40 Facts About the Borgias, One of History's More Scandalous Dynasties

Alfonso Borgia, as Pope Callixtus III, Valencia, c.1568. Wikimedia Commons

38. Alfonso de Borja rose from middling origins to become a diplomat for the Kings of Aragon

Alfonso de Borja (1378-1458) founded the most successful and notorious branch of the Borgia family. Alfonso earned a doctorate in civil and canon law at university, and lectured for a number of years at Lleida. At Lleida, his legal flair attracted the church. After impressing at ecclesiastical councils where he represented the Lleida Diocese, he became Rector of San Nicolas, Valencia. Thoroughly impressed, King Alfonso V of Aragon appointed him as his private secretary, which involved important diplomatic work. Under King Alfonso, he worked closely with the Vatican, and was instrumental in arranging the abdication of Clement VIII, the anti-pope.