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The Borgias, first family of crime

By Laurie Bennett

March 29, 2011 at 12:55pm

The infamous Borgias come to Showtime next week.

Jeremy Irons plays the scheming patriarch, Rodrigo Borgia aka Pope Alexander VI.

Rodrigo was not the first member of the Borgia family to reach the papacy.

His uncle, Alfons de Borgia, was Pope Callixtus III. And his great-great-great-grandson later became Pope Innocent X.

Those were the days when celibacy wasn’t such a big deal among Catholic prelates. Alexander VI had many mistresses and sired at least four children. The Muckety map above shows several his offspring.

The late Mafia writer Mario Puzo billed the Borgias as “the first crime family.” He viewed Alexander VI, who bribed his way into the Vatican, as the greatest don of all.

The nine-episode series, “The Borgias,” premiers on April 3.

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