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This article is about the brother of Cesare Borgia. You may be looking for his cousin or the Assassin Giovanni Borgia.

Juan Borgia (1474 – 1497), also known as Giovanni Borgia, was the second Duke of Gandia, and the first son of Rodrigo Borgia – the Grand Master of the Templar Order of the Italian Templars – and his long-term mistress Vannozza dei Cattanei.

Juan was also the older brother of Cesare, Lucrezia and Jofré Borgia, and the grandfather of Francis Borgia.


Since Juan was his favorite son, Rodrigo made him the Captain-General of the Papal armies as soon after he became Pope in 1492. At around this time, Juan's younger brother, Cesare, became a Cardinal.[1]

In 1496, Juan fought Bartolomeo d'Alviano at the Siege of Bracciano, wherein Bartolomeo sent a donkey out of the city, with a sign around its neck reading "Let me go for I am an ambassador to the Duke of Gandia." Bartolomeo had also tied a letter for Juan to the donkey's tail, which contained further insults.[2]

By 1497, Cesare had realized that his life as a Cardinal would lead nowhere, and that if he wanted to gain power, he would need to get rid of his brother.[1] Upon enticing Juan into a night spent in the company of courtesans, Cesare introduced him to Fiora Cavazza, a close ally of his. That night on June 14, Cesare watched as Fiora engaged Juan in a moment of passion, before she slit his throat with a dagger. Juan's body was later thrown into the Tiber.[3]

Subsequent to the discovery of Juan's death, Cesare became Captain-General in his stead, and was never identified as his brother's killer.[3]

Behind the scenes

The appearance of Juan Borgia the Younger in Ascendance is completely based off the way Juan Borgia the Elder looks like in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. However, this brings about a series of discrepancies. Juan looks much older than his real age; historically, he died when he was 23. Juan, despite being Captain-General, wore a cardinal's attire. The two cousins are also voiced by the same actor.

In reality, although there are many suspects, it remains unknown who actually murdered Juan, as there were no witnesses aside from his attendant who was also killed. His well-dressed body was recovered from the Tiber with his coinpurse apparently untouched, and while the Pope ordered an investigation into the murder, he abruptly called it off a week later despite his known grief for his son's death.[4] With no culprits named, it is traditionally assumed that the Pope had identified those responsible but was either unwilling or unable to punish them. Juan also wasn't murdered on Tiber Island but in the Roman Ghetto just to the east.