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The Prince

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
By: (1469-1527)

The Prince (Italian: Il Principe) is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus (About Principalities). But the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. This was done with the permission of the Medici pope Clement VII, but "long before then, in fact since the first appearance of the Prince in manuscript, controversy had swirled about his writings".

Although it was written as if it were a traditional work in the Mirror of Princes style, it is generally agreed that it was especially innovative. This is only partly because it was written in the Vernacular (Italian) rather than Latin, a practice which had become increasingly popular since the publication of Dante's Divine Comedy and other works of Renaissance literature.

The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which 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.

Although it is relatively short, the treatise is the most remembered of his works and the one most responsible for bringing the word "Machiavellian" into wide usage as a pejorative term. It also helped make "Old Nick" an English term for the devil, and even contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words "politics" and "politician" in western countries. In terms of subject matter it overlaps with the much longer Discourses on Livy, which was written a few years later. In its use of near contemporary Italians as examples of people who perpetrated criminal deeds for politics, another lesser-known work by Machiavelli which The Prince has been compared to is the Life of Castruccio Castracani.

The descriptions within The Prince has the general theme of accepting the aims of princes; such as glory, and indeed survival, can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends. (Summary by Wikipedia)

First Page:

THE PRINCE

by Nicolo Machiavelli

Translated by W. K. Marriott

Nicolo Machiavelli, born at Florence on 3rd May 1469. From 1494 to 1512 held an official post at Florence which included diplomatic missions to various European courts. Imprisoned in Florence, 1512; later exiled and returned to San Casciano. Died at Florence on 22nd June 1527.

INTRODUCTION

Nicolo Machiavelli was born at Florence on 3rd May 1469. He was the second son of Bernardo di Nicolo Machiavelli, a lawyer of some repute, and of Bartolommea di Stefano Nelli, his wife. Both parents were members of the old Florentine nobility.

His life falls naturally into three periods, each of which singularly enough constitutes a distinct and important era in the history of Florence. His youth was concurrent with the greatness of Florence as an Italian power under the guidance of Lorenzo de' Medici, Il Magnifico. The downfall of the Medici in Florence occurred in 1494, in which year Machiavelli entered the public service. During his official career Florence was free under the government of a Republic, which lasted until 1512, when the Medici returned to power, and Machiavelli lost his office... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 5 reviews)

Reviewer: - December 26, 2013
Subject: One of the greatest works of satire
While the English translation of this work is badly mangled, it is still sterling work of political satire and musings about human nature. Great narration and content.
Reviewer: - August 29, 2013
Great book, and the narration is incredible. This recording is a keeper!
Reviewer: - August 21, 2013
The voice is good. The book is...well, is Machiavelli, what's not to like?
Reviewer: - August 8, 2013
Excellent! Great book and well read!
Reviewer: - June 21, 2013
Subject: Student
I find this book good reading to improve one's knowledge.

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