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Encyclopedia > Niccolò Machiavelli
Detail of the portrait of Machiavelli, ca 1500, in the robes of a Florentine public official
Detail of the portrait of Machiavelli, ca 1500, in the robes of a Florentine public official

Niccolò Machiavelli (May 3, 1469June 21, 1527) was a Florentine statesman and political philosopher. As a theorist, Machiavelli was the key figure in realistic political theory, crucial to European statecraft during the Renaissance. His two most famous books, Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio (Discourses on Livy) and Il Principe (The Prince), were written in the hopes of improving the conditions of the Northern Italian principalities, but became general handbooks for a new style in politics. The Prince, written to encourage the appearance of a political savior who would unify the corrupt city-states and fend off foreign conquest, advocated the theory that whatever was expedient was necessary—an early example of utilitarianism and realpolitik. Niccolo Machiavelli - detail from a portrait by Santi di Tito. ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... Events July 26 - Battle of Edgecote Moor October 17 - Prince Ferdinand of Aragon wed princess Isabella of Castile. ... June 21 is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 193 days remaining. ... Events January 5 - Felix Manz, co-founder of the Swiss Anabaptists, was drowned in the Limmat River in Zürich by the Zürich Reformed state church. ... Location within Italy Giglio di Firenze - symbol of the city Florence (Italian, Firenze) is a city in the center of Tuscany, in central Italy at 43°46′ N 11°15′ E. The city on the Arno River has a population of around 400,000, plus a suburban population in excess... The term statesman is a respectful term used to refer to diplomats, politicians, and other notable figures of state. ... Political philosophy is the study of the fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, property, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should... In mathematics, theory is used informally to refer to a body of knowledge about mathematics. ... Realism is commonly defined as a concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary. ... Niccolò Machiavelli, ca 1500, became the key figure in realistic political theory, crucial to political science Political Science is the systematic study of the allocation and transfer of power in decision making. ... Public affairs is a catch-all term that includes public policy as well as public administration, both of which are closely related to and draw upon the fields of political science as well as economics. ... By Region: Italian Renaissance Northern Renaissance -French Renaissance -German Renaissance -English Renaissance The Renaissance was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ... Niccolò Machiavelli is primarily known as the author of The Prince. ... This article is about the book. ... The word theory has a number distinct meanings depending on the context. ... Utilitarianism (from the Latin utilis, useful) is a theory of ethics based on quantitative maximisation of happiness for society or humanity. ... Realpolitik (German for politics of reality) is foreign politics based on practical concerns rather than theory or ethics. ...

Contents

Biography

Machiavelli was born in Florence, the second son of Bernardo di Niccolò Machiavelli, a lawyer of some repute, and of Bartolommea di Stefano Nelli, his wife. His father was from an impoverished branch of an influential old Florentine family. A lawyer is a person licensed by the state to advise clients in legal matters and represent them in courts of law (and in other forms of dispute resolution). ...


From 1494 to 1512, the younger Machiavelli held an official government post. During this time, he traveled to various European courts in France, Germany, and other Italian city-states on diplomatic missions. In 1512 Machiavelli's name was found on a list of 20 persons suposedly involved in a conspiracy to oppose Medici rule. It is likely he had no part in the plot, though he was briefly imprisoned in the Bargello in Florence, just a block from the Palazzo Vecchio where he held office months prior. He was tortured yet maintained his innocense throughout. He was later exiled and returned to San Casciano. He died in Florence in 1527 and his resting place is unknown. A symbolic tomb in his honor can be found in Santa Croce. Events January 25 - Alfonso II becomes King of Naples. ... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ... A city-state is a region controlled exclusively by a city. ... This page is about negotiations; for the board game, see Diplomacy (game). ... Exile is a form of punishment. ... The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church of Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. ...


