Gioffre Borgia (born 1481 or 1482; died 1516 or 1517), also known as
Goffredo [Italian], or Jofré Borja [Valencian] , was the youngest son
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei, and a member of the
House of Borgia. He was the youngest brother of Cesare, Giovanni, and
1 Early relations
2 Later life
3 Representations in popular culture
Gioffre married Sancha (Sancia) of Aragon, daughter of Alfonso II of
Naples, obtaining as dowry both the
Principality of Squillace
(1494), and after a period of political turmoil in the Kingdom of
Duchy of Alvito
Duchy of Alvito (1497).
Gioffre and Sancha were 12 and 16, respectively, at the time of their
marriage. The marriage was a political one. Alfonso married his
daughter to Gioffre and gave the over-large dowry in return for Pope
Alexander's recognition of Alfonso's claim to the throne of Naples.
Almost as soon as the wedding ceremony was over, the political
situation changed with the invasion of Italy by King Charles VIII of
France, who claimed
Naples as his own. Alfonso fled, leaving the
throne to his short-lived son, and a long war between Spain, France
and their Italian adherents ensued.
During this time the young couple lived mostly at Rome, where Sancha
reputedly had affairs with both of her husband's elder brothers,
Giovanni and Cesare, among others. In the beginning of their
marriage, Sancha was somewhat domineering over her husband (due to his
age) and she sought after older men.
Gioffre's relationship with his father was poor. Pope Alexander VI
legitimized him, but privately expressed doubts that Gioffre was his
son. He considered him a weakling because of his lack of interest
in politics. In 1497 the Pope publicly exonerated Gioffre of the
murder of his brother
Giovanni Borgia, 2nd Duke of Gandia
Giovanni Borgia, 2nd Duke of Gandia because of
the many rumours that Cesare was in fact the killer, due to public
antagonism between the two over Sancha.
During the War of 1499–1504, when
Louis XII of France
Louis XII of France attempted to
conquer Naples, Gioffre sided with the French; but when he was
Prospero Colonna he changed sides to join the Spanish,
which caused a rebellion in Alvito. In 1504 he sent the condottiero
Fabrizio Colonna to stabilise his lands, partly paid for with money he
had appropriated from the papal treasury after the death of his father
the year before. With the rebellion crushed, Gioffre finally moved to
his estates in Alvito and
Squillace in 1504.
Two years later Sancha died childless. Consequently, the Spanish King
of Naples, Ferdinand II of Aragon, took possession of Gioffre's
estates in Alvito. However, Gioffre was able to retain Squillace, on
the Calabrian coast, which he ruled as a feudal vassal of Naples.
Gioffre's second marriage was to one of his cousins, Maria de Mila of
Aragon. They had a son, Francesco, and three daughters: Lucrezia,
Antonia and Maria Borgia. Francesco inherited his father's lands and
the title of Prince of Squillace. Gioffre's descendants ruled the
tiny city of
Squillace until 1735. They generally ruled through
governors, since they resided at either
Naples or the Spanish court.
Representations in popular culture
Pinturicchio's "Disputation of St Catherine".
Gioffre and Sancha are generally thought to have been the models for
the boy and girl in the artist Pinturicchio's 'Disputation of St
Catherine', where they are depicted as a young couple in love.
In the 1981 BBC mini-series, The Borgias, Jofré is played by British
Actor Louis Selwyn.
In the 2011 Showtime series The Borgias, Joffré is played by British
actor Aidan Alexander. The role was a minor one, and he only appeared
in the first season.
In the 2011 French-German series Borgia, Goffredo is played by Czech
actor Adam Misík in the first and second seasons. In the third and
final season, the role is played by Italian actor Niccolò Besio. In
this series, his son Francesco is depicted as being the bastard son of
his first wife Sancia from her affair with his brother Juan, as
opposed to being his own legitimate son by his second wife, Maria de
^ Gregorovius 1904, p. 20.
^ a b De Caro 1971.
^ Gregorovius 1904, p. 71.
^ Gregorovius 1904, p. 95.
^ Catholic University of America 2003.
^ Gregorovius 1904, p. 334.
^ Cloulas 1993, p. 298.
Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1904). Lucrezia Borgia. New York: Benjamin
Blom. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
De Caro, Gaspare (1971). "BORGIA, Goffredo". Dizionario Biografico
degli Italiani (in Italian). Treccani, L'Enciclopedia Italiana.
Retrieved 3 September 2014. (in Italian)
Catholic University of America (2003). "Borgia (Borja)". New Catholic
Encyclopedia. 2 (2 ed.). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved 2 September 2014 –
via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
Cloulas, Ivan (1993). The Borgias. New York: Barnes & Noble.