Rome within three days to be excommunicated (RE 69). From this correspondence it appears that Julia had a child with Orsino (“surrendering yourself once more to that stallion”, implying an earlier intimacy), Laura, or another child who was stillborn or died early. If Laura was an Orsini, Julia must have passed her off as the Pope’s daughter to provide for a better marriage (MB 59).
·      The Pope also accuses Adriana of revealing her wicked mind and malignity by saying in the letter that Navarrico brought that she does not want Julia to go to Rome against Orsino’s will. The Pope forbids her to leave Capodimonte without his express permission, and in a letter to Alessandro Farnese reminds him how much he is beholden to the Pope: how can he betray trust and so soon prefer Orsino to the Pope? To free Adriana and Alessandro from the obligation of exerting pressure on Orsino, the Pope will send a papal brief with the Archbishop of Nepi to Orsino, commanding him “to conform freely to our will”. The Pope subsequently commands Orsino by brief, under the gravest penalties, to join the Duke of Calabria or to come to Rome within three days (SB 47). The Pope accuses Adriana to have “laid bare your malignity and the evil of your soul”. He hopes she will repent and do penance under pain of excommunication (MB 59).
·      Around this period, from Bassanello, Fra Theseo, a monk who is in Julia’s service, warns her that if she is wise she will under no circumstances go to Rome because he has never seen Orsino so enraged (SB 46).
·      In a letter to Cardinal Alessandro, the Pope addresses him formally, pointing out that the Cardinal has all too soon forgotten the favours he has received. The Pope includes a brief forbidding Julia to go to Bassanello, which exculpates the Cardinal. In his longest letter, to Gaçet, in a mix of Italian, Latin and Spanish, complaining about all of them, seeing malice everywhere. After so many promises, Adriana, the Pope says, “has entirely changed, ‘declaring expressly to us that she is not willing to bring Julia here against Orsini’s will’”. He asks how she could possibly prefer “that monkey to us”. The Pope notes that he has also read the letter from Fra Teseo Seripando at Bassanello to Julia. The Pope has seen through the malice by which it is animated. They will soon see who they are dealing with. If Julia and Adriana persist in pleasing Orsino rather than the Pope, he will excommunicate them all, including Julia’s cousin Renuccio Farnese. Gaçet must inform him as soon as possible what the women have decided (MB 60).

26 Oct
By now the French have entered Tuscany, and Piero de’Medici gives over all his fortified cities to them. This leads to his ruin at Savonarola’s behest: “The Sword has arrived!” (PL5 437-38).

28 Oct
Orsino still insists that Julia should come to Bassanello (SB 46). However, some time after this, the Pope sends an archdeacon to Bassanello, who has a good reception and stays for quite a long interview. The archdeacon returns to the Pope with a note from Orsino: “The archdeacon, bearer of this present letter, has given me Your Holiness’ brief and by word of mouth has told me certain things as from you. And I have well understood the tenor of the brief in question.” This foreshadows a capitulation; Orsino states that the Pope will receive assurances of his “entire goodwill” through the archdeacon, and Julia and Adriana will set out for Rome in the following month. Orsino will even try to squeeze some benefits out of the situation (MB 61).

29 Oct
Until 3 Nov, Cesare is on some mission to Marino [REF?].

31 Oct
·      The French army makes a temporary stop “at Santo Stefano, where the French King was met by a Florentine embassy lead by Piero de’Medici, who two years before had succeeded his father Lorenzo as Florence’s first citizen. In front of this formidable display of military might, Piero appears to have lost his head. In what immediately came to be seen as an act of unconditional surrender, he conceded to disburse 200 000 ducats to the French and to hand over the strategically important fortresses of Sarzana, Pisa, and Livorno. The news of Piero’s abject capitulation was received in Florence with a combination of disbelief and rage. On his return to the city, his authority was openly contested. After decades of silence the ancient rallying cry ‘Popolo e libertà!’ was again heard from the windows of the communal palace, and on 9 November, Piero was overthrown and expelled from the city, bringing sixty years of Medici rule to an abrupt and inglorious end” (MH n.p.).
·      Piero has deserted his Neapolitan allies (JH 63).
·      By the end of October, the French have driven the Neapolitans out of the Romagna and Giovanni Sforza returns home. Kind to Lucrezia, he tries to make Pesaro as agreeable as possible for her (RE 73-74).