His life can be divided into three periods, each of which constitutes a distinct and important era in the history of Florence. His youth was concurrent with the greatness of Florence as an Italian power under the guidance of Lorenzo de' Medici, Il Magnifico. The downfall of the Medici in Florence occurred in 1494, in which year Machiavelli entered the public service. During his official career Florence was free under the government of a Republic, which lasted until 1512, when the Medici returned to power, and Machiavelli lost his office. The Medici again ruled Florence from 1512 until 1527, when they were once more driven out. This was the period of Machiavelli's literary activity and increasing influence; but he died, within a few weeks of the expulsion of the Medici, on June 21, 1527, in his fifty-eighth year, without having regained office. Sociologists usually define power as the ability to impose ones will on others, even if those others resist in some way. ... Lorenzo di Piero de Medici (January 1, 1449 – 8 April 1492) was an Italian statesman and ruler of the Florentine Republic during the height of the Italian Renaissance. ... The Medici family was a powerful and influential Florentine family from the 13th to 17th century. ... Events January 25 - Alfonso II becomes King of Naples. ... In a broad definition a republic is a state or country that is led by people who do not base their political power on any principle beyond the control of the people living in that state or country. ... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ... Events January 5 - Felix Manz, co-founder of the Swiss Anabaptists, was drowned in the Limmat River in Zürich by the Zürich Reformed state church. ... Events January 5 - Felix Manz, co-founder of the Swiss Anabaptists, was drowned in the Limmat River in Zürich by the Zürich Reformed state church. ...


Youth 1469-1494

Although there is little recorded of the youth of Machiavelli, the Florence of those days is so well known that the early environment of this representative citizen may be easily imagined. Florence has been described as a city with two opposite currents of life, one directed by the fervent and austere Savonarola, the other by the splendour-loving Lorenzo. Savonarola's influence upon the young Machiavelli must have been slight, for although at one time he wielded immense power over the fortunes of Florence, he only furnished Machiavelli with a subject of a gibe in The Prince, where he is cited as an example of an unarmed prophet who came to a bad end. Whereas the magnificence of the Medicean rule during the life of Lorenzo appeared to have impressed Machiavelli strongly, for he frequently refers to it in his writings, and it is to Lorenzo's grandson, Lorenzo II de' Medici, that he dedicates The Prince. For Youth, the record producer and musician in the band Killing Joke, see Martin Glover. ... Citizenship is membership in a political community (originally a city but now usually a state), and carries with it rights to political participation; a person having such membership is a citizen. ... A city is an urban area, differentiated from a town, village, or hamlet by size, population density, importance, or legal status. ... Girolamo Savonarola by Fra Bartolomeo, ca 1498 Girolamo Savonarola (Ferrara, September 21, 1452 – Florence, May 23, 1498), also translated as Jerome Savonarola or Hieronymous Savonarola, was a Dominican priest and, briefly, ruler of Florence, who was known for religious reformation and anti-Renaissance preaching and his book burning and destruction... Lorenzo di Piero de Medici (September 9, 1492 - May 4, 1519), Duke of Urbino, grandson of Lorenzo the Magnificent; he was ruler of Florence from 1513 to his untimely death in 1519. ...


Machiavelli, in his Florentine Histories, gives us a picture of the young men among whom his youth was passed. He writes:

"They were freer than their forefathers in dress and living, and spent more in other kinds of excesses, consuming their time and money in idleness, gaming, and women; their chief aim was to appear well dressed and to speak with wit and acuteness, whilst he who could wound others the most cleverly was thought the wisest."

In a letter to his son Guido, Machiavelli shows why youth should avail itself of its opportunities for study, and leads us to infer that his own youth had been so occupied. He writes:

"I have received your letter, which has given me the greatest pleasure, especially because you tell me you are quite restored in health, than which I could have no better news; for if God grant life to you, and to me, I hope to make a good man of you if you are willing to do your share."

Then, writing of a new patron, he continues:

"This will turn out well for you, but it is necessary for you to study; since, then, you have no longer the excuse of illness, take pains to study letters and music, for you see what honour is done to me for the little skill I have. Therefore, my son, if you wish to please me, and to bring success and honour to yourself, do right and study, because others will help you if you help yourself."

