Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli

Overview
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (nikkoˌlɔ makjaˈvɛlli, 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 historian, philosopher, humanist
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. He is one of the main founders of modern political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

. He was a diplomat, political philosopher
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence , or the Florentine Republic, was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The...

. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, poetry, and some of the most well-known personal correspondence in the Italian language.
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Encyclopedia
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (nikkoˌlɔ makjaˈvɛlli, 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 historian, philosopher, humanist
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. He is one of the main founders of modern political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

. He was a diplomat, political philosopher
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence , or the Florentine Republic, was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The...

. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, poetry, and some of the most well-known personal correspondence in the Italian language. His position in the regime of Florence as Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence , or the Florentine Republic, was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The...

 lasted from 1498 to 1512, a period in which the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

 were not in power. Machiavelli's most well-known writing was, however, after this period, during the time when the Medici recovered power, and Machiavelli was removed from all positions of responsibility.

Life



Machiavelli was born in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Italy, the first son, and third child, of attorney Bernardo di Niccolò Machiavelli, and his wife, Bartolomea di Stefano Nelli. The Machiavelli family are believed to be descended from the old marquesses of Tuscany, and to have produced thirteen Florentine Gonfalonieres of Justice
Gonfaloniere of Justice
Gonfaloniere of Justice was a post in the government of medieval and early Renaissance Florence. Like Florence's Podestà and Priori, it was introduced in 1293 when Giano Della Bella's Ordinamenti di Giustizia came into force....

, one of the offices of a group of nine citizens selected by drawing lots every two months, who formed the government, or Signoria
Signoria of Florence
The Signoria was the government of medieval and renaissance Florence. Its nine members, the Priori, were chosen from the ranks of the guilds of the city: six of them from the major guilds, and two from the minor guilds...

. Machiavelli, like many people of Florence, was however not a full citizen of Florence, due to the nature of Florentine citizenship in that time, even under the republican regime.

Machiavelli was born in a tumultuous era—pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

s waged acquisitive wars against Italian city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

s, and people and cities might fall from power at any time. Along with the pope and the major cities like Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and Florence, foreign powers such as France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, and even Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 battled for regional influence and control. Political-military alliances continually changed, featuring condottieri
Condottieri
thumb|Depiction of [[Farinata degli Uberti]] by [[Andrea del Castagno]], showing a 15th century condottiero's typical attire.Condottieri were the mercenary soldier leaders of the professional, military free companies contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy, from the late Middle Ages...

 (mercenary leaders) who changed sides without warning, and short lived governments rising and falling.

Machiavelli was taught grammar, rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

, and Latin, and became a magnificent writer. It is thought that he did not learn Greek, even though Florence was at the time one of the centers of Greek scholarship in Europe. In 1494, Florence restored the republic
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence , or the Florentine Republic, was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The...

 — expelling the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

 family, who had ruled Florence for some sixty years. In June 1498, shortly after the execution of Savonarola, Machiavelli, at the age of 29, was elected as head of the second chancery. In July 1498, he was also made the secretary of the Dieci di Libertà e Pace. He was in a diplomatic council responsible for negotiation and military affairs, carrying out, between 1499 and 1512, several diplomatic missions, to the court of Louis XII
Louis XII of France
Louis proved to be a popular king. At the end of his reign the crown deficit was no greater than it had been when he succeeded Charles VIII in 1498, despite several expensive military campaigns in Italy. His fiscal reforms of 1504 and 1508 tightened and improved procedures for the collection of taxes...

 in France; to that of Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 of Aragón, in Spain; in Germany; and to the Papacy in Rome, in the Italian states. Moreover, from 1502 to 1503, he witnessed the brutal reality of the state-building methods of Cesare Borgia
Cesare Borgia
Cesare Borgia , Duke of Valentinois, was an Italian condottiero, nobleman, politician, and cardinal. He was the son of Pope Alexander VI and his long-term mistress Vannozza dei Cattanei. He was the brother of Lucrezia Borgia; Giovanni Borgia , Duke of Gandia; and Gioffre Borgia , Prince of Squillace...

 (1475–1507), and his father Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI , born Roderic Llançol i Borja was Pope from 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized surname—Borgia—became a byword for the debased standards of the Papacy of that era, most notoriously the Banquet...

, who were then engaged in the process of trying to bring a large part of central Italy
Central Italy
Central Italy is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics , a first level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency...

 under their possession, partly under the pretext of defending Church interests.

Between 1503 and 1506, Machiavelli was responsible for the Florentine militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

, including the City’s defense. He distrusted mercenaries
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 (a distrust he explained in his official reports, and then later in his theoretical works), preferring a politically invested citizen-militia - a philosophy that bore fruit. His command of Florentine citizen-soldiers defeated Pisa in 1509; yet, in August of 1512, the Medici, helped by Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

, used Spanish troops to defeat the Florentines at Prato. Piero Soderini
Piero Soderini
Piero di Tommaso Soderini also known as Pier Soderini, was an Italian statesman of the Republic of Florence.-Biography:...

 resigned as Florentine head of state, and left in exile. The Florentine city-state and the Republic were dissolved. Machiavelli was deprived of office in 1512 by the Medici, and, in 1513, was accused of conspiracy, and arrested and imprisoned for a time. Despite torture ("with the rope
Strappado
Strappado is a form of torture in which the victim's hands are first tied behind their back and suspended in the air by means of a rope attached to wrists, which most likely dislocates both arms...

", where the prisoner is hanged from his bound wrists, from the back, forcing the arms to bear the body's weight, thus dislocating the shoulders), he denied involvement and was released; then, retiring to his estate, at Sant'Andrea in Percussina
Sant'Andrea in Percussina
Sant'Andrea in Percussina is a frazione of San Casciano Val di Pesa in the province of Florence, Tuscany, Italy.It is a small village of ancient origin and one of the most picturesque places in the area between San Casciano Val di Pesa and Florence....

, near San Casciano in Val di Pesa
San Casciano in Val di Pesa
San Casciano in Val di Pesa is a comune in the Province of Florence in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 15 km southwest of Florence....

, he devoted himself to study and writing the political treatises that earned his intellectual place in the development of political philosophy and political conduct. Despairing of the opportunity to remain directly involved in political matters, after a time Machiavelli began to participate in intellectual groups in Florence and wrote several plays that (unlike his works on politics/political theory) were both popular and widely known in his lifetime. Still politics remained his main passion and to satisfy interest he maintained a well-known correspondence with better politically connected friends, attempting to become involved once again in political life.
In a letter to Francesco Vettori
Francesco Vettori
Francesco Vettori was an Italian diplomat, politician and writer from Florence, who served his city during both the republican and de Medici regimes...

