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  • 0Votes
  • 2Plays
  • 4Collected
  • Aired1981-10-21T05:00:00+01:00
  • NetworkBBC Two
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Runtime42 minutes
  • Certification
    TV-14

Charles VIII of France invades northern Italy on his way to Naples, pledging to depose the Borgian pope if/when he conquers Rome. When Rodrigo Borgia's mistress and his daughter are captured by the French, his palace occupied, the pope retreats to Castel Sant'Angelo. Using the raised monstrance, the pope quiets the cannons and returns to the Vatican. Fearing deposition for simony, he feigns illness, acquiesces to the French taking Naples, bribing Charles with "tribute," gaining time to get assistance from Spain. Charles' soldiers' behavior alienates the Italians, and Europe opposes him because of his success, thus forcing the French to retreat. Borgia family affairs (and "affairs") now take center stage.

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