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Say It in Latin, Qui Bono

December 13, 2016 , , , ,

The Borgias

The Borgias

The Latin phrase qui bono means as benefit to whom? In legal cases it is used to determine who might be responsible for criminal acts.  I have been watching the series on Showtime, The Borgias, an accurate portrayal of the family and history of Italy.  The key figure in the drama is Rodrigo Borgia, who reigned as Pope of Rome Alexander VI.  He was Pope from 11 August 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503.  He was a highly controversial figure who ruled the Roman Catholic Church with an iron fist and very little respect for church doctrine.  His personal excesses were epic, and his bastard children were all lavished with money and power.

The politics of Italy were complex and treacherous, with the Vatican serving as king maker and power broker.  Alliances and secret plots were rampant.  They Borgias made enemies of many of the families, the most prominent of which was the Sforza clan.  First the Pope’s daughter Lucrezia is wed to a Sforza, but obtains annulment from her father a few months into the marriage.  Her husband is later murdered by her brother Cesare.  Castles are placed under siege and bloody battles are fought between the Sforzas and the papal army.  Intrigue inside and outside the Vatican was rampant.  The Borgias were known to be masters of the art of lethal poison.  A plot nearly succeeds to kill Rodrigo with a glass of wine, but his daughter administers charcoal and saves his life.  It was a wild game of liar’s poker.

As I watch the crazy politics unfold in 15th Century Rome and the church I can’t help but be reminded of present day politics.  Spies, traitors and terrorists determined the outcome of Borgia power struggles.  It appears we are wrapped in a double or triple plot in real time with much subterfuge and mystery clouding our election results.  When enemies of enemies betray friends we need to ask a basic question: “Who benefits from this?”  This concept was alive in ancient Rome because it points to the cause rather than to the red herrings intended to confuse.

If 400 pound hackers, of Russian or other origin, can change the election results in the United States the question is “Qui bono?”  What do you think, gentle reader?

Qui bono

Qui bono

What do you think?

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The Borgias are a very interesting family….. And your final lines are quite apropos too!

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

December 27, 2016

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