Alexander VI

Pope from 1492. While he was a young man in the service of the church, the scandalous private life of Rodrigo Borgia called forth a rebuke from Pius II. Ruling in an age of trouble for both Italy and the church, he pursued a papal, Italian, and family policy until 1498 when he became interested in greater cohesion for the Papal States* and supported the political activities of his son Cesare. Alexander can be credited with several achievements during his pontificate. He supported the work of Pinturiccio and subsidized the Pietà by Michelangelo. He also encouraged evangelization in the New World and ensured peace between Portugal and Castile by arbitrating a line of demarcation. Despite these achievements, he is remembered as the father of Lucrezia Borgia and as the pontiff with whom Girolamo Savonarola* struggled. He was a type of pope that gave the early Protestants reason to condemn the Roman Church.