In July occurred the murder of the duke of Bisceglie, Lucrezia Borgia's third husband.
Borgia's power was now at an end, and he was obliged to surrender all his castles in Romagna save Cesena, Forli and Bettinoro, whose governors refused to accept an order of surrender from a master who was a prisoner.
Before his elevation to the papacy Cardinal Borgia's passion for Vannozza somewhat diminished, and she subsequently led a very retired life.
A characteristic instance of the corruption of the papal court is the fact that Borgia's daughter Lucrezia (see Borgia, LucREZIA) lived with his mistress Giulia, who bore him a daughter Laura in 1492.
Borgia's elevation did not at the time excite much alarm, except in some of the cardinals who knew him, and at first his reign was marked by a strict administration of justice and an orderly method of government in satisfactory contrast with the anarchy of the previous pontificate, as well as by great outward splendour.
His attempt to draw Florence into an alliance failed, but in July Louis of France again invaded Italy and was at once bombarded with complaints from the Borgia's enemies.
Thus the two great houses of Orsini and Colonna, who had long fought for predominance in Rome and often flouted the pope's authority, were subjugated, and a great step achieved towards consolidating the Borgia's power.
Three more high personages fell victims to the Borgia's greed this year, viz.
More than once, in letters to his friend Vettori, no less than in the pages of the Principe, Machiavelli afterwards expressed his belief that Cesare Borgia's behaviour in the conquest of provinces, the cementing of a new state out of scattered elements, and the dealing with false friends or doubtful allies, was worthy of all commendation and of scrupulous imitation.
His reading in Livy taught him to admire the Roman system of employing armies raised from the body of the citizens; and Cesare Borgia's method of gradually substituting the troops of his own duchy for aliens and mercenaries showed him that this plan might be adopted with success by the Italians.
The choice of Soderini and Machiavelli fell, at this juncture, upon an extremely ineligible person, none other than Don Micheletto, Cesare Borgia's cutthroat and assassin.
Supported by the power of the papacy, with the goodwill of Florence to back him, Giuliano would have found himself in a position somewhat better than that of Cesare Borgia; and Borgia's creation of the duchy of Romagna might have served as his model.
18, 1503) witnessed the violent end of Cesare Borgia's dominion.
The Borgia's foremost thought had been for his family; Julius devoted his effort to the Church and the papacy.