BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

View previous topic View next topic Go down

BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Centauro on Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:45 pm

BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.


It all depends what you do with them...

The banquet had come to an end and Pope Alexander VI was in fine mood. The food had been more sumptuous than at previous feasts and the wine had flowed with customary abundance. Even the fifty dancing girls had performed with unusual aplomb.

It was 30 October, 1501, a night that would go down in history as one of the most scandalous in papal history. The so-called Banquet of Chestnuts had been arranged for the pope by his son, Cardinal Cesare Borgia, and the food and wine was just the opening act in a long and colourful evening.


Pope Alexander VI: never a dull moment

The banquet was held in the pope’s official residence, the Apostolic Palace - a vast building of more than 1,000 rooms.
It was late by the time the last dishes had been served but no one was in any mood to go to their beds. Indeed the atmosphere was heavily charged. The servants cleared the tables and removed the candelabras, but instead of taking them away they started arranging them on the floor. The fifty dancing prostitutes were meanwhile starting to disrobe. When they re-emerged in the banqueting hall, at an hour when the pope should have been at his prayers, they were all completely naked.


The banquet: so hot we took all our clothes off.


There are very few eyewitness accounts of what took place that night. The most reliable was written by Pope Alexander VI’s Master of Ceremonies, Johannes Burchard. He was author of the Liber Notarum, an official record of all the more significant papal ceremonies, including embassies, official visits and private functions. Among the functions recorded in the Liber Notarum is an account of the Banquet of Chestnuts.

According to Burchard, the evening rapidly descended into a sexually-charged floor show. ‘After dinner the candelabra with the burning candles were taken from the tables and placed on the floor, and chestnuts were strewn around, which the naked courtesans picked up, creeping on hands and knees between the chandeliers, while the Pope, Cesare, and his sister Lucretia looked on.’


The organiser: said to be Cesare

It was not long before the soiree turned into an orgy. ‘Prizes were announced for those who could perform the act most often with the courtesans, such as tunics of silk, shoes… and other things.’ It is reported that the pope himself distributed prizes for the cardinals and priests who had ejaculated the most times. In recent years, official Vatican historians have attempted to disprove the most lurid details of the papal orgy, claiming they were added later by enemies of the pope.

But the orgy stories are not without credence. Pope Alexander VI was one of the most notorious and controversial of all the Renaissance popes and his surname, Borgias, was to become a byword for scandal, corruption, licentiousness, nepotism and immorality.

His first mistress was Vannozza dei Cattanei, an Italian noblewoman with whom he had a long affair that began some two years after he was ordained cardinal of Albano, a commune close to Rome.


Lucrezia: revealing dress


They had four children, Giovanni, Cesare, Lucrezia and Gioffre, all of whom were lavished with money and honours.
Pope Alexander was particularly fond of Cesare and Lucrezia: both were present at the Banquet of Chestnuts.
Alexander eventually tired of Vannozza and transferred his affections to the young Giulia Farnese, one of the great beauties of Rome. The pope’s son was also smitten by his father’s mistress, describing her as having ‘dark colouring, black eyes, round face and a particular ardor.’

Giulia was already married to the wealthy Orsino Orsini, but within two years of Alexander being elected to the papacy she had moved into a palace that adjoined the papal residence. It made it easier for Pope Alexander VI to make clandestine visits. Although Alexander VI wanted to keep the relationship secret, news soon spread through Rome; Giulia became known as either the Pope’s Whore or as the Bride of Christ. She bore a child, Laura, but it is not known whether the father was Orsino or Pope Alexander VI.


Vannozza: mistress number one


Her influence over the pope was such that she managed to get her brother Alessandro appointed cardinal. He was subsequently known as the Cardinal of the Skirts.

Pope Alexander VI had been elected against a backdrop of bribery and corruption and the misuse of funds would be a hallmark of his papacy. There was scandal throughout the church and nepotism was rife. When the Florentine friar, Girolamo Savonarola, denounced the pope for his sinful living, Pope Alexander was said to have burst out laughing.


Giulia: great beauty


Pope Alexander VI sought to aggrandize the Borgias family during his papacy and in this he was extremely successful. He is one of the principal ancestors of most of the royal houses of Europe. He finally died in 1503 at the advanced age of 72. His body lay in state, but in the August heat it rapidly started to decompose. According to the Italian theologian Raffaello Maffei, ‘It was a revolting scene to look at that deformed, blackened corpse, prodigiously swelled, and exhaling an infectious smell; his lips and nose were covered with brown drivel, his mouth was opened very widely… therefore no fanatic or devotee dared to kiss his feet or hands, as custom would have required.’