, he described his exile:
When evening comes, I return home and go to my study. On the threshold, I strip naked, taking off my muddy, sweaty work day clothes, and put on the robes of court and palace, and, in this graver dress, I enter the courts of the ancients, and am welcomed by them, and there I taste the food that alone is mine, and for which I was born. And there I make bold to speak to them and ask the motives of their actions, and they, in their humanity, reply to me. And for the space of four hours I forget the world, remember no vexation, fear poverty no more, tremble no more at death; I pass indeed into their world.


Machiavelli died in 1527 at the age of 58. He was buried at the Church of Santa Croce
Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze
The Basilica di Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres south east of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls...

 in Florence, Italy. An epitaph
Epitaph
An epitaph is a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that is inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively. Some are specified by the dead person beforehand, others chosen by those responsible for the burial...

 honouring him is inscribed in a small monument. The Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 legend reads: TANTO NOMINI NULLUM PAR ELOGIUM ("so great a name (has) no adequate praise" or "no eulogy
Eulogy
A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, especially one recently deceased or retired. Eulogies may be given as part of funeral services. However, some denominations either discourage or do not permit eulogies at services to maintain respect for traditions...

 (would be) appropriate to (praise) such a great name").

The Prince




Machiavelli’s best-known book, Il Principe, contains a number of maxims concerning politics, but rather than the more traditional subject of a hereditary prince, it concentrates on the possibility of a "new prince". To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. He believed that social benefits of stability and security could be achieved in the face of moral corruption. Aside from that, Machiavelli believed that public and private morality had to be separate in order to rule.That required the prince being concerned with reputation but also being willing to act immorally. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasises the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force, deceit, and so on.

Notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the Catholic Church proscribed The Prince, registering it to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

, and humanists
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 also viewed the book negatively — among them, Erasmus of Rotterdam. As a treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism
Realism (international relations)
In the study of international relations, Realism or political realism prioritizes national interest and security over ideology, moral concerns and social reconstructions...

 and political Idealism
Idealism
In philosophy, idealism is the family of views which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing...

 — thus, The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping political power. In contrast with Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 and Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, Machiavelli insisted that an imaginary ideal society is not the model for a prince to orient himself by.

Concerning the differences and similarities in Machiavelli's advice to ruthless and tyrannical princes in The Prince and his more republican exhortations in Discourses on Livy, many have concluded that The Prince although written in the form of advice for a monarchical prince, contains arguments for the superiority of republican regimes, similar to those found in the Discourses. In the 18th century the work was even called a satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

, for example by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

. More recently, commentators such as Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

 and Harvey Mansfield
Harvey Mansfield
Harvey Claflin Mansfield, Jr. is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1962. He has held Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships and has been a Fellow at the National Humanities Center; he also received the National Humanities Medal in 2004 and...

 have agreed that the Prince can be read as having a deliberate comical irony. Other commentators have not seen the irony as deliberate comedy, but most commentators agree that the Prince is in any case republican to some extent.

Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime...

 argued that Machiavelli's audience for this work was not even the ruling class but the common people because the rulers already knew these methods through their education.

Discourses on Livy


The Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy (Discorsi) nominally discuss a classical history of early Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. Machiavelli presents it as a series of lessons on how a republic should be started and structured. It is a larger work than the Prince, and it more openly explains the advantages of republics. It includes early versions of the concept of checks and balances, and asserts the superiority of a republic over a principality. It became one of the central texts of republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

.

From The Discourses:
  • “In fact, when there is combined under the same constitution a prince, a nobility
    Nobility
    Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

    , and the power of the people, then these three powers will watch and keep each other reciprocally in check”. Book I, Chapter II
  • “Doubtless these means [of attaining power] are cruel and destructive of all civilized life, and neither Christian, nor even human, and should be avoided by every one. In fact, the life of a private citizen would be preferable to that of a king at the expense of the ruin of so many human beings”. Book I, Chapter XXVI
  • “Now, in a well-ordered republic, it should never be necessary to resort to extra-constitutional measures. . . . ” Book I, Chapter XXXIV
  • “. . . the governments of the people are better than those of princes”. Book I, Chapter LVIII
  • “. . . if we compare the faults of a people with those of princes, as well as their respective good qualities, we shall find the people vastly superior in all that is good and glorious”. Book I, Chapter LVIII
  • “For government consists mainly in so keeping your subjects that they shall be neither able, nor disposed to injure you. . . . ” Book II, Chapter XXIII
  • “. . . no prince is ever benefited by making himself hated”. Book III, Chapter XIX
  • “Let not princes complain of the faults committed by the people subjected to their authority, for they result entirely from their own negligence or bad example”. Book III, Chapter XXIX

Other political and historical works


  • Discorso sopra le cose di Pisa (1499)
  • Del modo di trattare i popoli della Valdichiana ribellati (1502)
  • Del modo tenuto dal duca Valentino nell’ ammazzare Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, etc. (1502) — A Description of the Methods Adopted by the Duke Valentino when Murdering Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, the Signor Pagolo, and the Duke di Gravina Orsini
  • Discorso sopra la provisione del danaro
    Discourse about the Provision of Money
    Discourse about the Provision of Money is a 1502 work by Italian political scientist and writer Niccolò Machiavelli....

    (1502) — A discourse about the provision of money.
  • Ritratti delle cose dell’ Alemagna (1508–1512) - Portrait of the affairs of Germany.
  • Dell’Arte della Guerra (1519–1520) — The Art of War
    The Art of War (Machiavelli)
    Art of War is a treatise by the Italian Renaissance political philosopher and historian Niccolò Machiavelli.The format of Art of War is a socratic dialogue...

    , high military science.
  • Discorso sopra il riformare lo stato di Firenze (1520) — A discourse about the reforming of Florence.
  • Sommario delle cose della citta di Lucca (1520) — A summary of the affairs of the city of Lucca.
  • The Life of Castruccio Castracani
    Life of Castruccio Castracani
    The Life of Castruccio Castracani is a short work by Niccolò Machiavelli. It is made in the form of a short biographical account of the like of the medieval Tuscan condottiere, Castruccio Castracani, who lived in and ruled Lucca.The book is thought to have been written during a visit to Lucca in...

     of Lucca
    (1520) — Vita di Castruccio Castracani
    Castruccio Castracani
    Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli was an Italian condottiero and duke of Lucca.-Biography:Castruccio was born in Lucca, a member of the noble family of Antelminelli, of the Ghibelline party. In 1300 he was exiled with his parents and others of their faction by the Guelphs "Black" party,...

     da Lucca
    , a short biography.
  • Istorie Florentine (1520–1525) — Florentine Histories
    Florentine Histories
    Florentine Histories is a historical account by Italian Renaissance political scientist and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, first published posthumously in 1532.-Background:...

    , an eight-volume history book of the city-state, Florence, commissioned by Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici, later Pope Clement VII
    Pope Clement VII
    Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

    .

Fictional works



Besides being a statesman and political scientist, Machiavelli also translated classical works, and was a dramaturge (Clizia, Mandragola), a poet (Sonetti, Canzoni, Ottave, Canti carnascialeschi), and a novelist (Belfagor arcidiavolo).

