The Prince

Elected pope in 1492, Alexander VI was a skilled politician and leader who considerably expanded the territorial power of the Catholic Church through diplomacy and warfare. Infamous for the corruption of his papacy, Alexander sired several illegitimate children, including Cesare Borgia, whom he lavished with appointments and military funding. Alexander died in 1503.
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Alexander VI Character Timeline in The Prince

The timeline below shows where the character Alexander VI appears in The Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
...small states. However, Louis made the fatal mistake of allying himself with the more powerful Pope Alexander , thereby alienating his smaller allies and weakening himself. Having made this first mistake, Louis... (full context)
Chapter 7
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...other hand, Cesare Borgia gained his position easily through "the good fortune of his father," Pope Alexander VI, but lost his state when that fortune "disappeared." Machiavelli praises Borgia for the "strong... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Goodwill and Hatred Theme Icon
Machiavelli retells the story of Cesare Borgia for instructional purposes. He begins with Pope Alexander VI, who encountered considerable challenges when he attempted to acquire a state for his illegitimate... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
...his father's successor as pope proved unfriendly, he might still maintain his gains. However, with Pope Alexander 's sudden death, Borgia was unable to win Spanish support and could not secure his... (full context)
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
Thus, with Pope Alexander VI's unexpected death, Cesare Borgia found himself "with his state in the Romagna consolidated but... (full context)
Chapter 11
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
The Masses and The Elite Theme Icon
...contemporary Roman Catholic Church's "great temporal power," which it has attained since the papacy of Alexander VI . (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
...able to crush the power of both the Orsini and Colonna until the reign of Alexander VI . Using his son, Cesare Borgia, as "his instrument" and the invasion of France as... (full context)
Laws and Arms Theme Icon
Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Following Alexander VI 's death and Cesare Borgia's subsequent loss of power, the Church inherited "the fruits" of... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Fortune and Prowess Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Vice Theme Icon
...able ruler must be an adept "liar and deceiver." Machiavelli cites the "fresh example" of Alexander VI , who "never did anything, or thought of anything, other than deceiving men." As a... (full context)