Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ
mmakjaˈvɛlli]; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat,
politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer of the
Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of
modern political science. For many years he was a senior official
in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and
military affairs. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry.
His personal correspondence is renowned by Italian scholars. He was
secretary to the Second Chancery of the
Florence from 1498
to 1512, when the
Medici were out of power. He wrote his most
The Prince (Il Principe) in 1513, having been exiled
from city affairs.
"Machiavellianism" is widely used as a negative term to characterize
unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described most
famously in The Prince. Machiavelli described immoral behavior, such
as dishonesty and the killing of innocents, as being normal and
effective in politics. He even seemed to encourage it in some
situations. The book gained notoriety due to claims that it teaches
"evil recommendations to tyrants to help them maintain their
The term "Machiavellian" is often associated with political deceit,
deviousness, realpolitik, and other manipulations described in "The
Prince" by which one might accumulate power. On the other hand, many
commentators, such as Baruch Spinoza,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis
Diderot, have argued that Machiavelli was actually a republican, even
when writing The Prince, and his writings were an inspiration to
Enlightenment proponents of modern democratic political
philosophy. In one place, for example, he noted his
admiration for the selfless Roman dictator Cincinnatus.
3.1 Empiricism and realism versus idealism
3.4 Positive side to factional and individual vice
4.1 20th century
4.2 Revival of interest in the comedies
5.1 The Prince
5.2 Discourses on Livy
5.3 Other political and historical works
5.4 Fictional works
5.5 Other works
6 In popular culture
7 See also
9 Further reading
9.2 Political thought
9.3 Italian studies
9.4.2 The Prince
9.4.3 The Discourses on Livy
9.4.4 The Art of War
9.4.5 Florentine Histories
9.4.7 Poetry and comedy
10 External links
See also: Timeline of Niccolò Machiavelli
Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy, the third child and first son
Bernardo di Niccolò Machiavelli and his wife, Bartolomea
di Stefano Nelli. The Machiavelli family is believed to be
descended from the old marquesses of Tuscany and to have produced
thirteen Florentine Gonfalonieres of Justice, one of the offices
of a group of nine citizens selected by drawing lots every two months
and who formed the government, or Signoria; but he was never a full
Florence because of the nature of Florentine citizenship in
that time even under the republican regime. Machiavelli married
Marietta Corsini in 1502.
Statue at the Uffizi
Machiavelli was born in a tumultuous era in which popes waged
acquisitive wars against Italian city-states, and people and cities
often fell from power as France, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire
battled for regional influence and control. Political-military
alliances continually changed, featuring condottieri (mercenary
leaders), who changed sides without warning, and the rise and fall of
many short-lived governments.
Machiavelli was taught grammar, rhetoric, and Latin. It is thought
that he did not learn Greek even though
Florence was at the time one
of the centres of Greek scholarship in Europe. In 1494 Florence
restored the republic, expelling the
Medici family that had ruled
Florence for some sixty years. Shortly after the execution of
Savonarola, Machiavelli was appointed to an office of the second
chancery, a medieval writing office that put Machiavelli in charge of
the production of official Florentine government documents. Shortly
thereafter, he was also made the secretary of the Dieci di Libertà e
Oil painting of
Niccolò Machiavelli by Antonio Maria Crespi Castoldi
In the first decade of the sixteenth century, he carried out several
diplomatic missions: most notably to the Papacy in Rome. Moreover,
from 1502 to 1503, he witnessed the brutal reality of the
state-building methods of
Cesare Borgia (1475–1507) and his father,
Pope Alexander VI, who were then engaged in the process of trying to
bring a large part of Central
Italy under their possession. The
pretext of defending Church interests was used as a partial
justification by the Borgias. Other excursions to the court of Louis
XII and the Spanish court influenced his writings such as The Prince.
Between 1503 and 1506, Machiavelli was responsible for the Florentine
militia. He distrusted mercenaries (a distrust that he explained in
his official reports and then later in his theoretical works for their
unpatriotic and uninvested nature in the war that makes their
allegiance fickle and often too unreliable when most needed) and
instead staffed his army with citizens, a policy that was to be
repeatedly successful. Under his command, Florentine citizen-soldiers
defeated Pisa in 1509.
However, Machiavelli's success did not last. In August 1512 the
Medici, backed by Pope Julius II, used Spanish troops to defeat the
Florentines at Prato, but many historians have argued that it was due
to Piero Soderini's unwillingness to compromise with the Medici, who
Prato under siege. In the wake of the siege, Soderini
resigned as Florentine head of state and left in exile. The experience
would, like Machiavelli's time in foreign courts and with the Borgia,
heavily influence his political writings.
Machiavelli's cenotaph in the Santa Croce Church in Florence
Medici victory, the Florentine city-state and the republic
were dissolved, and Machiavelli was deprived of office in 1512. In
Medici accused him of conspiracy against them and had him
imprisoned. Despite having been subjected to torture ("with the rope"
in which the prisoner is hanged from his bound wrists, from the back,
forcing the arms to bear the body's weight and dislocating the
shoulders), he denied involvement and was released after three weeks.
