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Rise and Fall of the Borgias

Narrated by: William Landon
Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: History, European

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Publisher's Summary

Since its rise to the highest ranks of power in Renaissance Europe, the Borgia family has developed a scandalous reputation. While they were indeed ostentatious, calculating, worldly, cruel - and even, occasionally, murderous - you may be surprised to find that the Borgias were not terribly different from other powerful and ambitious families of their day. So why has history set them apart as one of the most corrupt and reviled families in history? 

In The Rise and Fall of the Borgias, you will spend 10 revealing lectures untangling the web of rumors, speculation, and historical embellishment from what is actually known about the infamous Roman family. With Professor William Landon, you will explore the historical context that helped the Borgias make their fortune and better understand how they could be both magnanimous and ruthless, pious and morally suspect. 

The story of the Borgias is rich with intrigue, even without the fictional enhancement it has received from the numerous films, novels, and television shows that have been created based on the family’s notoriety. Professor Landon introduces you to the major players and lays bare their machinations to reach the highest offices of church and state. Were their exploits as salacious as we’ve been led to believe? Did they manipulate the papacy for their own gain? Are the rumors of incest, bribery, political assassinations, and other morally questionable behaviors true or the stuff of historical gossip?  

As you explore these and other rumors surrounding the Borgias, you will pull back the curtain on the historian’s craft and see how the story of this Renaissance dynasty has been shaped over time and how new research and a healthy dose of skepticism has allowed us to get a little closer to the truth - without losing any of the drama.

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