Asked in CatholicismHistory of ItalyFamous People
Why was Lucretia Borgia infamous?
March 13, 2015 6:46AM
To understand Lucretia, you have to understand the environment in which she was raised. To know Lucretia, one really has to know the Borgia family, most importantly, her father, Alexander Borgia, who was also known as Pope Alexander VI, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. She came from one of the most deadly families in history - The Borgias.
Alexander Borgia, the Catholic Church's Pope Alexander the Sixth, had 4 children, 3 sons and a daughter, by his main mistress. His daughter was Lucretia, with whom her father had a very close and questionable relationship. The family had immense wealth that the pope had inherited. He used his wealth to wield great power, ruthlessly, if necessary. Alexander (hereinafter, Al) was very much a family man and was said to love his children dearly. He wanted nothing but the best for them. With Lucretia though, there was a much closer relationship, one that many felt was of a possessive, and possibly, incestuous nature.
He also had another great love in his life and it was one that might have meant more to him than his children. Al had an almost unquenchable thirst and lust for power and money to the extent he wanted to rule the entire country of Italy. Being pope, a position he literally bought with his great wealth, would turn out to be insufficient to satisfy him. And, he would not be above using his children as pawns, if expedient, to execute his plan.
Additionally, the Borgias were well known for poisoning their enemies or anyone who simply got in their way. The idea that family absolutely came first, above anything or anyone else, was deeply ingrained in all the children. But one of the children was said to be the very best at this deadly practice, extremely proficient in the art of killing by poison. It was Lucretia. She was the one they turned to when they needed to eliminate someone, for whatever reason. It was she who became the family expert at murdering people with poison when instructed by her father to do so. She was bright and very clever.
At one point, she figured out a method by which she could store poison in a fancy dinner ring. Allegedly, the ring had a very small, thin pin that was more like a needle. It protruded straight out of the portion of the band under her finger. The other end of the pin was not fully visible and a part of it was in the storage chamber. Somehow, she engineered the ring so that the poison was able to get to the tip of the pin when she needed it. To poison someone, she would just put her hand on their shoulder, the arm, or perhaps, just give a pat on the back. The poison she used must have been highly potent and quick acting in very tiny amounts. I would assume that the only thing Lucretia had to remember when wearing the ring, was to never clap her hands, no matter what. So her legacy is really that of a serial killer, in today's terms.
And there has always been the question of her relationship with her father. Although the rumors abounded that it was incestuous, there never was any proof that it was. However, there is little doubt that it was certainly a most odd relationship, at best. Old Al was compulsively possessive of her throughout his life from the time she was born. She was said to be quite beautiful and also very smart. It is likely that she really never had a chance to blossom. Her father smothered her and formed her into what he wanted her to be. Like a beautiful flower that is covered and kept from the sun and water, the real Lucretia likely died very early and became the "robotic" product of a ruthless, greedy father whose insatiable lust for power came before anything, even family.
The idea of family first, which he embedded in his children, was only a ploy so he could use them as pawns in his deadly and savage, life-long crusade for power. He was the quintessential hypocrite. He was the perfect paradigm for the wealthy, ruthless and murderous person seeking all the power he can get, by any means. HE WAS ALSO POPE ALEXANDER VI, the exalted and holy leader of the Roman Catholic Church, world-wide. As Pope, he was, according to the church doctrine, as, allegedly is every pope, God's representative on earth. Not only that, but when a pope makes a declaration concerning any matter of faith or morals, it is believed by the Catholic Church that such declaration is absolutely infallible. All of which seems just a bit hard to swallow in light of reality, and considering that Alexander Borgia was one of the popes for a number of years. His actions place him closer to Saddam Hussein, as opposed to, Jesus Christ or His Father.