Maria Enriquez gives birth to Juan’s son. Letter of Vanozza seeking audience with Pope about family matters. Expresses fears as she “wishes to leave as soon as may be”.
 Middle Nov: Giovanni Sforza returns home from army [REF?].

2 Nov
Cardinal Ascanio arrives in Rome and has a five-hour conversation with the Pope (until midnight) to convince him to take a neutral attitude. The Pope refuses to abandon Alfonso of Naples and even thinks of escaping to Venice (LP5 442). A few days later, Pandolfo Collenuccio, on behalf of Duke Ercole d’Este of Ferrara, tries to convince the Pope to side with France, but the Pope will rather sacrifice his life and tiara than become the French King’s slave (PL5 443).

5 Nov
“On 5 November, a Florentine delegation led by the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, was sent out to meet with the King at Pisa, with the explicit mandate to negotiate with ‘free and absolute authority’ about matters concerning the preservation of the city. Savonarola, who already prior to this date had begun to make oblique references to the coming of an unnamed foreign ruler, sent by God to punish the Italians for their wickedness and their sins, is by a friendly chronicler reported to have extolled Charles on the occasion as the divinely elected restorer of the Christian Republic. According to the same source, Savonarola should have informed the French King that it was in the interest of God that Florence should be spared from destruction” (MH n.p.).

8 Nov
Charles VIII enters Luca, where Cardinal Piccolomini finds him to reason with him. Charles refuses to see the Cardinal and says that he will treat with the Pope himself in Rome (LP5 438-39).

9 Nov
Piero and his brother Cardinal Giovanni de’Medici flee from a Florentine uprising (LP5 438). Charles is in Pisa, received as liberator from Florence, and meets a deputation under Savonarola, who hails him as a messenger from God who must be merciful (LP5 439).

± 15 Nov
·      As soon as the Neapolitan army leaves, Giovanni Sforza returns to Pesaro. The Pope begs Lucrezia to return to Rome and to leave her husband behind to guard his dominions, but the French have already crossed the Cisa pass and occupied the Apennine fortresses (JH 68).
·      Julia and Adriana are still at Capodimonte. The Pope sends Cardinal Alessandro as his legate to Viterbo (in the Alban hills about 50 miles north of Rome) (RE 70).

17 Nov
·      The French have marched through Piacenza, Sarzana and Pisa. At the latter, Savonarola appears in front of the King as a “messenger from God sent to reform the Church”. The French enter Florence amid jubilation. In this period, Cardinal della Rovere keeps on urging the King to call a General Council and depose Alexander VI, but the King is unwilling to do this: he fears the other powers, and this wife, Queen Anne, will disapprove. The King hopes to obtain the Pope’s permission for passing through Rome, but the latter is still talking of resistance. At this time, the Pope seizes Ascanio as a hostage when he negotiates on behalf of Charles (MB 62). {LP5 439}
·      “On his way down the Tuscan coast, Charles had been celebrated as a new conquering Caesar by the Luccans, and been greeted by an inscription in the city of Pisa extolling him as ‘the King of the Pisans’. Against this background it is understandable that his triumphal entry in Florence on 17 November developed into an elaborate and anxiously framed event” (MH n.p.).
·      At about this time, the Pope’s envoy to the Sultan, Bocciardo, is attacked near Ancona, along with a Turkish envoy, and robbed of dispatch boxes. This was a deliberate plot. The envoy is robbed of the 40 000 ducats for the Pope, but escapes. Bocciardo is detained by Giovanni della Rovere, prefect of Sinigaglia. Giovanni writes to his brother Cardinal Juliano and the stolen documents are published by the Pope’s opponents (LP5 428-29). The documents include a possibly forged letter in which the Sultan promises the Pope 300 000 ducats if he should execute Djem and send his corpse to the Sultan (LP5 440).
·      Also in this period, the Pope sends more envoys to the French King, who wants to “pay homage” in Rome (PL5 443).

