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Gioffre de Candia Borgia, also known as Goffredo, in Italian, or Jofré Borja in Valencian, (1482–1518) was the youngest son of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei, and the youngest brother of Cesare Borgia, Giovanni Borgia, and Lucrezia Borgia.
Gioffre married Sancia (Sancha) 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 Naples, the County of Alvito (1497).
Gioffre and Sancia, who were 12 and 16 at the time of the marriage, 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 shown as a young couple in love.
In fact, the marriage was a political one. Alfonso had married his daughter to Gioffre and given the overlarge 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.
During this time, the young couple lived mostly at Rome where the older Sancia reputedly had affairs with both of her husband's elder brothers, Giovanni and Cesare. This soured their relationship and they had no children. In fact, in the beginning of their marriage, Sancha was somewhat domineering over her husband, due to his age, and this maybe why she sought after other men.
Gioffre's relationship with his father was also poor. Pope Alexander VI considered him a weakling because of his lack of interest in politics and once publicly questioned his parentage. In 1497 the Pope publicly exonerated Gioffre of the murder of his brother Giovanni Borgia because of the many rumours that Cesare was in fact the killer, due to public antagonism between the two over Sancia. In fact, Pope Alexander one time became so angry at Gioffre when he got injured in a fight, that he took his anger out on Gioffre by shutting him up in Castel Sant'Angelo for a time.
For a brief period of time, he aided his sister Lucrezia in governing the town of Spoleto.
During the War of 1499–1504, when Louis XII of France tried to conquer Naples, Gioffre sided with the French, but when he was captured by 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.
But only two years later Sancha died and Gioffre lost the rights to Alvito, which was seized by the then-Spanish King of Naples, Ferdinand II of Aragon. However, Gioffre was able to retain Squillace, which he ruled as a feudal vassal of Naples.
Gioffre's second marriage was to Maria de Mila. They had four children; a son named Francesco, and three daughters named Lucrezia, Antonia and Maria. The eldest, Francesco Borgia, inherited his father's lands and the title of Prince of Squillace.
Representations in popular culture
- In the 1981 BBC mini-series, The Borgias, Jofré was played by British Actor Louis Selwyn.
- In the 2011 Showtime series The Borgias, Joffré was played by British actor Aidan Alexander. Despite being one of the main characters, the role was a minor one, and he only appeared in the first season.
- In the 2011 French-German series Borgia, Goffredo was played by Czech actor Adam Misík in the first and second seasons. In the upcoming season, the role was recast and will be played by Italian actor Niccolò Besio.