Thursday, 30 May 2013

A Borgia chronology: 1495 to 1496

1495
Gen
·      Pinturicchio completes the frescoes in the Borgia apartments. The Catholic League is formed (AL 10).
·      The Ferrarese envoy comments on the Pope’s “frugal” eating habits – he prefers only one course, but of good quality. In the early years of Alexander’s papacy, Cardinals Ascanio Sforza and Juan Borgia dine with the Pope frequently, as does Cesare, but later they try to avoid his table as often as they can (LP5 396).
Jan
“Alphonso [II of Naples], finding his tenure of the throne uncertain on account of the approaching invasion of Charles VIII of France and the general dissatisfaction of his subjects, abdicated in his son's favour [Ferdinand II; ‘Ferrandino’] in January 1495” (Wikipedia, Ferdinand II of Naples, 6 Apr 2011).
1 Jan
The French occupy the left bank of the Tiber. The Pope, Cesare and a few loyal cardinals are protected in the Vatican by a 1000 horsemen and some foot soldiers. Rome is anxious because the French plunder the Jews and do “great harm” (RE 71).
5 Jan
The Pope would have met the French King on this day, but has a fainting fit. The King demands control over Sant’Angelo, Djem and Cesare, which the Pope refuses. He will give up Civitavecchia, but not Sant’Angelo. Rome is in a panic (LP5 453-54).
7 Jan
About this time, disturbances in Rome become so bad that the Pope, Cesare and five cardinals escape through the secret passageway to the Castel Sant’Angelo. The French King demands that the fortress be turned over, and the Pope says that he will take his stand on the walls with the most sacred relics of the Church (RE 71). {LP5 454}
8 Jan
Vanozza’s luxurious house in Piazza Branca (one of her houses) is looted (CF 181). Rumours later have it that Vanozza was raped and demanded that Cesare avenge the deed, but this story is unfounded. From letters it is clear that Alexander VI saw and took care of Vanozza after his accession (MB 65).
9 Jan
French artillery is trained on Sant’Angelo and Charles VIII threatens to use it (CF 178). {LP5 457}
10 Jan
A stretch of wall of the Castel Sant’Angelo collapses during the night and the Pope’s resistance becomes futile (CF 178). {LP5 457}
12 Jan
“On Monday, the 12th of January, 1495, the King sights. He was accompanied only by the Cardinal de la Groslaye, who rode with a few nobles at a distance behind the King. Between him and the King there rode a captain of the body-guard that marched with the King looking after the men as they marched along. The Cardinal followed them with the other nobles” (JB Ch 7).
15 Jan
·      Alexander compromises with Charles, who gets Cesare as a legate (hostage) and Prince Djem in anticipation of a crusade (the annual sum from the Sultan excluded, though) (CF 179).  The Pope’s opposition cardinals are granted immunity and Charles obtains free passage for his troops through papal territory. He also gains the Civitavecchia fortress, but not the Naples investiture or surrender of the Castel Sant’Angelo. He undertakes to render obedience to the Pope (CF 179-80). Charles also wins cardinal’s hats for three of his advisers (RE 72) {MB 68}. Ascanio and Lunate are so dissatisfied that they leave Rome at once, but della Rovere stays with the King (LP5 458-59).
·      “The terms of the agreement of January 15th, 1495, were the following:  Caesar Borgia was to accompany the army as Cardinal legate (really as a hostage) for the next four months. Dschem was to be handed over to Charles during the expedition against the Turks; the Pope notwithstanding, still to receive the 40,000 ducats for his pension. The Cardinals, Barons, and Cities, with their Prefects, who had joined the French, were to receive a complete amnesty. Cardinal Giuliano was to retain Ostia, the Legation of Avignon, and all his other possessions and benefices. Cardinal Peraudi was to be confirmed in his Bishopric, and Cardinal Savelli reinstated in the Legation of Spoleto. In future all Cardinals were to be free to leave Rome whenever they pleased. The Pope granted a free passage to the French army through the whole of the states of the Church, and gave up Civita Vecchia to the King. Governors, acceptable to the King, were to be appointed to the cities in the March of Ancona and the Patrimony, and a similar condition was to be observed in regard to the Legates of the Campagna and Maritima during the expedition against Naples. The Pope was to keep the Castle of S. Angelo, and, on Charles’ departure, the keys of the city were to be restored to Alexander. Charles was to profess obedience to the Pope, to impose no constraint upon him either in things spiritual or temporal, and to protect him against all attacks. In regard to the election capitulation, the King and the Pope were to come to terms. The agreement contains nothing about the investiture with Naples; Alexander had been as firm on this point as on that of the Castle of S. Angelo. It was also an important gain for the Pope to have managed to avert the attack on his spiritual power. The vexation of the Cardinals of the opposition was intense” (LP5 457-58).
·      Charles’s fate in Italy: See EC 136 ff.
16 Jan
·      Pope Alexander receives King Charles in the Vatican and charms him. The Pope grants Briçonnet a cardinal’s hat. Then the King is taken to the Borgia apartments with the still fresh Pinturicchio frescoes. When some Frenchmen enter the Borgia apartments, they hurry over in a disorderly fashion without regard for ceremonial to kiss the Pope’s slipper; Burchard wants guidance for control, but the Pope merely shrugs his shoulders (MB 68).
·      The Pope receives the French King, who is to be accommodated in the stanze nuove. The Pope comes through the Sant’Angelo tunnel and the King, wishing to forestall him, meets him at the garden entrance of the tunnel.  Afters salutations, the KIng asks for a cardinal’s hat for his favourite, Briçonnet, and the request is granted immediately. The King is showed every honour (LP5 459).
18 Jan
The agreement between the Pope and the King is ratified officially (LP5 459).
19 Jan
The King presents himself at a Consistory to make obeisance to the Pope, but also first asks for the investiture of Naples, to which the Pope replies evasively. The King nevertheless promises obedience according to the traditional formula: “ Holy Father, I am come to offer obedience and homage to your Holiness, as my predecessors the Kings of France have done before me” (LP5 460).
21 Jan
The Pope makes the King’s cousin, Philip of Luxembourg, a Cardinal (LP5 460).
25 Jan
The Pope and the King go in state from St Peter’s to St Paul’s (it is the feast of St Paul’s conversion) to demonstrate their friendship (LP5 460).
26 Jan
King Charles VIII goes to the Vatican to be solemnly received again by the Pope and cardinals. Prince Djem is handed over to Charles personally, who welcomes him (MB 68-70). The Ferrarese envoy thinks that the King has obtained the investiture, but it is in fact only the nomination of two Cardinals (LP5 460-61).
