By: Isabella Sandford
Lucrezia Borgia was born into the Renaissance world of Italy (1320-1520), a time when artists, sculptors, architects, scientists, and others rose to question the old teachings. She was also born into one of the most important families in world history. They were known to be evil, violent, and politically conniving, the Borgias were interested in claiming as much control of Italy as they could. And they were very successful.
Their prosperity was facilitated by the fact that Italy was not a unified nation, but rather a collection of papal states, republics, duchies, and kingdoms organized around an urban center and the surrounding countryside, each with its own ruler. Although these individual states were powerful, their rulers were more inclined to fight each other than to band together against such enemy countries as France or Spain. Italy desperately needed to unify and strengthen itself. Having lost much of its sea trade to France, Spain, and England, the Mediterranean was no longer the main site of commercial activity. Through the right political maneuvers, influential alliances could be formed and a great deal of power gained. It was a time of political turmoil and lethal intrigue; many political problems were solved by killing the person seen as the source of irritation. The males in the Borgia family followed the trend.