As he watched Cesare Borgia at this, the most brilliant period of his adventurous career, the man became idealized in his reflective but imaginative mind.
He bought a vigna in the Borgo near the Vatican, and thereon erected a sumptuous palace after designs by Bramante; and it was here, in the summer of 1503, that he entertained the pope and Cesare Borgia at a banquet that went on till nightfall despite the unhealthy season of the year, when ague in its most malignant form was rife.
By dexterous diplomacy he first succeeded (1504) in rendering it impossible for Cesare Borgia to remain in Italy.
Leonardo da Vinci, the famous artist, while in the service of Cesare Borgia as military engineer, made surveys of several districts in central Italy.
On his return to Florence early in January 1503, Machiavelli began to occupy himself with a project which his recent attendance upon Cesare Borgia had strengthened in his mind.
His attitude towards Cesare Borgia was exceedingly astute; at first he assisted him, and obtained from him with the favour of the French king the cession of Piombino; but having subsequently aroused the suspicions of Borgia, the latter attempted to suppress Petrucci by inviting him to the fatal meeting of Senigallia.
Della Rovere then won the support of Cesare Borgia and was unanimously elected pope.
The chief authorities for the life of Cesare Borgia are the same as those of Alexander VI., especially M.