28 Jan
·      Charles leaves Rome in splendid weather [and is embraced by Alexander] (LP5 461).
·      In fact worsted, Charles leaves Rome with Djem and Cesare, the latter with 19-wagon train. Outside the city, two wagons (the only loaded ones) turn back (CF 180). At Marino, Charles is informed that Alfonso II has fled to Sicily, leaving Naples in the hands of his son, Ferrandino, Prince of Capua (MB 69). The King has only the Bull granting permission to pass through papal territory (LP5 461).
29 Jan
·      On the first evening, Cesare strips naked to the waist and bests Charles’s wrestling champions (JH 69).
·      “On Thursday, the 29th of January, 1495, there arrived from France 18,000 ducats in barrels on mules for the French King and on the next day 4000 more were brought for the expenses that the King and those with him had every day” (JB Ch 7).
30 Jan
·      At Velletri, Charles is met by Antonio de Fonseca, the Spanish ambassador, who upbraids him about his treatment of the Pope, even tearing up the treaty and throwing it at the King’s feet. The following morning, Cesare has disappeared, leaving only his cardinal’s robes behind (CF 180). {LP5 462}
·      Before dawn, Charles is woken with the news of Cesare’s disappearance. Disguised as a muleteer, Cesare walked through the town to a tavern outside where a servant was waiting with a horse (JH 70). Charles declares that “all Italians are dirty dogs, and the Holy Father is the worst of them” (SB 50). He threatens to sack Velletri, but its bishop, Cardinal della Rovere, prevails on the King to desist (MB 69).
·      “On Friday, the 30th of January, 1495, it was reported to the Pope that Cesare had fled from Velletri in the disguise of a royal groom. He had left the King already before arriving there and had slept during that night in the house of the auditor of the Rota, Antonio Flores. When he departed together with the King, Cesare had taken along with him from Rome quite openly nineteen sumpters with his baggage under precious covers, amongst these two which were laden with his vessels of credence [silver of his credenza]. These remained behind already on the first day while the King and the Cardinal were riding to Marino, and returned in the evening to Rome. The servants of the Cardinal pretended at the court that the sumpters had been robbed and pillaged. The other seventeen went to the court of the King, who confiscated them after the flight of the Cardinal. When he had the bales opened, there was nothing in them. This has been told to me, but I think it is a lie” (JB Ch 7).
31 Jan
·      By dawn, Cesare is already in Rome at the house of Francesco Flores, after which he leaves for Rignano and Spoleto (CF 181). A mendicant friar travelling over the Apennines to Pesaro later brings Lucrezia news of Cesare’s escape (JH 70).
·      Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, being bishop of Velletri, prevents a reprisal sacking of the city by the French (CF 181).
·      After the French have left, Julia demands to leave the city and gets a horse and escort. She and Adriana join Orsino at Bassanello. Adriana’s role in the Pope’s life is toned down. Later she will serve as head of the papal household and be paid 50 gold ducats a month. Nor is there evidence of a relationship between Julia and the Pope after this time (RE 73).
Feb
·      About this time, Venice and Milan offer to join the Pope in a Holy League. Not long after they have approached the Pope, he sends Giovanni Sforza a letter addressed to the Doge, asking him for a condotta for Giovanni. Giovanni angers the Pope by wanting to discuss the proposal with Ludovico Sforza first. The Pope threatens Giovanni with excommunication if he should go to Milan; the Pope does not trust Ludovico Sforza as a new ally. Giovanni nevertheless writes to Ludovico, declaring: “As I am a Sforza, I wish to live and die with Your Excellency”. Venice will later – not of its own accord – offer Giovanni a condotta. When Giovanni asks after this, he is rebuked by the Pope for self-interest and reminded that his behaviour in the past could be repeated in the future. The Pope would not want even his own son, the Duke of Gandia, in his service if he “served us in the same way you have until now . . . I exhort you therefore to abstain from bargaining for a salary and to prepare yourself to serve well and loyally, putting aside ostentation and vanity” (RE 75).
·      Giovanni has in this period been begging the Pope to secure him a well-paying condotta in the armies of the League, but the Pope warns him that if “he wanted to become a captain, he had better try and give the impression that he was ready to serve the interests of his allies, and to look after the welfare of his men, instead of being only concerned with his own advantage . . . [He has] to conduct himself as a good and loyal soldier and to spend his salary in raising efficient troops rather than in frittering away the money either on himself or on unnecessary fripperies” (JH 72).
·      After the French take the seemingly impregnable fort of Monte S. Giovanni on the Neapolitan border, all resistance crumbles (LP5 463).
13 Feb
Capua opens its gates to the French (LP5 463).
16 Feb
The February weather is unusually mild. On this day, Gaeta falls (LP5 463).
22 Feb
The French occupy Naples (CF 181). Ferrandino flees to Ischia (LP5 463). The French successes will lead to a reaction in the north of Europe: Emperor Maximilian enters into an alliance with Venice. Ludovico Sforza also turns against the French (LP5 466).
25 Feb
·      Djem, corpulent by now and having to travel in winter, dies at Capua, and the French King sends his body to Constantinople (JH 71; Wikipedia, Cem, 2 Sep 10; CF 181).
·      “On Wednesday, the 25th of February, 1495, Djem, alias Zizim, brother of the Grand Turk, whom his Holiness had surrendered recently by reason of a treaty with the King, died in Naples, that is to say, in Castro Capuano, through eating or drinking something disagreeable to which his stomach was not accustomed. His corpse was then sent to the Grand Turk at his urgent request together with all the household of the deceased. The Grand Turk is said to have paid or given a large sum of money on this account, and to have received this household with favour” (JB Ch 7).
·      About this time, Adriana and Julia join Orsino at Bassanello [REF?].
Mar
Cesare reappears in Rome towards the end of the month (CF 181).
15 Mar
“On the 15th of March, 1495, the Neapolitan Castel dell’Uovo surrendered to the King of France. Performances were given before him by his men with French humour of tragedies and comedies representing the Pope, the King of Spain and the Doges of Venice as concluding a league and alliance with each other” (JB Ch 7).
18 Mar
