Lucrezia Borgia (1480 – 1519) was the illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, and the younger sister of Cesare Borgia. She was a member of the Templar Order, and later became the Duchess-consort of Ferrara.
During her lifetime, Lucrezia was ruthlessly betrothed by her father twice before her thirteenth birthday in order to secure political alliances. She was also rumored to have been sexually abused by her father and brothers.
Lucrezia later assisted Rodrigo and Cesare in their attempt to keep Rome under their control, mainly by monitoring the events that took place when her father and brother were away or unavailable. She was also responsible for Caterina Sforza, the Countess of Forlì, when she was imprisoned in the Castel Sant'Angelo.
By the young age of thirteen, Lucrezia had already been engaged twice. However, her father, Pope Alexander VI, better known as Rodrigo Borgia, Grand Master of the Italian Templars, called off the arrangements and later forced her to marry Giovanni Sforza, hoping to establish an alliance with the powerful Milanese Ducal family.
Despite this, the marriage proved brief, as the House of Sforza eventually lost their usefulness to the Pope. Subsequently, Rodrigo gave the order for Cesare and Lucrezia to send Giovanni away from Rome, and made an offer to Giovanni's uncle, the Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, to persuade him to agree to the divorce.
Headstrong, Giovanni accused Lucrezia of having an incestuous relationship with her father and brothers. Thus, the Pope simply declared Lucrezia's marriage with him invalid, as it had not yet been consummated.
Affair with Perotto
- "Finally, we are together! Neither of us believes it will last, that there is any way it could last, but for now it does not matter."
- ―Perotto, regarding his relationship with Lucrezia.[src]
In 1498, while she was living within the San Sisto convent, Lucrezia fell in love with one of her father's messengers, Perotto Calderon. However, unbeknownst to her and her family, Perotto was a member of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins, who had been sent to spy upon the activities of the Borgia.
Lucrezia and Perotto went through great lengths to keep up the facade of noble lady and courier, with Lucrezia often suggesting violence as a solution to keeping their secret safe. Though, eventually, their relationship grew more intimate and Lucrezia became pregnant with Perotto's child.
Nine months later, a boy was born; much to Lucrezia's devastation however, the baby was malformed and expected to die within a few days. The child's birth also brought her and Perotto's relationship to light, with Perotto thrown into jail as a result.
Determined to secure the infant's survival at any cost, Perotto later escaped with the boy, seeking an ancient artifact that was being kept by his Brotherhood. The healing was successful, but Lucrezia never saw Perotto again, as he was executed by his Brothers soon afterwards for breaking his Order's Creed.
Lucrezia's son, later named Giovanni Borgia, was returned to Rome, where he was adopted by Lucrezia's brother, Cesare, whom he came to perceive as his father. Though Lucrezia was able to watch the boy grow up, she would be considered little more to him than his aunt. On one occasion that she was able to spend time with him, she warned Giovanni not to trust anyone within their family.
Lucrezia's second marriage was to Alfonso of Aragon, the Duke of Bisceglie. Before the marriage took place, Cesare was impressed by the Duke's handsome looks and kind nature. However, this soon changed to jealousy and hatred, since Lucrezia was very happy with Alfonso, and had, since her marriage to him, stopped giving Cesare as much attention.
By August 1500, Cesare decided that he wanted Lucrezia for himself. He then ordered for Alfonso's execution at the hands of Micheletto Corella, an action that greatly distressed Lucrezia. In retaliation to his jealous rages, she began to rebelliously enter into relationships with other men, including Patrizio and Pietro Rossi.
Opposing the Assassins
- "Salve cittadini di Roma! Behold a sight most splendid! Caterina Sforza, she-whore of Forlì, has finally been brought to heel!"
- ―Lucrezia presenting Caterina Sforza to a crowd.[src]
In 1501, she escorted the captive Caterina Sforza to prison cells within the Castel Sant'Angelo. There, Cesare briefly visited Lucrezia, and the two exchanged an intimate moment. After they kissed, Cesare promised Lucrezia that when he ruled all of Italy, she would be his queen.
Soon afterwards, Lucrezia confronted Caterina in her cell, where she jealously demanded to know of Caterina's trip to Rome with Cesare. Caterina only spat an insult in reply, and Lucrezia struck her violently with a metal rod, injuring her hip.
However, after Lucrezia had taken the cell's key from the prison guard and left, the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze arrived to rescue Caterina. He sought Lucrezia out in the castello garden to retrieve the key, where she recognized and greeted him, before alerting the guards to his presence.
Though Lucrezia ran from him, the Assassin eventually caught her and brought her back to the prison chamber, despite her trying to bite him and anger him with tales of how Lorenzo de' Medici had erased the Pazzi family from history for their betrayal. Once the cell was unlocked, Lucrezia tried calling for the guards again, only for Caterina to knock her out by slamming her head against the door frame and then lock her in the Countess' erstwhile prison.
Fall of the Borgia
- "I know... I know where that bastard is going. San Pietro... The pavilion in the courtyard."
