The House of Borgia, or Borja, was a Spanish-Italian noble family that became prominent during the Renaissance. Notable members of the family include Rodrigo, Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia. The family is known today for their political crimes, such as theft, murder and simony (the selling of powerful Church and Government positions). During the Renaissance, the Borgia family was the most prominent embodiment of the Templars and also the Order's leaders. In 1492 with election of Rodrigo Borgia to Pope, the family became the ruling body of the Papal state. The city of Rome declined into corruption, theft, murder and oppression.
Ezio Auditore became a prominent resistance against the Borgia in the early 16th century, and recruited citizens to the Assassins' cause. As the power of the Borgias declined and disarrayed, the city of Rome experienced a change, the benefits of art and culture finally arrived and its people discovered the prosperity of the Renaissance. In 1503 with the murder of Rodrigo Borgia, courtesy of his son, Cesare, the Borgia family took an instant downfall, with Cesare, the Captain General of the Papal armies, arrested and exiled to Spain in 1504. The family lost all of its influence upon the death of Rodrigo after Pius III and later Julius II succeeded him as Pope.