Machiavelli then retired to his estate at Sant'Andrea in Percussina,
near San Casciano in Val di Pesa, and devoted himself to studying and
writing of the political treatises that earned his place in the
intellectual development of political philosophy and political
Despairing of the opportunity to remain directly involved in political
matters, after a time, he began to participate in intellectual groups
Florence and wrote several plays that (unlike his works on
political theory) were both popular and widely known in his lifetime.
Still, politics remained his main passion and, to satisfy this
interest, he maintained a well-known correspondence with more
politically connected friends, attempting to become involved once
again in political life.
In a letter to Francesco Vettori, he described his exile:
When evening comes, I go back home, and go to my study. On the
threshold, I take off my work clothes, covered in mud and filth, and I
put on the clothes an ambassador would wear. Decently dressed, I enter
the ancient courts of rulers who have long since died. There, I am
warmly welcomed, and I feed on the only food I find nourishing and was
born to savour. I am not ashamed to talk to them and ask them to
explain their actions and they, out of kindness, answer me. Four hours
go by without my feeling any anxiety. I forget every worry. I am no
longer afraid of poverty or frightened of death. I live entirely
Machiavelli died in 1527 at 58 after receiving his last rites. He
was buried at the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. An epitaph
honouring him is inscribed on his monument. The Latin legend reads:
TANTO NOMINI NULLUM PAR ELOGIUM ("So great a name (has) no adequate
praise" or "No eulogy (would be) a match for such a great name").
Engraved portrait of Machiavelli, from the
Peace Palace Library's Il
Principe, published in 1769
Commentators have taken very different approaches to Machiavelli and
not always agreed. Major discussion has tended to be about two issues:
first, how unified and philosophical his work is, and second,
concerning how innovative or traditional it is.
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
Hans 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.
Commentators such as
Leo Strauss have gone so far as to name
Machiavelli as the deliberate originator of modernity 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.
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.
Mirror of Princes
Mirror of Princes genre. Gilbert (1938) summarized the
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
Isocrates, 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 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. (
Xenophon is also an exception in this
2. Classical republicanism. Commentators such as
Quentin Skinner and
J.G.A. Pocock, 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,
can be found in medieval Italian literature which was influenced by
classical authors such as Sallust.
Xenophon, author of the Cyropedia
3. Classical political philosophy: Xenophon,
Plato and Aristotle. The
Socratic school of classical political philosophy, especially
Aristotle, had become a major influence upon European political
thinking in the late Middle Ages. It existed both in the catholicised
form presented by Thomas Aquinas, and in the more controversial
"Averroist" form of authors like Marsilius of Padua. Machiavelli was
critical of catholic political thinking and may have been influenced
by Averroism. But he cites
Aristotle very infrequently and
apparently did not approve of them.
Leo Strauss argued that the strong
influence of Xenophon, 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
Plato 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,
Plutarch and Cicero.
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. With their teleological understanding of
things, Socratics argued that desirable things tend to happen by
nature, as if nature desired them, but Machiavelli emphasized that
such things happen by blind chance, or human action.
4. Classical materialism. Strauss argued that Machiavelli may have
seen himself as influenced by some ideas from classical materialists
such as Democritus,
Epicurus and Lucretius. 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 Machiavelli
and the Greek historian Thucydides, since both emphasized power
politics. Strauss argued that Machiavelli may indeed have been
influenced by pre-Socratic philosophers, but he felt it was a new
...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." — Strauss (1958, p. 292)
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
He emancipated politics from theology and moral philosophy. He
undertook to describe simply what rulers actually did and thus
anticipated what was later called the scientific spirit in which
questions of good and bad are ignored, and the observer attempts to
discover only what really happens.
— Joshua Kaplan, 2005
Machiavelli felt that his early schooling along the lines of a
traditional classical education was essentially useless for the
purpose of understanding politics. Nevertheless, he advocated
intensive study of the past, particularly regarding the founding of a
city, which he felt was a key to understanding its later
development. Moreover, he 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. Even if Machiavelli was not himself evil, Leo
Strauss declared himself inclined toward the traditional view that
Machiavelli was self-consciously a "teacher of 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
Benedetto Croce (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 (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. On the other
Walter Russell Mead
Walter Russell Mead has argued that The Prince's advice
presupposes the importance of ideas like legitimacy in making changes
to the political system.
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 the
Aristotelianism that the church had come to accept,
allowed practical decisions to be guided too much by imaginary ideals
and encouraged people to lazily leave events up to providence 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.
Najemy (1993) 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
On the other hand, 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. Strauss (1958) argues that the
way Machiavelli combines classical ideas is new. While
Plato also described realistic politics and were closer to Machiavelli
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, or teleology.
Machiavelli's promotion of ambition among 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
princes 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 as an aim of
politics and civilisation. 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 Mansfield (1995,
p. 74) wrote: "In attempting other, more regular and scientific
modes of overcoming fortune, Machiavelli's successors formalised 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.
Strauss concludes his 1958 Thoughts on Machiavelli by proposing that
this promotion of progress leads directly to the modern arms race.
Strauss argued that the unavoidable nature of such arms races, which
have existed before modern times and led to the collapse of peaceful
civilisations, 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.