22 Nov
After the capture of Bocciardo, Charles issues a manifesto to all Christian nations: his aim is only to use Naples to overthrow the Turks and liberate the Holy Land. He only wants supplies and free passage from the Pope. Yet, there is a veiled threat of a Council and deposition (LP5 440).

24 Nov
The Pope sends for the Prince of Anhalt, Emperor Maximilian’s ambassador, and asks for help to be delivered from this “terrible ‘Pilgrim’”. He also approaches the Venetians for aid. Food is becoming scarce (LP5 444-45).

25 Nov
·      “Not surprisingly Florentine and French sources conflict on how to read the symbolical and ritual language of the entry. While contemporary Florentine accounts of the event tended to depict it as a rite of welcome, and the relationship between the two parties as one between equals, the French sources argue that the Florentines during the ceremony in the Cathedral confirmed their vassal status, by pledging their obedience to the French monarchy, their overlord. The reason why Charles had remained so long in the city, they report, was because he desired ‘to subdue the Florentines in his obedience’ before marching off towards the glory and the power awaiting him in Naples. The stay of Charles and his army in Florence lasted for eleven days, during which tensions between the French and the Florentines were constantly mounting, until a pact of friendship finally was signed on 25 November” (MH n.p.).
·      Around this time, an informant reveals that Julia and Adriana, who are still at Capodimonte, are “at the disposal . . . of the Most Reverend Legate” and are only awaiting the arrival of Anichino, a Borgia servant, who is to escort them where they want to go, that is to say, Rome. At this time, too, Lucrezia is living a provincial life at Pesaro (MB 61).
·      Cardinal Alessandro Farnese cannot be blamed for this affair and must be morally vindicated; “he is eating his heart out,” as Jacobelli Silvestri, Bishop of Allatri and supporter of the Cardinal, writes (MB 67).
·      At this time, the Pope is insecure because of the revolt of the Roman barons. The Neapolitan King feels that he can no longer rely on the Pope. French ships are bringing reinforcements to Ostia and the Colonna/Savelli. The Pope’s enemies beat the drum of Council and deposition (LP5 442).

27 Nov
·      Julia, Adriana and Julia’s sister Jeronima [Girolama Farnese Pucci] decide to visit Cardinal Alessandro in Viterbo. The French have moved surprisingly fast and have already entered Viterbo (RE 70). The French encounter Julia’s party about a mile from the city (RE 70). [MB 63 gives the date as 29 November.]
·      Julia, still at Capodimonte towards end of month, is caught by French (commanded by Ives/Yves d’Allègre) on a mild winter morning on her way to Rome (Viterbo road) (along with her sister Jeronima (Girolama)) and Adriana. The women are taken to Montefiascone (CF 175-76; MB 63) with their retinue of 25 to 30 persons (FG 72).
·      Captain d’Allègre informs Charles VIII of his prisoners, but the King refuses to see them. A ransom of 3000 ducats is set. Julia writes to Rome that they are well treated and asks that the ransom be paid (FG 72). {SB 47}

28 Nov
·      Orsino requests large sum of money from the Pope “to pay troops” – his price for obedience. Before this, the Pope informs Gaçet that he has seen the letter from Fra Theseo to Julia in which the priest advises her to go to Bassanello and not Rome; “I know that friar”, the Pope remarks (SB 47). [See 22 October, RE 70.]
·      Orsino points out that his troops are refusing to march until they have been paid. All the Orsini troops in this period have to face serious difficulties; this foreshadows the great Orsini treason which will make it impossible for the Aragonese forces to hold out (MB 61).