Years in Office 1494-1512

The second period of his life was spent in the service of the free Republic of Florence, which flourished from the expulsion of the Medici in 1494 until their return in 1512. After serving four years in one of the public offices he was appointed Chancellor and Secretary to the Second Chancery, the Ten of Liberty and Peace. Here we are on firm ground when dealing with the events of Machiavelli's life, for during this time he took a leading part in the affairs of the Republic, and we have its decrees, records, and dispatches to guide us, as well as his own writings. A mere recapitulation of a few of his transactions with the statesmen and soldiers of his time gives a fair indication of his activities, and supplies the sources from which he drew the experiences and characters which illustrate The Prince. This article is on the political theory of republicanism. ... The Medici family was a powerful and influential Florentine family from the 13th to 17th century. ... Events January 25 - Alfonso II becomes King of Naples. ... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ... The Chancellor of Florence held the most important position in the bureaucracy of the Florentine Republic but did not hold any political power. ...


His first mission was in 1499 to Catherina Sforza, "my lady of Forli" of The Prince, from whose conduct and fate he drew the moral that it is far better to earn the confidence of the people than to rely on fortresses. This is a very noticeable principle in Machiavelli, and is urged by him in many ways as a matter of vital importance to princes. Events July 22 - Battle of Dornach - The Swiss decisively defeat the Imperial army of Emperor Maximilian I. July 28 - First Battle of Lepanto - The Turkish navy wins a decisive victory over the Venetians. ...


In 1500 he was sent to France to obtain terms from Louis XII for continuing the war against Pisa: the king of this city it was who, in his conduct of affairs in Italy, committed the five capital errors in statecraft summarized in The Prince, and was consequently driven out. He, also, it was who made the dissolution of his marriage a condition of support to Pope Alexander VI; this leads Machiavelli to refer those who urge that such promises should be kept to what he has written concerning the faith of princes. Events Europes population was ~60 million. ... Louis XII Louis XII the Father of the People (French: Louis XII le Père du Peuple) (June 27, 1462 - January 1, 1515) was King of France from 1498-January 1, 1515. ... Pisas coat of arms This article is about Pisa in Italy. ... Alexander VI, né Rodrigo Borgia (January 1, 1431 – August 18, 1503) pope (1492-1503), is the most memorable of the secular popes of the Renaissance. ...


Machiavelli's public life was largely occupied with events arising out of the ambitions of Pope Alexander VI and his son, Cesare Borgia, the Duke Valentino, and these characters fill a large space of The Prince. Machiavelli never to carry him through, exclaims that it was not his fault, but an extraordinary and unforeseen fatality. Cesare Borgia ( September, 1475 - March 12, 1507), Duke of Valencia, the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) and brother to Lucrezia Borgia. ...


On the death of Pope Pius III, in 1503, Machiavelli was sent to Rome to watch the election of his successor, and there he saw Cesare Borgia cheated into allowing the choice of the College to fall on Giuliano delle Rovere (Pope Julius II), who was one of the cardinals that had most reason to fear the duke. Machiavelli, when commenting on this election, says that he who thinks new favours will cause great personages to forget old injuries deceives himself. Julius did not rest until he had ruined Cesare. Pius III, born Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini (May 9, 1439 - October 18, 1503), was pope from September 22 to October 18, 1503. ... Events January 20 - Seville in Castile is awarded exclusive right to trade with the New World. ... City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC mythical, 1st millennium BC Region Latium Mayor Walter Veltroni (Democratici di Sinistra) Area  - City Proper  1290 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2,546,807 almost 4,000,000 1... The Sistine Chapel is the location of the conclave. ... This is a list of articles on Wikipedia. ... The Sacred College of Cardinals is the body of all Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Pope Julius II Julius II, né Giuliano della Rovere (December 5, 1443 - February 21, 1513), was pope from 1503 to 1513. ... A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official in the Roman Catholic Church, ranking just below the Pope and appointed by him as a member of the College of Cardinals, during a consistory. ...


It was to Julius II that Machiavelli was sent in 1506, when that pontiff was commencing his enterprise against Bologna; which he brought to a successful issue, as he did many of his other adventures, owing chiefly to his impetuous character. It is in reference to Pope Julius that Machiavelli moralizes on the resemblance between Fortune and women, and concludes that it is the bold rather than the cautious man that will win and hold them both. Events Leonardo da Vinci completes the Mona Lisa. ... Bologna (from Latin Bononia, Bulaggna in the local dialect) is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, between the Po River and the Apennines. ... Fortune or fortune can refer to: Fortune magazine The fortune Unix/Linux command The name of a character from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, a member of Dead Cell. ... Image of a woman on the Pioneer plaque sent to outer space. ...