Machiavelli explains repeatedly that he sees religion as 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 requires
it. In The Prince, the Discourses, and in the Life of Castruccio
Castracani, he describes "prophets", as he calls them, like Moses,
Romulus, Cyrus the Great, and
Theseus (he treated 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 whom 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 1,666 to 3,000 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 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 Strauss (1958, pp. 226–27) 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 among modern proponents of republics
until approximately the time of the French revolution. This therefore
represents a point of disagreement between himself and late
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
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 and senate 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, as well as many
other modern state constitutions.
Similarly, the modern economic argument for capitalism, 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
Mansfield however argues that Machiavelli's own aims have not been
shared by those he influenced. 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."
Machiavellianism and Machiavellian intelligence
Cesare Borgia, used as an example of a successful ruler in The Prince
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, which was 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. More obviously, the adjective
Machiavellian became a pejorative term describing someone who aims to
deceive and manipulate others for personal advantage. Machiavellianism
also remains a popular term used in speeches and journalism; while in
psychology, it denotes a personality type.
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.
Pocock (1975) saw him as a major source of the republicanism that
spread throughout England and North America in the 17th and 18th
Leo Strauss (1958), 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". For example,
Leo Strauss (1958, p. 297) wrote:
Machiavelli is the only political thinker whose name has come into
common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will
continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided
exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means,
fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends—its end being
the aggrandizement of one's country or fatherland—but also using the
fatherland in the service of the self-aggrandizement of the politician
or statesman or one's party.
To quote Robert Bireley:
...there were in circulation approximately fifteen editions of the
Prince and nineteen of the Discourses and French translations of each
before they were placed on the Index of
Paul IV in 1559, a measure
which nearly stopped publication in Catholic areas except in France.
Three principal writers took the field against Machiavelli between the
publication of his works and their condemnation in 1559 and again by
the Tridentine Index in 1564. These were the English cardinal Reginald
Pole and the Portuguese bishop Jeronymo Osorio, both of whom lived for
many years in Italy, and the Italian humanist and later bishop,
Ambrogio Caterino Politi.
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 in his turn towards Protestantism, and in his
tactics, for example during the Pilgrimage of Grace. A copy was
also possessed by the Catholic king and emperor Charles V. In
France, after an initially mixed reaction, Machiavelli came to be
associated with Catherine de'
Medici and the St. Bartholomew's Day
massacre. As Bireley (1990:17) 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, Innocent
Gentillet, whose work commonly referred to as Discourse against
Machiavelli or Anti Machiavel was published in
Geneva 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, Justus
Lipsius, Carlo Scribani, Adam Contzen, Pedro de Ribadeneira, 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 much more than the riskier ventures of
war. These authors tended to cite
Tacitus as their source for realist
political advice, rather than Machiavelli, and this pretense came to
be known as "Tacitism". "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
Francis Bacon argued the case for what would become modern science
which would be based more upon real experience and experimentation,
free from assumptions about metaphysics, and aimed at increasing
control of nature. He named Machiavelli as a predecessor.
Modern materialist 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 involved a "humanitarian" moderating of
The importance of Machiavelli's influence is notable in many important
figures in this endeavor, for example Bodin, Francis Bacon,
Algernon Sidney, Harrington, John Milton, Spinoza,
Rousseau, Hume, Edward Gibbon, and Adam Smith. 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, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is associated with very different
political ideas, it is important to view Machiavelli's work from
different points of view rather than just the traditional notion. For
example, Rousseau viewed Machiavelli's work as a satirical piece in
which Machiavelli exposes the faults of a one-man rule rather than
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 circle and of Gibbon and of early parliamentary
radicals—but a stimulus to the Enlightenment in Scotland, on the
Continent, and in America.
John Adams admired Machiavelli's rational description of the realities
of statecraft. Adams used Machiavelli's works to argue for mixed
Scholars have argued that Machiavelli was a major indirect and direct
influence upon the political thinking of the Founding Fathers of the
United States due to his overwhelming favoritism of republicanism and
the republic type of government. According to John McCormick, it is
still very much debatable whether or not Machiavelli was "an advisor
of tyranny or partisan of liberty." Benjamin Franklin, James
Thomas Jefferson followed Machiavelli's republicanism when
they opposed what they saw as the emerging aristocracy that they
Alexander Hamilton 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 was less influenced by Machiavelli.
The Founding Father who perhaps most studied and valued Machiavelli as
a political philosopher was John Adams, 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 this work, John
Adams 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
The 20th-century Italian Communist
Antonio Gramsci 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, and how a society can be manipulated by controlling
popular notions of morality.
Joseph Stalin read
The Prince and annotated his own copy.