29 Nov
·      In a letter, the Mantuan agent Brognolo informs Marchesa Isabella d’Este Gonzaga about the capture of Madonna Julia and “Madama” Adriana a mile outside Viterbo (JH 64-65; FG 72).
·      Around the end of November, Vanozza asks for an audience with the Pope as she wishes to tell him “many things about which I am sure Your Holiness would take great pleasure in hearing”; she wishes to rejoice with him “at the good news of the Lord Duke [of Gandia] and the fine son that has been born to him”. She also complains: “Pater santo, I am displeased [because] Your Holiness does good on my behalf and others profit by it.” From her letters it appears that she is in a state of fear of the French and wishes to leave. It is not possible to say whether she has left Rome. Julia’s case is also unclear: it does not seem that she is in Castel Sant’Angelo. However, from letters by Bishop Jacobello Silvestri, a man of the Savelli close to the Farnese family, it appears that Julia is at first obstinate about leaving Rome. But the Savelli then make arrangements for her to leave in safety. It is not clear whether she leaves or not (MB 65-67).

1 Dec
·      The Pope sends Cardinal Ascanio and Galeazzo di Sanseverino [brother of Cardinal Federigo Sanseverino] to negotiate the women’s release with the King of France, who grants the request. The women are escorted to the gates of Rome, where Alexander VI, dressed as a Spanish gentleman, receives them on this day (CF 176) {JH 65; FG 73; MB 63-64}.
·      FG says the Pope’s chamberlain, Juan Marades [MB 63: Giovanni Marraves], receives the party at the gates (FG 73), as does SB (47). ER also says that the Pope’s chamberlain receives Julia’s party, and Pandolfo Collenuccio reports to Ferrara: “It is said that Julia spent Sunday night in the apostolic palace”. It is Giacomo Trotti, Duke Ercole of Ferrara’s envoy in Milan, who informs the Duke that he has heard from Ludovico Sforza that the Pope met Julia and Adriana at the gates of Rome, dressed like a Spanish gentleman, “all very gallant”. Ludovico Sforza in turn alleges that he has had this information from his correspondents in Rome and Florence [see 21 December] (RE 70).
·      Lucrezia is still in Pesaro, possibly also enjoying living in the Villa Imperiale on the San Bartolo hill above the city. The Pope is supported only by Cesare in Rome with Juan in Spain and Jofré in Naples. The Orsini hand Bracciano to the French, and the Neapolitans withdraw south to defend their kingdom (SB 48).

2 Dec
·      Tuesday. Cardinal Ascanio Sforza reappears in Rome, finding the Pope engaged in organising defences. He attempts to talk the Pope and his supporters into surrendering (CF 178). Before that, Ascanio successfully demanded that Cesare surrender himself to the Colonna family; the French have taken Ostia (CF 177) {JB 93}.
·      Ludovico il Moro protests against Ascanio’s “detention” by the Pope (he is staying “ostensibly as a prisoner”), but at the same time asks Ascanio to sound out the Pope about forming a league against the French, whom he now describes as “a bad race” (JH 66).
·      Cardinal Sanseverino recommends that the Pope should seek reconciliation with Cardinal Ascanio because of his closeness to Charles VIII. Cardinals Sanseverino and Lunati conduct negotiations in Ascanio’s name with the Pope’s confidant Juan de Lopez. It is almost agreed that the Sforza and Prospero Colonna are to march against Viterbo (NLP5 445).

9 Dec
·      A rumour is going round that the Pope has capitulated, and Cardinal Ascanio and Prospero Colonna are preparing to inform the French King at his headquarters. However, the Pope has them jailed in Sant’Angelo. A small Neapolitan army arrives (CF 178).
·      Cardinals Sanseverino, de Lunate and d’Estouteville, as well as the Bishop of Cesena, are also jailed (JB 94).
·      Ascanio Sforza and Prospero Colonna are about to depart when they and Cardinals Sanseverino and Lunati are imprisoned on the Pope’s orders. The French ambassador is informed that Charles will not be granted passage through the States of the Church. The Pope is motivated in this because the Duke of Calabria, Giulio Orsini and the Count of Pitigliano are encamped with the Neapolitan army before Rome, which they enter on the 10th. The Pope hopes to regain Ostia by imprisoning Prospero Colonna and the Cardinals. He also hopes that the people of Campagna will rise against the French, yet begins to realise that the Neapolitan army will be no match for the French (LP5, 445-46).

