Papal Genealogy

The Families and Descendants of the Popes


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About the Book

The papacy has often resembled a secular European monarchy more than a divinely inspired institution. Roman pontiffs bestowed great wealth on their families and forged strategic alliances with other powerful families to increase their power. Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), for example, forced his daughter Lucrezia into a series of marriages for political reasons. When her marital alliance was no longer advantageous, as was the case in her second marriage, her husband was brutally murdered. Many papal families also intermarried in hopes of forming a hereditary papacy; at least two members of the Fieschi, Piccolomini, Della Rovere, and Medici families served as pope.
Papal families since the early history of the church are fully covered in this comprehensive work. Genealogical charts graphically show the descendants of the popes, presenting in many cases the interrelationships between the papal families and their relationships with many of the leading families of Europe. Detailed histories examine the impact of the papacy on each pope’s family and how each influenced the history of the church.

About the Author(s)

The late George L. Williams, historian, educator, and former Fulbright scholar to Italy, lived in New York.

Bibliographic Details

George L. Williams
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: tables, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2004 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2071-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3227-8
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A sweeping review of papal families, replete with numerous genealogy tables. Recommended”—Library Journal
  • “Examines the families of the popes, their influence on history, and, in some cases, traces their descendants”—Theology Digest.