The already corrupt Papacy reached perhaps its ultimate depths during the reign of Rodrigo Borgia, who was elected to the papacy in 1492 after the death of the generally unnoteworthy Innocent VIII, and who assumed the name Pope Alexander VI.
Borgia, a Spaniard, had been at the center of Vatican affairs for 30 years as a Cardinal.
Alexander VI was himself known as a corrupt pope bent on his family's political and material success, to an even greater extent than Sixtus IV had been.
It was no secret that Alexander VI's oldest son Cesare, was a murderer, and had killed many of his political opponents.
He was at ease in social situations, a skilled diplomat, demonstrated great skill as an administrator, and was an intelligent and beneficent patron of the arts.
He encouraged scholarly learning, and supported the theatre, an art form considered to be of ambiguous morality until that time.
Over the next few years, they defeated their enemies in Rome and chased the survivors to Greece, where they finished them off in two of the bloodiest battles in Roman history.
The killing over, the empire was theirs and they divided the spoils. There he fell under the spell of Cleopatra, Egypt’s beautiful queen.
Rome received its final push to renaissance glory from Pope Leo X, second son of Lorenzo de Medici.
He came to the papal throne in 1513, following Julius II.