It is impossible to follow here the varying fortunes of the Italian states, which in 1507 were controlled by France, Spain, and Germany, with results that have lasted to our day; we are concerned with those events, and with the three great actors in them, so far only as they impinge on the personality of Machiavelli. He had several meetings with Louis XII of France, and his estimate of that monarch's character has already been alluded to. Machiavelli has painted Ferdinand II of Aragon as the man who accomplished great things under the cloak of religion, but who in reality had no mercy, faith, humanity, or integrity; and who, had he allowed himself to be influenced by such motives, would have been ruined. The Emperor Maximilian was one of the most interesting men of the age, and his character has been drawn by many hands; but Machiavelli, who was an envoy at his court in 1507-1508, reveals the secret of his many failures when he describes him as a secretive man, without force of character--ignoring the human agencies necessary to carry his schemes into effect, and never insisting on the fulfilment of his wishes. Events The western continent is named America on the maps of Martin Waldseemüller. ... Ferdinand and his wife Isabella of Castile Ferdinand II (Fernando de Aragón in Spanish and Ferran dAragó in Catalan), nicknamed the Catholic (March 10, 1452 – June 23, 1516) was king of Aragon, Castile, Sicily, Naples, Valencia, Sardinia and Navarre and Count of Barcelona. ... Mercy is a term used to describe the leniency or compassion shown by one person to another, or a request from one person to another to be shown such leniency or compassion. ... This article discusses faith in a religious context. ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... For the RTOS by Green Hills Software, see Integrity (operating system). ... Emperor Maximilian I Maximilian I of Habsburg (March 22, 1459 - January 12, 1519) was Holy Roman Emperor Life and reign in the Habsburg hereditary lands Maximilian was born in Vienna as the son of the Emperor Frederick III and Eleanore of Portugal. ... Events February - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor attacks Venice June 6 - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three year truce and cede several territories to Venice December 10 - League of Cambrai formed as an alliance against Venice between...


The remaining years of Machiavelli's official career were filled with events arising out of the League of Cambrai, made in 1508 between the three great European powers already mentioned and the pope, with the object of crushing the Venetian Republic. This result was attained in the Battle of Vaila (now usually known as the Battle of Agnadello), when Venice lost in one day all that she had won in eight hundred years. Florence had a difficult part to play during these events, complicated as they were by the feud which broke out between the pope and the French, because friendship with France had dictated the entire policy of the Republic. When, in 1511, Julius II finally formed the Holy League against France, and with the assistance of the Swiss drove the French out of Italy, Florence lay at the mercy of the Pope, and had to submit to his terms, one of which was that the Medici should be restored. The return of the Medici to Florence on September 1, 1512, and the consequent fall of the Republic, was the signal for the dismissal of Machiavelli and his friends, and thus put an end to his public career, for, as we have seen, he died without regaining office. The League of Cambrai was a league against Venice formed in 1508 under the leadership of Pope Julius II. It included, besides the Pope, Louis XII of France, Emperor Maximilian I, and Ferdinand of Aragon. ... Events February - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor attacks Venice June 6 - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three year truce and cede several territories to Venice December 10 - League of Cambrai formed as an alliance against Venice between... Location within Italy Venice (Italian Venezia), the city of canals, is the capital of the region of Veneto, population 271,663 (census estimate 2004-01-01). ... In the Battle of Agnadello in northern Italy on May 14, 1509, French forces defeated the Venetians. ... Events Diego Velázquez and Hernán Cortés conquer Cuba; Velázquez appointed Governor. ... The Catholic League (or Holy League) was a coalition of various European powers that was formed between 1510 and Italy against Louis XII of France, and so strengthen the power of the pope. ... September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years). ... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ...


