Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian writer, satirist, and political theorist; he is best known for his book The Prince. At the time of his birth, 3 MayFlorence was an independent republic. Machiavelli was born into a wealthy family. Together with his wife, Bartolomea di Stefano Nelli, Bernardo had four children, Niccolo was his eldest son.
Barred from public office in Florence as an insolvent debtor, Bernardo lived frugally, administering his small landed property near the city and supplementing his meagre income from it with earnings from the restricted and almost clandestine exercise of his profession.
He learned Latin well and probably knew some Greek, and he seems to have acquired the typical humanist education that was expected of officials of the Florentine Chancery.
In a letter to a friend inMachiavelli writes of listening to the sermons of Girolamo Savonarola —98a Dominican friar who moved to Florence in and in the s attracted a party of popular supporters with his thinly veiled accusations against the government, the clergy, and the pope. On May 24,Savonarola was hanged as a heretic and his body burned in the public square.
How so young a man could be entrusted with so high an office remains a mystery, particularly because Machiavelli apparently never served an apprenticeship in the chancery.
He held the post untilhaving gained the confidence of Piero Soderini —the gonfalonier chief magistrate for life in Florence from Anticipating his later Discourses on Livy, a commentary on the ancient Roman historian, in this work he contrasts the errors of Florence with the wisdom of the Romans and declares that in dealing with rebellious peoples one must either benefit them or eliminate them.
Machiavelli also was a witness to the bloody vengeance taken by Cesare on his mutinous captains at the town of Sinigaglia December 31,of which he wrote a famous account.
In the Florentine republic was overthrown and the gonfalonier deposed by a Spanish army that Julius II had enlisted into his Holy League. There he wrote his two major works, The Prince and Discourses on Livy, both of which were published after his death.
Machiavelli was first employed in by the cardinal to resolve a case of bankruptcy in Lucca, where he took the occasion to write a sketch of its government and to compose his The Life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca ; La vita di Castruccio Castracani da Lucca.
Later that year the cardinal agreed to have Machiavelli elected official historian of the republic, a post to which he was appointed in November with a salary of 57 gold florins a year, later increased to In the meantime, he was commissioned by the Medici pope Leo X reigned —21 to write a discourse on the organization of the government of Florence.
Machiavelli criticized both the Medici regime and the succeeding republic he had served and boldly advised the pope to restore the republic, replacing the unstable mixture of republic and principality then prevailing. In June he presented his Florentine Histories Istorie Fiorentine to the pope, receiving in return a gift of ducats.
Now that Florence had cast off the Medici, Machiavelli hoped to be restored to his old post at the chancery. But the few favours that the Medici had doled out to him caused the supporters of the free republic to look upon him with suspicion.
Denied the post, he fell ill and died within a month. Writings In office Machiavelli wrote a number of short political discourses and poems the Decennali on Florentine history. They are distinguished from his other works by the fact that in the dedicatory letter to each he says that it contains everything he knows.
The two works differ also in substance and manner. Every thoughtful treatment of Machiavelli has had to come to terms with the differences between his two most important works. The Prince The first and most persistent view of Machiavelli is that of a teacher of evil. The German-born American philosopher Leo Strauss — begins his interpretation from this point.
This second, amoral interpretation can be found in works by the German historian Friedrich Meinecke — and the German philosopher Ernst Cassirer — But Machiavelli also advises the use of prudence in particular circumstances, and, though he sometimes offers rules or remedies for princes to adopt, he does not seek to establish exact or universal laws of politics in the manner of modern political science.
Machiavelli divides principalities into those that are acquired and those that are inherited. In general, he argues that the more difficult it is to acquire control over a statethe easier it is to hold on to it.
The new prince relies on his own virtuebut, if virtue is to enable him to acquire a state, it must have a new meaning distinct from the New Testament virtue of seeking peace.
Thus, a prince should not be concerned if he is held to be stingy, as this vice enables him to rule. Virtue, according to Machiavelli, aims to reduce the power of fortune over human affairs because fortune keeps men from relying on themselves.
Machiavelli cannot simply dismiss or replace the traditional notion of moral virtue, which gets its strength from the religious beliefs of ordinary people.
His own virtue of mastery coexists with traditional moral virtue yet also makes use of it. A prince who possesses the virtue of mastery can command fortune and manage people to a degree never before thought possible.
He calls for a redeemer, mentioning the miracles that occurred as Moses led the Israelites to the promised land, and closes with a quotation from a patriotic poem by Petrarch — The final chapter has led many to a third interpretation of Machiavelli as a patriot rather than as a disinterested scientist.
One view, elaborated separately in works by the political theorists J."A captivating biography of Italian philosopher and playwright Niccolo Machiavelli Lively, well-researched portrait of a master political strategist."--"Kirkus Reviews ""Unger skillfully narrates the details of a life led during one of the greatest periods of artistic, political, and literary activity in Western history/5(26).
NiccolÒ Machiavelli Biography. Born: May 3, Florence, Italy Italian statesman and author The Italian author and statesman Niccolò Machiavelli is best known for The Prince, in which he voiced his political philosophy.
Early life Niccolò Machiavelli was born on May 3, , in Florence, Italy, of nobility, though by no means wealth. This is a colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative introduction to the life and work of the author of The Prince--Florentine statesman, writer, and political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli ()/5.
Niccolò Machiavelli, (born May 3, , Florence, Italy—died June 21, , Florence), Italian Renaissance political philosopher and statesman, secretary of the Florentine republic, whose most famous work, The Prince (Il Principe), brought him a reputation as an atheist and an immoral cynic.
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli ( - ) was an Italian philosopher, political theorist, diplomat, musician and writer of the Renaissance period.
He was a central figure in the political scene of the Italian Renaissance, a tumultuous period of plots, wars between city states and constantly shifting alliances. A Biography and Life Work of Nicollo Macchiaveli, an Italian Political Theorist and Author PAGES 5.
WORDS 4, View Full Essay. More essays like this: the prince, biography of nicollo macchiaveli, italian political theorist, the praise of folly. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.