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 in 1976 and
Riverside Shakespeare Company
Riverside Shakespeare Company in 1979, as a musical comedy by Peer
Raben in Munich's antiteater in 1971, and at London's National Theatre
Part of the
Politics series on
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Republic of Venice
Republic of Genoa
Republic of Florence
Spanish American wars of independence
French Revolution of 1848
5 October 1910 revolution
Revolution of 1918–19
War of Independence
Revolution of 1921
11 September 1922 Revolution
Spanish Civil War
Birth of the Italian Republic
Revolution of 1952
14 July Revolution
North Yemen Civil War
1969 Libyan coup d'état
Cambodian coup of 1970
Third Hellenic Republic
1987 Fijian coups d'état
Nepalese Civil War
See also: Category:Works by Niccolò Machiavelli
Main article: The Prince
Machiavelli's best-known book Il Principe contains several maxims
concerning politics. Instead of the more traditional target audience
of a hereditary prince, it concentrates on the possibility of a "new
prince". To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully balance
the interests of a variety of institutions to which the people are
accustomed. By contrast, a new prince has the more difficult task in
ruling: He must first stabilise his newfound power in order to build
an enduring political structure. Machiavelli suggests that the social
benefits of stability and security can be achieved in the face of
moral corruption. Machiavelli believed that public and private
morality had to be understood as two different things in order to rule
well. As a result, a ruler must be concerned not only with reputation,
but also must be positively willing to act immorally at the right
times. Machiavelli believed as a ruler, it was better to be widely
feared than to be greatly loved; A loved ruler retains authority by
obligation while a feared leader rules by fear of punishment. As a
political theorist, Machiavelli emphasized the occasional need for the
methodical exercise of brute force or deceit including extermination
of entire noble families to head off any chance of a challenge to the
Scholars often note that Machiavelli glorifies instrumentality in
state building, an approach embodied by the saying "The ends justify
the means." This quote has been disputed and may not come from
Niccolò Machiavelli or his writings. Violence may be necessary for
the successful stabilisation of power and introduction of new legal
institutions. Force may be used to eliminate political rivals, to
coerce resistant populations, and to purge the community of other men
strong enough of a character to rule, who will inevitably attempt to
replace the ruler. Machiavelli has become infamous for such political
advice, ensuring that he would be remembered in history through the
Lorenzo di Piero de'
Medici to whom the final version of The Prince
Notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the
Catholic Church banned The
Prince, putting it on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Humanists also
viewed the book negatively, including
Erasmus of Rotterdam. As a
treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of
political thought is the fundamental break between political realism
and political idealism, due to it being a manual on acquiring and
keeping political power. In contrast with
Plato and Aristotle,
Machiavelli insisted that an imaginary ideal society is not a model by
which a prince should orient himself.
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 as 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, for example by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. More recently,
commentators such as
Leo Strauss and
Harvey Mansfield have agreed that
The Prince can be read as having a deliberate comical irony.
Other interpretations include for example that of Antonio Gramsci, who
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
Main article: Discourses on Livy
The Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy, published in
1531, written 1517, often referred to simply as the "Discourses" or
Discorsi, is nominally a discussion regarding the classical history of
Ancient Rome although it strays very far from this subject
matter and also uses contemporary political examples to illustrate
points. 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 while it more openly explains the advantages of
republics, it also contains many similar themes. Commentators disagree
about how much the two works agree with each other, frequently
referring to leaders of democracies as "princes". 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, and has often been argued to be a
superior work to The Prince.
From The Discourses:
"In fact, when there is combined under the same constitution a prince,
a nobility, 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 civilised life, and neither Christian, nor even human, and
should be avoided by everyone. 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
"For government consists mainly in so keeping your subjects that they
shall be neither able nor disposed to injure you. ..." Book II,
"... no prince is ever benefited by making himself hated." Book III,
"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
Peter Withorne's 1573 translation of The Art of War
Discorso sopra le cose di Pisa (1499)
Del modo di trattare i popoli della Valdichiana ribellati (1502)
Descrizione del modo tenuto dal Duca Valentino nello ammazzare
Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, il Signor Pagolo e il duca di
Gravina Orsini (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 (1502) – A discourse about
the provision of money.
Ritratti delle cose di Francia (1510) – Portrait of the affairs of
Ritracto delle cose della Magna (1508–1512) – Portrait of the
affairs of Germany.
Dell'Arte della Guerra (1519–1520) – The Art of War, high military
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.
Life of Castruccio Castracani
Life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca (1520) – Vita di
Castruccio Castracani da Lucca, a short biography.
Istorie Florentine (1520–1525) – Florentine Histories, an
eight-volume history of the city-state Florence, commissioned by
Giulio de' Medici, later Pope Clement VII.
See also: Machiavelli as a dramatist
Besides being a statesman and political scientist, Machiavelli also
translated classical works, and was a playwright (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.
Decennale secondo (1509) – a poem.
Andria or The Girl From Andros (1517) – a semi-autobiographical
comedy, adapted from Terence.
Mandragola (1518) –
The Mandrake – a five-act prose comedy, with a
Clizia (1525) – a prose comedy.
Belfagor arcidiavolo (1515) – a novella.
Asino d'oro (1517) –
The Golden Ass
The Golden Ass is a terza rima poem, a new
version of the classic work by Apuleius.
Frammenti storici (1525) – fragments of stories.
Della Lingua (Italian for "Of the Language") (1514), a dialogue about
Italy's language is normally attributed to Machiavelli.
Machiavelli's literary executor, Giuliano de' Ricci, also reported
having seen that Machiavelli, his grandfather, made a comedy in the
Aristophanes 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.
In popular culture
Christopher Marlowe's play
The Jew of Malta
The Jew of Malta (ca. 1589) contains a
prologue by a character called Machiavel, a Senecan ghost based on
Machiavelli. Machiavel expresses the cynical view that power is
amoral, saying "I count religion but a childish toy,/And hold there is
no sin but ignorance."