Giovanni Sforza informs Ludovico Sforza that a messenger from the Pope has forbidden him from leaving home (possibly to go to Rome). He must join the service of the Pope, Milan and Venice. Giovanni is planning to go to Milan to place himself and his state under Ludovico’s protection (he seems to fear something) (SB 52).
24 Mar
·      The Ferrarese ambassador, writing to Duke Ercole d’Este, remarks that the Pope usually eats only a single dish, but a rich one. It is boring to eat with him and therefore people like Ascanio, Cesare and Cardinal Monreale [Juan Borgia the Elder], former dinner companions, avoid his table (FG 78).
·      By now, there has been an exchange of visits between Pesaro and Urbino (SB 52). Since Elisabetta Gonzaga married Duke Guidobaldo da Montefeltro in 1489, this means that the 24-year-old Elisabetta meets the almost 15-year-old Lucrezia (Wikipedia, Elisabetta Gonzaga, 15 Dec 10). Giovanni Sforza boasts to Marchese Gonzaga in a letter on this day that after Easter he will send Lucrezia “without fail” to Rome “from where she will not leave until she has obtained all we desire”, meaning a cardinalship for Sigismondo Gonzaga. He continues that “no one else can achieve this better, I am sending her and she goes willingly to serve Your Excellency to whom she is devoted” (SB 52).
31 Mar
“The speed and violence of the [French] campaign left the Italians stunned. Realization struck them, especially the Venetians and the new Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, that unless Charles was stopped Italy would soon be another province of France. On 31 March in Venice the Holy League was proclaimed; the signatories were the Republic of Venice, the Duke of Milan, the Pope, the Spanish Queen and King, the English King, and Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. The League engaged a veteran Condottiero, Francesco II of Gonzaga, Duke [sic; Marquis] of Mantua, to gather an army and expel the French from Italy” (Wikipedia, Battle of Fornovo, 2 Aug 10). (See 12 Apr.) {SB 50}
1 Apr
A detachment of 60 Swiss mercenaries from the French army, who are preparing to return home, are slaughtered in St Peter’s square. Some see this as Cesare’s revenge for the sacking of Vanozza’s house (CF 181).
5 Apr
The Venetian envoy informs King Charles about the League. The King is so furious that della Rovere cannot calm him down. This will force France to retreat (LP5 467).
12 Apr
·      This is Palm Sunday, and the League is announced officially in the various participating states (LP5 467).
·      A Holy League is created between the Emperor Maximilian, Spain, Venice, Milan and the papacy, ostensibly for a crusade, but actually with a view to curtailing French power (CF 181.)
·      Ludovico il Moro is disappointed that the Pope has not been deposed and begins to fear French domination. Charles orders retreat to Alps, leaving a French garrison behind in Naples (MB 70).
19 Apr
Easter Sunday.
1 May
“By 1 May this army [of a veteran Condottiere, Francesco II of Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua] was threatening the garrisons that Charles had left in a trail down Italy to guard his communications with France”   (Wikipedia, Battle of Fornovo, 2 Aug 10).
3 May
A consultation is held in Consistory: Should the Pope leave Rome? The Cardinals recommend that he stay (LP5 468).
4 May
The Pope informs the Cardinals that he intends to leave for Orvieto (LP5 468-69).
6 May
A letter from King Charles VIII promises that nothing will be done to disadvantage the Pope during the King’s stay in Rome. The Pope replies that a stay in Rome cannot be sanctioned and asks whether the King could rather choose Spoleto or Orvieto. Two Cardinals will escort the King through the papal states (LP5 469).
9 May
In spite of the Pope’s earlier disgust at Giovanni Sforza, he considers Lucrezia’s interests and sends Giovanni a letter to congratulate him on his appointment as a condottiere of Venice. He and his troops have to come to Rome. In another letter, the Pope commands Giovanni to send Lucrezia to Rome (RE 75).
12 May
Charles VIII holds a grand royal procession in the Naples cathedral (CF 181-82) to affirm his claim (LP5 468).
19 May
Envoys from the French King offer the Pope 50 000 ducats annually in tribute and 100 000 ducats still outstanding from Alfonso and Ferrante of Naples if the Pope grants the investiture.  He refuses, even in spite of menacing tones from the envoys – Rome is in a panic and all valuables are hidden (LP5 469).
20 May
·      Charles begins his return journey, still trying to wrest the investiture from the Pope (CF 182). He leaves half his army behind under Montpensier (LP5 468).
·      “On 20 May Charles left Naples leaving behind a garrison to hold the country and proclaiming that he only desired a safe return to France”  (Wikipedia, Battle of Fornovo, 2 Aug 10). This renews the danger to the Pope (LP5 468).
27 May
Accompanied by 20 Cardinals, the Pope leaves Rome and goes to Civitavecchia and then to Orvieto (LP5 470).
29 May
Ascension Day.
30 May
At the end of May, Charles VIII passes through Rome. Alexander and Cesare are in Orvieto (CF 182) where Cesare is governor. The Pope summons Giovanni Sforza by papal brief to accompany Lucrezia to Orvieto. When the Pope leaves for Perugia at the approach of the French, he has barely arrived there when he dictates a second papal brief threatening Giovanni Sforza with excommunication if he fails to bring Lucrezia to Perugia (JH 72-73).
1 Jun
Charles VIII returns to Rome, hopeful to meet with the Pope, who has removed himself and his family to Siena in order to leave Charles with “suitable lodgings” in the Vatican. When Charles takes the road to Siena, the Pope leaves for Perugia (EC 140-41).
3 Jun
King Charles leaves Rome for Bracciano. The French occupation was more orderly because the King did not wish to give “a handle” to his enemies. He sends an embassy to Orvieto in the hope of meeting the Pope (LP5 471).
5 Jun
The Pope and his Cardinals leave Orvieto for Perugia (LP5 471).
13 Jun
·      Giovanni Sforza and Lucrezia leave Pesaro, escorted by a troop of 80 cavalrymen (JH 74).
·      King Charles reaches Siena, where Savonarola upbraids him for not reforming the Church. The King will cross the Apennines safely until he reaches the Taro River (LP5 472).
16 Jun
·      Giovanni Sforza and Lucrezia (15) enter Perugia, where the Pope awaits them at a window of the Palazzo dei Priori with a hand raised in blessing. He asks Lucrezia to join him in Rome, considering that Giovanni will be away on service to the League [Adriana, Julia are in Rome] (RE 75).
·      In this period, the Pope presents the Doge with the order of the golden rose and bargains for months for condottas for Giovanni Sforza and Juan of Gandia (who is still in Spain). As captains of the Republic, Giovanni is paid 4000 ducats and Juan is paid 31 000 (JH 73).
·      The entire Curia is on the road and visits the Pope, who, garbed as a simple monk, spends part of the day in prayer in the convent of the most holy Sister Columbia of Rieti. Otherwise, he is feasted by city as a papal fief under the Baglioni (Gian-Paolo lives in open incest with his sister) (JH 76).
20 Jun
Giovanni Sforza leaves Perugia (JH 75) and returns to Pesaro (FG 75).
27 June
·      Alexander and Cesare return from Perugia to Rome, to the “admiration and enthusiasm of the Romans” (EC 141). There are still considerable French forces in Italy, especially in Naples and also in Florentine strongholds guarding passes of the Apennines (CF 183-84). For a brief period Lucrezia goes to Pesaro, but then returns to Rome (JH 79). {LP5 474}
·       “...  the Venetians and their allies established camp near Fornovo di Taro . . . some 30 km southwest of Parma, to wait for the French” (Wikipedia, Battle of Fornovo, 2 Aug 10).
2 Jul
“Three days afterwards the news of the first skirmish between the two  armies reached Mantua, and [Marchesa] Isabella hastened to  congratulate her husband on his success : ‘Most illustrious Lord, — I did not write before  to-day, because I had nothing to say, but now that  I hear of your success against the enemy, I will not  delay one moment to congratulate Your Highness on  this good news, which has given me the greatest  pleasure, and I hope in God that you will gain further victories. I thank you more than I can say  for your letter, and I beg of you to take care of  yourself, because I am always very anxious when I  remember you are in the camp, even although this  is where you have always wished to be. I commend myself to Your Highness a thousand, thousand times. — From her who loves and longs to see Your Highness, Isabella, with her own hand.’ Mantua” (JC Ch 7).
4 Jul
The French army reaches Fornovo (Wikipedia, Battle of Fornovo, 2 Aug 10), having crossed the Apennines and reaching the banks of the Taro on the borders of the Lombard plain (JH 78).
6 Jul
·      Battle of Fornovo near the River Taro: “Doge Agostino Barbarigo and the Senate received a report in which they were told that the Venetian army had not been destroyed, but that the result of the battle was uncertain because they had many casualties and deserters, but they did not know the enemy casualties. Due to the lack of details in this and due to other private correspondences, the Italians first believed they were in worse position than before, but the next day's detailed report declared victory. Though expressing dismay at his financial losses, Charles also voiced pride at the conduct of his soldiers and in the limited loss of soldiers ... Charles left Italy, without having gained anything” (Wikipedia, Battle of Fornovo, 2 Aug 10). {MB 70}
·      The Italians are actually badly mauled and Ludovico il Moro enters into his own treaty with Charles. If the French forget their claim to Milan, he will support Charles in the next round against Naples. The French, however, are now fully aware of Italy’s weaknesses (EC 141). Ludovico il Moro arouses the enmity of Venice and the papacy (JH 78).
·      Ferrandino, King Alfonso’s son, re-enters Naples on this very day (EC 141).
·      Pope Alexander VI realises that there can be no Italian independence with feudal lords placing their armies at the disposal of the highest bidder, making a prisoner of the Pope. It is necessary to revive the policy of Sixtus IV aimed at destroying the power of the Roman barons and centralising the states of the Church in a single principality. The Pope can then maintain the balance of power in Italy. This is the motivation for issuing a bull to recall Juan of Gandia from Spain (JH 79).
·      Giovanni Sforza appears not to have been present at the battle of Taro/Fornovo or the siege of Novara (FG 75).
15 Jul
King Charles reaches Asti. The expedition against Genoa was unsuccessful. Ferrandino has driven Charles’s troops out of Naples – they have retreated to Castelnuovo (LP5 474).
21 Jul
Alexander orders Savonarola to Rome to explain his prophetic gifts. The Pope has thus far put up with his personal attacks, but Savonarola’s support for the French becomes politically unacceptable: he openly urges Charles VIII to rebel against Rome’s spiritual authority (CF 184).
25 Jul
After Savonarola has threatened the pro-Medici followers in Florence with death, the Pope on this day issues a gentle-worded Brief to summon him to Rome to give an account of his prophecies and claims to divine inspiration (LP6 6).
30 Jul
Savonarola responds, refuses to go and pleads ill health (LP6 6).
5 Aug
The Pope issues a monition against Charles, threatening him with excommunication (Venice has urged this). Charles fears a double-pronged attack from Spain and the Emperor (LP6 475).
8 Sep
Savonarola disregards the Pope’s “invitation”, and Alexander writes to the friars of Santa Croce, enemies of those in San Marco (Savonarola’s church), and places Savonarola’s monastery under the jurisdiction of the Lombard Congregation. He bans Savonarola from preaching (CF 184). This is the turning point in Savonarola’s life (LP6 6).
29 Sep
Savonarola tries to explain himself, objecting to the Lombard jurisdiction, which the Pope later lifts, but not the injunction against preaching (CF 185). {LP6 6-8}
Oct
·      Savonarola delivers three sermons (CF 185).
·      Peace is declared between France and the Duke of Milan, and Giovanni Sforza is able to take Lucrezia back to Rome at the end of October (FG 76).
9 Oct
Charles comes to a separate agreement with Ludovico Sforza, separating him from the League. Soon afterwards, he enters French territory. All his projects have failed and there is no chance of a common European crusade against the Turks (LP5 475).
16 Oct
The Pope lifts the order on the merging of the San Marco church, but Savonarola may not preach and must come to Rome (LP6 8).
22 Oct
Ludovico Sforza formally obtains the ducal title from the Milanese nobles after the death of Gian Galeazzo (Wikipedia, Ludovico Sforza, 26 Jul 10).
26 Oct
In sermons delivered on the 11th, 16th and 29th, Savonarola calls for the death of the Medici supporters (the Bull against his preaching has arrived late) (LP6 9).
Winter
Alexander appoints four Spanish cardinals to Sacred College to strengthen his grip (RE 83).
25 Nov
The weather is exceptionally cold (LP5 476).
Dec
The Tiber overflows its banks, causing death and serious damage (“turning Rome into a kind of muddy lagoon”), and pestilence and famine follow. People see horribly monstrous apparitions (CF 183).
1 Dec
It snows a little, temperatures rise and rain falls incessantly for two and a half days (LP5 476).
4 Dec
The Tiber begins to rise and submerges the lower part of the city. The flood reaches the street around Sant’Angelo just as the Cardinals come out of the Consistory. They only just succeed in crossing the bridge. Water in Rome goes up to ten feet: it is a true disaster (LP5 477-78).
5/6 Dec
Saturday/Sunday night: the flood begins to subside (LP5 479).