10 Dec
·      The Bishop of Cesena is released, but after a secret consistory, attended by the captive cardinals, Ascanio and Sanseverino are moved to the apartments above the Pope’s in the Vatican, while Colonna and d’Estouteville are taken to Sant’Angelo. De Lunate is sent to Ostia to undertake negotiations (JB 94).
·      “On the 10th of December, 1494, the ambassadors of the King of France who had repeatedly demanded an open letter from the Pope during these days in regard to the passage through his territory and concerning supplies, again made representations to his Holiness on this matter. The Pope replied to them after the consistory that in no case would he grant free passage and supplies to the King and that they could inform the King of this according to their pleasure” (JB Ch 7).
·      In this period (about 10 Dec; LP5 446): At first, Alexander is in favour of flight but then decides against it. The citizen militia of Rome can clearly not be trusted, and the Pope asks Burchard whether the German colony can help, which they cannot. Alexander wants to rely on the papal army outside Rome, but Virginio Orsini goes over to the enemy and takes all troops with him. Virginio has simply opted for the strongest side and will later pay the price for this decision (EC 135). The Orsini offer their castle of Bracciano for his military headquarters. The Pope is left with a few Aragonese and Spanish soldiers (MB 64). {LP5 447}

17 Dec
·      On this day, the Orsini go over to the French and admit the King to Bracciano, where he sets up his headquarters (LP5 447).
·      On the day that the French storm and take Civitavecchia, the Pope and Ascanio are so deep in conversation during mass that they ignore the elevation of the host (JH 66). The fall of Civitavecchia prevents an escape via a sea route (MB 64). Around this time, the Pope sets Ascanio free. Alfonso II of Naples offers the Pope the fortress of Gaeta as a refuge, but Pope trusts only Castel Sant’Angelo (MB 64).

18 Dec
“On Thursday, the 18th of December, all the possessions of the Pope were packed up for departure with the exception of the bed and the ordinary side­board. In addition, the paraments of the sacristy of the Apostolic chapel and the whole furnishings of the palace and other papal belongings were sent to the castle San Angelo. All the cardinals were prepared for departure with freshly shod horses and mules in readiness” (JB Ch 7). {LP5 447}

19 Dec
·      The first French outposts appear on Monte Mario, and from the Vatican’s window the Pope can see them galloping in the Sant’Angelo meadow. Cardinal Sanseverino is released to treat with the French King. Food scarcity in Rome is becoming intolerable, and the Romans send word to the Pope that they will let the French in themselves if the Pope does not come to terms. The Duke of Calabria will accommodate the Pope in Gaeta if he should decide to flee (LP5 447-48).
·      The French have already taken Viterbo, Fundi and many other towns in the papal states. The Pope’s ally, Virginio Orsini, opens fortress at Bracciano and offers it to Charles as military headquarters. Alexander sees French troops on the banks of Tiber; from the windows of the Belvedere he sees the French King’s horses at pasture in the wide fields below (CF 178; MB 64; RE 71).
·      A deputation of Roman citizens arrives to demand that Alexander reach an agreement with the French King within two days, otherwise they will open the gates to him (CF 178).
·      “When Charles VIII of France  seized Rome in December 1494, demanding from the Pope to crown him monarch of Naples, the Orsini family hosted his troops in its fortresses and clamoured for Alexander VI’s deposition together with the Colonna family and most of the Cardinals. Thus Virginio, who had also been named Constable of Naples, betrayed both the Pope and the Aragonese dynasty of Naples” (Wiki, Virginio Orsini, 2 Sep 10).
·      “In former days as well as at this time, that is, on the 19th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd of December, the men of the French King organized raids over the Monte Mario as far as San Lazaro and the adjoining meadow of San Angela. They also decided to fall upon the city by stealth on one of these nights, the French through one gate and the Collonnese through the other. For aid and assistance a thousand Frenchmen were to come up by ship from Ostia. But the wind rose so strongly against them that they could not complete their program. Otherwise they would have carried their evil designs and broken into the city through the Porta San Paolo, setting fire, pillaging and doing much mischief. Some pointed out as the author of this plan the Cardinal de Gurck who had come, as the report went, in his own person to the vicinity of the city gate during that night, but had withdrawn again as the result of the adverse wind. In any case he was the main cause for the advance of the King against Rome. For he had caused the inhabitants of Aquapendente and of other lands of the Church to admit the King of France by praising to the skies the honesty and worth of himself and his men with the assurance that they would pay in full and in coin for every fowl and every egg or even for the smallest trifle. He asserted also the Pope himself had promised him access to and passage through the lands of the Church. In this way he induced the population to let in the King and his men against the decided will of the Pope. And in order to win over also the curials of German nationality he wrote an open letter which he had sent to us who were most prominent” (JB Ch 7).