Writings and death 1512-1527

On the return of the Medici, Machiavelli, who for a few weeks had vainly hoped to retain his office under the new masters of Florence, was dismissed by decree dated November 7, 1512. Shortly after this he was accused of complicity in an abortive conspiracy against the Medici, imprisoned, and put to the question by torture. The new Medici pontiff, Pope Leo X, procured his release, and he retired to his small property at San Casciano, near Florence, where he devoted himself to literature. In a letter to Francesco Vettori, dated December 13, 1513, he has left a very interesting description of his life at this period, which elucidates his methods and his motives in writing The Prince. After describing his daily occupations with his family and neighbours, he writes: "The evening being come, I return home and go to my study; at the entrance I pull off my peasant- clothes, covered with dust and dirt, and put on my noble court dress, and thus becomingly re-clothed I pass into the ancient courts of the men of old, where, being lovingly received by them, I am fed with that food which is mine alone; where I do not hesitate to speak with them, and to ask for the reason of their actions, and they in their benignity answer me; and for four hours I feel no weariness, I forget every trouble, poverty does not dismay, death does not terrify me; I am possessed entirely by those great men. And because Dante says: November 7 is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 54 days remaining. ... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ... Leo X, né Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici (December 11, 1475 – December 1, 1521), pope between 1513 and his death, is known primarily for his failure to stem the Protestant Reformation, which began during his reign when Martin Luther first attacked the Roman Catholic Church. ... December 13 is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 20 - Christian II becomes King of Denmark and Norway. ... Dante in a fresco series of famous men by Andrea del Castagno, ca. ...

Knowledge doth come of learning well retained,
Unfruitful else,

I have noted down what I have gained from their conversation, and have composed a small work on 'Principalities,' where I pour myself out as fully as I can in meditation on the subject, discussing what a principality is, what kinds there are, how they can be acquired, how they can be kept, why they are lost: and if any of my fancies ever pleased you, this ought not to displease you: and to a prince, especially to a new one, it should be welcome: therefore I dedicate it to his Magnificence Giuliano. Filippo Casavecchio has seen it; he will be able to tell you what is in it, and of the discourses I have had with him; nevertheless, I am still enriching and polishing it." Knowledge is the awareness and understanding of facts, truths or information gained in the form of experience or learning (a posteriori), or through introspection (a priori). ... Learned redirects here. ... Prince Albert of Monaco on the left represents a principality where he wields adminisitrative authority. ... Meditation usually refers to a state in which the body is consciously relaxed and the mind is allowed to become calm and focused. ... See subject (grammar) for the linguistic definition of subject. ... Giuliano de Medici (1478/1479–March, 1516), created Duke of Nemours in 1515, was one of three sons of Lorenzo the Magnificent: Piero, Giovanni and Giuliano. ...


The "little book" suffered many vicissitudes before attaining the form in which it has reached us. Various mental influences were at work during its composition; its title and patron were changed; and for some unknown reason it was finally dedicated to Lorenzo II de' Medici. Although Machiavelli discussed with Casavecchio whether it should be sent or presented in person to the patron, there is no evidence that Lorenzo ever received or even read it: he certainly never gave Machiavelli any employment. Although it was plagiarized during Machiavelli's lifetime, The Prince was never published by him, and its text is still disputable. Lorenzo di Piero de Medici (September 9, 1492 - May 4, 1519), Duke of Urbino, grandson of Lorenzo the Magnificent; he was ruler of Florence from 1513 to his untimely death in 1519. ...


Machiavelli concludes his letter to Vettori thus: "And as to this little thing [his book], when it has been read it will be seen that during the fifteen years I have given to the study of statecraft I have neither slept nor idled; and men ought ever to desire to be served by one who has reaped experience at the expense of others. And of my loyalty none could doubt, because having always kept faith I could not now learn how to break it; for he who has been faithful and honest, as I have, cannot change his nature; and my poverty is a witness to my honesty."


Before Machiavelli had got The Prince off his hands he commenced his Discourse on the First Decade of Titus Livius, which should be read concurrently with The Prince. These and several minor works occupied him until the year 1518, when he accepted a small commission to look after the affairs of some Florentine merchants at Genoa. In 1519 the Medicean rulers of Florence granted a few political concessions to her citizens, and Machiavelli with others was consulted upon a new constitution under which the Great Council was to be restored; but on one pretext or another it was not promulgated. In semantics, discourses are linguistic units composed of several sentences - in other words, conversations, arguments or speeches. ... Events A plague of tropical fire ants devastates crops on Hispaniola. ... Location within Italy Flag of Genoa Christopher Columbus monument in Piazza Aquaverde Genoa (Italian Genova (jeno-vah), Genoese Zena (zaynah), French Gênes) is a city and a seaport in northern Italy, the capital of Liguria. ... Events March 4 - Hernán Cortés lands in Mexico. ... Politics is the process and method of decision-making for groups of human beings. ...


