Niccolo Machiavelli

Born: May 3, 1469 Died: June 21, 1527


He was born in Florence, Italy

Bernardo di Niccolo Machiavelli & Bartolomea di Stefano Nelli

Guido Machiavelli, Lodovico Machiavelli, Bernardo Machiavelli, Piero Machiavelli, and Baccina Machiavelli

He was born into a wealthy and very influential family.

He received rigorous educational training.

He was usually described as cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous.

His interests included politics, political philosophy, military theory, and history.

He entered the Florentine Government as a clerk in 1494.

He began a career as a diplomat where he undertook missions
to the major cities in Italy, France, and Spain.


Machiavelli's best-known book is "Il Principe."

It contains several maxims concerning politics, but the main article is called "The Prince"

It concentrates on the possibility of a "new prince."
And for the new prince to retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the sociopolitical institutions to which the people are accustomed.

Whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling:

He must first stabilize his new found power in order to build an enduring political structure.

The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy and modern political philosophy.

It is claimed this because it states the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal.

It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning how to consider politics and ethics.

Another well known book of Machiavelli is The Discourses on Livy.

The Discourses on Livy is nominally a discussion regarding the classical history of early Ancient Rome even though it strays very far from this subject matter

It 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.

It more openly explains the advantages of republics.

It also includes early versions of the concept of check and balances

It asserts the superiority of a republic over a principality.

It became one of the central texts of republicanism.

Impact In Modern Day:

Machiavelli has been featured in the popular historical video games series Assassin's Creed where he is portrayed as a member and leader for the secret society of the Assassins.

Television dramas centering around the early renaissance have also made use of Machiavelli to underscore his influence in early modern political philosophy.

Machiavelli has been featured in The Tudors and The Borgias.

In Nancy Holder's Highlander fiction novel "The Measure Of A Man", Niccolò Machiavelli makes an appearance as an Immortal adversary of Duncan MacLeod.

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