- ―Lucrezia helping Ezio.[src]
Hurrying to the Papal apartments, Lucrezia entered just in time to discover Cesare eating an apple that Rodrigo had left out for him, and was able to warn him of the poison within it before he had eaten too much.
Enraged at the attempt on his life, Cesare forced the rest of the apple down Rodrigo's throat, all the while demanding the Pope to tell him the location of the Apple of Eden. Lucrezia, in an attempt to save her father, yelled to Cesare that she knew where it was hidden.
Cesare went on to threaten her instead, seizing her by the throat and rebuking any of her attempts to calm him. Tearfully, she asked him if he had ever loved her, but Cesare only answered that he saw her as his sister and nothing more. At this, she spat in his face, and was only slapped and further choked as he continued to interrogate her.
Ezio, who had watched the scene unfold from outside a window, rushed to Lucrezia's aid, but reached her only moments after she had given in to Cesare's demands. Lucrezia watched as Ezio paid Rodrigo his last respects and closed his eyes, before deciding to inform him of the Apple's location as well.
Duchess of Ferrara
- "My birthplace, my family, have been taken from me. You think Ferrara loves me? I am a stranger, a castaway. An orphan."
- ―Lucrezia Borgia.[src]
In 1506, Lucrezia was visited once again by Ezio Auditore, who sought her out inside her palazzo. At first, she calmly asked him if he was there to take her life, but he only answered that he was there for the da Vinci paintings that had been taken by the Borgia during the siege of Monteriggioni.
Lucrezia refused to give them to him, and, upon remembering that the Assassin could sympathize with losing so much, suggested that they "comfort" each other. Ezio appeared to agree and seduced her, thus she decided to tell him the locations of the paintings he needed, as well as give him the only one she had kept (the Annunciation).
However, as they kissed, Ezio discreetly tied Lucrezia to the curtains of the room, before swiftly leaving. Lucrezia cried for her guards, but the Assassin was able to escape with the last da Vinci painting she owned, leaving a very annoyed Lucrezia behind.
In the last years of her life, Lucrezia dedicated much of her time to her children, allowing them to live a quiet life. In those years, she repented for the sins that she had committed, and spent much of her time praying. She died 24 June 1519, ten days after the birth of her last daughter, Isabella Maria d'Este.
Personality and characteristics
- "Chiudi la bocca! None speak ill of the Borgia! The same will happen to any who defy us!"
- ―Lucrezia humiliating Caterina in Rome.[src]
Lucrezia was a cruel and ruthless woman, much like Cesare. She was unafraid to curse her enemies in public, or use violence and poison to benefit herself.
She was both bold and independent, daring to hold romantic relationships with various men despite being married. She also had an incestuous relationship with her own brother, Cesare, and seemed to hate it when other women got close to him. In spite of this, inwardly, she was also extremely vulnerable, something that Perotto Calderon noticed and pitied.
Additionally, Lucrezia genuinely loved her son Giovanni, and was agonized by her inability to reveal that she was his mother, once even breaking down into tears when he asked her if he could trust her.
- Lucrezia gave birth to seven or eight children; Giovanni Borgia, Rodrigo Borgia de Aragon, Ercole II d'Este, Ippolito II d'Este, Alessandro d'Este, Leonora d'Este, Francesco d'Este and Isabella Maria d'Este. Isabella was born sometime in 1519, but died later that same day. Complications of this birth caused the death of Lucrezia ten days later.
- Lucrezia's portrait in the Tiber Island headquarters in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood misspells her name as Lucretia, which is the Latin variant of Lucrezia; the name is thought to be derived from, or to be related to, the Latin word lucrum, meaning "wealth, profit, benefit". Lucretia is also a name of a Roman woman who was raped by the son of the King of Rome, a possible allusion to her family's sexual abuse.
- In the Animus Database, Lucrezia was not listed as a target, but rather as an ally. Additionally, when viewed in Eagle Vision, she would not glow in any color, despite being hostile towards Ezio throughout the game, excluding the memory "An Apple a Day".
- In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, while Ezio was disguised as a minstrel, he sang about Lucrezia's relationships with her past husbands, and her brother Cesare.
- In the non-canonical mobile adaptation of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Lucrezia Borgia imprisons Caterina Sforza not at the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, but in Florence. Although Caterina's capture still occurs in the wake of the Siege of Monteriggioni, the entire game is set in 1486, and it is explained that Caterina was not taken in that battle but later in retaliation for Ezio Auditore's assassination of the leader of the Followers of Romulus, Romulus. The greatest contrast with the canonical version, though, is that Lucrezia is killed during Ezio's attempt to rescue Caterina. He first approaches her by severing a cross at the spire of a tower and riding it down onto one of her guards below, impaling him. Protected by two more halberd-wielding guard captains, she refuses to hand over the key to Caterina's cell. In response, Ezio cocks his Hidden Gun and speeds towards her, killing both her guards in a blink of an eye with his Hidden Blade before lifting her up by the neck. As he strangles her, he fires his Hidden Gun through her throat, and an Assassin apprentice from afar follows through by firing a ballista bolt at her, pinning her corpse against the wall.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Disappearance
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel