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Juan Borgia

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Giovanni "Juan" Borgia
Biographical information



14 June 1497 (aged 21)

Time period

Italian Renaissance

Political information

House of Borgia
The Papacy


David Oakes

Juan Borgia is the second eldest son to Rodrigo Borgia and Vanozza Dei Cattenei. He is a brother to Cesare Borgia, Joffre Borgia, and Lucrezia Borgia. He is Gonfaloniere and Captain General of the Church, both positions his brother Cesare wanted.

Upon his father's becoming Pope, Juan is bestowed the title of Duke of Gandia and head of the Papal Army. His relationship with his siblings, specifically Cesare and Lucrezia, escalates from rivalry for their father's affection to hostility over the protection of the family. 

The conflict between Lucrezia and Juan reaches violence when Juan murders Lucrezia's fleeing lover Paolo, who is the father to her child, also named Paolo. Though Juan attempts to disguise the murder as a suicide, Lucrezia uncovers the falsified suicide note that the illiterate Paolo was incapable of writing. Lucrezia attempts to murder or maim Juan by dropping a chandelier on him and his lover. Eventually, Juan chooses a bride from his father's options, María de Luna, in order to strengthen political ties with Spain.  

When he returns, he suffers from an unspecified venereal disease (most probably syphilis), which his physician instructs him to medicate with mercury and opium. Juan then leads an unsuccessful campaign against Catrina Sforza's stronghold at Forli. Attempting to press Catrina to submission by torturing her son, Benito Sforza, Juan abandons the outnumbered Papal Army to slaughter. He then orders that Benito be hanged after Catrina's cousin arrives as reinforcement. When Juan returns to the Vatican, he lies about the circumstances of his survival. Cesare discovers the truth of the battle from the rescued Benito and tells the Pope. After several heated confrontation with Cesare, Juan is finally murdered by Cesare with the assistance of Micheletto. 

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