1496

Gen
·      Alexander bestows the title of Most Catholic Kings on Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain (AL 10).
·      Rumours of a chimerical monster seen on the Tiber’s banks, described by the chronicler Domenico Malipero (ass’s head, woman’s body, tail ending in a snake’s head, etc.) (CF 183). {LP5 480}
·      In this year, Juan lives in the Vatican, Lucrezia in the palace of Santa Maria in Portico, Jofré in the house of the Cardinal of Aleria (recently deceased) near the bridge of Sant’Angelo, and Cesare somewhere in the Borgo (FG 77).
·      Already in this year, an envoy remarks that Cesare “has the Pope in his fist” (SB 76-77). Yet contemporaries say the Pope has ten souls (MB 74).
·      King Charles still holds Asti and the Florentine forts to keep the Apennine road open, and there are 10 000 French troops left in Naples. Ferrandino is supported by Spain and Gonzalo de Cordoba, as well as papal troops (LP5 482).
·      The Colonna are fighting on Ferrandino’s side. Ignoring the Pope’s remonstrances, Virginio Orsini takes service with the French – they have some success in the Abruzzi  (LP5 482-83).
·      The Pope spends large sums on strengthening Sant’Angelo (LP5 483).
·      The Turks take many fortresses from the Hungarians in Bosnia (LP6 86).

Jan
·      It appears that Giovanni Sforza is in Rome for a while (SB 53).
·      Early in the month, Marchese Gonzaga leaves Mantua to take command of the Venetian army sent to assist Ferrante in recovering Naples, which Ferrante re-entered the day after Fornovo (from Ischia) (JC V1 128).

Feb
·      Giovanni Sforza is with Lucrezia in her palace, holding receptions, inter alia for Marchese Gonzaga (30), Giovanni’s former brother-in-law (RE 76) and the four newly elected cardinals (MB 70).
·      Giovanni’s first wife was Maddalena Gonzaga of Mantua, and he remains on good terms with the family (RE 77).

11 Feb
The Florentine Signoria, being secular, commands Savonarola to resume his preaching (LP6 10).

17 Feb
Savonarola ascends the pulpit and preaches throughout Lent. In the face of great provocation, Pope Alexander maintains great moderation and patience, waiting for six months before taking action (LP6 11, 13).

±28 Feb
By the end of the month, the Pope declares Virginio Orsini and his son Giovanni Giordano rebels (CF 187; RE 84; LP5 487). After the Orsini betrayal, the Pope decides to teach the family a lesson; it is also the first phase of his action against the Roman barons [REF?].

Mar
Giovanni Sforza is sent to Naples where remaining French outposts need to be eliminated (RE 76). He is away for a month (MB 70).

4 Mar
·      Marchese Gonzaga complains bitterly to Duke Ludovico Sforza in a letter that Lucrezia has failed to obtain a Cardinal’s hat for his brother, Sigismondo Gonzaga (SB 52).
·      [Spring] Marchese Francesco Gonzaga passes through Rome on his way to Naples and writes to his wife, Marchesa Isabella d’Este Gonzaga: “Tired as I was I went to pay my respects to the Pope’s daughter with whom I spent an agreeable evening” (JH 79-80). He also visits Cesare, and the Pope presents him with the golden rose for his services to the Church as Captain-General of Venice. The Marchese’s correspondent, Floriano Dolfo, says in a letter that the Pope has brought to the golden rose such a “stink of trickery, simony, quarrels and cankers that not even the perfume of so noble a flower can overcome it” (SB 52).

Lent
Savonarola delivers sermons in coarse language and imagery that cannot be repeated: he may be suspected of paranoid obsession. (Alexander even sent Cesare to offer Savonarola a Cardinal’s hat) (CF 185).

Apr
Ferrandino hands over Brindisi, Otranto and Trani to Venice for their assistance. By now the French have almost no footing left in Calabria, Apulia and Terra di Lavoro (LP5 483).

3 Apr
Easter Sunday.

7 Apr
Giovanni Sforza, after having written whiny letters to Duke Ludovico, is involved in negotiations with Cardinal Ascanio, Duke Ludovico Sforza and the Pope over payment for his condotta (SB 53).

16 Apr
Giovanni Sforza is in Naples until he returns to Rome (RE 76-77, 79). He arrives in Rome on this day to extract money from the Pope. He resists attempts to make him leave earlier (SB 53).

18 Apr
Lucrezia’s birthday.

27 Apr
·      Giovanni Sforza probably confides to the Mantuan envoy in Rome, Gian Carlo Scalona, about his feelings, for the envoy writes on this day to Marchese Gonzaga that “the Signor of Pesaro perhaps has something in his household that others do not realise”. He departs from Rome the following day in desperation, according to Scalona, “leaving his wife under the apostolic mantle”, and it appears that he will never return (RE 76-77, 79).
·      However, problems in Naples have caused him to return there and he remains until all French resistance has been cleared up at the beginning of August (RE 76-77). [According to Haslip, Scalona writes to the marchioness; JH 80.] Lucrezia is said to have cried at Giovanni’s departure (JH 80).