In 1520 the Florentine merchants again had recourse to Machiavelli to settle their difficulties with Lucca, but this year was chiefly remarkable for his re-entry into Florentine literary society, where he was much sought after, and also for the production of his Art of War. It was in the same year that he received a commission at the instance of Cardinal de' Medici to write the History of Florence, a task which occupied him until 1525. His return to popular favour may have determined the Medici to give him this employment, for an old writer observes that "an able statesman out of work, like a huge whale, will endeavour to overturn the ship unless he has an empty cask to play with." Events January 18 - King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Asunde. ... For the antipope (1378-1394) see Antipope Clement VII. Clement VII, né Giulio di Giuliano de Medici (May 26, 1478 – September 25, 1534) was pope from 1523 to 1534. ... Events January 21 - The Swiss Anabaptist Movement was born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptized each other in the home of Manzs mother on Neustadt-Gasse, Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union. ...


When the History of Florence was finished, Machiavelli took it to Rome for presentation to his patron, Giulio de' Medici, who had in the meanwhile become Pope Clement VII. It is somewhat remarkable that, as, in 1513, Machiavelli had written The Prince for the instruction of the Medici after they had just regained power in Florence, so, in 1525, he dedicated the History of Florence to the head of the family when its ruin was now at hand. In that year the battle of Pavia destroyed the French rule in Italy, and left Francis I of France a prisoner in the hands of his great rival, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. This was followed by the sack of Rome, upon the news of which the popular party at Florence threw off the yoke of the Medici, who were once more banished. For the antipope (1378-1394) see Antipope Clement VII. Clement VII, né Giulio di Giuliano de Medici (May 26, 1478 – September 25, 1534) was pope from 1523 to 1534. ... Events January 20 - Christian II becomes King of Denmark and Norway. ... Events January 21 - The Swiss Anabaptist Movement was born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptized each other in the home of Manzs mother on Neustadt-Gasse, Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union. ... In 1525 during The Battle of Pavia, Charles V (1500-1558), The Holy Roman Emperor, defeated Francis I (1494-1547), King of France, taking him prisoner for ransom, and confining him in Spain. ... Francis I (French: François Ier) (September 12, 1494 – July 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (French: le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V (Spanish: Carlos V) (24 February 1500–21 September 1558) was effectively (the first) King of Spain from 1516 to 1556 (in principle, he was from 1516 king of Aragon and from 1516 guardian of his insane mother, queen of... The Sack of Rome in 1527 by the troops of Charles V marked a crucial imperial victory in the conflict between the emperor and the League of Cognac (1526–1529), consisting of France, Milan, Venice, Florence and the papacy. ...


Machiavelli was absent from Florence at this time, but hastened his return, hoping to secure his former office of secretary to the "Ten of Liberty and Peace." Unhappily he was taken ill soon after he reached Florence, where he died on 22nd June 1527.


The man and his works

No one can say where the bones of Machiavelli rest, but modern Florence has decreed him a stately cenotaph in Santa Croce, by the side of her most famous sons; recognising that, whatever other nations may have found in his works, Italy found in them the idea of her unity and the source of her renaissance among the nations of Europe. Whilst it is idle to protest against the world-wide and evil signification of his name, it may be pointed out that the harsh construction of his doctrine which this sinister reputation implies was unknown to his own day, and that the researches of recent times have enabled us to interpret him more reasonably. It is due to these inquiries that the shape of an "unholy necromancer," which so long haunted men's vision, has begun to fade. The Cenotaph, London Overview A cenotaph is a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere. ...


