Lucrezia Borgia, new view:

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Lucrezia Borgia, Entrepreneur and Renaissance Capitalist. This is a very interesting article in Science Daily:

Apparently Lucrezia Borgia, illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) and of minor mention in Machiavelli’s *The Prince,* was very economically astute, and she turned vast tracts of waste swampland into productive farmland as well as getting into other entrepreneurial activities. Maybe she was not the classic murdering bitch that has been her stereotypical portrayal in tradition. According to historian Diane Yvonne Ghirardo, Lucrezia undertook huge land development projects that “stand alone in the panorama of early sixteenth-century projects, not only those initiated by women.”

Ghirardo says that historians had always looked in the archives at Lucrezia’s account registers for purchases of art, jewels, clothing, etc., but they never appreciated her agricultural accounts. Science Daily goes on to say: “In the current issue of Renaissance Quarterly, Ghirardo explains how Lucrezia turned seemingly worthless swampland into reclaimed land. The land was used to cultivate grains, barley, beans and olive trees; to grow flax for spinning into linen; to pasture livestock for milk, meat, wool and hides; and for vineyards.” Ghirardo says that Lucrezia displayed what is “really a capitalist attitude” about her ventures.

Science Daily goes on to say: “Surviving documents also indicate Lucrezia's knowledge of contract terms, border disputes and even the skill of various hydraulic engineers, according to Ghirardo. Other records show her pawning an extremely valuable ruby-and-pearl piece of jewelry in order to buy more water buffaloes (especially to produce mozzarella).”

Apparently, all of Lucrezia’s business ventures were in her own name and her sole responsibility. Titles, profits and losses were entirely hers. This was not the usual property arrangement in those days.

This article is short, and I highly recommend it.


-Ross Barlow.

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Thanks for the post. My people were always inventive and focused. Additionally, Science Daily is now bookmarked.


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Northern Italians - Queens NY boy - saw the LIE built and watched Robert Moses' minions lay siege to a wonderful old German lady who refused to sell her family home!


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