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By: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince

Machiavelli has created a ruthless guide on how to rule the country in his volume "The Prince". The book is dedicated to Lorenzo De Medici, the ruler of Florence. The author explains in simple language about the nature of great men and the characters of the government. The first chapter gives an outline of the book discussing various styles of ruling as a prince, character traits that a ruler should have and the political situation of Italy in the 16th century. The book is composed of 26 chapters which fall into four major sections...

History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy by Niccolò Machiavelli History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy

History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy is an historical account by Niccolò Machiavelli. Toward the end of 1520, the Cardinal Giulio of Medici, later Pope Clement VII, offered Machiavelli the appointment to write a history of Florence. Although Machiavelli was reluctant to accept, accepting was his only way to regain the good graces of the Medici who had regained power and were in a position to offer him employment and protection. Doing the history also provided a way for Machiavelli’s views to become the “official” history of Florentine and Italian affairs. Once completed, the work was presented officially to Giulio, now Pope, in May of 1526.

Book cover Machiavelli, Volume I
Book cover Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius
Book cover Prince (Version 4)

This book is a five hundred year old manual for how to run a kingdom or principality. Written in 1513 but not published until 1532, "The Prince" generated controversy even before it got into print. Unlike the many previous "how-to" mamuals for new rulers, "The Prince" only judged actions by their effectiveness and did not consider morals or ethics at all. Some of the suggestions were so brutal and amoral that many critics in the 18th century considered "The Prince" to be a satire, as they could not believe that any philosopher would seriously promote such actions...

Book cover (Dutch) Vorst

Het boek bevat raadgevingen voor vorsten over hoe ze hun staat moeten besturen. De voornaamste bezigheid van de vorst moest volgens hem het bemachtigen, consolideren en in stand houden van zijn macht zijn. Hij was vol bewondering voor grote staatsmannen, omdat ze eenheid, orde, vrede en voorspoed brachten voor de bevolking. Hij maakte een onderscheid tussen de heersers en het volk; tussen degenen die willen heersen en degenen die niet beheerst willen worden. Hij koos duidelijk de kant van de heersers...


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