The Borgias

l-r, Cesare holding Lucrezia, Pope Alexander, Vannozza and Juan. via

l-r, Cesare holding Lucrezia, beneath them Joffre, Pope Alexander, Vannozza and Juan. via

Anyone ever seen the historical drama The Borgias? I hadn’t even heard of it until recently, when a friend mentioned it to me, and it sure is a melting pot of slightly interesting names. Since it’s set in medieval Italy, the names of course have an Italian flair to them – but this is to be expected when pretty much all the characters are based on real life people, wearing the names of said people.

The series follows the Borgia family in their ascent to the top of the Roman Catholic Church as the family patriarch, Rodrigo Borgia, is elected to the papacy – albeit only due to bribery, of which Rodrigo’s son Cesare more than helped. Once Rodrigo becomes Pope Alexander VI, the series follows his family’s fight to maintain power, through striking alliances with other European powers and generally murdering anyone of any nuisance (two people were murdered by them in the first 10 or so minutes of the first episode I watched).

It’s no wonder that the series happily slates them as the original crime family.


Pronounced che-SAH-ray, this is the name of one of Rodrigo Borgias’ sons. It is the Italian form of Caesar, and indeed with the Italian pronunciation sounds an awful lot more like it is spelled something like Cheseray. The name Caesar is heavily associated with the Roman, Julius Caesar.


The only daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, and when saying this name aim to insert a t sound in the second syllable: loo-kret-zyah. The Italian form of Lucretia, which most likely derives from the Latin word lucror, which means to gain/ to acquire.


A rather quirky alternative to Sasha, and the name of the wife of the youngest Borgia son, Joffre. Probably related to the Latin word sanctus, which means holy. The name is alternatively spelled Sanchia, and it’s male form is Sancho.


A form of the name Giovanna, which is the feminine form of the name Giovanni and itself is the Italian form of John. This is the name of the mistress of Rodrigo Borgia, and mother of his children.

Categories: Medieval Names, Names from the Box | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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