Pope Francis: no children, as yet.


Despite his affairs, illegitimate children, mistresses and orgies, he was widely respected by future popes. Sixtus V and Urban VIII both described him as one of the greatest popes since St Peter. He was also one of the most sexually active; he has the somewhat dubious record of siring more children than any other pope.
That record could yet be overturned, but not in the immediate future. None of the current/future candidates for the papacy seem to have had any offspring. Perhaps they are waiting until they are elected to the papal office?


Source: Giles Milton, Surviving History Blog.

_________________
I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me.

Giuseppe Garibaldi.
avatar
Centauro
Moderator

Location : Lancs & Emilia Romagna
Posts : 81
Join date : 2013-05-27

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:23 pm

As a "Moderator", you do not seem to be setting a good example by starting a thread which could be considered "provocative".Not because of what you say about Pope Alexander Borgia, who is not considered as a good example of what a Pope should be, but by including in your comments Pope Francis, which I find highly disrespectful and in very poor taste (to say the least).
avatar
Gala Placidia
Moderator

Posts : 1823
Join date : 2013-05-20

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Centauro on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:28 pm

Gala Placidia wrote:As a "Moderator", you do not seem to be setting a good example by starting a thread which could be considered "provocative".Not because of what you say about Pope Alexander Borgia, who is not considered as a good example of what a Pope should be, but by including in your comments Pope Francis, which I find highly disrespectful and in very poor taste (to say the least).





I thought about replying via a PM but as you've posted in the open..

We're all entitled to our opinions and ideas Gala and I would defend your right to express yours as I hope you would mine. You don't have to like them, nor do you have to accept them, but that doesn't give you the right to tell me what I can and cannot post. That privilege belongs to one person on this board; Penny. Furthermore, Get your facts straight! I didn't create the blog (though I did alter it slightly to bring it up to date) and I will not apologise for injecting into this forum what I thought was a reasonable examination of one particular aspect papal history and tasteful or, not you cannot deny the appalling behaviour of a significant number of the catholic clergy of all ranks both ancient and modern.

As a Mod' on this board I take my responsibilities seriously, and as my guide I use the Oxford dictionary definition of moderator to assist me in 'keeping the peace' as it were. What I don't/won't do is tell someone else what they can or can't say, think or post and before I edit anything I would give the OP the courtesy of a PM explaining my reasoning and ask them to consider editing their own post first (unless of course I was editing to make an obvious humorous illustration).

I do NOT see my job as a mod as one of 'setting an example' as in the main we're all adults on this board each with our own standards and I will not impose mine on anyone else, that job went out with the Nazis. That having been said, why should my example be any better than any other non-Mod member on this board or, by making such a statement are you in fact claiming some sort of moral superiority for yourself as a moderator?

At the risk of repeating myself, there's only one person  here with the right to tell me what is or isn't acceptable on this forum and it aint you, therefore Admin is the only one whose opinion has any value for me and if she feels it necessary to chastise me for my standards (or lack of) so be it I'll accept her opinion in good grace, but I certainly won't be taking any lessons from you dearie!

_________________
I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me.

Giuseppe Garibaldi.
avatar
Centauro
Moderator

Location : Lancs & Emilia Romagna
Posts : 81
Join date : 2013-05-27

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:12 pm

Your rights and mine end up where other people's right start and I can already tell you that your post may be considered offensive by some members, readers and here I include myself. 
The blog you used as a source contained the basic information about that night of debaucherie during the Borgia Papacy, an event that, if true -and it is quite possibly true -  could just be understood as  merely quoting a history blog, which may or may not be accurate; however, involving a personality like Pope Francis in the same text and creating subtle inuendo, is plain disrespectful and a totally different matter. The forum will only be as good as WE are, and this is not good at all.
And, by the way, modern historians consider that many of the things said about Lucrezia Borgia are untrue or raise many doubts...
avatar
Gala Placidia
Moderator

Posts : 1823
Join date : 2013-05-20

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Miss Demeanor on Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:04 am

Stai zitt per piacere Gala - have the grace not to to impose here the same things you tried to impose in the other place.  It wont work - just like it didn't work there and it will kill this forum - because people don't like being told what they can or can not post.