28 Apr
Giovanni Sforza leaves Rome, and the Mantuan envoy Gian Carlo Scalona writes that “perhaps he has something at home, something which others would not suspect”. But there is no such hint from any other sources, especially from the Milanese envoy, Stefano Taberna, who is close to Giovanni and would know (SB 53). {MB 71}

1 May
From this month, until December, the Pope tries to induce Giovanni Sforza to return to Santa Maria in Portico. The Pope considers Giovanni to be in his service and pays his allowance (MB 77).

2 May
Carlo Scalona reiterates that Giovanni Sforza has left “in despair, leaving his wife beneath the apostolic mantle,” and letting it be known that he will not be returning to Rome. He will stay in Pesaro (MB 71).

20 May
·      In late afternoon, Jofré and Sancia, Prince and Princess of Squillace, arrive in Rome. Lucrezia and her 12 ladies in waiting, accompanied by scores of dignitaries, are there to meet them at the Porta del Laterano. The couple take up residence in the palazzo of Cardinal Ardicino della Pora, not far from Sant’Angelo (CF 186). Sunny afternoon. [MB 71 says the arrival took place at 10 am. See for detail on the event.] Gossip has it that Lucrezia is jealous of Sancia and fears competition: “The Countess of Pesaro is anything but pleased”. (RE describes the route of the cavalcade, as well as the ceremonies (Burchard).) Sancia is dark-haired and green-eyed (RE 79-81). Rumour has it that Sancia is making Lucrezia feel resentful: “This is beginning to make the [Pope’s] daughter jealous.” “The Countess of Pesaro is anything but pleased” (MB 71).
·      Scalona writes dispatches about the entry to Marchesa Isabella d’Este Gonzaga, describing their black dress in detail, Sancia wearing an embroidered one with wide sleeves in the Spanish fashion. Lucrezia is dressed in green and gold brocade with a feathered bonnet (JH 84). Scalona describes Sancia as actually being surpassed by Lucrezia in beauty, but Sancia by gestures and aspect is a sheep that “will put herself easily at the disposal of the wolf”, and with her ladies they form a “fine flock”. She is more than 22, naturally dark, has glancing eyes and an aquiline nose, and is “very well made up”. Jofré is dark in complexion, is lascivious-looking and has long hair with a reddish tinge (SB 54). {MB 72}
·      According to their marriage contract, Sancia and Jofré should have lived in Naples (JH 83).
·      “On Friday, the 20th of May, 1496, at six o’clock in the afternoon an entry was made into Rome through the Lateran gate by one Gofredo Borgia of Aragon, a son of the Pope, about fourteen years old and his wife, Sancia of Aragon, with about six ladies of her household. There went out to meet them the captain of the squadron with his men-at-arms, about two hundred of them, the suites of all the cardinals and the papal prelates. For every single Cardinal had been requested that morning by papal runners at the instigation of Cesare to send their chaplains and men-at-arms to meet his brother Gofredo, upon his entry into the city. This they all did and dispatched their men as far as beyond the aforementioned gate, and here Lucretia Sforza, also a daughter of the Pope, and wife of Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro and sister of Gofredo met them with twelve other women. Two pages preceded her bearing two cloaks and riding on two horses one of which was covered with precious gold brocade, the other with crimson velvet. She greeted her brother and his wife with affection. When we had come to the palace, the Pope went to the hall of the Pontiffs and sat down on an elevated seat that had been prepared for him there in the centre of the left wall with a green carpet before it on which was depicted the Saviour laying His fingers on the side of St. Thomas. Another similar carpet was laid over the seat. Eleven cardinals were standing around in their coats. We entered the hall through the three ordinary halls, the chamber of paraments, the Camera Papagalli and the others. Before the footstool of the Pope there stood a small stool on which lay a cushion of brocade, and before it four larger cushions of crimson velvet cross­wise on the floor. Gofredo made obeisance to the Pope in the customary way and kissed his foot and hand. The Pope took the head of Gofredo between both his hands bowing his head over him but without kissing him. There followed Sancia, who in the same way kissed the foot and hand of the Pope and whose head he took in the same way between his hands. Also Lucretia was thus received by the Pope. After this Gofredo approached every Cardinal beginning with Pallavicini and kissed their hands, whereupon each of them gave him a kiss upon the mouth. Sancia too kissed the hands of the cardinals and these took her head between their hands as if they wanted to kiss it. During this the daughter of the Pope stood before her father. Then Gofredo placed himself between the cardinals Sanseverino and Cesare Borgia, his brother. Lucretia sat down on a cushion on the floor at the right of the Pope, Sancia on another one at the left of the Pope, and the other ladies approached to kiss the papal foot. The Pope, Sancia and Lucretia exchanged together a few hilarious remarks. After this Gofredo, Sancia, and Lucretia and all the others went away while the Pope remained in the hall, and in the same order as we had come we rode to the house of the former Cardinal della Porta, where Gofredo and Sancia found quarters and reception. At the entrance they thanked those who had escorted them in the proper way; then Gofredo, Sancia, and Lucretia entered, where they were greeted by many Roman ladies who were awaiting them there” (JB Ch 8).
·      Sancia is not guilty of mistreating Jofré and actually defends and spoils him, but soon enters into an affair with Cesare (MB 72).

22 May
·      On the Sunday of Pentecost, Sancia and Lucrezia, to Burchard’s indignation, in St Peter’s, “perched on the marble stand used for the reading of the Epistle and the Gospel”, misbehave by whispering and giggling. The Pope himself loses patience with the prolix preacher (CF 186; EC 90). They first entered noisily leading a group of laughing young women and then clambered up the stalls reserved for the canons of St Peter’s. The Pope dismisses the incident as amusing during a dreary sermon (JH 85-86).
·      Lucrezia and Sancia become tired of standing and climb up the stalls reserved for the canons of St Peter’s and for the singing of the gospel. All the court girls follow them with an accompanying rustle and laughing, all the while pretending to pay attention to the sermon. The Pope finds this amusing, but Burchard refers to “great impropriety and to the disgrace and scandal of ourselves and the people”. This may be the beginning of friendship between Lucrezia and Sancia (MB 73).
·      Burchard notices them standing on the marble staircase on which the canonicals sing epistle and the Evangile, “and they occupied the whole stairway and the floor around it which caused great disgust and scandal among us [the priests] and the populace” (RE 81).
·      “On Whitsunday, the 22nd of May, 1495 [sic; 1496], the Pope went to St. Peter’s under the mitre without the canopy and there Cardinal Cibo celebrated solemn mass in his presence. The sermon was preached by a Spaniard, a chaplain of the Bishop of Segorbe, who was rather wordy and wearisome, to the disgust of the Pope and all the others. He announced a full indulgence, which the Pope granted from the beginning of the mass until he should be carried out again from the church. Lucrezia and Sancia were standing on the marble staircase, on which the canonics usually sing the epistle and the Evangile, as well as many other ladies, and they occupied the whole stairway and the floor around it which aroused great disgust and scandal among us and the populace” (JB Ch 8).