Undoubtedly, Machiavelli was a man of great observation, acuteness, and industry; noting with appreciative eye whatever passed before him, and with his supreme literary gift turning it to account in his enforced retirement from affairs. He does not present himself, nor is he depicted by his contemporaries, as a type of that rare combination, the successful statesman and author, for he appears to have been only moderately prosperous in his several embassies and political employments. He was misled by Catherina Sforza, ignored by Louis XII, overawed by Cesare Borgia; several of his embassies were quite barren of results; his attempts to fortify Florence failed, and the soldiery that he raised astonished everybody by their cowardice. In the conduct of his own affairs he was timid and time-serving; he dared not appear by the side of Soderini, to whom he owed so much, for fear of compromising himself; his connection with the Medici was open to suspicion, and Giulo appears to have recognized his real forte when he set him to write the History of Florence, rather than employ him in the state. And it is on the literary side of his character, and there alone, that we find no weakness and no failure. For the antipope (1378_1394) see Antipope Clement VII. Clement VII, né Giulio di Giuliano de Medici (1478 – September 25, 1534) was pope from 1523 to 1534. ...


Although the light of almost four centuries has been focused on The Prince, its problems are still debatable and interesting, because they are the eternal problems between the ruled and their rulers. Such as they are, its ethics are those of Machiavelli's contemporaries; yet they cannot be said to be out of date so long as the governments of Europe rely on material rather than on moral forces. Its historical incidents and personages become interesting by reason of the uses which Machiavelli makes of them to illustrate his theories of government and conduct. Morality is a system of principles and judgments based on cultural, religious, and philosophical concepts and beliefs, by which humans determine whether given actions are right or wrong. ... Conduct can be: A noun meaning behaviour (as in good conduct) A verb meaning to direct (usually an orchestra; see Category:Conductors) Conduct (IT company) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Leaving out of consideration those maxims of state which still furnish some European and eastern statesmen with principles of action, The Prince is bestrewn with truths that can be proved at every turn: A state is an organized political community occupying a definite territory, having an organized government, and possessing internal and external sovereignty. ...


Men are still the dupes of their simplicity and greed, as they were in the days of Alexander VI. The cloak of religion still conceals the vices which Machiavelli laid bare in the character of Ferdinand of Aragon. Men will not look at things as they really are, but as they wish them to be--and are ruined. In politics there are no perfectly safe courses; prudence consists in choosing the least dangerous ones. Then --to pass to a higher plane--Machiavelli reiterates that, although crimes may win an empire, they do not win glory. Necessary wars are just wars, and the arms of a nation are hallowed when it has no other recourse but to fight. Alexander VI, né Rodrigo Borgia (January 1, 1431 - August 18, 1503) pope (1492-1503), is the most memorable of the secular popes of the Renaissance. ... Ferdinand of Aragon can refer to two different kings of Aragon: Ferdinand I of Aragon, a. ... Politics is the process and method of making decisions for groups. ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... What is a just war? The just war is an international law doctrine that postulates that a war can be just only if it satisfies a set of moral or legal rules. ...


It is the cry of a far later day than Machiavelli's that government should be elevated into a living moral force, capable of inspiring the people with a just recognition of the fundamental principles of society; to this "high argument" The Prince contributes but little. It advocates a form of minarchy managed by a limited aristocracy that is wholly devoted to successful rule, on the chance that they may prevent chaos. In civics, Minarchism, sometimes called minimal statism, is the view that government should be as small as possible. ... Etymology The Ancient Greek term Aristocracy meant a system of government with rule by the best. This is the first definition given in most dictionaries. ...


Machiavelli always refused to write either of men or of governments otherwise than as he found them, and he writes with such skill and insight that his work is of abiding value. But what invests "The Prince" with more than a merely artistic or historical interest is the incontrovertible truth that it deals with the great principles which still guide nations and rulers in their relationship with each other and their neighbours.


Machiavellianism

The eponymous adjective "Machiavellian" is seen by most experts to inaccurately represent him and his views, having come to describe narrow, self-interested behavior pursued by interest groups. Nonetheless, the epithet was quickly adopted by Machiavelli's contemporaries, and his name often used in the introductions of political tracts of the sixteenth century, most notably those of Jean Bodin and Giovanni Botero, which offered more 'just' reasons of state. An eponymous adjective is an adjective which has been derived from a the name of a person, real or fictional. ... Interest group is a term in politics, that refers to an organization or other collective of people who have a specific political or economic interest. ... Jean Bodin (1530-1596) was a French jurist, member of the Parliament of Paris and professor of Law in Toulouse. ... Giovanni Botero (c. ...


