Cesare Borgia was one of the world's most baffling personalities. Genuinely devoted to the cause of art, he befriended many a painter, including the immortal Leonardo da Vinci, while as an administrator he was capable and far-seeing. Yet this same man was a multiple murderer, utterly ruthless, allowing no law or sense of decency to prevent him from forcing his own ferocious will upon the world or to deter him from the indulgence of his own flaming passions. Appointed a cardinal in 1493, by Pope Alexander VI, Cesare renounced the Church immediately after the murder of his brother, Giovanni, a crime believed to be due to his instigation. He, thereupon, threw himself openly into the war of extermination which the Borgias at that time were waging against the other great Roman families, and marrying the sister of the King of Navarre, he enlisted French support for his campaign. He now became the terror of all Italy. Princes were treacherously put to death, whole families were murdered, while other atrocities committed under his influence are too horrible to name. At long last, however, his infamous reign came to an end. His father was poisoned, whereupon all the enemies of the Borgias massed together to put an end to their tyranny. Cesare was imprisoned, but escaped, and the next year met his death in action. A baffling personality was Cesare, but one of the wickedest men of whom the world holds record.