Summer
·      The last French outpost surrenders to the Holy League and the Pope considers the time ripe to break the power of the Roman barons. The Colonna first supported the French (Ostia) in 1494 but later switched to the Holy League; the Orsini remain in the pay of the French. The Orsini still control the castles of Cerveteri and Anguillara. Because of their making Bracciano available to Charles VIII, the Pope decides to devote his attention to them first (RE 83-84).
·      By the end of summer, Lucrezia is back in Pesaro, likely of her own free will. Giovanni Sforza returns from Naples, having played an insignificant part in the campaign, to find her there. They are later reported to be living in harmony with one another (JH 86-87). Giovanni spends the winter in Pesaro (FG 86).
·      Alexander decides to break the power of the Roman barons (RE 81). He recalls Juan from Spain for the campaign against the Orsini. (He has actually recalled Juan before the French invasion – a sign of his misjudgement of Juan’s abilities – but Juan disobeyed the summons.) (MB 74-75).

1 Jun
Alexander delivers a broadside against the Orsini clan and issues a decree to confiscate their property. He is waiting for Juan’s arrival to embark on a campaign against them – the Orsini rose against Pedro Luis in 1485 (CF 187). {LP5 487}

Jun
·      Juan of Gandia sets sail from Spain for Rome at the end of this month (MB 75).
·      In Spain, he leaves a reputation as “a very mean young man full of false ideas of grandeur and bad thoughts, cruel and unreasonable” (RE 88).

End Jun
The French are contained in Atella in the Basilicata – including Montpensier and Orsini (LP5 484).

Jul
Atella capitulates, which means the final collapse of French resistance (CF 187).

7 Jul
“In the meantime, Alexander VI formed a coalition against Charles, made up of Emperor Maximilian, Venice, Milan and Spain. When the French King left Naples with most of his army, Ferdinand [II of Naples; Ferrandino] disembarked at Seminara in Calabria, forcing his way up to Naples. Blocked by French garrisons at Palmi, he decided to return at Naples by sea, and was again at Ischia (which had victoriously pushed back the French attacks) on 7 July 1496. The same day he was again in Naples: the citizens, irritated by the terrible conduct of their conquerors during the occupation of the city, received him back with enthusiasm. With the aid of the great Spanish general Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, he was able completely to rid his state of its invaders shortly before his death, which occurred in 1496, a little over a year after his accession.” (Wikipedia, Ferdinand II of Naples, 6 Apr 2011).

18 Jul
England joins the Holy League (CF 187).

End Jul
The French are forced to capitulate in Atella (LP5 484). The League has been successful and becomes European when England joins (LP5 484).

Aug
·      At the beginning of the month Giovanni Sforza returns to Pesaro; now it becomes clear that he intends to stay away from Rome indefinitely (RE 77).
·      Emperor Maximilian enters Italy, encouraged by Duke Ludovico Sforza, but is not supported by other League members in his aims against inter alia Florence (CF 187).
·      Pope Alexander begins to feel free to exterminate the Roman barons, whom he calls “those fetters of the Pope”. The Orsini are slated as the first victims (EC 143).

2 Aug
The Neapolitans capture Virginio Orsini and his son Gian Giordano, and the Pope compels King Ferrandino to renege on his promise to release them (RE 84). They are held captive by the Gran Capitano in the Castel dell’Ovo [Castel del Uovo] (CF 187).

10 Aug
·      The Feast of St Laurence. Juan Borgia (20), Duke of Gandia, enters Rome from Civitavecchia (CF 188; RE 82-83; MB 75) and it is rumoured that he has brought a beautiful young woman for his father (RE 83). He is magnificently dressed and his horse equally magnificently caparisoned. He is accompanied by six squires and a Moor in gold brocade and crimson velvet. Juan’s role is to crush the Orsini for their treachery in 1494 and their dominance of the Campagna that threatens the papacy’s independence (SB 55). Cesare meets him at the Porta Portuense and accompanies him to the Apostolic Palace where he is to live. Juan’s horse is adorned with golden ornaments and silver bells, and his own clothes are richly sewn with pearls and jewels (MB 75). The French at Atella have already capitulated (LP5 487).
·      “The invasion of the French had taught him [Pope Alexander VI] that his spiritual authority counted for nothing unless it was backed by temporal might. It had also taught him that in an emergency he could count on no one. The College of Cardinals, the great Roman barons, and his feudatories in the Romagna had proved equally unreliable” (RE 83). The Pope has to use mercenaries, but does not want to entrust their leadership to a condottiere like Virginio Orsini who can easily change his loyalty. This motivates his decision to rely on his son Juan, Duke of Gandia, who, because of his inexperience, will be assisted by Duke Guidobaldo da Montefeltro of Urbino as lieutenant (RE 84).

27 Aug
Marchesa Isabella Gonzaga has no more jewels to send her husband in order to support his brother Sigismondo’s bid for a cardinalship. Earlier, on his way to Naples, Marchese Francesco Gonzaga paid his respects to the Pope. Soon after August, the Marchese falls so ill that he leaves Naples. The French commander in Calabria, Montpensier (married to the Marchese’s sister), is holed up in Pozzuoli. An armistice is signed later between France and Venice (JC V1 137-38).

31 Aug
Emperor Maximilian appears in upper Italy and is welcomed by the papal legate Cardinal Carvajal at Mende near Milan on this day. The King of the Romans has only 4000 men with him; not one German prince puts in an appearance . Venice initially invited Maximilian under different circumstances and is not happy with his current appearance, which obstructs their designs on Milan. Maximilian wishes to compel Savoy and Montserrat to join the League and take Asti from the French, when it will then revert to Ludovico Sforza. Venice sticks to tacit opposition to France, whereas the Pope wants active opposition to drive them from Naples and Ostia (LP5 484-85).