Niccolò Machiavelli plays a vital role in the young adult book series
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. He is an immortal working
in national security for the French government.
Niccolò Machiavelli aids
Cesare Borgia and protagonist Nicholas
Dawson in their dangerous intrigues in Cecelia Holland's 1979
historical novel City of God. David Maclaine writes that in the
novel, Machiavelli "is an off-stage presence whose spirit permeates
this work of intrigue and betrayal ... It is a brilliant introduction
to the people and events that gave us the word 'Machiavellian.'"
Machiavelli appears as an Immortal adversary of
Duncan MacLeod in
Nancy Holder's 1997 Highlander novel The Measure of a Man, and is a
character in Michael Scott's novel series The Secrets of the Immortal
Nicholas Flamel (2007–2012). Machiavelli is also one of the main
characters in The Enchantress of
Florence (2008) by Salman Rushdie,
mostly referred to as "Niccolò 'il Macchia", and the central
protagonist in the 2012 novel The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis.
Television dramas centering on the early
Renaissance have also made
use of Machiavelli to underscore his influence in early modern
political philosophy. Machiavelli has been featured as a supporting
character in The Tudors (2007–2010), Borgia (2011–2014)
and The Borgias (2011–2013).
Machiavelli appears in the popular historical video games Assassin's
Creed II (2009) and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010), in which he
is portrayed as a member of the secret society of Assassins.
A highly fictionalised version of Machiavelli appears in the BBC
children's TV series Leonardo (2011–2012), in which he is "Mac",
a black streetwise hustler who is best friends with fellow teenagers
Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, and Lorenzo di Medici. In the 2013
episode "Ewings Unite!" of the television series Dallas, legendary oil
J.R. Ewing wills his copy of
The Prince to his adopted nephew
Christopher Ewing, telling him to "use it, because being smart and
sneaky is an unbeatable combination." In Da Vinci's Demons
(2013–2015)—an American historical fantasy drama series that
presents a fictional account of Leonardo da Vinci's early
Eros Vlahos plays a young Niccolò "Nico" Machiavelli,
although the character's full name is not revealed until the finale of
the second season.
The Time Tunnel
The Time Tunnel episode "The Death Merchant" stars famed
Malachi Throne as Niccolò Machiavelli, who has been
time-displaced to the Battle of Gettysburg. The character's
personality and behaviour seem to portray
Cesare Borgia rather than
Machiavelli himself, suggesting that the writers may have confused the
Machiavelli is played by
Damian Lewis in the 2013
BBC radio play The
Prince written by Jonathan Myerson. Together with his defence attorney
Lucrezia Borgia (Helen McCrory), he presents examples from history to
the devil to support his political theories and appeal his sentence in
The historical novel The City of Man (2009) by author Michael
Harrington fully portrays the complex personalities of the two main
Savonarola and a formative Niccolò
Machiavelli—in opposition during the turbulent last decade of 15th
century Florence. The portrayal of Machiavelli draws from his later
writings and observations of the chaotic events of his youth before
rising from obscurity to be appointed as Second Chancellor of the
Florentine Republic at the age of twenty-nine, only one month after
Savonarola's execution. Major characters include Lorenzo de' Medici,
his son Piero, Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pico della Mirandola,
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), Cesare Borgia
(model for The Prince), Piero and Tommaso Soderini, Il Cronaca and the
diarist, Luca Landucci.
The American rapper
Tupac Shakur studied Machiavelli while in prison
and became greatly influenced by his work. Upon his release from
prison, Tupac honored Machiavelli in 1996 by changing his own rap name
from 2Pac to Makaveli.
In the 1993 crime drama A Bronx Tale, local mob boss Sonny tells his
young protege Calogero that while he was doing a 10-year sentence in
jail, he passed the time and stayed out of trouble by reading
Machiavelli, whom he describes as "a famous writer from 500 years
ago"—and then tells him how Machiavelli's philosophy, including his
famous advice about how it is preferable for a leader to be feared
rather than loved if he cannot be both—have made him a successful
Florentine military reforms
^ "Niccolo Machiavelli - Italian statesman and writer".
^ "Niccolò Machiavelli".
Montesquieu (1689–1755) is a rival for this role. Mikko Lahtinen
Politics and Philosophy:
Niccolò Machiavelli and Louis
Althusser's Aleatory Materialism. BRILL. pp. 115–16.
^ Giovanni Giorgini, "Five Hundred Years of Italian Scholarship on
Machiavelli's Prince," Review of
Politics (2013) 75#4 pp. 625–40
^ B. Spinoza, Tractatus theologico politicua, V, 7
^ D. Diderot, Machivellianism, in Encyclopedie
^ J.-J. Rousseau, Contratto sociale, III, 6
^ Heller, Agnes (2015),
Renaissance Man, Abingdon: Routledge,
p. 415 .
^ de Grazia (1989)
^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Niccolò Machiavelli".
