Borgia (bōr´jä), Span. Borja (bôr´hä), Spanish-Italian noble family, originally from Aragón.
When Alfonso de Borja, cardinal-archbishop of Valencia, was pope as Calixtus III (1455–58), several relatives followed him to Rome. His nephew Rodrigo became pope as Alexander VI, and Rodrigo’s illegitimate children were Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia; the later reputations of these Borgias made the family name a synonym for avarice and treachery.
To the Spanish branch of the family belonged St. Francis Borgia and Francisco Borja (1581–1658), a Spanish general and viceroy of Peru. The direct line of the family, whose senior members bore the title duke of Gandia, died out in the 18th cent.
I feel a great desire to have news of you for it has been a great while since I recieved a letter from you and you can imagine, my lady sister, what a great joy your letters are to me for the love I bear you. So do me the favour of writing for my consolation, because already the Duchess my wife complains a great deal of you, that you have never written despite all the letters sent to you from here. She commands us to ask you to write, she is pregnant and in the seventh month. It seems two years since I left. I have written to His Beatitude to order my departure from day to day I hope for this order …
Juan in a unsent letter to Lucrezia (kept in the Valencia archives)