One for the SDMB, & Likely Unca Cecil--About Borgias

Hail To Thee, Oh Mighty Font Of Celestial Wisdom & Part-Time Yo-Yo Demonstrator!

The Borgias were one of the most influential families of the Renaissance. Some chose Popes. Others were Popes. And others were patrons of deathless works of art.

Where did they go?

Does the Borgia family still exist?

Do they wield political influence, in Italy?

If this is beneath Mighty Cecil, would the SDMB chime in?

The Borgias were Spanish, not Italian, and some of their descendants are still in Spain and the former Spanish colonies. For example, Rodrigo Borja Cevallos served as president of Ecuador about 25 years ago; he at least claimed direct descent from Pope Alexander VI. The title of Duke of Gandia belonged to the Borgias, but passed through several female lines of descent and was held by Ángela María Téllez-Girón y Duque de Estrada until her death earlier this year (one of her daughters has inherited it now, but I don’t know which one).

The family is still around, in some form. They wield zero power, of course, having intermarried into a number of other families over the centuries.

They lost power in Italy after Alexander VI mainly because of his excesses and the rise of the Medici. Spain in general took a bad odor during the times of Leo X and the other Medici popes and cardinals.

Okay, so … are the Medici still around? I mean,of course they are, if the Borgias are. I suppose I should just check Wikipedia for Medival family names. But is there another resource for this sorts of questions?

The last actively famous Borgia (with the name Borgia) that you might have actually heard of was Francis Borgia, 4th Duke of Grandia, who joined the Jesuits not too long after they were founded, and became their third Superior General. Alternately, there was his grandson, Gaspar de Borja, archbishop of Seville. If you don’t restrict it to the name, Borgias married into the House of Bourbon-Parma and the Portugese royal family.

But there are, obviously, a lot of both Borgia and Medici descendants around, most of whom are no longer particularly prominent. If you’re looking for Medici descendants, there are the Princes of Ottajano, the current head of that family, Giovanni Battista de Medici, being a geology professor in Naples.

I guess, but cannot prove, that if you tracked down all the living descendants of the Borgia family and estimated their wealth, you would find that on average, they’re still doing pretty well for themselves.