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
^ Guarini (1999:21)
^ Maurizio Viroli, Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli
(2000), ch 1
^ Donno, Daniel, in the introduction to the Bantam Classic edition of
The Prince (1966)
^ Machiavelli, Niccolò (1996), Machiavelli and his friends: Their
personal correspondence, Northern Illinois University Press.
Translated and edited by James B. Atkinson and David Sices.
^ Joshua Kaplan, "Political Theory: The Classic Texts and their
Continuing Relevance," The Modern Scholar (14 lectures in the series;
lecture #7 / disc 4), 2005
^ "Even such men as Malatesta and Machiavelli, after spending their
lives in estrangement from the Church, sought on their death-beds her
assistance and consolations. Both made good confessions and received
the Holy Viaticum." - Ludwig von Pastor,
History of the Popes, Vol. 5,
p. 137, 
^ a b c d e f Fischer (2000)
^ a b Strauss (1958)
^ Paul Anthony Rahe, Against throne and altar: Machiavelli and
political theory under the English
Republic (2008) p. 282
^ Jack Donnelly, Realism and International Relations (2000) p. 68
^ a b Joshua Kaplan (2005). "Political Theory: The Classic Texts and
their Continuing Relevance". The Modern Scholar. 14 lectures in the
series; (lectures #7) – see disc 4
^ Leo Strauss, Joseph Cropsey,
History of Political Philosophy (1987)
^ Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, p. 60
^ Leo Strauss, Thoughts on Machiavelli (1957), p. 9 online
^ Benedetto Croce, My Philosophy (1949), p. 142 online
^ Ernst Cassirer, The Myth of the State, (1946) p. 136, online
^ Russell Mead, Walter (May 3, 2011). "When Isms go to War". The
American Interest. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
^ Strauss (1987, p. 314)
^ Strauss (1958, p. 231)
^ Mansfield (1993)
^ Bireley (1990, p. 241)
^ Fischer (2000, p. 94)
^ Bireley, Robert (1990), The
Counter Reformation Prince, p. 14
^ Bireley (1990:15)
^ Haitsma Mulier (1999:248)
^ While Bireley focuses on writers in the Catholic countries, Haitsma
Mulier (1999) makes the same observation, writing with more of a focus
upon the Protestant Netherlands.
^ The first English edition was A Discourse upon the meanes of wel
governing and maintaining in good peace, a Kingdome, or other
principalitie, translated by Simon Patericke.
^ Bireley (1990:17)
^ Bireley (1990:18)
^ Bireley (1990:223–30)
^ Kennington (2004), Rahe (2006)
^ Bireley (1990:17): "Jean Bodin's first comments, found in his Method
for the Easy Comprehension of History, published in 1566, were
^ Bacon wrote: "We are much beholden to Machiavelli and other writers
of that class who openly and unfeignedly declare or describe what men
do, and not what they ought to do." "II.21.9", Of the Advancement of
Learning . See Kennington (2004) Chapter 4.
^ Rahe (2006) chapter 6.
^ Worden (1999)
^ "Spinoza's Political Philosophy". Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
^ Danford "Getting Our Bearings: Machiavelli and Hume" in Rahe (2006).
^ Schaefer (1990)
^ Kennington (2004), chapter 11.
^ Barnes Smith "The Philosophy of Liberty: Locke's Machiavellian
Teaching" in Rahe (2006).
^ Carrese "The Machiavellian Spirit of Montesquieu's Liberal Republic"
in Rahe (2006). Shklar "
Montesquieu and the new republicanism" in Bock
^ Worden (1999)
^ John P. McCormick, Machiavellian democracy (Cambridge University
Press, 2011) p. 23
^ Rahe (2006)
^ Walling "Was
Alexander Hamilton a Machiavellian Statesman?" in Rahe
^ Harper (2004)
^ Spalding "The American Prince? George Washington's
Anti-Machiavellian moment" in Rahe (2006)
^ a b Thompson (1995)
^ Marcia Landy, "Culture and
Politics in the work of Antonio Gramsci,"
167–88, in Antonio Gramsci: Intellectuals, Culture, and the Party,
ed. James Martin (New York: Routledge, 2002).
^ Stalin: A Biography By Robert Service
^ Review by Jann Racquoi, Heights/Inwood Press of North Manhattan,
March 14, 1979.
^ Machiavelli, Niccolò (1532). The Prince. Italy.
^ Discourse on Political Economy: opening pages.
^ Berlin, Isaih. "The Originality of Machiavelli" (PDF). Retrieved 18
^ Strauss (1958), pp. 40–41.
^ Pocock (1975, pp. 183–219)
^ The Modern Library, New York, 1950, translated by Christian E.
^ "First-time Machiavelli translation debuts at Yale".
^ Godman (1998, p. 240). Also see Black (1999, pp. 97–98)
^ a b Maclaine, David. "City of
God by Cecelia Holland".
Historicalnovels.info. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
^ "The Tudors Season 1 Episode 2 – Simply Henry". The Anne Boleyn
Files. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
^ Smith, Lucinda (July 25, 2017). "An epic for our times: How Game of
Thrones reached highbrow status". Prospect. Retrieved February 8,
^ a b Ashurst, Sam (July 20, 2017). "The 7 most wildly inaccurate
historical dramas on TV". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 8,
^ Yelegaonkar, Dr. Shrikant (2009). Western Thinker's in Political
Science. Lulu.com. p. 131. ISBN 9781329082779.
