Giovanni Borgia, 2nd Duke of Gandia
|Giovanni de Candia Borgia (Juan de Borja y Cattanei)|
|Duke of Gandia|
Alleged portrait of Giovanni Borgia
|II Duke of Gandia|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Enriquez de Luna|
IssueJuan de Borja y Enriquez, III Duke of Gandia
Francisca Jesus de Borja
Isabel de Borja y Enriquez, abbess of Santa Clara Gandia
|Noble family||Borja (House of Gandia) or Borgia|
|Father||Pope Alexander VI|
|Mother||Vannozza dei Cattanei|
Italy, presumably Rome
|Died||14 June 1497
Giovanni Borgia, II Duke of Gandía (1475–1497) was the son of Pope Alexander VI and the brother of Cesare Borgia, Gioffre Borgia, and Lucrezia Borgia. Giovanni, also known as Juan or Joan, was the eldest of the Pope's four children by Vannozza dei Cattanei. Due to a number of papal bulls issued after his murder, it is unclear whether Giovanni was born in 1476 or 1477, but it was long thought that he was the eldest son instead of Cesare.
Giovanni Borgia was probably born in Rome to then-cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, later to become Pope Alexander VI, and his mistress Vannozza dei Cattanei, who was married to Domenico da Rignano. Giovanni married Maria Enriquez de Luna, the Spanish betrothed of his deceased older half-brother, Pedro Luis, in September 1493. He was made 2nd Duke of Gandia, Duke of Sessa, Grand Constable of Naples, Governor of St. Peter's, and Gonfalonier and Captain General of the Church.
Giovanni and Maria had three children: Twins Juan de Borja y Enriquez (known as Juan Borgia), who became the 3rd duke of Gandía, and Francisca de Jesus Borja, who became a nun at a convent in Valladolid. This second Juan was the father of Saint Francis Borgia. Their third child, Isabel de Borja y Enriquez, was born after her father was killed. she grew up to become abbess of Santa Clara in Gandia.
He was murdered the night of 14 June 1497 near what later became the Piazza della Giudecca in the Ghetto of Rome. He was last seen alive when he was leaving from a feast that his mother had in his honor at her villa with his other siblings Cesare, Lucrezia, and Gioffre, Gioffre's wife Sancha of Aragon, their cousin Juan Borgia Lanzol, and Vannozza's husband, Carlo Canale, all in attendance. The next morning his horse came back without its rider and one of the stirrups was cut, and he was reported missing. A search party found his body in the Tiber with his throat slit, and about nine stab wounds on his torso. His grief-stricken father launched an intensive investigation into the murder, only to end it abruptly a week later. While the Orsini family had ample motive to kill Giovanni, it was later rumored that his own brother Cesare Borgia had him murdered. However, there is another rumor which says that his younger brother Gioffre Borgia murdered him due to Giovanni's relationship with Gioffre's wife, Sancha. His richly-attired body was recovered from the Tiber River with 30 golden ducats untouched in the purse at his belt. To the immense grief of the pope, this act occasioned the epigram by Sannazzaro on the pope as "fisher of men". Borgia's only attendant was also slain, so there were no known witnesses.
In most adaptations, he is referred to by his Spanish name, Juan.
In the 2010 animated short film, Assassin's Creed: Ascendance, a fictionalised version of Juan's death is depicted by the hand of Cesare Borgia, who hires a prostitute to murder him.
In the 2011 French/German series, Borgia, Juan is played by French actor Stanley Weber. He is a main character in the first season and dies in that season's finale "The Serpent Rises". In this adaptation, his murder is perpetrated primarily by Lucrezia with the help of her lover, Perotto Calderon.
- Maxwell-Stuart, P.G., Chronicle of the Popes, London, Thames and Hudson, 1997, page 158, ISBN 0-500-01798-0
- Christopher Hibbert: The Borgias and their enemies. Harcourt, Inc. 2008, p. 30
- Sarah Bradford: Cesare Borgia. His Life and Times. London 1876, p. 17
- Sabatini, II.4.
- Maxwell-Stuart, P.G., Chronicle of the Popes, London, Thames and Hudson, 1997, page 159, ISBN 0-500-01798-0
- (Spanish) Borja - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
- (Spanish) Borgia - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
- (Spanish) Francisco Fernández de Bethencourt - Historia Genealógica y Heráldica Española, Casa Real y Grandes de España, tomo cuarto
- (Spanish) Una rama subsistente del linaje Borja en América española, por Jaime de Salazar y Acha, Académico de Número de la Real Academia Matritense de Heráldica y Genealogía
- (Spanish) Boletín de la Real Academia Matritense de Heráldica y Genealogía