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Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Watching The Borgias will furnish many opportunities for the average to viewer to think to themselves, "What did he/she say?" or "What does that word mean?" This is the place to find out! This page is the destination for translation, transliteration and pontification on any quotation. English-to-Italian, Italian-to-English, renaissance or otherwise, knowledge is power and knowing what a character meant gives you the power to further enjoy The Borgias!

Please feel free to add to what will surely be a growing list of words, phrases, idioms, etc. that will come up on the show and define them and translate them. If you are defining something like a conversation or turn-of-phrase from a specific episode, please be sure to relate the details and context so others can understand what you are referencing.

Understandably, there will be the temptation to add some 'naughty' words, but since this site is viewed by all, please keep this page as K-rated as possible.

Language is the dress of thought.
- Samuel Johnson


condottiere contractor kawn-duh-te-yair-eh Condottieri were the mercenary soldier leaders (or warlords) of the professional, military free companies contracted by the Italian City States and the Papacy from the late Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance. In contemporary Italian, condottiero means "contractor", and is synonymous with the modern English title Mercenary Captain, which, historiographically, does not connote the hired soldier’s nationality. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
consigliere counselor kawn-see-lee-air-eh Consigliere means "adviser" or "counselor"
For example, Venice was led by a doge (duke) and a consigliere ducale (advisor to the doge).
signore lord sin-yohr-ey Plural signori means "ruling government," usually a small party of elites or judical officials in charge of governing a republic or city-state.
sprezzatura nonchalance
Sprezzatura is “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.” - The Book of the Courtier, p. 32
Do you understand? kah-pee-shay/kah-pee-shee
Sta zitto/Stai zitto
Be quiet/Shut up stah-tseet-toh/sty-tseet-toh
Buona fortuna Good Luck! bwon-ah for-toon-ah
concistoro An assembly of cardinals presided over by a pope kon-tcis-toro When Cardinal Orsini was accusing Rodrigo of simony, Cesare reprimands Orsini that they are in consistory.

gone-fall-on-knee-yair-ee ("standard bearer"), a title of high civic magistrates in the medieval Italian City-States. During the early years of s Alexander VI's papacy, his son Juan Borgia was Gonfaloniere of the Papael States.
mot-ze-ta An elbow-length cape, often hooded, worn over a rochet of a pope, cardinal, or bishop, fastened at the front neck with a row of buttons.
ah-more-a LOVE!

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