^ Jonathan Jones. "Da Vinci's Demons: the new TV show that totally
reinvents Leonardo's life". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March
BBC Radio 4 – Saturday Drama, The Prince". BBC.
^ Briceño, Norberto. "28 Things You Didn't Know About Tupac Shakur".
Buzzfeed. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
Baron, Hans. "Machiavelli: the Republican Citizen and the Author of
'The Prince'", English Historical Review Vol. 76, No. 299 (Apr.,
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Burd, L. A., "
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(1902), vol. I, ch. vi. pp. 190–218 online Google edition
Capponi, Niccolò. An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of
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de Grazia, Sebastian (1989), Machiavelli in Hell , highly
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Hale, J. R. Machiavelli and
Italy (1961) online edition
Hulliung, Mark. Citizen Machiavelli (1983)
Oppenheimer, Paul. Machiavelli : a life beyond ideology (2011)
London ; New York : Continuum. ISBN 9781847252210
Ridolfi, Roberto. The Life of
Niccolò Machiavelli (1963), a standard
Schevill, Ferdinand. Six Historians (1956), pp. 61–91
Skinner, Quentin. Machiavelli, in series, Past Masters. Oxford, Eng.:
Oxford University Press, 1981. pp. vii, 102. ISBN 0-19-287516-7
Skinner, Quentin. Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction (2000) online
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) ( Vol 1; Vol 2)
Viroli, Maurizio (2000), Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli,
Farrar, Straus & Giroux excerpt and text search
Viroli, Maurizio. Machiavelli (1998) online edition, good place to
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Baron, Hans. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic
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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
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Political Science Review, Vol. 75, No. 2 (Jun., 1981),
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Livy (2001) excerpt and text search
Roger Masters (1996), Machiavelli, Leonardo and the Science of Power,
University of Notre Dame Press, ISBN 0-268-01433-7 See also
NYT book review.
Roger Masters (1998), Fortune is a River: Leonardo Da Vinci and
Niccolò Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of
Florentine History, Simon & Schuster,
ISBN 0-452-28090-7 Also available in Chinese
(ISBN 9789572026113), Japanese (ISBN 9784022597588), German
(ISBN 9783471794029), Portuguese (ISBN 9788571104969), and
Korean (ISBN 9788984070059). See also NYT book review.
Mattingly, Garrett (Autumn 1958), "Machiavelli's Prince: Political
Science or Political Satire?", The American Scholar (27):
Najemy, John (1993), Between Friends: Discourses of Power and Desire
in the Machiavelli-Vettori Letters of 1513–1515, Princeton
Najemy, John M. (1996), "Baron's Machiavelli and Renaissance
Republicanism", American Historical Review, The American Historical
Review, Vol. 101, No. 1, 101 (1): 119–29, doi:10.2307/2169227,
JSTOR 2169227. Fulltext in Jstor.
Parel, A. J. "The Question of Machiavelli's Modernity," The Review of
Politics, Vol. 53, No. 2 (Spring, 1991), pp. 320–39 in JSTOR
Parel, Anthony (1972), "Introduction: Machiavelli's Method and His
Interpreters", The Political Calculus: Essays on Machiavelli's
Philosophy, Toronto, pp. 3–28
Parsons, William B. (2016), Machiavelli's Gospel, University of
Rochester Press, ISBN 9781580464918
Pocock, J.G.A. (1975), The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political
Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition, Princeton 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.
Rahe, Paul (1992), Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical
Republicanism and the American Revolution online edition
Rahe, Paul A. (2006), Machiavelli's Liberal Republican Legacy,
Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521851874 Excerpt,
reviews and Text search shows Machiavelli's Discourses had a major
impact on shaping conservative thought.
Ruggiero, Guido. Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self and
Schaefer, David (1990), The Political Philosophy of Montaigne, Cornell
University Press .
Scott, John T. and Vickie B. Sullivan, "Patricide and the Plot of The
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)
Soll, Jacob (2005), Publishing The Prince: History, Reading and the
Birth of Political Criticism, University of Michigan Press
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Niccolò Machiavelli (2005)
Strauss, Leo (1987), "Niccolò Machiavelli", in Strauss, Leo; Cropsey,
History of Political Philosophy (3rd ed.), University of
Strauss, Leo (1958), Thoughts on Machiavelli, Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-77702-2
Sullivan, Vickie B., ed. (2000), The Comedy and Tragedy of
Machiavelli: Essays on the Literary Works, Yale U. Press CS1
maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Sullivan, Vickie B. (1996), Machiavelli's Three Romes: Religion, Human
Politics Reformed, Northern Illinois University
von Vacano, Diego, "The Art of Power: Machiavelli, Nietzsche and the
Making of Aesthetic Political Theory," Lanham MD: Lexington: 2007.
Thompson, C. Bradley (1995), "John Adams's Machiavellian Moment", The
Review of Politics, 57 (3): 389–417,
doi:10.1017/S0034670500019689 . Also in Rahe (2006).