Famous quote/philosophy: "The ends justify the means."


Writings by Machiavelli

The following is a list of the works of Machiavelli (he created over 30 in his lifetime):


Principal works/Poems:

  • 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 (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, 1502
  • Decennale primo (poem in terza rima), 1506
  • Ritratti delle cose dell'Alemagna, 1508-1512
  • Decennale secondo, 1509
  • Ritratti delle cose di Francia, 1510
  • Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, 3 vols., 1512-1517 (Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius)
  • Il Principe, 1513 (The Prince)
  • Andria, comedy translated from Terence, 1513 (?)
  • Mandragola, prose comedy in five acts, with prologue in verse, 1513 (The Mandrake)
  • Della lingua (dialogue), 1514
  • Clizia, comedy in prose, 1515 (?)
  • Belfagor arcidiavolo (novel), 1515
  • Asino d'oro (poem in terza rima, a new version of the classic work), 1517 (The Golden Ass)
  • Dell'arte della guerra, 1519-1520 (The Art of War)
  • Discorso sopra il riformare lo stato di Firenze, 1520
  • Sommario delle cose della citta di Lucca, 1520
  • Vita di Castruccio Castracani da Lucca, 1520 (The Life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca)
  • Istorie fiorentine, 8 books, 1521-1525 (Florentine Histories)
  • Frammenti storici, 1525.

Other poems include Sonetti, Canzoni, Ottave, and Canti carnascialeschi. Events July 22 - Battle of Dornach - The Swiss decisively defeat the Imperial army of Emperor Maximilian I. July 28 - First Battle of Lepanto - The Turkish navy wins a decisive victory over the Venetians. ... Events January 1 - Portuguese explorers sailed into Guanabra Bay, Brazil and mistook it for the mouth of a river which they named Rio de Janeiro May 9 - Christopher Columbus leaves Spain for his fourth and final trip to the New World. May 21 - Portuguese discover island of St Helena. ... Events January 1 - Portuguese explorers sailed into Guanabra Bay, Brazil and mistook it for the mouth of a river which they named Rio de Janeiro May 9 - Christopher Columbus leaves Spain for his fourth and final trip to the New World. May 21 - Portuguese discover island of St Helena. ... Events January 1 - Portuguese explorers sailed into Guanabra Bay, Brazil and mistook it for the mouth of a river which they named Rio de Janeiro May 9 - Christopher Columbus leaves Spain for his fourth and final trip to the New World. May 21 - Portuguese discover island of St Helena. ... Events Leonardo da Vinci completes the Mona Lisa. ... Events February - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor attacks Venice June 6 - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three year truce and cede several territories to Venice December 10 - League of Cambrai formed as an alliance against Venice between... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ... Events February 2 - Battle of Diu took place near Diu, India. ... Events Conquest of Pskov by Grand Prince Vasili III of Muscovy. ... Niccolò Machiavelli is primarily known as the author of The Prince. ... Events April 11 - Battle of Ravenna. ... Events January 22 - Battle of Ridanieh. ... Events January 20 - Christian II becomes King of Denmark and Norway. ... This article is about the book. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... The Mandrake, by Niccolò Machiavelli (written between 1512 and 1520 and first printed in 1524) is an acclaimed satirical play on the corruption of Italian society written whilst Machiavelli was in exile having plotted against the Medici. ... Events March - Louis XII of France makes peace with Emperor Maximilian. ... Events June - Invasion of Persia by Sultan Selim I of the Ottoman Empire. ... The Metamorphoses of Lucius Apuleius, more commonly known as The Golden Ass, is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety. ... Events January 22 - Battle of Ridanieh. ... Events March 4 - Hernán Cortés lands in Mexico. ... Events January 18 - King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Asunde. ... Events January 18 - King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Asunde. ... Events January 18 - King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Asunde. ... Events January 18 - King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Asunde. ... Events January 3 - Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther. ... Events January 21 - The Swiss Anabaptist Movement was born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptized each other in the home of Manzs mother on Neustadt-Gasse, Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union. ... Events January 21 - The Swiss Anabaptist Movement was born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptized each other in the home of Manzs mother on Neustadt-Gasse, Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union. ...


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