Some of his other work:
  • Decennale primo (1506), a poem in terza rima
    Terza rima
    Terza rima is a rhyming verse stanza form that consists of an interlocking three-line rhyme scheme. It was first used by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri.-Form:Terza rima is a three-line stanza using chain rhyme in the pattern A-B-A, B-C-B, C-D-C, D-E-D...

    .
  • Decennale secondo (1509), a poem.
  • Ritratti delle cose di Francia (1510) — Portrait of the affairs of France.
  • Andria or The Woman of Andros (1517), a Classical comedy, translated from Terence
    Terence
    Publius Terentius Afer , better known in English as Terence, was a playwright of the Roman Republic, of North African descent. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, brought Terence to Rome as a slave, educated him and later on,...

    .
  • Mandragola (1518) — The Mandrake
    The Mandrake
    The Mandrake is a satirical play by Italian Renaissance writer Niccolò Machiavelli. Its tale of the corruption of Italian society was written while Machiavelli was in exile, allegedly having plotted against the Medici...

    , a five-act prose comedy, with a verse prologue.
  • Clizia
    Clizia
    Clizia is a comedy by Italian Renaissance political scientist and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, written in 1525. The work is based upon a classical play by Plautus....

    (1525), a prose comedy.
  • Belfagor arcidiavolo
    Belfagor arcidiavolo
    Belfagor arcidiavolo is a novella by Niccolò Machiavelli. It was written between 1518 and 1527 and published with Machiavelli's collected works in 1549. It is also known under the titles La favola di Belfagor Arcidiavolo or Il demonio che prese moglie.An abbreviated version of Machiavelli's...

    (1515), a novel.
  • Asino d’oro (1517) — The Golden Ass
    The Golden Ass (Machiavelli)
    L'asino is a satirical poem of eight chapters written by the Italian political scientist and writer Niccolò Machiavelli in 1517. A modernized version of Apuleius' The Golden Ass , it is written in terza rima...

    is a terza rima poem, a new version of the Classic work
    The Golden Ass
    The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass , is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety....

     by Apuleius
    Apuleius
    Apuleius was a Latin prose writer. He was a Berber, from Madaurus . He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the...

    .
  • Frammenti storici (1525) — Fragments of stories.

Other works


Della lingua (1514), a dialogue about the language is also normally considered to be by Machiavelli.

Machiavelli's literary executor, Giuliano de'Ricci, also reported having seen that Machiavelli, his grandfather, made a comedy in the style of Aristophanes
Aristophanes
Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

 which included living Florentines as characters, and to be titled Le Maschere. It has been suggested that due to such things as this and his style of writing to his superiors generally, there was very likely some animosity to Machiavelli even before the return of the Medici.

Common themes


Commentators have taken very different approaches to Machiavelli, and not always agreed. Major discussion has tended to be especially about two issues, first how unified and philosophical his work is, and secondly concerning how innovative or traditional it is.

A coherent philosophy?


There is some disagreement concerning how best to describe the unifying themes, if there are any, that can be found in Machiavelli's works, especially in the two major political works, The Prince and Discourses. Some commentators have described him as inconsistent, and perhaps as not even putting a high priority in consistency. Others such as Hans Baron
Hans Baron
Hans Baron was a German American historian of political thought and literature in the Italian Renaissance. His main contribution to the historiography of the period was to introduce in 1928 the term civic humanism .- Life and career :Born in Berlin of a Jewish family, Baron...

 have argued that his ideas must have changed dramatically over time. Some have argued that his conclusions are best understood as a product of his times, experiences and education. Others, such as Leo Strauss and Harvey Mansfield, have argued strongly that there is a very strong and deliberate consistency and distinctness, even arguing that this extends to all of Machiavelli's works including his comedies and letters.

Innovator and reviver of ancient wisdom


Commentators such as Leo Strauss have gone so far as to name Machiavelli as the deliberate originator of modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

 itself. Others have argued that Machiavelli is only a particularly interesting example of trends which were happening around him. In any case Machiavelli presented himself at various times as someone reminding Italians of the old virtues of the Romans and Greeks, and other times as someone promoting a completely new approach to politics.

Predecessors and probable influences


That Machiavelli had a wide range of influences is in itself not controversial. Their relative importance is however a subject of on-going discussion. It is possible to summarize some of the main influences emphasized by different commentators.

1. The Mirror of Princes genre. summarized the similarities between The Prince and the genre it obviously imitates, the so-called "Mirror of Princes" style. This was a classically influenced genre, with models at least as far back as Xenophon
Xenophon
Xenophon , son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates...

 and Isocrates
Isocrates
Isocrates , an ancient Greek rhetorician, was one of the ten Attic orators. In his time, he was probably the most influential rhetorician in Greece and made many contributions to rhetoric and education through his teaching and written works....

, that was still quite popular during Machiavelli's life. While Gilbert emphasizes the similarities however, he agrees with all other commentators that Machiavelli was particularly novel in the way he used this genre, even when compared to his contemporaries such as Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione, count of was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author.-Biography:Castiglione was born into an illustrious Lombard family at Casatico, near Mantua, where his family had constructed an impressive palazzo...

 and Erasmus. One of the major innovations Gilbert noted was that Machiavelli focused upon the "deliberate purpose of dealing with a new ruler who will need to establish himself in defiance of custom". Normally, these types of works were addressed only to hereditary princes.

2. Classical republicanism. Commentators such as Quentin Skinner
Quentin Skinner
Quentin Robert Duthie Skinner is the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London.-Biography:...

 and J.G.A. Pocock
J.G.A. Pocock
John Greville Agard Pocock , as a writer known as J. G. A. Pocock, is a historian noted for his trenchant studies of republicanism in the early modern period , for his treatment of Edward Gibbon and his contemporaries as historians of Enlightenment, and, in historical method, for his contributions...

, in the so-called "Cambridge School" of interpretation have been able to show that some of the republican themes in Machiavelli's political works, particularly the Discourses on Livy
Discourses on Livy
The Discourses on Livy is a work of political history and philosophy written in the early 16th century by the Italian writer and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli, best known as the author of The Prince...

, can be found in medieval Italian literature which was influenced by classical authors such as Sallust
Sallust
Gaius Sallustius Crispus, generally known simply as Sallust , a Roman historian, belonged to a well-known plebeian family, and was born at Amiternum in the country of the Sabines...

.

3. Classical political philosophy: Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle. The Socratic school of classical political philosophy, especially Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, had become a major influence upon European political thinking in the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. It existed both in the catholicised form presented by Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

, and in the more controversial "Averroist
Averroism
Averroism is the term applied to either of two philosophical trends among scholastics in the late 13th century: the Arab philosopher Averroës or Ibn Rushd's interpretations of Aristotle and his reconciliation of Aristotelianism with Islamic faith; and the application of these ideas in the Latin...