Whelan, Frederick G. (2004), Hume and Machiavelli: Political Realism
and Liberal Thought, Lexington
Martin Wight, Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory:
Machiavelli, Grotius, Kant and Mazzini ed. Gabriele Wight & Brian
Porter (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
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.
Connell, William J. (2015), Machiavelli nel Rinascimento italiano,
Milano, Franco Angeli.
Giuseppe Leone, "Silone e Machiavelli. Una scuola...che non crea
prìncipi", pref. di Vittoriano Esposito, Centro Studi Ignazio Silone,
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,
Martelli, Mario (1999a), "Note su Machiavelli", Interpres XVIII,
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 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 (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.
Sasso, Gennaro (1993), Machiavelli: storia del suo pensiero politico,
II vol., Bologna, Il Mulino,
Sasso, Gennaro (1987–1997) Machiavelli e gli antichi e altri saggi,
4 vols., Milano, R. Ricciardi
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)
The Prince and Other Political Writings, (1981)
Wootton, David, ed. (1994), Selected political writings of Niccolò
Machiavelli, Indianapolis: Hackett Pubs. CS1 maint: Extra text:
authors list (link) excerpt and text search
Machiavelli, Niccolò (2016),
The Prince with Related Documents
(Second ed.), Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's,
ISBN 978-1-319-04892-1 . Translated by William J. Connell
Machiavelli, Niccolò (2015), The Prince, US: Adagio Press,
ISBN 978-0996767705 . Edited by W. Garner. Translated by
Luigi Ricci. Excerpt and text search
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1961), The Prince, London: Penguin,
ISBN 978-0-14-044915-0 . Translated by George Bull
Machiavelli, Niccolò (2006), El Principe/The Prince: Comentado Por
Napoleon Bonaparte / Commentaries by Napoleon Buonaparte, Mestas
Ediciones . Translated into Spanish by Marina Massa-Carrara
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1985), The Prince, University of Chicago
Press . Translated by Harvey Mansfield
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1995), The Prince, Everyman . Translated
and Edited by Stephen J. Milner. Introduction, Notes and other
critical apparatus by J.M. Dent.
The Prince ed. by Peter Bondanella (1998) 101 pp 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)
Marriott, W. K. (2008), The Prince, Red and Black Publishers
Il principe (2006) ed. by Mario Martelli and Nicoletta Marcelli,
Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Niccolò Machiavelli, Salerno
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
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1531). The Discourses. Translated by Leslie J.
Walker, S.J, revisions by Brian Richardson (2003). London: Penguin
Books. ISBN 0-14-044428-9
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, University of Chicago Press, edited with new
translation and commentary 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.
Florence online 1901 edition
Florence online 1772 edition
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1988), Florentine Histories, Princeton
University Press . Translation by Laura F Banfield and Harvey
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 Niccolò Machiavelli, ed. by Orestes
Ferrara; (1929) online edition
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1996), Machiavelli and his friends: Their
personal correspondence, Northern Illinois University Press .
Translated and edited by James B. Atkinson and David Sices.
Also see Najemy (1993).
Poetry and comedy
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1985), Comedies of Machiavelli, University
Press of New England Bilingual edition of The Woman from Andros,
The Mandrake, and Clizia, 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,
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Machiavelli: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
William R. Everdell's article "From State to Free-State: The Meaning
of the Word
Jean Bodin to John Adams," with extensive
discussion of Machiavelli
full text books from the Liberty Fund, a conservative think tank
Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli in different formats and languages
Site containing The Prince, slightly modified for easier reading
Niccolò Machiavelli at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about
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LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
Machiavelli at the Marxists Internet Archive, including some of his
Works by Niccolò Machiavelli: text, concordances and frequency list
Machiavelli on the Net, a Machiavelli webliography with a short
Works of Machiavelli: Italian and English text
Machiavelli and Power Politics
Machiavelli on the Online Library Of Liberty
Digitized Italian Letter, Machiavelli, Karpeles Manuscript Library
Machiavelli on diglossa.org library, 5 parallel translations: ru:
Г.Муравьева, en: W.K.Marriott, N.H.Thomson, fr: J.-V.
Périès, de: G. Regis
Machiavelli and the Italian City on the BBC's In Our Time with Melvyn
Bragg; with Quentin Skinner, Regius Professor of
History at the
University of Cambridge; Evelyn Welch, Professor of Renaissance
Studies at Queen Mary, University of London; Lisa Jardine, Director of
the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary, University of
University of Adelaide's full texts of Machiavelli's works
Pope Clement VII
Emperor Maximillian I
Louis XII of France
House of Medici
Republic of Florence
Timeline of Niccolò Machiavelli
Discourse on Pisa
On the method of dealing with the Rebellious Peoples of Valdichiana
A Description of the Method Used by Duke Valentino in Killing
Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, and Others
A discourse about the provision of money
Ritratti delle cose dell’ Alemagna
Ritratti delle cose di Francia
The Golden Ass
The Art of War
Discorso sopra il riformare lo stato di Firenze
Sommario delle cose della citta di Lucca
Life of Castruccio Castracani
Life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca
Discourses on Livy
Social and political philosophy
Feminist political theory
Mandate of Heaven
Philosophy and economics
Philosophy of education
Philosophy of history
Philosophy of love
Philosophy of sex
Philosophy of social science
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