Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Alexander VI

Alexander VI., Rodrigo Lenzuoli, but better known by his mother's name of Borgia, born in 1431. Originally an advocate and then a soldier, he was advanced to high position in the Church by his uncle, Calixtus III. His habits were most dissolute, but by intrigue and bribery he secured his election to the Papacy in 1492. By his alliance with the Sultan Bajazet II. he drew upon himself the invasion of Rome by Charles VIII. of France, and was forced to ally himself with that monarch, who then proceeded to the conquest of Naples. Alexander now brought about a combination of the Emperor Maximilian, Ferdinand of Spain, the Republic of Venice, and the Duke of Milan, and Charles was speedily driven out of Italy. To gain wealth and compass political ends even the dagger and poison were freely used, according to some accounts, at the Papal Court; and though the crimes of the Borgias may be exaggerated, there can be no question that the family was markedly unscrupulous in an age when much was tolerated. The cruel fate of Savonarola (q.v.) silenced the priesthood; the fear of assassination and the hope of a share in the plunder kept the laity quiet, whilst for some years rapacity and licence ran riot at Rome. At last, in 1503, Alexander is said to have drunk some poisoned wine prepared by him for a victim.