" form of authors like Marsilius of Padua
Marsilius of Padua
Marsilius of Padua Marsilius of Padua Marsilius of Padua (Italian Marsilio or Marsiglio da Padova; (circa 1275 – circa 1342) was an Italian scholar, trained in medicine who practiced a variety of professions. He was also an important 14th century political figure...

. Machiavelli was critical of catholic political thinking and may have been influenced by Averroism. But he cites Plato and Aristotle very infrequently and apparently did not approve of them. Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

 argued that the strong influence of Xenophon
Xenophon
Xenophon , son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates...

, a student of Socrates more known as an historian, rhetorician and soldier, was a major source of Socratic ideas for Machiavelli, sometimes not in line with Aristotle. While interest in Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 was increasing in Florence during Machiavelli's lifetime he also does not show particular interest in him, but was indirectly influenced by his readings of authors such as Polybius
Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

, Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 and Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

.

The major difference between Machiavelli and the Socratics, according to Strauss, is Machiavelli's materialism and therefore his rejection of both a teleological view of nature, and of the view that philosophy is higher than politics. Aimed-for things which the Socratics argued would tend to happen by nature, Machiavelli said would happen by chance.

4. Classical materialism. Strauss argued that Machiavelli may have seen himself as influenced by some ideas from classical materialists such as Democritus
Democritus
Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos....

, Epicurus
Epicurus
Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism.Only a few fragments and letters remain of Epicurus's 300 written works...

 and Lucretius
Lucretius
Titus Lucretius Carus was a Roman poet and philosopher. His only known work is an epic philosophical poem laying out the beliefs of Epicureanism, De rerum natura, translated into English as On the Nature of Things or "On the Nature of the Universe".Virtually no details have come down concerning...

. Strauss however sees this also as a sign of major innovation in Machiavelli, because classical materialists did not share the Socratic regard for political life, while Machiavelli clearly did.

5. Thucydides.
Some scholars note the similarity between Machiavellian and the Greek historian Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

, since both emphasized power politics
Power politics
Power politics, or Machtpolitik , is a state of international relations in which sovereigns protect their own interests by threatening one another with military, economic, or political aggression...

. Strauss argued that Machiavelli may indeed have been influenced by pre-Socratic philosophers, but he felt it was a new combination:-
...contemporary readers are reminded by Machiavelli’s teaching of Thucydides; they find in both authors the same “realism,” i.e., the same denial of the power of the gods or of justice and the same sensitivity to harsh necessity and elusive chance. Yet Thucydides never calls in question the intrinsic superiority of nobility to base­ness, a superiority that shines forth particularly when the noble is destroyed by the base. Therefore Thucydides’ History arouses in the reader a sadness which is never aroused by Machiavelli’s books. In Machiavelli we find comedies, parodies, and satires but nothing reminding of tragedy. One half of humanity remains outside of his thought. There is no tragedy in Machiavelli because he has no sense of the sacredness of “the common.” —

Innovations


Amongst commentators, there are a few consistently made proposals concerning what was most new in Machiavelli's work.
Empiricism and realism versus idealism

Machiavelli is sometimes seen as the prototype of a modern empirical scientist, building generalizations from experience and historical facts, and emphasizing the uselessness of theorizing with the imagination.

Machiavelli studied the way people lived and aimed to inform leaders how they should rule and even how they themselves should live. For example, Machiavelli denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to happiness. And Machiavelli viewed misery as one of the vices that enables a prince to rule. Machiavelli stated that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. In much of Machiavelli's work, it seems that the ruler must adopt unsavory policies for the sake of the continuance of his regime.

A related and more controversial proposal often made is that he described how to do things in politics in a way which seemed neutral concerning who used the advice - tyrants or good rulers.

That Machiavelli strove for realism is not doubted, but for four centuries scholars have debated how best to describe his morality. The Prince made the word "Machiavellian" a byword for deceit, despotism, and political manipulation. That Machiavelli himself was not evil and indeed intended good, is on the other hand generally accepted.

Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

, an American political philosopher, declared himself more inclined toward the traditional view that Machiavelli was self-consciously a "teacher of evil," (even if he was not himself evil) since he counsels the princes to avoid the values of justice, mercy, temperance, wisdom, and love of their people in preference to the use of cruelty, violence, fear, and deception. Italian anti-fascist philosopher Benedetto Croce
Benedetto Croce
Benedetto Croce was an Italian idealist philosopher, and occasionally also politician. He wrote on numerous topics, including philosophy, history, methodology of history writing and aesthetics, and was a prominent liberal, although he opposed laissez-faire free trade...

 (1925) concludes Machiavelli is simply a "realist" or "pragmatist" who accurately states that moral values in reality do not greatly affect the decisions that political leaders make. German philosopher Ernst Cassirer
Ernst Cassirer
Ernst Cassirer was a German philosopher. He was one of the major figures in the development of philosophical idealism in the first half of the 20th century...

 (1946) held that Machiavelli simply adopts the stance of a political scientist—a Galileo of politics—in distinguishing between the "facts" of political life and the "values" of moral judgment.
Fortune

Machiavelli is generally seen as being critical of Christianity as it existed in his time, specifically its effect upon politics, and also everyday life. In his opinion, Christianity, along with teleological Aristotelianism that the church had come to accept, allowed practical decisions to be guided too much by imaginary ideals
Idealism
In philosophy, idealism is the family of views which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing...

 and encouraged people to lazily leave events up to providence
Divine Providence
In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God's activity in the world. " Providence" is also used as a title of God exercising His providence, and then the word are usually capitalized...

 or, as he would put it, chance, luck or fortune. While Christianity sees modesty as a virtue and pride as sinful, Machiavelli took a more classical position, seeing ambition, spiritedness, and the pursuit of glory as good and natural things, and part of the virtue and prudence that good princes should have. Therefore, while it was traditional to say that leaders should have virtues, especially prudence, Machiavelli's use of the words virtù and prudenza was unusual for his time, implying a spirited and immodest ambition. Famously, Machiavelli argued that virtue and prudence can help a man control more of his future, in the place of allowing fortune to do so.

has argued that this same approach can be found in Machiavelli's approach to love and desire, as seen in his comedies and correspondence. Najemy shows how Machiavelli's friend Vettori argued against Machiavelli and cited a more traditional understanding of fortune.

On the other hand, humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 in Machiavelli's time meant that classical pre-Christian ideas about virtue and prudence, including the possibility of trying to control one's future, were not unique to him. But humanists did not go so far as to promote the extra glory of deliberately aiming to establish a new state, in defiance of traditions and laws.

