The Portable Machiavelli

The Portable Machiavelli

Peter Bondanella, Mark Musa

Language: English

Pages: 576

ISBN: 0140150927

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In the four and a half centuries since Machiavelli’s death, no single and unanimously accepted interpretation of his ideas has succeeded in imposing itself upon the lively debate over the meaning of his works. Yet there has never been any doubt about the fundamental importance of Machiavelli’s contribution to Western political theory.The Portable Machiavelli brings together the complete texts of The Prince, Belfagor, and Castruccio Castracani, newly translated by Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa especially for this volume. In addition, the editors include an abridged version of The Discourses; a play, The Mandrake Root, in its entirety; seven private letters; and selections from The Art of War and The History of Florence.

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them back to Rome disarmed. Because of this, the consuls were stunned and the army was desperate, when Lucius Lentulus, the Roman legate, announced that he did not believe any plan for saving their country should be rejected. Since the survival of Rome depended upon the survival of the army, he believed in saving it by any means, for one’s country is well defended by any means which defends it, whether by disgrace or glory. If that army were saved, Rome would have time to erase the disgrace, but

send my regards to Your Lordship, quae semper ut vult valeat. In Carpi, May 17, 1521. Your Niccolò Machiavelli, Ambassador to the Minor Friars THE PRINCE EDITORS’ NOTE This, the most famous and controversial of Machiavelli’s works, was first printed in 1532, some seven years after the death of its author, although manuscript copies of the work circulated earlier. There is general agreement among scholars that the origins of The Prince and The Discourses are closely interrelated. It

friends and servants so that his fellow citizens might see that he had not spent his time in vain; and he begged his uncle to arrange for an honorable reception from the people of Fermo, one which might bring honor not only to Giovanni but also to himself, being his pupil. Giovanni, therefore, in no way failed in his duty toward his nephew: he had him received in honorable fashion by the people of Fermo, and he gave him rooms in his own house. Oliverotto, after a few days had passed and he had

not wish to be commanded or oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles desire to command and to oppress the people; and from these two opposed appetites there arises one of three effects: either a principality or liberty or anarchy. A principality is brought about either by the common people or by the nobility, depending on which one of the two parties has the opportunity. For when the nobles see that they cannot resist the populace, they begin to support one among them and make him prince in order

form of government, having destroyed the government ruled by a few men and not wishing to return to that ruled by a prince; and they organized it in such a way that neither the few powerful men nor a prince might have any authority whatsoever in it. And because all governments are, at the outset, respected, this democratic government was maintained awhile, but not for a long time, particularly after the generation that organized it passed away; it immediately turned to anarchy, where neither the

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