21 Dec
·      Giacomo Trotti, Duke Ercole d’Este’s ambassador in Milan, writes that Ludovico has reproved Cardinals Ascanio and Sanseverino for allowing the Pope to get away with a ransom of a mere 3000 ducats for Julia Farnese: they could have asked for 50 000. Ludovico has heard from Rome and Florence that the Pope met the ladies in a black doublet bordered with gold brocade, a beautiful Spanish belt, a sword and dagger, Spanish boots and a velvet biretta. Ludovico laughingly wanted to know what Trotti thought of this. Trotti recommended trapping the Pope with fair words: “He who has the servant, as we say at home, has also the wagon and the oxen” (FG 74). {SB 47-48}
·      Trotti later relates other slanders that Ludovico states publicly (FG 75): he reports to Ferrara that Ludovico Sforza has publicly stated in his senate that the Pope has had three women come to him: a nun of Valencia, a Castilian, and a very young beauty from Venice. Trotti doubts the veracity of the story because the same tale is being spread about the Torta, a family of condemned traitors in Ferrara (RE 71).

25 Dec
In the morning, the Pope informs the Duke of Calabria and the Cardinals of his decision to release Cardinal Ascanio and allow the French into the city. The French King grants the Duke a safe conduct and the Neapolitans leave first for Tivoli and then Terracina on the same day. Three French envoys entered Rome during the night. The King wants Djem immediately, but the Pope does not want to give him up until the Crusade has actually begun. The matter is left undecided. The King promises to respect the Pope’s rights, but his troops will occupy the left bank (LP5 448-49).

26 Dec
·      “On Friday, the 26th of December, 1494, on the feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr, Cardinal Cibo, celebrated the solemn mass in the main chapel of the palace in the presence of the Pope. After the Pope had entered there came also three ambassadors of the King of France, who had arrived during the night before, namely the grand-marshal of France, Jean de Ganay, first president of the Parliament of Paris, and a third one, all laymen. To the first I assigned a seat on the steps of the throne before and above the senator, the two others were assigned to the bench of the lay ambassadors, where there were seated already two ambassadors of the King of Naples. These would not have anything to do with the newcomers, explaining that they were not aware that they were ambassadors, and they left their seats. By special order of the Pope I informed them that those were ambassadors of the King of France, whereupon they yielded and returned to their seats. Many Frenchmen had appeared with the three ambassadors, a large number of whom pushed themselves forward without any consideration near the prelates and sat down on their benches. When I showed them away and assigned them to their proper seats, the Pope summoned me and said angrily that I had ruined his intentions, and that I should permit the Frenchmen to remain where they wanted to. I replied to his Holiness that for God's sake he should not get excited as I now knew his intentions, and would not say anything more to them wherever they should stand” (JB Ch 7).

27 Dec
·      An armistice is arranged, the Duke of Calabria evacuates Rome, and the French begin to enter the city. Alexander shuts himself up in the Vatican with his bodyguard (CF 179).
·      Adriana and Julia take refuge in the Orsini palace and are therefore not part of the Pope’s court first in Sant’Angelo and later in Perugia (JH 76). {LP5 449}