While Machiavelli's approach had classical precedents, it has been argued that it did more than just bring back old ideas, and that Machiavelli was not a typical humanist. argues that the way Machiavelli combines classical ideas is new. While Xenophon and Plato also described realistic politics, and were closer to Machiavelli than Aristotle was, they, like Aristotle, also saw Philosophy as something higher than politics. Machiavelli was apparently a materialist who objected to explanations involving formal and final causation
Four causes
Four Causes refers to a principle in Aristotelian science that is used to understand change. Aristotle described four different types of causes, or ways in which an object could be explained: "we do not have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause", He argued...

, or teleology
Teleology
A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek τέλος, telos; root: τελε-, "end, purpose...

.

Machiavelli's promotion of ambition amongst leaders while denying any higher standard meant that he encouraged risk taking, and innovation, most famously the founding of new modes and orders. His advice to prince was therefore certainly not limited to discussing how to maintain a state. It has been argued that Machiavelli's promotion of innovation led directly to the argument for progress
Progress (history)
In historiography and the philosophy of history, progress is the idea that the world can become increasingly better in terms of science, technology, modernization, liberty, democracy, quality of life, etc...

 as an aim of politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 and civilization
Civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

. But while a belief that humanity can control its own future, control nature, and "progress" has been long lasting, Machiavelli's followers, starting with his own friend Guicciardini, have tended to prefer peaceful progress through economic development, and not warlike progress. As Harvey wrote: "In attempting other, more regular and scientific modes of overcoming fortune, Machiavelli's successors formalized and emasculated his notion of virtue."

Machiavelli however, along with some of his classical predecessors, saw ambition and spiritedness, and therefore war, as inevitable and part of human nature
Human nature
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally....

.

Strauss concludes his 1958 Thoughts on Machiavelli by proposing that this promotion of progress leads directly to the modern arms race
Arms race
The term arms race, in its original usage, describes a competition between two or more parties for the best armed forces. Each party competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies, or superior military technology in a technological escalation...

. Strauss argued that the unavoidable nature of such arms races, which have existed before modern times and led to the collapse of peaceful civilizations, provides us with both an explanation of what is most truly dangerous in Machiavelli's innovations, but also the way in which the aims of his apparently immoral innovation can be understood.
View about religion

Machiavelli explains repeatedly that religion is man-made, and that the value of religion lies in its contribution to social order and the rules of morality must be dispensed with if security required it. In The Prince, the Discourses, and in the Life of Castruccio Castracani
Life of Castruccio Castracani
The Life of Castruccio Castracani is a short work by Niccolò Machiavelli. It is made in the form of a short biographical account of the like of the medieval Tuscan condottiere, Castruccio Castracani, who lived in and ruled Lucca.The book is thought to have been written during a visit to Lucca in...

, he describes "prophets", as he calls them, like Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, Romulus
Romulus
- People:* Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome* Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor* Valerius Romulus , deified son of the Roman emperor Maxentius* Romulus , son of the Western Roman emperor Anthemius...

, Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus II of Persia , commonly known as Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much...

, and Theseus
Theseus
For other uses, see Theseus Theseus was the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, both of whom Aethra had slept with in one night. Theseus was a founder-hero, like Perseus, Cadmus, or Heracles, all of whom battled and overcame foes that were...

 (he treats pagan and Christian patriarchs in the same way) as the greatest of new princes, the glorious and brutal founders of the most novel innovations in politics, and men who Machiavelli assures us have always used a large amount of armed force and murder against their own people. He estimated that these sects last from 1666 to 3000 years each time, which, as pointed out by Leo Strauss, would mean that Christianity became due to start finishing about 150 years after Machiavelli. Machiavelli's concern with Christianity as a sect was that it makes men weak and inactive, delivering politics into the hands of cruel and wicked men without a fight.

While fear of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 can be replaced by fear of the prince, if there is a strong enough prince, Machiavelli felt that having a religion is in any case especially essential to keeping a republic in order. For Machiavelli, a truly great prince can never be conventionally religious himself, but he should make his people religious if he can. According to he was not the first person to ever explain religion in this way, but his description of religion was novel because of the way he integrated this into his general account of princes.

Machiavelli's judgment that democracies need religion for practical political reasons was widespread amongst modern proponents of republics until approximately the time of the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. This therefore represents a point of disagreement between himself and late modernity.
The positive side to factional and individual vice

Despite the classical precedents, which Machiavelli was not the only one to promote in his time, Machiavelli's realism and willingness to argue that good ends justify bad things, is seen as a critical stimulus towards some of the most important theories of modern politics.

Firstly, particularly in the Discourses on Livy, Machiavelli is unusual in the positive side he sometimes seems to describe in factionalism in republics. For example quite early in the Discourses, (in Book I, chapter 4), a chapter title announces that the disunion of the plebs
Plebs
The plebs was the general body of free land-owning Roman citizens in Ancient Rome. They were distinct from the higher order of the patricians. A member of the plebs was known as a plebeian...

 and senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 in Rome "kept Rome free". That a community has different components whose interests must be balanced in any good regime is an idea with classical precedents, but Machiavelli's particularly extreme presentation is seen as a critical step towards the later political ideas of both a division of powers or checks and balances, ideas which lay behind the US constitution (and most modern constitutions).

Similarly, the modern economic argument for capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, and most modern forms of economics, was often stated in the form of "public virtue from private vices". Also in this case, even though there are classical precedents, Machiavelli's insistence on being both realistic and ambitious, not only admitting that vice exists but being willing to risk encouraging it, is a critical step on the path to this insight.

Mansfield however argues that Machiavelli's own aims have not been shared by those influenced by him. Machiavelli argued against seeing mere peace and economic growth as worthy aims on their own, if they would lead to what Mansfield calls the "taming of the prince".

Machiavellian



Machiavelli is most famous for a short political treatise, The Prince, written in 1513 but not published until 1532, five years after his death. Although he privately circulated The Prince among friends, the only theoretical work to be printed in his lifetime was The Art of War
The Art of War (Machiavelli)
Art of War is a treatise by the Italian Renaissance political philosopher and historian Niccolò Machiavelli.The format of Art of War is a socratic dialogue...

, about military science. Since the 16th century, generations of politicians remain attracted and repelled by its apparently neutral acceptance, or even positive encouragement, of the immorality of powerful men, described especially in The Prince but also in his other works.

His works are sometimes even said to have contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words politics and politician, and it is sometimes thought that it is because of him that Old Nick became an English term for the Devil
Devil
The Devil is believed in many religions and cultures to be a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the enemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly...

 and the adjective Machiavellian became a pejorative term describing someone who aims to deceive and manipulate others for personal advantage. Machiavellianism
Machiavellianism
Machiavellianism is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct", deriving from the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote Il Principe and other works...

also remains a popular term used in speeches and journalism; while in psychology, it denotes a personality type
Personality type
Personality type refers to the psychological classification of different types of individuals. Personality types are sometimes distinguished from personality traits, with the latter embodying a smaller grouping of behavioral tendencies. Types are sometimes said to involve qualitative differences...

.