Let it be - if you don't like certain things, we can respect that, but that doesn't mean you can impose your will on others here.  I hope you take this in the spirit it is meant.

Don't let history repeat itself yet again.
avatar
Miss Demeanor
Moderator

Location : Another Planet
Posts : 155
Join date : 2013-05-20

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by modicasa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:16 am

I will not comment on the content, but on the spirit - and I quote Stephen Fry, with reference to Douglas Adams, Salman Rushdie and Voltaire: 
“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so f)/$%&&  what.”

Obviously Stephen didnt say Fclosebracketdollarsignpercetampersandampersand but you get my drift.  ANd that is all I will say on the subject.

modicasa
Elder

Location : Sicily
Posts : 530
Join date : 2013-05-20

http://www.modicasa.com

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Flip on Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:20 am

I'm afraid Gala we all know this has happened before, there are no rights or wrongs in expressed opinion, it is merely that and like Centauro I defend anyone's right to express a view point whether I agree or not or even if it offends me. Censorship is a blight on self expression and after all it's only words whether disrespectful or not and as a Christian we should be able to 'turn the other cheek' not 'pluck it out if it offends thee'.
avatar
Flip
Elder

Location : nr. Bagni Di Lucca. LU
Posts : 800
Join date : 2013-05-25

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Gala Placidia on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:35 pm

A few answers to all the above. Centauro, I would have not reacted this way, feeling offended by the post, had you limited yourself to quote Giles Milton's article in his own blog. You could have done this by simply providing the link or starting your post with quotation marks or between QUOTE and UNQUOTE, however, you could not do this as your post was not a mere quote. You had replaced the original photograph of Pope Ratzinger (who was Pope in March 2013, when the article was originally published) by a current photograph of Pope Francis holding a child. So it was not a mere quotation or somebody else´s opinion.
Freedom of expression is a much mented and abused right by is conditioned by two other rights:
1.- The right to express YOUR OWN OPINION
2.- The right to preserve a reputation
In this case, the reputation of the current Pope has been put under attack through inuendo. And this is what I am defending and I will always do.
Syllogisms and sophisms are both elements of logic and very similar in essence, with a big difference, one is true, the other one is false. In this case, the article... and the photograph imply that because both Alexander Borgia and Francis are Popes, they may have children, something not acceptable within the morals of the Catholic Church, even if Alexander and some other Popes did not do the right thing. The sophism could work like this:
Henry VIII was a lecher and a murderer.
Henry VIII was King of England.
All Kings of England are lechers and murderers.
And this is the "line of thinking" of the article.
Even the mention of the opinions of both Sixtus V and Urban VIII are tendentious, as both Popes were more or less contemporaneous of the Borgias. It is not the current view of the Church.
On the other hand, Milton, should have researched a bit more his story. He has earned a reputation as a "maverick historian" with some best sellers; however, there are doubts about the authenticity of the documents referred to and Burchard's writings may be apochryphal (not the first time, even the Bible has a few problems there). Even the portrait of Lucrezia Borgia is not the real one. The painting is identified as Portrait of a Woman or Portrait of Flora, an allegory by Bartolomeo Veneto. The only suspected portrait of Lucrezia is the painting of St Catherine of Alexandria by Pinturicchio in the "Sala dei Santi" of the Borgia Apartments in the Vatican. 
Summing up, Giles Milton's detrimental remarks to the Papacy are as accurate as could be a "History of the Opus Dei" written by Dan Brown.


Last edited by Gala Placidia on Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:39 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Edited to stick to the point being made)
avatar
Gala Placidia
Moderator

Posts : 1823
Join date : 2013-05-20

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Miss Demeanor on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:39 pm

Go on, admit it - who actually read carefully all that Gala posted above? 

Guilty as charged M'Lud.  No
avatar
Miss Demeanor
Moderator

Location : Another Planet
Posts : 155
Join date : 2013-05-20

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:42 pm

Gala wrote:Henry VIII was a lecher and a murderer.
Henry VIII was King of England.
All Kings of England are lechers and murderers.

Likely that most are/were at least one, if not both, of these....

stevegwmonkseaton
Elder

Location : Abruzzo
Posts : 1927
Join date : 2013-05-20

Back to top Go down

Re: BANQUET OF CHESTNUTS: THE PAPAL ORGY OF 1501.

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum