The Perse School

Borgia family inspires pupil presentation at Imperium Society

30 Jan 2014

This week’s meeting of the Middle School club, Imperium, saw Year 10 pupil, Garret Shannon present to the group on the infamous Borgia family who became prominent in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Imperium is a student-led group where students present on a whole host of topics they find interesting. This can range from issues in classics and modern history to social issues and military history. This club is hugely popular with the students, and there’s often quite the waiting list for a presentation slot!

Garret was inspired to present on this topic after reading Machiavelli’s The Prince over the holidays, and decided to present to the group on some of the more interesting points from the book. Garret’s presentation explored the fascinating careers of Alfons de Borja, who ruled as Pope Callixtus III between 1455 and 1458, and Rodrigo Borgia, who ruled as Pope Alexander VI between 1492 and 1503. He also touched upon Rodrigo’s children; Juan, Cesare, Lucrezia and Gioffre and the importance and legacy of the House of Borgia.

Garret decided to delve into the Borgias in more depth as he was interested in “what they did in such a short space of time; they changed the face of Italy for a long time.” He discovered that it was the first prominent member of the Borgia family who saved central Germany form the advances of the Ottoman Turks – he said; “they’ve had a huge effect on modern times, even if they are not very famous for it.”

Researching his presentation for this meeting of Imperium gave Garret the opportunity to increase his understanding of the period outside of the curriculum, as when studying the Tudors in class, he said that “we don’t really learn about what goes on in the rest of Europe, and so it was something I was interested in myself.”

We look forward to seeing more students present their findings throughout the rest of the year, where there will undoubtedly be a diverse range of topics covered.

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