While Machiavellianism is notable in the works of Machiavelli, Machiavelli's works are complex and he is generally agreed to have been more than just "Machiavellian" himself. For example, J.G.A. saw him as a major source of the republicanism that spread throughout England and North America in the 17th and 18th centuries and Leo , whose view of Machiavelli is quite different in many ways, agreed about Machiavelli's influence on republicanism and argued that even though Machiavelli was a teacher of evil he had a nobility of spirit that led him to advocate ignoble actions. Whatever his intentions, which are still debated today, he has become associated with any proposal where "the end justifies the means
Consequentialism
Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories holding that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness of that conduct...

". For example Leo wrote:

Influence


To quote Robert Bireley:
Machiavelli's ideas had a profound impact on political leaders throughout the modern west, helped by the new technology of the printing press. During the first generations after Machiavelli, his main influence was in non-Republican governments. Pole reported that the Prince was spoken of highly by Thomas Cromwell in England and had influenced Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 in his turn towards Protestantism, and in his tactics, for example during the Pilgrimage of Grace
Pilgrimage of Grace
The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular rising in York, Yorkshire during 1536, in protest against Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, as well as other specific political, social and economic grievances. It was done in action against Thomas Cromwell...

. A copy was also possessed by the Catholic king and emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

. In France, after an initially mixed reaction, Machiavelli came to be associated with Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

 and the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots , during the French Wars of Religion...

. As reports, in the 16th century, Catholic writers "associated Machiavelli with the Protestants, whereas Protestant authors saw him as Italian and Catholic". In fact, he was apparently influencing both Catholic and Protestant kings.

One of the most important early works dedicated to criticism of Machiavelli, especially The Prince, was that of the Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

, Innocent Gentillet, whose work commonly referred to as Discourse against Machiavelli or Anti Machiavel was published in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 in 1576. He accused Machiavelli of being an atheist and accused politicians of his time by saying that his works were the "Koran of the courtiers", that "he is of no reputation in the court of France which hath not Machiavel's writings at the fingers ends". Another theme of Gentillet was more in the spirit of Machiavelli himself: he questioned the effectiveness of immoral strategies (just as Machiavelli had himself done, despite also explaining how they could sometimes work). This became the theme of much future political discourse in Europe during the 17th century. This includes the Catholic Counter Reformation writers summarised by Bireley: Giovanni Botero
Giovanni Botero
Giovanni Botero was an Italian thinker, priest, poet, and diplomat, best known for his work Della ragion di Stato . In this work, he argued against the amoral political philosophy associated with Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince, not only because it lacked a Christian foundation but also because...

, Justus Lipsius
Justus Lipsius
Justus Lipsius was a Southern-Netherlandish philologist and humanist. Lipsius wrote a series of works designed to revive ancient Stoicism in a form that would be compatible with Christianity. The most famous of these is De Constantia...

, Carlo Scribani, Adam Contzen
Adam Contzen
Adam Contzen was a German Jesuit economist and exegete.Contzen was born in 1573, or, according to Carlos Sommervogel, in 1575. Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz gives the 1571 date listed above. Contzen entered the Society of Jesus at Trier in 1595...

, Pedro de Ribadeneira
Pedro de Ribadeneira
Pedro de Ribadeneira was a Spanish hagiologist.He was born at Toledo, Spain. His father, Alvaro Ortiz de Cisneros, was the son of Pedro Gonzales Cedillo and grandson of Hernando Ortiz de Cisneros, whom Ferdinand IV had honoured with the governorship of Toledo and important missions.As a lad, Pedro...

, and Diego Saavedra Fajardo. These authors criticized Machiavelli, but also followed him in many ways. They accepted the need for a prince to be concerned with reputation, and even a need for cunning and deceit, but compared to Machiavelli, and like later modernist writers, they emphasized economic progress
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

 much more than the riskier ventures of war. These authors tended to cite Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 as their source for realist political advice, rather than Machiavelli, and this pretense came to be known as "Tacitism
Tacitean studies
Tacitean studies, centred on the work of Tacitus the Ancient Roman historian, constitute an area of scholarship extending beyond the field of history. The work has traditionally been read for its moral instruction, its narrative, and its inimitable prose style; Tacitus has been most influential...

". "Black tacitism" was in support of princely rule, but "red tacitism" arguing the case for republics, more in the original spirit of Machiavelli himself, became increasingly important.


Modern materialist
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

 philosophy developed in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, starting in the generations after Machiavelli. This philosophy tended to be republican, more in the original spirit of Machiavellian, but as with the Catholic authors Machiavelli's realism and encouragement of using innovation to try to control one's own fortune were more accepted than his emphasis upon war and politics. Not only was innovative economics and politics a result, but also modern science, leading some commentators to say that the 18th century Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 involved a "humanitarian" moderating of Machiavellianism.

The importance of Machiavelli's influence is notable in many important figures in this endeavor, for example Bodin
Jean Bodin
Jean Bodin was a French jurist and political philosopher, member of the Parlement of Paris and professor of law in Toulouse. He is best known for his theory of sovereignty; he was also an influential writer on demonology....

, Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

, Algernon Sidney, Harrington, John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

, Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch de Spinoza and later Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death...

, Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

, Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

, Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

, and Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

. Although he was not always mentioned by name as an inspiration, due to his controversy, he is also thought to have been an influence for other major philosophers, such as Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne
Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne , February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592, was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularising the essay as a literary genre and is popularly thought of as the father of Modern Skepticism...

, Descartes
René Descartes
René Descartes ; was a French philosopher and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day...

, Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

, Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

 and Montesquieu.

In the seventeenth century it was in England that Machiavelli's ideas were most substantially developed and adapted, and that republicanism came once more to life; and out of seventeenth-century English republicanism there were to emerge in the next century not only a theme of English political and historical reflection - of the writings of the Bolingbroke
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke was an English politician, government official and political philosopher. He was a leader of the Tories, and supported the Church of England politically despite his atheism. In 1715 he supported the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 which sought to overthrow the...

 circle and of Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

 and of early parliamentary radicals - but a stimulus to the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 in Scotland, on the Continent, and in America.


Scholars have argued that Machiavelli was a major indirect and direct influence upon the political thinking of the Founding Fathers
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

, James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 and Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 followed Machiavelli's republicanism when they opposed what they saw as the emerging aristocracy that they feared Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 was creating with the Federalist Party. Hamilton learned from Machiavelli about the importance of foreign policy for domestic policy, but may have broken from him regarding how rapacious a republic needed to be in order to survive (George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 was probably less influenced by Machiavelli). However, the Founding Father who perhaps most studied and valued Machiavelli as a political philosopher was John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

, who profusely commented on the Italian's thought in his work, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America.

In his Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 praised Machiavelli, with Algernon Sidney and Montesquieu, as a philosophic defender of mixed government. For Adams, Machiavelli restored empirical reason to politics, while his analysis of factions was commendable. Adams likewise agreed with the Florentine that human nature was immutable and driven by passions. He also accepted Machiavelli's belief that all societies were subject to cyclical periods of growth and decay. For Adams, Machiavelli lacked only a clear understanding of the institutions necessary for good government.

20th century


The 20th century Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime...

 drew great inspiration from Machiavelli's writings on ethics, morals, and how they relate to the State and revolution in his writings on Passive Revolution
Passive revolution
Passive revolution is a term coined by Italian politician and philosopher Antonio Gramsci during the interwar period in Italy. Gramsci coined the term to refer to the way the bourgeoisie went beyond its immediate economic interests in favor to make certain concessions in favor of long-term...

, and how a society can be manipulated by controlling popular notions of morality.

Revival of interest in the comedies


In the 20th century there was also renewed interest in Machiavelli's La Mandragola (1518), which received numerous stagings, including several in New York, at the New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival is the previous name of the New York City theatrical producing organization now known as the Public Theater. The Festival produced shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of its free Shakespeare in the Park series, at the Public Theatre near Astor Place...

 in 1976 and the Riverside Shakespeare Company
Riverside Shakespeare Company
The Riverside Shakespeare Company of New York City was founded in 1977 as a professional theatre company on the Upper West Side of New York City, by W. Stuart McDowell and Gloria Skurski...

 in 1979, and at London's National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 in 1984.

See also


  • Francesco Guicciardini
    Francesco Guicciardini
    Francesco Guicciardini was an Italian historian and statesman. A friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance...

  • Francesco Vettori
    Francesco Vettori
    Francesco Vettori was an Italian diplomat, politician and writer from Florence, who served his city during both the republican and de Medici regimes...

  • Mayberry Machiavelli
    Mayberry Machiavelli
    Mayberry Machiavelli is a satirically pejorative phrase coined by John J. DiIulio Jr., Ph.D., a former George W. Bush administration staffer who ran the President's Faith-Based Initiative...

  • Republicanism
    Republicanism
    Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

  • Italian Renaissance
    Italian Renaissance
    The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...



Biographies

  • Baron, Hans. "Machiavelli: The Republican Citizen and the Author of 'the Prince'", English Historical Review Vol. 76, No. 299 (Apr., 1961), pp. 217–253 in JSTOR
  • Burd, L. A., "Florence (II): Machiavelli" in Cambridge Modern History (1902), vol. I, ch. vi. pp 190–218 online Google edition
  • Capponi, Niccolò. An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli (Da Capo Press; 2010) 334 pages, highly favorable intellectual biography; won the Pulitzer Prize; excerpt and text search
  • Hale, J. R. Machiavelli and Renaissance Italy (1961) online edition
  • Hulliung, Mark. Citizen Machiavelli (1983)
  • Ridolfi, Roberto. The Life of Niccolò Machiavelli (1963), a standard scholarly biography
  • Schevill, Ferdinand. Six Historians (1956), pp. 61–91
  • Skinner, Quentin. Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction (2000) online edition
  • Unger, Miles J. 'Machiavelli: A Biography' (Simon & Schuster 2011) a lively, authoritative account of Machiavelli's life and work.
  • Villari, Pasquale. The Life and Times of Niccolò Machiavelli (2 vol 1892), good older biography; online Google edition vol 1; online Google edition vol 2 excerpt and text search
  • Viroli, Maurizio. Machiavelli (1998) online edition, good place to start

Political thought

  • Anglo, Sydney, Machiavelli - the First Century: Studies in Enthusiasm, Hostility, and Irrelevance, Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 0199267766, 9780199267767
  • Baron, Hans. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny (2 vol 1955), highly influential, deep study of civic humanism (republicanism); 700 pp. excerpts and text search; ACLS E-books; also vol 2 in ACLS E-books
  • Baron, Hans. In Search of Florentine Civic Humanism (2 vols. 1988). in JSTOR excerpt and text search
  • Chabod, FedericoMachiavelli & the Renaissance (1958) online edition; online from ACLS E-Books
  • Donskis, Leonidas, Ed. (2011) Niccolò Machiavelli: History, Power, and Virtue. Rodopi, ISBN 978-90-420-3277-4, E-ISBN 978-90-420-3278-1
  • Fischer, Markus. "Machiavelli's Political Psychology," The Review of Politics, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Autumn, 1997), pp. 789–829 in JSTOR
  • Gilbert, Felix. Machiavelli and Guicciardini: Politics and History in Sixteenth-Century Italy (2nd ed. 1984) online from ACLS-E-books
  • Gilbert, Felix. "Machiavelli: The Renaissance of the Art of War," in Edward Mead Earle, ed. The Makers of Modern Strategy (1944)
  • Jensen, De Lamar, ed. Machiavelli: Cynic, Patriot, or Political Scientist? (1960) essays by scholars online edition
  • Mansfield, Harvey C. "Machiavelli's Political Science," The American Political Science Review, Vol. 75, No. 2 (Jun., 1981), pp. 293–305 in JSTOR
  • Mansfield, Harvey C. Machiavelli's Virtue (1996), 371pp
  • Mansfield, Harvey C. Machiavelli's New Modes and Orders: A Study of the Discourses on Livy (2001) excerpt and text search See also NYT book review. Also available in Chinese (ISBN 9789572026113), Japanese (ISBN 9784022597588), German (ISBN 9783471794029), Portuguese (ISBN 9788571104969), and Korean (ISBN 9788984070059). See also NYT book review. Fulltext in Jstor.
  • Parel, A. J. "The Question of Machiavelli's Modernity," The Review of Politics, Vol. 53, No. 2 (Spring, 1991), pp. 320–339 in JSTOR new ed. 2003), a highly influential study of Discourses and its vast influence; excerpt and text search; also online 1975 edition
  • Pocock, J. G. A. "The Machiavellian Moment Revisited: a Study in History and Ideology.: Journal of Modern History 1981 53(1): 49-72. Fulltext: in Jstor. Excerpt, reviews and Text search shows Machiavelli's Discourses had a major impact on shaping conservative thought. online edition.
  • Scott, John T. and Vickie B. Sullivan, "Patricide and the Plot of the Prince: Cesare Borgia and Machiavelli's Italy." American Political Science Review 1994 88(4): 887-900. Issn: 0003-0554 in Jstor
  • Skinner, Quentin. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, v. I, The Renaissance, (1978)
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Niccolò Machiavelli (2005) online edition
  • von Vacano, Diego, "The Art of Power: Machiavelli, Nietzsche and the Making of Aesthetic Political Theory," Lanham MD: Lexington: 2007.. Also in .