7 Sep
Young Ferdinand II of Naples (Ferrandino, Ferrantino, Ferrante) dies without issue and is succeeded by his paternal uncle, Federigo of Calabria – Federigo/Federico/Frederick IV of Naples. After some thought, Alexander VI grants him the investiture (CF 190; Wikipedia, Ferdinand II of Naples, 26 Jul 10).

17 Sep
·      Giovanni Sforza has not long been back in Pesaro when the Pope writes to him about his reluctance to join the papal troops under Guidobaldo da Montefeltro of Urbino: “We are surprised that when the Duke of Urbino and others who are not so closely tied to us as your lordship come to serve us of their own free will, you refuse to do so. Wherever you may find yourself on receipt of this letter, we exhort you to come to us bringing as many soldiers as you have”. If he comes quickly, he will have his entire salary paid to him, as well as the part outstanding from the Duke of Milan. Giovanni does not budge (RE 84-85).
·      Guidobaldo has served in the allied armies of Naples, but Venice has released him from service to take supreme command of the papal troops. His sister Giovanna was married in 1478 to the then municipal prefect, Giovanni della Rovere, brother of Cardinal Giuliano. Their daughter Francesca Maria is considered the heir to Urbino (FG 86).
·      John Carolus, the Mantuan agent in Rome, writes to the Marchesa Isabella d’Este Gonzaga that Cardinal Farnese is shut up in his residence in the Patrimonium of Viterbo and is likely to lose it unless Julia’s prompt return saves him. He also remarks that the sons of the Pope are consumed with envy of each other (FG 87).

Autumn
Rumours of Cesare’s affair with Sancia (CF 191).

23 Oct
Duke Guidobaldo arrives in Rome as Juan’s lieutenant (RE 85; CF 188).

26 Oct
·      Juan Borgia becomes Gonfalonier and Captain-General of the Church and receives his insignia (CF 189), jewelled sword and embroidered standard, and is put in charge of operations in the Campagna. Virginio Orsini is still a prisoner in Naples (JH 88). Scalona reports that the Pope is so “swollen up” that in the morning he personally puts a feather in Juan’s cap and sews on a jewel of great value (SB 55). The Gonfalonier has a white baton of office (MB 75).
·      Juan is also made Rector of Viterbo and the entire Patrimonium after the Pope has removed Alessandro Farnese from the position – due to the Pope’s dislike of Julia’s brother (FG 86-87).

27 Oct
Juan Borgia sets out with his troops for the campaign against the Orsini (CF 188). {LP5 483}

2 Nov
Ten Orsini castles are subdued with the loss of one life (JH 88), including Anguillara, commanding the northern route to Rome (RE 85). {LP5 488}

7 Nov
·      Gian Carlo Scalona writes to the Marchese Gonzaga of Mantua that “this morning after consistory the Pope had one of his attacks so that his son and daughter ran up to him” (RE 127).
·      The Pope issues a Brief aimed against Savonarola and the French party in Florence – the creation of a totally new congregation of Dominican converts in Rome and Tuscany with a separate vicar, Cardinal Carafa (initially sympathetic to Savonarola). Savonarola rejects this (LP6 15).

Nov
The Pope continues to press Giovanni Sforza, still in papal pay, to put his troops in contact with those of Juan in the campaign against the Orsini. Giovanni Sforza prevaricates. He mobilises some of his own men, sends his chancellor, Geronimo, to explain his immobility to the Pope, but does not leave for the front (RE 85; MB 77).

11 Nov
Gilbert de Montpensier dies at Pazzuoli and Marchesa Isabella has to console his wife, Ciara Gonzaga (JC V1 140).

21 Nov
Marchese Gonzaga reports to the Venetian Signoria and is treated extremely well (JC V1 139).

Dec
·      Error: King Ferrandino of Naples dies of dysentery and is succeeded by his uncle Federigo of Aragon (EC 147; RE 95). [See 7 Sep, according to Wikipedia.] Young Ferrante dies after a short illness (JC V1 139).
·      Guidobaldo da Montefeltro is wounded and leaves Juan in charge of operations at Bracciano. Winter rains set in and canons borrowed from Naples get stuck in the mud. By Christmas, Juan is still encamped by the lake. The Orsini make sorties and nearly capture Cesare who is hunting near the Tre Fontane (JH 88).

25 Dec
Alexander has a fainting attack, probably caused by high blood-pressure (JH 89) and the poor success of his army at Bracciano (LP6 490).

30 Dec
In a letter, the Pope professes to understand Giovanni Sforza’s excuses (MB 77) conveyed to him by Giovanni’s chancellor (RE 85). The Pope intends to win Giovanni over through benevolence (MB 77).

End year
Maximilian wants to pressure Florence into giving up its French alliance by relaxing its hold on Pisa, but receives no help from Milan and Venice. Disgusted with faithlessness, he returns to the Tyrol (LP5 486).

SOURCES
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Amy Latour. The Borgias. London: Elek Books, 1963,
CF
Clemente Fusero. The Borgias. London: The Pall Mall Press, 1972.
CK
Carol Kidwell. Pietro Bembo: Lover, Linguist, Cardinal. McGill-Queen’s University Press: Montreal & Kingston, 2004.
CY
Charles Yriarte. Cesare Borgia. London: Francis Aldor, 1947.
EC
E R Chamberlain. The Fall of the House of Borgia. London: Temple Smith, 1974,
FG
Ferdinand Gregorovius. Lucrezia Borgia [1874]. Dodo Press, no place or date.
HH
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HS
Hugh Shankland. The Prettiest Love Letters in the World: Letters between Lucrezia Borgia and Pietro Bembo 1503 to 1519. Boston: David R. Godine, 1987.
JB
Johann Burchard. At the Court of the Borgia. London: Butler & Tanner Ltd, 1963.
JB Ch
Dr F L Glaser (Ed). Pope Alexander VI and His Court: Extracts from the Latin Diary of Johannes Burchardus. http://www.third-millennium-library.com/readinghall/GalleryofHistory/ALEXANDER_VI/BORGIA_DOOR.html
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MH
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RE
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TT
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WR
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