By: Alex Wilson
Niccolo Machiavelli was a Florentine diplomat and historian. He lived from 1469- 1527, dying at the age of 58. Niccolo was the third child and first son of attorney Bernardo di Niccolo Machiavelli and his wife Bartolomea di Stefano Nelli.
Machiavelli became a diplomat in 1494, after the exile of the Medici family. During this time, he earned a reputation being a devious person. When the Medici family came back into power in 1512, Niccolo was tortured, jailed, and banned from an active role in politics.
During this time in Machiavellis life, he started to read Roman history and started to write. His most notable book was The Prince. In this, he sought to describe government. People interpret this book to be a handbook for politicians on being ruthless and cunning, coining the term "Machiavellian". Pope Clement VIII condemned The Prince for its endorsement of rule by deceit and fear.
As a political tactic, Machiavelli once faked his own death. He felt that this would throw off his enemies.
Niccolo Machiavelli died on June 21, 1527. Today, he is regarded as the father of modern political theory.