Italian studies

  • Barbuto, Marcelo (2005), “Questa oblivione delle cose. Reflexiones sobre la cosmología de Maquiavelo (1469-1527),” Revista Daimon, 34, Universidad de Murcia, pp. 34–52.
  • Barbuto, Marcelo (2008), “Discorsi, I, XII, 12-14. La Chiesa romana di fronte alla republica cristiana”, Filosofia Politica, 1, Il Mulino, Bologna, pp. 99–116.
  • Barbuto, Marcelo (2008) “Lettere non tanto chiare”, La Cultura, Rivista di Filosofia, Letteratura e Storia, 2, pp. 331–8.
  • Martelli, Mario (2004), “Tracce d`una preistoria dell`Arte della Guerra di Niccolò Machiavelli”, Interpres, XXIII, pp. 256–8.
  • Martelli, Mario (2004), “La Mandragola e il suo prologo”, Interpres, XXIII, pp. 106–42.
  • Martelli, Mario (2003), “Per la definizione della nozione di principe civile”, Interpres, XXII.
  • Martelli, Mario (2001), “I dettagli della filologia”, Interpres XX, pp. 212–71.
  • Martelli, Mario (1999a), “Note su Machiavelli”, Interpres XVIII, pp. 91–145.
  • Martelli, Mario (1999b), Saggio sul Principe, Salerno Editrice, Roma.
  • Martelli, Mario (1999c), “Machiavelli e Savonarola: valutazione politica e valutazione religiosa”, Girolamo Savonarola. L´uomo e il frate". Atti del xxxv Convegno storico internazionale (Todi, II-14 ottobre 1998), CISAM, Spoleto, pp. 139–53.
  • Martelli, Mario (1998a), Machiavelli e gli storici antichi, osservazioni su alcuni luoghi dei discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, Quaderni di Filologia e critica, 13, Salerno Editrice, Roma.
  • Martelli, Mario (1998b), “Machiavelli politico amante poeta”, Interpres XVII, pp. 211–56.
  • Martelli, Mario (1998c), “Machiavelli e Savonarola”, Savonarola. Democrazia, tirannide, profezia, a cura di G.C. Garfagnini, Florencia, Sismel-Edizioni del Galluzo, pp. 67–89.
  • Martelli, Mario (1998d), “Machiavelli e Frontino. Nota sulle foti letterarie dell´Arte della guerra”, Regards sur la Renaissance italienne. Mélanges de Littérature offerts à Paul Larivaille, Université de Paris X-Nanterre, Paris, pp. 115–25.
  • Martelli, Mario and Bausi, Francesco (1997), “Politica, storia e letteratura: Machiavelli e Guicciardini”, Storia della letteratura italiana, E. Malato (ed.), vol. IV. Il primo Cinquecento, Salerno Editrice, Roma, pp. 251–320.
  • Martelli, Mario (1993), “Il buon geometra di questo mondo”, in N.M. Tutte le opere, Sansoni editore, Milano, pp. xi-xlvii.
  • Martelli, Mario (1985–1986), “Schede sulla cultura di Machiavelli”, Interpres VI, pp. 283–330.
  • Martelli, Mario (1982) “La logica provvidenzialistica e il capitolo XXVI del Principe”, Interpres IV, pp. 262–384.
  • Martelli, Mario (1974), “L´altro Niccolò di Bernardo Machiavelli”, Rinascimento, XIV, pp. 39–100.
  • Martelli, Mario (1971), “Preistoria (medicea) di Machiavelli”, Studi di Filologia Italiana, XXIX, pp. 377–405.
  • Sasso, Gennaro (1993), Machiavelli: storia del suo pensiero politico, II vol., Bologna, Il Mulino,
  • Sasso, Gennaro (1987-997) Machiavelli e gli antichi e altri saggi, 4 vols., Milano, R. Ricciardi

Collections

  • Gilbert, Allan H. ed. Machiavelli: The Chief Works and Others, (3 vol. 1965), the standard scholarly edition
  • Bondanella, Peter, and Mark Musa, eds. The Portable Machiavelli (1979)
  • Penman, Bruce. The Prince and Other Political Writings, (1981) excerpt and text search

The Prince

. Translated by George Bull. Translated into Spanish by Marina Massa-Carrara. Translated by Harvey Mansfield. Translated and Edited by Stephen J. Milner. Introduction, Notes and other critical apparatus by J.M. Dent.
  • The Prince ed. by Peter Bondanella (1998) 101pp online edition
  • The Prince ed. by Rufus Goodwin and Benjamin Martinez (2003) excerpt and text search
  • The Prince (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince, (1908 edition tr by W. K. Marriott) Gutenberg edition ISBN 978-0-934941-003
  • Il principe (2006) ed. by Mario Martelli and Nicoletta Marcelli, Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Niccolò Machiavelli, Salerno Editrice, Roma.

The Discourses on Livy

  • Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio (2001), ed. by Francesco Bausi, Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Niccolò Machiavelli, II vol. Salerno Editrice, Roma.
  • The Discourses, online 1772 edition
  • The Discourses, tr. with introduction and notes by L. J. Walker (2 vol 1950).
  • Machiavelli, Niccolò (1531). The Discourses
    Discourses on Livy
    The Discourses on Livy is a work of political history and philosophy written in the early 16th century by the Italian writer and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli, best known as the author of The Prince...

    . Translated by Leslie J. Walker, S.J, revisions by Brian Richardson (2003). London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-140-44428-9
  • The Discourses, edited with an introduction by Bernard Crick (1970).

The Art of War

  • The Seven Books on the Art of War online 1772 edition
  • The Art of War ed. by Christopher Lynch (2003)
  • The Art of War online 1775 edition
  • The Art of War, Niccolò Machiavelli. Da Capo press edition, 2001, with introduction by Neal Wood.

Florentine Histories


Correspondence

  • Epistolario privado. Las cartas que nos desvelan el pensamiento y la personalidad de uno de los intelectuales más importantes del Renacimiento, Juan Manuel Forte (edición y traducción), Madrid, La Esfera de los Libros, 2007, 435 págs, ISBN 978-84-9734-661-0
  • The Private Correspondence of Nicollo Machiavelli, ed. by Orestes Ferrara; (1929) online edition. Translated and edited by James B. Atkinson and David Sices.
  • Also see .

Poetry, Comedy, etc

Bilingual edition of The Woman from Andros, The Mandrake
The Mandrake
The Mandrake is a satirical play by Italian Renaissance writer Niccolò Machiavelli. Its tale of the corruption of Italian society was written while Machiavelli was in exile, allegedly having plotted against the Medici...

, and Clizia
Clizia
Clizia is a comedy by Italian Renaissance political scientist and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, written in 1525. The work is based upon a classical play by Plautus....

, edited by DAvid Sices and James B. Atkinson.
  • Hoeges, Dirk. Niccolò Machiavelli. Dichter-Poeta. Mit sämtlichen Gedichten, deutsch/italienisch. Con tutte le poesie, tedesco/italiano, Reihe: Dialoghi/Dialogues: Literatur und Kultur Italiens und Frankreichs, Band 10, Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt/M. u.a. 2006, ISBN 3-631-54669-6.

External links