31 Dec
·      The French cross Ponte Molle/Milvio and enter Rome by the Porta del Popolo (RE 71). At dusk, Charles VIII enters Rome. Burchard rides out to meet him and stiffly also greets Cardinal della Rovere. The King questions Burchard on the way to the palace about politics and protocol. At the palace, the royal bodyguard takes over and seals the palace off from the rest of Rome (EC 135). Cardinal Ascanio also rides beside the King (RE 71). It takes the French army six hours to march past (MB 64). {LP5 450}
·      Even Vanozza is in Sant’Angelo, but Cardinal Farnese has taken Julia out of the city (EC 136).
·      By the end of the year, Ludovico Sforza is alarmed by the successes of the French, and so are the Venetians (RE 74).
·      “On Wednesday, the 31st of December, 1494, I rode out by order of the Pope quite early in the morning to meet the King of France in order to explain to him the arrangements of the reception according to the ceremonial and to receive his decision and carry out his Majesty's orders. Near Galera, after two miles’ journey, we met the Cardinals Juliano della Rovere, Gurck and Savelli, to whom I made obeisance without dismounting from my horse. Soon afterwards came the King, to whom we also made our obeisance without dismounting on account of the dirt and the rain as well as his fast approach. The Bishop of Nepi executed the commission with which he had been charged by the Pope concerning the reception of the King, and I also explained to his Majesty what I had been charged with by the Pope. The King replied he wished to come to Rome without any display whatever. I received his answer and after me Hieronymus Porcarius, in the name of the Roman authorities, placed the citizens and their possessions at the disposal of the King. The King replied in a few words without entering into this matter. The Romans withdrew and the King called me at his side, and conversed with me for about four miles continuously, asking me about the ceremonies, the condition of the Pope, the rank and position of Cesare Borgia, and a number of other things, so that I found it almost impossible to give proper answers to every particular question. Near Borghetto two ambassadors of Venice came to meet the King. They dismounted and kissed their own hands before they offered them to the King. They did not kiss the hand of the King, however. Behind them came Cardinal Sforza, who greeted the King bareheaded without dismounting from his mule. The King too bared his head and greeted the Cardinal. Then they covered their heads and Sforza, riding at the left of the King, escorted him into the city over the Ponte Molle as far as the Palace San Marco, the usual residence of the Cardinal Cibo. The whole way to the palace was one mud and puddle. In all the streets from the palace of the Cardinal Costa near the Church San Lorenzo in Luzina as far as San Marco there was an illumination of fires and torches at eleven o'clock in the evening and all shouted: Francia! Francia! Colonna! Colonna! Vincula! Vincula! When we had arrived before the Palace San Marco, Cardinal Sforza did not dismount from his mule but baring his head took leave from the King, with his permission, before he entered the portal. Nor did della Rovere nor any other of the cardinals accompany the King. Today before the entry of the King into Rome the keys to the gates of the Viridarii, of Belvedere, of the middle gate and of all other gates of the city were entrusted to the grand-marshal of France, the above-mentioned ambassador of the King, upon his request and with the consent of the Pope. For the Frenchmen said — and this was true — that the keys had been surrendered the other day to the Duke of Calabria when he was in Rome and that the King of France was not inferior to him” (JB Ch 7).
·      Charles VIII takes up residence in palace of St Mark (CF 179) (now Palazzo Venezia). He wants the surrender of the Castel Sant’Angelo – where the Pope and Cesare have taken refuge –  and the investiture of the Kingdom of Naples. In the meantime, della Rovere and his supporters advocate a Council to depose Alexander (CF 179).

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[1] “The Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, issued by King Charles VII of France, on July 7, 1438, required a General Church Council, with authority superior to that of the pope, to be held every ten years, required election rather than appointment to ecclesiastical offices, prohibited the pope from bestowing, and profiting from, benefices, and limited appeals to Rome. The king accepted many of the decrees of the Council of Basel without endorsing its efforts to coerce Pope Eugene IV. The Gallican church – in the eyes of some – declared administrative independence from the church in Rome, suppressed the payment of annates to Rome, and forbade papal intervention in the appointment of French prelates. While this did result in a loss of papal power in France, the movement of conciliarists itself was divided. In 1449, the Council of Basel was dissolved and the Concilliar Movement suffered a nearly fatal blow.  The popes, especially Pius II lobbied for the repeal of the Pragmatic Sanction; and the French crown used promises of repeal as an inducement to the papacy to embrace policies favoring its interests. The Pragmatic Sanction eventually was superseded by agreements made between the French crown and Rome, especially the 1516 Concordat of Bologna” (Wikipedia).

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